1st September 2016

The Ultimate Guide to Sofa Stuffing

By Darlings Of Chelsea

When you are in the market for a sofa there are many factors that influence your decision such as fabrics, colour, leather and style and it’s exciting to get caught up in the whole design that fillings are often overlooked. In reality, the filing is what will make you love or hate your sofa. Follow our in-depth guide to discover which sofa stuffing is best for you.


Found in most sofas and cushions either on their own or in combination with other fillings a foam filling gives the most structured look with crisp edges and a firm supportive feel. It provides the firmest support of any filling and will keep its shape over time even with constant use. This means there is little to no maintenance required to keep the cushions looking and feeling plump but turning your cushions every so often will help to slow any compacting. Foam can come in varying densities depending on the manufacturer and sofa, combined with the type of frame support will determine the firmness of the sofa.

High-density foam will give you a firmer seat and more bounce back making it easier for people with limited mobility to get up from the sofa.

Soft foam will have more give to it but still maintain the structured look.

Reflex Foam is a dense, supportive foam made from polyurethane. It is used in our Italian range of sofas, this type of foam offers a firm sit and rigid appearance. Reflex foam is often used on memory foam mattresses as a base to support a memory foam top layer.

Marco Sofa Bed with Reflex Foam Seats

Darlings Marco Sofa Bed with Reflex Foam Seats


Fibre is a man-made filling of polyester strands full of air, once you sit on a fibre seat the strands will compress and the air filling expels giving you a much more ‘sink-into’ feeling than foam. This expulsion of air will mean that a fibre cushion will not spring back as quickly as foam and will need to be plumped often to maintain its appearance and softness. Fibre is a popular choice for back cushions, scatter cushions and arm fillings as it is versatile and cheaper than feather and down.

There are two main types of fibre filling; Blown Fibre and Pocket Fibre.

Blown fibre is when the strands are blown into the cushions in a random fashion leaving many little air pockets. Blown fibre creates a cushion that is very soft.

Pocket fibre or Ball fibre is when little soft fabric bags of foam are stitched together and filled with a springy, fluffy, lightweight fibre that is soft and can maintain body temperature. At Darlings of Chelsea, many of our UK made leather sofas have pocket fibre back cushions.

Duresta Rusking Sofa with Foam Back and Seat Cushions

Duresta Rusking Sofa with Foam Back and Seat Cushions

Foam & Fibre

Foam wrapped in a layer of fibre (SupaWrap) is the most recommended seat cushion filling as it provides the support of foam and the softness of fibre, it is also cheaper than feather wrap. The look of a foam and fibre cushion will be similar to foams clean lines but with the added plumpness of fibre. This filling is easy to maintain but will need some occasional plumping and turning to keep it full and even. Many of our UK made leather sofas are filled with foam and fibre in the seat cushions.

Duresta Shasha sofa has SupaWrap seat cushions.

Duresta Shasha sofa has SupaWrap seat cushions.


Feather filled cushions provide a very soft, luxurious sit. When you sit on a feather cushion it will mould to your shape, however as it does not have the same spring of feather or fibre you will need to regularly plump these cushions to maintain their shape, feel and evenness.

Duck Feathers are the most commonly used feathers for furniture as they are small and have a natural curl that acts like a spring making them a very soft filling.

Duck Feathers and Down is a luxury filling usually consisting of 85% feathers and 15% down, this filling is softer than just feather and offers good bounce back from the down.

Down and Duck Feather is a 50-50% combination of feather and down and is best suited to scatter cushions and back cushions for its superior softness. This filling offers more support and comfort than any other feather filling.

Down (100%) is suited to scatter cushions and back cushions only as down is so soft it offers no support. This filling is said to be the softest of all cushion fillings.

Darlings of Chelsea - Cairness Sofa with Feather Filled Seats

Darlings of Chelsea – Cairness Sofa with Feather Filled Seats

Foam & Feather

A foam and feather cushion filling gives the feel of a feather cushion with the support of a foam cushion. This cushion is suitable for both back and seat cushions but will require plumping occasionally to maintain its shape and comfort. This option is also available with variations of feather, down or a combination of both wrapped around the foam.

Georgie Sofa with foam and feather seat cushion.

Georgie Sofa with foam and feather seat cushion.

Feather & Fibre

Feather and fibre mix offers a soft, lived-in look that you can sink into. This filling will need plumping daily to keep its shape and evenness. The feathers make this blend more durable than pure fibre-filled cushions but have a tendency to clump or become lumpy and not recommended for people with asthma or allergies to feathers.

Feather Fibre Mix - Image Source

Feather Fibre Mix – Image Source