Understanding upholstery foam grades

Understanding upholstery foam grades

Are all foams created equal?

No, foams have different grades and thus different applications. A seating grade foam is different to foam on the back of a chair, which is different again from bedding foam. Its important to use the right foam in the right place. 

What do the 5-digit number codes on foam mean?

Foam is described with a 5-digit number.

The first two numbers explain the density, the higher this number the denser the foam. Density is the weight of the foam per cubic metre. High density foam grades are heavier, whereas low density foams are lighter and have more air bubbles. High density foam uses more foam ingredients, so will be more expensive. High density foam will also keep its shape, structure and feel for longer. 

The second number represents the firmness, the higher this number the firmer the foam. The firmness is usually down to personal preference.

What are basic foam grades for furniture? 

To make life easy for you, we stock the most popular foams: 

Economical Soft 20-100 - Soft Seat. Medium back. Frame wrap.

Economical Medium 28-130 - Medium Seat. Firm Back. Frame Wrap

Economical Firm 28-170 - Firm Seating. Frame Wrap.

Premium Medium 37-130 - Premium Seat. Firm Back. Camper bed/seats.

What does foam overlay or fibre wrap mean? 

An initial foam core may be covered with an overlay of thin foam, or a wrapping of polyester fibre.  

Foam overlay is when a thinner sheet of foam is glued or layered over your main foam. Often this thinner foam is of a softer grade to created a more luxurious feel whilst still maintaining structure and shape. We stock a soft sheet foam in 20100 grade which is great for overlaying, or use thinner sheets of premium medium foam over our thicker economical firm foam

Fibre wrap is when polyester wadding (aka: dacrom) is wrapped around or over your main foam. It will create an more luxurious feel to your firmer foams, it will give a more rounded and plush look, it will soften corners and edges, and it help fabric to slider over your foam when working on it. We stock 100gsm polyester wadding which can be used in one or more layers. 


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