The comfort offered by a sofa comes from not only the inner support of the sofa frame, but also from the cushions, and more importantly, what they’re filled with, and whilst the first thing that grabs your attention is the color or style, it’s equally important to consider the cushion stuffing. You can have the most gorgeously stylish sofa in the world, but unless it offers superb comfort, it fails to fulfill its function.
Cushion filling is usually comprised of foam, feathers or polyester, and sometimes a combination of all three, with each having advantages and disadvantages.
Foam filled cushions
This is the most frequently used cushion filling and generally offers a good level of comfort and support, making it perfect if you have mobility issues. Foam gives an attractive, well structured look, and, other than an occasional turn over, requires no maintenance.
High density foam has the best level of support, while the less expensive low density foam, provides more give. Memory foam cushions are ideal if you suffer from joint pain as they mold to your body, giving good support. All foam fillings will bounce back into shape once you stand up, although the memory foam takes slightly longer to do so.
A spring down foam cushion has, at its core, coiled springs, encased in thick foam. Whilst more expensive, for sofa seat cushions, it offers superior comfort with just the occasional turn to ensure the appearance is perfect.
Foam and polyester filled cushions
Wrapped in a layer of polyester fiber, these foam centered cushions are a very popular choice and with good reason. Providing the support and structured look of foam, alongside the softness of polyester, and cheaper than feathers, many manufacturers are opting for this mix as standard.
Polyester filled cushions
This is an inexpensive option, with the higher densities and cluster-filled polyester cushions offering good support, but with less bounce back than foam. Lower density polyester fillings can appear a little limp after a while, and require frequent turning and plumping. Polyester is often used to fill back cushions.
Feather filled cushions
Feather filled cushions are ideal for people who want to sink into comfort, however they offer less support and bounce back than foam, are expensive, and can cause allergies. Whereas foam will brush off spilled liquid, feathers will soak it up, proving harder to dry. With feathers often clumping over time, and requiring frequent plumping up, a good compromise is a foam core, surrounded by feathers.
This video provides a good guide to the different types of cushion foam: