What to Look for in Outdoor Chair Cushions

outdoor sectional wicker

With the right outdoor chair cushions, your patio furniture can be every bit as beautiful and comfortable as your family room.

For the most part, the first introduction of outdoor furniture featured rubbery plastic that had a tendency to stick to your legs. The chairs and tables were reminiscent of pool toys. Cheaply made and terribly uncomfortable, they had a tendency to break and were often made of materials that have now been outlawed.

Thankfully we’ve come a long way since then. Today, high-quality patio furniture designers are focused on quality, comfort, and aesthetics. Because as the world becomes more populated and real estate prices increase, turning your patio into a multi-season room is even more important. 

Outfitting your patio furniture with outdoor chair cushions offers some serious advantages, including:

  • Outdoor chair cushions offer comfort. Even the most elegantly designed wood chair is still wood. After a while, it’ll make you tush sore. A cushion gives your bum a break.
  • Outdoor chair cushions are an affordable way to change your color scheme. In comparison to outdoor furniture, chair cushions tend to be a much lower-cost investment. Rather than buy furniture in a bold statement color, opt for colored cushions instead. When it’s time to change the color scheme, all you have to replace is the cushions, not the entire set. 
  • Outdoor chair cushions are designed to withstand Mother Nature. Moisture and sunlight are the two biggest concerns when it comes to leaving patio cushions outside. High-quality outdoor cushions are designed to dry quickly and hold their color under punishing sunlight. 
  • Outdoor chair cushions can offer a cooler surface. It’s easy for outdoor furniture to get very hot during the summer. Cushions don’t typically retain nearly as much heat, making them a cooler surface that’s less likely to burn.

Outdoor Chair Cushion FAQ

Should You Buy Cushions in a Bold or Neutral Color?

The color of your patio cushions is always a personal decision. While we typically recommend buying patio furniture in a neutral color, cushions can be a fun way to make a bold statement. 

That being said, neutral patio cushions can give you more decorating flexibility. Rather than replacing your cushions when you’re ready for a change, with neutral cushions you can add bright pops of color with accent pieces, like:

  • Throw Pillows
  • Outdoor Rugs
  • Decorative Outdoor Lanterns
  • Festive Outdoor Dinnerwear

What kind of material is best for outdoor patio cushions in the Seattle area?

While there’s something to be said for silk, it’s typically best reserved for your sheets. While patio furniture cushions from in vinyl, cotton canvas, and textaline — these materials are known to break down in the elements.

Sunbrella fabric is hands down the best material for outdoor patio cushions. It is fade-resistant, helping ensure the color you select lats. It’s 100% waterproof, ensuring it’s mold and mildew resistant. And, it’s chlorine safe, so you don’t have to worry about wet bodies from the pool or hot tub ruining your cushions.  

What kind of core material is best for outdoor patio cushions in the Pacific Northwest?

While a soft feather pillow may work great for catching some zzzs, it’s not likely to hold up to Mother Nature’s extremes. When you’re selecting the core material for your patio cushions, you want to think about something that will be supportive, comfortable, and can withstand the elements (at least somewhat).

You’ll find polyester fill in a lot of lower-end patio cushions. Unfortunately, this material tends to offer next to no support and often flattens out over time. Foam cushions come in a variety of densities. These can be supportive, but may have a difficult time drying. 

Dacron (aka Polyethylene Terephthalate or PET) is a thermoplastic synthetic polymer resin that offers support and long-term performance (aka it doesn’t flatten out over time). 

Where should you store your patio cushions? 

To give your patio cushions the absolute longest lifespan possible, it’s recommended that they are stored in a dry, shaded location. That being said, putting your cushions away during the summer when it’s not as likely to rain can feel like a lot of work.

Generally, we recommend that patio cushions and allowed to dry fully at the end of patio season and then stored in a dry space. 

Need help finding the right patio cushions for your outdoor space? Stop by our Seattle or Bellevue store.