As a nation, we are spending more and more time outside. In fact, it is rumored that sixty-seven percent of our homes have patios on them. That is an increase of twenty percent over the last decade alone!

We spend so much time outside in part because it is good for us. The fresh air, sunlight, and activity all contribute to improved health and wellness in innumerable ways.

However, if you’re not comfortable sitting outside, the point is sort of moot. That is why investing in patio chair cushions is so important.

Patio chair cushions come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common are made with polyester or foam filling.

You can also purchase them with wicker inserts if you prefer more of a traditional look for your outdoor chairs, which might be especially nice on an old-fashioned porch swing.

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What to Consider When Choosing the Best Outdoor Cushions

The main things to consider when choosing a patio chair cushion are the fabric, color, size, thickness, fit, durability, and overall comfort.

The fabric

The reason why it is important to choose the right fabric is that it will determine how much comfort and durability you’ll get. If the fabric is not durable, it will wear out easily and look bad over time.

Fabric also determines what type of weather conditions your cushion can be exposed to the hot sun in the summer, cold winter temperatures, etc…

The color

The color or pattern that you choose for your patio chair cushions should fit perfectly with your outdoor furniture set.

The last thing that you want is to have mismatching colors and patterns between your furniture and patio chair cushions.

The thickness

As far as thickness goes, many people think that thicker is always better but this isn’t true when it comes to these kinds of things.

Thicker cushions are more expensive, harder to clean and they limit movement by making it harder for you to get up.

The fit and size

Make sure that the dimensions of your cushion are the same as your furniture’s dimensions.

For example, if your patio chair is 38″ high and 48″ wide, make sure that you buy a cushion that has those exact measurements.

The last thing you want to do is end up with an oversized chair cushion because it will look odd and feel uncomfortable to sit on.

The durability

Oftentimes, you will want to leave your cushions outside, perhaps after a get-together or party.

For this reason, it is important to invest in patio chair cushions that are made with high-quality materials so they can withstand rain and snow.

The overall comfort

Patio chair cushions must be comfortable because you will want to sit on them for hours while having a cup of coffee or enjoying an adult beverage after work, right?

Make sure that the cushion has enough support for your back and bottom when you’re sitting down.

You should also consider buying double-layered, thicker cushions if you plan on spending several hours outside during the summer months when temperatures can rise above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

If these kinds of weather conditions are normal where you live, make sure you buy a cushion that has ventilation holes or mesh backing to prevent condensation from accumulating.

And while you’re at it, it is important to choose a cushion that’s easy to clean because there will be times when dirt and other debris will get stuck on the cushion.

You can clean your patio chair cushions by using an outdoor hose or cleaning them with fresh water and mild soap in your backyard or porch.

You should also consider buying cushions that are covered with PVC lining so they don’t absorb moisture easily.

Different Types of Outdoor Patio Cushions

There are many different types of cushions to choose from.

Here is a look at the most common types that are sold on the market today:

Deck chair cushions

These cushions are often referred to as pads and they are designed to be placed over an aluminum frame, wood deck chair, etc…

Using chair pads is a great way to get that old-fashioned look without having to purchase patio furniture made with wicker or other materials.

The pad itself will consist of fabric and it can either come zipped or non-zipped depending on the manufacturer.

Sunlounger cushions

Since you are going to be resting your whole body on your lounger, these cushions are normally quite thick, more comfortable and they provide better protection against the hot sun.

Outdoor bench cushions

One of the most popular patio bench cushions is the patio bench pad.

Although these cushions can be placed on any outdoor bench, they work best on wooden benches that are exposed to the elements such as rain and sun.

If you do not want to purchase a brand new wood bench, don’t worry because patio chair pads can also fit over an existing metal bench frame. However, make sure that your cushion is covered with a waterproof material or it might get damaged when it rains.

High back chair cushions

You can normally buy these as a pack and they come in different sizes and shapes.

The benefit of having high back cushions is that they provide better neck and head support when you’re sitting outside for several hours.

According to a study, people who spend long hours outdoors suffer from more headaches or migraines because their necks are not properly supported.

