Asked on Jun 23, 2017

How to restuff my non-removable sofa cushions?

The cushion where I always sit has gone flat and there is no way to remove it or exchange it with another cushion. There is also no way to access it from the back, so I would have to go from the front or sides. Any tips on how to restuff couch cushions with no access point?

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  15 answers
  • Kathy Shouse Brown Kathy Shouse Brown on Jun 23, 2017

    I found this on Step by step how to for you. Hope it helps, sounds like a lot of work but if you have the time would save you from buying a new sofa.

    Step 1

    Spread open the crack behind the couch cushions. Cut along the crack as deeply as possible in a location where it is the least noticeable. Spread the fabric apart and look inside the couch. Sever the couch cushions from their interior attachments if necessary.

    Step 2

    Slide a plywood board the same size as the seat of the couch in through the hole in the fabric and underneath the cushions. Arrange the plywood so that it is evenly situated and cannot be felt by someone sitting on the couch. Cut the plywood smaller if necessary so it does not protrude beyond the cushions.

    Step 3

    Close the cut in the fabric by securing it with safety pins along the length of the cut then shove the cut deeply into the crack behind the cushions and pin it down to make it less noticeable.

    Replacing the Couch Fabric

    Step 4

    Flip the couch upside down and pull all of the staples out of the base, ripping any seams if necessary or cutting the fabric with scissors to remove it. Continue to remove the fabric from the entire couch by pulling staples, ripping seams and cutting fabric. Pull up the cushions, cutting them from their attachments if necessary and slide a plywood board the same size as the cushion area underneath the cushions.

    Step 5

    Spread out the fabric and measure it. Cut a new piece of fabric for the couch that is at least one full yard larger than the old fabric. Lower it over the couch and loosely position it so that it covers the entire couch. Attach it in the cracks around the cushions with staples while stretching the fabric tightly.

    Step 6

    Continue to stretch the fabric taut over the sides, front and back of the couch, stapling whenever possible in inconspicuous areas. Flip over the couch and staple the fabric to the base of the couch about 2 inches in from the edge all the way around, stapling every 4 inches. Cut out any extra fabric with the scissors.

  • Bucko2000 Bucko2000 on Jun 24, 2017

    My cushions have a zipper at the bottom. I unzip and push the stuffing up. Then add more to the bottom. It gets messy because of static cling, but they get stuffed. My dog likes to sit on the top of the couch so I punch them from the bottom up to fluff.

  • James Stephenson James Stephenson on Dec 31, 2017

    Search for the last place in the construction process. You will probably have to put the sofa on its back. Hopefully the cushions are just stapled shut. Carefully remove the staples put in the new stuffing and restaple with a heavy duty stapler.

  • Oliva Oliva on Nov 19, 2018

    Your only hope is to see if you can rip out the seams and hope there's a seam allowance, so you can re-stuff then sew shut. In addition to stiffer foam, wrap his cushion with batting to make it stiffer.

    If you could match the fabric, you could make a new cushion and install a zipper to facilitate future repairs.

    • See 2 previous
    • Karen James-Preston Karen James-Preston on Nov 19, 2018

      Thanks I’ll check on Line for thread. As for the sewing machine.. since the cushion is deemed into the couch I’ll have to see it by hand. Better get a few thimbles I think.

  • Amy Sunstrum Amy Sunstrum on Nov 19, 2018

    This is my life due to boys and now babies. Well,its already sagging so get brave you can go from underneath r perhaps the side. I have used old pillows or foam from Walmart, basically anywhere. My couch now has a piece of plywood that happened to fit under cushion and-old flattish pillows! Its a little more stuffed in the center as this is where people tend to sit. I have done this with my leather sofa and many others. BTW, the one I have now had "curb appeal" as in, it came from someone's curb!

    • Karen James-Preston Karen James-Preston on Nov 19, 2018

      Thanks. Seem like I’ll hsve to open the Sean. The plywood idea is good. If I can stuff it & that fills the void great... if not I’ll have to open it up lather to get the plywood in. I’m just scared I won’t be able to see it back.

