What is inside the cushions is as important as what’s on the outside. Many people judge a cushion by its cover, but that is not the only thing to consider if comfort and durability are factors.
Tufted and foam cushions are the two most common cushions for casual furniture. Tufted cushions are filled with polyester fiber, while foam cushions are filled with solid foam wrapped with Dacron.
Tufted cushions have the top and bottom panels of the cushion sewn together with sewn circle tufts or buttons, which hold the fiber from shifting and give the cushion its unique appearance. The more tufts in the cushion, the thinner the cushion. Choose buttons instead of sewn circle tufts if you want a tufted cushion to appear flatter. Firmness or softness is based on the number of tufts or buttons and the fiber filler used. Quality tufted cushions will be filled sufficiently so that the cushion holds its shape and feel comfortable for a long time.
Avoid tufted cushions that don’t use 100% polyester fill. Otherwise, they will probably break down too quickly and not feel comfortable after being used for only a short time.
Unlike tufted cushions, foam cushions provide good support and have a flat surface. Although some manufacturers use solid foam, many wrap a one-inch layer of Dacron on the top and bottom surfaces of the foam. This provides a little softer feel to touch the cushion, making the fabric cover look smooth on the surface. The thicker the foam, the better they feel.
Foam seat cushions can be found in a range from two inches up to eight inches thick. Three and four-inch thick foam cushions are generally a good choice for seat cushions. Deep seating cushions are usually thicker.
People who weigh over 180 pounds and appreciate a decent cushion should consider a minimum of a four-inch foam cushion.
Some companies use more than one inch of Dacron wrap around the foam. If you can open up the cushion and look inside, and if there is more Dacron than foam, don’t buy it. If you do, you will probably be sorry by the end of the summer because your cushion will probably be misshapen and flattened out.
Foam cushions can be manufactured from foam with different densities. Choose cushions made from medium or high-density foam.
When shopping for cushions, whether you are looking for tufted or foam cushions, consider how they feel and try to determine what materials are used inside. Look for 100% polyester fiber-filled tufted cushions with sufficient filling to ensure comfort and keep their shape. Choose foam cushions with one inch or less of Dacron wrapping with medium or high-density foam. Following these guidelines will help you choose cushions that will feel and look good for a long time.