Updated at: 05-12-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

There are only three simple steps involved in learning how to refill the cushions on a leather couch. To restuff or replace the material within, simply open the cushions, do your work, and close them back up. We’ll also go over what kinds of padding and fillers work best for leather sofa cushions so you may keep lounging on them for years to come.

Do you have any idea what kind of foam works best for couch cushions? If you want to maintain your leather couch in good shape for years to come, learning about the different types of foam available is a good first step in ensuring you choose the right choice.

Pros And Cons Of Buying A Leather Sofa


  • When compared to similar-looking fake leather sofas, leather ones can last four times as long.
  • They require less upkeep than you may think. Fabric sofas should be washed sometimes to maintain their cleanliness. The cushion covers should be removed from their zippers and washed in a regular washing machine. One could argue that leather sofas are even easier to maintain because a light soap and water solution is all that’s needed to clean them, and a monthly application of leather cream keeps the leather in pristine condition. If you take care of your leather couch like this, it could last forever. Most leather couches don’t come with removable cushions, so regular vacuuming and wiping downs are essential.
  • Inherent in its structure, leather’s thickness and durability make it ideal for use in high-wear situations. Leather doesn’t fray and may easily be polished to hide any scratches (from pets or otherwise).
  • Any accidental spills can be easily cleaned up by a quick wipe down. You may need to clean a fabric couch to remove stains before washing it. If you have a leather sofa in a lighter color, such white or cream, you need still be careful to avoid discoloration from foods and drinks like red wine and curry. However, leather sofas are far simpler to clean after a spill than fabric ones.
  • Not as susceptible to absorbing odors as a fabric couch. Useful if you have pets or even just a smelly relative or acquaintance… This is excellent news for everyone, even smokers.
  • Pet hair is easily removed off the couch because it does not adhere to the fabric. It’s nothing more than dust, after all.


  • The price is a major turnoff for many potential customers. Leather couches are more expensive up front, but they save you money in the long run.
  • Perhaps you have pets or kids who want to play on the couch. Unlike “bouncier” upholstered fabric cushions, leather sofas may not be as forgiving of roughhousing.
  • Do not sacrifice comfort in the hopes of eventually growing accustomed to the feel of leather if you are not a fan of the feel of leather (and that’s okay, some people just don’t like leather). It’s not worth it if sitting on a leather sofa makes you cold in the winter and hot in the summer. You could cover it with a throw, but then why not just have a sofa made of fabric? However, this probably won’t be an issue if your home maintains a relatively constant temperature year-round.
  • Despite common belief, not all genuine leather is created equal. To find something, you must first know what it is. While lower-quality genuine leather can be easily scratched and scuffed, higher-quality leather can last far longer. It could be a risky proposition because it can be hard to determine the difference without the assistance of an objective professional.
  • A narrower palette and fewer design options.

Sofa Cushion Refilling - The Sofa Repair Man

Different types of Leather Sofa

Aniline Leather

If you’re not worried about potential damage to your sofa from spills and scratches, aniline leather’s natural appearance might be highly appealing. Sofas upholstered with aniline leather may be colored, but they nonetheless reveal more of the hide’s inherent beauty than those upholstered in coated leather.

Semi-aniline Leather

The protective coating on semi-aniline leather is slightly thicker than that on aniline leather. Due to the little amount of pigment, it is more stain-resistant than totally aniline leather, and the sofa’s dye color will be uniform throughout.

Pigmented Leather

Pigmented leather is more durable because of the polymer coating it receives during production. Most leather couches are constructed with pigmented leather, which is resistant to scuffs, scratches, and fading. Pigmented leather sofas come in a wide variety of styles, each with its own unique impact on the leather’s appearance and depth. When applying a protective coating, full grain pigmented leather is left unaltered from its original leather surface, while corrected grain pigmented leather has any flaws sanded or polished off. When corrected grain pigmented leather is embossed with a grain pattern, it mimics the look and feel of full grain pigmented leather. The “antique grain” finish is what you want if you’re going for a more weathered appearance; it’s achieved by applying a darker top layer of color coating and then rubbing it away somewhat to give the impression of wear.

