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Types of Sofa Cushions

From fixed to loose cushions, discover which is right for you

Types of Sofa Cushions

From fixed to loose cushions, discover which is right for you

Many don't realise the impact a sofa's cushion style can have on the overall look of the piece but cushions trends do come and go as styles change—trust us, the 90s were all about boxed cushions, seat and back, with Lawson arms.

And whilst it's more subtle than other design elements, choosing the right cushion style for your sofa can make the piece. Here's the run down.

Many don't realise the impact a sofa's cushion style can have on the overall look of the piece but cushions trends do come and go as styles change—trust us, the 90s were all about boxed cushions, seat and back, with Lawson arms.

And whilst it's more subtle than other design elements, choosing the right cushion style for your sofa can make the piece. Here's the run down.

Types of Sofa Cushions

There are two main categories of cushions: fixed and loose cushions. Fixed cushions are typically more formal than loose cushions which can have a "lived in" appearance.

1. Fixed Cushions

Fixed sofa cushions are those which are integral to the sofa and cannot be removed. These are typically tightly packed with filling and, therefore, firmer. This style is often chosen for its sleek appearance and is used regularly for tuxedo sofa backs. Because this type of cushion is fixed, it doesn’t require the upkeep of plumping.

2. Loose Cushions

Loose cushions, in contrast, can be removed because they are upholstered separately. These can be removed, stripped and the covers cleaned. Loose cushion sofas tend to be more comfortable because they don’t require such tight stuffing.

Fixed Cushions

Fixed sofa cushions are those which are integral to the sofa and cannot be removed. These are typically tightly packed with filling and, therefore, firmer. This style is often chosen for its sleek appearance and is used regularly for tuxedo sofa backs. Because this type of cushion is fixed, it doesn’t require the upkeep of plumping.

Loose Cushions

Loose cushions, in contrast, can be removed because they are upholstered separately. These can be removed, stripped and the covers cleaned. Loose cushion sofas tend to be more comfortable because they don’t require such tight stuffing.

Types Of Sofa Cushions

There are two main categories of cushions: fixed and loose cushions. Fixed cushions are typically more formal than loose cushions which can have a "lived in" appearance.

1. Fixed Cushions

Fixed sofa cushions are those which are integral to the sofa and cannot be removed. These are typically tightly packed with filling and, therefore, firmer. This style is often chosen for its sleek appearance and is used regularly for tuxedo sofa backs. Because this type of cushion is fixed, it doesn’t require the upkeep of plumping.

2. Loose Cushions

Loose cushions, in contrast, can be removed because they are upholstered separately. These can be removed, stripped and the covers cleaned. Loose cushion sofas tend to be more comfortable because they don’t require such tight stuffing.

Types of Sofa Cushion Styles

Types of Sofa Cushion Styles

Not all cushions are made the same and what you decide on says a lot about the style you want to channel. Here are the various cushion options available.

Not all cushions are made the same and what you decide on says a lot about the style you want to channel. Here are the various cushion options available.

Bench Seat - Types of Sofa Cushion Styles - The Sofa Guide - LuxDeco.com

Bench Seat

A bench seat is one complete cushion with no divisions. It can be both loose and fixed and runs the entire length of the sofa. Its simple design results in a minimalist aesthetic and has had a resurgence in recent years.

Box Cushion - Types of Sofa Cushion Styles - The Sofa Guide - LuxDeco.com

Box Cushion

Characterised by its distinct surfaces, the box cushion has a top and bottom panel which are boxed by four side panels. The style is more formal and structured and the seams can be piped for extra definition. Seen in both seat and back cushions.

J, L & T Cushions - Types of Sofa Cushion Styles - The Sofa Guide - LuxDeco.com

J, L and T Cushions

J, L and T cushions are named for their shape. J- and L-cushions wrap around the left or right sofa arm respectively. A T-cushion is a loose bench cushion which wraps around the sofa’s arms on both ends creating a T shape.

Knife Edge Cushions - Types of Sofa Cushion Styles - The Sofa Guide - LuxDeco.com

Knife-Edge Cushion

A cushion where the front and back panel are attached by one seam. The seam can be left as is or piped. Seen more often in back cushions than seat cushions although it's become a popular arm design for modern sofas.

Knife Edge Cushions - Types of Sofa Cushion Styles - The Sofa Guide - LuxDeco.com

Straight Cushion

The simplest cushion type, a straight cushion is a square or rectangle loose cushion with no projection that wraps around a sofa arm. Interior seat cushions are always straight cushions but end cushions can also be straight, as in this example.

Waterfall Cushions - Types of Sofa Cushion Styles - The Sofa Guide - LuxDeco.com

Waterfall Cushion

A cushion whose fabric wraps from the top to the underside (in the case of seat cushions) or from the front side to the back side (in the case of back cushions) without any interruption and closed off with side panels.

Bench Seat - Types of Sofa Cushion Styles - The Sofa Guide - LuxDeco.com

Bench Seat

A bench seat is one complete cushion with no divisions. It can be both loose and fixed and runs the entire length of the sofa. Its simple design results in a minimalist aesthetic and has had a resurgence in recent years.

Box Cushion - Types of Sofa Cushion Styles - The Sofa Guide - LuxDeco.com

Box Cushion

Characterised by its distinct surfaces, the box cushion has a top and bottom panel which are boxed by four side panels. The style is more formal and structured and the seams can be piped for extra definition. Seen in both seat and back cushions.

