Be a relaxed, fun host for young children without ruining your upholstered furniture.

The children in my life feel welcome in every room in our house – and yet I want the more formal parts of the house to look and feel appealing to adults. Friend and ASE subscriber Lindsay E. has a great solution for rooms which sometimes encounter popsicles and peanut butter sandwiches in little fists – and still host chardonnay and hors d’oeuvres. Choose simple, washable slipcovers for your upholstered furniture.

I know, I know, slipcovers!? Protective, durable, washable – ugly, slouchy, cheap looking? Choose well. Make them neutral and unobtrusive. Add fun with pillows or throws.

You can have slipcovers made if you have an upholsterer. You want fabric which resists stains and sun – and is washable.

sunbrella slipcovers

Sunbrella outdoor fabric can be used inside. I like the Canvas natural fabric. It is soil, mildew, stain and water repellent, UV resistant, bleach cleanable, fade resistant, and breathable – all with minimal shrinking or stretching. Washable in warm water. Sunbrella fabric is made of acrylic and comes in 33 colors. $22.95 per yard.

Pottery Barn Slipcovers

These made-to-order slip covers from Pottery Barn come in 95 colors and fabrics. Plan ahead because the shortest delivery time is four weeks. You can request swatches. Many of the fabrics can be washed in cool water like the Twill, Brushed Canvas, Everydaysuede™, Performance Twill, TickingStripe, Denim, Classic Basketweave, Organic Cotton Canvas, Eden–suede, Washed Linen/Cotton, and Linen. Avoid the velvet, chenille and jacquard which need to be dry cleaned. Prices vary. A custom sofa cover in Ivory Twill is $799.

Bed Bath and Beyond offers many slipcovers. These Perfect Fit® Easy Fit 2-Piece Sofa Slipcover are well reviewed. They are 90% polyester/10% spandex and machine washable. The fabric is soft and velvety with a textured pattern. It stretches and tucks in to give a smooth tailored look. Perfect Fit Slip Cover, $89.99 – $139.99, depending on the size.

Wayfair offers ready-made cotton duck slip covers for sofas and chairs. They come in natural, indigo and khaki – nice basics. There are instructions to fit the cover to your sofa and secure it with custom ties. No wait, they ship almost immediately. They also offer cotton twill slipcovers. These are not custom covers, but the finished look is pretty nice for $122.99 for a sofa. Wayfair has a sale on slipcovers, up to 50% off.

Slipcovers from Wayfair

Wayfair has a range of reasonable chair slipcovers from $32.99.

SureFit has simple, textured linen (washable polyester) slipcovers in gray, sand and indigo. Ready-made price starts at $149.99.

Target also carries SureFit and other slip covers.

Amazon has a KARUILU one-piece heavy fabric sofa cover throw. It comes in several sizes and fastens with yarn-covered safety pins. These are on the slouchy end of the decorating scale, but a great bargain solution for occasional use. Machine washable in cold water. 61.5% polyester, 21.3% rayon, 17.2 % cotton. Not for leather sofas. Karuilu one piece sofa throw. $79

Note: If you have a vacation home, slipcovers keep dust and sunlight off upholstered furniture in the off season.

Note: Slipcovers can be an important freshening-up idea if you are selling your home.  See our article.

Has anyone tried any of these slipcovers?  We’d love to know.

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