Last updated: August 5, 2021

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The sofa, the new couch is the centrepiece of your living room. Besides the size and the right interior, you have to decide on a sofa cover. Your current living situation is decisive for the right choice. Do you have children or pets, is your sofa exposed to direct sunlight or is it in the basement? Do you want to relax more alone on your sofa or do you regularly have many guests who party on your couch?

In this guide, we give you buying recommendations and inform you about buying criteria such as materials and fabric qualities. You will find out which types of sofa covers are available, which one you should choose for your area of application, what costs you should expect and tips on care and cleaning.




Summary

  • A microfibre sofa cover is particularly suitable for families and pet-friendly. It is inexpensive and convincing in terms of quality. It offers reliable protection against scratches and pet hair.
  • Retro style is in again: Sofa covers made of corduroy and chenille are ideal for this.
  • Good quality criteria such as abrasion resistance, pilling, rub fastness and light fastness are decisive when choosing a sofa cover.

The Best Sofa Cover: Our Choices

Buying and rating criteria for sofa covers

In order to find the perfect sofa cover, we have worked out some buying criteria that you should consider when buying. These criteria are designed to facilitate a comparison so that you can make your choice in an objective and informed manner. The criteria include:

We now present these criteria to you in detail here:

Fabric quality

When choosing a fabric, you should pay attention to good quality criteria. These include abrasion resistance, pilling, rub fastness and light fastness.

Rub resistance refers to a fabric's resistance to abrasion, which is important for the durability of your sofa cover. Pills are small nodules, swirled fibre ends that occur due to friction on textile surfaces. When choosing a fabric, it is therefore important that the fibres do not tend to knot. Rub fastness indicates the extent to which colours from other textiles rub off on the sofa cover. Light fastness is the resistance of coloured materials to artificial and natural light sources.

Material

A rough distinction can be made between sofa covers made of leather and fabric. However, it is worth taking a closer look, because materials such as cotton, linen, smooth leather or synthetic polymers have individual characteristics, especially with regard to the intensity of care.

Material Property
Aniline leather, open-pored smooth leather matt appearance, sensitive to sunlight, grease and water stains
Semi-aniline leather, soft smooth leather robust and insensitive to water, grease and UV radiation
Nubuck leather,suede with velvety surface breathable, more susceptible to wear and tear
Suede, suede with rough surface, velvet-like quality breathable, resistant, durable
Natural fibre,natural fibre: cotton, wool, silk, linen breathable,warm, breathable
man-made fibre man-made fibre hard-wearing, abrasion-resistant, colourfast, insensitive
blended fabric, combination of natural and man-made fibre pleasant feel, robust, abrasion-resistant, hard-wearing
Microfibre,polyester or polyacrylic very fine and soft feel, insensitive, breathable, easy to clean
Viscose, semi-synthetic fibre silky sheen, pleasantly soft

The following section explains which of these different materials are suitable for which applications.

Area of application

Which sofa cover is suitable for families and which for pets?

Leather has the advantage that it is easy to care for and easier to wash off, and pet hair does not settle so easily in fabric fibres. Fabric sofa covers such as microfibre or polyester, on the other hand, are cosier and not as cold as leather. Alcantara - a mixture of polyester and polystyrene is particularly hard-wearing and machine-washable. It is particularly easy to remove stains from. A sofa cover made of microfibre is particularly suitable for families and pet-friendly. It is inexpensive and convincing in terms of quality.

Size

There are many different sizes and the choice depends on your individual needs: you can choose between sofa covers for classic 2-seaters, 3-seaters, L-shaped corner sofas, U-shaped sofas, big sofas with a particularly wide seat, 3-2-1 sets, sofa beds or even entire living room landscapes.

Fastening options

Pay attention to the fastening options of your sofa cover. Some of them you can simply lay over your couch and fasten with safety pins on the underside of your sofa. This is time-consuming but the sofa cover fits perfectly. Others are equipped with an elastic band, just like a fitted sheet, the sofa cover forms itself.

