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Why Don’t Sofa Retailers Tell You the Weight or Density of the Memory Foam Cushion?

By Jeff Frank


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 a memory foam cushion, 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 were 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


A sofa’s Memory Gel foam cushion weight or density is irrelevant.

Very few salespeople or factory personnel will know anything about memory foam density or weight.

A detailed article about foam cushion density can be found in the IGF blog article, What is the density of sofa foam?

“Memory gel” foam cushions actually have very little memory gel foam.

“Memory gel” cushions have 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 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 of 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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