Chair Cushions Outdoor: Choosing The Right Style

Chair Cushions Outdoor

Be it the backyard or poolside, a cozy chair set or sofa set is mandatory. Chaise lounge chairs on the beach or hinge chairs on a rooftop are necessities for outdoor chilling.  Any outdoor hangout space or meeting areas require chairs. But the difficult task is to choose the chair cushions. If the cushions are not compatible with the outdoor conditions, your investment will go down the drain. 

Not only the texture but it is important to choose the right material as well as a beautiful cushion cover. Scrutinizing these factors is necessary to get long-lasting service. And for that, you need to know how to choose the right one. But don’t worry about the part of researching and experimentation. I have done that on your behalf. 

I am here to tell you all about outdoor chair cushions. This article will help you make an informed decision and know which one is right for your purpose. Stay with me to handpick the best outdoor chair cushion and decorate any outdoor space stunningly. 

Let’s start!

5 Types Of Chair Cushions Outdoor Materials: 

Before you select, you must know the type of cushion materials. The material of the cushion decides its longevity and comfort level. As different cushions may be compatible with different outdoor conditions, you need to choose carefully. This is why knowing the cushion material is mandatory. 

So here are the 5 different types of chair cushions outdoor materials: 

1. Foam: 

Foams are compact and soft. Some foams don’t depress after you sit on them, while some do depress a little. With time, the compactness of foam deteriorates. 

Cushion foams are either made from rubber or polyurethane. The two commonly used foams are latex foam and memory foam. But the best quality foam is the high resilience foam followed by memory foam. These are dense and solid. Though it is your choice whether you want a soft or stiff foam, I recommend buying a moderately stiff one. Because the soft foam wears out quickly. 

Check the density of the foam before buying. A dense foam lasts for a long time. Select a foam density of at least 1.8 lbs per cubic foot. However, you can select a foam with a higher density. 

2. Polyester Fill: 

Polyester fill cushions are cuddly and warm to the touch. Hundred of poly fibers make the cushion soft and spongy. The softness feels good on winter days, but can be uncomfortable in hot weather conditions. 

Polyester fill cushions are mostly used in winter areas. It is an inexpensive cushion choice for outdoor chairs. But one problem is that it wears out easily. As it has increased elasticity and spongy texture, the inner bonds loosen up with time. For minimal usage and warmth on winter days, this is a perfect cushion choice. 

However, avoid using this for heavy usages. Also, try not to use this cushion option in warm areas. 

3. Clustered Polyfill: 

Clustered polyfill cushions are a bit more durable than polyester fill cushions. In this cushion, the bonding type of the polyester is different. 

Polyester fibers are bonded to make tiny bundles. These bundles are combined to make small balls. These balls are then clustered together to make the cushion. This type of bonding is firmer than normal polyester bonding. However, it is still not the best option for heavy usage in outdoor spaces. This will still wear out and become loose with time if used roughly. 

4. Dacron: 

Dacron is one of the most durable and best-quality outdoor chair cushions. It is crafted with thermoplastic synthetic polymer resin made by a technology called patented fiberfill. 

Besides the core polymer resin, it is added to foam padding for enhanced durability and support. These are touted a bit so they don’t get loosened or flattened with time. They stay in shape for a long time due to this touted design. The cushion stays tight and firm, maintaining the appearance as it is for years. 

As these cushions are stiff and firm, they are covered with a layer of polyester. This adds softness and tenderness to a dacron cushion. Dacron cushions have a solid and well-shaped appearance. 

5. Wrapped Dacron:

Wrapped Dacron is not made of pure Dacron. Its meaning is literal. It is just a wrapping of Dacron on the exterior of a cushion. The core material is not made of Dacron. 

These cushions usually use a foam cushion and add a layer of Dacron on them. This extends the longevity of the foam cushion and gives an excellent appearance. However, it is not as firm and durable as pure Dacron cushions. Also, the comfort level is compromised a bit if the crafting is not good. Make sure to buy from a reliable dealer to get the best quality wrapped Dacron cushion.

5 Factors To Consider Before Choosing Chair Cushions Outdoor: 

To choose the right outdoor chair cushion, you have to set some parameters. If you buy according to those parameters, you can easily pick the one that suits your purpose. Random selection is not recommended, and thus you need to set some criteria. 

Here are the factors that you should consider to select the right outdoor chair cushions:

1. Density: 

No matter which material you choose, the density of the cushion matters. If you choose a high-grade cushion material with low density, it won’t be durable and long-lasting. More density means more compactness. The more compact the material, the more wear-resistant and long-lasting it is. 

