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How Much Does It Cost To Upholster Furniture?

National Average Change Location | View National
$652
Typical Range
$343 - $962
Low End
$140
High End
$1,598

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On This Page:

  1. Reupholster or Buy New?
    1. Reupholstering
    2. Buying New
  2. Couch Reupholstery Costs
  3. Chair Reupholstery Costs
  4. Other Related Costs
    1. Frame
    2. Pillows
    3. Tufting
    4. Materials
    5. Transport
    6. Current Condition
  5. DIY or Hire?
  6. What Is Reupholstery?
  7. Conclusion

If you bought a piece of furniture and you'd like to replace the fabric, or your current furniture has incurred wear and tear, then reupholstering might be the best route. Also, if you're having custom furniture built for you, the upholstery will be part of the project cost. Furniture upholstery costs vary greatly, depending on the size and style of the piece as well as the type of fabric and amount of frame repair the piece needs.

Based on over 1,000 customer responses, the average reupholstery cost was $652 with the small chairs and couches costing between $343 and $962. Reupholstering dining room chairs can cost as little as $40 per chair, but a large sofa can cost more than $1200.

The first step is to talk to a professional who can help you figure out the upholstery costs. Once you find a professional, then there are a few common factors that will affect the cost to reupholster furniture.

Is it Cheaper to Reupholster or Buy New?

When determining whether it’s cheaper to reupholster furniture or toss it out for an updated piece, there are a few factors to consider. You don’t want to spend money on either option if there’s a better way.

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Reupholstering

Although reupholstering is an eco-friendly option that keeps old furniture out of landfills, it is not necessarily an inexpensive one. In fact, reupholstering a piece of furniture costs as much (and often more) than replacing it. For example, the cost to reupholster a single couch cushion may be less than $200, and it's unlikely you can replace the entire sofa for that price. On the other hand, repairing and re-stuffing the same sofa can raise the price more than $1,000 to $1,200. In that case, you need to decide whether it’s simpler and cheaper to simply purchase an entirely new couch.

The following questions are guidelines to consider:

  • Is the piece more than 10 years old? If the furniture lasts longer than 10 years, chances are it is sturdy enough to last a few more years, making it worth the cost to extend its life.
  • Is the frame made from hardwood? When building high-quality furniture, manufacturers use hardwood for the frame and attach the joints using dowels and glue or screws. Inexpensive furniture usually has staples holding together the joints.
  • What type of padding does the piece have? Couches and chairs made with foam are usually not worth the cost of reupholstering. At the same time, replacing down filling is expensive and may make the reupholstering cost-prohibitive.
  • How much do you like the piece? If you simply love the style and cannot find a similar piece in a store, reupholstering it may make sense.

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When to Buy New

There are some situations where you’re better buying new furniture then upholstering it. For example, if the cost to reupholster outweighs the price for a new furniture piece, don’t spend the extra thousands. You also need to consider how valuable the furniture is in its original condition versus how comfortable it is. If you’re sitting in an antique chair with lots of springs sticking out and holes, it might be time to give it away to goodwill.

Here are some average prices you might pay for a new furniture piece:

  • Couch: $2,000
  • Chair: $800
  • Dining table: $1,500
  • Sectional: $2,500

Quality is the key here. If the couch or chair is in sturdy condition & doesn’t pose a risk to your health, then you can look into reupholstering it for a potentially cheaper price (we estimate between $343 and $962 depending on a few factors). However, if you are getting lots of injuries, then you need to stay safe and get rid of the old piece. While you might not be able to find the same antique, there are plenty of furniture pieces out there with timeless value and comfort.

Ultimately, you’ll need to weigh the value of the furniture to the cost of reupholstering it. To some people, reupholstering grandma's wingback chair may not be worth the cost, but to someone else, it may be the perfect style for a room and a sentimental piece of family history.

