What is the Best Foam to Use for Sofa Cushions?
Sitting is something we often do, but don’t think much of. Unless the seat you are sitting on is uncomfortable. Sofa cushions sag and lose their ability to return to form as they age. This makes for an uncomfortable experience when sitting. No one wants that. Luckily, deteriorated foam cushions are replaceable.
With over 60 years of experience in the foam and upholstery industry, we are here to inform you on what is the best foam for sofa cushions. The foam used in a cushion is one of the most important factors in determining the comfort and lifespan of your sofa. The lifespan of a foam cushion is primarily dependent on the quality of the foam. A foam’s weight (density) determines its quality. Each foam has a weight to it, and typically, the higher the weight the better. Let’s go over the different foams used in sofa cushions.
If you find this article helpful, you can order custom-cut foam for your furniture cushions on our Seats and Cushions page.
Best Foam Cushion – High Resilience Foam
Summary: High Resilience foam at 2.8 – 3.0 lb. per cubic ft. is the best foam to use for cushions. It is highly responsive for a quick return action and will provide an extra bounce.
When it comes to the best foam for sofa cushions, High Resilience foam claims the title. It provides the most comfortable seat cushion and offers the highest longevity. Many different types of expensive furniture and yacht cushions often use this excellent quality foam. High Resilience foam is one of the heaviest foams on our list, at 3.0 lb. per cubic ft. The minimum qualifying weight to be classified as High Resilience is 2.5 lb. per cubic ft.
It is very buoyant and resilient, giving it high responsiveness. That means that it will return to its original shape quickly after compression. This is ideal for those that want more bounce in their cushions. With an open-cell structure, High Resilience foam is very springy but still offers sturdy support. It will also last a long time, between eight to ten years, as it begins to soften.
Good Quality Foam Cushion – Lux Foam
Summary: Lux foam at 2.2 lb. per cubic ft. is a good quality foam cushion for those seeking a firmer foam cushion.
Lux foam is a good quality foam. It is an upgrade over the Industrial Grade High Density foam normally found in average foam cushions. It is ideal for those wanting a firmer foam and is also a heavier foam, weighing 2.2 lb. per cubic ft. Similar to High Resilience foam, Lux foam has a quick return action. That means it will return to its original shape quickly after compression. It is also a durable foam and able to support various everyday applications. Bench cushions and camping pads can also use Lux foam. It is cheaper than High Resilience foam but is of better quality than Industrial Grade High Density and Commercial Grade Polyurethane foam. Lux foam is a good choice for its quality to price ratio. It should last for approximately six years.
Most Common Foam Cushion – Industrial Grade High Density Foam
Summary: Industrial Grade High Density foam at 1.9 lb. per cubic ft. is the most widely used foam in the furniture industry because of its economical price to performance ratio. It will provide support and comfort, but to a lesser degree than Lux or High Resilience foam.
High Density foam is a medium-quality industrial grade foam. Most average furniture uses this foam grade because of its economical price structure. It weighs 1.9 lb. per cubic ft. and lasts approximately four years. High-Density foam will return to its original shape after compression at a medium pace. Like most foam, it will get softer over time as it deteriorates. When you sit on an old seat at a restaurant or bar that goes straight to the seat’s wooden platform, you are likely sitting on an old High Density foam cushion that deteriorated and has lost its cell structure. High Density foam offers a more consistent level of support and comfort than Commercial Grade Polyurethane foam but less so than Lux and High Resilience foam.
Cheap Foam Cushion – Commercial Grade Polyurethane Foam
Summary: Commercial Grade Polyurethane foam at 1.2 lb. per cubic ft. is a cheap foam and will not be as comfortable or long-lasting as other foam grades.
Home furnishing stores like IKEA are able to produce cheap furniture for a reason. They use cheaper construction materials. That means lower quality foam is being used. In many cases, Commercial Grade Polyurethane foam. Commercial Grade Polyurethane foam is inexpensive, low-quality foam. Over a short period of time, it will deteriorate and develop sink areas. When it does, it will not return to its original form. This foam lasts between one to two years. It is also the lightest foam grade, at 1.2 lb. per cubic ft. It has a slower return action than other foam. Commercial Grade Polyurethane foam is ideal for display furniture.
Is Memory Foam Good for Sofa Cushions?
Summary: Memory foam at 3.0 lb. per cubic ft. would be too squishy, floppy, heavy, and slow to return to its original form if used as a solid foam piece for a seat cushion. It would work best as a 1-2 inch thick topper layer.
Memory foam is an excellent quality foam when it comes to mattresses. However, this does not necessarily translate well into sofa cushions. Granted, if you were to lay on your sofa with Memory foam cushions, it would be very comfortable. However, there are some problems. After you get up from lying or sitting on it, your sofa will be covered in wrinkles for several minutes. This is because Memory foam is slow to recover to its original height. There is also the price. Memory foam is more expensive than the other foam grades described so far. As such, furniture manufacturers do not use Memory foam in the production of seat cushions. Furniture cushions will only contain memory foam if they are custom built.
We do not recommend solid Memory foam cushions. They would be too squishy, floppy, heavy, and slow to return to their original form. If you want to go the Memory foam route, we recommend a 1 to 2-inch thick cushion topper. This Memory foam topper would then be glued to your other bought or existing cushion core. We recommend High Resilience foam as it is very compatible with Memory foam. If both sides of your cushion are to be used, place Memory foam on both the top and bottom of your cushion core. We recommend a center cushion foam firmness of medium-firm to firm. The center foam will perform the expansion necessary to keep the cushion cover tight. It will also provide the stability necessary to keep the cushion from being floppy.
Is Latex Foam Good for Sofa Cushions?
Summary: Latex foam at 5.6 lb. per cubic ft. is an excellent foam to use for sofa cushions. It will last over a decade and will provide extra bounce and air filtration. However, it is more expensive than other foam options.
Used in top-of-line mattresses, Latex Rubber is an excellent quality foam. This comfort further extends to sofa cushions. Latex foam is one of the highest quality foam seat cushions that can be purchased. It has an unparalleled feel due to the foam’s rubber construction. This will provide cushions with a bouncy spring-like resistance. Additionally, unlike other foams, Latex foam contains air filtration through its pincore holes to keep the foam cool.
One thing to note is that Latex rubber, like all rubber, gets harder as it ages. This is in contrast to conventional foam that gets softer over time. Towards the end of its life cycle, Latex rubber will begin to crack as it deteriorates over time.
The main problem with Latex foam cushions is the cost. They are the most expensive option for foam cushions. Additionally, they last too long, and in some cases, outlast the fabric. Lastly, they are heavy, and as such hard to pick up and maneuver.
Down and Feather for Sofa Cushions
Summary: Down and feather sofa cushions are a good option when combined with an inner foam core and do not contain polyester fiber.
Down and feather seat cushions are comfortable. However, most furniture manufacturers have devised a way to cut costs by adding polyester fiber to feather cushions. Then, over time, the polyester fiber clumps together and creates lumps and bumps within the down-proof casing. This mix is one of the lower-quality feather cushions that you can buy. Down and feather cushions become comfortable and have a degree of quality when they are without polyester fiber.
There are two types of feathers: duck and goose. Duck is firmer and contains a combination of 10% down and 90% feather on our website. However, other combinations are available. Goose down is a more expensive feather and is softer than the duck feather. As such, it is of a higher quality and makes for a more comfortable seat cushion. It is also in a 10% down and 90% feather combination. You will need to periodically fluff your solid feather cushions as they tend to pack over time. However, a solution to this problem is to use a down envelope that encases an inner foam core. This is one of the higher-end cushions. With the inner foam core, the feather can not pack over time. The foam keeps the cushion resilient in both shape and form, eliminating the need for periodic fluffing.
Wrapping Foam with Dacron
Foam can be wrapped in Dacron polyester fiber, usually between 0.5”–1.5” thick. Simply spray a small amount of Spray Adhesive to the foam and the Dacron. Then wrap the Dacron around the foam from top to bottom. Dacron will make the cushion look puffy and feel softer. Oftentimes store furniture will insert several inches of Dacron wrapped around the foam. This gives the illusion that there is a thick amount of foam inside the cushion. It also will make the sofa look extra comfortable and puffy. However, if the Dacron is too thick it will compress over time. This will make the cushion lose its shape and not return to form. That is why we recommend not going beyond adding 0.5”–1.5” of Dacron for foam cushions. You can find Dacron and spray adhesive on our supplies page.
We hope you found this article helpful and now know what is the best foam for your sofa cushions. If so, you can order foam cushions cut to size for different kinds of furniture on our Seats and Cushions page.
I love DIY projects and was wondering what type of foam would you recommend for a pouf ottoman? I want it to be more rounded than square if that makes any difference. Thanks!
Hi Luna. Poof ottomans are actually stuffed with cotton batting. The zippers are small so there is no room to fit a chunk of foam inside. Also, the foam would not be able to provide the hard packing that cotton would give to have a firm and stable seat. The poof becomes firmer as the cotton packs overtime, and may require additional cotton be added.
