A very important element when using a sofa, comfort allows everyone to enjoy his sofa. However, this notion is somewhat ambiguous because each individual has a personal vision of what sitting comfort represents (soft or firm, for example).
For information, the shape of a sofa has a great influence on comfort. Depending on the individual, the seat (depth, height) as the backrest (height, angle) will not offer the same feeling of comfort.
Whether for the seat or the backrest, the suspension and the quality of the foam impact the comfort and durability of a sofa.
The Upholstery of the Seat of the Sofa
For our comfort, the seat and back of the sofa (cushions) are upholstered with foam. The padding is very important both for a comfortable seat, and the optimization of the life of the sofa.
There are several types of foam:
Polyester foam (PE)
High-density polyurethane foam (HD)
High resilience polyurethane foam (HR)
The foam is available in different densities. Good foam has a high density. The low-density foam will have poor hold and will form creases on the couch.
The back cushions are often stuffed with foam flakes.
Depending on the area of the sofa (armrests, backrest, seat), you can use several types of upholstery. Sofa manufacturers are very familiar with density, lift and resilience measurements; and will propose a mix of different foams to create a personalized seat.
The Coating of the Seat of the Sofa
The foam can also be covered with a top layer that will bring more softness to the seat, better insulation and more comfort. This layer may consist of feathers, polyester wadding, Dacron, latex or memory foam. This is called a coating.
NB: A seat is never padded with feathers. It is a partitioning feathered on foam (for a comfortable and enveloping seat). Some will also appreciate the feathers in the back cushions; this will be the choice of those who like to sink into the bottom of their Sofas & Sofa Beds.
The Density of the Seat Foam
In the data sheets, the foams are indicated with values in kg / m³ which express their density (bulk density). The higher the value, the more the foam is firm (compact).
CAUTION: “Farm” does not mean “hard”. Firmness refers to the ability to support you.
The polyester foam (PE) generally has a density of between 16 and 25 kg / m 3. It is cheap and less resistant. The foam is flexible.
The HD polyurethane foam has a density comprised between 24 and 35 kg / m2. The foam is firm. It is the most used foam for making sofas.
The polyurethane foam High Resilience has a density of 35 or 40 kg / m3. More used for bedding, it is rarer in the filling of sofas.
Beware of low-density foams. Again, “Fluffy” does not mean “soft”. When one sinks too much on a sofa, it is difficult to get up and it is not very good for the back … high-density foam can be very soft. The density of the seat, armrests, and backrest are often different.
Generally, We Recommend:
Seated density (30 to 35 kg / m3)
Backrest density (20 to 25 kg / m3)
You may also hear about foam lift. It’s actually its resistance to compression. The higher the lift, the more the foam will have a firm reception. The lift is an important criterion for bedding but we do not talk much less for a sofa. Some high-end leather sofas are made of a high-density foam but low lift because it prevents the poaching of leather.
NB: A high-density foam is not necessarily harder: it can be very soft (low lift) or firm (high lift).
Also, note that the firmness of a seat also depends on the thickness of the foam. Thick and sparse foam can give a firmer comfort than a fine and dense foam. In addition, the suspensions also play their role: the elastic straps provide a softer reception and the springs No sag strengthens the firmness of the seat.
The Back of the Sofa
The back of the sofa may be either the backrest or the support of the back cushions. This is the part that will support your back and your neck.
The backrest also contains padding that can be of variable density (18 to 30 kg / m3 in general).
If you are prone to back pain, this is an important part. Look at the firmness of the foam as well as the height and shape of the backrest.
The great design trend goes to sofas very low with a longer seat… Not easy then to combine comfort and aesthetics. The sofas deemed the most comfortable indeed have a high back. Also used this guide to select the best design online.
The solution to reconciling the two? The adjustable and retractable headrests (headrests) provide excellent support for the neck while maintaining the design and clean lines of the sofa.
If a sofa does not have a headrest, make sure the top of the backrest is at the top of your neck.