Refresh Your Patio for the Price of a Spritz With the Best Outdoor Cushions
Including a punchy mint-hued pick for $10.
Updated Oct 12, 2018 1:05 AM
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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.
- Best overall: Pottery Barn Benchwright Dining Chair Cushion
- Best value: Target Outdoor Seat Cushion
- Best chaise: Crate & Barrel Regatta Chaise Cushion
- Best floor: Society6 Cheetah Outdoor Floor Cushion
- Best dining chair: Terrain Outdoor Dining Chair Cushion
- Best bench: Classic Accessories Montlake Bench Cushion
- Best Adirondack: World Market Indigo Tile Adirondack Chair Cushion
- Best deep-cushion set: Quality Outdoor Living Deep Seating Chair Cushion
- Best tufted: Sweet Home Collection Patio Cushion
- Best patterned: Anthropologie Indoor/Outdoor Seat Cushion
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
Best Value: Target Outdoor Seat Cushion
Best Chaise: Crate & Barrel Regatta Chaise Cushion
Best Floor: Society6 Cheetah Outdoor Floor Cushion
Best Dining Chair: Terrain Outdoor Dining Chair Cushion
Best Bench: Classic Accessories Montlake Bench Cushion
Best Adirondack: World Market Indigo Tile Adirondack Chair Cushion
Best Deep-Cushion Set: Quality Outdoor Living Deep Seating Chair Cushion
Best Tufted: Sweet Home Collection Patio Cushion
Best Patterned: Anthropologie Indoor/Outdoor Seat Cushion
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.”
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.”