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April 08, 2021 4 min read

How A Foam Shortage Could Be Holding Up Your Furniture Delivery
How A Foam Shortage Could Be Holding Up Your Furniture Delivery

If you’ve been to a furniture or mattress store recently, you may have heard that there are many issues with home furnishings and mattresses being out of stock.

2020 created a massive backlog of furniture orders thanks to the people at home quickly discovering that they needed new furniture.

Now that the demand for new furniture has skyrocketed, people have been searching for furniture in stock. Furniture that is not available in the store has become hard to wait for, with some deliveries taking months to arrive.

But why is the furniture taking so long to be made, and what is holding up the manufacturers? It turns out that many of the supply issues are due to a lack of foam.

Read on to find out why foam is crucial to furniture building and why there is a lack of foam along with a furniture shortage.

How A Foam Shortage Could Be Holding Up Your Furniture Delivery
How A Foam Shortage Could Be Holding Up Your Furniture Delivery

What Is Foam?

Simply put, foam is a petroleum-based product used to create soft, absorbent material for use in a wide variety of products. Polyurethane foam is made by combining chemicals and hydrocarbons found in petroleum with water.

Once combined the chemicals create a porous expanding foam that dries quickly to create a soft supportive cushiony feeling substance. For a more in-depth look at foam in action, check out our article on what a memory foam mattress is and how cooling technology can be integrated into various types of foam.

How A Foam Shortage Could Be Holding Up Your Furniture Delivery

How Is Foam Used In The Furniture Industry?

Foam is used in many industries today. Foam is used in everything from car seats, to packing supplies, but it is probably the most well-known for use within the furniture industry.

Here are the two most common ways that foam is used to make your furniture more comfortable and relaxing.

How A Foam Shortage Could Be Holding Up Your Furniture Delivery
How A Foam Shortage Could Be Holding Up Your Furniture Delivery

Foam Use In Mattresses

foam is used heavily in the mattress industry in various ways. Different foam types are stacked and mixed with other materials to create soft, supportive memory foam mattresses and hybrid mattresses.

Brands like Tempur-pedic, Nectar, Serta, and many more offer mattresses in-store and online, with the bed-in-a-box type of mattress able to ship directly to your front door.

The compact nature of foam mattresses plus the support to pressure points that foam offers makes them ideal for many people needing a new bed.

How A Foam Shortage Could Be Holding Up Your Furniture Delivery

Foam Use In Seat Cushions & More

The supportive yet comfortable cushioning that foam provides also makes the material ideal for couch cushions. Accent chairs, sofas, sectionals, and almost all softer home furnishings are likely to use foam somehow.

Sofas will use foam cushions with wire support systems built into the frame for a combined level of softness and support, leaving your body feeling relaxed and supported. Most furniture makers primarily use foam cushions with limited exceptions.

How A Foam Shortage Could Be Holding Up Your Furniture Delivery
How A Foam Shortage Could Be Holding Up Your Furniture Delivery

What Is Causing A Foam Shortage?

So what is causing this unusual lack of foam within the furniture and mattress industry? Why are things made from memory foam in a constant state of back-orders and waiting lists?

It turns out there are two significant reasons that foam is in such a limited supply. Here are the two reasons why foam shortages are affecting your furniture delivery.

How A Foam Shortage Could Be Holding Up Your Furniture Delivery

Increased Demand For Furniture

As the demand for foam allocation rose, the prices that furniture manufacturers and other companies worldwide were willing to pay also increased dramatically.

Foam is used in many furniture industry areas, but foam is also crucial to other industries, such as the automotive industry.

How A Foam Shortage Could Be Holding Up Your Furniture Delivery
How A Foam Shortage Could Be Holding Up Your Furniture Delivery

Lack Of Foam Material Supplies

The majority of the foam manufacturing process’s raw materials are sourced from foam suppliers in Texas and Louisiana. Most foam making businesses are located within a convenient radius of the few chemical companies that make the necessary ingredients for the foam.

During 2020 these chemical manufacturers and foam companies experienced three major setbacks that have created an increased demand and lack of supply for foam. The 2020 pandemic created a lack of supply much like many businesses.

In addition to the pandemic, the major manufacturers of cushion foam were also hit by a hurricane, causing multiple industries to need to temporarily shut down for repairs, only to be hit again by an unusually frigid winter for the normally mild winter.

Thanks to the unusually harsh freezing temperatures during the past winter, many places that manufacture foam cannot produce the foam in normal quantities.The harsh winter deep freeze combined with the shutdown from 2020has left the foam industry with a huge demand but no supply at the ready.

As the manufacturing companies scramble to get the much-needed supply chain going again, the furniture industry must wait patiently for the much-needed foam production to return to normal levels.

How A Foam Shortage Could Be Holding Up Your Furniture Delivery

What Can I Do To Get Around The Foam Shortage?

The simplest way to avoid waiting long periods for your furniture or mattress to be delivered is to purchase products in stock. In-stock furniture is already at the furniture companies’ warehouse and ready to ship to you as soon as you place your order.

If your furniture is not in stock, you will be at the mercy of the ever-changing supply chain. If you are willing to be patient to get the exact furniture you want, feel free to order furniture that is not in stock.

However, if you need furniture fast and don’t want to wait, buying in-stock home furnishings is the best way to cut down on time spent waiting for your furniture delivery.

How A Foam Shortage Could Be Holding Up Your Furniture Delivery
How A Foam Shortage Could Be Holding Up Your Furniture Delivery

Don’t Let Foam Shortages Leave You Feeling Unsupported

If you need new furniture, don’t let the lack of foam keep you from searching for your dream mattress, sofa, recliner, sectional, or accent chair.

While the absence of a reliable supply chain has made the options a bit more limited, there is still a vast range of furniture available in stock. 

If you are looking to enhance your bedroom, living room, or dining room with new furniture, consider making an appointment at Furniture Fair.

We have been in business for over 50 years, and we have a wide variety of mattress and furniture options available around the Cincinnati, Dayton, and Louisville areas.



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