Casco Bay Furniture – Sofa Cushions… Should I Choose Attached or Loose?Posted by Richard on Apr 21, 2016 in Upholstered Furniture | 38 comments
I received an email last week which said… I am in the process of shopping for furniture. I have always liked loose cushions, but I am seeing LOTS of pieces now with attached cushions and the salespeople say that these tend to wear better because of how they are constructed. I am mostly concerned with wear-ability and comfort. Any thoughts?
To distinguish the different kinds of cushions, when we are talking seat cushions, there are either loose or attached and for the back cushions, there are loose, attached, or semi-attached cushions.
Here are my thoughts about each:
Seat Cushions – Loose or Attached? As a rule, the higher end pieces are built with loose cushions. As strange as it may seem, it is cheaper to build a cushion sewn into the sofa. At Casco Bay Furniture we prefer loose cushions. Why is a loose cushion better?
You can rotate the cushion. You can fluff them up. You can easily refill them if its ever needed. Loose cushions are often more comfortable and when moving your sofa, removing the cushions will make the sofa much lighter.
Most importantly, you can repair the loose cushions, if your fabric or leather is still available. I always suggest ordering a few extra yards of upholstery fabric to keep on hand when you buy your sofa. Many quality leather manufacturers will sew a swatch into the seat deck in case you need to order leather for repairs or want to order more pieces that match. At Casco Bay Furniture we do sew a shade match swatch into every leather sofa which is located under the center seat cushion.
On a quality piece with a proper pitch, loose cushions will stay in place. However, on the minus side, with sets not made as well there can be a tendency for cushions to slide forward. (By the way, should you have this problem with an older sofa, try putting a piece of mesh sticky carpet pad under the cushions.)
Loose cushions may also be a huge temptation for children who want to build forts or put them on the floor to jump on. This might cause extra wear and tear.
Back Cushions – Loose, Attached, Semi Attached? For the back cushions, “loose” of course means you can take them off, “attached” means they are sewn in and not removable, and “semi- attached” means that the tops of the cushions are sewn in, but the rest of the cushion is not.
Again, loose cushions are found on higher end sets that are more costly to build. The loose cushions on the backs have all of the pros and cons of loose seat cushions. You can rotate the cushions and remove the cushions for easy repair or refilling. Sofas with loose back cushions are also much easier to deliver as the cushions come off, plus they will be much lighter. And I also think in general loose cushions are more comfortable.
Note some companies will Velcro back cushions into place. In my opinion, this is not a good idea as this puts a lot of stress on the cushion and back as a result of the Velcro and the movement of the cushion and back and forth against the Velcro.
Attached back cushions are sewn into place, and as we mentioned, you will find these on lower priced pieces as they are cheaper to make. So the pluses are that they cost less and they generally stay neater. I think an attached back cushion is also going to have a somewhat firmer back and may give better back support to some people.
The main disadvantage of the attached back cushions is that, if they get damaged, they are much harder to fix.
Semi-attached back cushion. This is kind of a compromise in which the top of the back cushion is sewn or zippered into place. In this way, you have access to the back for refilling as the cushion will usually have a zipper at the base of the cushion. If the cushion is zippered at the top you can remove the cushion, if needed. The cushion stays neater, as it is held in place and as a result it may have firmer back support.
I think the main disadvantage with this type of cushion is the stress along the top of the cushion where it is sewn into the back or zippered into the back. I have seen these seams open up particularly if you have kids jumping on the backs of your cushions. As I said at Casco Bay Furniture we do feature loose cushion seats and backs however we do carry some tight backs and a few semi-attached backs in our nailhead trim area.
If you have any questions or concerns about cushions sewn, zippered or loose, please email us or give us a call at Casco Bay Furniture. If we don’t know the answer, we will do our best to find one out for you.