It's always fun and rewarding when you breathe new life into your sofa. Sometimes, it's as easy as cleaning it the right way, removing all that dust and all those stubborn stains. But there are times when you'll need to do a little more to make sure your sofa doesn't look like a mess. Saggy cushions are one of the most common problems that cause a sofa or armchair to look sagging, which is why so many people want to know how to make them firm again.


In this article, I'll go over everything you can do to prevent sofa cushions from sagging and sagging. The main focus will be on what you can put under the cushions to keep them firm. However, I will also go over some of the different ways you can prevent flab in general.


Why do the cushions sag?

Before we delve into the subject of cushion support, we must first get to the root of the problem. That is, we need to know exactly why our sofa cushion is sagging. Here are three of the most common reasons behind cushion sagging:


Uneven weight distribution

The sofas usually occupy a prominent space in the living room. More often than not, you'll be placing yours in front of a television or in front of a coffee table. That way, people can sit in a relaxed environment where they can see anyone they talk to or watch TV without obstruction. However, the most frequent person on that sofa will be you and, like everyone, you are a creature of habit: you like to sit in one place.


When you spend a lot of time sitting on a specific area of the sofa, it will very soon show a dent and start to sag. That's because you've been putting all the extra weight in that area instead of sitting on different cushions or even armrests. The same goes for the sofa back cushions. When you relax and lean into them, you will make them sink.


Broken frame

Sometimes cushion sag is not really due to the cushion padding or its weight. Very often, you will see that the buckling is concentrated at a particular point. That's one spot where the wood frame might have cracked, so I recommend you check it out.


Sofa frames can break due to too much weight being placed on them. Metal frames, on the other hand, are not as easy to break. However, they can rust or bend, and if you don't check them thoroughly, your cushions will sag sooner than you think.


Sleeping on the couch

Sleeping on the couch is not healthy. It is a very basic irregular type of furniture with lumbar support and can be quite a bit shorter than a standard single bed. However, we all still sleep on the couch sometimes, especially after a hard day at work or if we need a place to sleep while all the other rooms are full.


Naturally, sleeping on any sofa will bring some problems in the long run. The largest is the pressure of the weight on the springs. If you sleep too long on the sofa, the springs will eventually deteriorate and lose their elasticity. In other words, they won't keep the cushions firm and you'll be able to spot the first signs of sagging.


Why should you care if your sofa cushions sag?

There are a number of reasons why you need to make sure your cushions stay put. By far the most important is your health. A sagging cushion will provide poor support for your back and overall posture. If you lean on a cushion that sags or even sleeps on it, expect a lot of back pain, sprained ankles, and a little pain in your neck.


The other important reason is aesthetics. Imagine walking into your best friend's house and seeing that all of their furniture looks like it's about to spill all over the floor. A sagging cushion makes the whole sofa look uninviting to sit on. So to make your sofa a little cozier, you'll need firm cushions.

How to prevent the cushion from sinking

Before you focus on putting something under your cushions, you might want to try a few different methods that will reduce sagging. The three methods I found particularly helpful include flipping the cushions over, fluffing them up, and removing the fiberfill before washing. Let's go over them quickly.


1. Flip the cushions

Flipping and rotating your cushions is actually one of the most recommended things you can do to prevent cushions from sagging. Some blogs recommend that you do it weekly, although once a month should be enough.


Of course, not all sofas have cushions that look the same after turning them around. In fact, many sectional sofas have cushions that have a specific pattern, so when you turn them over, they look like they're upside down. Flipping will obviously help reduce cushion sagging, but your sofa will look weird. So the best way to fix the problem is to flip the cushion once a day, even for a while, while you're home alone.


Another good method for cushions that cannot be turned over is to place them on the floor and walk on them in all directions. By doing that, you are redistributing the weight of the fill within the cushions. After a few minutes of walking, they should look like new.


Now if you have a deep sofa, the front edge of your cushion might start to sag and look flat. That's pretty normal since you're sitting on that edge all the time and constantly applying pressure. However, you can't exactly flip the front and back edges, as the back edge is usually zippered for the cushion. That's the side we shouldn't see on a sofa, which is why it has the zipper on it in the first place.

If this type of sagging occurs, here's what to do:

  •         Take out the cushion
  •         Unzip and remove the padding.
  •         Turn the insert over so that the dropped side is toward the back edge of the cover.
  •         Put the filling back in the lid.
  •         Align seams and piping
  •         Re-close cushion

2. Fluff the cushions

Fluffing up a sofa cushion can be a bit difficult as the cushion itself is quite large. With regular pillows, it's as easy as picking them up and giving them a good whisper. There are other methods, of course, but they usually don't require much effort.

