A few months ago I wrote an article about qualities of a good sofa. Many of you told me that you enjoyed the article so I decided to expand on the topic and discuss sofa and chair cushions.
Besides 8-way hand tied spring construction, screwed kiln dried hardwood frame and great fabric, a durable sofa or chair has good seat and back cushions. A wrinkled, lumpy and saggy sofa should always be avoided. Welting and seams should be straight, not pulled in one direction and any nail heads should be spaced evenly and straight. Back cushions should be softer than seat cushions so you sit correctly at a slight angle. There are three basic types of cushions; foam, spring down and blenddown and each has slight variations from manufacturers.
If you like very firm seats choose an all foam cushion which has high-density foam wrapped with a convoluted (egg-crate) layer and often a thin layer of feathers for softness. This is good for people with back issues and people who do not like to fluff or straighten their cushions.
As a designer I recommend upgraded spring down cushions. Spring down cushions have a core of coiled springs, surrounded by thick foam layers and then wrapped in batting. Spring down cushions also have a second top layer of down feathers for softness when you sit. This is my favorite cushion because the cushions pull less, have a longer life and the inner springs give you a slight lift when you stand.
The third and softest type of cushion is a blend down or down plush cushion. If you like to sink into a chair like a pillow then this is the cushion for you. Blendown consists of a thin foam core wrapped in a polyester layer and then sometimes wrapped in a thick down feather or poly-fiber layer. This type of cushion is for a person who does not mind constantly fluffing their cushions every time they stand up.
I would avoid cushions are filled with cheap foam filler. ‘Dacron Filler Blend ’ is often sold as a feather/down upgrade but can look lumpy, sag and the filler can break down into uncomfortable orange or white small pieces quickly.