Measuring Deep Seating Furniture for Replacement Cushions

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Measure Cushions

Measure Deep Seating Cushions

Deep Seating Chair

Deep Seating Chair

Measure Back Cushions

Measuring Back Cushions

In our last article we discussed measuring standard furniture for seat cushions.  In this article, we will review how to measure deep seating furniture for replacement cushions. 

Deep Seating Furniture With Back and Seat Cushions

Deep seating furniture use thick seat and back cushions for a luxurious seating experience.  Unlike standard patio or indoor hard framed furniture, deep seating furniture is designed so that you have to use cushions to use it. Single cushion sets (seats and backs) are used for each seating position.  So, for a chair, you have one set, for a loveseat you have two sets and for a sofa you would have three sets. 

In order to get the right seat and back cushion sets for deep seating furniture, you must consider the following:

  • The specific piece of furniture and the number of seat positions
  • Seat cushion shape
  • Seat cushion dimensions
  • How to measure
  • Seat cushion type
  • Back cushions
  • Welting
  • Removable covers and inner casings

Specific Furniture Pieces

Even though there may be some similarities, not all seat cushions are interchangeable.  Typically, rectangular shaped cushions are interchangeable.  Depending on the set, you may be able to exchange seat cushions between chairs, settees and sofas because they are essentially the same.  But, cushions with rounded back corners have limited interchangeability between furniture pieces. 

So, when ordering, make sure you know whether the seats are all the same shape and size or whether you need to make a distinction between them.

Seat Cushion Shape

Typical deep seating furniture will have one of two standard seat shapes.  Rectangular with squared-off corners or rectangular with rounded back corners.  Generally, rattan, teak and steel furniture will have rectangular seat cushions whereas wicker furniture will have cushions with rounded back corners.  Although this is the norm, it is not always the case. In recent years, some of the the modern wicker furniture designs have rectangular seats.

Seat Cushion Dimensions

Assuming you already have an old set of cushion, its best to first measure the existing cushion  width, depth and thickness dimensions to get an idea of what size cushions you need.  If the cushions are not to badly out of shape, this should be a good representation of the fusions you need.  This is going to be a little tricky depending on how your cushions are designed.  Boxed cushions are the easiest to measure.  The boxing defines the upper and lower panels seam to seam with, depth and height.  Whereas, waterfall design may lead you guessing as to where you should measure the cushion because there is not true definition of start and stop points.

Now that you have measured the and recorded the cushion sizes, its time to measure the frame to help the cushion maker determine how to design your cushions.

How To Measure The Frame

Deep seating seat cushions sit in a frame typically with suspension straps.  The size of the cushions will generally be larger than the suspension frame itself.  The cushion must fit snugly against the back and side rests and not stick out beyond the front edge of the seat frame.

Measure across the front edge of the seat frame between the arm supports for the overall width measurement.  For chairs, lovseats and sofas, measure the depth from the center front edge of the seat to the back rest.

Seat Cushion Type

Quality deep seating furniture will typically use medium or high density foam for the seat cushions with a one inch Dacron wrap.  Some cushion makers will use one of several varying grades of layered Dacron and no foam.  Others will use a little bit of foam and a lot of Dacron  The foam will be more comfortable than Dacron but more expensive.  Dacron will tend to distort more over time. The cushion thickness will generally be five to  seven inches thick.

Back Cushions

Deep seating back cushions are typically filled cushions.  That means they are filled with fiber rather than solid foam.  In some cases, they filled with Dacron, a less expensive inferior filler. Similar to seat cushions, you will need to identify the shape of your back cushions for each seating position.  For example, some cushions will be rectangular in shape whereas others may have rounding on the top  left, right or both corners.  With typical furniture, back cushions will have the same width dimensions as the associated seat cushion.  If you have the old back cushions, take two width measurements, the overall width by placing a ruler flat across the middle of the cushion, adjusting the ruler so that one end of the ruler is at one end of the cushion and reading the overall width looking down on the ruler and cushion.  Take another measurement by reading the seam to seam width measurement. Now, measure the overall width of the back rest where the cushions will sit.  Between the two cushion measurements, the back rest frame measurement and the seat width measurements, your cushion maker will be able to establish the correct width of the back cushion for you.  

When measuring the height of the back cushion you need to consider that the back cushion will sit on top of the seat cushion.  So, allow for the thickness of the seat cushion in measuring the height from top to bottom.

Unconventional Shaped Deep Seating Cushions

If you have furniture that was uniquely designed and conventional shaped cushions won’t work, you will have to make a paper template of the cushion shape and give it to your cushion maker to ensure your cushions are made to fit and look good for a long time. In particular, some deep seating furniture have “T” or “L” Shaped sections or bolster arm rests.  These types of specialty shapes would be considered non-standard  cushion design and developing templates for the cushion maker are the most popular way to have these types of cushions made.  If at all possible, provide your cushion maker an image of your furniture so they have a better idea of the type of furniture they are making cushions for. Alternatively, you can provide your cushion maker with one of each type of your old cushions rather than making templates.  This alternative may be more expensive if you have to ship your cushions to the cushion maker.  

Summary

This article covered identifying the specific pieces of furniture that you need cushions for, their shape, dimensions, how to measure the furniture frame and the type of of cushion you need.  It was identified that measuring the old cushions are an acceptable way to go if you know the cushions are not flattened and out of shape.  To ensure you have accurate measurements, to measure your furniture frames and not to order too large of a cushion.  Quality deep seating cushions are constructed with foam seats and polyester fiber filled backs.  It was pointed out that deep seating cushions are expensive and that you need to be careful when determining the cushion properties you order so that you don’t over spend for what you need.  If you have an unconventional shape or type cushion,  you will need to make a template of the shape and provide it to your cushion maker to ensure you get cushions that will fit and look great on your furniture. 

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