Fortunately, there are ways to fluff up a great sofa cushion. I personally recommend doing it once every few months, as the padding will naturally start to sag over time, even without the pressure of your body weight. The fluffing goes as follows:

  1.         take out the cushion
  2.         Place it with one edge on the ground, level, and a short distance from you.
  3.        Strike the front and back of the cushion repeatedly with your hand
  4.         Alternatively, use a wooden spoon instead if you have a
  5.        Bounce the cushion on one side a few times to reshape it.
  6.         Repeat these steps for all four sides until the sagging is gone.

3. Remove the stuffing

You will need to wash the cushion covers from time to time. However, you can't really do it with the fiberfill still inside. If you put the padding in the washing machine, it will weaken and lose its firmness.


Therefore, when washing cushions, first remove the filling, then wash the covers by hand or put them in the washing machine. Please note that not all cushion covers are created equal and some require dry cleaning. Read the label on the covers carefully before deciding to wash them.


Everything you can put under a sagging cushion

Now that we've covered everything you can do with the cushion, let's focus on the structural integrity of the sofa. Sometimes cushions can be propped up simply by putting the right thing under them. Other times, that item may go inside a cushion, along with the stuffing that's already inside. In my experience, these five elements will always give your sofa frame a bit of a lift.

Plywood or Thick Cardboard

There are quite a few benefits to using cardboard or plywood for structural reinforcement. First of all, it is a DIY method that does not require professional help and can be done by anyone at home. And more importantly, as simple as it could be, it's quite effective.


There are several steps to laying plywood under cushions:

  •         Remove all the cushions and leave the sofa bare.
  •         Take a tape measure and measure everything about the sofa (length, width, depth, etc.); note all measurements and subtract approximately 3 inches from them
  •         Take a large piece of ¼-inch plywood or cardboard and mark the measurements of the sofa with a marker or pencil.
  •        Take a circular saw or jigsaw and cut the plywood into the required rectangular shape
  •         Place the piece of plywood on the frame of the sofa; cut off any excess plywood if it sticks out beyond the edges of the cushion
  •         File the edges after cutting so they don't catch on the cushion fabric. Alternatively, you can cover the edges with masking tape.
  •         Place the plywood on the frame and place the cushions on it.
  •         Additional Steps for Plywood Application

Of course, there are some extra steps if you want to have an extra layer of support. For that, you'll need some foam rubber, a large piece of fabric, a staple gun, and some staples. Once you get them, first do everything from steps 1 to 7. The remaining steps are as follows:

  •         Lay the plywood on top of the foam and score it, then cut the foam with scissors.
  •         Cut out a piece of fabric (this can be a new fabric or an old piece, like a blanket or sheet); make sure the fabric is about 6 inches larger than the plywood on all four sides
  •         Spread the cloth on the floor; place the foam in the center and the plywood on the foam
  •         Take one of the long edges of the fabric and place it on top of the plywood, then staple it together
  •         Turn the fabric edge in and staple it at 2-inch intervals
  •         Repeat steps 12 and 13 for all four sides of the plywood.
  •         When you're done, attach the plywood to the sofa frame.
  •         New foam inserts

A cushion foam insert will naturally lose its structural integrity over time. Once that happens, you may need to shop for new foam. Most people recommend polyurethane, as it is quite firm and holds its shape for a while. Depending on the store, you can buy inserts that are the same dimensions as your cushions, or buy a large piece of foam and cut out what you need with scissors.

Start by first removing the old inserts. Then slowly insert the new foam inserts and try to compress and shape them. Once you get sharp corners and smooth edges, you can close the cushions again.



Batting is also known as polyester fiberfill. People often use it to furnish upholstery, such as duvets and pillows. Interestingly, you can use it to make your cushions firm again, and you can do it on a budget.

Using batting is quite simple. All you have to do is unzip the cushion and place the batting under the existing foam insert. It will provide additional support and level the cushion.

Cushion supports

Not all of us are DIY enthusiasts and sometimes we need a simple solution that can ensure good support from the sagging cushion. Fortunately, there are amazing products out there that do the job perfectly.

An average cushion support is strong enough to support any additional weight. In addition, it will improve our posture and prevent the cushion from sinking. And the best thing is that you can quickly fold it and store it in case you no longer need it.

Of course, there are other cushion supports that work in a similar way to foam inserts. They're just as easy to use and are made of durable, firm materials that won't warp.

New springs

Springs are an important part of any sofa. They provide firmness and elasticity to the seats and prevent the cushions from sinking too deeply into the sofa. In addition, they act as shock absorbers.


If you have an old sofa, chances are some of the springs are rusted, bent, broken, or just lost their springiness. Any of these problems can cause the cushions to sag. To prevent this from happening, you may need to install new springs. In fact, you can even try hand-crafting springs for extra support.


Final thoughts

Having a firm and fluffy cushion is important, both aesthetically and practically, so it's important to know the best DIY method to prevent sagging or sagging.


There are other anti-sagging solutions for your cushions, such as repairing jute sofa straps and button padding. However, if you need a quick and simple method, I recommend trying one of the ones mentioned above. Each of them will help you get the job done easily and without having to buy a new sofa in the process.