Slip Covers

There are hundreds and hundreds of different slipcovers for dining room chairs.  Choosing the right one for you can be a challenge.  You can find slipcovers in virtually every possible fabric from vinyl to leather and everything in between.  The designs are endless and you can find slipcovers in everything from plain to plaid.

Slipcovers are an inexpensive way to update your room with a new look.  Some people will tell you that you should consider slipcovers as a means of protecting expensive furniture but we disagree.  Get a Dining Room Seat Cover for that purpose because they can be removed much more easily and continue to showcase your furniture.  Also, almost no slipcovers are fully waterproof so spilled wine is still going to wreck your furniture.  Slipcovers are about fashion, style and, in some cases, hiding chairs that look past their prime.

So, with all of the choices, where should you begin?  The place to start is making sure you’re going to get a good fit.  Since this is about style, you’re probably not going to want covers that make your chairs look they’re dressed up in a sheet.

What do I need to do to get a good fit?

Start by getting excellent measurements of your chair.  You will want to know the front and back width, seat height (skirt length), seat depth, total overall height, distance from seat to top of chair back, chair back width at the top, and the thickness or depth of chair back.  If your chair has arms you are going to need measure those too — height from chair, length and thickness.  With those measurements in hand you can now choose whether you want a custom made cover or whether you’re going to settle for a ready-made cover.

There are three types of covers to consider for fit.  Ready-made slipcovers are off the shelf covers that are sized to fit a large number of chairs.  They could be as basic as a sheet with ties or as complex as having multiple strategically placed elastics.  They are sold in mass merchant retailers so they have to cover a wide array of furniture styles and sizes.  That means that the fit is unlikely to be just right.  You are going to have to use ties which might be a problem depending on the way in which you use your furniture.  You can find a terrific assortment of ready-made dining chair slipcovers here.  Prices run anywhere from $10 – $75.

Semi-custom slipcovers can be found here.  Prices can run from $50 each to $150.  Semi-custom fit slipcoves start with ready-made covers that are then custom sized to fit your furniture.  This means that you will have less excess fabric to deal with.  In most cased, though, you will probably still need ties of some kind.

Custom covers are the most expensive option but get you the best look.  Starting at around $200 or $250, custom covers are essentially an alternative way of reupholstering your chair.  Essentially, each part of your chair is measured separately and receives its own piece of fabric that fits precisely.  Custom fitted slipcovers can completely change the look of your furniture because the product is not only highly tailored but can include a completely different set of accents, skirts and ruffles.  You can get started with custom slipcovers here.

What style should I get?

Dining chair slipcovers come in a few major styles.  The first, are “long” slipcovers that run from the top of the chair all the way to the floor.  While they can be very elegant you should consider a few things before buying.  First, the covers tend to get kicked a lot and light colors can get dirty fast.  Make sure that you get a washable fabric that will wear well.  Second, fitted long covers don’t allow to slide your feet behind you which can be frustrating and uncomfortable for some people.  You can find “long” slipcovers in both regular and stretch fabric.  Stretch fabric gives you a slimmer, more tailored look.  Finally, you can get “long” slipcovers with arms but we recommend against doing so.  The slipcover usually has a hole that the chair arms go through and we feel that the look is very often out of place.

“Short” dining room chair slipcovers stop end just under the seat of the chair allowing you to see the chair legs.  They do not have the issues associated with “long” covers but you have decide whether you like the look.  Like “long” covers, “short” covers are available in both regular and stretch fabrics.

What is the right fabric?

There is no such thing as the right or wrong fabric, only the wrong choice for you.  You are unfortunately going to have to sift through lots of choices but it will be easier if you can decide on whether you want something solid or patterned and if you can get to a point where you have a feel for the color you would like.  We recommend you get started sifting through your choices at here because of their wide variety of styles, fabrics and colors.  From there you can expand your search if appropriate.