Reupholster a Couch
How much does it cost to reupholster a couch?
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Reupholster a Couch Cost Guide
Updated: 26 Feb 2021
Reupholster a Couch
Updated: Jul 29, 2021
Reviewed by Adam Graham remodeling expert. Written by Fixr.com.
The furniture in your home isn’t designed to last forever, but it might not necessarily be time for a full replacement. Couches are one of the most common pieces of furniture found in the home. After years of regular use, they can become uncomfortable or even unsightly. Wear and tear and stains can all cause you to wish your couch was in better shape. Instead of replacing the couch, you could consider reupholstering for a lower cost or keeping the furniture you have because you like the style.
The national average cost for reupholstering a couch is between $750 and $3,500 . Most people pay about $1,700 for reupholstery of a standard eight-foot sofa with mid-grade materials and average labor costs included. At the lower end of the price range, you can choose to reupholster just a single cushion for as little as $80. At the high end, you could spend up to $4,000 for premium upholstery materials on a larger sectional with six or more sections.
Cost to Reupholster Couch
|Reupholster Couch Cost|
|National average cost||$1,700|
Cost to Reupholster Couch by Material
The average cost to reupholster a couch is around $10 to $90 per yard by material type, which varies depending on the amount of reupholstering needed and the material used. You will need at least 18 to 20 yards of fabric for a standard size couch. Fabric comes in a wide variety of color choices and levels of durability. Higher-quality fabric with stain resistance, for example, will cost more than a fabric with less durability. In the table and sections below, we’ll discuss the types of material, how much they cost, and their pros and cons.
|Type of Fabric||Natural or Synthetic||Cost per Yard (Materials Only)|
|Nylon||Synthetic||$10 - $15|
|Cotton||Natural||$15 - $20|
|Linen Cotton Blend||Natural||$18 - $25|
|Polyester||Synthetic||$20 - $45|
|Olefin||Synthetic||$25 - $30|
|Linen||Natural||$25 - $35|
|Chenille||Synthetic||$25 - $55|
|Twill Couch Fabric||Natural||$30 - $55|
|Leather||Natural||$45 - $55|
|Rayon||Synthetic||$45 - $90|
|Acrylic||Synthetic||$50 - $80|
|Vinyl||Synthetic||$50 - $60|
|Velvet||Synthetic||$55 - $65|
|Silk||Natural||$60 - $70|
Nylon is an alternative material that costs $10 to $15 per yard. This material is chosen because it is affordable and is often found on the most economically-priced couches and living room furniture. Nylon comes in many colors and is much more durable and resistant to tears than silk, a more expensive natural fabric. Nylon is easy to clean and provides a much longer lifespan than several other fabrics.
Cotton is a natural, affordable option that costs $15 to $20 per yard. Cotton is comfortable, durable, and easy to clean. Plus, it comes in several styles and designs and even has multiple textures and finishes. There are also plenty of options for cotton colors. It is one of the easiest materials to clean, and it can be kept in good condition. Since it is a natural material, it may wear faster with excessive use than some materials, but it is a good, affordable choice.
Linen Cotton Blend Upholstery
Some couches are made of a linen-cotton blend, which costs about $18 to $25 per yard, on average. The blend offers the best of both worlds for people who want a natural finish that breathes well and offers a unique look. It is one of the more affordable options on the market. Because linen is so thin, it might not be the most durable choice for couches and other furniture that see a lot of traffic.
It costs about $20 to $45 per yard, on average, to reupholster your polyester couch with new materials. The exact cost depends on the size of the couch and how much material you need. This durable synthetic material offers a premium finished look for a lower cost than some materials. It is available in many textures, finishes, colors, and patterns, offering designs for just about everyone.
The average cost of olefin upholstery is $25 to $30 per yard. Olefin is one of the most popular choices for outdoor furniture because it is stain-resistant, water-resistant, and low-maintenance. This synthetic material is petroleum-based and is a type of plastic composite, making it durable and desirable for outdoor use. It doesn’t require replacement or reupholstering as often as some materials, however, which is why people choose it.
