Furniture: Reupholstery vs. Custom Slipcover

When you’re looking to revamp or repurpose a piece of furniture, you have two options: reupholstery or slipcovers. But what exactly is the difference? While both will give you a beautiful, fresh piece of furniture, how do you know which to choose?

What is Furniture Reupholstery?

Professional furniture reupholstery can breathe new life into aging furniture. However, it can
be the more costly option as it requires more detailed work. During the reupholstery process, all of the old fabric and padding
is removed from the furniture.  It is then re-padded with a new layer of cotton, typically, and then the new fabrics are applied to the frame. Any loose cushions require separate zippered covers. The result is a tailored, sharp, like-new piece of furniture.  Keep in mind that the piece of furniture usually needs to be brought to a shop to be reworked.


What are Slipcovers?

Think of a custom made slipcover like you would a suit tailored specifically for you. Slipcovers are carefully designed to cover the current fabric on a piece of furniture. They can be created to fit with a tailored, tight look which may resemble an upholstered piece of furniture, or they can be designed to fit loosely for a rustic, shabby-chic look. Slipcovers are typically cut during a first home visit and installed on a second, after all sewing work is done.

When to Reupholster vs. When to Get a Slipcover:

Typically, reupholstering a piece of furniture will cost more than having a custom slipcover made because all of the old fabric and padding must be removed from the piece of furniture, which requires more time on the project.

Reupholstering furniture is a great way to revive a solid piece of furniture that is structurally sound or of sentimental value. Although furniture reupholstery can be expensive, it can be worth the investment in order to save a quality piece of furniture. Often, when a piece of furniture wears, people think they must replace the whole collection. One benefit of reupholstering furniture is that you can keep the sets together by reupholstering the broken piece, rather than replacing the entire set.

Both reupholstery and slipcovering are great ways to adapt a cherished item to your new décoring scheme. For example, if you’ve inherited a high-quality chair that’s of sentimental value within your family, consider redoing it so it will fit in with your other pieces.


Slipcovers are unique because you can remove them for washing/dry cleaning. In addition, since the slipcover comes off, you can use the original fabric underneath to achieve two separate looks. Perhaps its original fabric is dark and heavy for the fall and winter months; a light-colored slipcover would be a great change for the spring and summer months.

Custom slipcovers tend to have a casual appearance; even the most carefully tailored slipcover won’t have the same crisp appearance of an upholstered piece of furniture. It’s important to keep in mind that slipcovers are not appropriate for all furniture. For example, leather pieces aren’t the best candidates for covers due to the slick surface.

Other Benefits of Repurposing Your Furniture

  1. – Both custom slipcovers and reupholstery allow you to change any piece of furniture to better align with your style and home’s décor. Both can be done using a wide variety of fabrics, patterns, and colors.
  2. – Both custom slipcovers and reupholstery are environmentally friendly options because you avoid having to replace the whole item. Repurposing your furniture is just like recycling, since you are reusing a quality item rather than sending it to a landfill.


At Innuwindow, we specialize in custom slipcovers and furniture reupholstery. Contact our professional designers to see how we can repurpose your furniture today!