by

Aaron Wong

2020/08/21

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Stretchy or Bespoke? Which are the best sofa covers for you and how to pick them

Sofa covers, couch covers, slipcovers – they all mean the same thing. That fabric you slip onto your sofa when it’s time for a change of pace.

But did you know that there are many different kinds of sofa covers? They each have different uses, from protecting your sofa, to giving it the stylized makeover worthy of an instagrammers home.

So which kind of sofa cover is the best?

Let’s start by going over the various types so you can pick the perfect slipcover for your needs. 

What Types Of Sofa Covers Are There?


Contrary to the spandex-y one size fits all covers you may have seen on Amazon, there are actually many more options available at your fingertips. They have different qualities, price points and uses.

You’ll want to pick the type that is best suited to your current situation. Here are the different kinds you can choose from, beginning with the one that everyone is familiar with:

Stretchy sofa covers

When most people think of a sofa cover, they immediately think of the stretchy kind.

True to their name, stretchy covers stretch over your couch to cover it. You might have seen these at your local Walmart or on Amazon. 

They are the most common type of cover because they cater towards a wide range of sofas. Most of all: they’re cheap.

Since these covers stretch, the design doesn’t have to be so precise to get that well fitted look around the sofa – no tailors needed.

Surprising for their low price point, they are also durable enough to last for some time. Through washes, kids and couch parties; they show their resilience. Just keep them away from the cats and they should hold up.

It’s a pretty good bargain for what you pay for (which ranges from $20 to $60), but at the same time you’ll be getting what you pay for.

By far the biggest complaint to the stretchy covers are how much effort it takes to keep them looking like a loose bed sheet.

They won’t stay put, so prepare for lots and lots of tucking. Not great for those who can’t stand the sight of misaligned seams and slippy covers. Especially true for those who also loathe the effort needed to perfect the look.

The look and feel are nothing to write home about either. Because they stretch, they can feel quite thin. Kind of like spandex instead of real couch fabric. The material usually attracts fur and hair like goose feathers to honey.

That said, they do make for a good temporary solution to protect your couch until the kids, pets and the occasional messy guest learn to behave.

If you’re interested in the stretchy cover, Surefit is the most famous choice of the many brands that sell them. You can find it with a quick online search and have been operating for many years (so they should know their stuff). Be sure to check through the reviews to know exactly what to expect. 

Not digging these?  Not to worry – there are other types of sofa covers. The next one could suit you better because it has a better look and more substantial fabric.

Loose fitted Covers

If price is a concern but you want something a little less reminiscent of a tight spandex suit, try a cover with a more relaxed fit. 

These go by various names, but searching for a “loose fit sofa covers” tends to turn up these types of covers.

What’s different about loose fitted covers is that they don’t stretch. Instead, the big one-piece fabric drops over the sofa and then is fastened to the couch with several ties.

This makes the fabric a little denser, and feels more like a fabric made for sitting on… something closer to sofa fabric. Of course the material plays an important role in this, but they do tend to be made of a thicker duck cotton. 

Loose fitted covers can look pretty good if everything goes well and like the stretchy covers, are hardy beyond their price point:

Whether you’ll want to use them for long periods of time is another story altogether. 

Compared to the stretchy covers, these are even more difficult to get right – and unfortunately have many ways in which they can go wrong. They can be a real headache to work with.

One of the biggest issues of these type of covers is the fact that they don’t give much leeway to work with.

They don’t stretch so making sure your couch falls in the sweet spot in terms of dimensions and shape is important. It is best to use them on couches with the same shape as the displayed one on the packaging.

Put them on an unaccommodating shape and even all the tucking in the world won’t make it look very presentable.

Speaking of tucking, they are no better in that regard than their stretchy counterparts. There’s lots of excess fabric that requires hiding away and it slips around as the couch gets used.

To make things worse, add wrinkles into the equation. Yup, these covers wrinkle like crazy and ironing it every once in a while is the best case scenario.

Wrinkles and constant re-fixing make for a mini maintenance nightmare. But there are some tricks to help your couch not look like it’s in a constant state of “frumpiness”.

To reduce the amount of ironing required, wash the cover first (if washable), and let them dry until damp before putting them on the sofa. This will sort out some of the wrinkles.

If you aren’t put off by the high maintenance required of this cover, you’ll find that they tend to have more interesting designs and patterns than the plain solid colors offered by stretchy covers. Amazon will be your friend in exploring these.

Still not yet found what you’re looking for with the loose or stretchy choices? There’s more. For something a little more fitted and user friendly, check out the next option.

Bespoke Sofa Covers

Bespoke covers are the best looking option and will make your old sofa look right at home in a slipcover. We sew these types of covers right here at Comfort Works.

Of all the covers, these are the most expensive type. 

No surprises there as these types of covers are tailor made to fit your sofa. Think of it as the slipcover you never knew existed for your couch.

While pricey, they cost a fraction of a new sofa, making them the perfect choice when it comes to “remodelling” dated sofas. Or fixing sofas that have torn or worn out fabric.

It’s pretty much like buying the fabric part of the sofa – if the frame and cushions are holding up. Tailored covers will make the sofa look good as new, or even better.

We just made this IKEA Soderhamn sofa look even better than the original!

So what exactly can you expect by paying for the grande option?

Well for starters, a custom cover made for your sofa will fit to a tee for sure. The cushions and frame get their own individual covers so there’s no excess fabric that slips around and needs tucking.

Higher grade fabric is another guarantee. 

Unlike other options, you can expect upholstery grade fabrics. 

They feel thicker and comfier than the stretchy and loose-fit alternatives. That’s something you’ll appreciate for a long term solution for your main living room couches.

Another nifty feature is that our covers are machine washable (except for the leather ones). If you’ve got an upholstered sofa in a house with messy kids, pets and people, then you’ll know how great this is.

It’s a wonderful choice for those considering a high quality upgrade for their old sofa. It’ll work whether you want an aesthetics rejuvenation or because the fabric on your old sofa is falling apart.

We’ve even recently launched a fabric that can protect the sofa from pets, all while looking stylish enough to belong in an influencers’ home.

Basically, whether it’s protective, decorative or just for plain convenience – we’ve got something for everyone. Our fabric selection and sofa styles will bring your dream sofa to life.

So if you’re looking for a more permanent solution to your couch woes, and are not yet ready to break up with your old couch, consider giving us a visit!

Interested to learn more on how we’re saving sofas worldwide from becoming landfill? Check us out on our website and the list of sofa brands we make designer level covers for:

REDISCOVER YOUR SOFA