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How to Take Apart a Couch

Ripped Apart Blue Couch in Front of Rubble
By:Emily Kozak| Last Updated:04/05/2024
Time to Read: 3 min
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How to Take Apart a Couch

Need to take apart a couch, but don’t know where to begin? If you’re throwing away a sofa, breaking it down first can save you the backbreaking work of hauling it to the curb in one piece. If you’ve rented a dumpster to dispose of your furniture, this can also help you save space inside the container for the rest of your items. Luckily, taking apart a couch to throw away isn’t as hard as it seems, and we’ll show you how it’s done in six easy steps.

Black Couch In Front Of Dingy Grey Wall

How to Take Apart a Couch to Throw Away

Before diving in, make sure you have the right equipment to tackle your couch breakdown. Each sofa is different, but there are a few tools that will come in handy as you begin to take apart your couch – luckily, most can be found in any homeowner’s essential tool collection.

Tools Needed to Dismantle a Sofa:

  • Screwdriver
  • Allen wrench
  • Box cutter


  • Staple puller
  • Handsaw
  • Hammer with a claw (for nail removal)

1. Set the Cushions Aside

The first step to taking apart a couch is to remove the cushions. If your sofa has loose cushions, set them aside for now. If your cushions are attached, leave them until you are ready to remove the upholstery.

2. Remove the Mattress (If Taking Apart a Sofa Bed)

If you’re disassembling a sofa bed, you’ll want to remove the mattress before starting to break the couch down. Pull out the bed and take the mattress off. Then, unscrew the hinge arms connecting the metal frame to the rest of the bed to remove it.

How do you throw away your couch? Our furniture disposal guide can help!

3. Start Removing the Upholstery

In order to break down a couch’s frame underneath, you’ll have to remove the covering. Most upholstery is fastened by staples, which can be removed using a staple puller, if you’re going to reuse the fabric. But when taking apart a couch to throw it away, you don’t need to worry about preserving the upholstery, so it’s OK to simply rip or cut the fabric off by hand too. If your cushions are attached, now’s the time to use a box cutter to separate them from the rest of the fabric.

4. Remove the Legs

Once the upholstery is removed, flip the couch on its side and remove the legs using a screwdriver or saw. Some couches may have legs with screwtops – if that’s the case, simply grab the leg and twist it counter-clockwise to remove it.

Man Unscrewing Fasteners From Couch Frame

5. Take Apart the Rest of the Frame

Every couch is a little different, so this step will vary depending on the kind you have. You may need just one tool or multiple, but either way, this might take a while. Disassemble the couch yourself one piece at a time. You may need to use a handsaw to cut some of the larger pieces down to a manageable size.

When it comes to taking apart the couch frame, first look at the fasteners to determine what tool you’ll need to remove them. Use the chart below for help:

Different Screw Head Types

The Different Types of Screw Heads:

a. Slot Head
b. Phillips Head
c. Pozidriv
d. Torx Drive
e. Allen

f. Square Recess
g. Tri-Wing
h. Torq-Set
i. Spanner

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Woman Cutting Old Couch Upholstery to Reuse

6. Save Any Upholstery or Cushions You Want to Reuse

If the fabric and pillows from the couch are still in good shape, why not reuse them? After you’re done taking apart the couch, dig through the scraps to see if you’d like to hang onto anything. If some or all of the fabric is in good condition, you can save and repurpose it for new projects.

What to Do With Old Couch Cushions:

  • Use them as floor pillows in your child’s playroom.
  • Donate them to a local animal shelter for their furry residents to curl up on.
  • Put it in your own dog’s kennel for them to use as a bed.
  • Slip a waterproof cover over them and use them to cushion outdoor seating

Once You’ve Broken Down Your Sofa, Find the Right Disposal Option

After you’ve taken apart the couch and sifted through the scraps, it’s time to find the best way to get rid of the rest of the debris. Furniture disposal options can vary depending on your location, so take your time to research and find the right one. Disassembling a couch yourself can be time-consuming, but once your couch is broken down, it will be much easier – and probably less expensive – to throw away.

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