• Patrick Landrum

Is your butt hole bothering you?

Updated: Apr 30

Ok dirty birds.... get your mind out of the gutter.... Not your butthole, your butt hole!



So- what's the difference you ask? Well, we all know what the former is. And I can bet my “bottom dollar” most of you are learning what a butt hole is after weeks of sheltering at home and sitting in the same spot on a piece of upholstered furniture for two to five or more times your usual!


photo credit Mode Home EC

Your butt hole can take many forms, a small dent that won't “pucker up” again, all the way to a pancake like crater in the middle of an otherwise perfect seat cushion. No cushion is immune to it, though the way the particular sofa or chair cushion is constructed defines how long it takes to form.


First let's discuss ways to avoid the breakdown of your favorite place to plant yourself when binging on Netflix, playing games around the coffee table, reading a good book, or just “chillin”.

The best way to get the most out of your cushions is to flip them regularly- that means if you sit on the piece daily, then flip them at minimum every other week... and with more frequent use like RIGHT NOW- I'd try to do it every week. Also switch the location, and rotate if the pattern will allow. Think of it like rotating the tires on the car.


Yeah I hear you all groaning.... are you serious? That's a lot of work..... well hey... I'm only telling you what you should do to get the most out of your furniture, it's up to you if you do it.


Misshapen Sagging "T" Cushion Sofa

If you have “T” cushions, or matching prints on the piece, you can remove the outer covers and switch the inserts changing up the pressure points and even up the wear.


Obviously the higher the quality of cushion you have, the less often you will need to flip/rotate the cushions.


But I'll make you a bet that if you have a butt hole that's bothering you about now, you have Dacron wrapped poly insert cushions.


Uh oh.... there you go again! I can hear you now...


“I paid over $4000 for my RH sofa and it shouldn't have a butt hole after only 3 years!”

Well I hate to tell you.... it likely does or will soon. As will many other vendors products in that price range, and those lower. The salesperson may have told you it's “high resiliency foam” but without knowing the actual foam density, it's meaningless.


What does that mean for you? Upholstery cushion foam is available in several density levels as well as firmness levels. And this photo shows how most mid- level cushions are constructed. Little tip here, don't let the price on furniture fool you into thinking it's a luxury good, or of any quality. They lie... all the time. It's called marketing.




Density is most easily described as how much air is in the foam, and is the weight per cubic foot. The denser the foam the higher quality and longer it will last.


Indention Force Deflection (IFD) is the relative softness or hardness you will experience and is measure by how much weight is needed to compress the foam.


Most sofa's in the mid to low high range of upholstered furniture in the mainstream US are going to have foam with a density of 1.8 – 2.0 lbs/cubic inch. High resiliency is a very vague term and can be applied to foam in this range too. Generally the firmness is not related to how long it will retain it's shape without “denting”, and all densities can be found from very soft to very firm.


What about better quality cushions like “spring-down”, “panel- foam”, and “inner- spring” cushions? Yep they can and will break down eventually, but they last much longer.






What's the point of all this..... ?


"The point is that you DON'T HAVE TO SIT IN A HOLE, YOU DON'T HAVE TO LOOK AT A HIDEOUS $4K PIECE OF FURNITURE, AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO BUY ALL NEW FURNITURE EITHER!"

New cushion inserts for the seat cushions as well as back cushions and any others can be replaced, and I recommend higher quality replacement material. It's not necessarily cheap to do, but it's it a mighty bit less than a new quality sofa or chair.


One more thing... cushion deterioration, and breakdown isn't the only reason you may be feeling like you're sitting in a hole... As we age we also lose height, motion ability, and flexibility. Sadly to be frank... we deteriorate too...



I have replaced seat and back cushions many times for clients who had difficulty getting up out of a sofa or chair, felt pain due to the angle of their hips or knees, and even if the seat depth no longer feels appropriate to their body. Usually these cushion adjustments don't effect the appearance of the design or style, and are significantly less expensive than a new upholstered piece.


Before you replace a favorite sofa or chair, because it's not as comfortable for you as it once was, or is sagging, crumpled or dented, consider whether you might be able to change out the cushion inserts to a denser higher quality and longer lasting foam, or a different firmness level so you can hold on to a favorite piece for longer.


How do you go about doing this? The easiest way to take care of this would be to contact a professional Interior Designer or Upholsterer. They can meet you and review the pieces you're interested in updating, and give you various options to either return them to their original shape and improve the quality of the piece, or adapt them to physical issues that have come up.


You can also do this yourself with a little bit of skill, and there are various instructional guides on the internet that show you how to measure your existing cushions. A quick search for sofa or chair cushion replacement will give you numerous options for replacements.


So don't stay down in a hole, or let your butt hole bug you anymore!


If you would like more information or to discuss this further please click here to email Patrick Landrum and find out how PL&D/Patrick Landrum Design can help you with your upholstered furniture problems and questions.


"Don’t you deserve to enjoy total comfort and security in the choices

you make for your home decor and interior design--

with the advantage of knowing they are the most appropriate for you?" 







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