We are looking for replacement cushions for two sofas we purchased approximately 10 years ago.
Within 4-5 years of purchasing the sofas, we noticed the seat cushions on both couches were not very supportive. They would flatten (squish) far more than desired.
I recently sat on an expensive couch with 8 way hand-tied seat support and a premium Spring Down cushion option, and was amazed at the comfort and support. The weight of the cushions was impressive (quite heavy).
I know I can’t redo the spring/support system of the sofas we have, but I would like to have the cushion cores replaced with a firmer/ higher quality. My question is: how do we find someone that can replace the foam in our cushions for us?
What kind of replacement foam would you suggest?
Your original cushions were almost certainly 1.8 density foam. 1.8 density cushions have an average lifespan of 3 – 5 years.
There are online companies that make replacement foam cushions.
Below are two good sources for replacement foam cushions. You can order in whatever size, shape, and thickness you need. They may also do the dacron polyester wrapping for you.
Their best seat cushion foam for most people is the Everflex V34.
The Everflex V34 has a 2.6 density with an ILD firmness rating of 34 (medium firm.)
It is also available in Firm ILD 44 and Extra-firm ILD 54
Everflex V34 foam should last 15 – 20 years.
The best choice for most people is their HD36-HQ Foam.
HD36-HQ is a 2.8 density foam. The most popular Medium-firm option has a 35 ILD.
Other firmnesses are also available. This foam has an average lifespan of 16 – 20+ years.
Both companies will cut the foam to the size and shape needed. Dacron polyester fiber wrapping is also available.
Local custom upholstery shops are another good alternative for replacement cushions.
You will need to tell the custom upholstery shop what type of foam you want.
Otherwise, your replacement cushions will probably be made with the industry standard 1836 foam. This is a 1.8 density foam with a medium-firm ILD of 36.
For an average size person (less than 200 lbs.) 1.8 density foam cushions may be noticeably softer within one year and uncomfortably soft within 3 – 5 years.
Seat cushions that are larger or thicker will last longer than smaller cushions with the same density foam.
For example, on sofas made with 2 seat cushions, the foam will last longer than on the same size sofa made with 3 seat cushions.
On the other hand, if you weigh more than average or have kids who like to jump on your couch, that can decrease cushion lifespan.
A 300 lb. person can wear out 1.8 density foam cushions in less than 1 year.
Higher density foams last longer.
They also hold up better for larger or heavier individuals. Average cushion life expectancies for an average size 3 seat sofa used by average size people:
1.8 density foam should last 3 – 5 years.
2.0 density foam should last 4 – 6 years.
2.2 density foam should last 8 – 10 years.
2.5 density foam should last 15 – 20 years.
High quality Spring Down cushions can also last 15 – 20+ years.
The best replacement foam carried by most custom upholstery shops will be Qualux Ultra.
Qualux Ultra foam is available in two different firmnesses. The 34 ILD is medium-firm. 60 ILD is extra-firm.
Most people find the medium firm to be more comfortable. Extra-firm is used primarily for commercial or institutional settings.
The firmness does not affect the foam’s durability or lifespan.
Either firmness should support a 250 lb. person for 15+ years with very little loss of firmness or comfort.
Most custom upholsterers should be familiar with Qualux foam and should be capable of replacing your foam cushion cores.
If your custom upholsterer does not have Qualux or EverFlex V34 or HD 36-HQ foam available, ask for foam with a density of 2.5 – 2.9.
Polyurethane foam densities of 3.0 and higher are usually found only in high use commercial or institutional applications.
Replacement Spring Down cushion inserts are also a good replacement option.
But many shops may be reluctant to make Spring Down replacement cushions.
They take more time to fabricate and are less profitable for the custom upholsterer.
Buying replacement cushions from a custom upholsterer or reupholstery shop will cost more than the online foam sellers listed above.
But your replacement cushions will look professional. If you do not give the foam supplier the exact foam core size, shape and thickness needed, your replacement cushions may not fit properly.
Stuffing a foam core properly into a cushion cover requires a lot of strength and skill. If not done correctly, the cushions can look lumpy or uneven.
Even if you buy replacement cushion cores from a foam supplier, you may want to take the new cores to a custom upholsterer for stuffing.
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