Choosing the correct upholstery foam for your furniture is as important as choosing the color and pattern of your fabric; too soft and your back hurts, too firm and your backside hurts. But how do you know what type of foam to choose?
Foam used in upholstery is rated by the Consumer Safety Protection Agency and these ratings can help you choose the proper upholstery foam for your needs:
- Density measures the quality of foam. In order to grade the density, numbers ranging from 1.8 to 3.2 are assigned. The highest numbers indicate the best quality. High density foam is the term used to identify the best quality foam. It is a good idea to choose the highest density your budget will allow for ultimate comfort and to prolong the life of your upholstered pieces.
- As you search for the proper foam rubber for your project you will want to know if your foam is labeled as high resilient or HR. This indicates the resiliency of the foam. If your project involves furniture pieces that need to withstand wear and tear you will want to use high resilient upholstery foam. This is important as you do not want your foam to begin breaking down, resulting in sagging, unattractive and uncomfortable furniture.
- The letters FR on the label tells you the upholstery foam you have chosen is fire resistant. For obvious reasons, this is important when choosing foam for mattresses, upholstered furniture used in public spaces and certainly for use in your own home.
- Whether to choose soft, medium or firm cushion foam is a personal choice. But that choice is made easier by the ILD rating system applied to foam products. ILD stands for Indentation load deflection. A number between 8 and 20 is assigned with the lower numbers indicating the softest foam and higher numbers representing firmer foam. While a low ILD may feel wonderful and soft to the touch it will not offer any support and would, therefore, not be a good choice for use in upholstery.