5 Types of Foam

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Foam is an incredibly versatile product, and there are many different types on the market. However, not all foams are created equal. What you need for your project will depend on your specific needs and budget—and that’s why we’re here to help! Here’s a quick introduction to the most common types of foam:

1. Memory Foam

Memory foam is a type of closed-cell memory foam that is made from polyurethane. The foam has a gel in it and the gel is what gives the material its ability to contour to your body. Memory foam was originally created for NASA to help astronauts sleep better while they were in space, but now you can find it in mattresses, pillows and other furniture items.

When memory foam compresses under your weight, it will return back to its original shape once you’re no longer on top of it (referred to as “rebound”). This makes it easier for you to move around without disturbing others who are sleeping next to you because there won’t be any motion transfer like with other types of mattress materials such as spring coils or latex foam products that are not “dynamic” (meaning they don’t react).

2. Polyurethane Foam

Polyurethane foam is a type of foam that is used in a variety of applications, including furniture padding, mattress padding, and insulation. Not only does it come in many different densities and thicknesses but it is also suitable for different uses because it has a very low moisture absorption rate. This means that polyurethane foam will not absorb any water when exposed to humid environments

3. Latex Foam

Latex foam is made from natural rubber, which is derived from the sap of the rubber tree. It’s one of the most popular types of foam because it’s available in a wide array of densities and thicknesses. Latex foam has become a go-to material for high-end furniture and mattresses because it offers excellent support while still being comfortable and breathable.

4. Cross-linked Polyethylene Foam (IXPE)

Cross-linked polyethylene (IXPE) is a closed-cell foam that is used for many different applications, including soundproofing and insulation. It is also used in packaging to protect fragile items during shipping. Cross-linked polyethylene foam was originally called “polyurethane” but was reclassified by the International Chemical Secretariat in 1994 because it contains no urethane groups and therefore does not qualify as polyurethane by their definition.

5. Acoustical Foam

Acoustical foam is a popular choice for soundproofing. It can be used in a variety of applications, including:

  • Sound Isolation Windows and Doors
  • Sound Absorbing Ceilings
  • Office Cubicles, Workspaces and Walls (in general)

Each type of foam has a specific purpose and use, so knowing which one you need is essential to finding the right fit for your project

Each type of foam has a specific purpose and use, so knowing which one you need is essential to finding the right fit for your project.

Take memory foam, for example. This type of open-cell polyurethane or polyester foam is used in mattresses, pillows and furniture cushions. It’s popular due to its ability to contour to your body shape while still providing support that lasts over time. If you want something that will mold around you like this, then memory foam is the way forward!

Some people prefer latex because they find it more comfortable than alternatives like polyurethane or cross-linked polyethylene (XPE). Memory foams often vary in density—that is, how thick they are—which means some products may not qualify as true memory foams because their densities aren’t high enough.[2] However, these materials tend not only help reduce pressure points but also provide good durability for extended use.[3]


We hope this guide has helped you understand the different types of foam and which one will work best for your project. Remember that finding the right material is all about knowing what kind of job it needs to do and understanding how each type differs from others. If you still have questions about which type might be right for your specific needs or if you want more information on any products we’ve discussed here, feel free to contact us at any time! We’re always happy to talk shop with our customers!

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