One side of our couch sinks in way too much. I really don't want to fork a money for a new couch right now, so thought I'd see if I could fix it. I flipped it over and underneath I found that 3 plastic rods that run horizontally ( circled in red in the picture ), are broken. The rods are crimped the the squiggly spring things with some sort of clasp ( circle in red in second picture ). I'd assume there's a special tool required to make the crimps/clasps? Does anyone know what these items are called, and if they can be replaced, especially on a DIY project? If not is there a good work around or substitute? I appreciate any help or advice. Thanks

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  • This is going to be highly customized fix,
    – Traveler
    Dec 18, 2022 at 20:01
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    The "squiggly things" are springs that support your cushions, the rods are there to keep them in alignment and possibly help spread out the load among multiple springs. You might try getting some dowels, say 1/2", (EDIT: 3/4 would probably be better), cut them to length and zip tie them to the rods (use a LOT of zip ties). You could also try steel rods, but cutting them to length would be harder and they'd be more expensive. If it doesn't fix the problem of sagging, you've only wasted a few bucks trying! ...continues below Dec 18, 2022 at 20:11
  • Having raised a lot of rambunctious kids, I agree with other parents: When they are young, you can't have anything nice"! Anyway, when one of our couches sacked out, I put a piece of plywood (discretely) under the cushions to spread out the load! By the time we were done with it, I didn't even try to give it away! Went straight to the landfill. Dec 18, 2022 at 20:15
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    I like the zip tie idea but use some metal rod and zip tie to the same area that has the crimp. Zip ties are pretty strong and the point of the metal is to have some amount of flex. If it doesn't work you haven't lost too much effort / money. Dec 18, 2022 at 20:27
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    @FreshCodemonger Quick update. I did use zip ties. But for the cross support , went to the garden section of the local hardware store. I got 36" plant stand-ups, which are basically long metal wire rods/stakes. I didn't think the zip ties would be that effective, but they seem to work great.
    – Frank
    Dec 19, 2022 at 1:31

4 Answers 4


Those are called stay wires, and they can be replaced.

When a person sits on the couch, a certain number of the zig-zag springs will be directly underneath them. The stay wires link the springs together so the weight of the person is distributed among more than just those springs, making the seat sink less.

They are attached with stay wire clips to your couch's springs. Yours are specifically "three prong clips." Your couch has sinuous or "zig-zag" springs; some very high-end couches have coil springs that are tied together, like some mattresses.

The traditional material for stay wires is paper-wrapped steel; the paper helps prevent squeaking. There are pliers made specifically for attaching three-prong clips, such as the Osborne No. 445-3 Spring Clip Pliers (online store chosen at random from Google), but you can attach the clips with a regular set of needle nose or lineman's pliers and a little extra effort. If you want to save money and aren't going to start a stay wire repair side business, it's probably not worth buying the special pliers.

Here is one kit with replacement wire and clips; similar materials will be available from various shops online. They're available in various lengths with various numbers of clips included; measure your couch and count your springs to make sure you've got enough coverage.

House2Home Upholstery Stay Wire for Sofa

Note, you may choose to bend the ends of the stay wires into an "L" shape after installation, like how your current plastic stay wires are shaped. This prevents them from sliding laterally in their clips; if you like to lie sideways on the couch enough, the wires may actually begin to slip out quite far and can even protrude out of the couch!

If you don't want to replace the stay wires, there are alternative products meant to support saggy couches (and, of course, you can DIY it with plywood, stiff cardboard, etc, though results may vary widely). Here is one such product, picked at random from Amazon; you will probably have to check sizes if you buy one like this:

Couch Cushion Support for Sagging Seat

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    Awesome answer!!
    – Michael Karas
    Dec 19, 2022 at 21:00

I found something for you.

It comes with instructions how to do it.

You will have to go true the pain of removing the old then cut the wire to size and replace with new crimps.




You should be able to work those clamps loose with a screwdriver and needle nosed pliers. Remove the broken plastic rod pieces and check your home store for a steel rod the same size. I had trouble finding one so I got a heavy steel coat hanger, straightened it out and used it instead. Then "wrap" those clamps around the rod with some pliers.

  • Going with your suggestion about the coat hanger. But I think I"m going to try to find some large crimps in the hardware store electrical section. I'll try your suggested method with the pliers and original crimps, but suspect that I want be able to make them anywhere near enough tight.
    – Frank
    Dec 18, 2022 at 20:27

A stopgap measure I used was to put several layers of cardboard box (prefereably the three-layer stuff from a machinery crate or possibly a wardrobe box) under the cushions, to spread the force over more springs.

If I wasn't trying to get rid of my great-aunt's couch I'd take that one further and just put in a piece of plywood under the cushions. I prefer a firmer sitting surface anyway.

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