It’s time to bid a fond farewell to flat cushions, decorating junkies, because I’m going to let you in on a secret that will keep yours looking plump for decades: feather cushion inserts.
I don’t know that I have a signature style as a designer. Many colleagues in my field stick to one aesthetic when decorating for clients, but I’ve always been a bit of a Jack of all trades. One week I’m doing a coastal apartment, the next a Hamptons home, and then shortly after I’m taking on a moody bachelor pad. I love the variety.
The common thread that runs through all of my designs is a sense of easy sophistication. You know; the rooms feel designed and elevated, but they don’t feel laboured over. They’re not spaces you’re scared to chill out in. I always like to keep the look approachable, but refined.
If you’re into this vibe for your own home (which I am) then you can’t be having flat cushions on beds of sofas. Trust me, it can let down the look of a room you’ve worked hard to get right. Who wants to put in the hard yards ordering an amazing rug, sofa, armchair and coffee table, and then let the entire look down with flat cushions you can’t karate chop?
The Cushion Chop: Controversial and Divisive!
I love a cushion chop. I do it in all of my clients homes and in my own. It goes back to what I was saying about me liking rooms to feel sophisticated. Having a plump cushions with a chop in the middle brings with it a designer feel. A more polished approach. And let’s be honest; feather cushion inserts not only look great but they’re also super comfortable.
The ‘bunny ear cushion’ (as some of you have called it on Instagram) isn’t for everyone though. It’s actually quite divisive. I know it’s not a look that appeals to everyone, but I personally find it rather gorgeous. Nothing excites me quite like chopping a wonderfully plump cushion does. I know, I need to get out more!
Here’s the thing though: even if you don’t like to look of a chopped cushion, you should still buy feather cushion inserts because they’ll give you a fuller appearance. A fuller looking cushion means you’ll need less of them to fill up your sofa. And that’s important to note because so many people go cheap and buy cushions with synthetic filling and the reality is that you have to buy loads of them to fill a sofa up adequately.
(To find out how many cushions you need on a sofa, check this out)
Cushions with synthetic inserts also go out of shape a lot quicker than feather cushion inserts, so you’re spending more money more often. So that’s my case for feather cushion inserts: the look better and last longer. What more could you want?
Where I Shop for Feather Cushion Inserts
I have a few go-to suppliers when I’m decorating client homes that sell to the public. I’l share these below for you. Many of you will know them already, but if you’ve not heard of them and want to take a closer look, I’ll link you to the cushion section of their website so you can take a peek and shop up a storm.
- We all know that Adairs is fab for feather cushions and divine covers
- For unique, designer-vibe feather cushions, L&M Home can’t be beat (that’s them above)
- AURA Home (pink and white pic above) also does stunning feather insert cushions
- I also recently saw fab feather cushions from Urban Road (hero image in this post)
- I often also specify from Eadie Lifestyle who have such an extensive range
- Another good one is Bambury (below) who have lots of on-trend colours and styles
- Also don’t forget IKEA, who have always had feather cushion inserts available
I think that just about covers all of my go-to destinations for feather cushion inserts. But of course, some cushions you see and love don’t come with feather inserts. More on that further down.
Eco-Friendly Cushion Inserts Are Here
I’ve copped a lot of flack (maybe rightfully so) for being such an advocate of feather inserts. So I wanted to share some details with you of an animal-alternative insert that will still give you that gloriously plump look and feel.
So there’s an amazing local brand called Innergreen Australia who make inserts that resemble the plushness of feather, but are actually made from PET fibre. The fibre used is derived from 100% used water bottles.
The fibre looks, feels and performs in the same way a high-grade poly fibre does. And here’s the good news: for every one kilogram of fibre used, around 70 water bottles are saved from ending up in landfill. The recycled PET fibre is also 100% non-allergenic, which is a pretty good added bonus.
Before the PET fibre is used to make the cushion inserts, it passes through a number of processes. The bottles are collected and striped of their labels and lids, and then sterilised before being shredded. They’re then heated, extruded back into compressed fibre, and are ready to turn into a glorious insert.
Love the Cushion but not the Insert?
So often you’ll fall in love with a cushion but the insert is synthetic. I know – the horror! My advice would be to buy it anyway. Simply take the flat insert out and purchase a feather cushion insert to go inside.
Both IKEA and Spotlight sell feather inserts and they’re super affordable.
The one piece of advice I’d give you, if you do want to karate chop them in the centre, is to buy the cushion insert one size smaller than the cushion. For example, a 45cm insert would go into a 50cm cushion cover. This will give you the wiggle room to be able to chop it. If you don’t want the chop, match the insert to the cover.
Some feather cushion inserts can also be a little flat. The ones from IKEA, for example, are a bit underwhelming. My advice would be to buy two flatter inserts and put both in a cushion cover one size larger. Sometimes it just takes a bit of trial and error to get them right!
The takeaway: never let a bad insert stop you from buying a fabulous cover!
Now there’s no Excuse for Flat Cushions
I don’t think there’s much more I can say about feather cushion inserts! Like I said, I need to get out more.
But truthfully, a plump and plush cushion just can’t be beat. Sit a feather cushion and a synthetic one side-by-side on your bed or sofa and you’ll see the difference immediately. And to the touch, the difference is even more noticeable.
Are you on board with the cushion karate chop? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
West Elm actually do really great feather cushion inserts. The H&M Home ones aren’t quite as great but still good and a tad more affordable 🙂
I bought some InnerGreen cushion inserts based solely on this article and I was thoroughly disappointed. I was expecting them to “resemble the plushness of feather” according to the statement above but they are no different to the cheap polyester ones. Worst of all they arrived in a plastic bag, that was then wrapped in plastic which was bewildering given they are an eco friendly company. (What’s wrong with a cardboard box?). They don’t accept returns unless faulty so now I’m stuck with them. A better option would be to give some tips of what to do with unwanted inserts (especially since if you don’t like an insert, the “advice would be to buy it anyway. Simply take the flat insert out and purchase a feather cushion insert to go inside”) rather than then going to landfill.
Hi Bewildered, thanks for the comment.
Thank you for your honest comment, I was looking down the eco-friendly path, but have decided to hunt down feather/down pillow inserts, though from Leone’s experience above, I’ll steer clear of Spotlight’s range.
I just bought a whole heap of feather inserts from Spotlight. I ordered them online so didn’t actually see them until they arrived. Very, very disappointed! I bought the 46×46 to go into a 42×42 cushion cover. The result was terrible! As flat as I wish my tummy was! These might look ok in a tiny cushion cover – maybe half the measurements?
Just thought I’d share.
Oh no Leone! That’s not good news. I know some of the cushion inserts from these suppliers can be a little flat. Have you considered putting two cushion inserts into the one cover? I’ve seen this done before and it can really fill out the cover and make the cushion look plumper.
I agree. I bought a fairly small rectangle cushion feather insert from the UK. It takes “the chop” much nicer than polyester. Thanks for the info and where to purchase some, as my horrible filler, although plump are starting to perish when I wash the covers.