We've all done it: plopped a decorative pillow or two on the lumpy section of a feather-filled couch and covered it with a heavy blanket to hide the disarray. We can’t blame you; after all, you probably didn’t take Couch Fluffing 101 back in your college days. If you’re looking at your deflated couch and wondering how to get it looking like new again, you may have already tried to fluff them up on your own — only to shake your head in dismay when your once-billowy cushions refuse to puff up.
Sure, at first glance, it may seem pretty straightforward: Slide the cushion covers off, shake up the cushions, and plop them back on the couch. But be warned — some cushions require a bit more finesse than others, particularly feather-filled varieties. Getting good results from your fluff session definitely takes a certain amount of expertise. The good news is, zhuzhing up your cushions is easier than you think once you get the hang of it. And while there’s certainly an art to maintaining your CouchHaus cushions (or any other feather-filled varieties), our experts are here to help you keep them plush and plump for years to come. Read on for our professional pouffing tips.
Why Pillows Need Pampering
Whether you have feather-filled, polyester fibre, or a 50/50 feather and fibre mix, it’s normal for your plush couch cushions to start looking relaxed over time. Your CouchHaus cushions will naturally shift in shape with normal use, especially those spots where you and your fur babies love to sit. With regular fluffing, however, you can maintain your couch cushions and keep them from looking slouchy.
You’ll also extend the life of your custom couch with regular maintenance, protecting your investment and ensuring many years of lounging, napping, and Netflixing on your favourite piece of furniture. When you take the time to evenly disperse the custom filling, you will keep the cushions firm and prevent extra wear and tear on the frame of the couch. Think of it like rotating your tires: You’re ensuring equal wear on all of the cushions so that no one spot gets overused.
Fluffing the filling not only gives your space a zero-cost refresh but also improves the support of your CouchHaus cushions. Compare the feel of sitting on your couch before and after a cushion-pouffing session, and you’ll instantly notice how much more comfortable it is.
Caring for Feather-Filled Cushions
Down Feather filling is noticeably softer than polyester fibre or a 50/50 feather and fibre mix, although both can be quite comfortable. This means feather-filled cushions might need more frequent fluffing than a more resistant to wear filling.
In general, back cushions and pillows might have feather filling. Meanwhile, the seat cushions may have a foam core for added support, wrapped with layers of down and feathers for softness and durability. For instance, the CouchHaus Comfy Modular Sofa’s seat cushions feature feather-wrapped mixed density foam core fill, and the back and bottom cushions have a 50/50 feather-polyfibre blend with feather-wrapped core fill.
To keep your feather-filled cushions looking their plumpest, follow our tips for proper fluffing and maintenance below.
Restore the Loft
Loft refers to the plumpness of your feather-filled cushions. To restore the loft to its squishy grandeur, start by picking up your cushions and giving them a good shake. You can also drop them on the floor (make sure it’s clean!) to help redistribute the feathers evenly.
Another method is to manually manipulate the cushions with your hands. Fluffing them in this way helps to unclump any stuck-together down, redistribute the feathers, and breathe some air into the filling. As an added bonus, it’s pretty fun to turn your pillows into punching bags after a long day! Here are some tips for manual manipulation:
- Find the midpoint on each couch cushion’s side. Whack the sides with your hands before moving on to the bottom and top of the cushions.
- Put some force into your punches. You want the filling to get dispersed and fluffed evenly here.
- Rather not use your hands? Try a long sock filled with tennis balls. Just make sure your dog isn’t around, or your canine companion might think it’s playtime.
- For sewn-in couch cushions, the striking and punching method works, but the technique is slightly different. Simply move from one end to the other on the back and seat cushions for uniform results.
- For couch pillows, if you like the karate-chopped look, use the knife edge of your hand to strike the top center of your pillows. This creates indentations that many interior designers love for the added interest they add to a space. To complete the look, tug on the “ears” of the pillow until you’ve achieved your desired shape.
- As an optional step, take a picture or a video and post it on social media when you’re done! You might like to have some evidence of your cushion-fluffing skills on record. Tag @couch_haus so we can see the results of your hard work!
Flip the Cushions
Again, it’s like rotating the tires of your car. Turning and rotating the cushions to the other side post-fluffing will help to distribute the wear on your couch evenly over time. Smooth the cushions with your hands once you have flipped them and put them back in place. It also helps if you can avoid sitting in the same place all the time (although we know everyone has their favourite spot). We recommend flipping the cushions around once a week.
Practice Regular Maintenance
It’s only natural that your couch cushions might trap some dirt and odours, whether from the aromas of a holiday dinner or a weekend hosting a kids’ birthday party. To get your custom couch looking and smelling fresh again, there are a few things you can do:
- Air out the cushions. Remove your couch cushions and lay them outside on a flat, dry, clean surface on a sunny day. Giving your cushions a chance to breathe outdoors helps to air out the internal fibres and eliminate any lingering odours — without involving chemical cleaners that can harm the fabric and negatively impact indoor air quality. Just a few hours will do; avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, as this can cause the fabric to fade.
- Clean the upholstery. Plump couch cushions are great, but they can’t hide dirt, dust, and stains. Regular care of your couch cushions will keep them looking good as new and worthy of a good fluffing. We’ve written on this topic before (see Keeping Your White Fabric Couch Clean), but in general, you’ll want to treat the fabric with a stain guard when you first get your couch, remove stains quickly with an upholstery-safe cleaner (blot, don’t rub!), and vacuum the cushions at least every couple of weeks.
- Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions for the best results. The fabric-care label on your couch cushions will have a code to indicate what type of cleaner to use. For instance, “W” refers to water-based cleaners, “S” indicates water-free solvents, and “X” means do not use any shampoo or cleaning solvents.
- Wash if you must. In some cases, washing your down filling might be a last-resort option — for instance, if your feathers have become super clumped down or funky-smelling. If that’s the case, you can remove the down from the cushions, pull apart the down, and hand-wash the filling in a large tub. Allow the down to dry thoroughly before restuffing your cushions. With feather-filled couch pillows, you may be able to throw the whole pillow in the washer on a delicate cycle, and then dry them thoroughly using the “fluff” or low-heat setting on your dryer. Again, check the care label.
- Call in the professionals. Don’t be afraid to call in the pros if your couch cushions are especially lumpy, malodorous, or soiled. They have the tools and knowledge needed to restore your couch cushions to their former glory. Also, if your cushions have a foam core, removing and replacing the down filling could be tricky. A professional furniture cleaner can recommend the best cleaning method and will know how to safely remove, clean, and replace the filling.