Upholstry vs. Upholstery: What Is the Correct Spelling?

If you ever wondered about the spelling mystery of “upholstry vs. upholstery,” you don’t have to anymore. This article will finally make sense of it all. Our guide breaks down everything you need to know about “upholstery,” including helpful spelling tricks!

Upholstery Meaning: What Is It?

From sofas, chairs to car seats, we interact with “upholstery” daily. But, what exactly is it?

The word “upholstery” has been around since the late 16th century. It describes the fabric and other materials to make furniture. The term is a combination of the verb “upholster” and the suffix “-y.”

“Upholster” came from the Middle English “uphold” and “upholden,” which referred to the act of repairing an object. It also stems from “upholder,” which, at that time, referred to a seller.

English speakers combined the words and used the noun “upholdester,” which refers to a person who repairs and dealt with furniture items. Eventually, the word transformed into the modern “upholsterer.”

An upholsterer can “upholster” or “cover” a piece of furniture with fabric and other materials. They can also “reupholster” or “renew” furniture with new “upholstery.”

Using Upholstery in a Sentence

Before you add “upholstery” to your vocabulary, you need to learn to use it and related words correctly in sentences. By learning appropriate usage of the word, you can also improve your grasp of the proper spelling.


  • She realized that the white upholstery on the sedan needs a replacement. The surface of the fronts and rear seats have stubborn stains and are badly discolored from exposure to sunlight.
  • The master upholsterer checked every inch of the upholstery that his student attached to the chair earlier that day.
  • When they discovered that their new kitten used the old couch in the basement as a litter box, they decided to pay a professional to reupholster it instead of dumping it in a landfill.
  • Jack’s favorite recliner had the strangest upholstery. One arm has a blue denim while other side is brown suede. The seat cushion is a gray and white herringbone while the back features a bright yellow and orange tie-dyed cotton, t-shirt material.
  • For her birthday, Suzie wanted new upholstery on all of her dollhouse furniture. Her dollhouse contained over a thirty pieces of furniture. Her parents called their neighbor, an upholsterer, to find out if she could help them.

Upholstry vs. Upholstery: How to Spell Upholstery?

An image showing the right spelling of upholstry vs. upholstery

The correct spelling is “upholstery” and not “upholstry.”

People who speak and write English experience difficulties with “upholstry vs. upholstery” because the word’s pronunciation varies depending on a person’s accent and how they learned to say it while growing up or living in a specific geographic location.

Many pronounce the word as “upholstry” as “uh powl stree.” They ignore that “upholstery” features an “e” between the “t” and “r.” Typically, they use this pronunciation because, at some point, someone sped up the sound at the end of the word so that it sounded like “-stree” instead of “-stery.”

With the correct pronunciation of “upholstery,” the word starts with an “uhp” sound, followed by a “hohl” sound that features a long “o” and then a “stuh” sound followed by a long “ree” sound: “uhp hohl stuh ree.”

Trick to Remember the Spelling

Some people remember the spelling of “upholstery” by imagining an antique Wild West gun “holster,” an item used to carry a gun on the hip or leg, laying on a leather “upholstered” couch. You can say to yourself, “I saw a gun holster on an upholstered couch.” Upholstered contains the word holster.

If you don’t like imagining a gun-related image, you might use the word “mystery” to help you remember. You might say to yourself, “The detective solved the mystery by studying the chair’s upholstery.” Mystery and upholstery have the same -stery sound and spelling.


You no longer have to be bewildered about the “upholstry vs. upholstery” spelling mystery. If you catch yourself using the misspelling, remember our trick – “The detective solved the mystery by studying the chair’s upholstery.”

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