Decor Pillow – Zippered Cushion Cover with Insert or Actual Pillow?

There are two distinct types of decor cushions available. The first type is a cushion cover with a zipper stuffed with either a down/feather pillow form or a polyester filled cushion insert, the second is filled directly with no removable insert. We’ve discussed the difference between down/feather pillow forms and polyester pillow forms in a previous article, so we will focus on the outer cover here.

There is a distinct advantage to separating the cover from the insert over filling the cover directly: the insert can always be swapped out for a new, fresh insert in case it gets dirty or damaged. Also, if you get tired of one cushion cover, you can buy a new cover and stick it on the old insert. It is far easier to clean a cushion cover if you can take it out. Lastly, you can always upgrade the insert later on if you want to go from polyester to down/feather. Most of the high end designer stores go in this direction, as they benefit directly from customers purchasing the inserts from them.

There are a couple of issues with using the cushion cover + insert method. First, it is more expensive to produce in that manner. Not only are two separate items required (increasing manufacturing labour as well as direct materials costs) but the zipper required for the cushion cover is an incremental cost as well. The zipper is also a major point of failure for many cushion covers, especially those sourced in China or other sources of low- cost labour. We have encountered customers who utilize our pillow forms but run into problems with the quality of the zippers on their cushion covers. To solve this problem, many manufacturers fill their covers directly.

When purchasing a pre-filled decor cushion, you may be receiving one stuffed with sub-standard materials. In those situations, it is extremely important to read the stuffing label to ascertain what materials are used. If it says “filled with 100% polyester fibers” it may be recycled or new, so make sure the label indicates only new fibers are being used. Generally speaking, if the stuffing is done in Canada, even recycled fiber is acceptable, but proceed with caution with foreign stuffed materials.


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