We Used A Pool Noodle To Fix An Uncomfortable Recliner & Our Back Is Still Thanking Us

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We admit it: We're guilty of buying used furniture simply because we like the way it looks, and sometimes we get that furniture home and discover it has some terrible flaw. Like a recliner we got from Facebook Marketplace. It was such a good price, we didn't question it — only to bring it home and discover it was uncomfortable. What's the point of a recliner if not to sink into its supportive softness at the end of the day?

The manufacturer of our newly acquired seating clearly chose form over function because it put a sharp wooden corner at the back of the chair between the top cushion and seat. Overall, the chair was comfortable, but when we tried reclining, that pointy piece of wood hit us right in the backbone. We had three choices: pass the chair on to another unsuspecting individual (we wouldn't do that), send it to the landfill (also not acceptable), or try to find a solution. Since we had a pool noodle left over from another project, we thought we'd try to cushion that pain-inducing spot and spare ourselves the hassle and cost of buying another chair.

Fashioning (and installing) our pool noodle cover

We embarked on this experiment because it wouldn't cost us anything and required almost no time. It's the perfect DIY project! We measured the inside of the chair behind the seat cushion between the arms to make sure the pool noodle would fit perfectly within the space. We didn't want it moving around and requiring constant adjustment. We measured the interior size as 21.5 inches, so we cut our pool noodle exactly that length with a box cutter. The whole process took about five minutes.

Now all we had to do was insert the pool noodle inside the chair, behind the seat cushion. The noodle we had was the standard size of less than 3 inches in diameter. A larger option probably wouldn't have fit, but this size seemed perfect. It was thick enough to offer some cushion without being so bulky you could feel it when you sat down. And it fit perfectly in the gap behind the seat over the wooden bar.

How our pool noodle idea turned out

We don't want to oversell the success of this project, but it turned out almost perfectly. After standing up, sitting down, reclining, and putting the footrest back down many times, the pool noodle hasn't budged. Most importantly, now when we recline, we can actually sit comfortably. The thickness of the foam covers that wood corner without adding extra bulk to the back of the chair. Ah, sweet relaxation! Of course, the best part of this project is that it cost us nothing and only took a few minutes to save several hundred dollars.

While we're happy with the way this project turned out, there's just one minor issue. That bright white pool noodle is visible if we don't frequently adjust the back and seat cushions. If we wanted to spend a little money, we could buy a brown pool noodle on Amazon. If it becomes an annoyance, we think a layer of spray paint will camouflage it enough to keep it from being too noticeable. Overall, though, we're happy with how this turned out and wonder what other problems pool noodle DIYs can solve.