Elegant Upholstery - Foam
Foam production technology has greatly improved over the last decade. But keep in mind that no foam will last forever. One of the first signs that you might notice is the shape of cushions. They lose their original shape. If your furniture is older than approximately ten years, or if it has “rounded” front edge, or if it simple doesn’t offer you the support that you used to have, then you probably need new foam. The effect of “rounded” front edges occurs because you tend to use the front of your edge to a greater degree then the rest of the cushion. Another common reason is that the foam was never meant to be used for seating and as a result its lifetime is short.

Besides the height or “thickness” of the foam there are three major factors that affect longevity of foam: resilience, density, and indentation load deflection.

High Resilient (HR) foam is a foam material that is produced to offer a longer useful life than non-HR foam. This foam is also rated as fire resistant. Resilience is an indicator of the surface elasticity of foam. The resiliency test determines surface liveliness and spring-back ability. A piece of foam with a high resiliency will have greater spring-back. Resiliency is measured in a lab with a Ball Rebound test. A steel ball is dropped onto the foam sample from a fixed height. It is expressed as a percentage of ball rebound against the original height of the ball drop. A “boardy” (an undesirable stiff surface feel) foam will have low resilience.


Density is normally recorded in pounds per cubic foot, and is simply the sample weight divided by its volume. It is really an indication of quality and lasting comfort. The more dense the foam, the more resilient it will be. Thus, density is basically equivalent to performance durability, so the higher the density, the higher the cost. Low density foam might provide firm support for a while, but it is not very comfortable and it will soon lose its shape and support. Only high density foam will properly conform to your body year after year, compressing under heavy parts while it supports where you need it. Low density foam represents foam with a density of 1.9lbs and less. High density foam represents foam with a density of 2.0lbs and greater.

Indentation load deflection (ILD)
ILD is measured by putting a piece of foam on a flat surface and then placing a metal weight in the middle of it. The amount of weight required to compress the foam down by one inch is call the ILD or compression. The higher the number, the firmer the piece of foam.

Compression Firmness

18       Very Soft
19 - 45 Medium Firm
46 - 70 Quite Hard
71 - 95 Rock Hard

Above chart is very important. As an instance you want have the same foam for your loveseat and dining room chairs. Dining room chairs will require higher ILD. The comfort factor, or "support ratio" is the ratio of the 25% to 65% ILD readings. A good comfort factor is between 18 and 35. The harder (compression) the foam does not necessarily indicate a better quality. For example foam can have compression range of 115-125 lbs but density of only 2 lbs/cubic foot. This can be the hardest foam on the market but because of low density doesn’t make it long lasting. Density is better measurement of the quality of the foam product. By engineering compounds carefully it is possible to achieve different compressions in the same density giving a range of feel and cushioning.

Elegany Upholstery - Service Menu
171 1st Street East.
North Vancouver, BC V7L 1B2
t:604.980.1114  f:604.980.1134