Hi can u tell me what tipe sponge or foam can i let the people put into my custom made couches. My wife has had 2 spinal cord operations and a small piece of bone is cut out off her bottom to fit in spinal cord with screws. I need a soft long lasting durable comfortable seat for my couches. For my wife to enjoy sitting. Im so frustrated with the so called blue sponge foam that is in my couches. It sag and when u sit it gives way looks like pancake
A long-lasting high-quality foam known as High Resilience would work best in this situation in a medium firmness, as it would give a soft feel while still providing support. For someone heavier than 160 pounds, a medium-firm firmness instead of a medium would be necessary.
Love your response but where do and how can I make a purchase
Hi Dandy. If you would like to make a purchase based on the above recommendation, simply navigate to Home and click on the Square/Rectangular shape located on the top left. Then, enter High Resilience as the foam type, your dimensions, as well as your desired firmness and press Add to Cart. After this, navigate to your cart, which is located on the very top right of your screen, and press Checkout. Once at Checkout, complete the required information and press Place Order.
I’m looking to replace my cushions 3 sofa. The ends are T-cushions. It’s a C R Lane sofa.
What’s your recommendation for the T-cushion,?
Hi Sharon. We recommend High Resilience foam in Medium Firm firmness for your T-cushion.
Hi could you please suggest hows feather form for sofa, is it good or average
Hi Ketan. Feathers for a sofa increase the quality of the piece of furniture because feathers provide more comfort than polyester fiber and are more expensive. There are two classes of feathers – duck being an average and goose being premium.
I have a sofa that I got at RTG about 5 years ago. The maker HM Richards replaced the foam cushions. I rarely sit on it because it has never been comfortable. It has 2 cushions. It’s a slipcover sofa and I love the look I just want to sit on it. Would it be costly to replace the foam?
Foam cushion replacement is not typically expensive. However, the price is based on the foam type chosen and your dimensions. Lux foam is more expensive than High-Density foam but less expensive than High Resilience foam. It is an affordable good quality foam available in medium-firm firmness only and longevity of 6 years.
The sofa you bought from RTG may have come in an industrial-grade High-Density foam that is used in most average furniture, with a longevity of 4 years. Most cushions become softer as the foam wears out and the HM Richards replacement is firmer than the original cushions for this reason.
I want to replace the foam in my broyhill. I am on it all the time. I’ve had it for about 10 years. And it’s been great. I want to replace it with the same kind of foam. What do you think the type of foam they used in it.
We are familiar with the Broyhill brand, and they use 1.8 density per cubic foot high-density foam cushion cores, in a firmness of medium-firm.
Looking to replace the foam in my office chair. Looking for something with longevity. Office chair gets used 12-16 hours a day. Not sure what firmness or thickness.
Hi Michael. In the office chairs that we reupholster, we normally use foam anywhere from 2-4 inches in thickness. The foam type to use is High Resilience for its longevity and comfort in a firm.
What about couch cushions that aren’t foam- more like pillow material?
Those types of couch cushions have a couple of possibilities. The material could be polyester fiber, either 100% or in some cases mixed with feathers. The second possibility would be feather cushions themselves, either solid feather or what is called a down (feather) envelope, in which there is foam in the center and feathers on the outside. This design is meant to keep the feather cushion from losing its shape.
What kind of foam for a Lazy Boy rocker recliner seat, it is about 15 years old.
Hi Dave. The Lazy Boy brand uses a medium quality industrial grade foam, known as High Density, in a firmness of medium firm to suit the average user. You could use this same foam. It is the most popular and economical foam purchased and used in the furniture industry.
However, this could be your chance to upgrade to a higher quality foam. There is Lux foam, a good quality foam that is also available in the medium-firm firmness. However, we would suggest High Resilience foam, an excellent quality foam that is also available in medium-firm firmness.
Can you tell me what foam Mayo uses in their sofas?
Hi Lisa. Mayo uses a 2.0 lbs. high-density foam in their sofas. We also sell High-Density foam at 1.9 lbs density. If you are looking for a replacement, we would recommend upgrading to Lux foam, at 2.2 lbs. density, which would increase the quality.
I have a linen slip cover sofa, it has foam wrapped with feathers. It is the most uncomfortable couch my husband won’t even sit on it. Help they were expensive sofas.
Hi Belinda, sorry to hear that! There are three types of cushions: solid down feather cushions that do not have foam, down feather envelopes that contain foam in the center core with feathers, and solid foam cushions. You have down feather envelopes.
In our upholstery store, we’ve changed from down feather envelopes to solid foam cushions and we’ve found that what works best is High Resilience foam in a firmness of medium for the average person and medium-firm for those who are 175 lbs and more. Lastly, the foam should be wrapped in dacron to create a “puffy” look. As a feather cushion is naturally puffy, the dacron should be doubled up and used in two layers.
This is very good information. I purchased a sofa similar from Havertys and my husband doesn’t sit on it and I have a hard time getting up from the sofa. I purchased it in 2014 and just started sitting on it about four years ago and the foam with the 40 or 50 feathers have flatten. I just left Havertys and they have the exact sofa and the cushion sits up extremely high. I was told that their vendor doesn’t sale the cushion only legs and buttons. I guess I will have to find me some cushion from some place and I will never shop with them again. I could have gone to Jolly Royals and got a better quality.
According to the longevity of the foam described, you have a medium quality High-Density type foam, that is used in most average furniture, in a medium-firm. Because the foam cushions did last several years and did not raise any complaints from you during that period of time, it would be best to replace the foam with the same type and firmness as it had when it was new. By measuring the size of the old foam, you will be avoiding the new feel and look of the extremely high cusions found out Havertys.
Hi there: I just inherited a lovely Bernhardt sofa from a friend who rarely used it. But these sofa cushions sink immediately and are already compressed and I have only had the sofa a week! Are you familiar with what type of foam Bernhardt uses so that I can seriously upgrade it? I appreciate any assistance you can give!
Hi Amber. Bernhardt sofas use a 1.8 lb. commercial-grade, high-density, foam wrapped in dacron. You could upgrade to Lux foam in medium-firm or even a higher quality High Resilience foam, also in medium-firm. Should you need additional dacron, it is available on our supplies page.
Well, that explains why these cushions are so awful. Thanks for your help. I’ll put together an order today!
which form are good
Hi Jennifer. Lux is a good foam at 2.2 lbs per cubic foot and is available in a firmness of medium-firm only with an ILD number of 36. Lux foam is used primarily in foam cushions and foam mattresses and has a longevity of approximately 6 years.
What do you recommend to replace a chair cushion used all day by a larger person?
Hi Peggy. High Resilience foam is an excellent quality foam type for a chair cushion that is used all day by a larger person. If the cushion is 2 to 4 inches thick, an extra firm would provide support without bottoming out. In the 5 inches plus range, I would switch to a firm because as the foam gets thicker, it becomes harder. Extra-firm would begin to feel too stiff for a chair cushion.
What foam do you recommend for the seat cushions of a Crate & Barrel sofa? Thx!
Hi Caroline. The Crate and Barrel furniture company use a polyfoam seat cushion wrapped in polyester fiber. The replacement foam type intended for this scale of furniture is High Density in a medium-firm. This particular brand requires a puffy look. Therefore, the foam should be double wrapped with Dacron.
I am foam developers ; I developed recipes for different types of foam used in mattress and sofa cushion..Very nice information given on HR foam for sofa. What would be comfort level if we mix HR 3.5LBS 3″ + latex HD 1.5″. Memory foam 1.5″ to make a cushion for sofa ans cover it with leather fabric.
Hi Kuldeep. This would produce a High Resilience spring feel with a Latex bounce feel, topped off with a slow return action recovery from the Memory foam. The comfort level would be that the High Resilience foam would not be felt other than its supportive nature as a base. The Memory foam would be the primary comfort layer, creating a molding action to contour to the shape of the body in the initial contact. This is followed by the rubbery bouncy feel of the Latex. The quality would be considered excellent and the comfort level would be determined by the foam firmness.
I have a flexsteel sofa and loveseat on my boat. What type of foam would you recommend?
Hi Cindy. When we work with Yacht interioriors to create custom bedding and cushions we use High Resilience foam in a firmness of medium firm to firm. For the exterior seating, Dry Fast is used in a firmness of firm.
Bought a couch from the Detroit sofa company. The seat cushions have some sort of a memory foam inside, I believe but the pillows at terrible. I appears to be something like a cotton inside and they never hold shape. Any suggestions on what type of foam to use to make this better?
Hi Lisa. Seat cushions for sofas are normally stuffed with foam and pillows are normally stuffed with polyester fiber or feathers. There are two types of foam that are normally used for bed pillows. Memory foam and Latex foam. Shredded foam can be used for throw pillows.
The dog chewed a corner of my lounge. Please give me your suggestion – should I replace just the corner w a square bit of foam or replace the foam for the whole lounge?
You should just replace the corner to conserve on cost.
I have a Roche Bobois sectional with removable cushions. The cushion core has feathers wrapped around a foam core. What foam do you recommend to give us greater support and comfort?
