If anything good can be said of a sagging couch, it’s proof you really like it. Those dips and sags are signs of actual usage.
If you’re not ready to replace your valued piece of furniture, learn how to repair your couch by yourself. With a few adjustments, you can have a like-new couch that will provide you with several more years of comfort.
Why Your Couch Sags
Your couch is likely sagging due to several reasons: the cushions themselves are sagging; the couch springs are loose; or the couch springs have broken off.
Couch Cushions Are Sagging
Removing the cushions from the couch is important because it narrows down the cause of the sagging. Is the sag in the cushions or in the couch frame?
Lay the cushions on a flat, level surface like the floor or a large table. If the cushions are sagging independently of the couch frame, then you know that the cushions are the cause.
Flattened cushions can possibly be revived using the same materials by turning them around. But the most effective fix is to rebuild the cushions with new foam and with polyester or Dacron wrap around the foam.
Serpentine Springs Are Loose
If the cushions are in good condition, the sagging could be traced to the serpentine springs within the couch frame. Often, the springs have come loose and need to be reattached to their clips, then secured to prevent them from loosening again.
Serpentine springs, sometimes called zig-zag springs, are the long metal wires with multiple S-shapes bent into them. Located inside the couch’s frame, serpentine springs run from front to back and are critical to providing support.
Serpentine Springs Have Broken Off
Serpentine springs are made of strong metal and sometimes they do break. But more often they will break off of their attachments to the wooden couch frame. Springs can be reattached and held together with twine or wire. Serpentine springs that are still attached but which have stretched out can be replaced entirely.
Materials and Tools to Repair a Couch That's Sagging
To repair a couch, you will need:
Purchase individually or purchase multi-packs of couch repair materials that include
- Serpentine springs
- Matching attachment clips
- Paper-wrapped wire or twine
Multi-packs usually do not include new upholstery dust cloth fabric. But you will need to purchase this item since the dust cloth will be cut away to access the inside of the couch.
- Staple gun
- Utility knife
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Drill and bits
How to Access the Inside of Your Couch
- Along with an assistant, turn the couch upside-down. Since the couch will be at an angle after it is upside-down, it's helpful to place a couple of dining room chairs under the arms to level it out.
- Remove the couch legs, by unscrewing them off counter-clockwise by hand or with the screwdriver or drill.
- Remove the black dust cover by carefully cutting it away. For a cleaner removal, pry away the staples that hold the dust cover to the couch’s wooden frame.
- While the couch is upside-down, assess the condition of the couch frame. If the wood frame is cracked on the bottom rails, the couch either needs to be professionally repaired or it needs to be replaced.
How to Reattach or Replace Couch Springs
- After accessing the bottom of the couch, find the detached couch springs.
- For couch springs that have become detached from the clips, reattach the springs to the clips. It may be necessary to bend the ends of the springs back into a hook shape so they hold onto the clips again.
- For broken couch springs, discard the existing springs. Assess the strength of the clips by gently tugging at them with the pliers. Clips that are loose should be replaced with new clips.
- Add the new couch springs to the clips.
- Run the wire or twine perpendicular to the springs. Start by stapling the end of the line on the couch’s frame in a Z-shape, with staples at each part of the Z. Without this three-part shape, the line will pull through the staples.
- Loop the line through each of the serpentine wires as it travels to the other side of the couch frame. The line should be tight from wire to wire, but not so tight as to pull the wires together.
- End the line at the other side of the couch frame, stapling it in a Z-shape.
- Staple the new upholstery dust cloth fabric to the bottom of the couch. The dust cloth should be fairly tight so that it doesn't sag. But be sure not to stretch the cloth too tightly or it will tear.
- Cut away excess dust cloth with the scissors.
How to Repair or Replace Couch Cushions
Since the back side of the cushion receives less wear, in some cases, you can reverse the position of the foam inside the seat cushions, from front to back. By bringing the back to the front, it can create a more even and fluffed-up appearance. Otherwise, replace the foam and the wrap within the cushions:
- Unzip the couch seat cushion cover.
- Pull out the existing foam by turning the cushion cover inside-out.
- Mark the back of the new cushion foam with an indelible marker so you remember the position of the foam within the cover.
- Wrap the couch foam once over with the Dacron or polyester padding. The back of the cushion is not wrapped, only the front side.
- With assistance from a partner, slide the cushion cover over the foam. Make sure that the wrapped side of the foam is at the front.
- Zip the couch cushion shut again and place it on the couch.