Supplies Needed to Complete This Task

You will need the following to measure the size of your cushion foam futons or other cushion: pen or pencil, paper, and tape measure.

Ordering Your Foam

To order the correct amount of foam cushion, measurements need to be made. These measurements will differ slightly from the measurements you will need to make when preparing to cut your cushion.

Take the damaged or old foam cushion out of the cover and measure the greatest length and width, seam-to-seam across the center of the flattened cover. Measuring along tightly stitched corners and outside edges may mask a cushion’s real dimensions when stuffed. For T or L-cushions, do the same, with the greatest width likely being centered ear-to-ear along the middle of the cushion. After you record the measurements, increase each by 1” to allow room in ordering and cutting your new cushions.

Before measuring your cushion’s thickness, you must first decide if you want your cushion to be a foam-only form or wrapped in polyester fiberfill, as each has their own method for measuring eventual thickness. Length and width measurements are the same for either type of cushion or foam inserts.

Foam Only: If the thickness of the cover exceeds a whole inch increment by 1/4" or less, round the number down to the nearest whole inch. If your cover's thickness exceeds a whole inch increment by more than 1/4", round its measurement up to the nearest whole inch. As an example, 5-1/4" will round down to 5” and 5-3/4" will round up to 6".

Foam with Fiberfill Wrap: If your cover's thickness extends beyond a whole inch increment by 1/4" or less, round the value down to the nearest whole inch. If your cover's thickness exceeds a full inch by more than 1/4", round up to the nearest inch. In this case, 5-1/4" rounds down to 5" and both 5-1/2” and 5-3/4" round up to 6".

After recording these measurements, contact Foam Factory with your figures, how many cushions you plan on making and whether you intend for them to be foam-only or fiberfill-wrapped. With that information, Foam Factory will determine the amount of material you need to create your cushions to give you enough elbow room to work with while minimizing waste.

Measuring to Fit

If you re-stuffed your couch cushions after the initial measurements, remove the inserts for new measurements; this time to calculate the fit of your cushions. Place the empty cover on an even, flat surface and measure every individual side along its seam, holding the cover taut without stretching. This includes every span along the edge of an L or T-cushion.  To keep your measurements organized, it’s helpful to sketch the cushion on paper so you can match each measurement to its corresponding location. This can save time spent having to re-measure and reduces the chance of switching measurements accidentally.

Adjusting Measurements

Foam Only: If you’ll be making a foam-only cushion or maybe even a foam mattress, two adjustments need to be made to your measurements to ensure the best fit. First, round every measurement up to the nearest 1/4", including values that land on quarter, half or whole inch increments. After getting this new batch of figures, add 1/2” to each measurement. If a cushion’s length was rounded up to 44", increase it to 44-1/2". This increase is also applied to every side of the ears of an L or T-cushion. If a measurement on an L-cushion is rounded up to 4-1/4", its final measurement will be 4-3/4”.

Foam with Fiberfill Wrap: For creating a cushion that will be wrapped in fiberfill, all measurements, L and T-cushions included, should be rounded up to the nearest 1/4". This includes measurements landing on quarter, half or whole inch increments. No other adjustments need to be made after rounding up and do NOT decrease any measurements as compensation for the addition of a fiberfill layer. 

These adjusted measurements will be the ones used to create the cushion for your chairs, couches or foam futons.

Next: How to Cut the Foam for Your Cushion