How To Choose A Chair Slipcover

When you're covering your chairs, you likely have a few differing motivations crossing your mind. You might wish to make the chairs more comfortable; you might want to make them match your decorating scheme better than the upholstery fabric currently does; or you might wish to protect the chairs themselves from pets, kids, or lots of use!

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In each of these cases (and others), chair slipcovers can be exactly what you need. However, it's important to ensure that you get the right slipcover to ensure that all of your needs are covered (in addition to the chair!). In this handy guide, we'll go through all of the decisions you need to make.

What are the different types of chair slipcovers?

While you can customize your chair slipcover to match the specific design aesthetic you're going for, there are two basic types of chair slipcovers to choose from in the very beginning.

Furniture covers

These will cover your chair, but only partially. They may have thicker pads where they will be used most often, including the back and seat of your chair. However, they might have gaps where the original wood or upholstery of your chair might show through - they will not entirely cover the chair. If your priority is comfort and chair protection, a padded furniture cover may be your best bet.

White Classic Polyester Twill Chair Slipcover
Dark Ble Polyester Blend Chair Slipcover
Blue Classic Polyester Chair Slipcover
White Traditional Polyester Blend Chair Slipcover
Black Modern Polyester Chair Slipcover
Blue Classic Polyester Blend Chair Slipcover


Slipcovers, on the other hand, act as a glove which fits over the entire chair. They are meant to completely alter the look of the chair, with none of the original components showing through! These give you an amazing opportunity to uniquely change the entire appearance of your piece of furniture. If you're hoping to change the look of the chair entirely to give your room a style or color update, consider investing in a more aesthetically-pleasing, covering slipcover.

Bright Brown Traditional Polyester Chair Slipcover
Pink Elegant Polyester Blend Chair Slipcover
White Classic Cotton Chair Slipcover
Blue Simple Polyester Blend Chair Slipcover
White Elegant Polyester Chair Slipcover
Brown Traditional Jacquard Chair Slipcover

What are the best materials for chair slipcovers?

For a chair slipcover, the single most important decision you can make is the type of material your slipcover will be made from - as that will influence how comfortable it is, how long it lasts, and even whether you'll be able to wash it!

Here are the most popular types of fabrics for chair slipcovers:

  • Quilting cotton: Cotton made for quilting is very thin, but very soft - and it comes in any print and pattern under the sun! This is a good choice if you're going for a specific pattered look (such as a cartoon character or fashion print) and you don't need the slipcover to stand up to heavy traffic.
  • Silk, wool, velvet, or a blend: If you need your slipcover to have an ultra-luxe look to it, lean into these more glamorous fabrics. They won't stand up to heavy traffic, but they will be incredibly soft and look amazing for occasional comfort and aesthetically-pleasing designs.
  • Linen (or a linen-cotton blend): Linen can offer you a more natural feel due to its innate, light roughness. Heavier blends of linen can be more durable, while providing depth and texture to your chair slipcover. Linen can come in subtle prints, but it's best known for its slightly nubby texture.
  • Canvas, twill, or denim: Fabrics that are denser and more durable will last longer than their thinner, more delicate counterparts - making canvas, twill, or denim excellent choices for high-traffic or exterior chair slipcovers.
  • Coated outdoor fabric: If you're looking for a chair slipcover solution that will be incredibly easy to clean, utilize coated exterior fabric. Your furniture will be protected if anything happens!

If you're wondering which type of fabric would be best for your chair's slipcover, think about the following questions.

  1. How often will the chair you're covering be used? If it's going to be subjected to lots of use and traffic, then choosing a highly-durable fabric such as duck canvas, twill, or coated outdoor fabric is likely your best bet.
  2. Are you hoping that the slipcover will be more fashionable or aesthetically-directed? If so, choosing a gorgeous, higher-end fabric like a cotton print, velvet, or silk may be more appropriate.
Red Classic Cotton Chair Slipcover
Brown Elegant Polyester Blend Chair Slipcover
Light Green Traditional Cotton Chair Slipcover
Blue Modern Polyester Chair Slipcover
Red Traditional Rayon Chair Slipcover
White Classic Polyester Blend Chair Slipcover

How to measure for chair slipcovers?

After you select the material out of which you'd like your chair slipcover to be made, the next most important thing is to ensure that your chair slipcover fits your chair to perfection. Otherwise, you risk your slipcover falling off the chair - which would be inconvenient and impractical.

Fortunately, if you simply take the time to measure your chair before ordering your slipcover, you'll be able to guarantee a perfect fit. Here's how to measure your chair for a great-fitting chair slipcover:

Step 1: Take a measuring tape, and carefully measure from the very top of the back of the chair to the floor. Note this as the chair's height.

Step 2: Then, measure across the top of the back of the chair. Note this as the chair's width.

Step 3: If there are armrests on your chair that are wider than the chair's back, note that as well.

Step 4: Finally, check the depth of the chair by measuring from the front of the seat of the chair to the back. These three measurements - height, width, and depth, or H x W x D - will be the measurements you're most likely to come across when you're looking for dimensions for your perfect chair slipcover.

When you're shopping online for your perfect chair slipcover, check the listed measurements or dimensions for each product you're considering. If you're able to find a product that precisely matches your chair's dimensions, great! However, if not, just know that it's a better idea to size up than to size down for your chair's slipcover, as it's easier to gather the excess fabric discreetly behind your chair than to try to fit a small slipcover over a larger chair.

How to match chair slipcovers to different decorating schemes?

As one of your goals with a chair slipcover might be to experiment with new looks for your home, it's important to consider the decorating scheme which you wish your chair's slipcover to match.

Think about it this way: It's relatively easy to swap out different chair slipcovers, making chair slipcovers a low-risk opportunity to see what you like.

  • Start first by thinking about what your home's specific style is, and you can go from there. Rustic interiors and traditional will usually call for a primary palette or natural earthy tones, while contemporary or eclectic spaces are more tolerant of vibrant color contrasts.
  • What are the main colors and textures that you have in your home (or in the room in which you plan to place your slipcovered chair)? Writing those down can give you a group of colors to target. Then, decide whether you want your chair slipcover to match the rest of the room or stand out from it.
  • Deciding to choose a color that is similar to the rest of the colors in the room can give your home a chic monochrome look. However, if you choose this, consider choosing a differing texture to have some variation and depth in your home.
  • Choosing a color directly opposite from the colors already existing in your room can be a powerful statement! Turn to the color wheel for inspiration. Red accentuates green; blue will stand out perfectly in an orange or yellow room.
Gray Classic Polyester Blend Chair Slipcover
Dark Blue Modern Polyester Chair Slipcover
White Modern Polyester Leaf Chair Slipcover
Red Traditional Jacquard Chair Slipcover
Gray Stylish Polyester Chair Slipcover
Blue Modern Polyester Blend Chair Slipcover

Quick tips

  • The first thing you want to do when you're looking for a great chair slipcover is measure your chair. If your chair has unique measurements, your options might be limited when you start browsing for designs.
  • Know what kind of traffic the chair will be undergoing on a day to day basis. Are a lot of people using this chair, or is the chair more for looking and less for sitting? Higher-traffic chairs will need more durable chair slipcovers, while you might be able to make a more fashionable selection for a less-used chair.
  • Finally, decide what kind of statement you want for your chair. Are you going for a monochromatic look, or do you want this chair and its slipcover to be a focal point? Use color theory as inspiration for your most aesthetically-driven look.