Upholstery Foam Product Guide

There are many different kinds of foam with different purposes.

When looking for an upholstery foam, you’ll find several densities, sizes, and thicknesses from 1 inch to 6 inches. You can also get bolster foam and wedge foam.

So what’s the difference difference between high density and medium density upholstery foam? It’s common to think that a foam’s density would relate to how firm it feels, but that’s actually not the case. Density correlates to the foam’s durability. High and medium density foams feel the same when you sit on them, but high density foam has longer longevity.

For foam that will get heavy daily use, like couch cushions, dining chairs, or mattress toppers, high density foam is the better choice because it will hold up over time the best. But for light or occasional use, medium density foam will be sufficient, like for accent chairs and headboards.

If using foam outside or for an application that could get wet, like patio cushions or boat cushions, you’ll want an outdoor foam.

Upholstery Foam Product Spotlight Video

Outdoor Foam

If you want to use foam outdoors, you can’t go wrong with Eva-Dri or EZ-Dri outdoor foam. They’re both medium density, but they are designed to let water flow through them rather than absorbing it like a sponge. The open cell construction also lets humidity and moisture evaporate quickly. EZ-Dri foam also has a built in fungicidal additive that inhibits fungus and mildew. This will help prevent stains and odor.

Rebond Foam

For a firmer foam that’s very durable, try rebond foam. It’s a dense, open cell foam that provides solid support and holds its shape well. The 3 inch thickness is good for automotive seats, office chairs, and bar stools.

Other Foam

Working with Upholstery Foam


Foam will be shipped to you rolled up tightly. After you unroll the foam, please allow up to 24 hours for the foam to expand to its correct dimensions.

Once the foam is exposed to air, it will start to yellow, so don’t be concerned when this happens.

Cutting Foam

Foam can easily be cut with a serrated knife, or even an electric knife. For a professional foam cutter, there’s the Acu 350 Foam Cutter, which has two blades to produce a fine, reliable cut.

See our video on how to cut foam.

Foam Spray Adhesive

For more complex shapes and layering, you can use spray adhesive to bond the foam together. Try Clearco 444 Upholstery & Foam Adhesive or 3M Foam Fast 74 Spray Adhesive.

You can also use these spray adhesives to attach padding or upholstery batting to the foam to make cushions and headboards softer and more rounded.

Tutorials Using Foam

See the following tutorials that use foam for more tips on cutting foam and using for upholstery.


See our selection of upholstery foam here.

Questions & Comments

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I have some old foam, it is like 3 years old. Would it still be good to use or does foam go bad after a few years?
A shopper on Jan 27, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Foam does degrade over time, but 3 years shouldn't be a problem at all. Foam turns yellow as it oxidizes but this doesn't affect the functionality.
What kind of foam do I use for my back loose cushions for my sofa? They are stuffed and look slouchy. I think a wrapped foam would be better.
Betty Sue K on Aug 14, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Yes, high density upholstery foam wrapped with Cushion Dacron Wrap is a good option. You can add more than one layer of the cushion wrap if needed.
Cushion Dacron Wrap Fabric
Cushion Dacron Wrap Fabric
What is the best foam to use for back cushions on my sofa? They are separate rectangular pillows and I hate the slouchy look.
A shopper on Aug 14, 2018
BEST ANSWER: We suggest high density upholstery foam. You can wrap it with Dacron Cushion wrap one or more times to make it softer and more rounded.
Cushion Dacron Wrap Fabric
Cushion Dacron Wrap Fabric
Can you use memory foam for outdoor cushions?
DALE M on May 14, 2018
BEST ANSWER: You can if they're not going to get wet or you cover them with a waterproof fabric. Otherwise we suggest Eva-Dri or EZ-Dri outdoor foam.
I am doing a victorian sofa i want to put a heavy foam because it is used alot,can u tell me wat foam to buy thank u?
Margarita P on Mar 6, 2018
BEST ANSWER: You'll want high density upholstery foam: www.onlinefabricstore.net/product-group-foam-and-padding.aspx?product=foam&product_sub_group=upholstery-foam&density=high-density

Which thickness you choose depends on what would look best with your particular sofa.
What is this foam made of?
CRYSTAL J on Nov 20, 2017
BEST ANSWER: The upholstery foam is made out of polyurethane.
What type foam would you recommend for a futon?
A shopper on Sep 17, 2017
BEST ANSWER: We suggest mattress foam, which can either be used as a topper or as the whole mattress: www.onlinefabricstore.net/product-group-foam-and-padding.aspx?product=foam&product_sub_group=mattress-foam
I want to make a boxed square cushion to take to my crochet club. All they have are folding chairs and they are very hard. I am a heavy woman and i don't know which foam to buy? All help is greatly appreciated.
Thank You
A shopper on Sep 15, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Hi Gwen, if you're going to be using the cushion a lot, the high density upholstery foam would have the most longevity. A thickness of 3 or 4 inches would be a good amount of cushion.

If you haven't seen our box cushion tutorial already, it might be helpful: www.onlinefabricstore.net/makersmill/how-to-make-box-cushions-with-a-zipper/
3 x 24 x 54 High Density Upholstery Foam
3 x 24 x 54 High Density Upholstery Foam
4 x 22 x 54 High Density Upholstery Foam
4 x 22 x 54 High Density Upholstery Foam
i have never upholstered before and would like to ask if there is a specific type of fabric for upholstery? i have 4' thickness foam
A shopper on May 21, 2019
BEST ANSWER: See our article about drapery and upholstery fabric which has links to the fabrics:
I have a roll of 2” foam to make a bench pad. The trouble is the end of the foam inside the roll is all scrunched. How do I get it to expand to the 2” height?
A shopper on Mar 10, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Give the foam at least 24 hours to fully expand.
Which foam would be best for dog beds?
A shopper on Sep 4, 2017