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How many inches of foam do you need when recovering a chair seat?

By Jeff Frank

The correct thickness is determined by the chair’s style and how you want it to appear.

  • In most cases, if you are recovering a chair, it is best to use the same size and shape foam that was used originally.
  • This does not mean you need to use the same foam density or firmness. You can probably select a foam that is better (longer lasting and more comfortable) than what was used by the original manufacturer.
    • In many (or most) cases large manufacturers simply go with a foam that is inexpensive.
      • Customers usually can’t tell the difference when the chair is new.
      • When the foam collapses a year later and the chair becomes uncomfortable, it just gives many customers an incentive to spend more money purchasing another chair.
    • When recovering a chair seat for your own personal use, it is a good idea to use a higher density foam (2.2 or more.)
      • Higher density foams last longer than the 1.8 density foam that is standard for most mass produced seating.
      • Foams also come in a variety of firmnesses.
        • Firmness is different than density. It does not affect the lifespan of the cushion.
        • Choose a firmness that is most comfortable to you.
      • If the chair seat is thick enough, you may also have the option to use a cushion with coil spring construction.
        • These are usually very comfortable and last longer than most foam cushions.

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