What Should I Consider When Buying Slip Covers?

A Kaminsky

Newlyweds depend on them for refurbishing secondhand furniture. Sometimes, they’re used to give furniture a new “look” that is cheaper than upholstering. They can also be used to provide a seasonal, festive air. Slip covers are becoming ever more popular and have fought their way out of the ranks of tacky home interiors to find a place in designer showrooms.

Slip covers on furniture with children or pets should be machine washable, to cut down on dry cleaning bills.
Slip covers on furniture with children or pets should be machine washable, to cut down on dry cleaning bills.

When buying slip covers, a shopper needs to think first about what she wants them to do, what furniture needs to be covered, and how much is in her budget. Slip covers are available in a variety of materials and patterns, so the shopper needs to consider why she needs slipcovers. Is she looking for a holiday pattern to liven up her home? What about a cheerful print for the daughter’s room? With the array of slip covers available, a shopper should be able to find something suitable.

The shopper should look for prints and colors that coordinate with the current décor. A plain or jacquard print is often the best choice, but for rooms that are mostly decorated in neutral colors, a bright print might be just the thing to add color and excitement to a room. The shopper should also consider material. If he is buying slip covers for the sofa and arm chair in the family room, for example, he will need to consider a sturdy, durable fabric such as denim or cotton duck. These materials will take the punishment from children and pets. Slip covers for the family room or other lived-in parts of the home should also be machine washable, since dry cleaning bills for slip covers can run into quite a bit of money.

A shopper should also consider what pieces of furniture need to be covered - an unattractive sofa, a worn armchair, or all the dining room chairs? Whatever piece of furniture it is, the shopper will need to measure it for height, length, width, and depth, to be sure of buying the correct size and shape of slip covers. Most slip covers work by throwing the main part of the cover over the furniture and tucking the cover into the sides. Some slip covers have separate pieces that cover the cushions and elasticized skirts for the bottom of an armchair or sofa. The packages usually have pictures of what the slip cover will look like on the furniture.

Price is the third consideration when buying slip covers. They are not cheap, but some are priced more reasonably than others. They are available at discount stores, online, in department stores, and in specialty stores. A shopper should compare prices before buying, or he could spend far more than he really wants. With the great variety of slip covers available, a shopper should have no trouble finding exactly what he is looking for.

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