Reupholstery vs. Slipcovers: What to Choose

Reupholstery vs. Slipcovers: What to Choose

Every house has at least a few pieces of upholstered furniture sitting in the bedroom, living room, dining room, and more. This furniture is comfortable, cozy, and super stylish—but poses issues when damaged. Upholstered furniture may become damaged from pets, children, regular wear and tear, and even damage during a moving process. If you have an upholstered furniture piece that is damaged, faded, or no longer matches your interior décor, discover the differences between reupholstery versus slipcovers to decide which option to choose for your furniture.


Reupholstery is the process of removing the current upholstery on an item and replacing it with new fabric. This process is an intense remodel of a piece of furniture that takes time and a skilled hand to complete. This process is recommended for highly damaged pieces of furniture with large tears or rips that a slipcover could not successfully hide.

Reupholstery Pros

  • Repairs extreme damage to original upholstery
  • Completely customizable
  • Gives old furniture a more modern look

Reupholstery Cons

  • Costly
  • Takes a long time to complete
  • Potential of disliking the new fabric or the fabric becoming quickly damaged again


Slipcovers are pieces of fabric that are fitted to cover certain pieces of upholstered furniture. These are simply placed over the furniture item. They can be easily applied and removed, made custom to fit perfectly, and available in any fabric or color. The process is quick and simple, and it covers up old patterns, colors, and minor damage to the original upholstery on a piece.

Slipcover Pros

  • Quick turnaround and affordable
  • Can be made custom in any color, shape, size, pattern, etc.
  • Easy to apply and remove
  • Protects upholstery from damage, spills, stains, etc.
  • Washable

Slipcover Cons

  • Can’t cover major rips
  • Non-custom options may fit slightly looser or tighter than intended

There are strong arguments for either side, but only you will know best between whether reupholstery or a slipcover will work best for your home. Many people will choose to invest in reupholstery to fix severely damaged pieces, and choose custom slipcovers to protect their new upholstery and to match their décor perfectly.