What Type of Foam is Used in RV Cushions?
RV cushions on dinettes and couches are really not that different from regular upholstery foam. It can be latex or polyurethane foam (usually it’s polyurethane).
Sometimes there’s a layer of cotton batting to make the cushion a little more comfortable but it really depends on what the RV manufacturer wanted to spend resources on.
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Latex foam is one of the better foams to use in an RV cushion. It’s durable, offers lots of support, and it’s resistant to mold and mildew.
The main downside to it is it can be difficult to find the correct dimensions to replace RV cushions.
Polyurethane foam is the most common RV cushion material and it’s also the easiest to find online.
High density foam (a type of polyurethane foam) is going to be one of the best replacements and upgrade from the old foam in your RV. It’s easy to get the right sizes online and it’s not that difficult to cut.
Memory foam is another good option if you want to spend a little more but it’s not going to be as comfortable to sit on as high density foam.
When choosing the right kind of foam for RV cushions it’s important to get the right firmness. You don’t want it to be uncomfortable but you want it to hold its shape for longer than the old foam did.
That’s why I recommend a good high density foam over memory foam. Or you could do two layers of foam with memory foam on the bottom and a softer high density foam on top.
Replacing the Foam in the RV Dinette Seat Cushions
We work online, and because of that, we spend a lot of time sitting on the RV dinette cushions because we use the dinette as a desk.
Our motorhome was already 12 years old when we got it and the foam in the cushions didn’t have much life left in them.
For the sake of comfort and good posture, we needed to replace the foam in the main dinette cushions right away.
The hardest part about the replacement was finding the right kind of foam online.
Many forums suggested going to a local upholstery company to get custom cut foam but that wasn’t an option in the area we were in. I also wanted to know what the costs would be upfront.
I knew getting some high density foam online would be a bit of a risk but I’ve been really happy with what we ended up with.
The main thing I was looking for was a piece that would be long enough to be able to replace both of the dinette cushions.
I was also hoping to find the exact width that I would need but the width of the dinette cushion was an odd measurement so I ended up having to get something a little wider.
It was easy to cut down to size though and more affordable than getting a custom cut piece.
The RV Cushion Replacement Foam
After some searching online and having no luck getting any response from companies that do custom foam orders I decided the easiest route to go was to get a roll of high density foam that could be cut down to size.
GoTo Foam was one of the only companies I could find that sold a length long enough to cut both replacement RV dinette cushions out of one piece.
The 44ILD high density upholstery foam is made in the USA and has a lifespan of around 7-10 years.
The density is 1.8 which is considered high. The main difference between high density and other foams is the lifespan. The compression rating might be the same, but high density foams will last much longer.
The compression rating is 44 lbs. That means it takes 44 lbs to compress the foam 1 inch in a 7×7 inch area.
As an example, a 180 lbs person sitting will compress it around 2.25 inches and only 1.25 inches when laying.
It’s much more comfortable to sit on foam like this than to lay on it.
The GoTo Foam 44ILD High Density Upholstery Foam is a polyurethane based foam which is a common type of foam used in RV cushions.
It’s a great budget friendly option for using in RVs and campers and it was shipped quickly after ordering.
How to Measure for Replacement RV Cushion Foam
Getting the correct measurements is crucial to gettting the right size of foam and being able to cut it the right size the first time.
You can’t put the foam back together once it’s cut and it’s not as easy to shave off a few inches as one might think.
Getting it right the first time is the best way to go.
For the most accurate measurements, you should remove the RV seat cushion cover first.
I actually didn’t do this when I ordered the foam. I knew it would take a few days to be shipped to us so I measured the full length and width of the dinette cushion with the cover on.
I then added a few inches to make sure the foam I ordered would be more than enough. This was ok to do since I wasn’t ordering a custom size.
The piece I ended up getting was more than a few inches wider and longer than what I needed so I knew it would work.
I measured multiple places to try and get a good idea of the thickness.
It was more narrow in places where the old foam had compressed down but 4 inches was how long the edge seams were so I went with that.
If you’re ordering a custom cut piece or are measuring for cutting the foam you will need to remove the RV cushion cover and turn it inside out.
Once inside out you’ll be able to see the seams which are where the different pieces of fabric are sewn together.
The bottom panel is usually the easiest to measure. For the length and width measure the bottom panel from seam to seam.
In most cases that’s the measurement, you should cut your foam down to.
In the case of the dinette cushion in my RV, I could see that there was an edge sewn past the front side of the bottom panel and the corner seam didn’t start for another inch.
I ended up adding that extra inch to the final foam measurement and I’m glad I did.
For the thickness just measure the length of the corner seams. Most RV cushions are 4 inches thick but there are a few that might be up to 6 inches.
If you’re near a washing machine washing the covers on a gentle cycle with cold water is a good idea. They can get really dusty inside the camper.
Make sure you air dry them so they don’t shrink.
How to Cut Foam for RV Cushions
There are a lot of different things you can use to cut foam, and everyone has their own preferred method.
But when you live in an RV the options can be pretty limited.
I’ve cut foams before and my preferred method is to just use a really sharp knife and make multiple cuts in the foam.
It’s not going to give pretty edges but it’s an easy way to get replacement foam down to size and the cover will usually hide the imperfect hand cut sides.
Measuring the foam piece can be pretty difficult. A straight yardstick is going to be the best option to get accurate straight lines.
Make sure you measure multiple places and then connect the dots using a straight edge.
One of the good things about foam is it’s fairly forgiving. If your edge isn’t perfectly straight it will normally fit inside the cover anyways.
Just get it as close as you can to the correct dimensions and you should be fine.
I like to measure both sides of the foam and make two cuts on each side to make sure the edges end up as straight as possible.
Once you have your RV cushion replacement foam cut down to size you can put the cover on it.
Even if the replacement foam is cut exactly to the correct size it’s going to be a little difficult to get the cover on at first but it should get easier once it’s totally inside.
There should be some slight resistance when you’re zipping it up but if you’re having to push down the cover just to get the zipper to close a little you might need to cut the foam piece down a little smaller.
You want a snug fit but you don’t want to put unnecessary pressure on the zipper and seams.
When someone sits down on the RV cushion it will expand out a little as well so you want to plan for that.
Conclusion About RV Cushion Replacement Foam
The cushions in our old RV were pretty old and stretched out, so the cover fabric is actually a tiny bit loose but it still barely fits into the dinette.
I think we’re due for some replacement covers soon but for now, this replacement foam has been perfect for making sitting at the dinette much more comfortable.
The GoTo foam is the perfect density for support but there’s enough give for comfort.
We’ve been sitting at the RV dinette and working daily for about a month now and the new foam shows no signs of wear and it’s holding its shape really well.
Since we use our RV dinette more than the average camper I suspect the foam won’t last nearly as long for us as it will a regular camper.
For full time RVers who use the dinette as an office a budget friendly replacement foam like the GoTo high density is a good way to go.
Even fancy foams will need replacing and it’s pretty easy to just get a big piece of standard high density foam and cut it down to size whenever it starts to get worn out.
I’ll update this article over time but right now, I’m really impressed with this simple replacement foam that I was able to order easily online.
Have any questions about replacing the foam in RV cushions or where to get some online? Leave a comment below.