J, L & T Cushions - Types of Sofa Cushion Styles - The Sofa Guide - LuxDeco.com

J, L and T Cushions

J, L and T cushions are named for their shape. J- and L-cushions wrap around the left or right sofa arm respectively. A T-cushion is a loose bench cushion which wraps around the sofa’s arms on both ends creating a T shape.

Knife Edge Cushions - Types of Sofa Cushion Styles - The Sofa Guide - LuxDeco.com

Knife-Edge Cushion

A cushion where the front and back panel are attached by one seam. The seam can be left as is or piped. Seen more often in back cushions than seat cushions although it's become a popular arm design for modern sofas.

Knife Edge Cushions - Types of Sofa Cushion Styles - The Sofa Guide - LuxDeco.com

Straight Cushion

The simplest cushion type, a straight cushion is a square or rectangle loose cushion with no projection that wraps around a sofa arm. Interior seat cushions are always straight cushions but end cushions can also be straight, as in this example.

Waterfall Cushions - Types of Sofa Cushion Styles - The Sofa Guide - LuxDeco.com

Waterfall Cushion

A cushion whose fabric wraps from the top to the underside (in the case of seat cushions) or from the front side to the back side (in the case of back cushions) without any interruption and closed off with side panels.

Bench Seat - Types of Sofa Cushion Styles - The Sofa Guide - LuxDeco.com

Bench Seat

A bench seat is one complete cushion with no divisions. It can be both loose and fixed and runs the entire length of the sofa. Its simple design results in a minimalist aesthetic and has had a resurgence in recent years.

Box Cushion - Types of Sofa Cushion Styles - The Sofa Guide - LuxDeco.com

Box Cushion

Characterised by its distinct surfaces, the box cushion has a top and bottom panel which are boxed by four side panels. The style is more formal and structured. Seen in both seat and back cushions.

J, L & T Cushions - Types of Sofa Cushion Styles - The Sofa Guide - LuxDeco.com

J, L and T Cushions

J, L and T cushions are named for their shape. J- and L-cushions wrap around the left or right sofa arm respectively. A T-cushion is a loose bench cushion which wraps around the sofa’s arms on both ends creating a T shape.

Knife Edge Cushions - Types of Sofa Cushion Styles - The Sofa Guide - LuxDeco.com

Knife-Edge Cushion

A cushion where the front and back panel are attached by one seam. The seam can be left as is or piped. Seen more often in back cushions than seat cushions although it's become a popular arm design for modern sofas.

Knife Edge Cushions - Types of Sofa Cushion Styles - The Sofa Guide - LuxDeco.com

Straight Cushion

The simplest cushion type, a straight cushion is a square or rectangle loose cushion with no projection that wraps around a sofa arm. Interior seat cushions are always straight cushions but end cushions can also be straight, as in this example.

Waterfall Cushions - Types of Sofa Cushion Styles - The Sofa Guide - LuxDeco.com

Waterfall Cushion

A cushion whose fabric wraps from the top to the underside (in the case of seat cushions) or from the front side to the back side (in the case of back cushions) without any interruption and closed off with side panels.

Which Is Right For You?

Sofas are available in almost every cushion combination: both fixed back and seat cushions, both loose back and seat cushions, fixed back with loose seat cushion and loose back with fixed seat cushions. For example, the English roll arm sofa usually features a fixed back cushion with removable seat cushions.

Fixed cushions tend to always exude a tailored look whilst loose cushions can be both formal or casual, depending on the cushion shape chosen. You decide what would work best for your style.

If you have small children or pets, the removable covers of loose cushions would probably make the most sense.

Likewise, if you’re looking to buy a chaise for your master bedroom which will be used only by adults and used rarely, a fixed cushion with button tufting is a beautiful choice.

The number of cushions on your sofa affects its look too, whether a bench seat, a cushion duo, trio or more. For example, a tuxedo sofa with channel quilting works best with a bench seat because there are fewer physical breaks, allowing the channeling to make the statement you want and for the piece to appear seamless.

Which Is Right For You?

Sofas are available in almost every cushion combination: both fixed back and seat cushions, both loose back and seat cushions, fixed back with loose seat cushion and loose back with fixed seat cushions. For example, the English roll arm sofa usually features a fixed back cushion with removable seat cushions.

Fixed cushions tend to always exude a tailored look whilst loose cushions can be both formal or casual, depending on the cushion shape chosen. You decide what would work best for your style.

If you have small children or pets, the removable covers of loose cushions would probably make the most sense.

Likewise, if you’re looking to buy a chaise for your master bedroom which will be used only by adults and used rarely, a fixed cushion with button tufting is a beautiful choice.

The number of cushions on your sofa affects its look too, whether a bench seat, a cushion duo, trio or more. For example, a tuxedo sofa with channel quilting works best with a bench seat because there are fewer physical breaks, allowing the channeling to make the statement you want and for the piece to appear seamless.

Here at LuxDeco, our highly skilled designers are on hand to give their expert advice and help design your perfect sofa. If you would like help designing your luxury sofa, contact our team at concierge@luxdeco.com or +44 (0)20 3322 8665.

Here at LuxDeco, our highly skilled designers are on hand to give their expert advice and help design your perfect sofa. If you would like help designing your luxury sofa, contact our team at concierge@luxdeco.com or +44 (0)20 3322 8665.

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Continue on your sofa journey and learn more about the craftsmanship and care that goes into the production of our luxury sofas.

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