It costs about $25 to $35 per yard for linen upholstery to reupholster a couch. Linen, as mentioned, is a thin, breathable material that is good for those who want a lighter look. Despite its appearance, it is strong and offers good absorbency and fast-drying capabilities, making it good for cleaning, spills, and other issues. Linen is available in several colors and patterns, so you can easily match any space.
Chenille upholstery costs about $25 to $55 per yard. This material is known for its lush, velvety texture, which makes it ideal for upholstery on couches, chairs, and more. Chenille is composed of poly or poly-blend yarns that resist pilling, wrinkling, and other signs of wear. It’s a durable product that offers a great choice for furniture because of its great features. The higher-priced materials will be more durable. You may pay more for premium designs.
Twill Couch Fabric
The average cost of twill couch fabric is about $30 to $55 per yard. This fabric is a natural choice that offers a little more durability than cotton, with a texture similar to wool or a rayon-type feel. Twill has been used in upholstery for years because of its durability and ability to add a soft touch to a room. It’s available in several colors and designs, making it a popular choice for furniture.
Reupholster Leather Couch
Some people are surprised to learn that leather isn’t the most expensive option, only costing about $45 to $55 per yard. When you have a leather sofa, reupholstering will almost always be a more affordable alternative to replacement. Leather is durable, flexible, and looks great. Plus, it comes in several finishes, including smooth finishes, suedes, and more. You will be able to change your leather finish or match your existing one. However, matching may prove to be more of a challenge here.
Rayon Upholstery Fabric
Rayon is going to cost about $45 to $90 per yard. The reason for the high-cost variance is because it comes in several levels of quality and durability. It is strong like cotton, but it is a synthetic material that is more durable and may provide longer life. It tends to hold colors better than cotton, which is known to fade. It has a slippery texture similar to silk and is great for comfortable pieces that are occasionally used. It may be easier to clean than silk, but you’ll still want to use a protectant to keep it in good shape.
You will spend about $50 to $80 per yard on acrylic upholstery fabric. This lightweight material is warm and feels like wool. It also costs more than many natural and synthetic materials, but it offers long-lasting use without being too heavy. Acrylic fabric is relatively easy to clean and comes in plenty of colors and designs. This acrylic is mildew and water-resistant and can be used for indoor or outdoor spaces.
It costs about $50 to $60 per yard for vinyl material to reupholster a couch. Vinyl is a durable choice for several places in the home, but people don’t often think about it for furniture. It provides an option for outdoor furniture or lounge areas where you need something easy to clean. This material comes in several colors and patterns. Although it’s not common, it is an option that people have.
Velvet costs about $55 to $65 per yard and is one of the most desirable fabrics used for upholstery. Aside from having a warm, soft texture, velvet also highlights the shape of furniture. It does a good job of standing out among other premium fabrics because of its beauty and benefits, but it does have a higher cost. It can be suitable for many pieces for those who want a more luxurious finish and are willing to invest. It requires more care, but protectants are available.
Natural silk is a beautiful option, but it is also the most expensive, costing about $60 to $70 per yard. Many people choose a synthetic alternative to save money, but there is beauty in a silk covering. Silk offers a smooth, soft texture, but it isn’t very durable. It may not be a good choice for homes with families or pets. It may not be ideal for furniture that sees heavy traffic. Silk is easily stained and difficult to clean.
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Price to Reupholster a Couch by Type
While the average cost to reupholster a couch ranges from $750 to $3,500, you may spend more or less than that, depending on the type of couch you have. Other factors include the size and complexity of the furniture design and the fabric itself. The larger the couch, the more it will cost, obviously, but there are other factors to consider, as well. A standard eight-foot couch would cost more than a six-foot couch. Both would cost less than a sectional, in most cases. In the table and sections below, we will look at the different sizes of couches and other furniture that can be upholstered, the process involved, and the cost.
