What’s the Cushion Filling?
There are many subcategories and fiber contents within each of these, but let’s stick to the basics for cushions.
Foam: I look for a high density, medium firm foam. The quality is in the density, not the firmness. It’s a misconception that a firmer foam will last longer than a softer foam. It’s all about the density, which you can’t necessary see or feel that makes it a quality product. A good furniture manufacturer, will be able to tell you more about the foam composition, rather than just say “it’s high quality!” Phrases like that will lead you down a road to saggy cushions in 6 months.
Dacron: Dacron is made of polyester and is known for its durability. Dacron, unlike natural fibers, is hypoallergenic, non-absorbent, and mildew-resistant. Most often seen loose or in sewn bags to create back cushions. Dacon as a material is not a bad thing, but it’s how it’s combined to create your furniture that you should watch out for. A back cushion that is 100% dacon is okay, but a seat cushion that is 100% Dacron will not give you any support, you need foam in there to hold it up.
Feather/Down blends: A blend of feather and down creates an ultra plush cushion. You will typically see this in sewn bags for back or seat cushions.
Foam and Feather/Down Wrap: Also known as a sandwich cushion. The inside has a piece of foam, then it’s wrapped in layers of feather and down bags. This provides structure, but also that ultra comfortable feel.
Outdoor Foams: Reticulated foams have tiny holes that allows water to pass through. This prevents the growth of mildew. This is important as you can not just use any type of cushion outside, it needs to be suitable for outdoor use. Also make sure to use an outdoor grade fabric. The goal is for the water to flow through the cushion, not sit on top.
Pro Tip: Make sure if you use a welt cord on outdoor furniture, that is made of acrylic and not cotton! The cotton when wet over time will grow mildew, making your outdoor cushions and outdoor fabric useless.