Reupholster a Couch Cost

The average cost of reupholstering a couch is around $1,500.

In this guide

Pros and cons
Cost factors
Materials
Labor
Maintenance
Replacing vs. reupholstering a couch
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to reupholster a couch?

Couches are found in almost every living room, but after years of wear and tear, they inevitably become worn and outdated. Not only do they look old-fashioned but they also become uncomfortable, losing their cushiony feel. Instead of buying a new couch, which can cost an astronomical amount, you can reupholster it.

The average price to reupholster a standard size couch (6-8 feet long) with three cushions ranges from $850 to $1,500.

Pros and cons

Consumers spend billions on new furniture every year. What happens when they buy something new? Old pieces tend to end up in landfills. There are many reasons to consider reupholstering a couch instead of buying a new one.

ProsCons

Cheaper than buying new

Changes the appearance of your couch

Extends the life of the couch

Renew the life of a family heirloom or antique

Restuff it and make it more comfortable

Helps reduce the amount of waste that go to landfills

You may have to live without a couch for a few weeks

Low-quality fabrics can wear out faster than the first time

Re-stuffing to return it to its former comfort could add to the price


Cost factors

  • Size and type of the couch. The larger it is, the more it will cost. A standard 8-foot couch will cost more to reupholster than a 6-foot couch, and both would likely cost less than a sectional. For a full-size couch, reupholstering costs range from $850 to $1,250.
  • Couches with more cushions will also cost more since each single standard size cushion costs about $60-$80 each to reupholster without new filling.
  • The type of fabric you choose also affects the price. You will need at least 18-20 yards of fabric for a standard size couch. Fabric comes in a wide variety of both color choices and levels of durability and can cost anywhere between $10 and $40 a yard, or more for a natural material like leather. Higher-quality fabric with stain resistance, for example, will cost more than a fabric with less durability.
  • The cost of living in your area affects price of labor, which is between $80-$120 per hour on average.
  • Labor costs also depend on your service provider, as some charge more than others. Labor costs average about $100 per hour.
  • Whether the couch or sofa will be picked-up and delivered or you can drop it off adds an additional $50-$100 on average. This depends on location, distance, and furniture size.

Materials

There are different types of fabric to choose between for your new look, either natural or synthetic. Cotton, a natural fabric, and polyester, a synthetic fabric, are the most common types of fabric used. Cotton comes from plant fibers of the cotton plant that grows naturally, while polyester is man-made from products like petroleum, coal, and water. Prices vary widely for natural and synthetic fabrics and it is all personal preference.

Natural fabrics

Natural fabrics are either plant or animal-based materials. Each one has very different characteristics and price:

TypeCharacteristicsCost
Cotton

Comfortable

Durable

Easily cleaned

$10-$50 per yard
Linen blend

Blended with cotton for softer texture

Less wrinkles

$18-$25 per yard
Linen

Strong

Absorbent

Dries fast

$23-$35 per yard
Leather

Durable

Flexible

Made from animal hides

$40 per yard
Silk

Smooth

Soft texture

$70 per yard


Synthetic fabrics

Synthetic fabrics are man-made from chemicals. The table below might help you decide which one suits your needs best:

TypeCharacteristicsPrice
Nylon

An alternative to silk that is more durable

Resistant to tearing

$5 per yard
Polyester

Durable

Resistant to stretching and wrinkling

Quick drying

$20-$50 per a yard
Olefin

Great for outdoor use

Water and stain resistant

$22 per yard
Cotton BlendBlending with polyester for more strength$30-$55 per yard
Rayon

Strong like cotton

Slippery and feels like silk

$40-$90 per yard
Acrylic

Lightweight

Warm

Feels like wool

$50-$80 per yard
Vinyl 1

Plastic material

Durable

Easily cleaned

$5 per yard


Labor

When reupholstering your couch you should factor in labor costs. Reupholstering a couch doesn’t have to be scary or time-consuming. In fact, picking new fabrics and other materials, and deciding on the final design is part of the fun for many people.

