Asked on Aug 09, 2015

Is there a good alternative to foam padding?

by Lynn
It has gotten so expensive, and I need a thick piece for a bench that is about 53" long. I have looked at ready-made cushions, but they are generally much wider than my bench and only 44" long.
This is what I need the cushion for. TIA!
  11 answers
  • Met1485065 Met1485065 on Aug 09, 2015
    catch 50% off sale.
    • Lynn Lynn on Aug 09, 2015
      Thanks, Metgrace. Unfortunately the size I need was still $60!
  • Julies1949 Julies1949 on Aug 09, 2015
    You can sometimes buy an old sofa for less at the thrift store! Check around for a one cushion sofa and use the foam from that. You can also glue two pieces of foam together if you can't find something large enough.
  • Moxie Moxie on Aug 09, 2015
    if you sew; you could make one with multiple layers of batting an perhaps put a cut piece of vinyl (you can buy cheap in sheets at big box stores, meant for walls) to give it some extra rigidity and then sew a fabric cover for it. I made my bench seat out of plywood foam and vinyl and staples the vinyl over the foam to the plywood (they are removable) but the foam was uber expensive even on sale (I waited for it to)
  • Judy Schmitter Judy Schmitter on Aug 09, 2015
    Try a camper bunk bed foam pad. I recently bought one at Home Depot for 20, maybe 30 dollars. I used it to pad a bench on my screened porch.
  • Benita Williams Benita Williams on Aug 09, 2015
    End of summer sale on pads for out door furniture this is what I have used for kitchen chair seat cushions, you may have to recover the project but even that for a 4ft bench only cost around $30.00. With another project I purchased thick vintage wool like blankets folded in quarters then sewed edges together, covered with a polyester print. Valla!!! It was less than $25.00. If concerned about those creepy bugs! (EWWW) I place all my second hand fabric items in to a trash bag {I keep extras in trunk of car.} head straight to a laundry mat wash on warm but dry on high for 45min no less but sometimes longer. Hope you find an affordable solution
  • Carol Carol on Aug 09, 2015
    Check Craig's list and thrift stores for a foam single mattress or memory foam topper that you can cut down.
  • Lynn Lynn on Aug 09, 2015
    Thanks to everyone for the great ideas. I actually did luck out on some foam at a fabrics store--not only on sale, but the store had an additional $10 off! I did really love the camper bed idea! Thanks to all!
  • F P Spillers F P Spillers on Aug 10, 2015
    I keep a large bag full of the insides of old pillows. Just peel off the compressed outer layer of polyester after removing the fabric cover. The inside of the polyester is usually like new. I use it for stuffing and layering on furniture and making cushions. If you sew a "pillow case" the size you need for the seat, stuff it and sew the end shut. If you already have most of the materials, it's practically free.
  • Annie Doherty Annie Doherty on Jul 19, 2016
    FP Spiller love your idea and recycling old pillows is a really cost effective solution, brilliant now that foam pads are so pricey. Thank you for sharing.
    • Kira Pressley Kira Pressley on Aug 09, 2017

      Like the idea of pillow fill, yet would need some kind of firm matting in order that sofa cushion seats don't sag just as liberally as night head rests - read someplace that timber (flame retardant) boards/sticks are ideal for this kind of ambitious project yet at affordable prices. You can then wrap and tie down hollow fibre filling (typically flammable) to the boards/sticks and create a very firm sofa seat!. I would perhaps look into obtaining some free/cheap inflammable curtain fabric locally or on eBay as an alternative to pillow spill (unless duck/goose) filled and use that to wrap around one layer of hollow fibre and one layer of flame retardant wood.

  • Donna Lavdis Donna Lavdis on Oct 12, 2016
    You can go to an upholster and have it custom. Also remember that foam comes in a variety of hardness. Tell the guy you want the absolute hardest foam he can get. It will be similar to what proffessionals use so that when you sit on it it won't collapse ever.
    • Kira Pressley Kira Pressley on Aug 09, 2017

      Not very cost effective for those on a tight budget and in fact more expensive to upholster and have it custom made. Great if you have generous surplus income yet this is not applicable to everyone.

  • Kira Pressley Kira Pressley on Aug 09, 2017

    Fantastic idea - been researching online for alternatives to sofa foam as is very expensive. Once spent approx. £200 on that stuff yet unable to get it into my cushion covers that shrunk in the wash and so ended up wasting most of it and lost it during a flat move. The problem I experience is getting a hold of free or cheap second hand stuff 9especially in Surrey) where I live and everyone assumes we are all wealthy and definitely not at all - some places here just as poor as up north and very few 'better off' people give to individuals yet charitable organizations that inflate selling prices in their charity shops.