You need to choose a dense and solid cushion material. A high-density material is firm and durable. The ideal density for an outdoor chair cushion is 1.5 to 1.8 lbs per cubic foot. You may select a higher density if you buy latex foam or other mid-grade materials for better durability. 

2. Indentation Force Deflection: 

Indentation force deflection determines the softness of the foam. A foam cushion should not be too soft as it depresses and compresses easily. Soft cushions also wear out fast and deteriorate easily. This is why determining the softness is needed. And the  IFD will help you know the softness. 

The firmest foam has an IFD measurement of around 70 IFD. 40- 45 IFD measures the moderately soft foam, while the softest foams have a measurement of 33- 35 IFD. Know the IFD measurement of the foam cushions before buying. 

3. Weather Compatibility: 

As the cushions and cushion covers are used in outdoor conditions, you need to think of the weather condition. For example, cotton can be a good cover material for summer days. On the other hand, vinyl upholstery is suitable for snowy and rainy areas as it is waterproof. 

Similarly, for places where the weather changes frequently, Dacron would be a durable option. But for summer conditions, the foam would be comfortable and soft. Polyester fill cushions are better for winter conditions. So choose a cushion and cover material that is compatible with and ideal for a specific weather condition. 

4. Size: 

Remember that chairs have different sizes and shapes. The seat and backrest area can have different dimensions. So you can’t go to buy any size of cushion and cover. A larger or smaller cushion than the size of the chair would destroy the look and won’t offer comfort. 

Measure the dimension of the backrest and seat of the chair. Note the measurement and go shopping. The seller would give you a cushion set that matches the size of the chair. You can even customize the shape and size if you require. So it is important to buy the right cushion size. 

5. Style: 

What shape, cushion design, and color would match the best with the exterior design? You can’t choose a funky beach cushion print for the chair cushions in your backyard. Similarly, you may like a buti-printed cushion for a rooftop restaurant. 

Match the cushion with the vibe of the exterior so that it blends perfectly. Create contrasts of colors and designs to adorn the outdoor areas. Innovate a style statement to make the best out of the outdoor chair cushions. Add decorative value to the space with the cushions. 

Tips To Maintain Chair Cushions Outdoor: 

Installing a gorgeous and durable cushion is not enough. If you can’t maintain and care for it properly, your investment would be wasted. As outdoor cushions are exposed to diverse conditions, they need more care and cleaning to provide long-lasting service. 

Here are a few tips to maintain chair cushions outdoor: 

  • Vacuum cleaning is the first step of maintaining outdoor cushions. You can also use a soft brush to sweep away the debris and dirt. I prefer vacuum cleaning the seams and body to maintain the condition of the cushions.
  • In case of any liquid spills on the cushion, avoid rubbing it off. This loosens the fabric and makes the surface rough. Instead, blot up the spill immediately to prevent staining. 
  • If the cushion covers become oily and greasy due to spills or other reasons, treat them with cornstarch. It will slowly absorb the oil. Then wash off the cover with mild soap and dry them well. 
  • You can clean and prevent the growth of molds and mildew using bleach and soap. Mix a cup of bleach, 10 drops of liquid soap, and dilute them in a gallon of water. Spray it on the cushion, wash it off with normal water, and dry it well. 
  • Use removable cushion covers with zippers or buttons so that you can remove them and wash them regularly. Do this at least once a month to keep the color and quality intact.

Related Questions: 

Different Types Of Outdoor Cushion Cover Materials: 

Choosing the right cushion cover is as important as handpicking the best cushion material. The cushion cover protects the cushion from adverse outdoor conditions. While most people are concerned about the look of the cover, choosing the right material is important too. If you can’t choose a cover that suits a weather condition and can protect the cushion, you won’t get long-lasting benefits. 

Before you choose, learn about the 3 types of outdoor cushion cover materials here: 

  • Cotton: 

The most commonly used cushion cover is made of cotton. Cotton is a soft and comfortable fabric, is not synthetic, and is a smart choice for summer usage. It doesn’t get heated much under the sun thus making it ideal for outdoor usages in summer. 

Cotton covers are inexpensive. You will get a variety of designs, dyes, colors, and patterns in cotton cushion covers. They have a simple aesthetic appearance. But the problem is, cotton covers are not waterproof. It gets wet and lets the water pass into the cushion.

Also, if it doesn’t dry well, molds and mildew can grow easily. So you need to treat the cover with a waterproof application at least once a year. Cleaning is required as well because the cotton cover is stained easily. 

