The truth about those white couches

Here's the real deal about those amazing white couches everyone seems to have in the farmhouse/cottage style decor world. Spoiler: they aren't easy to maintain... but they're still worth it!

ikea, the blekinge white slipcovers, slipcover, white, couch, white couches

When I first found myself in love with Joanna Gaines and her style- I noticed those cozy white couches she always uses to stage homes. A quick search on Instagram also showed these couches to be very popular within the farmhouse decor community. I popped over to Pinterest and found numerous articles claiming how amazing they were: so easy to keep clean, perfect for kids and pets! I'll admit- I was skeptical of these reviews, how could white couches be so easy? ...but I still wanted these couches!

Pottery Barn has the "real" ones at a not-so-bargin price of $1399, but we already had IKEA couches and I knew I could buy the white slip covers. Except, unfortunately, IKEA stopped making the the blekinge white option, so I found and bought them on eBay for $100 each. Not terrible for a whole new look.

I put them on our couches and loved the way they immediately transformed our living room- definitely added a bright, airy feel. 

bright room, cottage decor, cute, farmhouse style, fixer upper

However, it wasn't long before our pets were all over them. How could I keep her off them? Look at that face!!

bulldog, pets, furniture, couch, mess, dog hair, white couch, I thought it would be fine based on all of the raving reviews.

Warning: it wasn't.

After about a week, this is what our couches looked like:

gross, couch, pet hair, white couch, IKEA, dirty

Gross- but mostly just pet hair. I was slightly disappointed that they weren't staying as clean as others claimed, but with some light vacuuming- the covers were good as new:

vacuum, clean couch, easy, IKEA couch, white slipcover

Perfect! I already vacuum my floors, so I figured I'd just also vacuum the couches at the same time and we'd be all set...this worked out for about two weeks.

Then sometime in week three, I noticed more than just dog hair stuck in the couches. There were random crumbs and dirt all stuck in/on there too..

dog hair, dirt, white couch, dirty, gross, nasty, ew

and when I vacuumed them, there was still spots left behind. 

IKEA couch, dirty, white, spot, stain, laundry

I washed the covers in the washing machine. I had previously washed my old covers, so I knew it was possible, but they were colored. I used my all-natural detergent and a little bit of diluted bleach in hot water. PS- the detergent is awesome and I've got on sale right now for a STEAL. Check it out here.

Afterwards, I put them in the dryer. I was careful to take them out when they were still slightly damp because I didn't want the covers to shrink.

I loved that the slipcovers came out all white and clean! While they didn't shrink, they were CRAZY wrinkled. A big wrinkled mess, actually. 

wrinkles, mess, wrinkled couch, steamer, clean couches, IKEA

I steamed them with my little hand steamer, which took a long time. Almost 2 hours to get all of the wrinkles out. I was disappointed to be spending so much time doing that, but they did look brand there was a little silver lining there.

I just finished washing my couch covers for the third time, and while they keep coming out a lovely bright white free of pet stains and hair, they seem to have shrunk down a tiny bit each time, so now they are a bit harder to get on the couch. I might try to air dry them next time, but the problem is while we are actively washing and drying them, our couches look like this:

couch, wash, dry, dirty, blanket, machine

Which is not only unattractive, but also uncomfortable. So I try to wash them on nice days when we can be outside and not have to sit on them. To dry them out on a line would take a lot longer than the dryer though, we might not have a living room for a few days...

I've also given up on steaming them all the time...Here's what they look like right now:

white couch, wrinkles,

And I'm okay with that. They aren't perfect, but they've got a lived-in cozy vibe and still brighten the room. 

So my overall review: These couches will definitely give you that country, cottage, farmhouse look- but require a lot of effort to do so. They are really affordable in terms of a monetary investment, but they are high maintenance. These couches/covers require regular vacuuming or lint-rolling and approximately once a month washings. It is a relief that they were affordable and can be washed if someone spills on them. 

Love it: the look of them, and with our pets on the couches a lot- I do like being able to wash out the pet hair, dander, and general mess that comes with them. When we spill a drink or there are snack crumbs, I'm not worried about being able to remove those messes.

Don't love it: They look dirty fairly quickly. If anyone's coming over to the house, I feel like I should vacuum them. The wrinkles: I've come to terms with them but I would prefer to not have them there. 


Do you have white couches or slipcovers? Do you want them? I hope my blunt review helps you decide; let me know in the comments!


  • Jodi B

    Thanks for sharing!! I love the look of these but already knew I could NEVER own a white couch, my husband can get a black chair dirty!

  • Taylor from sugar & succulents

    Thanks for reading! Re-reading this post I seem like a bit of a downer; but I wanted to be completely transparent and realistic; I’m glad you appreciated the honesty in my post. Thanks for visiting!!

  • Brittany Joiner

    Wow. Honestly it helps that you were so truthful about the upkeep. I figured all the raging reviews I’ve read before were sugar coated lol. Thanks so much for being honest and showing the pictures along with it. Something to definitely think about when we get into our new home soon. I love the farmhouse-cottage airy feel too. We shall see! :)

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