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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.