|Type of Couch||Average Cost to Reupholster (Materials and Labor)|
|Loveseat||$600 - $1,800|
|Chaise Lounge||$700 - $1,500|
|French Provincial Sofa||$700 - $1,500|
|Sofa||$750 - $3,500|
|Tight Back Couch||$1,000 - $1,200|
|Settee||$1,000 - $2,000|
|Camelback Sofa||$1,100 - $1,200|
|Semi-Attached Back Couch||$1,100 - $1,300|
|Sectional Couch||$1,500 - $4,000|
Reupholster a Loveseat
The average cost to reupholster a loveseat is between $600 and $1,800. The cost depends on the size of the loveseat, the number of cushions, and whether those cushions are removable. Like we’ll discuss with the various sofas below, loveseats may also have tight-back finishing or other details that impact the process and cost of reupholstery. If any frame repairs or filling is needed, that will be done before the reupholstering is completed to ensure a like-new look.
Reupholster Chaise Lounge
It costs about $700 to $1,500 to reupholster a chaise lounge. These unique pieces of furniture are different from couches and chairs, so they should be handled by a trained professional. The cost to reupholster a chaise depends on its size, the material used, and any details or embellishments it has. If there are cushions that need to be reupholstered, that will impact the cost, as well. The reupholstery process is similar to that of couches, with any necessary repairs done first and new upholstery applied to each component separately.
Reupholster French Provincial Sofa
A French Provincial sofa will cost about $750 to $1,500 to reupholster. This cost depends on the size of the sofa and the details and embellishments. The materials chosen for the job impact the cost. The frame and embellishments will be repaired first and any other structural details. Then, the reupholstering will be completed, and the finishing touches will be applied. It may cost slightly more to have this work done by a specialist, but it is worth the investment.
It costs about $750 to $3,500 to reupholster a sofa, with most people spending around $1,750 for the job. Reupholstering a sofa is usually done as a full job and will depend on how the backing is attached and whether the cushions can be removed. Each piece will be reupholstered separately. Any necessary frame repairs will be taken care of in advance. Several factors determine the cost for this job, including the type of sofa and other factors discussed in this guide.
Tight Back Couch Reupholstering
The average cost to reupholster a tight back couch is $1,000 to $1,200. The design of a tight back couch can sometimes make it easier to reupholster since the furniture is all one piece. The cushions are built into the back of the sofa, so they won’t need to be removed and reupholstered separately. However, this can also make it difficult for less-experienced upholsterers because of all of the seams and details required.
It costs about $1,000 to $2,000 to reupholster a settee. A settee is a smaller couch with no arms or short arms that often appears more like a bench. It usually doesn’t have a back, or it may have a short or partial backing. These come in several styles, but they typically take a little more work than some pieces. It’s best to hire an experienced reupholsterer if there are many details in the piece to ensure that the work is done properly.
Reupholster Camelback Sofa
The cost to reupholster a camelback sofa is around $1,100 to $1,200. This type of sofa is named for its curved back, as opposed to most couches that have a flat or smooth back. That makes it a bit easier to reupholster and reduces the cost. These sofas come in many sizes. The size impacts how much you pay to have the job done. They have several finishes and back styles that vary from double humps to small dips. Some modern styles have almost no dip at all.
Semi-Attached Back Couch Reupholstery
It costs an average of $1,100 to $1,300 to reupholster a semi-attached back couch. These couches feature cushions that may be partially attached. The cushions cannot be removed, but they may be more pliable or flexible than tight-back couch cushions. Experienced professionals should handle these. Typically, it will be determined how much fabric is needed, and the work will be done as an entire piece. This requires some detailed work but creates a perfect new look when done by professionals.
Reupholster Sectional Couch
The average cost range to reupholster a sectional couch is $1,500 to $4,000, depending on the number of sections, the materials, and other factors. A sectional will be reupholstered one piece at a time. You can even choose to have one or more sections reupholstered without doing the entire thing. Sectionals have special considerations, which we will discuss in the section below on how pricing and work are done by section.