How Do You Refill Leather Couch Cushions?

Step 1. Open up the cushions

  • Take the pillows off the leather couch.
  • Remove the cushions from their leather coverings by unzipping the bottom zipper.
  • To gain easier access to the zipper, you may have to shift the flap of fabric that conceals it.
  • Use a seam ripper to open each cushion if there are no zippers.
  • Ripping the seam could potentially damage the cushion’s casing, so proceed with caution.
  • For all other sofa cushions that require airing out or replacing, repeat the process.
  • The stuffing of some sofa cushions may be easily accessed by removing the outer lining.

Step 2. Restuff or replace the cushions with your chosen material

  • Find out what goes into the cushions of your leather furniture.
  • Refill each cushion with polyester or down and feather until the furniture is back to its original shape if the filling is loose.
  • Depending on the quality of the current filler, you can either replace it entirely or add to it.
  • There should be just one foam core in the sofa cushions, and if there is, it should be removed and replaced.
  • Foam replacement material, such as polyurethane, can be cut to size using the measured dimensions.
  • Some homeowners remove the sagging foam and replace it with batting, while others try to repair the sagging foam by hand.
  • After the replacement foam has been installed, it may be necessary to add loose stuffing to the cushions to attain the desired density.

Step 3. Close the cushions and put them back in place

  • Keep spreading the filling evenly as you restuff the cushions.
  • Ensure there are no gaps by pushing the fillers all the way into the corners.
  • Close the zippers or resew the torn seams on the cushions.
  • You can’t just use any thread or needle on leather; you need special equipment.
  • Close the gap and replace the leather sofa’s cushions.
  • Simply press down on the cushions to make them plumper, and you’re done.

How Do You Fix A Sagging Leather Couch With Attached Cushions?

A sinking sofa can be fixed by reinforcing the frame, or the cushions can be restuffed if they are attached.

  1. Using small, sturdy scissors, cut the fixed pillows free from their attachments.
  2. In order to observe the threads holding it together, lift up one side.
  3. You shouldn’t have to cut out any stitching to refill some of the attached cushions, though.
  4. Find the covert zipper and proceed as if the cushions were removed.
  5. After removing the cushions from the leather couch so the stuffing can be replaced or added to, reattach them using the upholstery thread and needle.

How Do You Plump Up A Leather Couch?

It is possible to restore the original appearance of a leather sofa by having the cushions restuffed or the foam replaced. The former can have more stuffing added or the loose components replaced. If you’re looking for a replacement for the material on your leather couch, you may probably locate something similar at a craft store.

Fixed Furniture Cushion Refilling & Re-plumping

You may also use polyester or a combination of feathers and down to add fullness to your leather couch cushions. You can still use loose filling on top of a block of foam in your sofa cushions, and then cover that with batting. Replacement high-resiliency foam with a density of 1.8 or higher is recommended for foam cushions if the existing foam has lost its shape.

How Can I Make My Leather Couch Cushions Firmer?

It is possible to increase the firmness of sofa cushions by altering the filler and the frame. The longevity and comfort of a leather sofa can be greatly increased by using firm cushions. Even if leather sofas last a long time, the general structure will be determined by the underlying material.

Choose dense materials, such as firm foam to place beneath the loose fillers, to stuff the cushions. With addition, the cushions may be removed so that the frame can be covered in plywood. The strengthened base will prevent the cushion from drooping.

What Leather is My Sofa and How Do I Clean It?

The quality of a leather sofa can range widely depending on the type of hide used and the tanning and finishing techniques employed.