  • Vinyl:

Vinyl cushion cover is what you see on car seats. The smooth silky vinyl texture is commonly known as PVC. It is inexpensive and can be used as an excellent upholstery cushion material. 

Vinyl covers are waterproof and are suitable for poolsides, rainy areas, or snowy weather. But it may not be the best option for summer areas. Vinyl gets heated easily and can give a burning sensation to your body. You may use an extra cotton cover on the vinyl upholstery to keep the temperature of the cushion moderate. 

Besides the heat sensitivity, another issue is that it is non-recyclable. So if you are an environmental lover, you may like to avoid this option as it produces a lot of waste. 

  • Textilene: 

This material is a mixture of polyester fiber and PVC. It is a mesh woven soft but strong material suitable for cushion covering. 

The polyester yarns make the cover sturdy and durable while the PVC makes the cover waterproof. It is suitable for almost any weather condition. But this is the material that gets heated easily. Also, under the scorching sun, the color may fade away. The material is sensitive to bleaches and abrasives.

Textilene is a medium-grade cushion cover. It is durable and soft but should be used with care. 

Differences Between Different Outdoor Cushion Cover Materials:

Here is a comparison chart mentioning the main differences between the different outdoor cushion cover materials: 

MaterialCottonPVCPVC and Polyester
Heat ResistanceExcellentPoorModerate
Water ResistancePoorExcellentExcellent
DurabilityModerately DurableModerately DurableExtremely Durable

What Is The Ideal Outdoor Chair Cushion Density? 

The density of the cushion matters a lot when it comes to choosing an outdoor chair cushion. Density determines how compact and solid the cushion is. The higher the density, the more firm the cushion. 

A dense cushion is firm and solid while a less dense cushion will be spongy and soft. It is always recommended to buy a high-density cushion as it lasts long. A high-density cushion is durable as it doesn’t wear or tear easily. It rebounds to its shape and stays intact even after heavy usage. 

Ideally, the density of the outdoor chair cushion should be between 1.5 to 1.8 lbs per cubic foot. You can choose a denser cushion but this is the standard density. Buying a cushion with a density of fewer than 1.5 lbs per cubic foot won’t last long. 

How To Treat Bugs On Outdoor Chair Cushions? 

In outdoor conditions, bugs may settle on the cushions, bite them, and destroy the fabric. This is a huge problem with outdoor cushions. But there is a solution you can try out to get rid of bugs on the outdoor cushions. 

You can make a mixture of lavender or eucalyptus diluted with plain water. Mix it in a spraying bottle and spray it around the chair. This will create a shield around the chair protecting it from bugs. However, if the situation is severe, you can directly spray it on the chair cushions. This remedy will keep bugs away. 

How To Protect Outdoor Chair Cushions From Rain? 

Not all cushions and covers are waterproof. Cotton covers are not waterproof and most cushion materials are not water-resistant. If the cushions get wet during rain or snowfall, it would be hard to dry them or prevent the growth of mildew. So, what is the solution? 

If it rains often in your areas, consider buying vinyl or Textilene cushion cover as these are waterproof. This will eliminate your tension of protecting the cushions from rain. But if you prefer cotton upholstery, you can use a plastic cover to protect the outdoor cushions from rain. You will get plastic sheets or bags that suit the size of the chair. Put the plastic sheet on the cushion to protect it from rain. 

Simple, right? 

How To Remove Odor From Chair Cushions Outdoor? 

Due to moisture, dirt, spills, and pollution, impurities often settle on the outdoor cushions. Even after regular cleaning, extreme conditions can make the cushions smelly. This gives an unfresh and unhealthy condition to the cushions. 

To remove the odor from the cushions, spread cornstarch and vacuum it after a few minutes to dry the cushions. Now, use mint-flavored mouthwash or essential oil like lavender to make the cushions fresh-smelling. Mix one of the two options with water and spray it on the cushion. Both the mouthwash and lavender oil give a refreshing smell to the cushions. Besides, they also protect the cushions from mosquitoes, bugs, insects, etc. 


You have learned the types of outdoor cushions and covers, got maintenance tips, and some additional information. I hope the article has solved your confusion and queries. Now that you know every basic factor of choosing the right chair cushions outdoors, what are you waiting for? 

Get ready to adorn your outdoor space with a stunning chair cushion!

You can get more relevant article here:

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Chair Covers For Recliners: What You Should Know

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Wilson C. Scully

Hello everyone, This is Wilson C. Scully. I'm likewise you. However, the main difference is that I like to share my kitchen and cooking experience with you.

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