Cost to Reupholster a Sectional Sofa
The most common sectional sofa has three sections and an average cost to reupholster of around $2,000 to $2,800. The price will vary depending on the complexity of the job. Sectionals come in several sizes, but there are a few standard options to choose from that will help you price an upholstery job properly. In the table below, you'll see a breakdown of how much it costs, with materials and labor included, to reupholster a sectional based on the number of sections.
|Number of Sections||Cost (Materials and Labor)|
|2||$1,500 - $2,500|
|3||$2,000 - $2,800|
|5||$3,000 - $3,500|
|9||$3,500 - $4,000|
Average Cost to Reupholster a Couch
Labor costs average $100 per hour. The average job takes 8 to 12 hours, for an average total cost of $800 to $1,200. That means that of the average $1,750 that it takes to reupholster a couch, the cost will be divided with about 40 to 45% going toward materials and the other 55 to 60% spent on labor. The cost of living in your area affects labor prices, which run from $80 to $120 per hour, on average. Labor costs depend on your service provider, as some charge more than others. This doesn’t have to be an expensive or time-consuming process when you hire the right people for the job. The upholsterer will be responsible for removing and disposing of the old fabric, repairing any damage to the frame, padding, and cushioning, and then replacing the fabric to create a couch that looks brand new. Service could take a couple of weeks, depending on who’s doing the work.
The reupholstery process starts with a visual inspection of the couch. The professional will look at the entire piece, including the areas of damage that specifically need to be addressed. Then, they will determine the appropriate course of action. They will remove the upholstery and make any necessary frame repairs. If padding or stuffing replacement is needed, that will come next. The new upholstery will be applied and stitched or stapled into place, followed by the finishing details.
Reupholster Couch Cushions Cost
The average cost to reupholster cushions is around $80 to $100 each, without new filling. Couches that have more cushions will cost more since each cushion is priced individually. If you are trying to price your repair job or just need a single cushion replaced, it can help to get a quote by the cushion than a price quote for the entire couch reupholstery project. This can come in handy if a single cushion or a couple are damaged, but the rest of the couch is fine. Cushions will be priced based on complexity and the fabric used for reupholstery.
Upholstery Fabric Durability Rating
The Weisenbeck Rating is a scale that rates fabric durability based on its heaviness and materials. There are several rating levels: delicate duty, light duty, medium duty, and heavy duty. Each has its own durability to consider. The Weisenbeck scale is measured by the number of rub cycles it takes for the material to deteriorate. In the table below, you’ll see an example of durability ratings based on this scale for the various carpet durability levels.
|Fabric Rating||Durability (Rub Cycles)|
How Many Yards of Fabric to Reupholster a Sofa?
To reupholster a sofa, you will need to know how much fabric is required for the job. To determine how many yards you need, you’ll have to measure. However, this is often best left to the professionals since they understand things like folds and extra material to tuck in, and so forth. Not only that, but your total cost will add up based on the average upholstery fabric cost per yard and how much you need. In some cases, you may provide the materials, but it’s best to allow the upholsterer to tell you how much to buy. In the table below, we’ll take a look at the most common couch sizes and approximately how much fabric is needed for reupholstering each size.
|Couch Size||Yards of Fabric Needed|
|45” - 51”||12|
|64” - 77”||15|
|72” - 86”||20|
|86” - 96”||24|
Why Reupholster a Couch?
There are several different reasons that you might want to reupholster a couch. For starters, you may have a cushion that gets damaged when the couch isn’t old enough or otherwise damaged enough to warrant replacing. This is often cheaper than buying new and allows you to improve or extend the life of your couch instead of making a huge new investment. It may also be a great way to change the appearance of a space or piece of furniture when you aren’t quite ready to get rid of it but want something different.
Some people seek out furniture reupholstery for family heirlooms or antiques. These fabrics and pieces may require a slightly bigger investment, but it ensures that the piece will continue to be high quality and live a good life. Couches are known to get worn down, and the stuffing can go flat. Some people will restuff and reupholster the furniture to keep it comfortable. This reduces the amount of waste going to the landfill, which means that you’re also helping the planet.
