19485 Lillehei Avenue,   Hastings,   MN     55033     Tel:  651-437-5513

E-Mail us at:

Standard or "Crowned" Cushions?

Standard or Crowned Cushions???

    Many of our clients have difficulty in determining the thickness of their cushions. In requesting a price quote we ask "What is the thickness of cushions at cushion cover boxing". The term cushion cover boxing refers to the side fabric panel of your cushion covers. This measurement is taken by measuring the boxing from seam to seam or cording to cording. Your new foam cushions will be made to a thickness that matches the thickness of your cushion covers based upon this measurement. But what if the overall thickness of your cushions is greater than the measurement of your cushion cover boxing?

Chair with Standard Seat Cushion

Chair with Standard Seat Seat Cushion

    The picture above shows a chair with a standard seat cushion. The foam insert for this seat cushion was made of our best HR 3.1 density/ 33 lb (medium-firm) ILD foam material in a 4" thickness with a dacron wrap. The boxing of this cushion cover was sewn to a 4" thickness to match the thickness of the foam material. We use a dacron wrap that is about 1/2 inch thick and we laminate it to all surfaces of the foam cushion except for the back (zipper) side. The dacron wrap will give the finished cushion some extra thickness and cause the overall thickness of the finished cushion to be slightly thicker than the 4 inch thickness of the cushion cover. If, for example, your cushion cover boxing measures 4" and your overall cushion thickness is about 5" or less, your cushion is probably a standard cushion.

Sofa with Crowned Seat Cushions

Sofa with Crowned Seat Cushions

   The picture above shows a sofa with "Crowned" seat cushions. As you can clearly see, the overall thickness of these seat cushions is significantly greater than the thickness of the cushion cover boxing measurement. If you order your new cushions to match the thickness of your cushion cover boxing and your seat cushions are crowned the new cushions will not fill your cushion covers and you will be understandably disappointed with your purchase.

   Crowned furniture cushions have a long history going back to the days when cushions were stuffed with whatever materials were available including straw, horse hair, cotton, spring marshal units wrapped with cotton, etc. Cushions stuffed with these things had a tendancy to settle and develop body indents over time. This situation was remedied by adding additional fill materials which solved the problem until they settled again and needed yet more stuffing. Over time this buildup of stuffing materials created an overstuffed and crowned cushion (think Grandma's old sofa). While these cushion fill materials are no longer in use today some furniture manufacturers still design their furniture to incorporate crowned cushions that somewhat resemble the overstuffed cushions of the past.

   Modern crowned cushions are usually made using a foam cushion insert of a thickness that matches the thickness of the cushion cover boxing or slightly greater. There are many methods and materials that may be used to create a crowned seat cushion. Many furniture manufacturers will add a thick layer of dacron to the top and bottom of the cushion before wrapping the entire cushion with a dacron wrap. This additional thick layer of dacron may be applied in layers with a greater thickness at the center of the cushion to build a crown to the cushion. While this method works, over time these very thick layers of dacron will become compressed and leave you with a loose fitting cushion cover. Thick layers of dacron are not very resilient and do not provide a firmness level needed for proper seating posture and support. We do not recommend the construction of crowned seat cushions in this manner as a crowned cushion made of good high density foam materials will provide a much more comfortable and supportive seat cushion and maintain its shape better with daily use.

Crowned Seat Cushion Crowned Seat Cushion with Dacron Wrap
   Crowned Seat Cushion                                                                                                                                                                     Crowned Seat Cushion with Dacron     Wrap

    The pictures above show a crowned cushion made of our best HR 3.1 density/ 33 lb ILD foam material. The cushion cover boxing for this cushion measures 5" but the overall thickness of this cushion was about 7 1/2" so we cut the new cushions from a 7" thick foam material and tapered the perimeter of the cushions at the top and bottom to the 5" thickness of the cushion cover boxing as indicated in the picture on the left before laminating a 1/2" thick dacron wrap to the cushion. The crown of the cushion is created on both the top and bottom of the cushion so the cushion may be flipped from time to time. The practice of flipping your cushions is recommended to extend the life of your new cushions.

This method created a crowned cushion that fit perfectly into the cushion cover and our client didn't need to worry about compression of a thick layer of crowning dacron material. She also reported that she was very pleased with the firmness and support of her new cushion and was happy to be rid of that "sinking feeling" that her old cushions delivered.

Hybrid Crowned Cushions

   Some of our clients with crowned cushions prefer a softer surface feel with the benefit of a firm and supportive core foam material. We can create such a cushion using a core foam made of our best HR 3.1 density/ 33 lb (medium-firm) ILD or HR 2.8 density/ 41 lb (firm) ILD foam material with a layer of a softer foam material used on the bottom and top of the cushion to create the crown. Our HR 2.4 density/ 18 lb back cushion material is often used as a crowning foam in a 1" or 1 1/2" thickness to make hybrid crowned cushions. If the above pictured crowned cushions were made as hybrid cushions we would have used a 5" thick core foam made of our HR 3.1 density/ 33 lb ILD foam material and laminated a 1" layer of our HR 2.4 density/ 18 lb ILD foam material to the top and bottom of the cushion before tapering the perimeter of the cushion.

Hybrid cushions require some additional labor and materials to produce so they are a bit more costly than a crowned cushion made of just one foam material but for those that like a softer surface feel on their new seat cushions the extra investment is worthwhile and we are delighted to create the cushions that match your preferences.