You know that sinking feeling at the bottom of your...loveseat? After years of bodies being plopped down on the cushions, even the best made furniture will suffer some collapse. Before you go thinking you need to toss your loved-in sofa, here are some ways to bring new life to a sagging couch.
There are various things that could be causing a bit of sag. First things first—check the cushions because this is the easiest fix. If they feel nice and firm, then you may need to do a little surgery to get a good look at the frame and springs. Sometimes there will be a thin, felt-like wrap around the top and bottom of the frame that keeps dust from getting into the couch. To remove this, gently pull off any staples or take a sharp utility knife and cut a straight line along one edge so that you will be able to inspect and then reattach the fabric once you’ve finished (new staples or Velcro will suffice for reattachment).
If your problem is mushy cushions, unzip the fabric to reveal what’s inside. If the cushions do not have zippers, then you have to cut them open and resew afterwards. If this isn’t worth the effort, see if you can order new cushions for the couch from the manufacturer. Polyester fiberfill can be used to add to cushions stuffed with loose filling. Quilt batting can be wrapped around ones that have lost shape and need to be firmed up. A full foam padding replacement usually lasts longer than other materials and will give the best results. Find pieces that are similar in shape and dimension to your cushion, but if need be, you can cut the foam with a utility knife or sharp scissors to get the right contour. Measure properly to ensure a snug fit inside the fabric. Cut the foam bigger at first and work your way to the right size. Any of these materials can be found at local craft stores or online.
Sofa savers are specifically designed for sagging couches, but have some limitations. The vinyl or hard plastic pieces go in between where the cushions meet with the top of the frame. They can add a decent amount of support, especially if the issue is with slightly out of shape cushions or a few damaged springs. They are fairly affordable, from $20-40 dollars for a package that fits a large couch (they can be used for chairs as well) with the added bonus of not having to get out any tools. Any major problems with the frame will not be fixed by this product, but if you have a couch that needs just a little lift, these may work just fine.
Older couches usually have coils that are tricky to fix or replace yourself if they are twisted, bent, or broken. You can try to repair them by using pliers to bend them back into the same shape as the other coils, but if you aren’t able to, then you may need to take them into a furniture repair shop. While there will be a cost, it could still save you money in the long run. Take pictures and bring them in to get a quote from a professional. Remember, when investigating or fixing springs it’s a good idea to wear gloves and eye protection, in case something comes loose or flings back toward you.
Newer couches likely have zigzag springs and the main issue with them tends to be that they come off of their clips, which causes the cushions to sink. Locate the metal clips on the side of the frame of the couch to see if they are broken or loose and repair or replace if necessary. It’s not always easy to stretch the stubborn springs back into the original clip, but the good news is that replacement ones can be easier to get the spring latched onto. You may need some pliers to help stretch the spring into place. If a spring is broken, you can also find replacements online or at some furniture stores to give your couch the support it needs. Try using heavy-duty zip ties to pull them in together and keep the support distributed properly.
All couches are made slightly differently, but the main thing they have in common is some kind of wood or metal support frame. With wooden frames, any broken pieces will have to be replaced or reinforced. If you need to purchase wood from the hardware store, take exact measurements or bring one of the slats with you to make sure you are getting the right size. Similarly, loose parts will have to be tightened or supported by another solid piece. For some frames, a piece of plywood cut to size may help strengthen the wooden slats holding up the cushions, however, this usually makes the couch a lot firmer than you may want and tends to be a temporary fix. If you are going to try this, use ¼-inch plywood so there is a little give when you sit down. Metal frames are difficult to repair, but you may be able to find new legs or supports from the original supplier of the couch.
Remember to practice good couch maintenance. Keep friends and family from jumping around on your couch and flip your cushions every so often to keep them from being flattened repeatedly in the same spot. Eventually cushions will wear down, springs will break, and the frame may need to be repaired, but that doesn’t mean your favorite couch needs to be tossed to the curb! With these DIY tips you can save a sagging couch, sometimes costing only a little more than the amount of change you find under the seats.