Choosing Material for Patio Chair Cushions

Buying patio chair cushions not only enhances their aesthetic appeal, but provides additional comfort to the patio. However, unlike regular indoor chairs, patio chairs require careful consideration before purchase. Patios are susceptible to weather conditions and cushions need to be able to withstand the dry, hot summers and the cold, long winters. Read on to learn how to choose the appropriate material to make patio chair cushions.

Before choosing material for your patio chair cushions, you will need to consider several factors. How much use will the patio chairs be expected to have? Does the fabric need to be waterproof? Do they need to be stain resistant? Do they require fade resisting properties? How comfortable do they need to be when you sit on them or when the fabric feels against your skin? What is your budget?

Patio chair cushions are typically made from the following material:


This soft canvas-like fabric is strong and durable, and designed especially for outdoor use. It is easy to maintain and clean, requiring a simple wash with detergent and water. It resists rot, mildew and fading. It is more costly than other fabric options for patio chairs, but its longevity make it a great investment.


A synthetic fiber, poly/olefin is resistant to fading, as it is dyed before its fiber is spun to make cloth. Cushions that are made from poly/olefin are also resistant to staining and mildew. Cleaning it is easy, and requires a mild detergent and warm water scrub. The cushions need to be kept free of contact with lotions and oils, and a spill should be washed off quickly. The material has a soft feel to it, much like canvas.

PVC/Vinyl Coated Fabric

Vinyl or PVC coated fabric have a polyester core, coated with PVC and finally woven to make fabric. Although they are resistant to the elements, extreme care should be taken in avoiding spillage of oils and lotion, including suntan items. Their feel is smooth, but many find it less comfortable then the acrylic fibers due to the stiffness of the material.

Spun Polyester

Having a silky, soft feel, spun polyester is pure polyester with open weaves that keep it cool. It is often treated for stain and soil resistance, and requires a mild wash with detergent and water for cleaning.

Standard cushions are made of a type of spun- polyester fabric that is suitable for outdoor use. Typically the material is stitched over waterproof foam or some other type of material. It is not uncommon for cushions to be made with UV (ultraviolet) resistant coating, which helps to maintain the freshness of their color and equips them with longer life. That is an important consideration to keep in mind. You need to invest in cushions that will last longer, so make sure you pay attention to the characteristics of the materials that are employed in making them. It is best to avoid purchasing cheaper cushion fabric, for their quality will not be good, warranting a replacement in no time.