Hi Matthew. Roche Bobois seat cushions use feathers and polyester fiber over High Resilience foam in a firmness of medium (I.L.D. 35). Using the same foam type of High Resilience, move the firmness up to a medium-firm (I.L.D. 40).
We purchased a leather Vermont Sofa Valencia Vintage from SofaMart in 2004. It’s used daily, and still looks like new! However, the two outside cushions are in dire need of replacement. We like a firm, but not hard, cushion. We are both heavy people, and would like something to withstand the test of time. We got a good 13 years out these cushions, which is amazing! The cushion curves out a bit in front of the arm rest. Can you help me pick out the right cushion/size? Thank you for such an informative article!
Sofas and chairs that have arms tend to have an expanding width towards the front of the furniture. The sizes all differ and require the cushion to be cut down to fit from the largest size by marking the proper angle with a felt pen and trimming the foam with an electric knife. The Valencia Vintage sofa in leather is produced with a High Resilience type foam in a firmness of medium firm. This foam type is also available in firm and extra firm. Our reccomendation would be the High Resilience foam type in firm.
I have a sofa the T ends cushions are sinking how can I get cushions they will not sync
You will need to update your foam quality and firmness in order for your foam to provide support and longevity. The scale of furniture more than likely is average, therefore you may want to select the High Density type foam in firm. There is an option to upgrade to a High Resiliency foam, and that would be in a medium firm.
I have a Basset Furniture Sectional that need seat cushions replaced. The couch gets heavy daily use. What’s the material to go with here?
The foam type that the Basset Furniture Sectional comes with is a medium quality industrial grade High Density foam. Because the couch gets heavy daily use, you will want to upgrade to a good quality Lux foam in medium-firm, or an excellent quality High Resilience foam also in medium-firm for the average person of approximately 175 lbs.
Hi there, I’m considering a sofa stuffed with this mix of foam:
Three-layers of highly flexible polyurethane foam covered by ovate.
Upper layer: memory foam G-40kg/m3 – center layer: highly flexible polyurethane foam HR-30kg/m3 (soft) – lower layer: polyurethane foam T-35kg/m3
What do you think of this sofa’s durability and quality?
On one hand it’s PU foam, but on the other hand the densities seem as high as lux and HR foam; so I’m a little confused. Thanks in advance for your advice!
Hi John. The combination of different foam types to produce a comfortable top layer combined with a supportive base foundation has become more popular as consumers become more educated in foam technology. One of the more popular combinations is as you have mentioned, High Resilience foam combined with Memory foam. I would not recommend the Polyurethane foam on the bottom base. It would be more structurally sound if you were to place the High Resilience foam as the base, the Polyurethane foam as the center, and the Memory foam on top. This combination will work if the cushion is nonreversible. If the cushions are capable of flipping over, the suggestion would be Memory foam on both top and bottom with High Resilience foam as the center.
Thanks very much for the reply!
Assuming none of the cushion positions can be changed so the PU foam stays at the bottom, how does that impact the durability or structural soundness of the sofa? Apologies for the layman questions…
Hi John. Good question. The PU foam is going to work as a foundation so it would need to have the stability and durability to provide long term use while also providing structural soundness. This would require a High Resilience type foam for all the above reasons.
Looking to replace (and potentially upgrade) a love sac sectional cushion and pillow, any recommendations on what to buy?
Hi Jeremy, happy to help!
You can upgrade the industrial-grade High-Density cushions without spending too much more money by switching to Lux foam, available in medium-firm only.
The pillow is generally stuffed with Polyester Fiber, 2 inches wider and 2 inches longer than the pillowcase. The Polyester Fiber pillows can be found on our Pillows page.
I am an upholstered furniture manufacturer and have written over 20 articles about foam and cushions.
I find your descriptions and categorizations of the different types of foams to be confusing and highly inaccurate.
1) Your Best, Good and Cheap foams, as described in this article, are all open cell, polyurethane foams.
2) You describe “polyurethane foam” as being cheap and not lasting long. The problem is that your “High Resilience” and “Lux” foams are also polyurethane. Polyurethane is by far the most popular type of foam used in furniture and comes in hundreds of different densities, firmnesses and qualities.
3) “High Resilience” is not a term that is related to density, firmness or overall quality. It is a term applied to an inexpensive foam treatment that makes any open cell polyurethane foam more durable.
“High Resilience” (HR) foams will last longer than non-HR foams of the same density, but HR foams are available in any density and firmness, although it is usually found in cushions that are 1.8 density or higher.
Most foams used in seat cushions of both cheap and expensive sofas will be HR foams.
4) “Lux foam” is also an open cell, polyurethane foam. It does not designate any specific density or firmness but is sometimes used as a general term to describe foam that is firmer than cheaper polyurethane foams. Lux foam can be found in both 1.8 density and higher densities that will last twice as long.
5) Foam quality is determined primarily by the foam density, but is also affected by the size and thickness of the cushion. 2.5 density HR polyurethane foam cushions should last at least twice as long as 1.8 density HR cushions of the same size and thickness.
Hi Jeff, thanks for your comment. We are a family owned and operated Upholstery company and have been in the industry for over 60 years.
You are right, these foams are Polyurethane. However, you said it yourself in your second point: Polyurethane foam “comes in hundreds of different densities, firmnesses and qualities.” Our article provides a breakdown that allows our clients to understand what they can expect from each type of foam category described. Otherwise, if everything is called Polyurethane foam as you described, there is no way to tell what’s what.
Each type of foam described is of varying quality based on density, or weight per cubic ft. When foam is within a density range, it gets its own designation so as to prevent confusion in the foam and furniture industry.
Foam is approximately categorized as follows:
– Standard Polyurethane: density between 1.2 – 1.5 lb. per cubic ft.
– High Density: density between 1.7 – 1.9 lb. per cubic ft.
– Lux: denisty between 2.1 – 2.2 lb. per cubic ft.
– High Resilience: density between 2.5 – 3.0 lb. per cubic ft.
The above explanation addresses your points. However, to help educate our clients, we have responded in form to your five points:
1. As described above, Polyurethane foam types come in different qualities – “Best, Good, and Cheap.” We characterize these qualities by different names commonly used in the foam industry.
2. Standard Polyurethane foam is known in the industry as low-quality foam, ranging in weight or density from 1.2 lb to 1.5 lb per cubic foot, and is not a popular type of foam used in furniture. The most popular type of polyurethane foam is referred to as High Density at a density of 1.8 lb to 1.9 lb per cubic foot.
3. High Resilience foam is not a foam treatment. It is a term related to density and quality. High Resilience foam is not available in different densities. To qualify as High Resilience foam, the density must be a minimum of 2.5 lb per cubic foot. High Resilience is a durable foam as higher foam density is an indicator of increased longevity. All inexpensive and cheap sofas will not use High Resilience foam as it is not economically feasible.
4. Lux foam does have a specific density, but rather a range between 2.0 lb. and 2.4 lb. per cubic ft.
5. You are correct that foam quality is determined by foam density or weight per cubic ft. However, foam quality is not determined by size or thickness. Foam thickness would affect the firmness. A thicker foam would be firmer than a thinner foam, even though they are both the same firmness.
If you would like to learn more, feel free to read our other article: Differences & Similarities Between Foam Density, Weight & Firmness
Went over the site and planning on ordering replacement foam for my 2 seat cushions. they measure at 34x25x5. I am debating on either full HR-firm or a split of HR-extrafirm and memory. cushions are not reversible. Any opinions?
Hi Michael. The extra firm High Resilience is hard. The Memory foam is soft. This combination will not work because the High Resilience extra firm inner core is stiff and the Memory foam is pliable. When a person sits on this type of cushion, it will produce a seesaw feel. The combination will work if you reduce the firmness from extra firm to a softer center core. Memory foam is slow to return to form, leaving the cushion cover wrinkled as it rebounds. Therefore, our recomendation would be High Resilience in medium-firm to firm, without the addition of Memory foam.
thanks for the feedback. i’ll put the order in later today.
We bought a leather love seat from Morris furniture store. The cushions are really bad when bought never knew that the cushions had springs in them. Well the springs all have went to one side and you can’t sit on it. I would like to make cushions for it and wondered what would be good to use to replace them.
Hi Barbara. It is not uncommon for furniture manufacturers to try and reduce expenses during production by using inferior spring construction for seating. The solution is to use an industrial grade High-Density type foam, found in most average furniture. It is available in any firmness and the most common is medium-firm.
I have an RV cushion that is 2′ x 4′ x 4″ thick foam that ways 6.3 lbs.
I weigh 230lbs and want a cushion that does not bottom out after sitting on it for 20 minutes.
Can you suggest what foam or combination of foam to achieve this?
Hi Rod. Correct us if necessary but we believe you meant to have your 2′ dimension as 2″. If so, our recommendation would be 1″ High Resilience in extra firm at the bottom and 1″ High Resilience in extra firm at the top. This combination would provide comfort and support while preventing the cushion from bottoming out.
Sorry for any confusion.
