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Upholstery Springs Used in Chair and Sofa Seats

Upon close examination you will usually find some type of upholstery spring used in the base construction of chair and sofa seats. Since each type has its own particular features, they each will produce different seating comfort.

We are going to acquaint you with the most common springs that have been and are used in furniture construction. You will then be able to identify them when you encounter them in your various reupholstery projects.

Coil Springs for Upholstery

8 way tied upholstery springs
8 Way Hand Tied Coil Springs

The “double coil” spring has a larger open coil at each end. They are sold by the pound, but you buy the number of springs you require. They are available in different heights and firmness.

They must be fastened to a webbed, wood or metal strap seat foundation. Next, they are anchored to the frame.

This is done by tying them to the desired height and firmness using spring twine. Sometimes this is referred to as “8-way hand tied”. This is the best way, but not all tying follows this method.

No-Sag Springs

No-Sag springs
Ottoman with No-Sag springs

Springs are equally spaced and attached from the back to the front of the seat frame. A clip is attached to each end of a spring, then the clip is nailed, screwed or stapled into the seat frame.

After determining the length required and the number of pieces, the lengths of spring are cut from the roll with a wire cutter. There is a lot of pressure involved with this spring, whether in the original roll or in a cut length.

Sometimes this pressure can cause a frame to bend or warp. Because of this pressure, sometimes the frame has to be re-enforced to prevent the bending or warping.

This spring is referred to by many names. Here are a few of the names: zig-zag, no sag, sinuous, serpentine, s-curved. A roll really resembles a continuous “s” curve which is somewhat heavy and difficult to unwind.

Strap Springs

strap springsThese are pre-assembled single coil springs on a metal bar that is attached to the chair frame with nails or screws. The coils are larger at the top and smaller at the bottom where it is fastened to the bar.

Normally, there are 3 or 4 coils on a bar. Bars may be available in 21 to 24” lengths to fit the opening of the chair seat frame.

Older textbooks sometimes referred to them as a “spring metal bar”. They are not very common any more. And they are difficult to locate if you need to replace any in a reupholstery project.

Upholstery springs Overview

Springs can give more comfort to your upholstered seating projects. A furniture frame may well dictate the type of spring that will work best. Other factors can also come into play as well.

6 thoughts on “Upholstery Springs Used in Chair and Sofa Seats

  1. Liza Tazewell

    Why aren't strap strap springs used very often? They seem like a stronger and easier way to install springs for an upholstery novice like myself?

    Is there a downside to using them?



    1. Rich Hanson

      To the best of our knowledge strap springs are only available for chair seats. They only measure 19 or 2l inches from front to back with 3 or 4 cone shaped springs fastened into the metal bar base. Once you fasten the bars to the chair base, the spring cones must be tied with spring twine. There are usually 3 or 4 bars with the spring cones, fastened at the front and back of the seat frame. Don't know if they are manufactured anymore. We found them at one place when we needed them for a chair seat replacement in recent years.

  2. Rich Hanson

    At this time, we are not sure exactly which upholstery supply websites sell them. The last we bought were only 3 springs on a bar. The bars wer available in two lengths. If we recall correctly, seems like we bought them from VanDykes website.

  3. Rich Hanson

    If it is sagging, it probably isn't strap springs. Sometimes on coil springs the webbing on which they are set can give way. In an upholstery shop that would be an easy fix.

  4. Sheila Hayes

    I have chairs with s curve springs with a heavy batting over them and a layer of foam rubber. WE still feel the lumps. I want to recover the seats again. HOw do I make them comfortable?

    1. Rich Hanson

      Sheila, without seeing any pictures of your chair seats, it is a little bit difficult to give you a good solution. If you are still having a problem with your chair seats, email us some pictures of what is going on with your seats. That way, maybe we can give you some options for this problem.


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