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The density of carpet underlay – what is it?

The density of carpet underlay – what is it?

When shopping online for new carpet underlay, density is a term you’re likely to come across – and, for most people, it’s a real source of confusion. Perhaps you’re wondering…

What exactly does it mean? Is it something you need to consider when making your purchase? Should you buy a low-density product? Or are high-density underlays better?

All very common questions, that we get asked all the time at Carpet Underlay Shop. But fear not. As a UK leading company for carpet underlay, we know the answers! And to help you feel a little less ‘dense’ on the subject, here our in-house experts explain all and advise on the best underlay densities for different projects and areas of the home. 


The denser, the better?

The density of underlay is simply a number, which represents how much material is packed into each cubic metre (m3). For PU (polyurethane) foam underlays, it’s usually expressed in kg per m3. And just like the thickness of an underlay, it’s an indicator of the underlay’s quality.

 Diagram to explain the density of underlay


Generally speaking, the higher the density, the more compact and more supportive the underlay is likely to be. But it’s important to keep in mind, high-density underlay above 105kgm3+ can often be too firm underfoot losing softness undefoot.

If you’re purchasing an underlay to use in your home, our advice is to look for a product that is high-density and durable, without sacrificing softness or comfort.

Underlay densities tend to range from 80kg to 165kg. The sweet spot is around the 105kg per m3 mark, for anything that 105kg+ these are better for contract areas such as high traffic or wheel chair environments.

105kg density is more than sufficient to support and protect your carpet and maximise its lifespan – even when installed in areas that experience lots of foot traffic – and offers an excellent level of comfort.

Anything above 105kg per m3 will be too firm and hard underfoot for domestic installations.


So Which Are The Best Underlays?

Here at Carpet Underlay Shop, Wilsons is the go for brand who make bespoke high performance carpet underlays.

For most home carpeting projects, we typically recommend one of their PU foam underlays. And one of the main reasons for this, is they offer advanced foam such as memory foam which creates an exceptional level of underfoot comfort.


Plushwalk 12mm

Example of high-density underlay


Regarded as the best carpet underlay currently available on the market, Plushwalk 12mm Underlay incorporates memory foam and has a sweet spot of 105kg density per m – and, as such, offers long-term durability and support.

Yet, as it’s made from a high-grade ‘bounce back’ memory foam, it also boasts a 5++ comfort rating. It creates an incredibly soft, sinking feeling underfoot. It’s fantastic value for money and perfect for a lounge or bedroom.


Plushwalk 10mm

High-density underlay

This is a slighter thinner underlay, measuring 10mm thick. Which means, it’s easier to handle and install on stairs or extra thick deep pile carpets.

However, despite its reduced thickness, it has the exact same density of 105kg per m3 – making it the perfect option for high traffic areas of the home. It’s also made from the same ‘bounce back’ foam as Plushwalk 12mm, and therefore provides astonishing levels of underfoot comfort.

Plushwalk 10mm is an all-round winner for staircases, hallways, landings and other rooms that experience a lot of daily footfall.


Get in touch for further guidance

If you’re still feeling baffled about underlay densities and are unsure of the best option for your needs, please feel free to get in touch. Our team of experts are always happy to offer their assistance. And once we know a bit more about your project, we can advise on the most suitable product – whether that be a low-density underlay, a high-density underlay or something in between.

Simply give us a call on 0203 887 0994. Or if you prefer, send an email to and we’ll respond to your enquiry with further information as soon as possible.



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  • Alex Illidge