The only real drawback to reupholstering is simple inconvenience--you might have to live without a couch for a few weeks while the project is being done. There are worse things than not having a sofa for a few weeks, though. Make sure that you choose high-quality fabrics so that they don’t wear out too soon. Also, it’s important to note that restuffing your furniture to restore it to like-new condition all around could add to the price of reupholstering.
How Often Should You Replace Your Couch?
Depending on how well you maintain your couch, it should be replaced every ten years or so. Well-maintained couches with regular cleaning can last as long as 15 years or more, while a home with pets and kids might see couches that need to be replaced in as little as seven years. Sometimes, it can be hard to decide whether you should replace or reupholster your couch. Think about the quality of the frame and the condition that your couch is in. If it is still in good shape or holds sentimental value, it might be a good idea to just reupholster it and save the expense of replacement. However, if the couch frame is damaged beyond repair or you don’t have the time to wait on a project, reupholstering might not be ideal.
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Enhancement and Improvement Cost
Professional Couch Cleaning
The cost to professionally clean a couch is around $80 to $120. Regular couch upholstery cleaning prevents many set-in stains and long-term damage. You should consider having your couches cleaned once or twice a year, depending on how much activity they see. If there are stains and dirt buildup, you may want to consider a professional cleaning before you invest in a reupholstering that may not be necessary.
Sofa Upholstery Repair
The average sofa upholstery repair cost is about $150 to $300 per repair or visit, depending on the damage that has been done and what type of repair is needed to fix it. Larger repairs will cost more, while smaller repairs may be less expensive. In some cases, you may not need to reupholster furniture if you can repair it. It will be best for you to talk to a professional and see what kind of damage is present and the best option for resolving the issue. It may be possible to repair instead of reupholstering the entire piece, but only an experienced furniture restoration expert will be able to tell you what’s best.
It costs about $200 to $300 to restuff a couch, depending on the type of foam or padding used for the job. Restuffing a couch may be required over time if the fabric wears down. This could be necessary on tufted couches, semi-attached back couches, and just for the cushions themselves that continue to wear over time. Some couches also have arms that can be restuffed to improve the padding. Padding refers to the square or rectangular pieces of foam and batting used in cushions. Stuffing refers to the loose foam or stuffing material used for other areas of the couch, in cushions, and so forth.
Repair Couch Frame
Frame repairs could easily add around $100 per hour in labor costs done before your couch is reupholstered. Small repairs will be necessary in many cases, but they may not be found until the material is removed from the frame. Major repairs may cost more, with additional labor costs involved. The materials required impact the cost that you pay. This will also be in addition to the reupholstering since it is an additional service.
Tufting is a decorative feature, which can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000, depending on the exact details of the design chosen. Tufting, specifically, requires a detailed touch and the experience of someone familiar with the stitching and finishing steps required. This can be a great way to breathe new life into an old couch, rather than replacing it or just upgrading or replacing the upholstery with something simple.
The average cost to reupholster an ottoman is not as much as people think, with an average of $700 to $1,000 being spent on this service with materials and labor included. Reupholstering an ottoman can help breathe new life back into the piece, the same as it does with other furniture. You may be able to get a discount when you do an entire room or set of furniture at once. Some companies may charge a per-piece rate, so that’s something that you will have to consider.
Outdoor Couch Reupholstering
The average cost of outdoor couch resurfacing costs about $1,000 to $1,500. The materials required for an outdoor couch are much different than those required for indoor furniture. They are made of special materials and have their own considerations. The fabric used impacts the cost, as will the size of the couch and the number of cushions that it has, just as with a traditional indoor sofa. Outdoor furniture can be expensive, so reupholstering is often a good choice.
Couch Springs Replacement
Replacing couch springs costs between $250 and $500, depending on how many springs need to be replaced. Over time and with regular use, couch springs can be worn down or even break, causing the need for replacement. If it isn’t worth replacing the sofa, or even if you just aren’t ready to upgrade, this could be an option. Make sure that you hire someone experienced with spring replacement to get the job done right. Before you consider this service, make sure that your furniture has the kind of springs that can be replaced.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Fabric for Reupholstering. Some companies require you to purchase your fabric directly through them. Others may not care so much where you buy your fabric so long as it is quality material. It may be cheaper to buy your own fabric from a local supplier or online rather than buying it directly from the upholsterer. However, make sure that you consider both options when choosing your professional.
