Soy foam manufactured with soy-based polyols has become popular with several companies in the furniture industry, as well – and most recently for mattresses. As one example, Hickory Springs has partnered with Cargill and its soy-based polyol under the BiOH brand to make the foam in the mattresses in its Preserve soy-based foam line. The Preserve foam can be used in finished mattresses, futon mattresses and a variety of other products.

 “When we started this work, petrochemical prices were high, we had supply concerns for petrochemical materials and were also looking for opportunities to reduce our environmental footprint,” says Brad McNeely, sales manager for Hickory Springs.

Today he reports Hickory Springs has seen advantages in durability, better feel, color retention and improvements in flammability tests with the soy-based foams. Customers have also reported that the new soy-based foams are more comfortable, says McNeely.

He concludes, “The soy-based foam is every bit as good and in some cases better than the petrochemical products. Our goal, along with Cargill, was to make a soy polyol that matches the performance of petrochemical products, and we have been successful. Soy-based foams are also cost-competitive with petrochemical products.”

The success Hickory Springs has had with the Preserve product line may just be the beginning, as the company continues to look at soy-based products for future products.

“Our new Preserve G2 foam replaces up to 50% more of petrochemical materials with soy-based polyols than our first-generation Preserve,” says McNeely. “Our objective is to replace all the petrochemical-based materials with soy-based polyols in the next few years.”