My cushion is 2 feet wide 4 feet long and the foam is 4 inches thick. It is the cushion at the dining table bench.
Thank you again and Merry Christmas!
Thanks for the clarification. In this case, you need High Resilience foam in firm at 4″ thick. When you sit on it, you will sink down around 2″ and the other 2″ will provide the necessary support, so you do not bottom-out.
We have just had our two T-cushion side chairs reupholstered and found that the cushion foam was replaced with a terribly uncomfortable and unforgiving foam. We have tried giving them time with use, actually jumping on them on the floor while wearing socks, but to no avail-weeks have passed and they are not giving way to comfortable sitting. I hate it because they were my favorite chairs to read and sit in, now I just avoid them. Any suggestions for possibly replacing the foam with something more comfortable?
Hi Laura. The appropriate foam type for your application is High Resilience foam in a medium firmness.
I purchased 2 leather chairs from Pottery Barn about 3 months ago. The seat cushions have already bottoming out, do not return to original shape, and are very uncomfortable now. They seem to be some type of poly foam with feathers. I’m pretty large 6’3” 240lbs. What can I do?
Hi Jay. It is not unusual that a person of your weight would break down the standard polyurethane foam that is used in the production of Pottery Barn furniture. The foam should be replaced with High Resilience foam in firm for a person of your weight. The feather envelope should continue to provide a puffy look and can be used up to the point where the feathers have completely broken down or the case itself has deteriorated to the point where feathers are leaking out.
The label on says poly FC-1830 (NFR) 4.5 x 24.5 x 28. Is that the size foam I need to order and can I order the foam from you. I found this site to be most informative. Thank you.
Thanks for the information. You have a 1.8 lb. foam which is considered a medium quality High-Density type foam in an ILD 30 which translates to medium firmness.
The size you would need to order is what is on the label.
You can order the foam here.
I have an leather sectional (chase, loveset , with an adjoining center chair) AND 2- club chairs. What foam would you recommend?
The leather is in excellent shape and the ensemble fits our family and lifestyle very well.
1. Latex or High Resilient?
2. The chaise cushion doesn’t detach any words of wisdom for approaching this of the project.
3. Should cushion foam be cut to the exact cushion size like 24″ x 30″ or should the foam be cut to allow for the Dacron and Ease, like 23″ x 29″ or 23.5″ x 29.5″?
I anxiously await your response.
we will be doing the work as a family experience.
Hi Sher. Glad to help you out with these questions!
1. We recommend High Resilience foam over Latex foam because it is cheaper while still an excellent quality foam and is available in more firmnesses than Latex foam. Latex foam is very expensive considering how many cushions you have that require a foam replacement. Additionally, Latex foam is very heavy and can be hard to pick up and maneuver.
2. The chaise lounge should have a zipper on the bottom side of the cushion and when the piece is manufactured, the foam is placed into the case and the case is placed onto the frame. To switch the foam out, there are two options: 1. From the bottom side remove the staples and detach the case to gain access to the zipper on the bottom side of the cover. 2. Take the seam apart on the border of the cushion to allow an opening of approximately 12 to 18 inches so the foam can be taken out and replaced. The seam would be closed after the foam is replaced with what is referred to as a blind stitch. This technique allows a seam to be sewn shut without visually seeing any thread or alterations.
3. In foam sizing, there is a term referred to as compression. The foam should be compressed within the cushion casing with the purpose of keeping the case taut. The compression measurements are 3/4″. As an example, if the border is 4.25″ high the foam would be cut at 5″ high, and if the cushion is 24″ wide, the foam would be cut at 24.75″. Lastly, if the measurement from the back of the cushion to the front is 25″ long, the cushion foam would be cut at 25.75″.
Hi I bought a 2 piece sectional with 2 long cushions. It is sagging already! Not even six months old. What type of foam do you recommend for this type of couch?? We bought it from Value City and it was 1600.00.
Hi Pam. We recommend High Resilience in medium-firm. Unlike your lower quality foam, the High Resilience foam will not sag and has a longevity of approximately a decade.
Hi, thanks for all the info! I recently bought a sectional with down cushions and they are already flat, so we can feel the wood sides between pieces when we sit in certain areas. I was thinking of getting foam to put under the cushions. Can you recommend what a good size thickness of foam would be? Also, is high resilience the same as high density? Thanks!
Hi Jess. In your case, you want to use extra firm High Resilience foam in 1 or 2 inches thick. The foam should be cut back from the front edge by approximately 4 inches so that it does not show when you are standing in front of the furniture piece.
With regard to the difference between the two foams, High Density is the most widely used foam for furniture because it is economical. It will provide support and comfort, but to a lesser degree than High Resilience foam. High Resilience foam is the best foam to use for cushions and is the leading foam type if you are looking for high responsiveness for extra bounce and quick return action.
Thank you so much!
We have 3 pieces of furniture: a 6 ft couch, love seat and armchair. there are 5 seat cushions and 5 back cushions.
They are 20 years old but the fabric has stood up incredibly well and is washable. It came with down pillows and all the back pillow have deteriorated to the point where the ticking has disintegrated and the feathers are poking out uncomfortably and the pillows don’t hold their shape. I have restuffed them with the down already and there is no way to do that again sort of remaking the ticking envelopes.
I want to refill the back pillows. I am pretty handy but don’t sew.. The down was a little too soft for us, so I am thinking that high density foam with a dacron batting will give a firmer but still soft feel and will last art least another 5 years. Can you give me an advice? Thanks for your help
Down cushions are cut and sewn with an extra allowance to accommodate for their puffiness. High Density foam would work in a soft or medium-soft with a minimum of a 1″ thickness for the Dacron wrapping. The seat cushions would also be put in High Density with a firmness of medium-firm to firm with the same 1″ thick Dacron minimum.
I am looking to purchase some new reclining living room furniture. I am torn between Flex steel and Elran which is a Canadian furniture co. Can you tell me in regards to seat cushion durability, which would be better? I think Flex steel advertises High Density cushions. Elran I can’t find anything, but do know one model I am looking at has memory foam in the seat – it still feels medium firm and I like it, but am so confused on what to get. I don’t want to spend 3000.00 + and have it only last a few years. HELP !!!
You are correct in that Flexsteel uses High Density foam, at 1.8 lb. per cubic ft. Their back cushions are made of blown-in fiber filling.
Elran uses Lux foam at 2.05 lb. per cubic ft., a better foam density than Flex Steel.
The Memory foam model you referenced is the best foam quality and will have the highest density of the three, likely 2.5 lb. per cubic ft. or higher. That is the one we would recommend for longevity and comfort.
Thank you very much for your information and input.
We have a Lazboy sectional that was delivered in December 2020. It has a cuddler piece that the cushion is already sagging. The cushion at it widest is 36 inches. What would recommend to replace it with.
La-Z-Boy furniture was a well-known brand that represented quality in the 60s and 70s. As manufacturers transitioned to profit over quality, they began to use lower quality foam padding. They do not last more than a year. The solution is to replace the existing foam padding with an excellent quality High Resilience foam, typically in medium-firm for the average person.
Thank you so much.
Hello, I’m looking to replace our sinking sofa cushions that have come to look pretty misshapen. I want a firm foam that will hold its shape, so I’m not necessarily looking for comfort, but more for longevity of shape. What type would you suggest?
The best cushion foam to maintain its shape for a long time is High Resilience foam. It is very resilient and responsive so it will return to its original shape quickly after compression and will do so for approximately a decade. It is also available in many firmnesses including firm.
I have a 7 year old Airstream with 5” cushions that I am currently using as a home office. What type of foam do you recommend?
Our recommendation would be Lux foam for your application. It will last for approximately 8 years, making it a good match when compared to the existing foam cushions. It is available only in medium-firm but feels more like a firm.
We have a 20 yr. old leather couch with 3 cushions that have lost their umph that we’ve dismantled. The cushions have 2 layers of foam, the top being softer, then wrapped in dacron. Does the Dacron come in different qualities as well? Thank you.
Our question is, what type & density would you recommend for each layer. We’ve thought of following the existing thickness of each layer, 4” each. Or…would it be better to go 5” on the bottom with a HR & 3” of some kind (?) for the topper? Glued together & wrapped in Dacron?
Dacron is manufactured in a singular quality but is available in different sizes.
The best cushion setup for a leather couch using layers as you have described is High Resilience type foam in firm for the center core at 3″ thick and a softer medium-firm second layer at 1″ thick. The Dacron should be 1″ thick and should encompass the foam. This combination will provide a long-lasting and comfortable seat cushion.
Hi! Your site has been so resourceful during my premier cushion making endeavour. We built kitchen bench seating to form fit along 2 walls & wrap an L around a huge farm table that we refinished. I’m mad proud & pumped that the cushion fabrics are arriving soon. I plan to do high resilience latex foam padding & 1.5” Dacron batting for the bench seat cushions (one side 12’, the other 6’). Is this a good plan? Do you recommend 2”- 3” foam, or different? TYIA!
