Home & Office
Without us even noticing, many of the products that can be found in our homes and offices are (at least partly) made out of polyurethane foam. Foam is present in the mattresses and pillows we sleep on, in the upholstery of our sofas or (office) chairs, and serves as acoustic insulation in our floors, ceilings and walls. It is also present in many products where we might not expect it, from the filters of our vacuum cleaners to those of our aquaria or even in the battery of our cell phones.
The mattress is the single most important element of every bedroom. People on average spend a third of their life on it and it is common knowledge that getting good rest is an important factor of an active and happy life. Buying a mattress is therefore not inconsequential when it comes to one’s health and well-being.+
Mattresses are generally classified in three categories, depending on the material constituting the core of the mattress: polyurethane foam, latex or springs. Most mattresses do however contain layers of polyurethane foam in varying proportions, thanks to its unique properties for comfort and support.
The market share of mattresses with a polyurethane foam core is estimated to be around 42% in the European Union (around 12.6 million pieces per year for a total market of around 30 million pieces). This share is steadily growing, due to the outstanding properties of such mattresses.
But mattresses are not the only bedding product made with polyurethane foam. It is also used in pillows and cushions.
Different polyurethane foam qualities can be used in the same mattress or pillow in order to create products with the properties requested by customers: high resilience foam, memory foam, anti-bacterial foam, breathable foam… The combinations are virtually endless.
Selecting the right bedding products can sometimes be rather confusing. Much depends of course on personal preference. However, there are also product safety labels existing to help consumers make an informed choice.
One of them is CertiPUR, which attests that the polyurethane foam contained in the product conforms to EUROPUR’s stringent environment, health and safety standards for PU foam. The specifications of CertiPUR have been taken over in the EU Ecolabel criteria for mattresses, which is a label well-known to consumers. Other well-known private quality labels such as the Blue Angel or Oeko Tex 100 are also found on bedding products to allow consumers to make their choice with confidence.
People today have more comfortable, more interesting and more affordable furniture than ever before. In large part, this is thanks to polyurethane foams.+
Sofas, armchairs and all sorts of seating rely on foams as filling materials. The great advantages of polyurethane foams are their ability to respond to specific requirements for each application (e.g. density, elasticity and durability) and at prices which make the end products well in reach of the average household. It is estimated that 90% of upholstered furniture has a polyurethane foam filling.
Our modern environment generates a lot of noise and we all aspire to some peace and quietness from time to time. That’s where flexible polyurethane foams jump in to help.+
They are used as acoustic insulation in floors, ceilings or walls within houses, but also in any other building where sound absorption is required to increase comfort (for example schools, offices, call centres, restaurants, theatres, recording studios, factories, or swimming pools)
Carpet underlay is the cushioning that makes carpet feel soft and luxurious and increases its lifetime. It is widely used in Anglo-Saxon countries. It is produced from recycled trim from production waste.