When it comes to buying a sofa, most people focus on the overall design, fabric, and colour; which means the sofa filling often takes a backseat to design and look.
Overlooking the importance of sofa filling is a critical mistake. In fact, the quality of the filling can make or break how comfortable a sofa is.
It’s important to know that there isn’t a single best sofa filling, and that in reality a combination of materials are typically used.
Join us as we take a look through the different types of sofa fillings and the benefits of each.
Different types of sofa fillings
Depending on the quality of the sofa filling, the support and comfort levels of a sofa vary.
You can come across three basic types of fillings:
Many modern sofas are filled with a combination of these three materials to offer different levels of comfort and support. Let us explore all these options in detail.
Foam sofa filling
Foam is one of the most common sofa filling options that you can come across nowadays. Offering stable and firm support; it maintains its shape for a long time, meaning you don’t need to worry about the sofa losing shape even after extended use.
With minimal maintenance and high durability, this type of filling eliminates the need for constant fluffing.
Providing a structured look; foam filling comes with crisp edges. You can expect a solid supportive feel. The issue of compacting can be reduced efficiently with occasional turning up of the cushions. Remember that the frame type also makes in impact on the firmness of the sofa.
The density of the foam varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Today, you can come across high-density as well as low-density foams. Offering a solid and springy feel; high-density foam provides a firmer sit and increased bounce, which makes it a favourable choice for people with limited mobility.
Low-density foam has more give to it and provides a more cushioned feel, so keep that in mind if you consider purchasing a sofa.
Fibre sofa filling
The fibres used in fibre fillings are made from polyester strands. Fibre filling gives you that soft, sink-in feeling we all know, but how does it work?
When you sit on a sofa made using fibre filling, the strands compress, and the air expels to deliver a plush feel. In other words, the air expulsion does not allow the fibre cushion to spring back as fast as foam cushion does.
Fibre sofa filling can be classified into two categories, pocket fibre and blown fibre. The pocket fibre offers an enhanced bouncier and fleecy feel. If you want to get an excellent soft feel, you can opt for blown fibre.
To maintain the softness and look of the fibre sofa filling, you need to focus on occasional plumping as this type of filling demands a bit more upkeep compared to foam sofa filling. Fibre filling is extensively used for making back and arm fillings and scatter cushions.
Feather sofa filling
Feather filling is the softest option of all sofa fillings available today.
Moulding to your shape, a feather cushion offers supreme comfort. However, it does not come with the same spring of fibre or fibre filling. So, regular plumping is needed to maintain the original evenness, feel, and shape.
You can find two types of feathers; duck and down feathers. The most common sofa filling option available is the duck feather, as down feather on its own is far too soft to offer any support. Because it is so soft, down feather filling is primarily used to make scatter cushions.
Most feather filling sofas make use of 85% duck feathers and 15% down feathers. Some other products utilize a 50-50% combination of feather and down.
To put it shortly, feather filled sofas are the softest that you can buy but come with extra required maintenance. They are also susceptible to spillages, and can cause problems for people with asthma or allergies to feather.
So, the main three fillings are foam, fibre and feather.
Lets move on to some of the mixes that you can get if you want to reap the benefits of the different main fillings.
Foam & feather mix
With the support of a foam cushion, a foam and feather cushion filling offers the feel and comfort of a feather cushion. It can be used for making back as well as seat cushions. Just remember that you’ll need to plump it occasionally to keep the comfort level and shape intact.
Feather & fibre
You can always associate a soft and lived-in-look with a feather and fibre combo filling. Offering better durability that fibre filling, this combination takes care of your long term needs. However, it needs to be plumped daily to maintain evenness and structure. Moreover, the feather & fibre combo has a tendency to turn lumpy, so it can be a bit of a handful to maintain.
There are lots of options out there for sofa fillings, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. When considering which filling is the best, you need to assess your own needs and desires.
As everyone is different, the best sofa filling will be the one that fits your individual needs the best.
To briefly summarise:
- Foam – Gives the most firm support, lasts for a long time but is not the softest of fillings.
- Fibre – A cheaper option than feather that provides a softer feeling than foam, but will require a bit more maintenance to keep its appearance.
- Feather – The most luxurious option that provides ultimate softness, but highly expensive with lots of upkeep required.
- Mixes – These are good options if you want to combine the benefits of the above fillings.
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