Understanding upholstery foam grades

Understanding upholstery foam grades

Q: Do all foams possess the same quality and characteristics?

A: No, foams are not created equal as they come in different grades tailored for specific applications. The type of foam used for seating differs from that used on the back of a chair, and both are distinct from foam designed for bedding purposes. It is crucial to select the appropriate foam for each specific area or purpose to ensure optimal performance and comfort.

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

A: The 5-digit number codes found on foam serve as descriptors for important characteristics of the foam. Let's break down what these numbers signify:

The first two numbers in the code indicate the foam's density. Density refers to the weight of the foam per cubic meter. A higher number indicates a denser foam, while a lower number suggests a foam with more air bubbles and a lighter weight. High-density foam grades are known for their weight and durability, as they contain a higher concentration of foam ingredients. Consequently, high-density foam tends to be more expensive but offers superior shape retention, structural integrity, and long-lasting comfort.

The second number in the code represents the firmness of the foam. This number indicates how soft or firm the foam feels when pressure is applied. Firmness is often a matter of personal preference, as different individuals may have varying comfort requirements. A higher number in the code suggests a firmer foam, while a lower number indicates a softer foam. It's important to consider your own comfort preferences when selecting foam with a specific firmness rating.

By understanding these 5-digit codes on foam, you can make informed decisions about the density and firmness that align with your desired level of support and comfort.

Q: What are basic foam grades for furniture? 

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

Dream Foam AA20-100: Soft Seat. Medium back. Frame wrap.
Marathon Foam MA28-130: Medium Seat. Firm Back. Frame Wrap
Marathon Foam MA28-170: Firm Seating. Frame Wrap.
Elephant Foam EL37-130: Premium Seat. Firm Back. Squabs. Camper bed/seats.

Q: What does foam overlay or fibre wrap mean? 

A: 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 AA20-100 which is great for overlaying, or use thinner sheets of elephant foam over a firm Marathon 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 and 170gsm which can be used in one or more layers. 


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