3 Best Types Of Foam For Dining Room Chairs (Classy!)

Repairing, upgrading, or even constructing your own dining room chairs can be a real money-saver and yield professional-looking (and feeling) results. 

Obviously the purpose of a dining room chair is to provide support and comfort while you’re eating and socializing, which could potentially be for hours at a time.

Unfortunately, some chairs just aren’t manufactured to a good enough standard in these departments. 

Luckily, there is plenty of upholstery foam available on the market for chair reconstructions.

But when you’re buying online, it can be difficult to tell high-quality foam from cheaper products which is where this post comes in.

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In a hurry? Here's the top pick...

FoamTouch Upholstery Foam

  • Available in 1 - 6-inch depths 
  • 24 x 72-inch lengths 
  • 3-7 years of durability 
  • 1.6 density rating (soft)
  • 44 lb compression rating 

OUR TOP PICK

FoamTouch Upholstery Foam 2' x 24' x 72' High Density Cushion

This high-density upholstery foam from FoamTouch is not only one of the best foams for dining room chairs.

But it’s also an excellent multipurpose foam for any furniture in your home that needs some extra cushioning. 

The range of depths that this foam is available in covers the spectrum of 1 inch to 6 inches.

To achieve the ideal padding thickness for the average dining room chair, however, we recommend the 2-inch option. 

This foam comes in sheets or blocks of 24 x 72 inches, so you’ll have plenty of material to work with to upholster multiple chair seats or backs.

If you’re only upholstering a single chair, one roll should be enough to pad the seat, back, and armrests, if applicable. 

What makes this foam stand out so far from the competition is the fact that its density and compression ratings are absolutely ideal.

Its density rating of 1.6 puts it in the mid-range of foams between firm and soft.

Therefore, this foam will make excellent seat cushions as well as backs for dining room chairs and will provide plenty of support as well as comfortable cushioning. 

The compression rating, meanwhile, is 44 lbs, so the foam has plenty of give to it but won’t fall completely flat when you sit down. 

When this foam is compressed, it recovers its shape at a rate of 100% and will withstand anywhere between 3 and 7 years of consistent use. 

Pros

Cons

  • Some orders are shy of advertised measurements

EDITORS CHOICE

IZO Home Goods Upholstery Foam 2 inch X 20 X 20 Foam Replacement Seat Cushion Foam, Set of 4

This 4-pack of pre-cut foam chair pads will provide the perfect cushioning for standard-sized dining room chairs. 

Each piece of foam is 2 inches thick, which is the ‘sweet spot’ for chair foam thickness where most people are concerned. 

The foam is firm enough to maintain its shape and offer proper support, even when used consistently and for long periods of time.

Even when excessive weight is applied to it, the foam won’t completely collapse, so you’ll always have a layer of padding between you and the structure of your chair.

That’s why IZO’s foam is so multipurpose - it’s durable and resistant enough to be used in anything from chairs to mattresses.

If you wish, you can also purchase this same foam with an additional layer of gel foam on top.

This is a great option for anyone looking for an extra level of comfort from their dining room chairs, and especially for those dealing with chronic pain (although you should consult a medical professional before making any purchases for health reasons). 

This foam is available for purchase in several sizes.

If you don’t know the measurements of the dining room chair(s) you want to upholster, we would recommend opting for the 20 x 20-inch pads, which should be large enough to cover more standard dining room chair seats.

Alternatively, you could choose 16 x 16 or 18 x 18. 

Pros

  • 4-pack so you can do most, if not all, of your chairs. 

  • Pre-cut saving you a lot of time and hassle.

  • Multipurpose so you can use for other projects too.

  • Suitable for backs and seats 

  • Gel foam options available 

  • Available in 16, 18, and 20-inch squares

Cons

  • Some buyers find the foam too dense

BEST VALUE

Linenspa High Density Cushion Craft Foam - Perfect for Chairs, Sofas, Headboards, and DIY Projects, 3' x 24' x 72', White

Linenspa has been manufacturing high-quality mattress padding for years and is a Centipur-certified U.S. manufacturer.

The company’s reputation and certification makes it a reputable company that you can trust your home comfort to. 

This High-Density Cushion Craft Foam is a multipurpose foam that comes in an array of size and density options.

From sofas to car seats, there’s a version of this upholstery foam to meet all your needs, and it’s especially good as padding for dining room chairs.

You can purchase this foam in just about any depth you want (within reason) from 1 inch to 6 inches.

