Upholstery Foam

01March 2024 /

F.C. Hancox is a family run business who have been supplying foam and upholstery sundries to retail, trade and the furniture industry since 1960.  

Fred Hancox started his upholstery business in 1960 and as his business grew, in 1971, he set up a shop in Bournemouth. He was later joined by his son Richard. The company’s reputation for quality work led to further expansion, and in 1997 new premises were opened in Priory Industrial Park, Christchurch. In 2008 they moved to bigger premises again to where they are still to this day on the Airfield industrial estate in Christchurch. Richards daughter Natalie joined in 2009 and now the father daughter team head F C Hancox Foam who are now the biggest supplier of foam cut to size in the south of England, and have become the go-to supplier for upholstery foam and upholstery supplies for trade and retail customers local and nationwide.

In the 1960s, foam was a relatively new product having been developed in Germany in the 1930s. In the 1950s foam began to take off as an ideal product for upholstery. One big problem was its flammability. Fires caused by upholstery became prevalent in the 1960s and 1970s leading to legislation to ensure that furnishings met strict safety standards. F.C. Hancox has complied with these regulations ever since their introduction. All upholstery foam supplied by us are fire-resistant foams and meet these regulations.

There are a wide variety of foams on the market suitable as upholstery foam. The three main types are categorised as low, medium, and high density. In simple terms, the density of foam is measured by the number of air holes within; the smaller the holes, the less air there is within its structure. The higher the density means the foam is of higher quality and will be longer lasting. F.C. Hancox supplies general-purpose foam, reflex foams, and memory foams with memory foam having the higher density. Each of these foams has its own benefits.

Upholsterers will use a range of foams depending upon the type of furniture they are working with. They may be making sofas and chairs for a large manufacturer where the type of fillings is set and can be a mix of upholstery foams and fibres depending upon the design. An upholsterer replacing cushions or seating for a client may want to offer a memory foam or a firm foam plus wadding. At F.C. Hancox we supply foam to all kinds of clients from furniture manufacturers, and furniture restorers to up-cyclers and individuals, cutting the foam they require to all shapes and sizes.

A professional upholsterer will know exactly what type of foam they need for a particular purpose and can easily order through the website for a quick and easy foam-cut-to-size service. Anyone ordering the same way will enjoy the same trade prices.  

Let’s look at the different kinds of upholstery foam available from F.C. Hancox and their potential uses.

CMB FOAM – Firm foam, made up of recycled foam ‘chips’, reconstituted into a compact foam.

CMB 6LB – A very firm chip foam, suitable for contract seating, stools, and kneelers. Good for applications that have frequent use.

CMB 8LB – An extra-firm chip foam. Good for applications that have frequent use.

CMF FOAM – These foams are high-quality, general-purpose foams. We have four varieties of CMF foam.

CMF30H – White, general-purpose, value foam. Suitable for packaging and headboards, not normally recommended for seating.

CMF35H – Medium/Firm seating foam that is suitable for all kinds of seating in any thickness.

CMF38 – High-quality, firm seating foam, suitable for all seating and mattresses in any  thickness.                             

CMF 50 –   Hard seating foam, suitable for any thickness. High quality.

REFLEX FOAM – A high-density superior foam that provides support and firmness. A luxury foam that adapts to the body’s shape then regains its shape after use. Less expensive than memory foam.

REFLEX 500 – High density seating foam, providing medium softness. Provides comfort and support in sofa and chair cushions.

REFLEX 500 Soft Foam – A luxury soft seating foam that is perfect for sofa and chair cushions.

REFLEX 400H – A medium to firm, high resilient seating foam. Grey in colour, this foam provides comfort and support that is also mattress grade.

REFLEX 300 Soft – Lilac in colour, a quality foam suitable for soft backs.


VASCO 50 Memory – Memory foam is a luxury foam that moulds to the body and offers full body support and is often used as a topper for mattresses. As an upholstery foam, memory foam would most likely be used as a topper for specialist items such as wheelchair seating and backs, orthopaedic chairs, office chairs and where lumbar support is needed. We recommend a layer of 25mm or 50mm if you are looking for added comfort.


CALIPORE FOAM – We also supply Calipore outdoor foam which has different properties to upholstery foam. It cannot be used as an indoor foam as it doesn’t have the same fire-resistant properties as indoor foams. However, it is perfect for outdoor furniture and marine upholstery.

F.C. Hancox can cut any of our foams to any size and shape. Added to this, our Chip, CMF, and Reflex foams can be bought in sheets with thicknesses varying from 0.5” (6mm) to 5” (12.5cm) in half-inch (6mm) increments. Sheets can add extra comfort or a new aspect to a furniture project. For example, some upholsterers might use a square or rectangle of a chip or CMF foam and then cover it with a sheet of Reflex foam for added comfort and to keep a job economical.

Of course, making or repairing upholstery isn’t only about the upholstery foam. A range of tools and other materials are needed. At our warehouse in Christchurch, we have a retail shop that sells a wide range of upholstery supplies, including adhesives, tools, tacks, staples, piping cord, zips, casters, in fact, probably everything you might need for your upholstering project. We are adding these to our website for online ordering.

Choosing the correct upholstery foam for a project will come down to a range of considerations, from end use to budget. At F.C. Hancox we have over sixty-years’ experience in helping our customers select the perfect foam for their project and supplying upholsterers with quality foam at great prices. Whether you are an upholstery manufacturer, an upholsterer or have a project to repair or replace upholstery foam, we are here to help.  

We can offer upholstery foam wherever you in the UK, here are just a number of areas we cover.

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