How To Cut Foam Mattress At Home

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How to Cut Memory Foam without Messing Up the Whole Process

April 12, 2017 by Maria

A high quality material used in the preparation of mattresses, best memory foam mattress toppers, and pillows, memory foam is essentially a polyurethane material that comprises of extra chemicals to enhance the viscosity and density. Memory foam tends to soften up when brought in close contact with the heat of the body. As a result it wraps around a warm body and gives it a greater degree of comfort. Upon removal of weight, it recovers to the original shape with the recovery process being a very quick one. This is one of the main reasons why memory foam is highly rated as a bedding material. However, when it comes to cutting or shaping memory foam it can be a very challenging process. With the right kind of equipment your disposal, you can overcome this challenge and go about cutting memory foam down to the required size.

Getting a clean edge is where you need to start

One of the most common issues faced when it comes to cutting memory foam is that it does not give you a clean edge. Being too aggressive with the right tool or starting out with the wrong tool altogether contributes towards the foam becoming rough and jagged along the edges. You should use the right tool with care to ensure a smooth and clean cut for your memory foam.

Carving knife

A carving knife comes with a serrated blade compared to those knives that have a smooth blade on them. There are tiny points on these serrated tips which are crucial to providing a straight, clean cut on the memory foam. With the help of gentle, short back and forth motions you can saw through the foam. It is important to ensure that the foam is not compressed.

Electric knife

An electric knife that is commonly available is another option. This too comes with a serrated blade similar to what you get in a carving knife. This is especially useful if you are cutting foam with the help of a template. The edge could be your guide as you slide the knife along the template to get the cut.

Utility knife

Craft knives or utility knives are surgically sharp and this makes them a good choice for cutting memory foam. The secret to using this equipment lies in making a number of easy passes over the memory foam material. Rather than sawing through the foam – something you would usually do while using a serrated blade – start by making a shallow cut-line before eventually deepening it till you finally manage to cut through the foam.

Heavy-duty scissors

You can make use of heavy-duty scissors for cutting thinner quality memory foam. Short chops are helpful in getting the right kind of cut especially when you are using the part of the blades that meet near the handles.

Additional tools to put to use

Apart from the usual knives and cutters, there are a number of other tools that you can use for cutting and shaping memory foam – marking pens, straightedge, Drywall square. All of these will help you in getting lines to give an accurate cut to your memory foam.

Drywall square

These are ideal for cutting long and straight pieces of foam. Take the necessary measurements and place the implement on the foam to square it up. Keep your knees on top so that the square remains steady. The side of the square will act as your guide with a utility knife running along the edge to give you a nice, clean cut.

An alternative to a conventional Drywall square would be a chunk of plywood with straight edges. You can use it in a manner similar to that of a Drywall square set.

Secure it down if necessary

Large pieces of memory foam have sufficient magnitude of friction that helps in keeping the object in place when you are cutting it. When dealing with smaller pieces, it is recommended that you have some heavy object placed along the edge or clamp it down if necessary. This will prevent your cut from going awry.

Some advice with the cutting

It is important that the memory foam is kept on a hard surface with the cutting edges hanging out of the surface. Hold it in place with one hand and have your cutter in the other to cut the foam along the required lines and surfaces.

Also if you are using an electric knife ensure that your fingers or the electrical cord is kept away from the cutting blade. You also need to be in a comfortable position before starting to use a cutter for cutting memory foam. Last but not the least you need to be cautious with everything while cutting the memory foam because all of it can prove to be very lethal.

What tool should I use to cut memory foam?

I need to cut 2×2 ft square pieces from a sheet of memory foam. Not sure what tool is best for this. Any ideas? In the future I’d like to cut circles and eventually sculpt irregular shapes, I don’t know what tool can be used for this sort of job.

10 Answers 10

For thicker pieces you might find you get better results by compressing the foam before cutting it. You could make a simple straight-line clamp out of a couple of 2x4s linked with a door hinge — just put your foam in between, clamp the open end shut with a C-clamp, and use one edge of the wood as a guide for your cut. For your curved cuts it might make more sense to make a plywood die to match the final shape and press it down by hand or with something heavy before cutting around it.

I used a sharp razor knife on my memory foam. You can make a line and just make long cuts. Do not try to cut through it all at once. Start by making your first cut deep enough that you can follow it through and make a straight cut. Just keep cutting down your line until you are through. Take your time and be careful and you will have a clean cut. Don’t use a saw or hot knife you will just ruin your topper.

A razor knife is your best tool for this.

An electric fillet knife does great at cutting this stuff. Seriously. Give it a try if you have one.

If this were styrofoam, I’d recommend a hot knife (basically a wire stretched taut on a frame similar to a jigsaw, and electrified to heat it). However, visco-elastic foam will behave differently and you probably don’t want to be breathing in the fumes produces by melting it.

In this white paper from the Polyurethane Foam Association regarding visco-elastic ("memory") foam, the PFA states that most conventional tools including saws can be used to cut VEF. However, care must be taken to go slowly and not deform the foam too much with the cutting action, because the slower recovery of VEF to its original shape will cause defects in the kerf line and possibly cause the saw to bind more easily.

I use an electric carving knife. It works great.

If you don’t have an electric carving knife, which is the best tool, use a serrated bread knife. Same action on both.

a really sharp knife should do the trick.

I strongly recommend you let the mattress chill outside on a flat surface that maintains its original shape. The mattress becomes very hard when cold, in the same way warmth causes it to soften.

