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How to Measure Foam Quality

Foam is described by density this is how we simplify the classification of foam quality. The heavier the density of foam, the better quality it is. There are however other ways that softness and elasticity are measured.

Following the manufacturing process, foam is tested for density, resilience and hardness.

Density is a measure of the weight of foam per cubic meter Resilience measures the elasticity and bounce back qualities, providing how long lasting the foam will be. Hardness is measured by pressure applied to the foam to 40% of its thickness.

The DENSITY rating of furniture foam is expressed as a two digit number which may range from 18-40. Actually, there is a decimal between the two numbers which makes the density rating of the #18 foam a 1.8 foam. In the production of foam, there are two basic ingredients which are the urethane chemical that is the foam, and air. The more chemical that exists in the foam material, the higher its density rating will be. In the above example, the 1.8 rating means that there is 1.8 pounds of chemical in each cubic foot of foam material. A cubic foot is equal to an area that is 12" x 12" x 12". This particular foam would be rather low in density and would not be a good material to use in seat cushions. It would, however, be suitable for back cushions as back cushions do not need to support your body weight as seat cushions do. Most people prefer the comfort of a low density foam in their back cushions for the soft feel that allows them to "nest" into their chair.

HIGH RESILIENT (HR) foam is what you might think it is. It is a foam material that is produced to offer a longer useful life than non-HR foam. HR foam is often also rated as fire resistant (FR). Tell your Upholsterer that you are concerned about fire safety and long life of your new foam and ask him to verify that your new foam is rated both HR and FR

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