Published on May 31, 2021

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From folding chairs to dining setups, seating is one of the easiest ways to make any outside space feel like a living room–worthy oasis. But when it comes to an outdoor chair’s best friend—cushions—there’s actually more to keep in mind than you may think. Do you want to leave them out in the rain overnight? You’ll need ones swathed in weatherproof fabric. Are you constantly ’gramming your gatherings? Consider bold stripes or animal prints. Whether you’re looking to cozy up your Adirondack or impress your first post-pandemic dinner guests, we have you covered. We searched the market for the best outdoor cushions for any type of setup, budget, and style.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

Material: When it comes to any outdoor furniture, material is of the utmost importance. You’ll want to make sure to choose a water-resistant fabric, like polyester, that not only repels moisture but doesn’t easily fade when left in direct sunlight.

Silhouettes and dimensions: It’s key that your cushions match your chairs’ shape. Opt for something oversize if you’re planning on kicking back and relaxing, or, if you’re hoping for a refined bistro look, measure the seats exactly for a tight fit.

Style: Cushions are perfect for adding a bold (yet not overwhelming) pop of color to your backyard or patio. Look at the space’s overall palette and choose a contrasting color (like a bright yellow or blue) to bring a bit of pizzazz while still maintaining a cohesive style.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Pottery Barn Benchwright Dining Chair Cushion

For everything from working on the deck to alfresco dinners late into the evening, look no further than Pottery Barn’s best-selling dining chair cushions. Available in more than 50 Sunbrella fabrics, they won’t fade in the sun and are designed to be soil- and stain-resistant, as well as quick to dry and soft to the touch. They even sport four ties so you can properly secure them to the back of the frames. Just spot-wash with soap and…voilà! Good as new.

Best Value: Target Outdoor Seat Cushion

Target’s pick is the biggest bang for your buck (especially if you’ve got 10-plus seats to cover). Available in multiple solid colors, including a punchy mint hue, the cushions are easily secured to chairs with simple ties and sewn closed for a seamlessly integrated look. Eighty-four percent of reviewers gave them 5 stars, and 92 percent of buyers have recommended them to a fellow shopper—enough said.

Best Chaise: Crate & Barrel Regatta Chaise Cushion

Whether it’s patio- or poolside, a chaise is often the pinnacle of vacation vibes at home. Outfit yours with a beyond-chic striped cushion with a Sunbrella acrylic cover to keep the insert good as new for years to come, especially through bouts of temperamental weather. Not only will it immediately transport your loungers to the French Riviera, but it practically begs for an Aperol Spritz sidekick.

Best Floor: Society6 Cheetah Outdoor Floor Cushion

If you consider your style boho, spice up your arrangement with a stand-alone pouf. Not only does it add dimension to your space’s ground level, but it allows for plopping in all its many forms—to read a book or even to partake in a daily meditation. Society6’s cheetah-print cushion is UV coated, making it water- and fade-resistant, and it has a cotton-twill handle for easy carrying around the yard.

Best Dining Chair: Terrain Outdoor Dining Chair Cushion

These Sunbrella-upholstered dining chair cushions come in a wide range of pastels (we’re particularly partial to the citrus hue) that will look just as good in your actual dining room in the off-season as they will on your balcony. When they get dirty (which, if your dinner party was a success, they will), simply prepare a solution of soap and water, and you’re good to go.

Best Bench: Classic Accessories Montlake Bench Cushion

Amazon’s 48-by-16-inch bench option has 3,261 reviews, 80 percent of them coming in at 5 stars. It’s safe to say this one’s a crowd-pleaser thanks to its double-stitched seams, which ensure extra durability, and hidden zippers. Choose among 10 colorways, from classic navy to trendy sage.

Best Adirondack: World Market Indigo Tile Adirondack Chair Cushion

Adirondack chairs are a beloved staple of backyards and porches alike, so if you want yours to be extra-comfortable, go for a matching cushion. World Market offers a ton of brightly patterned options, with our favorite being an indigo tie-dyed choice that screams “poolside” (even if swimming sessions involve just a stock tank). We recommend pairing it with a natural-wood chair for a beachy look that will make home feel like a getaway.

Best Deep-Cushion Set: Quality Outdoor Living Deep Seating Chair Cushion

Really sink into summer with an insert made from 4-inch-thick foam padding. The under-$100 find features a slipcover, so if they get too dirty you can toss them in the washing machine. One reviewer sprayed some protective fabric finish on their set, so it will most likely last quite a while.

Best Tufted: Sweet Home Collection Patio Cushion

The greatest part of Amazon’s best-selling tufted cushions is that you can buy them in packs (either two, four, six, or 12) to fit your dining area’s needs. They’re designed with a universal fit in mind, meaning whatever chair you have, odds are they’ll be the ideal addition. Reviewers report that they hold a lot of wear and are water-resistant, making them the perfect enhancement to a family-focused space.

Best Patterned: Anthropologie Indoor/Outdoor Seat Cushion

Maximalists, rejoice! The brand offers tons of eclectic patterns, from retro swimmers to flirty florals. We can’t stop thinking about the woodblocking vibe of the rust and navy pattern, sure to transform any space into an oasis. Ties securely attach to all chair frames, allowing for super-secure seating.

Pro Tips for Styling Outdoor Cushions

  • Choose smart fabrics. “Outdoor cushions can help refresh your space and change both how it feels and functions,” says Sunbrella’s executive design director, Greg Voorhis. “When styling, consider selecting a fabric that is bleach-cleanable and fadeproof to stay beautiful season after season. A soft feel will increase the comfort factor and create an inviting space.”
  • Add patterns and pops of color. “We’re seeing more people choosing neutrals and enhancing them with pops of color,” says Voorhis. “Select soft and durable throw pillows and cushions upholstered with timeless patterns and bright colors, like Create Guava, Surround Sunrise, Infused Gem, or Bliss Lemon from Sunbrella, to instantly elevate your space.”
  • Experiment! “Above all, there are no rules when it comes to outdoor design. Whether through fabric, texture, or color, don’t be afraid to try something new or mix and match,” notes Voorhis. “The possibilities are endless to make your space represent you.”

Ask Domino

How long will my outdoor cushions last?

According to Domino’s style director, Benjamin Reynaert, when it comes to the longevity of your cushions, it’s all about care. “Most high-quality outdoor fabrics will last 10 years if you bring them inside when it rains and not leave them outside 24-7,” he says. “Certainly with the right care, the cushions may outlast the furniture.”

How do I clean outdoor cushions?

“Some outdoor cushions are removable and can be washed in a laundry machine,” says Reynaert. “Others need to be cleaned twice—before storing them away for the season and when you bring them out from storage. And, of course, clean as needed as stains happen.” We recommend using a quarter cup of mild soap per gallon of lukewarm water and a soft-bristle brush to clean.

I’m thinking of going the custom-made route. Any tips?

“I’m a huge fan of customization, as it’s a great way for you to personalize your outdoor living space with your own colors and patterns,” says Reynaert. “Try working with your local upholsterer or a digital-first workroom like StitchRoom. Keep in mind that whomever is doing the job will need the measurements of the piece of furniture the cushions are for, in order to give you the proper estimate for how much fabric will be required.”

The products in this story are independently selected by (obsessive) editors. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

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