Using a pillow behind your neck while using a patio chair can prevent these kinds of problems…

Outdoor glider cushions

These kinds of cushions are necessary if you own an outdoor glider swing because the regular size will normally be too small for this type of furniture.

Outdoor gliders often have longer seats which require bigger cushions upholstered with thick material such as fabric or leather.

Deep seat outdoor cushions

Deep seat patio cushions have a larger surface area and they are a great choice if you enjoy lying down on your patio chair.

They normally come with two ties near the edge of the cushion especially made to secure it tightly over the armrests of your outdoor furniture.

These types of cushions are also often used as backyard or porch swing pads as well as hammock pillows.

Wicker patio chair cushions

These cushions do exactly what they say on the tin. They cover wicker patio chairs and they can be made from a variety of different materials such as cotton, canvas, etc…

Some manufacturers even go the extra mile by adding a waterproof lining. If you have wicker patio furniture or if you enjoy going for a more natural look when decorating your porch or backyard, these kinds of cushions are perfect.

If your wicker patio furniture has a tendency to cut into the back of your legs, you might want to buy cushions made from outdoor fabric that provides a barrier between your skin and a wooden frame.

Different Types of Cushion Fabric

As you can see, there are many different types and styles of patio cushions.

What you need to pay attention to is the type of fabric that the cushion is made from.

As a general rule, outdoor cushions are made from materials such as cotton canvas, acrylic, and polyester because they provide better protection against mold and mildew.

Outdoor fabrics can be natural or synthetic and while some of them do cost more than others, the main advantage of using them is that they allow your cushions to breathe which prevents moisture buildup inside the cushion itself.

If you prefer having soft cushions instead of firm ones, make sure to buy patio chair pads with durable denier cords on each side.

These cords keep the pad together long after your local hardware store sells out its inventory of patio furniture replacement parts.

Here are the different types of fabric:

  • Vinyl.
  • Cotton Canvas.
  • Textilene.
  • Sunbrella.
  • Compressed Polyester.
  • Polyester Fiberfill.
  • Polyurethane Foam.
  • Open Cell Foam.

Patio Cushions Sets

If you are buying patio cushions separately, they will likely be replacement cushions instead of a one size fits all pack.

Most sets come with two armrest pads and one back pad. The standard requirement for a set is that it must have the same measurements as your patio furniture whether you’re looking for a replacement or an upgrade.

Patio chair cushions should be weatherproofed before being placed on outdoor chairs because they cannot tolerate excessive amounts of moisture…

Patio Cushions Covers (replacements)

Patio cushion covers are a cheap alternative to purchasing brand-new cushions.

The best thing about cushions covers is that they are extremely easy to wash and clean.

All you need to do is wipe them down with a wet cloth every once in a while especially if your pets like lying on your furniture…

Although these kinds of patio pillows are not as thick or sturdy as replacement cushions, they come at relatively inexpensive prices which make them one of the most popular ways of giving your old patio chairs a new lease of life.

Patio chair pads also last longer than seat pad covers because seat pad covers usually start to fall apart after just one season whereas patio chair pads can survive for up to three seasons depending on how much you use them throughout the year.

Where Should You Store Your Cushions?

Ideally, your cushions should be stored in a cool, dry place most especially during the summer season.

Cushions that are stored for too long tend to lose their color and shape, so make sure that you rotate all of them throughout the year by storing some in a cool dry place and placing others on your outdoor chairs.

Patio Cushions Storage Bags

Even though you can purchase waterproof cushions, one of the best ways of looking after your cushions is to purchase bags that are made specifically for their transportation.

These kinds of patio furniture covers are not only moisture resistant but also allow the cushions to breathe as well as protect them from dirt and insects.

Plastic Zip Bags

You can also buy plastic zip bags to store your patio cushion covers after you wash them or when they are being transported.

Cleaning Patio Cushions

Are Patio Cushions Washable?

Yes, patio cushions are washable. There are several different ways of cleaning your patio chair cushions.

Depending on the type of fabric that you have, you can either machine wash them or hand wash them.

