Why Do Couch Cushions Sag?When you feel your couch cushions sag, it’s a result of damage done in one or more of three areas – the frame, the springs, or the cushions themselves. If the couch frame itself is broken, you’ll probably know about it – and you’ll need to fix this first before trying any of the other solutions below. If the springs or the cushions are getting saggy, you can improve them by adding extra support or replacing or reinforcing the foam inserts, and we discuss a number of different ways and materials you can use to do this below, including both DIY and store-bought options.
6 Ways to Fix Sagging Cushions & Sagging Couches
1: Sagging Couch Cushions? Replace Your Foam InsertsIf it’s the cushions themselves that are saggy, your best option is to replace the foam inserts with new, stronger ones. Sagging foam inserts can’t be repaired – although you could add something else in alongside them (see below) – so a replacement is normally the easiest option, and it’s not too expensive. First you’ll need to get your hands on some replacement inserts. These are available in many different sizes, so you’ll need to remove your cushion covers and measure up what size you need before ordering. There are plenty of options on the market, including these ones by Foamrush, but unfortunately most of the easy to find options are made from polyurethane foam (made using fossil fuels). Ordering an eco-friendly alternative like latex cushions will be a bit more expensive but is possible with companies such as FoamOrder – they also do custom sizes, so you’re able to get something that fits perfectly. A word of warning: careful when you open your new inserts. They tend to be vacuum packed and have the habit of springing out at you!
2: Bolster Couch Cushions with Additional FillingIf your cushions are still in quite good shape and just need a bit of a lift, you can add additional filling to them rather than replacing the entire contents. You’ll need thinner sheets of upholstery filling (see links in the previous section) and we recommend you start by adding 1″ and then try it out, then add another inch if needed. For the seat cushions, you’ll need to remove the cushion cover and then cut the filling sheet to the size of your cushion (may not be needed if you have a standard size). Then use a spray adhesive to stick the old filling to the extra new bit (follow all instructions on the can) before replacing your cushion covers. Test it out for firmness then add another inch if needed to prevent sagging. For the seat back cushions you’ll want to add a loose filling. The normal material to use for this would be Poly-fil stuffing, made from polyester foam, but we prefer organic cotton fiber, or, if you’re not vegan, lambswool. Just stuff it into the couch cushions until it’s a good shape. If you get it wrong, you can easily remove or adjust the filling.
3: DIY Plywood or Particle Board Couch Cushion SupportsAnother option is to add additional support underneath your couch cushions. While there are products that achieve this (see below), you can also choose to create your own solution if you have a few tools available. You will need:
- 1/2″ particle board or plywood
- Measuring Tape
- A saw (optional – you could get your wood cut to size in-store)
4: Shop-Bought Couch Cushion SupportsDon’t fancy making your own? There are plenty of couch supports available online. They’re all much the same, featuring pieces of heavy-duty wood board covered in vinyl arranged so that they can fold (easily to ship). Of the options, the LAMINET Cushion Support Insert is likely your best bet, as it’s thicker (and so offers more support) than most of the other options.
5: DIY Couch Frame Repair Using GlueIf your couch frame has broken, you’ll need to repair it (or pay a professional to do it for you). Depending on the scope of the break and your DIY skills, this might easy or quite difficult. Assuming the break is relatively clean, and the wood support does not need to be completely replace, you should be able to stick the two pieces together using a strong glue (something like Gorilla Glue) and then, preferably, sistering another board onto the broken one, using both glue and screws to affix it.
6: Replace Your Couch SpringsIf your couch springs have broken they won’t provide your cushions with enough support. This can be mitigated by adding additional supports in, but in some cases you’ll need to replace the springs. If you are confident in your DIY skills, there are repair kits available on Amazon. If you’re not going to repair the springs yourself, you’ll need a professional to do it.
Can You Prevent Sagging in Couches?Most couches will eventually start to sag as a result of natural wear and tear, but bad habits can vastly increase the speed at which the couch cushions and other elements start to deteriorate. To prevent sagging, and increase the life of your couch, we recommend you avoid the following bad habits:
- Sitting in the same spot every time – This bad habit will cause high levels of wear to your favorite spot while leaving other areas untouched. Spread the load by changing where you sit.
- Jumping on the sofa – Children (or adults!) jumping on the sofa can damage the frame, springs and couch cushions and cause your sofa to start sagging.
- Sleeping on the sofa – It’s not great for you and, while the occasional sleep won’t hurt, it done repeatedly will cause wear and tear. Stick to the bed if you want to prevent sagging couch cushions.
- Never rotate the cushions – Flipping your cushions helps to ensure they wear evenly and prevent sagging. When you never flip the cushions, you get more wear in one spot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Turn your couch cushions every week if you are using your couch heavily and every week if you are using your couch occasionally. If your couch is a cheaper model you should turn the cushions every week regardless of use frequency.
You can make your sofa cushions firmer by adding extra layers of foam or by replacing the foam entirely. Remove the cushion cover, supplement or replace the foam, then put the covers back on the cushions again.
You can use plywood under sofa cushions to counter act sagging cushions. Cut a 1/2" piece of plywood to fit your couch and place it under the coach cushions.
Couch cushion foam density is measured in lbs per cutic ft, with higher numbers indicating higher density (firmer) cushions. Most foam cushions range from 1.5lb density to 3lb density. You'll want a density of at least 2.0lbs for the seat cushions, but a lower density might suit the back cushions.
A good couch should last at least 10 to 15 years without the frame breaking. However, most couch cushions will start sagging earlier than this, and their foam insert may need replacing several times over the lifetime of the couch.