Our suggestion would be to use High Resilience foam rather than Latex foam. You should reduce the Dacron from 1.5″ thick to 0.5″ thick as Dacron compresses over time. This will enable you to increase the foam thickness from 2″ to 3″ while maintaining the same seating height.
Hi! I am planning on replacing the foam on my side chair with the T-Shape seat cushion, manufactured by Clayton Marcus. The chair has a soft attached pillow on the back. It is several years old and has served us well. My question is: would it be better to order the High-Resilience foam in a firm or medium firm?
Looking forward to your opinion. Your site is most resourceful, to say the least!
We recommend ordering the High Resilience foam in a medium-firm. However, it depends on the weight of the person. The goal is to ensure that the foam cushion does not bottom out. Medium-firm will be comfortable for people up to 185 lb. Anything over and firm would provide more support and comfort.
I am replacing the foam on dining chairs that have a plywood slip seat base. There is enough room for 3” of foam/wrap. What should I use to keep from bottoming out?
Over the decades of reupholstering dining room chair seats, we have found out that the best foam type to use is High Resilience foam. The most comfortable firmness that would provide support without bottoming out but also is not too “hard” would be a firm.
I need to replace the cushion in my leather couches. We bought them years ago at Ashley furniture.
The leather sofas manufactured by Ashley Furniture are available with High Resilience foam cushions. A medium-firm would be a great firmness for most people. We also recommend wrapping the cushions in Dacron to add a “puffy” look to the finished cushion.
I’ve been working from home for the last 2 years. It’s only recently that I’ve set up a dedicated home office. I must say it has increased my output melodramatically. But I still struggle with the interruptions that everyone has to face at home. By the way, thanks for sharing this helpful article
Hi I recently bought a reasonably expensive Modway sofa (mcm style) that is the most uncomfortable thing I have ever sat on. It is completely rock solid like sitting on concrete. I hate it but can’t return it. My only option is to change the foam to something that I’ll actually be able to sit or lay on and cozy up in front of the fire. Do you know what foam they use? And as such what I should use that will be more user (and seat) friendly. I need to get this right so I don’t have to keep out laying more and more money on a currently useless piece of furniture. Thanks! I appreciate ur help
We are familiar with the lackluster comfort that comes with Modway sofas. Their cushions are also non-reversible. We recommend a 4″ thick medium-firm High Resilience foam bottom base and a 2″ thick medium top comfort layer to replace the current foam in your cushions. The two can be glued together with spray adhesive.
I am looking to replace the foam in Relax the Back Zero Gravity chairs. Would you suggest the same foam in upper and lower sections. I am thinking about High Resilience plus memory foam. Should it be a 2 inches HR plus 1″ MF. Also is there a way to give the upper cushion lumbar support? Thanks in advance
The same foam type will work fine in the lower and upper sections of the chair. The seat portion would need to be firmer than the backrest portion. A High Resilience and Memory foam combination would work well and provide great comfort at your described thickness. To create lumbar support, add an extra 1″ strip of Memory foam between the Memory and High Resilience foam in the lower back area.
I’m looking for a sectional which back cushions don’t flatten overtime and kid-friendly. Do you recommend any furniture maker/brand which uses High-resilient (HR) foam? Thanks for your help 🙂
You can find High Resilience foam in Rowe Furniture, particularly their higher-end furniture classified under the Robin Bruce brand, that might match your specifications.
Hi want to replace sofa cushions which foam do you prefer I want the best and quite budget friendly
The best foam to use for cushions is High Resilience foam, but it is not the most budget-friendly. The opposite can be said for High-Density foam, as it is the most economical option but not the “best” in quality. As such, a good middle ground would be Lux foam, as it provides superior quality to High Density foam but at a more economical price point than High Resilience foam.
My leather sofa is only 6 months old, the back cushions do not keep their shape. They are becoming flat and leather is creasing. What foam Could I add to resolve this issue permanently.
The back cushions may not be stuffed with foam, but rather polyester fiber. We recommend adding more polyester fiber filling to your back cushions. If it is filled with foam cushions, it may be wrapped with Dacron, but not enough. You can add more Dacron wrap to the interior stuffing. We do offer Dacron here.
Hi, I want to replace the foam in the seat cushions for my George Smith sofa. There is a down envelope with an inner foam core on the seat cushions. What foam density and firmness would you suggest that is close to the original foam used and will still have that cushy down feel?
The original foam used in a George Smith sofa is most likely an excellent quality High Resilience type foam due to the brand being well-known for its quality. A medium firmness would be used along with a down envelope, providing a softer more traditional down feel that would be expected by the cushion appearing visually puffy.
Thanks for all of the great info on your site! Do you have a list of companies that use High Resilience foam in the products? There are SO many places to choose from and it’s incredibly time consuming to figure out which places use long lasting foam in their cushions.
You can find High Resilience foam in Rowe Furniture, particularly their higher-end furniture classified under the Robin Bruce brand.
We also use High Resilience foam in the higher-end pieces of furniture that we reupholster. However, we do not manufacture furniture for resale. If you need High Resilience foam core replacements, we do offer those here.
I need to reupholster 4 bar stools in my home. They have slightly curved seats, backs and wooden arms.
What foam would you recommend?
We would recommend 2-inch thick High Resilience type foam in firm for the seats. The back foam is normally 1-inch thick and is softer than the seat foam, therefore, it would go in the same foam type but in a medium-firm.
Is a high-resiliency polyurethane foam core (found at West Elm) closer quality to the high-resiliency foam or is it more similar to a polyurethane foam?
Polyurethane foam is available in different qualities. What makes a low quality versus a high-quality Polyurethane foam is how many pounds in a cubic foot that it weighs. Polyurethane foam uses generic names within the industry to determine the weight of the foam – i.e. quality. A standard Polyurethane foam is a low-quality foam at 1.2 lbs per cubic foot. High Density is a medium quality Polyurethane foam at 1.8 lbs per cubic foot. Lux foam is a good quality Polyurethane foam at 2.2 lbs per cubic foot. Lastly, the High Resilience Polyurethane foam is an excellent quality foam at a minimum of 2.5 lbs per cubic foot. The High Resilience foam that we offer is 2.8 lbs – 3 lbs per cubic foot. West Elm does not list the weight of the High Resilience Polyurethane foam that they offer in the seating, so the quality would remain undetermined. The back foam is listed as foam and fiber, so again, the quality is not known.
Good morning! I am making a daybed that will primarily be used as a sofa but is also occasionally used to sleep on. The frame is made out of wood, and I have a latex twin mattress for the seat cushion. I’m interested in ordering back cushions that will help to fill out the depth of the seat and provide support so that our backs don’t rest on the wood frame. The top edge of the wood frame is 11″ high from the seat and hits about mid-back. We have ordered upholstery covers in a clipped wedge bolster shape that measures 37 3/4″ W x 12″ H x 8″ Top Depth x 12″ Bottom Depth. Is there a foam and dacron wrap thickness that you could recommend to provide the needed support? I also find that we bottom out in the 7″ high mattress. If there is extra slack in the upholstered mattress cover, would there be a type of foam topper that could be used to make this less of a problem?
I’m also interested in ordering new foam for my IKEA Poang chair and ottoman. I find that the chair has good bones but after a year of owning it, the chair seat is flat. This chair and ottoman is my primary seating that I use each day, and I was wondering what foam you would recommend to last a long time and not bottom out. There are 4 pieces to consider: Ottoman cushion, seat cushion, back cushion and detachable rectangular head rest. I’m also wondering about dacron wrap thickness for each.
Any help would be appreciated. Thank you in advance for your consideration!
Hi Cait, we’re happy to help you with these questions! We recommend using High Density foam for your daybed back bolsters in a medium firmness. The cut size of the foam should be 1.5″ more than the cover size from seam to seam on all four measurements. Dacron will not add support, but rather enhances the apperance of cushions by making them “puffy.” The average thickness for Dacron is 3/4″.
As for your 7″ mattress, you can use a mattress topper in High Resilience foam. This can be used in combination with the Latex Rubber. The thickness would be 1″ and the firmness would be firm.
We would recommend using High Resilience foam for your ottoman cushion, seat cushion, back cushion and head rest. The firmness we recommend are as follows:
• Ottoman cushion – medium-firm.
• Seat cushion – firm.
• Back cushion – medium.
• Headrest – soft.
It is best to use Dacron wrap on the face surfaces of the foam to create a puffy look rather than a flat look. You can use 3/4″ thick Dacron.
We hope this helps, please let us know if we missed anything.
Thank you so much for all of your help! I especially appreciate you letting me know to order the foam in a larger size to fill the back cushions. Thank you!
Hi I have a pottery barn leather 3-cushion-seat sofa and the seats are now too soft for my husband when he lays down on the sofa. He weighs around 175 pounds and has a bad back and wants the sofa to feel quite firm. Sometimes the 40-50 pound dog joins him on the sofa 🙂 The sofa is around 15 years old but otherwise in great shape and we do love it so I am hoping to get the correct foam as a DIY project to fix the cushions. The sofa has seen little use in recent years but the cushions feel too soft and worn out. We need 23x23x5 and I am wondering what foam you recommend for FIRM. I can cut it smaller if we can get a roll Eg 24 inches wide and 5 inches thick. Thank you very much for your help, I appreciate it.
