Slipcovers: Relax Fit, Form Fit, Or Throw

There are three main styles of furniture slipcovers today. You can choose between the Relax Fit, Form Fit slipcover, or a furniture throw. What is the difference you may ask? I want to take this opportunity to look at the differences and the advantages and disadvantages to the three primary slipcover styles.

First, let’s look at the relax fit slipcover style. Relax fit is just what it implies, a more relaxed design style. The relax fit furniture slipcover has more fabric options. Many of them are made of heavy weight 100% cotton. They are machine washable and many of these cotton slipcovers are protected with a fabric protector. This style is more loose-fitting and less tailored. There will usually be some fitting at the back and at the arms. They are one piece. The relax fit slipcovers feature a tie at the front lower part of the arm. This is beneficial for securing the fit. They also feature a skirt which will hide the legs. While many are made of 100% cotton, but they can be made of polyester or a combination of polyester and cotton. One popular relax fitting slipcover is the ones made from rugged durable denim or cotton twill.

The relax fit slipcover come with ties can be used to adjust for a smaller sofa, loveseat, or chair. There are no separate cushion covers with the relax fit. These furniture slipcovers just go over the existing cushions. This style gives a very casual look and feel. For someone wanting a more formal or tailored look this slipcover might not be the one for you. They are also a little more difficult to keep in place unless you use some type of slipcover griping device. These are available commercially or can be made from a pool “noodle” or rolled up rubber banded magazines. Relax fit slipcovers are available for sofas, loveseats, chairs, and wing-backed chairs.

Next, we will look at the form-fitted furniture slipcovers. These are generally made from a very stretchable fabric. Usually the fabric is a polyester and spandex blend. Form fitting slipcovers give a much more tailored or formal look. The new memory fabrics cling to the existing furniture like second skin. The stretch and conformity is remarkable. Though these furniture slipcovers are made with this much stretch, they are available in different textures. Some of the fabrics are smooth like the soft suede or more like a blanket with a short pile. Many of the form fitting fabrics have a geometric design cut into the pile. Like their relax fit counterparts, They can be machine washed and dried.

The form-fitting furniture slipcovers have so much stretch that it is not necessary to have the exact size. These stretchable slipcovers will cling to the existing furniture. They come in a wide variety of colors and styles. They also come in a variety of prints such as plaids or stripes. The form-fitting furniture slipcovers will fit most sofas, loveseats, chairs, wing-back chairs, as well as recliner chairs. They come in styles for box cushions or T-cushions. Some come as a one piece slipcover while others have separate cushion covers. The separate cushion gives a more of a custom fit look. The clinging fabrics help keep them in place better. If there were to be a problem, the same gripping devices that work for the relax fit will also work for the form fitting slipcovers.

The third type of furniture cover is the furniture throw. It is usually a large single flat fabric that is just thrown over the furniture to cover and protect it. This type would more likely be used to protect the furniture from daily wear and tear. This might be removed for a formal occasion in the home. Throws are much more economical than a more fitted slipcover. They come in a wide variety of fabrics and colors. Some may require dry cleaning rather than machine washing so check before you buy if you want one that is machine washable.

The traditional furniture throw covers the whole piece of furniture completely. There is one other type of throw I want to mention. That is the pet throw or pet cover. Unlike the traditional throw, it doesn’t cover the whole piece of furniture. It usually covers the back, seat, and across the top of each arm. These protect furniture from the dirt and grime that our pets bring in with them. They are all machine washable and dryable. Many pet throws are sanitized to keep them fresh and they may have fabric protector on them to retard dirt and stains. While designed to protect furniture from pets, they are great for protecting furniture from young children or the elderly who may be more prone to spills or stains. They are easy to remove when guest are coming. They are made of cotton or polyester and come in many decorator colors.

Before buying furniture slipcovers, first examine your life style and determine which style is right for your home and family. Do some research on the styles and fabrics that are in your design style. Whether you decide on the relax fit or form fit slipcover or a furniture throw, you will be getting a great product. Your valuable furniture will be protected and your friends will never know it’s a slipcover they may just think you got new furniture.