The most popular choice, however, is the mid-range 3-inch thickness.

This is thicker than the average dining room chair, but for anyone who likes to minimize pressure around the glute or spinal area, that added thickness can be a real blessing. 

Each roll of this foam measures 24 x 72 inches, so you can easily get 3 standard dining room chair seats out of a single layer, with material to spare. 

The reason we recommend this foam so highly for dining room chairs is that (in the ‘firm’ rather than ‘extra firm’ option), it strikes a great balance between firmness and softness.

With a density rating of 1.6 and a compression rating of 32, you can see that this foam toes the middle line. 

The compression is slightly lower than we might like, however, so this is probably not the ideal foam for those looking for a firmer chair seat.

For those who like to sink into their chairs a little, though, it’s perfect. 

Pros

  • Widely available in 3-inch depth 

  • 24 x 72 inches per purchase 

  • Mid-range 1.6 density rating 

  • Centipur-US-certified

Cons

  • Compression rating on the low side 

RUNNER UP

FOAMMA (4-Pack) 2' x 20' x 20' HD Upholstery Foam High Density Foam (Chair Cushion Square Foam for Dinning Chairs, Wheelchair Seat Cushion Replacement)

This is another excellent foam product for anyone looking for pre-cut pieces of foam to upholster dining room chairs. 

This foam is available in squares of 20 x 20, which is a convenient size because it covers the measurements of the vast majority of dining room chair seats. 

The FOAMMA upholstery foam has a density rating of 1.8, which is a mid-range foam density leaning slightly more towards firmness than softness.

This is actually the general standard adhered to by the foam industry, so you’ll find that this foam is excellent for all types of furniture upholstering.

You’ll be able to enjoy firm support with just enough give for a soft, cushioned feel. 

This density rating is coupled with a compression rating of 44 lbs, which is another industry-standard foam compression rating for balanced pillowy comfort and firm support.

You’ll get to make the most of this foam for a long time, too, because it can last up to 10 years!

Similar to the IZO foam pads, the FOAMMA foam is also available with an added gel memory foam layer for those seeking extra high-quality comfort. 

The customer service provided by FOAMMA is another very good reason to opt for this foam.

If you don’t want to trim down squares of foam to fit your chairs yourself, you can contact FOAMMA, and the team will cut your foam into whatever shape and size you need.

There have been instances where the tight packaging that this foam comes in causes permanent (if minor) flaws in the shape of the foam, however.

So try to remove the foam from its packaging at the earliest opportunity and allow it to sit for a couple of days. 

Pros

  • Pre-cut
  • Custom shaping available 
  • Highly durable (7-10 years)
  • Ideal 20 x 20-inch sizing 
  • 1.8 density rating 
  • Gel memory foam options available

Cons

  • Reported minor structural issues caused by packaging

RUNNER UP

Milliard Upholstery Foam, High Density, Great for Cushion/Sofa Replacement and Padding, 2'x24'x72'

Milliard’s upholstery foam is a high-density product designed to provide proper support and luxurious comfort. 

This foam has been lab-tested to ensure that it meets industry standards. As a result, the foam is CertiPUR-certified, which means its production does not involve or include any ozone-depleting substances. 

Milliard’s foam comes in layers of 24 x 72 inches, allowing plenty of room for trimming to the exact shape and size you need.

It’s available in depths of 2 inches and 4 inches, but for dining room chairs, we’d recommend the 2-inch thickness. 

Although this foam is advertised as high-density, it’s still soft enough to remain malleable but many people prefer a slightly more dense cushion. 

If you require a lot of support from the seats and backs of your dining room chairs, this may not be the foam for you.

However, if you prefer a  seat that molds to your body more, you will likely appreciate the Milliard Upholstery Foam. 

Pros

Cons

  • Not dense enough for some buyers’ requirements 

Best Foam for Dining Room Chairs Buying Guide

Need some pointers on how to select your perfect dining room chair foam? You’re in the right place!

Read on to learn about all the factors you should consider:

Pre-Cut or Cut-to-Size?

Before you even start browsing the available options for dining room chair foam, it’s a good idea to have the measurements of your dining room chair seats and backs on hand. 

The reason this is so important is that you’ll need to make sure you’re buying enough foam to cover all the seat areas you need to pad out. 

You’ll then need to decide whether you want to buy your foam pre-cut or whether you’ll do the trimming yourself.