I would then follow the PFA recommendation; "that most conventional tools including saws can be used to cut VEF".

P.S. I do not know what the PFA thinks about having soft or hard memory foam, but I know which of these I prefer.

I used a pair of Cutco scissors. They worked great. The foam I cut was about 3" thick. I tried some other scissors first but they didn’t even think about cutting it. I think the reason the Cutco scissors worked so well is the serrated edge they have. This made them bite into it instead of pushing back out like the other scissors I tried to use.

Well the best option is to clamp the memory foam between the 2 x 4′ s.mentioned before.on top off a sharpy marked line, which is a marker.adjustable wood working clamps would work great for this. no matter how thick, which will decide the length of your knife. a good brand new razor utility knife preferably one that is disposable the kind that when you extend it you can break off the used dull portion. By using this kind of . razor knife when new you can extend it long enough to make a deep good clean cut through the thickness. without having to buy or use one of your wife’s or husbands kitchen knives or just something that just won’t do a good job Wright off the bat, and wind up with something that looks like A person having a nervous break down did it . the cost of a new razor knife like this is at the most $5 bucks at the dollar General store.

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How to Cut Memory Foam

Updated: July 26, 2019 | References

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Memory foam is a common material used for mattresses and pillows since it’s comfortable and it conforms to your body. If you have a piece of memory foam that’s too large, you can easily cut it at home with an electric carving knife. Be sure to double check your measurements before you make your cut so you don’t make a mistake. When you’re finished, you’ll have a piece of memory foam that’s the perfect size!

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Warning:Be careful not to compress the memory foam while you’re taking your measurements, or else they may not be accurate.

Cut Foam at Home: DIY Tips For Cutting Open-Cell Foam

Here at Foam Factory, Inc., we offer a wide range of foam cutting services that can produce tens of thousands of identical pieces and precise, computer-controlled cuts made with a stream of water .005 inches in diameter. This, in addition to having decades of highly-skilled hand-cutting experience on our team. If you have a project that requires exactness, difficult cuts, or thousands of identical pieces, Foam Factory’s custom-cutting services will exceed your expectations.

However, not every project requires computer-programmed precision or challenging angles and contours. Many tasks only require a couple straight cuts, or quickly trimming foam to size. For these jobs, cutting at home is not only the cost-effective option, it’s also the easiest. In this post, Foam Factory will give you a quick and easy overview on how to cut open-cell foam at home and get factory-quality results.

Gently cutting with a serrated blade

Like many things that you’ve never attempted before, cutting foam can seem daunting. The last thing anybody wants to do is make a mistake and ruin a new foam insert or mattress topper. Fortunately, cutting foam is the easiest thing since pre-sliced bread.

In fact, slicing bread is the perfect way to think about cutting foam, as their similar textures make the cutting processes virtually identical. Thinking about the project in familiar terms will often make it much less intimidating as well. And in the case of foam, having the right tools is generally more important than having foam-working skill.

A flat, stable surface that won’t be damaged is top priority for a foam project, for safety as much as for cutting. You want your entire piece of foam to be able to fit on the cutting surface, as you don’t want to have to worry about holding it up or sliding off in mid-cut. Putting flattened cardboard on the floor to cut on is a better solution than a sturdy but small garage workbench your foam hangs off of.

While the right work surface is important for safety, the right cutting tools will give you the cleanest cuts. There are only two types of knives that should be used to cut foam at home. Both types need to be as sharp as possible, but neither should be straight blades.

Option one is a serrated carving knife or bread knife. As mentioned earlier, cutting foam is essentially the same as cutting bread, so it only makes sense that you would use the same type of knife as well. When using a traditional serrated blade, make smooth and gentle back-and-forth cutting motions through the foam. Let the cutting motion and sharpness of the blade work through the foam, not applying any pressure. Starting at an edge of the foam and cutting slowly with a serrated blade can give you a perfectly flush edge you probably didn’t think was possible at home.

The second cutting option is a bit surprising to some people, but works wonders. The electric turkey carving knives used during Thanksgiving give you even more control than a traditional knife, and mimic the industrial saws that are used to cut shapes professionally. Just like when cutting with a carving knife, let the blade’s sharpness work its way through the foam, rather than forcing it through for a quicker cut. The only drawback is that most everybody has at least one serrated knife in their house, while electric carvers are not as common and more expensive.

Foam molding corners are an example of a surprisingly easy foam cutting job

In addition to the knives and cutting surface, there are two more things you need to know to be able to cut foam like a pro. The first is that you shouldnevercompress foam when cutting. Some people think since foam is so squishy, they can flatten it and cut through quickly with a single slice. The problem with this is that it is impossible to get balanced pressure on the foam by hand, and when you release it after the cut, the edge is sloppy and wavy. Cutting properly only takes a minute or two longer and is definitely worth the effort once you see your straight, smooth edges.

The other tip involves cutting around traced lines on the foam. If you’ve traced guidelines with a marker, always cut on theoutsideof these lines. Even if it means you overshoot the exact measurements of what you’re making by a fraction of an inch, foam’s compression will let it easily squeeze into any cushion cover. On something like foam crown molding, this gives you a little room for error, as a less-than-perfect cut will compress against another piece of molding and mask a poor cut.

As you can see, cutting foam is a lot easier than it may seem at first. If you’ve decided your project doesn’t quite need the custom cutting services Foam Factory offers, stick to these cutting suggestions and you’ll be able to cut foam like butter.

How to cut foam mattress at home

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