Foam is all around us, it is so common and has become a part of everyday life that we don’t even think twice about it. Foams are found in beds, mattresses, sofas, in all sorts of furniture. They are part of about any chair or anything we can sit on, from car seats to the upholstery in airplanes and spacecraft. Foams differ in terms of quality, elasticity, density, quality, or durability. Such foam properties make them suitable for many different applications. To know which foam for upholstering chairs is best helps let’s look at the different types of foams used for chairs.
What’s The Best Foam Padding for Gaming Chairs?
The most commonly used synthetic foam for padding chairs and many other pieces of furniture is Polyurethane foam (PU).
PU foam has many advantages that make it suitable for an endless list of applications. This synthetic foam is easily formable, durable and weighs very little. It also does not release any chemical substances which makes it suitable for use in all kinds of upholstery. It is used in chairs, in sofas, in mattresses, etc.
Polyurethane foam can be manufactured with different properties. It can be durable and robust or soft and breathable to be used in mattress production or in the upholstery in a sofa. Used as upholstery in chairs the compression hardness and the foam density are important properties.
Cold foam is a durable kind of Polyurethane foam that is used in quality furniture. Due to the special manufacturing process and curing at low temperatures, cold foam combines high breathability, excellent moisture regulation compression elasticity to be an excellent upholstery for sitting furniture.
A particular high-quality kind of cold foam is Bultex. A patented special manufacturing process produces a high-quality natural-appearing sponge that stands out due to its high breathability and good moisture regulation. Despite its low weight, it has a high compression elasticity and provides excellent sitting comfort.
PU foam has two important material properties that we have to pay attention to when selecting the best foam for chair upholstery.
The quality of a foam is determined by its weight to volume ratio. It is expressed in Pounds per Cubic feet (lbs/ft³ ) or Kilograms per Cubic meter ( kg per m³). Generally, the higher the foam density, the better the quality of the foam is. High-density foams of good quality should have at least 30 kg / m³.
Indentation force-deflection/Compression Force Deflection
The second important variable as a measure of firmness is the Indentation Force Deflection (IFD) or Compression Force Deflection (CFD) or in simpler lingo just compression elasticity. It is the pressure necessary to compress a foam block from the initial state to a certain percentage and is expressed in Pascal (kPa) or in Pounds per Square inch (psi) or Kilograms per Square centimeter (kg/cm2). The higher the pressure to be necessary to compress the foam, the firmer it will feel and the less you sink into it.
Soft vs Hard padding – what is optimal?
For the best possible seating comfort, the upholstery should neither be too soft nor too hard. It must also provide breathability to allow the exchange of moisture and body heat.
Padding that is too soft may restrict the agility and comfort of the user. Sinking to deep into the chair cushion will result in an unhealthy sitting posture. It will also obstruct air exchange and will result in sweating. Too soft will not be comfortable.
But a chair that is too hard will also be uncomfortable. Pressure may not be distributed and absorbed, as a result, our buttocks may begin to hurt after a while. It would be like sitting on a hard wooden plank.
The bodyweight of the chair occupant is an important factor when selecting an ergonomic chair. Heavier people require a higher density foam and a higher compression elasticity than lightweight people.
Most high-quality gaming chairs come with a cold foam upholstery that fits the average person and lets them sit in comfort. If you are extremely light or extremely heavy you will have to pay extra attention to the foam that is used to upholster your chair.