Even when you buy pre-cut squares of foam, you’ll probably need to do some trimming to get them to the perfect size, unless there’s an option for custom cutting through the manufacturer. However, starting with pre-cut squares can take some of the time and effort out of the process. 

If you do opt for pre-cut foam squares, make sure they’re large enough to start with. We recommend choosing 20 x 20-inch sizes to make sure they’re large enough in all areas.

Back or Seat?

Something else you will need to have thought about before you purchase your foam upholstery is what areas of your dining chairs you want to upholster. 

The most common chair areas to pad with foam are, of course, the seat and the backrest, with the seat being the primary concern for most people.

In some cases, armrests may also be padded with foam, although this can usually be done with ‘leftovers’ from trimming. They may also require a different (often thinner) foam altogether, which is why we’re focusing more on seats and backs in this article. 

The average dining chair seat measures around 18-20 inches by 15.5-18 inches. The front of the chair seat tends to be wider than the back, but this can vary depending on the design of the chair. 

Chair backs are slightly more variable in terms of averages. They can sometimes be significantly taller than the seat but will usually be roughly the same width. Make sure to take these measurements beforehand. 

Material

There are several different varieties of upholstery foam on the market for dining room chairs. 

Most standard foam products will be made from some type of polyurethane foam.

Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult to find material descriptions that are more specific than this, but the good news is that polyurethane in all its forms is a very durable and resilient material. 

Gel foam is another great option for those who really want to maximize the comfort they get from their dining room chairs.

While padding made entirely of gel foam can be very expensive, there are foam products on the market that feature a top layer of gel foam for additional comfort and soothing.  

Thickness/Depth

This factor leaves a lot of the decision-making down to you, but it’s important to carefully think about how thick you want your chair’s foam padding to be. This might not sound like a particularly difficult task, but it can easily go awry. 

Of course, you don’t want to make the mistake of choosing foam that is too thin. After all, you want to experience the full comfort benefit of your new foam upholstery.

Over time (as in, several years), it’s likely that your chair foam will begin to flatten out with consistent use, so you want to make sure you have enough padding at the start to allow for this. 

On the other hand, installing a piece of foam that is too thick into your dining room chair(s) is likely to result in one of several problems.

Firstly, you may not be able to stretch your original or pre-prepared piece of chair fabric over the bulk of the foam, putting a spanner in the works of your chair reupholstering.

Alternatively, if the foam does fit, you could end up with an overly-cushioned chair that has you bouncing like a jack-in-the-box every time you reach for the potatoes. Okay, that’s a pretty extreme example, but you get the idea. 

Generally speaking, the ideal thickness for dining room chair foam is about 2 inches. This thickness is usually enough to provide effective support and cushioning, but not so thick as to become impractical. This is why most of the foams on our list of products are 2 inches thick. 

However, many people do prefer a little extra padding in their chairs. This could purely be a matter of preference or a question of health.

Sciatica, for example, is a condition that can make sitting down for prolonged periods extremely painful. In cases such as these, a little extra padding can go a long way because it helps to relieve pressure against sensitive areas. 

For those who like their chair padding to be thicker than average, we have also included a 3-inch option in our reviewed products.

Disclaimer: If you are dealing with a condition that causes chronic pain when sitting and are buying padding for this purpose, please consult your doctor or physical therapist beforehand. Extra-thick foam alone may not be enough to alleviate symptoms and may not provide the support you need.

Compression/Density Ratings

The compression and density ratings of a piece of foam are just as important as factors like depth. 

A foam’s compression rating indicates how much weight is needed to reduce the foam’s height by 25%. Meanwhile, the density is an indication of how much actual material is contained within a square foot of foam. 

You don’t want your foam’s compression rating or density rating to be either too high or too low. For dining room chairs, we’d recommend a density rating of between 1.6 and 2.4.

A 1.6 density will be suitable for those who like their chairs on the softer side, while higher densities will provide more firmness and support for those who need it. For reference, most dining room chairs use foam at a density of around 1.8. 

Where compression ratings are concerned, the ideal rating for you will somewhat depend on how much weight you plan to regularly put on the chair.

However, generally speaking, we recommend a rating no lower than 30, with 40 + being preferable. 

How much fabric do I need to upholster a chair?

You'll need around 3 yards of fabric to upholster a dining room chair with higher back and more formal chairs requiring up to 7 yards according to Revolution Fabrics.

Last update on 2021-08-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API