If you’re shopping for foam for any sort of project, whether it’s new furniture or shoes or a gymnastics mat, foam density will be one specification you’ll notice on the product description—but what does that number mean? Here’s everything you need to know about foam density. Understanding this measurement will help you find the best possible type of foam for whatever you make.
Foam density is the weight of one cubic foot of foam.
Density is the weight of one cubic foot of foam. When selecting the type of foam for your project, it’s important to know how much density you should choose. Density is measured in pounds per cubic foot (PCF). The higher the number, the denser and heavier your material will be. For example, a small pillow would require about 1 lb/cubic ft; a sofa seat cushion would need about 2-3 lbs/cubic ft.; and an entire sofa could use anywhere between 5-8 lbs/cubic ft.
The following list includes some common densities used across different industries:
- 0 PCF: lightest available option typically used as packing material only; not recommended for furniture or any other heavy-duty application
- 1 PCF: ideal choice where strength isn’t necessary but cushioning is important; great for home décor projects like pillows, throw blankets and cushions
- 2 PCF: comfortable enough for everyday use but can still handle high traffic areas such as sofas or chairs–it’s also an excellent choice if you want something that feels like down but doesn’t have all those pesky feathers!
It’s measured in pounds per cubic foot (PCF).
The density of foam is measured in pounds per cubic foot (PCF). The higher the number, the more dense the foam. Density doesn’t tell you everything about a piece of foam, but it can give you a good idea of how firm or soft it will be.
For example, let’s say you’re looking at two pieces of foam that are both 2″ thick but with different PCFs: one has an 18-lb density and one has a 25-lb density. The 18-lb piece will have less bulk than the 25-lb piece because there’s less air trapped inside its cell structure. Because there’s less air inside an 18-pound piece of foam than a 25-pound piece, this means it will feel firmer than its counterpart—and vice versa!
The final thing to keep in mind when choosing your couch cushioning is thickness: once again using our above example where we compared two 2″ thick cushions—one at 18 lbs PCF and another at 25 lbs PCF—you could also say that they were both 1″ thick because we’re talking about their thickness relative to each other (in other words, they’re both 1″ thick relative to each other).
The higher the number, the more firm or supportive the foam feels.
The higher the number, the more firm or supportive the foam feels. This is because a higher density foam has more material in it. It’s also more durable and more expensive than lower density foams.
Higher density foams are better for seating as they provide greater support and comfort. They’re also great for pillows as they have better resiliency—the ability to return to an original shape after being compressed—which makes them feel softer when you sit on them.
There are some general guidelines for choosing foam density for your specific needs.
In general, the higher the foam density, the firmer its feel. If you want a very firm sofa, choose a PCF (pounds per cubic foot) of 10 or higher; for something softer, go with less than 4 PCF.
The following tips will help you find the right density for your needs:
- If buying foam for a mattress, between 2-4 PCF is recommended because it provides enough support while still remaining comfortable to sleep on.
- If purchasing high density foam specifically for furniture cushions or chairs that need extra durability and support like those used in commercial settings (e.g., restaurants), choose an even higher range such as 12+ PCF as this type of product offers superior durability and longevity compared to lower densities such as 4-6 PCFs which tend not hold up well over time under heavy usage conditions like those found inside many businesses around America today where high traffic means lots of wear-and-tear on everything from tables to chairs!
High-density foams are typically at least 1.8 PCF and can be as high as 4-5 PCF.
High-density foams are typically at least 1.8 PCF and can be as high as 4-5 PCF. These are the most firm and supportive options, with a very durable structure that will last for years if cared for properly. High-density foam is also the most expensive option, with prices ranging from $20 to $50 per cubic foot. However, this is not a factor for many consumers who choose this type of foam because they want their furniture to last a long time and provide maximum comfort throughout that time period.
Medium-density foams range from 1.2 to 1.7 PCF.
Medium-density foams range from 1.2 to 1.7 PCF. These foams are excellent for residential use, as they offer a good balance of softness and firmness for comfortable support without causing pressure points or sinking in too much when you sit on them. They are easy to work with, especially if you are doing any kind of upholstery work yourself; they don’t require special tools or equipment like high-density foams do, so it’s easier to get the job done right! This foam is also a good choice for most furniture cushions, but it’s not ideal if you’re looking for something very soft; since these medium-density foams have more density than low-densities (1 pound per cubic foot) but less than high densities (2 pounds per cubic foot), they tend to be firmer than most low densities but softer than most highs—a great combination!
Medium Density Medium Density
If you’re looking at using this type of foam in a home theater setting then this may be an ideal option as well; since this type of foam is easy enough to cut into shapes yet still has enough firmness that positions won’t sink down over time due to stretching out from repeated use throughout its lifetime. However if your sofa will see heavy abuse over time then we recommend choosing higher density options rather than lower ones because there will be less damage done over time due
Low-density foams are under 1.1 PCF, but aren’t common in furniture cushions.
Low-density foams are used in furniture cushions, but they’re not as common. These lower-priced options are often the best choice for consumers who want the most comfortable cushion on their sofa without sacrificing durability. Low-density foams have a firm feel, but they’re still soft enough to be comfortable and durable enough to last many years. If you’ve been looking at high-density foams and wondering if there’s something better, then this is your chance!
If you want a softer feel, go with lower density; if you want firmer, choose higher density foam.
If you want a softer feel, go with lower density; if you want firmer, choose higher density foam. Density is a good starting point for selecting the best foam for your sofa. In addition to choosing between different densities of foam, there are other factors to consider when making your selection:
- What’s your budget? If money is no object and you can afford it, go ahead and purchase the highest-quality product available—it won’t be wasted because high-quality materials will last longer than cheaper ones.
- How much time do you have? If this project takes place over several days or weeks (instead of hours), it might be worth saving up and purchasing something better quality in order to save yourself time later on down the road as well as having something that will last longer overall due to its superior build quality.
Foam density is important information that helps you buy the right type of foam for your project
To evaluate the density of a foam, you’ll need to look at its PCF rating. This is an acronym for “pounds per cubic foot.” The higher this number is, the firmer and more supportive your piece of foam will be. A lower PCF rating means that your piece will be softer and more plush.
Expert tip: When choosing between two different densities of foam, consider how much support you want in your sofa or chair. For example, if you’re making a small bench for outdoor use where it won’t get too much use as seating (such as an outdoor planter), then extra softness may not matter so much as long as it’s comfortable enough for sitting down on occasionally when needed (and if it looks nice). On the other hand, if you’re making something like an upholstered dining room chair where people will sit down multiple times over many hours each day (or even multiple days), then firmness is going to make all the difference in comfort level over time through consistent use!
This post is meant to give you a good overview of what foam density is, why it’s important, and some general guidelines on how to choose the right foam for your project.