How to Cover & Protect a High Back Sectional Couch


A sectional couch is an expensive piece of furniture that is usually the focal point of the living area. However, food, drink and pets can damage the furniture. While throws and slipcovers will protect the investment, a high back sectional couch is particularly challenging. Most of the damage to these couches is caused by people resting their head against the fabric and transferring oil and hair products to the surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Large throw or throws
  • Fabric treatment
  • Slipcover or slipcovers

Throws and Other Options

  • Measure the length, width and height of the couch and choose a large enough throw in a hard wearing, washable fabric. It can be plain or patterned, in colors that match your décor. If the couch is large or an awkward shape, you may need two or three throws.

  • Place the throw over the couch, pulling it over the high back. This will stop the throw from sagging when someone sits on the couch. If you have two or more smaller throws, cover the high back cushions with one throw, and the seat cushions with the others.

  • Wash the throw or throws once a month to keep the couch looking fresh and new.

  • Use the throw over the seat cushions only and protect the high back cushions with a fabric treatment. This will prevent human contact stains while displaying the high back as a feature (optional).


  • Decide on either a single slipcover for the entire couch or individual slipcovers for each section. Style preferences and cost are the main considerations.

  • Take measurements. For a single slipcover, measure the length, width and depth of the couch as a single unit. If choosing individual slipcovers for each cushion, measure the length, width and depth of each cushion. Add 1 inch to each measurement for ease of fit.

  • Buy either one large slipcover or the required number of individual slipcovers in a hard wearing, washable fabric. Fortunately, modern fabrics and patterns are far removed from the scratchy material and garish floral designs of Grandma's couch.

  • Open the slip cover, hold each side of the opening and ease it over the cushion until it is fully in place. Hand smooth the fabric, close the opening and arrange the cushion on the couch.

Tips & Warnings

  • Choose a non-slip fabric for the throw. A slippery fabric will move around when the couch is in use.
  • Slip covers made from stretch fabric have a much smoother finish than conventional fabrics.
  • Consider custom-made slipcovers for unusual sizes not readily available.

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