Hi Kirsten! When reupholstering leather furniture, we always use High Resilience foam because of its high quality and longevity. It can be ordered in a firm firmness and will provide excellent support.
Hello. I am looking for some advice. I have a Klaussner sofa that needs foam replacement. It appears that the seat cushions were 6” when new (they are currently measuring at 5.5”). One of the cushions is a lounging cushion that extends onto a moveable base section. Also, the back cushions are stuffed with batting and I would like to upgrade to something more supportive. Any help is greatly appreciated!!
Hi Laura! The Klaussner sofa seat cushions are more than likely manufactured with a medium-quality industrial-grade High-Density type foam. The replacement will be an upgrade to a good quality Lux type foam in medium-firm for the seating. The back cushions will also be upgraded by switching out the Polyester fiber batting and replacing it with a medium-soft High-Density type foam.
Thank you so much for your reply! Would you only recommend the lux or should I consider the High Resilience as well? If so, would I also go with medium-firm?
If you intend to upgrade the quality of the cushions, you would want to upgrade from Lux to High Resilience foam in a medium-firm for the average person and firm for heavier set people.
Great info page on settee cushioning thanks.
I came here because I have a corner sofa bed that’s never been comfortable to sit on.
It has 3″ springs, spring protector and thinnish layer of white foam to top. Famous Swedish brand made.
I replaced white with foam shop 2″ blue. Didn’t make much diff. I wonder if the material could also be making it uncomfortable? It’s a strong dark blue really durable material with no give in it.
Wanna use as bed settee and have to make it comfortable.
I have mf mattress to cut up for bed over sofa comfort. I don’t mind a bit of sofa sag whilst it returns to shape but fear nothing under the material will prevent numb butt/hip with it.
Numbness can occur when the mattress is too hard and does not conform to the shape of the body – in this case, butt/hip. The average person requires 2″-3″ of sinkage for the shoulder and hip. The sleeping surface would be more comfortable within this range and in an excellent quality High Resilience foam. This would provide comfort for the hip and shoulder and support for the body.
I am re doing a boat that has a couple of issues:
we are building a settee for the living area. The back will have 2-3 cushions and the bottom will be one cushion so that it can double as a bed. Obviously we would like it to be comfortable to sit and lay on. What would you recommend for maximum comfort? It will be covered in a ultra leather fabric.
A bench in the pilot house will have a similar cushion that needs – comfortable seating and sleeping. It also has cushions on the back. It will be covered with a cotton/polyester fabric.
For maximum comfort, we recommend High Resilience foam for your cushions. This is the foam type we use in the yachts we reupholster. For firmness, we recommend medium-firm for people between 140-180 lb. for seat cushions and soft for back cushions. Back cushions receive less pressure than seat cushions, so they will feel firmer and therefore is recommended is a softer firmness.
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I would just like to add to the foam in my current cushions. I was seeing that people are buying 2inxh high density foam an.amazon and just inserting it in the cushion cover underneath the existing foam. What foam would you suggest for the project. My cousin’s measure 24×27.50×4
I’m doing it this way as I’m unable to afford redoing all of my cushions at this time.
Hi Debra. This method is used to firm-up existing cushions that have become too soft over time. By adding a 1-2 inch extra firm High-Density type foam on top of the softer foam, firmness will be added to one side only. If the cushion is reversible and can be flipped over, it would be best to add 1 inch to the top and bottom of the existing foam core so that the cushion will have consistency in its feel, whether used for seating on the top, side, or bottom side.
I would like to make floor cushions for my elementary school special education classroom. What foam type and thickness would you recommend?
Hi Beth. We would recommend 2-inch thick High-Density type foam in the firmness extra firm.
I have a three cushion Selig sofa and the seat cushions have gotten to the uncomfortable stage. No support which causes my back to hurt and make it difficult to arise from . Please advise the type of cushions I can order. The seat covers are removable and the upholstery is in good shape so it only the inside which needs replacing. Any help you can give would be appreciated.
Hi Carolyn. The Selig sofa design tends to sit slightly lower than most other furniture. With this in mind and the cushions becoming softer over time, it does make it difficult to get out of. The solution would be an excellent quality High Resilience type foam that will last for years to come. The firmness for an average person in the weight of 160 – 180 pounds would be medium-firm. For those who want a firmer cushion, the firmness firm would work as well. By compressing less, the Selig sofa will be easier to get out of.
I have a 10-year old Lee Industries sofa and the cushions need to be replaced. I believe the seat cushions are fiber-wrapped (dacron?) BiOH High Resiliency Foam Poly Core, which is a soy product and they began sagging after a few years. The back cushions are “fiber filled” and need to be replaced with something more supportive. What would you recommend?
Hi Kelly. Because the Lee Industries sofa is manufactured in High Resilience type foam with 30% Soy product, it lessens the quality of the High Resilience foam. Therefore, as you mentioned, the cushions began to sag after a few years. The replacement for the seat cushions should be 100% High Resilience type foam in the firmness medium or medium-firm. Because the seat cushion foam is inserted into the down ticking cases, they should not require Dacron.
The Polyester fiber-filled back cushions will lose their support and not hold their shape over time, making the covers look loose and sloppy. To improve this, the foam type recommended is of lesser quality than the High Resilience foam, known as High Density, because the back cushions do not take as much pressure as the seat cushions and will last longer for that reason. We would recommend this foam type in the firmness soft. The back cushions will require Dacron wrap to make them puffy looking, similar to the original look of the sofa when it was new. The thickness of the Dacron should be 1 inch.
Thank you very much!
Hi, I want to make my office chair more comfortable. it’s too hard for me to sit on. I weigh 130 pounds. I’m thinking about purchasing a 3 inch high density foam piece in medium firmness to put on top of my chair. I like my chair to be softer but not too soft. TIA
We would recommend upgrading the foam type from High Density to High Resilience and using the firmness medium. This would work nicely for a person of 130lbs, where the foam would sink approximately 2 inches, leaving 1 inch in height which would keep the seat from completely bottoming out while also providing softness to the current seating surface.
I have a Mitchell Gold Carson sectional that I bought in 2017 and the seat cushions are flattened like a pancake and the back cushions sag. What do you suggest we fill them with so they are firm?
Hi Rachel! We would recommend an excellent quality foam type known as High Resilience in the firmness firm for the seat cushions. Since the back cushions do not get as much wear as the seat cushions, we would recommend reducing the quality of the cushions by choosing the foam type High Density in the firmness medium-soft.
Hi, Can I check for a 83kg person. Would latex combined with a medium or medium firm high density foam works best? Or is there a better option?
Latex combined with High Density foam is not a good combination because Latex will last for decades whereas High Density foam would last for several years. The foam in mattresses with multiple layers should have similar foam qualities that work well together.
The best option at 83 kg/183 lb. is Latex and High Resilience foam. We recommend a 3″ thick Latex foam as the mattress topper and a High Resilience foam for the bottom base also at 3″ thick. We recommend a medium-firm for both foams.
I am planning to order back bolsters for a daybed that will frequently be used as a couch for reading and watching TV. I read the response you wrote to Cait in July 2021 about daybed back cushions – so helpful! I will order the High Density Foam in Medium based on that response.
My question is about the sizing. Unlike Cait, I do not have covers yet and will have them made from upholstery fabric once I have the foam wedges here. You recommended to Cait that she order foam larger than the cover size. Is this because it will compress within the cover?
Our daybed mattress is a custom twin size that is 34″ x 75″. So the long part sitting against the wall that will create the “back” of the sofa is 75″. I was planning to order two 37.5″ wide foam wedges. Should I order the foam larger than this and with the covers on they would then become 37.5″ each? Or will two 37.5″ wide foam wedges give me 75″ inches in finished cushions along the back?
Do you have any other recommendations for height/angle of daybed back cushions?
Thank you so much for being such a great resource for those of us trying to figure this out!
Hi Kathy! We are so happy to hear that our blog posts and replies have helped you! In regards to your first question, you are correct that we recommend foam be cut 0.75 inches larger than the cover size because it will compress within the cover, keeping the cover taught and preventing the overall look of the cover from being loose and baggy.
In terms of your second question, yes, we would recommend that the foam be cut 0.75 inches larger than the finished width of the cover, and when put inside the cover, the cover will maintain the 37.5 inch width.
We would recommend that all dimensions of the cut foam size be 0.75 inches larger than the size of the cover.
Please let us know if you have any other questions!
Thank you! That makes it very clear and easy to know much extra to order.
Do you recommend anything particular for the height and length of the back cushion? Or does it just come down to personal preference?
There is a basic measurement on back bolsters and cushions for daybeds. The average height is between 15 and 16 inches tall. The height of back cushions does have limitations. As an example, a back cushion that is 12 inches high would provide lower lumbar support for the back. A cushion that is 24 inches high would look out of place being too tall compared to the seating depth of the seat cushion. So, preference does have parameters and limitations.