Colour

Small sofas can have a bright colour. For larger sofas, neutral colours are preferable. Every sofa cover fades when exposed to light. Lighter colours are more susceptible than darker ones. To test the colour fastness of your sofa cover, simply run a white cloth over the material. If the cloth leaves no traces of colour, the fabric is colourfast.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about sofa covers answered in detail

In the following, we would like to answer the most important questions about sofa covers. In this way, we want to give you a deeper insight into the topic.

What is a sofa cover?

A sofa cover is a protective cover that is put on upholstered furniture or it is a throw for your sofa. The advantage of a slipcover is that you can always replace it and change the look depending on your temporary taste.

What types of sofa covers are there?

At this point we would like to introduce you to the different types of cover fabrics in more detail.

Alcantara is a synthetically produced cover fabric. This sofa cover can be dyed in all colours, is allergy-friendly and very easy to clean. However, it does become statically charged. Cotton is particularly breathable and hard-wearing and, as a natural product, ideal if you like the Scandinavian look. But cotton is sensitive to dirt and creases. Similar to cotton are linen. They have a slight sheen, are a little coarser and are just as breathable and skin-friendly.

If you are more of a retro type, then a corduroy sofa cover is your first choice. It has a ribbed structure lengthwise or crosswise and is made of a cotton-synthetic blend. The disadvantage is that the corduroy wears out in places that are used or occupied a lot.

As a style alternative to corduroy, we recommend chenille with its three-dimensional, coarse thread look. Imitation leather is comparatively cheap and easy to care for. The synthetic material consists of a base material and a layer of polyurethane. However, if you sweat quickly, imitation leather is not recommended.

A whole range of man-made fabrics are microfibres, which can be made of different materials such as polyacrylic or nylon. Typically, they have a fine thread. Polyester is extremely durable

Velvet is currently experiencing a revival. Thanks to its high pile, the material is particularly soft, shines nobly and is hard-wearing thanks to its blend of cotton and/or polyester. Sofa covers made of pure new wool create a noble aura and are pleasantly temperature-regulating. Wool is breathable, antibacterial and dirt-repellent.

What do sofa covers cost?

The following is a small overview of the costs of sofa covers:

quality price
inferior from 10 € per metre
high quality from 70 € per metre
very durable and resistant from 180 € per metre

If you want to completely re-upholster your sofa, you will have to reckon with costs of €800 - €1000 at best.

Which sofa cover is suitable for which application?

Before you decide which fabric to choose for your sofa cover, there are important questions to ask: Do you have children or pets? Do you often have friends over and do you party a lot? If you answer "yes" to even one of these three questions, then you need a sofa cover that is stain-resistant, easy to clean and as durable as possible. Smooth and wipeable surfaces such as leather or microfibre are suitable.

Do you freeze or sweat easily? Natural leather tends to be cool and heats up unpleasantly in direct sunlight. If you freeze easily, you should always have a blanket ready on your leather couch. If your couch is exposed to bright sunlight, a temperature-balancing, natural fabric such as wool is much more pleasant than the more noble leather upholstery.

How and when to wash your sofa cover? Cleaning and care tips

Here are a few tips on how to remove dirt and stains from your sofa cover. Your first choice should always be cold or distilled water. Stains can also be removed easily with mineral water. Salt helps with red wine stains, lemon juice with white wine. Leave on for 15 minutes, dab off with an absorbent kitchen towel and dry with a light-coloured cloth.

Baking soda neutralises unpleasant odours, has a disinfecting effect, fights mites and removes stains. A real secret weapon is Rei in a tube: simply mix the detergent with distilled water and treat the stain with it. A leather sofa cover can be treated with leather grease to prevent the leather from cracking.

Conclusion

In addition to protecting your sofa from dirt, a sofa cover also enhances its appearance. This way, you can bring freshness into your living room even with little money.

However, it is usually the case that if you save on quality, you often save in the wrong place. It's the same with sofa covers. Your new sofa should accompany you for as long as possible and still look good even after years. You should choose the right sofa cover for your purpose and use. It doesn't have to have top marks in all areas.

(Cover photo: Nathan Fertig/unsplash)

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