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A guide to car seat foam

Car seat foams

What type of foam is used in car seats?

Regardless of the make or model of your car, the majority of car manufacturers use polyurethane foam in their car seats. Claimed as the primary automotive upholstery foam of choice, polyurethane foam is highly supportive, durable, comfortable and protective, making it ideal for transport applications. Severe (very high density) and high-density polyurethane helps to support both the driver and passenger during long and short journeys.

In some instances, manufacturers may opt to use PUR Polyester and PUR Polyether, a type of durable and flexible plastic.

How to make a car seat more comfortable

Given the safety specifications that need to be met in a car interior - including its seats - there isn’t much you can reasonably do in terms of seat modifications without compromising safety. In some instances, serious changes will have legal implications.

It is therefore best to work with what you already have. This means attempting to adjust the seat height and the incline/tilt of the seat back to adjust your driving position, which ultimately contributes to comfort. Additionally, your headrest can be adjusted so that it sits at ear-level behind the driver’s head. This will ensure adequate support and encourage better posture.

Two temporary modifications you can make include adjustments that better support the lumbar region of your back. Most cars have lumbar support built into their seat composition, so you may only need to adjust the tilt of your backrest to feel its benefits. If not, special lumbar support cushions made from high-density foam are available. Alternatively, a rolled up towel can work just as well.

Car seat back support

Furthermore, sitting in a driver or passenger seat for long periods of time can place additional pressure on spinal discs. A good way to alleviate this is via the use of an angled, high-density foam car seat cushion. This type of cushion is angled inwards at approximately 45 degrees and helps to remove pressure from the spinal discs by ensuring better postural alignment.

How to add padding to a car seat?

Should you wish to add padding to your car seat, the easiest option is to purchase a foam cushion pad that can be easily slipped on top of the base of the seat or placed against the backrest. These can be sourced online or alternatively, can be easily made with custom cut to size foam, a chosen cover fabric, and some straps to attach the piece to the seat.

How to replace car seat foam cushion?

If you are looking to replace the foam in your car seats it’s best to consult with a foam manufacturer who can advise you on the specifics. Many manufacturers are aware of the foam types and shapes used by various car brands and can help determine the foam components you need for each cushion.

There are online tutorials that can help you with replacing automotive upholstery foam yourself. Most of these tutorials run through how to detach the seat, remove the upholstery and detach/reattach the new foam. However, for obvious safety reasons it is crucial that you firmly fix your car seats back in place. Therefore it is best to consult your local garage or dealership to help you with this.

Car Seat Foam Infographic find us