HR Foam VS PU Foam: What is the difference?

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There are plenty of foam varieties on the market that when someone is planning to buy one, they’ll forget to research the best. Truthfully, selecting the suitable foam can help with backaches; thus, knowing what to opt for is vital.

The top two foams are High Resilience Foam (HR) and Polyurethane Foam (PU), as many customers widely buy them. Usually, people buy HR foam as they’re strong and works great for back pains. But on the other hand, PU foams are extraordinarily soft, and they also help some people who have back issues. Though both these foams are made of polyurethane, there are some distinct features to know about. In this article, we’ll discuss them, so you’ll know which one to bid the money on. 


What is a High Resilience foam?

High resilience foam (HR) is a high-grade foam with a density of 2.5 to 2.8. They are made by combining polyol and diisocyanate in a chemical process. Other chemicals and additives can be used for more flexibility but often aren’t welcomed in the process.

They’re incredibly flexible and have a good bounce-back. The bounce-back feature supports a person’s back which relieves their backache. Mostly seats, couches, and beds make these foams ideal for all people. This type of foam has a high resiliency factor and is one of the reasons why they do not sag. 


Let’s talk about High Resilience foam pros and cons

High-resilience foam has several benefits and disadvantages that determine its place in the mattress market. Below, we’ve stated the pros of cons of HR for you to get a whole picture.


High resilience foams work great for clients who want their bed to be sturdy. The open cell structure of HR foams makes it possible to have the bounce-back feature which enhances support and weight distribution.


While the advantages are immense, the cost is worth it. But at the same time, if someone has a back problem and can’t afford this pricey product, it becomes a significant con. The budget can be heavy on the pocket, so many go for other alternatives.


HR foams are used in seats, beds, and couches, be they in public services or at home, because of their durability. HR foams travel long even if their usage is extensive. Their durability is a big boon for the customers.

Not suitable for light sleepers:

These mattresses can mess up a light sleeper’s sleep. These are made of open cells that make the bed bouncy, and they’ll tend to wake up light sleepers due to the motion. If a light sleeper sleeps with a partner who is likely to keep moving the whole night, the Foam will cause trouble.

Suitable for Orthopaedic patients:

Due to their exceptional flexibility and weight distribution, many orthopaedic patients can be helped. These foams assist in better sleeping posture, which can benefit pain in the body’s joints.


Off-gassing is a main con of HR foams. Off-gassing means releasing and breaking down volatile organic chemicals, resulting in odour from the bed. This can cause people with lung issues some problems.

Note: HR foams and their pros are higher than the cons and are worth the shot. While off-gassing is a noticeable problem, it only happens after prolonged usage.


What is a Polyurethane Foam?

Polyurethane Foam (PU) is the most affordable and low-quality foam bought and sold in the market. Usually, Sofa cushions and low-cost “egg crate” mattress toppings are where this foam is used. These foams are made up of petrochemical-derived chemicals. But they’re well known for their softness and comfort in providing people who require a soft bed for snuggling.

Moreover, their bounce-back feature is poor, and they lack durability. Their sagging rate is pretty high. 


What are the Pros and Cons of PU foams?

Polyurethane foam comes in diverse shapes and densities and comes with pros and cons. So let’s have a look at it. 


PU foam is a low-cost option. However, this does not imply that all PU Foams are cheap. There is good-quality PU foam out there, but it can be a little pricey depending on the density. The cost of PU foam is less than that of HR foams.

One of the most significant disadvantages is the low life of PU foam. Though it is abrasion resistant, it tends to break out. Due to its poor, quality and density aren’t an excellent option for someone who wants a long-lasting mattress. Even utilizing a PU foam mattress for a long time will cause a bevy of hygiene and sleeping problems. It might cause posture and other health problems.

Abrasion resistance:

PU foams are an abrasion-resistant material that works amazingly as support to hybrid mattresses. Furthermore, a thick layer of PU Foam on top of an innerspring system helps to strengthen the innerspring coils’ durability.

Odour and allergies:

For a clean sleeping environment, PU foam is not the best fit. It can develop a foul odour due to its big pores and lack of ventilation. It collects body prints sweat and invites debris to stay in. This, in turn, attracts fleas or bugs to the bed, which will lead to body itches and allergies. To prevent this, regular vacuuming is needed. Again, the high maintenance of the PU foam can be tiring, and hence it is a con!


PU Foam is soft by nature. It makes an excellent comfort layer due to its softness. PU Foams are ideal alternatives for orthopaedic patients if they can’t afford an HR foam. PU foam is excellent for relieving pressure on the body’s various areas and joints. But at the same time, complicated joint pain won’t be sufficient with PU foam.


In PU foam mattresses, insulation varies depending on the density. Although PU foam gives a warmer temperature, it might create heat and discomfort. It is a terrible choice for people who love to sleep without heat.


HR Foam vs PU Foam

Now that we saw HR foam and PU foam individually, let’s compare them. Remember, while some people get benefitted from either one of these, the rest will find the opposite useful. And so, analyze and then choose what foam you’ll be best benefitted from. 

ElementHR FoamPU Foam
Support and comfortabilityHR foams are denser and high density; thus, they comfort people with joint pains.PU foams are soft and add plushness when put on top of a mattress.
PriceDue to their extreme health benefits, sturdiness, and quality, the price is pretty high but worth the benefits it gives.Though the PU foam is inexpensive, they are not that good when people opt for it as a mattress. Instead, they work well as layers in between mattresses.
Longevity:HR foams are super strong and are the best fit for regular usage. Hence, it proves their durability is long and lasting.PU foams are very poor when it comes to durability. They are prone to tearing and wearing soon, even if they’re abrasion-resistant.
HypoallergenicHR mattresses aren’t much prone to debris.PU foams have big pores that collect a lot of pollens, hence causing allergens.
Bounce Bounce back, and weight distribution factor is present.There isn’t much bouncy feel in PU, but they’re soft. They’re prone to sagging, unlike HR.


Q. Are Polyurethanes dangerous?

Not really. Polyurethanes are made from chemicals called diisocyanatos and polyols, which have been proved to be safe. And so, using polyurethane foam won’t cause any dangerous effects.


Q. Can Polyurethanes be recycled?

Yes, polyurethanes can be recycled. But it might not be ecologically friendly as a lot of energy is required. But if done through the EU, it will work at its finest.


Q. How to calculate density?

Firstly, measure the foam’s height, breadth, and length. Now multiply height, breadth, and length, and the result is called the “volume.” Then check its weight. Finally, divide the volume by the weight of the foam. 


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Which Mattress is Good for Health in India

Advantages And Disadvantages Latex Mattress

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Sleep is essential as lack of sleep can lead to health problems. A good mattress that provides comfort is ideal for getting a sound sleep. When we speak of mattresses, both HR and PU foams are widely used, and there isn’t any proven fact to say one is better than the other. It varies from person to person, so thoroughly researching before buying a mattress is essential. We hope the insight we gave you has helped you determine the final mattress for you!

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