- DIY. Unless you have experience, reupholstering furniture is generally best left to the professionals. You can reupholster your couch yourself, but you’ll have to factor in the time it will take you to learn how to do it, including any classes, lessons, books, and guides, as well as other materials and equipment to finish the job. It is generally more cost-effective and sensible to hire a professional.
- Upholstery Maintenance. To protect the integrity of your new furniture, you will want to perform the necessary maintenance to keep it looking its best. Use protective products and reapply them regularly. You’ll also want to clean the couch with products designed for the type of material your furniture is upholstered with. Another helpful tip is to rotate the cushions over time so that they wear more evenly. You should also vacuum and remove dust from the couch once a week or so. Avoid sunlight and airborne pollutants.
- Pickup vs Delivery. While most companies will offer to pick up and deliver the sofa to your home before and after the work is done, you may also be able to drop it off and save some money. It can often cost an extra $50 to $100 to have the sofa delivered and picked up, but that depends on the distance, furniture size, and location. Of course, you'll also have to have a vehicle to transport it, which most people don't.
- Pattern Change. If you decide to change the entire pattern or print of your couch, you may pay a premium charge. For starters, no matter how much is damaged, you will have to reupholster the entire thing. It may also be considered a premium service by the upholsterer because of the process involved and the additional work that it entails.
- Furniture Reupholstery. Couches are just one type of furniture that you can reupholster. There are several pieces of furniture in your home that could be reupholstered, including chairs, recliners, sectionals, and more. You can choose matching or complementary fabrics for different pieces and create a look that fits in your home. Plus, you may be able to save money by doing everything at once instead of doing it one piece at a time.
- Estimates. Always be sure to get at least three estimates from professional upholstery services. This allows you to get an accurate idea of what it should cost and what services are available. It may also help you to see other options that might not have been available before and make it easier for you to get the best deal on the most reputable service. After all, cost matters, but so does the quality.
- Location and Cost Factors. Where you live affects how much you pay for couch reupholstery. The cost of living in your area impacts the price of labor. The location from where your materials are sourced also impacts the cost. You may also spend more on delivery in certain areas, such as living in the mountains or far across the city from where you have the work done.
- How much does it cost to reupholster a sofa?
The cost to reupholster a sofa ranges from about $750 to $3,500, depending on the materials, size and style, embellishments, labor costs, service location, and other factors. Smaller and easier jobs will cost less, while more complex jobs will cost the most.
- Can I reupholster my sofa myself?
If the couch frame is in good condition and you have the necessary tools, you may be able to reupholster your own sofa by just purchasing the fabric and making the replacement.
- How much does it cost to reupholster a vintage couch?
It costs about $2,200 to reupholster a vintage couch that measures around six to eight feet in length with mid-grade vintage materials. There is something to be said for restoring vintage furniture to its original charm. While it might cost more to upgrade a vintage piece, it adds value when you restore it.
- How much does it cost to have furniture reupholstered?
Reupholstering furniture can vary in price but runs from as low as $100 for a single cushion to $4,000 or more for a larger sectional sofa. The size of the furniture that needs to be reupholstered and the complexity of the work impacts the cost.
- What kind of fabric should I use to reupholster a chair?
Any stain-resistant fabric, such as a cotton-polyester blend, is a great choice for a chair. There are also several other materials available, however, such as leather, polyester, and cotton. Ultimately, you’ll want to consider what you like and what’s practical.
- How much fabric do I need to recover a couch?
A standard eight-foot couch will require about 18 to 20 yards of fabric. If your couch is larger or smaller, you may need more or less fabric to get the job done.
- How can I cover my old couch?
Contact a professional to reupholster your couch with new fabric and cushions. A professional has the tools and equipment necessary for the job. Reupholstering lasts must longer than any slipcover that you can buy.
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