How To Make Your Outdoor Cushions Last Longer
When you find outdoor patio cushions that you love, you want to make them last as long as possible. But outdoor furniture gets weathered and keeping it looking fresh is a tough job. If your outdoor furniture cushions have become old and saggy, but you want to keep the frame of your furniture, here’s the best way to replace your cushions.
Step One: Choose the right type of foam.
The best choice of foam for outdoor furniture cushions is to drain dry foam, AKA Dryfast. It’s perfect for outdoor use because, as you may have guessed from the name, water passes right through it and allows the foam to stay dry. Plus, dry drain foam stays firm and retains its shape for up to 6 years with proper care. For a cheaper option than drain dry foam, Dacron is a good choice. Dacron foam is made from a blend of nonwoven polyester staple fiber and various binder fibers, such as elastomeric fibers. Dacron repels water before it soaks in, and with medium firmness, it can retain its shape for 3 years. Either way, both are great choices for outdoor swings, mattresses, chair backs and seats, patio cushions, and layout lounge chairs.
Step Two: Choosing the right type of fabric.
Both foam types need outdoor fabric covers. A common choice for outdoor fabric is Sunbrella fabric. Sunbrella fabric is water-resistant, doesn’t fade in the sun, and doesn’t show watermarks as an indoor fabric would. Liquid spills are no problem on Sunbrella fabric, as you can easily handwash the covers and let them dry in the sun. We recommend not handwashing the fabric more than once or twice a year. Another long-lasting outdoor fabric is Slingable fabric, or Phifertex vinyl mesh, which has the same features as Sunbrella fabric with a stiffer feel.
Step Three: Long-lasting covers.
The most important factor in how long an outdoor cushion will last is how its covers are sewn. There are many different sewing techniques that work for outdoor cushions. No matter what technique you choose, be sure to use an outdoor thread and finish the process with an outdoor zipper. Choosing materials made for outdoor use will prevent the thread from deteriorating and the zipper from rusting.
Finally, be sure to add mesh fabric with vents. This allows the water to pass through the foam much more quickly. Below is a picture of mesh fabric with vents:
This is the best method to use on cushions 4” or thicker, and on cement seating. Without the mesh fabric and vents, the water will sit in your cushions for longer. The vents and mesh also allow your cushions more space within the cover, so there is less pressure on the seams when someone sits down. Waterproof and weather-resistant upholstery is also made from a thicker material which increases its durability.
Taking these steps with your cushions will definitely make them last longer. For even more longevity, you can protect the fabric and foam with plastic covers when you’re not using them or store them somewhere dry. It may be more effort, but it will be worth it when those cushions last for years of family gatherings out on your patio.
Foam N’ More will custom cut any shape or size of foam you need, and we can sew covers for you, too. Just give us the measurements you need and your price range. You can provide your own fabric, or you can pick out fabric from our inventory.