  • Full-grain hides that have been chemically treated with aniline are known as aniline leather. The ability to discern flaws and pores in the leather is highly valued. Although aniline leather’s softness is unparalleled, its lack of a protective coating makes it vulnerable to stains.
  • As a result of its thicker protective layer and additional processing, semi-aniline is more stain-resistant, more durable, and more cost-effective than its aniline counterpart.
  • Pigmented or protected leather is the strongest, most stain-resistant, and least prone to scuffing and wear form of leather for furniture because it is covered with a polymer that contains dye pigments.
  • Suede is leather made from the velvety side of a split-grain animal hide. The finish is rather rough and will show any stains. Suede upholstery requires special attention and cleaning methods.

All leather sofas, save for suede, require the same care and maintenance. The leather dye should be stable, but it’s still a good idea to test cleaning chemicals in an inconspicuous area before using them on the sofa.

How Often to Clean a Leather Sofa

Leather furniture requires dusting once a week and a more thorough cleaning once a month to maintain its luster. Of course, stains caused by mud, ink, or grease require prompt attention.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Use a vacuum with a brush attachment for cleaning upholstery.
  • The use of microfiber rags
  • Miniature pail or bucket


  • Mild soap, like Castile or saddle soap
  • Powdered corn starch or baby powder.
  • Isopropyl alcohol, to be specific
  • Conditioner for leather

Remove Dust and Debris

Maintaining the cleanliness and luster of your leather furniture is as simple as dusting it once a week. Dust, pet hair, and filth can be easily removed with a vacuum equipped with an upholstery brush.

Most vacuum cleaners come with a crevice tool that can be used to clean in tight spaces like between cushions. Use a microfiber cloth or disposable electrostatic duster.

Wipe Away Grime

Most stains on leather can be removed with a moderate cleaning method and some basic cleaning chemicals. A light soap like Castile, saddle soap, or a bar of Ivory, some warm water, and a microfiber cloth can do the trick, although there are several excellent commercial leather cleaners available, such as Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner.

Warm water and a few drops of liquid soap in a bowl or bucket will provide an effective cleaning solution. In order to clean with a bar of soap, simply dampen the microfiber cloth and massage the bar of soap together.

Wipe off each component of the sofa individually, starting at the back and working your way up. Make sure your cloth is damp, but not dripping. In places with more soil, such as the arms of a couch, use soft, circular motions to ensnare it all. As you work, rinse the towel and wring it out as needed.

Buff to a Shine

After dirt has been cleaned away, there is no need to cleanse the leather. Leather can be ruined by prolonged exposure to water. Instead, polish the surface with a clean, dry microfiber cloth.

Tackle Tough Stains

Leather stains are inevitable, but they can be easily removed with some TLC and the right cleaning products.

  • Remove any solid debris and wipe the area with a paper towel to absorb as much of the oil and grease as possible from a grease stain on your leather couch. Spread a thin coating of cornstarch or talcum powder over the affected region. Cornstarch will absorb the oil from the leather if you leave it on for at least four hours or overnight. Reapply cornstarch and vacuum it up until the discoloration disappears.
  • Carefully dab fresh ink stains with a paper towel so as not to spread the ink any further. Working in small circular motions, rub the region of the leather where the ink stain is located using a damp microfiber cloth dampened with water and a bar of mild soap. While the ink is being transferred, please move to a new, clean part of the fabric. Using isopropyl alcohol to erase an ink stain should be a last choice because it can change the color of the leather.

Condition Dry Leather

The suppleness of leather furniture can be restored with a professional leather conditioner such as Chemical Guys Leather Conditioner if the leather has lost its sheen and feels stiff and dry. To restore the leather’s finish, polish it with a microfiber cloth as directed.

Sofa Cushion Refilling - The Sofa Repair Man


If you’re resting on the leather couch but feeling unsupported and uncomfortable, it could be time to replace the cushions. Refilling the cushions on a leather couch is as simple as taking them off and unzipping them, as we’ve already covered. Put back together after stuffing with new or additional loose stuffing like polyester.

You can use high-resilience foam as an alternative to regular foam in your cushions, or you can cover the regular foam with batting. Cushions on leather sofas can be easily fixed if they sag. Feel free to check out the other of our leather sofa buying guides if this one was helpful.