Hi. We have a Broyhill couch. I can’t tell what the cushions are because they are encased in a cloth cover. We want to replace them with something comparable to what Smith Brothers uses. Also one of us is over 185lbs the other is under 185. Would you recommend using the same type cushions regardless of the weight difference? Thank you
The average weight of a person being 185 pounds is best matched with an excellent quality High Resilience type foam in a firmness of medium-firm. In terms of the weight difference described, the recommended foam type and firmness above will stay the same.
The Smith Brothers seat cushions feature a 2.5 density Qualux foam and our High Resilience type foam is a 2.8 density, which is slightly heavier and of a higher quality than the stocked Smith Brothers seat cushions.
Thank you for sharing such a wonderful article!
Thank you for your kind words! We’re always happy to help.
Hi – I have two 7-year-old Restoration Hardware wingback chairs and would like to replace the cushion material inside the zippered covers. I think the chairs currently have a foam core wrapped in down/feather and poly. The cushions have never been very comfortable (they sink and flatten) so I’m thinking all-foam would be better. I don’t want to sink in when I sit for long periods (channel surfing or on my laptop) but also don’t want to feel like I’m sitting on a board. What type of foam and thickness would you recommend I order from you? I want the best solution and am not concerned about cost since I plan to keep the chairs a few more years. Thank you.
Hi Rune! The original Restoration Hardware wingback chairs were manufactured with a medium-quality industrial grade High-Density type foam. You now have an opportunity to upgrade the quality of your seat cushions to an excellent quality foam known as High Resilience. This will extend the longevity of your cushions by at least twice the amount of time and provide a superior comfort level. The most commonly used thickness is 4-5 inches and the firmness ranges from medium-firm, with an individual of approximately 150 pounds, to firm, with an individual starting at 195 pounds. We do also offer Dacron under our Supplies page, which would be wrapped around the foam to provide your cushions with a puffy look rather than a flat and board-like appearance.
I’m finally about to order. The zippered cover is piped all the way around, and it measures 4″ tall from seam to seam. So if I go with the high resilience foam and some Dacron, should I select those materials to add up to a total of 4″ — 3.5″ foam and 1/2″ Dacron? Or would I be okay ordering 4″ foam and 1″ Dacron. I just want to make sure whatever I order and assemble, I can actually get into the cover.
Dacron does not affect the length, width, or height of foams cut size. It is merely meant to make foam look crowned. The thicker the Dacron, the puffier the cushion will look. The average thickness we use in the cushions we reupholster is 3/4″.
When measuring your cushion from seam to seam, you should add 3/4″ to the finished side of your seams. For example, if the border size is finished at 4″ from seam to seam, the height would be cut at 4.75″. If the width is 24″ from piping to piping, the foam would be cut at 24.75″. The same would be added to the length from back to front.
I find cotton batting migrates in arms over time, is there a thin foam you recommend for sofa arms that will not quickly compress and turn to dust?
Thank you for your responses, There is some GREAT advice here, I’ve done upholstery for over 40 years and the hardest thing is to get people to invest in good foam that is best for the design of their piece and how it will be used (Heavy use? Pets? Elderly people get up from firm seats more easily, especially if low, etc.) Like everything, foam is not getting any cheaper but it makes or breaks the comfort of your furniture. Good foam is worth every penny.
Hi Sara. Thank you for your kind words. It’s nice to hear that from a fellow upholsterer – especially one who has been in the craft for over 40 years!
Under our Supplies page, you will find 0.25-inch Polyurethane foam, sold by the yard, which would work for your application.
You could upgrade by using the foam type High Density, which is available in a wide variety of firmnesses – from soft to extra firm. This foam type can be price quoted or ordered by going to our Foam page and clicking on “High Density.” This foam type can be ordered in a minimum of 0.25 inches thick. The sheet size would also need to be cut to a size that meets our $10.00 minimum per-unit cost.
Hi, I purchased a Snug cloud sundae sofa and the cushions are horrendous. It is my second sofa I’ve purchased in the last year. The first one I actually donated because the hassle of sending it back was a nightmare.
I actually like the shape of the Snug sofa but the cushions are so thin that I can actually fell the wood under my legs and the material is so crinkled that it looks years old. I was thinking of getting new foam for the two cushions but dont know where to start. Can you advise me which is the best foam. I don’t want to have to plump the cushions every time I stand up.
Hi Jana! Based on your description, we would recommend the foam type High Resilience in a firmness of medium-firm. The foam should be cut 0.75 inches larger than the finished size of the sewn cover border from seam to seam, including from side to side and front to back. The foam should also be wrapped in 3/4 inch thick Dacron to create a semi-puffy look, which will eliminate the need to plump the cushions each time you stand up.
Hi. I own a 5 year old lazy boy recliner and the seat is too hard/firm. I have been sitting with a pillow on top to make it softer more cushioned. Do you know if it is possible to replace the the cushioning in their seats? My other alternative is to order a better topper, besides a pillow. What would give me a softer, cushioned feel? I tried a memory foam pillow that was awful. Felt like a heavy flat, hard pancake. Thank you.
Hi Buffy! Based on your description, we would recommend the foam type High Resilience in a firmness of medium.
We believe that it is possible to replace the cushioning in your La-Z-Boy recliner, but you may need the expertise of a local upholsterer for assistance.
Ordering a cushion topper would also work, just not as well as a replacement because there will not be as much material to soften the seat.
Hello. I recently purchased a couch similiar to th Cloud Couch from RH. Initially I loved it, but the cushions were flat and uncomfortable. The cloud feeling didn’t last. The company kindly provided polyfill which was fine but now remains compressed when anyone sits and the cushions are now starting to look lumpy. I can’t afford to replace the existing cushions so was hoping some type of inset on both sides would be ok. My husband recently mentioned he found it difficult to get up from the couch. I do like the look and feel of my cloud couch, it’s just not that comfortable. I flip and rotate the cushions weekly.
What would you recommend?
Hi again Norma! It is not uncommon for furniture manufacturers to use a substantial amount of polyester fiber mixed with low amounts of feathers for cost-saving reasons. Once the polyester has packed, the fiber feather case has worn out. This provides the opportunity to increase the thickness of the foam and disregard the worn-out polyester feather casing. The thicker foam will require less polyester fiber, reducing the potential for sinking and lumping over time.
Hello. I have two wing chairs with 3″ thick seat cushions packed to a fair-thee-well with cotton batting. It’s like sitting on a board. The cushions have three rows of tuft buttons, so filling with a solid piece of foam would not work. Would shredded foam be an option? And if so, what kind? Thanks!
Hi Rick. Unfortunately, there will not be enough room between the buttons to be capable of stuffing any foam, even shredded foam, into the covers. We would suggest bringing the cushions to a local upholstery shop, where the upholsterer should be able to cut the strings holding the buttons. At that point, the upholsterer should have the capability of replacing the cotton batting with foam padding, including some Dacron to give the cushion a slightly puffy look. We would recommend the foam type High Resilience in a firmness of firm because the foam is only 3 inches in thickness. The upholsterer should be able to re-thread the buttons and put them back into place using a button needle and tying button slip knots.
I want to replace/upgrade cushions for a 2011 Klaussner sofa. The original seat cushions, stamped BioComfort, are about 6” thick. The Dacron wrap appears to be about 1” thick all around. Users are < 180 lbs. for TV watching, snuggle and sleeping. Back cushions seem OK. What do you recommend?
Hi Ann. Based on your description, we would recommend an excellent quality High Resilience type foam and in the weight category mentioned, we would recommend a firmness of Medium-Firm. Our Dacron can also be found by clicking here: https://foamonline.com/product/dacron/
Thank you. Other questions: Am I making a mistake if I gently separate and reuse the Dacron wrap? I will lose a little due to prior glue, but it is nicely shaped for the L- cushion tips. Maybe just reuse the tips?
Can you custom cut for curves on L-Cushion tip? How do I describe? Is this clear?: “The inside (goes against the arm) curve is a 2” radius quarter round. The outside curve (flush with front corner of sofa) is a 3” radius quarter round.”
The problem with reusing old dacron is that when you peel it off, it will thin and you will lose a portion that will remain glued to the foam. Another problem would be that the dacron, over time, begins to pack down on the front edge, creating a slant towards the front where the dacron is thicker in the back, unpacked, and thinner in the front, packed down. The last problem with using older dacron is that the dacron itself is soiled from years of use.
When we custom-cut L-Cushions, we automatically round the inside arm portion. We can also round the front outside portion if you were to request such a service in the notes box at the time of checkout. Please note whether one front corner should be rounded or both front corners.
I am making a large custom cushion for a large rectangular bench/laying area (69.5 x 29.5). The base is wood and I plan to have a plywood/mdf base. I would like to be able to have up to 3 people sit accross it at a table as well a be able to comfortably lay and read a book or sleep in. What foam should I use? Also, I have a memory foam mattress topper that is two inches – could this be repurposed for this use (either alone or on top of a different foam?
