Outdoor cushions are a great way to add style and charm to your patio and backyard. But are outdoor cushions waterproof? Since outdoor cushions will be living on your outdoor furniture and constantly exposed to the elements, knowing how your cushions hold up in water is important for making sure they last for many years. Different kinds of outdoor cushions respond to water differently. Here’s what you need to know about choosing outdoor cushions for your outdoor furniture.
Unlike indoor cushions, outdoor cushions are designed to be weatherproof. But, there is also a difference between water-resistant and waterproof. Certain materials are more resistant to water than others, so the resistance level of your outdoor cushions depends on what fabric they are made of. Smaller and decorative outdoor cushions tend to be water-resistant, which means water is less likely to get into the pillow itself. Water-resistant fabrics are made of polypropylene or polythene, which are synthetic fabrics that resist water penetration. This means that your outdoor cushions will be water-resistant to a certain degree but not completely waterproof. Many outdoor cushions also contain a kind of foam that is specifically made for water to pass through to ensure that the cushion doesn’t become waterlogged. This also makes them more water-resistant than other kinds of foam cushions that would be used for indoor cushions and throw pillows . Outdoor cushions made of less porous fabrics or coated in a hydrophobic substance are actually waterproof. Fabric weave combined with waterproof coating makes a nice waterproof fabric perfect for outdoor furniture cushions that are exposed to a lot of water and weather. While cushions made from waterproof fabrics will keep out the water, they tend to be tougher and stiffer as a result. This means waterproof cushions can be a little less comfortable or more susceptible to wear and tear.
When you are choosing outdoor furniture or outdoor cushions, it's important to consider your climate. Some climates are harsher or more abrasive than others, so you will want to choose your outdoor furniture and decor accordingly. For example, if you live in a climate with moderate rainfall during the summer and you put away your outdoor furniture and cushions for the winter, then you probably would be fine to use water-resistant outdoor furniture and water-resistant cushions. On the other hand, if you live somewhere that experiences a lot of rain, and your outdoor furniture and cushions are constantly exposed to the elements, perhaps you want to opt for a kind of furniture and cushion fabric that is waterproof. Water and the factors, in general, can cause outdoor furniture and cushions to wear down and deteriorate quickly, so you must choose suitable materials and fabrics to ensure that your outdoor living space lasts for years to come.
If you live in a harsh weather climate or simply prefer to have long-lasting wood furniture, teak is the hardest, most durable, and strongest of hardwoods. This means that teak furniture is the perfect choice for outdoor furniture that is sure to last. Synthetic materials like plastic are easy, affordable, and can be long-lasting, but nothing quite captures the feel and aesthetic of the real thing. Whether outdoor furniture you choose for your outdoor living spaces, incorporating outdoor cushions is always a great way to bring the space together aesthetically and practically.
Choosing outdoor cushions is a decision that is both functional and stylish. Different people have different practical needs and personal styles for outdoor furniture, and your outdoor cushions should also reflect that. Each type of outdoor cushion material has various properties to protect cushions from things like mold, mildew, sun damage, and water. Depending on your own needs, you should consider the fabric’s features regarding waterproofing, UV resistance, strength, comfort, aesthetic, and mildew resistance.
A common fabric for outdoor cushions is vinyl. Vinyl is affordable because it’s made from PVC or plastic, which means it’s water-resistant and very easy to keep clean. However, vinyl can also feel uncomfortable and get really hot when exposed to the sun. Cotton canvas is softer than vinyl but is still durable enough to withstand outdoor use and exposure to the elements. While this is an attractive, comfortable, and affordable option, cotton canvas isn’t waterproof. However, it can be treated with a waterproofing agent before use to make it more water-resistant. Cotton canvas isn’t ideal if your outdoor cushions need to be stored in a damp place over the winter as they are susceptible to mold and mildew. Textilene is another fabric that is made of polyester and coated with PVC, which makes it a stronger woven fabric.
This fabric is relatively water-resistant, but it can get hot in the sun and is susceptible to tearing because it's plastic-based. Sunbrella is often considered the best fabric for outdoor cushions. This fabric is completely waterproof, offers the best in terms of longevity and durability, and is resistant to fading from the sun. Mold and mildew resistant and chlorine-safe, this more pricey but high-quality outdoor cushion fabric is about as good as it gets. Olefin is another strong and more expensive fabric that is entirely resistant to fading, water, mold, mildew, and chlorine. This is another excellent option for an outdoor cushion fabric that will last you for years.
Different outdoor cushions are made of other fabrics and fillings that make them water-resistant or waterproof, depending on the material. Be sure to choose the outdoor cushions that are best for you and your needs.