5 Things You Didn’t Know About Foam When Buying a New Sofa

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The foam on your sofa is the most important part of your furniture. It provides all of the comfort, durability, and style that you expect when you sit down to relax. With this in mind, I thought I’d take some time to educate you about foam and how it works. You’ll learn why choosing the right type of foam for your couch is so important and which foams work best for different types of furniture.

Understand the role of foam in your sofa.

It’s important to understand the role of foam in your sofa. The more expensive the sofa, the better quality its foam will be. A good way to think about it is by comparing it with a mattress: if you’ve ever slept on an air mattress and then on a memory foam mattress, you know how much better it feels when you get into bed. That’s because memory foam provides support for your body so that there’s less pressure on your joints and muscles. That same principle can be applied to sofas—the higher quality the foam, the more comfortable it will feel when you sit down on it or lie down on top of it (if applicable).

Foam density and IFD differ, but only slightly.

Density and IFD are two ways of measuring the same thing: how much weight a piece of foam can support. The density of a foam is measured in pounds per cubic foot, while IFD is measured in pounds per cubic inch. While both give you an idea of how much weight a piece of foam can support, density is more accurate.

If you’re still having trouble deciding whether or not to use one over the other, choose whichever makes more sense to you! Or if you’re looking for an even simpler answer: just go with whatever measurement your sofa manufacturer recommends for their cushions. We’ve got plenty more tips below!

Don’t confuse foam density with ILD/IFD.

Not all foam is equal. Although you may not be a chemistry whiz, understanding the different types of foam can help you choose the right one for your needs.

Foam density and ILD/IFD are two ways to describe how soft or firm a piece of furniture will be. Density is measured in pounds per cubic foot (lbs/ft3), while ILD/IFD measures how much force is needed to compress one inch of material (in lbs./in.). The higher these numbers are, the better quality your sofa will be since it means that less force was required to compress it into its final shape. You’ll want to look for something with both high density and low ILD/IFD ratings—this means that it’s both comfortable enough for long-term use but also durable enough that it won’t collapse after a few years’ worth of lounging around on it!

Seat cushions should be stiffer than they are soft, while back cushions should be more firm than soft.

When it comes to seat cushions, you should have a slightly firmer feel than you would for back cushions. This will ensure that your legs and butt are supported enough when sitting down. The general rule is that the seat cushion should be firm enough to provide support, but soft enough to be comfortable.

The opposite applies to the back cushions; they should be soft enough so as not to cause any pain or discomfort in your lower back area while sitting upright. But at the same time, they shouldn’t be too floppy or loose—otherwise there won’t be much support for your upper body weight and spine alignment as well as proper alignment of your neck/head with shoulders/arms when reclining on it. Softer materials tend to sag over time due to pressure applied by body weight while sitting on them which can lead up towards loss of comfort in this area over time; whereas harder materials hold their shape better over longer periods (but still need regular reshaping).

Always test materials out before buying.

You should always test materials out before buying them. This is because there are so many different types of foam available on the market, and each one provides different benefits and results.

For example, memory foam can be very comfortable but also tends to retain heat, while open-cell foam will conform to your body shape and provide extra support for pressure points like your hips and shoulders.

Foam is an important part of a comfortable couch but it’s not always easy to know what kind you should use.

Foam is an important part of a comfortable couch but it’s not always easy to know what kind you should use. There are a few factors you should consider when purchasing foam, and they all affect the final result of your couch’s comfort level.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Density is how much material there is per cubic foot or pound; this can go from 2 pounds per cubic foot (pcf) up to 25 pcf. Lower densities mean less pressure on your body when sitting on the sofa and higher densities mean more firmness as well as durability.
  • Independently Fabricated Density (IFD) refers to how tightly packed each piece of foam is; this will affect softness and durability as well and usually falls between 5% – 15%.


Hopefully this blog has helped you better understand what makes foam great and not so great, which type of foam is the best for your needs, how to tell the difference between foam densities, what IFD is, and why it’s important when choosing a couch.

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