Hi Kara. You could use the 2-inch Memory foam topper on top of a 2-inch High Resilience foam base in a firmness of Medium Firm for an individual in the weight category of 140 – 175 pounds, and a firmness of Firm for an individual over 175 pounds.
Hello. I am attempting to make my own couch, I want to imitate the Mario Bellini sofa. I want the sofa to be soft, almost like down, but firm enough to last a while. I’d also like the buttoning to be plump. This sofa will face heavy use, I weigh under 170lbs. Because it is a floor sofa, I am most likely going to use 30inches of foam split into 10inch sheets for thickness. Do you have advice on what type of foam I should purchase and what order to stack it in? I am a beginner but I am doing research. Thank you!
Hi Lola. Based on your description, we would recommend the foam type High Resilience, which is of excellent quality, or High Density, which is of medium quality. Because the foam seating is non-reversible, we would recommend beginning with an Extra Firm bottom base, and from there moving to a Medium Firm mid-section, with the top base being Medium and the last 2 inches of the very top being Soft or Very Soft.
We’re always here to help with any couch-making questions!
We have a custom built-in sofa with foam cushions in our den/guest room that we covert to a queen bed for guests. We had the cushions made locally 3 years ago in 5” high resilience foam in I believe medium/firm (HR35 is indicated on the receipt) and we have added a 3-inch memory foam topper in an attempt to make it more comfortable for sleeping. However it is quite uncomfortable for sleeping, resulting in hip/back/joint pain. We want to scrap the cushions we had made and start over to try to get to a comfortable guest room bed solution. FYI, we tend to like less firm mattress options, and like using a memory foam topper on our king bed mattress.
For the den sofa / guest bed after reading your article, I wonder if latex foam as a base plus toppers/wrapping could be something we should be using?
We are willing to spend more money considering we want to offer what will be an actually comfortable bed solution to visiting family and friends or when we need to use the den bed ourselves when giving our king to guests. Right now, it is not a comfortable solution for sleeping. For instance, would latex foam as a base plus toppers/wrappers maybe be good for our purposes? Or is latex foam not used for bed type applications? Or what recommendations can you provide?
Many thanks in advance!
Hi Christina. We believe there are two foam types that would work for your application – either the Latex foam, which comes in a firmness of Medium Firm only, but feels more like a Medium, or the foam type High Resilience in a firmness of Medium. We suggest these two foam types because your current High Resilience foam in a firmness of Medium Firm is too firm. Either of these foam types and firmness combinations should work well with your Memory foam topper. What we could do is send you a free sample of both foam types and firmnesses to give you a better idea before committing to a purchase. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a shipping address.
Hello. I recently purchased a sectional from Wayfair, and the cushions feel like bricks when sat on and need to be replaced. I am hoping for a softer feel in decent quality, as this couch will have daily use. I see the most common suggestion is HR in medium firm – what is your suggestion?
Hi Aliyah. Based on your description, as you suggested, we would recommend the foam type High Resilience in a firmness of Medium Firm, which is ideal for an individual in the weight range of 140-195 lbs. Any weight past 195 lbs, we would suggest High Resilience in a Firm and any weight below 140 lbs, we would suggest a Medium.
I have a Z-Line Designs Executive Chair which is shaped perfectly to a disability I have in my hips but the foam is wearing down to flat. I have found no other chairs that work with my disability and Z-Line is out of business. The problem with current office chairs is the firmness and shape of the seats. I need something that sinks in and conforms to my hips better instead of a flatbed rock that works again my condition. What types of foam would you suggest for a softer, more malleable sitting surface – something that lets you sink in a little and “hugs” your hips? Any help would be appreciated, with the current market it’s nearly impossible to find a place to sit in the variety of chairs online – ordering and testing, and sending back has been my life for the past 6 months. Thanks.
Hi Brian. Based on your description, we would recommend a combination of High Resilience foam and Latex foam, where the High Resilience foam would be placed as the bottom base in a firmness of Medium Firm and the Latex foam would be placed as the top layer in a firmness of Medium Firm. The Latex foam, being rubber based, is softer than the High Resilience foam, although in the same firmness.
I need to replace the 3 cushions on my 11yr old very inexpensive sectional couch purchase from Furniture America that we do A LOT of lounging on. The cushion covers measure 24.75″ x 28.75″ and 4.5″ high.
Would you recommend the new foam be high resilience 25.5″ x 29.5″ x 5.25″ for weight range of 200-250? For Dacron, I assumed 6yds of the 3/4″ think x 30″. Is that correct or is the Dacron too thick?
Hi Ami. Yes, we would recommend the foam type High Resilience and your dimensions are correct! We also agree that 6 yards of 3/4 inch thick Dacron at 30 inches wide will work well. A firmness recommendation was not requested, but based on the weight range of the users, we would recommend a firmness of Firm.
I’m purchasing foam for outdoor cushions. The cushions will be in a covered area but will be exposed to humidity. Per your recommendation it says to use resilient foam or dry fast form. There is a large discrepancy
in cost. I was wandering if I can go with the resilient foam. The cushions are 5″ thick. What firmness should I order?
Hi Marilyn. The foam type High Resilience would be appropriate if the cushions are not exposed to the rain and the furniture is under a covered patio. In a thickness of 5 inches, we would recommend a firmness of Medium Firm for the weight range of 160 – 195 lbs. Past 200 lbs, we would recommend a firmness of Firm.
I have a Crate & Barrell Troy sofa with removeable zippered covers for the cushions. I want to replace the seat cushions–both because they have become less firm over time, and I want something firmer than originally used. My husband is a big person and like a firm cushion. I am considering High Resilience foam in firm, would you recommend that or something else? Also, what thickness of Dacron would you recommend? Does the Dacron just get wrapped around the cushion from back to front, with the ends uncovered? Finally, should I order slightly smaller dimensions of the cushions to account for the Dacron, so everything fits in the covers. Thanks in advance for your suggestions! I’ll order once I know what to do!
Hi Jaymee. Based on your description, we would recommend the foam type High Resilience in a firmness of Firm, as you mentioned. We would recommend that the Dacron be 3/4 inches thick. You would need to wrap the Dacron around the cushions like a bookcase, gluing the Dacron to the bottom side of the foam, wrapping it around the front, and then gluing it to the top of the foam. Once the Dacron is glued to the foam, trim the two sides and the back so that the Dacron is only on the top, front, and bottom of the foam piece. You should not order your foam pieces smaller. Instead, we recommend measuring your cushion covers from seam to seam with the foam still inside the covers, and adding an additional 0.75 inches to the measurement.
Hello. I recently purchased an Arhaus Baldwin slipcovered sofa. The seat and back cushions are hard as rocks. I would like to replace them with down. Our family all weigh under 130 pounds and we want something to sink into but at the same time have some longevity. Thank you for your advice!
Hi Mary. Based on your description, the foam type we would recommend is High Resilience. We would recommend a firmness of Medium or Medium Soft for your seat cushions and a firmness of Very Soft for your back cushions. With this foam type and firmness combinations, there are two avenues that can be taken. You can wrap your foam cushions in Dacron to create a puffy, attractive look. Or, you can have custom down envelopes created in a 10/90 goose-down combination. If you would like to proceed with the down envelope option, you would need to email us at email@example.com the finished size of your cushion covers, which would be measured from seam to seam in the height, width, and length.
Hello. I have a nice leather Ashley sofa recliner. I need something more in the lower back cushion and especially need to replace stuffing in the footrest. What should I use.
Hi Mitzi. Based on your description, we would recommend the foam type High Resilience in a firmness of Medium Soft for the lower back cushion. Regarding the footrest, we would recommend the same foam type, High Resilience, in a firmness of Medium Firm.
You are doing a great job!
I found this very informative and literally you’re doing great.
Keep it up.
Hi Emma. Thank you very much for the kind words! We really appreciate your support.
I just purchased a two wooden spindle or spool chairs with removable cushions on the seat and the back. The bottom cushion feels OK for now, but the back cushion is so thin and soft that after sitting in the chair for a time I can feel the hard wooden spindles from the back of the chair. I was thinking of returning the chairs but I love the look of them and the cushion covers are the perfect color. So, after reading your article and a lot of the questions and answers I am thinking of just replacing the foam in the back cushion. The back cushion is a rectangle, 21″ wide, 19″ deep and 3″ high. I want the best I foam I can get. I am thinking the high resilience foam in medium firm? Also, I read you said to add 1 ½” to the cushion cover measurements. So should I order 22 ½” x 20 ½” x 4 ½”? Thanks for your help!
Hi Sandra. Based on your description, we would recommend the foam type High Resilience in a firmness of Medium. Medium Firm is a more common firmness for seating and may be too firm. In terms of measurements, we would recommend adding 0.75 inches to the length and width of the finished-size cushion cover measurements from seam to seam – so 21.75 x 19.75 x 3 inches.
Thank you for this article because it’s really informative, I love reading your article and I hope that I will read some more about this stuff, it’s really informative and very entertaining. Thanks a lot and have a great day.