  • Patty S Patty S on Mar 02, 2018

    Under cushions, place a piece of plywood just a little smaller by an inch all around. Also there are commercial braces that can be purchased. I, in the past have also put a layer of poly-fill sheeting (purchase at fabric store). It comes in different thickness and firmness. Wrap the cushion interior with it and sew all edges closed stitching by hand. Stuff it back into the cushion cover and voila no more sag.

  • Ken Erickson Ken Erickson on Mar 14, 2020

    The sides seem to be less noticeable if you are going to cut open and resew after re-stuffing.

  • Maura White Maura White on Mar 14, 2020

    I agree with Ken - find a hidden seem in the back, cut the stitches and fill it that way. Then use upholstery strength thread to sew it back up.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 14, 2020

    It has to have a hidden seam or else it would not have been stuffed to begin with. Go to the back and carefully cut open the seam, it maybe hard to get to, have patience. Only open a small enough are to add stuffing to your desired thickness, it will pack down again over time. Resew the opened stiches with upholstery thread. You can also buy curved needles to make this project easier.

  • K. Rupp K. Rupp on Mar 14, 2020

    If you don't have a zipper, if you have any sewing skills, you could open the seam and add a cut to size mattress topper but then you would have to hand sew it back. I use them in my upholstery projects as well. I used a mattress foam topper in this project that I was re-upholstering because the existing cushions lost their oomph. Here is the post if you are interested...

    If you don't care about cost though and you want it to be easier than having to cut foam to size, I did find a product right off amazon but you would have to do the same thing as I described. Open the seam and insert this. Sew back up.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Mar 15, 2020

    Do you want the cushion insert changed or just add filling? Pick an area you can hide a seam or reopen a seam. Use upholstery type stuffing or foam rubber for the best result. Depending on which you decide on, will determine the size of your opening. For fiberfill stuffing,

    , you can shove it in by the handful, pushing it firmly in the area furthest from you, working towards the opening. In dollmaking, I use forceps, a chip stick, a pencil eraser, or a skewer to stuff it in firmly and so can you. A dowel works, too. Gold luck!

  • Cindy Cindy on Mar 15, 2020

    Hi Pat. If there is no seam on the seat cushion, you might have to go in from the back. The backs of most sofas are stapled down. You can remove these upholstery staples with a screw driver. This should give you access to the cushion from the back. A few years ago I had a new sofa that needed repairs. I watched how he pulled out part of the back. Did the repair and stapled the back into place.

  • Adrianne C Adrianne C on Aug 29, 2014
    I think the best thing is to figure out how it was put together to start with. I can assure you that they didn't try to sew that big cushion on a machine after it was stuffed! I would recommend flipping it over. Most likely it's stapled. If so, remove the staples and work from there. I wouldn't recommend cutting the stitches.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Aug 29, 2014
    I saw this question asked some time ago and I approached hubs about this problem. He said the back cover probably had to be taken off to have access to the cushions. I have one side of the leather sofa where the back cushion is saggy...but that is because it is where our big lab runs and crashes into it as we play our chase game with her! No need to bother to try and fix it, it would just get smashed again! HA!
  • PnnyG PnnyG on Aug 30, 2014
    I am an upholsterer and I can tell you we hate these kind of sofas. You can open the side seams and replace the cushions but you must then sew that faux leather closed - that is a very painful job that requires curved needles and special hand sewing thread or the whole thing will open up again. The way an upholsterer would deal with this is to remove the sofa outside back and outside arm panels to gain access to the cushions. We would then loosen the cushions from the frame by removing the back and side staples. Normally we would leave the front of the cushion intact. Then the inserts could be replaced through the fabric at the back and/or bottom of the cushion. The cushions would be stapled back into place and the outside back and outside arm panels replaced. Out here in CA, that would probably be a $200 labor charge, plus the new foam and Dacron which easily could run another $180. or so. Depending on what you spent on the sofa, it may not be worth it. Unless you purchase a good quality piece of furniture, most of them are meant to last 3 to 5 years at the most. The cushions always seem to be the first to go.