You should always check the care instructions before starting to clean your cushions just in case there are some additional steps that you need to take before throwing them into the washing machine…

You may also be interested in – Can You Pressure Wash Patio Furniture?

How to clean patio cushions with mildew

If you are in the unfortunate position of having mildew on your cushions, here are the steps to clean them:

You can use a variety of homemade cleaners to get rid of mold and mildew off your patio furniture cushions.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is a natural disinfectant that removes mildew and refreshes outdoor textiles that have acquired a musty odor.

  1. Spray undiluted white vinegar over the mildewed area and leave it to sit for an hour or so, ideally outside on a sunny, non-humid day.
  2. Wipe away the remains with a damp cloth.


Oxiclean is a powerful cleaner that is often recommended for the removal of mildew from carpets and rugs.

  1. Mix 1 cup of Oxiclean with 1 gallon of warm water in a bucket.
  2. Apply the solution to the cushion, scrub with a stiff brush and let it dry naturally in sunlight.

Baking Soda

Baking soda has many different uses when it comes to cleaning so it’s no surprise that it’s used to remove mildew as well.

  1. Sprinkle some baking soda over the stain and scrub it into the cushion, using a brush if possible but not essential.
  2. Finally, leave the cushion in the sun to dry after rinsing it with a hose again.


Borax is an excellent cleaner that can kill mold spores and remove mildew stains.

Mix one tablespoon of borax with one cup of hot water until it dissolves completely.

Apply the solution to the cushion, scrub with a stiff brush and let it dry naturally in sunlight.

How To Keep Patio Cushions From Blowing Away

To prevent your patio cushions from blowing away you can secure them with Scotch Outdoor Fasteners, which are made specifically for outdoor use.

They are super easy to apply and can be cut to any size.

They come in a variety of different colors so you can choose the one that best goes with your patio cushions.

Why Are Patio Chair Cushions So Expensive

Outdoor cushions are more costly than indoor ones since they must be water-resistant, colorfast, UV-resistant, and simpler to clean. As a result, they’re composed of high-tech coated textiles like TeflonTM and Sunbrella®. However, you may still get outdoor cushions for around $25 if you hunt around.

How To Keep Patio Cushions From Sliding and Stay in One Place

To keep your patio cushions from sliding, you can do a number of things, like:

  1. Add Cushion Covers.
  2. Use Velcro.
  3. Buy Cushions with Ties.
  4. Use a Shelf Liner.
  5. Non-slip cushion pad.
  6. Sagging Couch Support.
  7. Use couch covers.
  8. Use rings, clips, and hooks.

What Are The Best Patio Cushions?

A cushion that is thick (more comfortable), waterproof, and fade-resistant will be best.

You should also think about what it will be used for and how often. For example, if your patio is in direct sunlight all day long, UV protection may be a top priority for you when shopping around.

Waterproofing Your Outdoor Cushions

One way to waterproof your outdoor cushions is to choose textiles treated with a water repellent finish.

Two of the most popular are Stainmaster’s Cushion Clear and Scotchgard™ Fabric & Upholstery Protector.

Both these products will protect your fabric to some degree against coffee, juice, wine, dirt, and pet accidents.


Are Patio Cushions Waterproof?

Most patio cushions are waterproof. However, you would need to check the label to be certain.
A waterproof cushion will fare better in the rain as water would not soak through as easily as with a non-waterproof one.

Are Patio Cushions And Furniture Interchangeable?

In short, no. The reason for this has to do with how each is made from different materials. For example, patio furniture is not compatible with outdoor rug materials.

Are Patio Cushions And Furniture Interchangeable?

In short, no. The reason for this has to do with how each is made from different materials. For example, patio furniture is not compatible with outdoor rug materials.

Can Patio Cushions Be Left Out In The Rain

Yes, as long as the cushion is waterproof and the correct size for your patio setting.


So there you have it! With any luck we have covered everything there is to know about patio chair cushions and you should be ready to make an informed decision on your next purchase.

Have any questions?

Feel free to post them in the comments section below!

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