Different Types of Futon Cushion Fillings and Cover Materials
Foam is the most common filling used in futon cushioning and it is also very popular. It comes in different densities which determine the cushioning’s thickness.
Here are the different types of foam fillings in futons:
This type of foam was first made for automobile seat cushions to reduce the weight of the car and, at the same time, enhance durability and mechanical strength.
In futons, cushions with lower density are often too thin and people do not prefer them because they tend to flatten out with use. However, many manufacturers are using very high-quality, low-density foam mattresses which are quite durable and retain their shape for years.
A word about the density of the foam used: density identifies the weight of one cubic feet of foam. As density increases, so does the quality and comfort of the cushioning. The higher the foam density, the better quality of the mattress, but it is also heavier.
The best density readings for futon mattresses are between 1.8 and 3.2.
- Slab foam cushion and memory foam
Slab foam cushions consist of polyurethane and latex materials which are resilient, retain their shape, and durable. New technology has also started using combustion-modified foam and natural and synthetic foams for creating high-quality, visco-elastic memory foam cushions.
Visco-elastic or memory foam is a slow-recovery foam that is especially used in futon mattresses, wheelchair cushioning, and other healthcare furniture/appliances.
Molded foam is higher in density and much more durable and comfortable. It also allows for more complex shapes and curves with thinner profiles. It gives a clean and sleek look to the completed upholstered futon.
Latex foam is produced from rubber and other synthetic rubberized compounds. During the manufacturing process, they create the rubber foam compound with tiny, air-filled cells. To alter the density of the cushioning, engineers create different sizes and quantities of these air cells.
The latex is often treated with sulfur and heated (a process called vulcanization) which adds even more stability and strength to the latex cushioning.
This is the most popular type of futon cushion filling and its popularity can be attributed to its resistance to moisture, microbes, crushing, and compression.
PU foam wrapped in Dacron is the most common and least expensive seat core in upholstered furniture. The density of the foam and the softness of the Dacron will determine how comfy your futon will be.
Fibrous cushioning in futons and couches are made directly from fibers, bypassing the yarn stage. These fibers can be natural or manmade. The benefit of fiber-based cushioning is that it provides a smooth, slip-resistant, soft surface and can range in thickness from 1/8th inch to 2 inches.
Fiber cushioning used in futons can include organic cotton, linen, jute, kapok, and bonded cellulose fibers. Ramie fiber is also a popular filling in cushioning. It is similar to linen, white, and lustrous. It is also strong and resilient.
The benefit of using fiber-based futons is that they are better for people with a sensitivity to chemicals. They are also soft and versatile.
Cotton fiber futons are very versatile, take colors well, and are also eco-friendly. They have unlimited styling potential.
On the downside, cotton cushioning fades in the sunlight and UV light can cause disintegration of the natural fibers. They are also subject to mildew and less resistant to stains than synthetic fibers.
Linen or flax is one of the most durable cushioning materials. It is resistant to dye and reflects heat better than cotton. However, it will still disintegrate in direct sunlight. On the downside, it can be expensive and also wrinkles easily.
Wool is another great upholstery material in futon mattress covers. It is resistant to abrasion, colors well, and has high stain resistance. However, it needs to be mothproofed and can be expensive. Some people are also allergic to wool.
Silk is a beautiful fabric for a futon covering. It is luxurious and especially beneficial to people who have allergies to other materials. On the downside, it can fade in strong sunlight and is also difficult to clean. It is also not resistant to mildew.
Velvet is a great choice in futon covers. It is soft, available in attractive colors and prints, and also takes dyes well. It is water-resistant and easy to clean too.
These mainly include rayon, polyester, olefin, and nylon. All these materials can make your futon cost-efficient and affordable. On the downside, all synthetic fibers are manufactured from petroleum, making them not too environmentally friendly.
This is resistant to direct sunlight, cleans well, and takes dyes well too. It is also flame- and abrasion-resistant. Polyester is often blended with natural fibers to soften its feel.
Rayon is woven to imitate the look and feel of silk. It is a great low-cost alternative to silk and blends well with modern upholstered furniture to impart rich elegance to your décor. Rayon is reasonably resistant to abrasion but cannot withstand direct sunlight.
This is the most popular choice in upholstered furniture as it has a high luster and imparts a richness to the décor. Its drawback is that it fades in sunlight.
Leather and faux leather
Leather futon cushioning is highly elegant and adds a rich look to the décor. You can go for faux leather or genuine leather. Genuine leather does not need dry-cleaning and wears the longest. It even gets better as it ages! There are other benefits of using high-quality leather cushioned futons: you get a wide range of colors, impressive effects, and a fashionable appearance.