What is High Density Upholstery Foam?

When searching for the perfect foam for your upholstery projects, you’re likely to encounter low and high density options. But what is the difference? And is high density foam objectively better? Here’s a guide to high density foam – what it is, its benefits and common uses.

Density vs. firmness

It’s easy to mistake density and firmness as they both appear to relate to how soft or hard your foam will be. In reality, density is linked to the foam durability while firmness is a measure of its softness. A higher density foam means it is more compressed and should last longer with daily use. Density is measured in small sample cubes, around 12 inches in size. The industry standard for density measurements is a scale of pounds per cubic foot (PCF). You may see it written as 1.5 PCF or 1.5lbs.

What classifies as high density?

Definitions of high density can be different depending on the type of foam; for example, memory foam versus polyfoam. As a general guide:

  • Up to 1.5 PCF is low density
  • From 1.6-2.4 PCF is medium density
  • 5 PCF and above is high density

Benefits of high density foam

The higher the density of the foam, the longer it should last you. A high density upholstery foam will be more resilient and able to bounce back to its original shape with ease. Even with daily use, a high quality foam can last up to 12 years. Some high density upholstery foams are also antimicrobial which means they are resistant to mould and mildew when wet.

Uses of high density foam

High density upholstery foam is ideal for heavy-use applications, such as furniture and seating that is used daily. Chairs, bar stools and couches in restaurants, chairs in a waiting room, car seating and even dry boat seating are all common applications for high density foam. If you’ll be sitting on it for long period or there’s going to be high traffic – you want it to last.

When will low density suffice?

If it’s a low-use item – such as a bedhead, guest room furniture or seating in a camper van – you can get away with a lower density foam. Anything that can be classified as non-daily use will last well without a high density foam for support.

Australia’s preferred foam suppliers

AFD Australia supply high density upholstery foam to every major city in Australia; from Melbourne to Brisbane and Sydney. We specialise in marine, automotive and commercial upholstery supplies and pride ourselves on having some of the highest quality foam in the industry. If you’d like assistance choosing a foam density, contact our team on (03) 9357 9644.

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