One of the best ways to be sure your new sofa will feel great over the long term is by making sure the foam being used is of good quality. Pick the wrong foam, and you will feel like you are sitting on a board or in a bucket. Choose the right foam, and you will add years to the comfort and life of your upholstered furniture. Most complaints about upholstered furniture are due to poor comfort or less than acceptable durability of the seat cushions. Here is how to judge the quality of the foam to make a better buying decision:
Foam has 2 basic elements, Density and Firmness
Density or weight is the first element. This tells you how much "material" goes into the foam, i.e, the more it weighs the higher the density, and the higher the density, the greater the weight. If you lift two separate cushions, one being a lower density, and another being a higher density, the higher density would be noticeably heavier due to the greater amount of foam being used and less air bubbles. So the more dense the foam is, the more support and greater resilience will be achieved. The industry standard density normally used is a minimum of 2.0 density. The higher the density number, the heavier the cushion will be, and therefore the more dense it is, the greater the support and resilience. HR (high resiliency) foam is normally begins with a density of 2.0 and the ultra premium HR is 3.0 density or greater. HR foam is considered the highest quality and most durable foam aside from natural latex foam for use in upholstered furniture cushions.
Comfort Level or "Firmness"
The second element relating to foam quality, is the "feel" or "firmness". Each density has different firmness or comfort levels. This is expressed as the "Indention Load Deflection (ILD). This rating is a measure of how much pressure it takes to compress the foam 25% of it's thickness. For instance, if your seat cushion is 4" thick and has an ILD rating of 33, it would take 33 pounds of pressure to compress the foam to a thickness of 3". The ILD rating of a foam material will tell you how FIRM the foam is.
Some people prefer a very firm cushion, while others prefer softer. We offer firmness levels of Soft, Medium, Medium Firm, and Firm to match the preference of each customer. The important point is, that the durability, or resilience of the cushion is NOT determined by how it feels, but by the density of the foam as stated above.
Understanding Foam Quality