It’s important to know a little bit more about the foam filling in your cushion, especially if you want to give it an upgrade. Depending on your desired level of support, comfort, and the cushion’s use, varying types of foam are more suitable than others. We researched different types of foam that are commonly used in cushions to offer you comprehensive information.
There are multiple types of foam fillings that are used for cushions, ranging from office chairs to couch cushions, and anything in between. Check out the following list of the 8 common types of foam:
- Lux Foam
- High-Density Foam
- High-Resilience Foam
- Latex Foam
- Memory Foam
- Compressed Polyester
- Dry Fast Open Cell Foam
- Closed-Cell Foam
Take charge of customizing your home decor and change up the foam in your cushion, or simply learn more about foam filling options. Continue reading to learn the qualities and benefits of different types of foam used in cushions and pillows.
Select Types of Foam
Underneath the layers of fabric on your chair cushions, couch cushions, and throw pillows are different types of foam filling. The construction material of choice varies depending on how a cushion needs to provide support and offer durability. Foam can be made from different types of polyurethane or polyester material, infused with gel, or consist of multiple layers. Instead of tossing out an old chair or couch, you can purchase foam and refill it yourself, or create a customized cushion.
Be aware that certain foams are made using a blend of polyurethane and other additives, which allows manufacturers to give the material creative names. Whenever possible, try to purchase high-quality foam. Lower-quality foams using polyurethane are prone to emitting gasses and triggering health problems.
1. Lux Foam
When you need a place to sit that provides firmness and quality support, look to Lux foam. The manufacturers of this material retail Lux foam in thickness ranging from 1/2 an inch to 8 inches in width. When you have a cushion that needs the durability to handle everyday use, this foam tends to be on the firmer side. Choose this foam to provide ample support for kneeler cushions, seat cushions, and even bedding.
Lux foam, depending on its depth, typically ranges from $20-$300. Lux foam is a long-lasting material that has a lifespan of 6 to 7 years. It makes a good filling for upscale sofa cushions, benches, chairs, body wedges, and mattresses.
2. High-Density Foam
High-density foam is typically made using a combination of polyurethane and other materials. Ultimately, this foam is one of the firmest available and is often used for the bottom of mattresses. High-density foam has a strong structure and is useful as foundation support.
It is not often used alone for a cushion but paired with other materials. Low-density foam lasts an average of 4 to 6 years while most high-density foam lasts an average of 8 to 10 years.
Note, this foam is very durable and long-lasting but there is a drawback of it being too rigid on your seat. It can also trigger health ailments of the lungs and respiratory system. You can find this type of foam in average quality furniture and cushions. The average price per foot for this foam is around $2.
3. High-Resilience Foam
When you have a seat cushion that needs to be supportive but still have some spring and bounceback, choose high-resilience foam. People love this type of foam because it lasts an average of 10 years without losing its performance. As an ideal foam for sofa cushions, high-resilience foam is durable, sturdy, but still has some give for comfort. After being sat upon for long periods, the high-resilience foam will still return to its original shape.
Choose this type of foam for a sofa cushion, office chair, or dining chair for its quick responsiveness and comfortable seating experience.
Expect to pay about $2.50 per foot for high-resilience foam. Please note that this is one of the highest quality polyurethane foams on the market. It has a higher lifespan and performance compared to other types.
4. Latex Foam
Go for the long haul with latex foam. It is a popular material for modern mattresses. Latex foam lasts an average of 10 to 20 years when cared for properly. Do take caution when choosing latex foam, as only non-blended, all-natural models are completely non-toxic if devoid of polyurethane. 100% natural latex foam is sustainable, comfortable, and provides a luxurious experience for mattresses and couch cushions.
Overall, latex foam is highly desirable because it doesn’t leave a hefty carbon footprint. It is durable yet malleable enough to keep its shape for decades. Prepare to pay around $1,000 or more for latex foam, which is typically in mattress form.
5. Memory Foam
Memory foam is desirable and useful in seat cushions, mattresses, benches, chairs, and other furniture. Originally conceived in the 1960s for NASA, memory foam has proven itself to be a versatile and dependable foam filling for cushions. This foam is ultra-soft to the touch, versatile, and responsive to body heat and pressure.
Memory foam is made from viscoelastic, which naturally conforms to the human frame and even distributes body weight. Memory foam is available in sheets or shredded.
6. Compressed Polyester
You’ll find compressed polyester foam retailed as NU-Foam. It’s in thicknesses ranging from 1 inch to 4 inches. Unlike similar poly-based foams that tend to disintegrate or yellow over time, this inexpensive foam compresses over time and use. Choose this type of foam for patio seating or seating that sees infrequent use.
Technically, compressed polyester is not a true foam but it is a densified polyester that is flame-retardant and a foam alternative.
Use compressed polyester for outdoor seating since it dries quickly after getting wet and is washable. Expect a cushion measuring 22 x 22 x 4 inches to last a few years and cost around $30.
7. Dry Fast Open-Cell Foam
If you want a foam that dries quickly, has antimicrobial properties, and comes in medium-density, choose dry fast open-cell foam. Choose this type of foam for seating on a boat, patio, or other outdoor furniture. The structure of dry fast open-cell foam allows for air to circulate and water to pass through or drain.
This foam is not typically available in a firm option and is best for seating that is used infrequently. The foam is cooling and best paired with performance, breathable fabric. The longevity of this foam is an average of 8 years.
8. Closed-Cell Foam
Closed-cell foam is desirable because it is good at keeping the heat in or out of a structure. Optimally, closed-cell foam is suitable for lifejackets, boat seating, or other outdoor cushions. Closed-cell foam is non-biodegradable, lasts an average of 15 years, and does not absorb water. Aside from maritime cushions, this foam is found in exercise mats for high impact and is useful as an insulator for hot tubs.
Foam is a versatile and quality form of filling for cushions, indoor and outdoor seating, and mattresses. Many types of foam are composed using a combination of polyurethane and other agents to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Sofa cushions demand foam that is resilient, supportive, and provides a medium to firm density for frequent use.
Varieties of lightweight foam may be inexpensive but provide limited structural support and reduced longevity. Choose an appropriate foam based on the designated use for your seating, desired comfort, and performance over time.
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