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Couch Reupholstery Costs

Couches are very special items in the home -- a whole family can fit on one, or a couple can get comfy on the loveseat design. So when it comes time to determine whether you reupholster or replace, costs and sentimental value definitely play a role. On average, you will spend $1,200 to $3,500 for reupholstering a couch, depending on the fabric, size and labor involved. You will either pay by the yard or by a professional’s quote based on work involved.

Some other factors you need to consider are:

  • Re-stuffing the cushions
  • Repairing the frames and springs
  • Removing the old fabric with a new one

You do not want the professional to put new fabric over the old. It will start to group together and make the couch look unsightly.

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Chair Reupholstery Costs

Akin to reupholstering a couch, the price to upholster a chair varies from $400 to $800 depending on region, fabrics and labor. Normal chairs used for dining rooms will cost on the low end, while club chairs will cost more to fix. Recliners will fall in between the two, depending on the original manufacturer.

When fixing up the chair, you need to keep in mind:

  • Condition of the framing
  • Fabric weight and strength
  • Accessories -- cushions, skirts, ottomans -- that might need fixing, too

Unlike a couch, there’s usually less surface area to cover & fix. So you won’t be looking at a price higher than $1,000, unless your chair has a safety defect that involves furniture repairman. By doing a thorough inspection of your chair beforehand -- springs, framing, etc. -- you can avoid spending those extra dollars.

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Other Related Costs

For most individuals, price is the most important factor when deciding whether to reupholster or replace furniture. Reupholstery costs vary greatly from piece to piece and depend on factors like the size of the furniture and chosen fabric. Fabric remains the greatest predictor of what your final price may be; upholstery fabric costs, on average, between $40 and $70 per yard, but can cost as much as $200 per yard.

However, other related costs that increase the amount of labor required for the project also affect the price. This includes replacing or repairing the fabric cords outlining pillows and cushions and repairing any tufting and nail heads.

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Repairing the Frame

One advantage of reupholstering furniture is the chance to repair frame damage after stripping off the existing upholstery. Upholsterers who offer this service can examine the frame and replace damaged sections. They also reinforce the frame and joints and replace the springs to extend the life of the piece. Hourly rates for this service range from $45 to $150.

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Upholstering Pillows

Upholstering pillows to coordinate with a sofa or chair increases the total cost of the project, but it’s a minimal price to pay to ensure that everything matches. This process takes up to one hour per pillow, so expect to pay $45 to $100 plus the cost of fabric for each pillow.

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Fixing Tufting and Nail Heads

Adding or replacing decorative features on a piece of furniture also requires additional labor that increases the reupholstery costs. For example, to create tufting—ruffled patterns in the furniture's fabric—the upholsterer must sew thread into the surface of the fabric. Sometimes he or she must also add buttons. In addition to the labor, this increases the amount of fabric needed by at least two yards. Tufted sofas cost between $100 and $300 more to reupholster.

Placing decorative nails on furniture is not as time-intensive as creating or repairing tufting. This work takes approximately 15 minutes per foot to complete, resulting in a cost between $90 and $200 for an 8-foot-long couch.

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Material Choices

The fabric you choose will also make a big impact on the cost to reupholster furniture. There is a huge range of fabrics out there organized by durability, stain resistance, color and pattern. By keeping a budget in mind when looking for fabric, you might be able to keep the cost to reupholster furniture down. You'll have to buy the fabric by the yard, so speak to the professional to get a good estimate of how much you will need.

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Transporting the Furniture

When you’re thinking about reupholstering furniture, you need to take into account some related considerations, including transportation. Upholsterers work in their own shops instead of on-site, so the furniture needs to get to the shop. Some companies offer pickup and delivery services as part of a package price, while others charge a nominal fee, ranging from $1.50 per mile to a flat rate of $150. Sometimes you must find a way to deliver the furniture, which may require renting a truck.

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Existing Condition

If you're reupholstering an existing piece, then the amount of damage or wear and tear will affect the cost to reupholster furniture. The more work that needs to be done to restore it, the more expensive it will be.

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DIY or Hire?

