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Sofa Cushion Buying Guide

In a sofa, type of cushion fill is one of the best ways to determine construction quality – and how long the seat will last.

What Is Foam Density?

A sofa’s foam density is the weight of one cubic block of the foam cushioning. For example, if one cubic block of foam weighed 1 pound, then the foam would have a density of one pound. High-density foam is regarded by manufacturers as foam with a density of 1.8 and above. Low-density foam is regarded by manufacturers as foam with a density of 1.8 and below. The higher the density, the firmer the feel of the foam.

Firm Comfort Level

Firm sofas, sectionals and chairs are designed with a special type of cushioning. The feel of these seats are more supportive, and specifically designed to absorb pressure as you lounge. This means that instead of sitting in your sofa, you'll be sitting on it. This technology is similar to how many mattress foams come in a firm option for those who prefer higher levels of support, so choose firm if you want a denser surface.

Medium Comfort Level

Between plush and firm, medium seats strike a balance between contour and support. Built with cushioning made to give just a tad as you sit, the medium level doesn't keep you too upright – but also doesn't let you sink too far down. Go with medium if you want something that's not quite plush but not quite firm. (Medium is also a great option if you host a lot; the "just right" feel makes any guest feel right at home.)

Plush Comfort Level

For the softer-inclined, some seats come with plush-level cushioning. In a plush sofa, armchair, sectional, loveseat or other upholstery item, the cushioning blend is designed to allow you to sink luxuriously into your seat. Go with plush if you want to fullly decompress on a perfect cloud.

Polyurethane Foam vs Memory Foam

Polyurethane foam is the most common type of foam fill for sofas, and is also often used as “toppers” for mattresses. It is usually yellow in color and high-resiliency (meaning it bounces back quickly). Memory foam is a type of foam that contains polyurethane foam, blended with additional compounds to create a low-resiliency, slow-to-bounce-back feel.

Common Fills

Feather Wrap

Cushion Type

What It Is

Foam

The most common type of sofa filling. Varieties include memory foam, high-density foam and low-density foam. 

Dacron Wrap

Dacron wrap is a polyester lining that goes around foam cushioning. It is used to fill in any loose gaps between the foam cushion and the fabric seat cover. It also acts as a buffer to help prevent thinning and wearing out of the seat cover fabric. 

Feather/Down Wrap

A foam core wrapped in feathers, feather wrap (also called ‘down wrap’) helps create a cushion that feels both downy and supportive.

Before making a sofa purchase, remember to consider your size, budget and quality preferences!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.