Restore your sofa to its former glory with this plumping secret experts swear by

Give your beloved sofa a new lease of life with these expert-led tips

Grey sofa with coloured cushions, side table, houseplant, hanging artwork
(Image credit: Sofology)

It's common knowledge that sofas are the focal point of any living room and are unsurprisingly one of the highest-traffic areas in your home. Therefore, given their daily use, unfortunately not even the best sofas are exempt from losing their once-fresh, cloud-like appearance.

Seeing the sofa you've invested time and money into looking flat and tired is undoubtedly one of the quickest ways to spin your once-loved living room sofa ideas into a dreary and discouraging sight. However, the key to injecting life back into your sofa lies in this secret: perfecting your plumping technique.

Grey sofa with coloured cushions, side table, houseplant, hanging artwork

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

How to plump up sofa cushions

'Nothing will make you fall out of love with your sofa more quickly than flat cushions that feel uncomfortable and look untidy. A simple task that's often overlooked, regularly plumping your cushions can make all the difference,' says Gisela Lancaster, head of buying at Sofology.

Rachel Howe, head of aftercare at ScS adds, 'Keeping sofa cushions clean, tidy and full of life is the first and most important step in achieving a sofa that stays comfortable and looking as good as new.'

Gisela continues, 'It's true that some sofas are lower maintenance than others depending on the delicacy of the leather or luxury of the fabric or fillings. However, carrying out the simple steps detailed below will help to keep any sofa looking its best day after day.'

Light yellow sofa in open plan living room

(Image credit:

1. First and foremost, get out the vacuum

Before any manual plumping begins, cracking out your best vacuum can help the cushions bounce back to shape to give you an upper hand before doing the nitty gritty.

'As you pull the vacuum head across the cushions you’ll help to loosen and separate some of the fibres in preparation for a full plumping. Ensure you use the right vacuum head for the job, such as a brush attachment, so it's gentle on the fabric or leather,' advises Gisela.

Grey sofa with light coloured cushions, wood tray table, vase, lamp

(Image credit: Future PLC)

2. Unzip the outer covers

'When plumping any cushions on the sofa, the most important step is to unzip the outer covers. Doing so will encourage air to circulate back around the filling, resulting in a fluffy cushion. Make sure to remove the seat and back cushions when plumping, return them, and then plump the scatter cushions,' explains Rachel.

Do this at least once a week to keep your cushions looking great.

Maroon sofa in living room, ball boucle cushion, side table, lamp

(Image credit: Future PLC/Anna Stathaki)

3. Get stuck into the 'knead and chop'

If your sofa has a fixed seat and back cushions, however, fear not as you can still get them looking their best.

'Massaging as though you are kneading dough will help distribute the filling evenly, and chopping the top of the cushions will plump up the fibres,' says Rachel.

Gisela continues, 'Start with your hands in the centre of the cushion and smooth outwards in opposite directions. This will help the fillings to separate and return to their natural shape after use. Give each cushion a firm pat on the sides to invite air back into the filling, and your sofa will look as good as new.'

Dark green sofa, large window, green painted walls in living room

(Image credit: Sofology)

4. Flip and swap your cushions regularly

On a similar (but slightly different note), to maximise a sofa's plump look, it's also worth flipping your seat and back cushions in the same way you would flip a mattress. Admittedly, we probably have a favourite spot on our sofas, so regular use of sofas will eventually lead to sagging in the most 'sat-on' areas.

'Doing this ensures the whole cushion is being sat on over even lengths of time, ultimately keeping the cushions in the best shape possible,' says Rachel.

White painted living room with large windows, blinds, L shaped cream sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/Anna Stathaki)

Alternatively, if you were interested in an easy DIY project, BBC Repair Shop's Sonnaz Nooranvary also previously shared her quick tip to update a sofa, which consisted of opening the cushion covers and restuffing them with teddy bear stuffing.

It seems like a tedious job to do week in and week out, we know. However, we're not lying to you when we say that it certainly pays off in keeping your sofa in A1 condition. Simply add it to your list for your next Sunday reset, and you're well on your way to plump sofa paradise.

And just like that, you've revived your sofa back to its first days of life again.

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is a Junior Writer at Ideal Home. She's always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham where her love for journalism blossomed following her internship at ArchDaily. Now focused on home tech, Jullia works on writing features and explainers to help people make the most of their home appliance investments. When she isn't writing, she loves exploring the city, coffee shop hopping, and losing hours to a cosy game.