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Replacing the Foam in Your Sofa Cushions

Replacing the foam in your sofa’s cushions is a great way to extend its life. It’s fast, affordable and fairly easy to do! Here’s our guide to cushion foam and how to replace yours. Read on to find out more.

Don’t forget, we’re here to help with all your foam needs. We carry a large stock of different foams and are happy to advise you. For more information, get in touch today!

What is Sofa Cushion Foam?

Sofa cushion foam is typically made from polyurethane, and replaced more traditional materials such as feathers and wool. Whilst these were luxurious, they were also a hassle because cushions would get flattened or out of shape quickly and would require continuous plumping.

Polyurethane is a tough plastic that was first synthesised in 1937 by the chemist Otto Bayer. In 1941 he discovered that a foamed product could also be formed from it. Polyurethane foam made its debut in furniture production in the 1950s and was much less prone to being flattened, as well as being cheaper to produce. It went on to widely replace feathers and other cushion fillers.

Polyurethane foam is not without its issues though. It is a by-product of petroleum and crude oil, meaning it can be flammable and, when ignited, will burn very quickly with intense heat. As such, another excellent choice for sofa cushion foam is polypropylene, which is safer and more resilient.

Things to Consider When Replacing Sofa Cushion Foam

  • How Much Do You Need? – Start by measuring your cushions. You’ll need their width, depth and height. If they’re an unusual shape then it may be best to trace them roughly onto a large piece of paper and work from that. For the depth, measure your old foam. It will usually be between 4 and 8 inches thick. Once you have these measurements, you’ll know the area and thickness of foam that you’ll need. We advise adding 10-20% to the area in order to account for any offcuts. This is especially important for oddly shaped cushions.
  • Density – When looking for replacement cushion foam, density is an important consideration. Simply put, density is a measure of weight per unit of volume. For foam, it is measured in pounds per cubic foot (PCF). It can be calculated as follows: weight (in pounds) divided by (length x width x height)(in feet). The industry standard is around 1.8 PCF, however it’s advisable to choose a density of between 2 and 2.5 PCF. Denser foam is more comfortable and will last longer.

Need help choosing and measuring up your foam?

How to Replace Your Old Sofa Cushion Foam

You will need:
  • Replacement foam
  • Quilt wadding/batting
  • Spray adhesive
  • A knife to cut the foam. Serrated bread knives are a good choice.
  • Optional: Textile grade silicone spray.

What to do:

  1. Measure your cushions (see above) and mark their outlines on the foam. Make sure to double check your measurements!
  2. Using a knife, carefully cut the foam to size.
  3. Remove the old foam from your cushion covers.
  4. Take your new foam and spray adhesive on it, one side at a time.
  5. Wrap the quilt wadding around the foam, making sure it attaches to the adhesive. Once attached, trim off any excess.
  6. (Optional) Apply silicone spray to help remove stickiness and static.
  7. Put the new, wrapped foam back into the cushion covers.

Be sure to give your new cushion foam time to wear in. It should settle after a couple of weeks. If, after this, you need additional firmness, then you can add additional layers of quilt wadding as required.

If all of this sounds a little complicated, then just get in touch with us and we can help! We have a huge range of foams that we can supply, made to measure for you and shipped straight to your front door! Why not get in touch with us today and let us do all the hard work for you? We look forward to hearing from you!

Be sure to check out our Foam Cut to Size Service page.