EPS and EPP foam in car seats: what does that mean?

When searching for a new car seat, you often come across terminology that you may not understand. What is that EPS and EPP foam that the car seat manufacturer boasts so much about? And what does it mean for me and my son? It is important to have as much knowledge and understanding as possible about your child’s safety seat. Your child’s life literally depends on it. Here you will gain a better understanding of some of the most important safety features that are included in many of today’s car seats.


EPS stands for Expanded Polystyrene and is more commonly known as Styrofoam. It is often used in items such as coolers and bicycle helmets. It is made up of thousands of mini beads that can be molded into various shapes and sizes. EPS foam has the ability to take a lot of abuse, but it can also crack or tear. EPS is relatively inflexible and breaks easily compared to EPP.

EPP foam

EPP stands for expanded polypropylene. This is a high-grade engineered foam that has an elastic nature, allowing it to spring back into shape when deformed. In fact, EPP foam has such extreme strength that it is often used in car bumpers. EPP generally fully recovers from impacts and is more difficult to tear than EPS.

So what does all this information mean for you and your children? Basically, since all car seats must meet certain government safety standards, both EPS and EPP foam provide adequate protection in the event of a collision. Many high-end child safety seat companies use EPP foam, which often costs up to four times as much as EPS foam. EPP foam is flexible, which means it may not be permanently damaged as easily as EPS. This means that after an accident, the car seat with EPP foam can maintain its original shape better than the one with EPS. Some parents feel more comfortable using car seats made from EPP, as it is a high-end product. However, since any car seat that has been in an accident should be considered ineffective, it should be replaced, regardless of the type of energy-absorbing material inside it. This is a personal decision to consider. The important thing is that you understand what these different “ingredients” mean inside your child’s car seat.

Driving has become such a mundane, everyday activity that it’s easy to forget how dangerous it can be. When it comes to the safety of your children, it is imperative that they be as protected as possible.

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