Furniture deliveries are being delayed everywhere but there's an explanation

You may be waiting months for your deliveries

Young woman at furniture store choosing sofa - stock photo
(Image credit: Oscar Wong/Getty Images)

Still waiting on that couch you ordered back in January? Delayed furniture delivery times are occurring across the U.S. due to production backlogs and inventory shortages for one essential material: foam. 

The shortage reportedly began in February when a winter storm shut down all five U.S. plants (four in Texas and one in Louisiana). These plants are essential, as they produce the main chemical (propylene oxide) needed to make foam. The furniture industry isn’t the only thing being affected by this shortage though as mattresses, automobiles, boats, appliances, building construction, and the steelmaking industry have all been negatively impacted.

What is foam?

This material is a petroleum-based product used to create a soft and absorbent material used in a wide variety of products. It’s commonly used to cushion the seats of cars, added as insulation in homes, and is a common material for mattresses. 

Though the plants were closed for several days, it ended up taking a few weeks for them to get back up and running. Jerry Epperson, managing director of Mann, Armistead & Epperson—an investment bank for the furniture industry—and EverChem Specialty Chemicals told USA Today that this was due to plants running at 120% capacity to meet strong consumer demand when storm-related power outages and flooding knocked them out abruptly, ultimately damaging equipment. 

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Living room in boho style - stock photo

(Image credit: Boris SV/Getty Images)

 A serious backlog was also generated from this as demand for new furniture, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown. Even though production has started back up, foam plants are still struggling to keep up with demand.

“We really couldn’t catch up,” Epperson told USA Today.

So, for those looking to update their home with Aldi’s bestselling velvet chairs or some of the best cooling pillows, you may experience a bit of a wait as production continues to rush to catch up. 

Rylee Johnston

Rylee is a U.S. news writer who previously worked for woman&home and My Imperfect Life covering lifestyle, celebrity, and fashion news. Before joining woman&home and My Imperfect Life, Rylee studied journalism at Hofstra University where she explored her interests in world politics and magazine writing. From there, she dabbled in freelance writing covering fashion and beauty e-commerce for outlets such as the TODAY show, American Spa Magazine, First for Women, and Woman’s World.