Where Can I Get a Firm Seating Sofas?

by | Jul 19, 2021 | Ask the Expert | 0 comments

Question:

I recently purchased a sofa from a high end furniture store. The foam core is a thick blue foam, enveloped by regular foam, and then poly fiber. It seemed good quality, yet, within 6 months the cushions have lost their rigidity.

My parents still have a sofa from the early 1970s that they had custom made. The cushions are still as firm as sitting on a bench, even though our family of many kids used this sofa daily.

I have a significant spinal injury that requires firm seating. I can sit on my parent’s sofa but I was told nothing commercially available is “like the old stuff”.

I read your rundown on foam densities etc. but am still at a loss. If I were to replace the cushions by working with an upholster specialist, what specifically do I need to ask for to end up with cushions that will be very very firm and actually stay that way? Like the “old stuff” was.

I wish I could take a cushion from my parent’s sofa to an upholsterer for analysis, but they live on the other side of the country and are now quite elderly. Sending them on such an errand, particularly right now in COVID times, would be incredibly unwise.

Elisa

August 24, 2020

Answer:

I cannot make any specific recommendations regarding the best cushion for someone with specific physical conditions. I can help you find a good extra-firm foam cushion if that is what you want.

An upholsterer would not be able to tell you what type of foam is in your cushions. That requires a laboratory analysis.

The blue foam in your cushion is probably a high density (2.0 – 2.8) but the regular foam bonded to it will be 1.8 (or less.)

A cushion will only last as long as the lowest density foam it is made with.

If  you are looking for an extra firm cushion that will last a long time, you should be OK with an HR (High Resiliency) foam density between 2.4 – 2.8 with an ILD (firmness rating) of 35 – 45. (The foam cushions found in most furniture stores is 1.8 density with an ILD of 36.)

  • Foam with a density of 2.5 or more should retain its firmness for at least 10 years for most people.
  • Foam densities of 3.0 and above are primarily found in cushions made for healthcare, hospitality, commercial and institutional use. The cushions are usually not as thick as those used for residential seating.

The EverFlex 44 shown below would be a very firm long lasting cushion. This can be found at FoamOrder.com.

The EverFlex V54 is even firmer, but is probably too firm for most average size people.

EverFlex™ V44

Firm

This is one of the best pieces of poly urethane foam and will give you many years of support. It is recommended for seat cushions or mattresses. This foam is too firm for back cushions. We strongly recommend you buy a custom cover to protect any foam of this quality from rips and stains. Engineered using a high resilience (HR) cell structure. (Density: 2.8 lbs/ft³, ILD: 44.)
EverFlex™ V54

Very Firm

EverFlex™ V54 is a high quality firm grade of foam. This foam is one of the best qualities. It is great for a seat cushion or firm mattress, but too firm for back cushions. If your weight is 200–230 pounds (91–105 kg), then this foam is appropriate for a firm cushion 5″ (13 cm) or thicker. We strongly recommend you buy a custom cover to protect any foam of this quality from rips and stains. Engineered using a high resilience (HR) cell structure. (Density: 2.9 lbs/ft³, ILD: 54.)

 

A dacron polyester fiber wrapping around the foam core is standard. The fiber helps fill in the corners and tighten up the fabric to improve the appearance of the cushion. It does not add to the cushion’s lifespan.

Ideally, the fiber wrapped foam cushion core should be wrapped inside a non-woven fabric cover. This enables the cushion core to slide in and out of the cushion cover more easily and prevents the fiber from shifting during use.

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Jeff Frank

Jeff Frank

Furniture Consultant

Jeff Frank is a 45 year  furniture industry veteran. He created this blog to provide detailed facts, inside information & advice for furniture shoppers. 

 

 

 

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