Let’s see if we can make some sense of it all, so you’ll know how to make the choice that’s right for you.
Although manufacturers use different terminology and might vary the specifics a bit, when all is said and done, there are basically three choices in cushions. The first choice is the all-foam cushion. This is usually constructed of a high-density foam core covered by a softer layer of convoluted (’egg crate’) foam, and then a polyester fibre wrap, all enveloped in down-proof ticking (which prevents feathers from poking through).
This is the cushion of choice if you like a very firm seat and you want the fewest possible wrinkles in the fabric.
The second cushion choice is usually called spring down. It is the second-softest cushion and is made with a core of coiled springs, which is surrounded by a foam box and then wrapped with a thick layer of polyester fibre. This is all fitted into a downproof cover filled with a blend of down and polyester fibre. The springs provide a resilient feel, and the little bit of down adds a touch of softness and loft that only down can give.
The third basic choice for a cushion is called down plush, or blendown. It is the softest and most luxurious of the cushions, and is constructed with a thinner foam core wrapped in a thick layer of polyester fibre, and then wrapped in a much thicker layer of a down and poly-fibre blend. Because of its relatively thin foam core and greater proportion of down, it really feels and acts like a pillow.
The Critical Test
Also, keep in mind that generally you get what you pay for. Less expensive sofas and chairs usually have fewer cushion choices, but that may not matter, depending on your tastes. However, the acid test is actually sitting on an example of what you’ll be getting. You’ll know if the piece is right for you only if you can actually sit on it, so if at all possible, sit before you commit.
One final note: Every cushion has a break-in period. Don’t expect it to feel like the one in the store until you have broken it in for a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, if you’re out there looking for a sofa or chair, knowing the basic three should be helpful.
What filling does your sofa have and what do you like/dislike about it? Share in the Comments below.