Why don’t sofa retailers tell you the weight of the cushions’ memory foam?

by | Nov 18, 2021 | Ask the Expert | 0 comments

Question:

I would like a sofa that is soft to begin with. There is a sofa in Pottery Barn that is soft that I love. It has memory foam cushions but I’m concerned because not one employee has any information about the weight of the memory foam.

I even called the factory where the sofas are made with no help. What is your opinion of Pottery Barn, Room and Board or Four Seasons sofas?

I am sick of buying a new sofa every two years. I want to get it right this time

May 10, 2021

Answer:

Very few salespeople or factory personnel will know the density of memory gel foam cushions. That is not a problem as the answer is irrelevant.

  • “Memory gel” foam cushions actually have very little memory gel foam. “Memory gel” cushions have the standard polyurethane foam cores. Instead of wrapping the polyurethane foam core wrapped with polyester (dacron) fiber, the foam cores are wrapped with a layer (1 – 2″ thick) of memory gel foam.
  • This makes the cushions feel slightly softer. There is only a minimal effect on the cushion’s lifespan.

All of the sofa brands you have listed are approximately the same quality level. Most sofas sold by these stores are modern styles. These “modern” sofas often include larger seat cushions than the older traditional styles. Larger seat cushions increase the lifespan of the cushions (and the sofa.)

Imagine two similar sofas with the same length. One has three cushions. The other has only two (larger) cushions. The larger cushions may last 2 – 3 years longer.

Larger seat cushions have longer lifespans. This is because the sitting weight is spread over a larger surface area and there are fewer pounds per square inch pressure on the cushion’s surface. For example, the most common seat size for a three seat American style sofa is 23″ w x 26″d x 8″h.

  • If that same size sofa has only two seat cushions, each of those cushions would be approximately 34″ wide. This spreads out the weight of a seated person over a larger surface area and reduces the pressure (pounds per square ft.) by about 1/3.

All other components of the sofas should last longer than the seat cushions.

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Jeff Frank

Jeff Frank

Furniture Insider

Jeff Frank is a 45 year veteran of the furniture industry. He’s worked directly with buyers, retailers, and manufacturers at every level of the industry. In every position throughout his career, his focus has always been customer service.

Shopping for furniture can be complex and frustrating. Salespeople often do not have enough knowledge to answer your questions or give advice based on limited experience. If you’re looking for real information and advice before spending hundreds or thousands of dollars, take a look at our furniture buyer consulting.

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