Different Types of Cushion Fillings

When purchasing chairs, couches and other padded furniture it is important to view the material that is used for the filling. Different fillings have different textures and durability factors. For instance, foam and batting are less durable while memory foam padding and densified fiber or feather/down options last for a longer duration of time. Below are descriptions of the most common cushion filling types and what furniture items each is ideal for.


Foam is often found to be very comfortable but is not as durable as other options. It is ideal for outdoor seating as well as futons, ottomans and furniture that are used for a brief period of time. When exposed to the outdoor elements foam can breakdown quickly and deteriorate. It is also easy to rip and crumble when exposed to humidity for a period of time.


Batting is a quick option to consider when you are requiring a repair or temporary solution when the existing cushion filling is deteriorating. Batting is available in a multitude of compositions from lightweight to heavy. For cushion purposes, it is ideal to use heavy batting. This is more durable and more comfortable. It puts a better barrier between yourself and the hard surface.

Memory Foam Pads

Memory foam is the ideal choice for most consumers when it comes to cushion material. It is a good idea to use zippered covers as the memory foam is machine washable and is dryer safe. You are able to purchase this in bulk to use for multiple seating applications. It cuts down very easily with a utility knife. Some of the common uses for this type of filling are window seats, sitting chairs and dining chairs. This is not ideal for couches, loveseats and recliners as it does take some time to recover after it has been sat on for a period of time.

Densified Fiber

Densified fiber is similar to foam but is heavier, denser and is more durable. This is also easy to use if you are refurbishing furniture in the home. It shapes well and does cut easily. Fitting fabric over this type of material is also easy. There is little chance that the fabric will slip with densified fiber, so hanging cushions on a chair will be an easy task.


Feather and down are ideal for window seats, as a comfort layer on sitting chairs and as back cushion filling on formal couches. This does pack down tight so it is ideal to overstuff the cushion initially. This also works well for accent pillows and foot stools.

Test each different type of cushion in the store prior to making a purchase. This will help you determine the comfort level and how well the filling type bounces back after pressure is applied. Consider density levels and comfort levels before purchasing the furniture. Changing out the cushions after a period of time is rather simple and is a DIY project that can be done at home within a short period of time.