What Does Furniture Upholstery Cost?

An upholsterer working recovering a chair.
An upholsterer working on recovering a chair. Getty Images/Nicola Tree

Instead of buying new furniture every time one of your existing pieces looks tired and dated, why not get it reupholstered? If you start off buying quality, well-made pieces with solid structures you can save tons of money over time by reupholstering them when the fabric gets old or dated-looking.

With that said, it's important to know furniture upholstery costs so you can weigh the pros and cons with each individual piece.

In some cases, it might be worth it to start fresh with a new piece of furniture.

The following costs are general and will not always be accurate depending on where you live and what furniture upholstery company you use. But it's a very good starting point and will give you an idea of common costs.

Upholstering Sofas

The sofa is often the most expensive piece of furniture in the house. It takes up a lot of room and it also often takes a lot of abuse. A really good quality sofa should last about 25 years, but over that period of time, ​the fabric can get worn and dated. Reupholstering is often a really good option.

If you have a classic three-seat sofa you can expect to pay approximately $600 in labor plus the fabric costs. The cost of fabric can vary wildly so there's no way to give an average. Most three-seaters will require about 18 yards of fabric so keep that in mind when choosing. Remember also that a fabric with a large-scale pattern might require a bit more.



There are two ways to get fabric. Some upholsterers will want you to buy it from them. Sometimes this can be a bit more expensive but you don't have to worry about finding the proper amount or anything like that. The furniture upholstery company will take care of it for you. The other option is to find your own.

This is known as COM (customers own material). You'll need to get an estimate from the upholsterer to make sure you buy the right amount. This can be less expensive but it requires a little more work on your part. (Also make sure that the fabric you buy is durable enough to use for furniture upholstery -- you don't want anything too thin).

All of the same considerations should apply to loveseats. Keep in mind the cost will be a bit lower. Labor should be approximately $500 and you'll need roughly 14 yards of fabric. Again, be sure to get a proper estimate before buying. Remember that it's always better to have too much fabric instead of too little. If you have some leftover you can always have pillows made.

Upholstering Chairs

Large armchairs such as wingback chairs or bergeres will cost a similar amount to a loveseat. This is because there's just as much work that goes into them. You'll be looking at approximately $400 for one chair. Usually, seven yards of fabric is a good amount, but again, chairs vary in size so be sure to get an estimate first.

Wood chairs (such as dining room chairs) can cost anywhere from $100 to $250 to have the seats redone. It depends on whether or not you want to have trim or other details.

(If they're pop out seats it's significantly cheaper – and it's really easy to do it yourself!). If you're doing the seats and the backs you'll need anywhere from one to three yards of fabric.

Slipcovers

Sometimes you might find that having a slipcover made is preferable to reupholstering. Slipcovers can be great because they can be taken off and washed, but it's important to know that it's not any cheaper. The labor costs will be roughly the same for sofas loveseats and chairs and will take about the same amount of fabric.

Ottomans

Ottomans, whether they're large ones you're using instead of a coffee table or small ones that are being used as footstools, can be costly. Prices can vary greatly due to the extra work that often goes into making them. Ottomans are often tufted and have details like nailhead trim and these things can take a lot of work.

Prices can go as high as $1000. That said, they can also go as low as $500. The amount of fabric will depend wholly on the size of the piece.