Foam Series: Selecting the Right Upholstery Foam

Item # X-HT-300057

If you need new foam for the cushions on upholstered furniture like a couch or chair there is one option that stands above all the others — high density polyurethane foam. In this post, we’ll discuss why this is a such a great pick for your interior upholstery projects and we’ll also share how to layer foam so you can get just the right thickness and firmness to create a comfortable, durable cushion.

Why High Density Polyurethane?

High Density Polyurethane is the best foam for upholstery

When looking for cushion foam for upholstery, you want to get something that is going to stand the test of time. A general guideline of foam quality is that foams with a higher density are higher quality and have better longevity. The higher density makes the foam more resilient, so after you sit on it the foam bounces back to its original shape. That’s why for upholstery applications, especially for high traffic areas like your family room, we recommend using a foam with a density of 2.5 lbs. or higher. Foam like this should last up to 12 years. Some high density foams are also antimicrobial, another advantage to choosing this type of foam.

Layering for Size & Comfort

Layer foams for desired height and increased comfort and longevity

Did you know that you can layer multiple pieces of foam on top of one another? It’s not only possible, but it’s also a common practice. Layering foam is so popular because it allows you to easily increase the thickness of your cushion and use foams with different firmness ratings to keep your cushion sturdy for a long time.

Layering foam to create a different thickness is a pretty straightforward concept, but layering firmness is less so. The idea is to use firmer foam with a higher IFD on the bottom for support and softer foam with a lower IFD on the top for comfort. The bottom foam is acting much like a box spring for a mattress. It helps to stabilize the cushion and then if the softer top cushion starts to bottom out, you still have the firmer cushion supporting you. Foam layers are easily attached to each other using a spray adhesive.

Using multiple layers of foam is a matter of preference and completely up to you; if you find a cushion of the exact right thickness then you’re all set.

To learn more about foam check out the other posts in this series “5 Important Foam Terms to Know” (#300052XHT) and “Comparing Types of Cushion Foam” (#300053XHT).