How to choose Firmness for Cushions

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Natural Latex Cushion

These tips are based on the assumption that the primary purpose of the couch will be for sitting on.  If the comfort of the couch is more important for sleeping on, see The Banana Test for determining firmness.

ORGANIC NATURAL LATEX

  1. Choose firmness based on depth first (there are five firmnesses – D65, D75, D80, D85 and D90):
    For BASE CUSHIONS

    1. 3” or less, get a D85 or D90
    2. 4”, aim for a D80 or an D85
    3. 5”- 6”, pick between D80, D85 and D90

    For BACK CUSHIONS

    1. 1-2″, get a D75 or D80
    2. 3-4” or less, get a D65 or D75
    3. 5”- 6” pick between D65 or D75
  2. Choose firmness based on preference of feel second:
    1. Do you like it firm or like a standard couch, rather cushy? The firmer the latex, the more supportive it is and the less you will sink into it.

Rules of Thumb

  1. In base cushions, D80 is considered medium in couches. D85 is considered medium-firm in couch cushions. D90 is considered firm.
  2. In back cushions, D65 is considered soft and D75 considered medium. Depending on the depth, as a pair, a D65 on the and a D80 on the base work well together, as do as D75 on the back and a D85 on the base,
  3. The thinner the latex, the less firm it feels. Depth can make up for the firmness. A 2” D80 will feel the same as a 3” D85. A 3” D90 will feel like a 4” D85.
  4. The heavier you are the deeper latex you will need. Average adult weight (130-230 lbs.) will not feel the supporting wood or spring foundation or on 5 – 6” of latex if the latex is firm, extra firm or hard. A 300 lb adult will want a minimum of 6” of hard latex or deeper of a softer latex.
  5. Cutting the latex ½” to 1“ larger than the cushion dimensions gives a nice full look. The firmer the foam, the less we will add to the dimensions.

Loose Fills

Do your back cushions have a non foam fill like batting or feathers? Consider using

  • wool batting
  • cotton batting
  • shredded latex and kapok mixed
  • woolly bolas

Our wool batting or cotton batting will be a great substitute for the typical dacron batting used. Both are lofty and will be a soft fill. Over time, they do compress in areas of use. They are sold by the 88″ yard. The battings are also great for wrapping around your cushions, more info here.

Our woolly bolas also make a great feather replacement.  They are always soft, a little dense, as light as a standard pillow. They do a really good job keeping their shape and staying in the whole pillow as opposed to some of the loose fills that sink to the bottom of the case because of their weight. They are also not messy!

A mix, often 50/50 of shredded latex and kapok can also make a soft cushion and even bean bag. On its own, shredded latex is squishy and bouncy; kapok is light and airy.  Together the kapok fills in the spaces between the shreds of latex, making the pillow smoother and giving it more volume without increasing its weight significantly. To be fair, both fills are a little messy to work with. More info on comparing all the different loose pillow fills available here.

If you know the dimensions, you can calculate how much you need here.