The upholsterer will remove and dispose of old fabric. Before adding new padding, cushioning, and fabric they will repair any damage to the frame. While you can try to do it yourself, having a professional do the work means you will get a great quality refurbished piece of furniture. A professional has all the tools and equipment to handle and fix any issues that arise. Professional labor prices for a couch on average cost $100 per hour and take between 4 and 9 hours of labor. The total labor cost can be anywhere from $400-$900, depending on the location of the upholsterer and any details added into the couch. Service can take a couple of weeks to complete depending on the professional.

Maintenance

Once you receive your newly reupholstered couch you will want to perform regular maintenance on it. Keep your fabrics looking new by completing the following:

  • Protect it from stains, scratches, tears, and other wear and tear with protective products. Reapply often as they will wear off.
  • Clean the couch regularly with cleaning materials made for your couch fabric. Some products are only made for certain materials–cleaning leather vs. cleaning cotton fabric requires a very different approach.
  • As you use your couch, rotate and turn cushions to prevent wear on just one part.
  • Vacuum your couch and under the cushions often, as much once a week.
  • Avoid sunlight and airborne pollutants.

Replacing vs. reupholstering a couch

It is hard to determine if reupholstering or replacing your couch is the right option. Buying a new couch can often cost thousands of dollars, while paying for reupholstering can take more time and mean you go without a couch for a while.

Considerations for reupholstering your couch should include the quality of the frame and the type of material used for padding. If your couch is sturdy or has sentimental value, reupholstering it is a great option. If, on the other hand, it isn't standing up to the test of time, the frame is too broken to fix, or you don't have the time to wait, reupholstering might not be the best option.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Replace padding

You may need to refill and replace the padding under the fabric, which will add to the cost and labor. Extra filling averages around $25.00. New foam pads cost between $40-$75 per cushion.

Repair frame

The original couch frame could need to be repaired which will increase labor costs. Minor repairs are often needed once the old fabric is removed. However major repairs can add around $100 an hour for the additional labor time. Materials may cost more.

Decorative features

Adding decorative features and embellishments such as tufting or buttons will also increase the cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000, depending on details.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Some companies will require you to purchase fabric directly from them. Others might not care where you buy your fabric, as long as it is quality material. It may be cheaper to buy your own fabric from a local source or online instead of purchasing from an upholsterer.
  • You can reupholster your couch at home yourself. However, consider the cost of the materials, the equipment, and the potential books and classes you will have to buy or take to learn how to do it properly before deciding to DIY.

FAQ

  • How much would it cost to reupholster a sofa?

It costs anywhere between $850 and $3,500 to reupholster a sofa, depending on the size of the couch, materials used, embellishments and style, the location of service, labor costs, and other additional considerations.

  • How much does it cost to have furniture reupholstered?

Some pieces of furniture are more expensive than others. A sectional sofa, for example costs up to $3,500 compared to around $1,000 for a standard sofa.

  • How often should you replace your couch?

Depending on how well you maintain your couch it should be replaced every 10 years. Well-maintained couches with regular cleaning can last up to 15 years, while in a home with pets and kids it’s only around 7.

  • What kind of fabric should I use to reupholster a chair?

Any stain resistant fabric like a cotton polyester blend is a good choice for a chair. However, there are many fabrics to choose from such as cotton, leather, or polyester.

  • Can you reupholster a couch?

Yes, if the couch frame is in good shape you can. And even if it is not, you can have it fixed and give new life to an old couch.

  • How much fabric do I need to recover a couch?

A standard 8-foot couch requires 18-20 yards of fabric.

  • How can I cover my old couch?

Contact a professional to reupholster your couch with new fabrics and cushions. A professional has the tools and equipment necessary for the job and it will last longer than a slipcover.

Was this guide helpful to you?
  

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Vinyl: A synthetic plastic made from ethylene and chlorine. Vinyl has many applications in the construction industry and it is widely used in sidings, window frames, roofing and gutters, among others

Cost to reupholster a couch varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Henrico, VA
+6%

Labor cost in your zip code

Last modified:   
Methodology and sources