Hiring someone to reupholster your furniture might seem like a hassle. There are situations where you can DIY some furniture work, including:

  • Stripping and adding new fabric on a dining room chair
  • Making small fabric changes to an existing piece
  • Fixing the framing if there are small damages

In these situations, you will spend about $100 to $200, mostly on the fabric and extra supplies you need to upholster (staple gun & puller, ripping chisel, rubber mallet, upholstery tacks &  pins, webbing stretcher, and fabric scissors). It’s worth noting that this will be a long process -- almost a day -- to do because it’s something that takes practice to master & do quickly. You might also still need help from a friend or fabric professional to ensure a good job.

If this sounds overwhelming and not worth the risk or time, then you should get a pro to reupholster your furniture. Having a contractor work on your furniture ensures high quality, a custom piece by the end and a somewhat transformed design. While you might have to wait up to a month for the piece to come back, that’s time you can spend on other smaller home projects. So, is it worth spending about $652 for a pro versus your time? If so, don’t hesitate to get a pro out to look at some of your furniture now.

Hire a Local Reupholstery Service Now

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What Is Reupholstery?

Reupholstering is the process of removing and replacing the upholstery on a piece of furniture. The upholsterer starts by completely tearing down the piece to its frame. At this point, the upholsterer can repair damage to the frame before replacing the padding and applying the new fabric and trim. The finished piece is essentially a new piece of furniture with fresh fabric and cushion components.

Some common items you can reupholster include couches, chairs, dining room seats -- anything made of fabric. There are even some companies who will reupholster leather or fake leather furniture. You cannot reupholster any furniture made solely out of metal or plastic -- such items are better off being painted or replaced.

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Conclusion

Reupholstering furniture is an opportunity to update the piece. Instead of replacing drab or outdated fabric that doesn't blend with your current decor, opt for a new color or print that gives the piece a brand new look. This is also a great time to change the shape and contour of the piece by altering some of its decorative features. Ask the upholsterer to add or remove welts around the cushions, adjust the skirt, or remove tufting.

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Diana Slater More than 1 year ago
The cost of reupholstering furniture depends very much on the size of the furniture, the style of the furniture, and the fabric you select. While an individual slipper chair might possibly be priced at $198, the average sofa is more like $1500, and a sectional is more like $3000. If the furniture piece has buttons, nail head trim, or other decorative elements, the cost will be higher. Fabric starts at about $35/yard and goes up from there. The average I see Moorpark customers spend is about $50/yard. These numbers are skewed towards smaller pieces of furniture. MakingBeautifulSpaces.net
Rosetta Brown More than 1 year ago
You may want to think over your decision carefully before committing to the job. It appears that it can be costly and you might just settle with new furniture. On the other hand, if you really like the frame work on the furniture and feel it is worth it, then go for it. Just remember, take inconsideration that your choices are final...no turning back when it gets started. Good luck.
Christine Humble More than 1 year ago
I paid $175 for an armchair seat/cushion. I chose duck cloth for a neutral and clean look. I paid more for the labor than the fabric. I felt very comfortable with the people that worked on my chair and they were recommended by HomeAdvisor. 
Judy Widrig More than 1 year ago
More than I care to spend, would be able to replace probably.
Nell Guerra More than 1 year ago
I will certainly call these recommendations.  Also all the information helped!
Thanks Nell
Malinda Smith More than 1 year ago
Guess I better settle for a repair.
Michael O'Brien More than 1 year ago
I have a 89" sofa with arms, wooden feet and three cushions and 4 back cushions.  The sofa was not expensive and  is in relatively good condition.  I would be willing to pay the price of  reupholstering in a fabric I want that may cost the same as a new sofa.  The reason being is I can not find the fabric I am looking for.  A wild colorful off the wall print.
Rodney Ballard Sr More than 1 year ago
The price is very high for the type of work to be done. Just need the wood replaced. 
Leon Bennett More than 1 year ago
How much would it cost of i help work on it with the person? Side by side?

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