Outdoor patio furniture covers present a dual challenge in rainy climates. If you are looking for a durable and efficient cover, look for those comprised of vented PVC, dual-layers, synthetic fabric, in addition to other materials to best protect your furniture.
Polyvinyl chloride is one of the most common and least expensive materials for outdoor patio furniture covers. PVC creates an impermeable layer against rain, sun and snow. However, the impermeability goes both ways. Moisture that gets under the cover stays there. Venting the PVC covers allows the moisture to escape from beneath the cover. A properly designed vent will still shed rain. Many PVC covers are treated for UV resistance, since PVC degrades with UV exposure.
Dual-Layer Patio Furniture Covers
Outdoor patio furniture covers made with two layers of protection keep the elements out and the furniture safe from scratches or moisture seepage. The outer layer is generally made of PVC or a similar waterproof material. This layer is backed with a lining of fleece, fabric or other soft, breathable material. The soft layer sits against the furniture, wicking moisture away and ensuring that the PVC layer doesn't scratch the furniture.
Coated fabrics are a variation on dual-layer covers. Fabric, usually heavy grade nylon, is coated with a material like polyurethane to make it more waterproof. These are lighter and more pliable than PVC covers, but are less breathable and may trap moisture beneath the cover.
Synthetic Fabrics and Other Suggested Materials
New lightweight outdoor patio furniture covers made of acrylic or nylon are breathable with one un-vented layer, while still repelling rain. The balance between letting water out without letting water in comes from particular, often patented, weave patterns with names like WeatherMax, Rhino-Weave, Tron-Weve and Raintite. Synthetic fabric covers have the advantage of remaining more pliable in cold weather, where PVC tends to become brittle unless treated with plasticizing additives. Depending on the particular brand and weave, synthetic fabrics can be among the more expensive outdoor patio furniture covers on the market, but they provide excellent protection and are available in a wider range of colors than other types.
Tyvek is the material used to create moisture barriers in new home construction. This unique advanced material creates a one-way moisture barrier that keeps rain and dirt out without trapping moisture in. Tyvek has the advantage of being UV resistant, lightweight and strong compared to other outdoor patio furniture cover materials. Tyvek is priced between PVC covers and high-end synthetic weaves.