Written by Ken Adney of olyfurnitureworks.com
The key to long-lasting patio furniture cushions is not just the density or quality of the foam itself, but the drainable quality of it. Cushions that will inevitably sit in the rain from time to time should have an open cell structure. This guarantees that the water passes through the cushion and out through the fabric. Getting cushions that do not trap the water inside of them will outlast ones that end up with internal moisture which could lead to rotting. Quality cushions are often made of layers of polyester fill which is also called polyfill.
Another way to keep the moisture out is to have the right fabric on the outside. Except for wrapping your cushions in plain old garbage bags, which no one will, you might be able to get some other fabrics that will be equally successful in keeping the water out and the firmness in. Many of the fabrics used for patio furniture cushions are made to feel like plush cotton. Look for solution-dyed acrylic to get long-lasting cushions for your outdoor set. This kind of fabric is specifically designed to be all-weather, comfortable and soft. The sun can often play a mischievous role on outdoor cushions. A Teflon coating is often applied at the factory to keep the colors of patio furniture cushions vibrant and alive.
Your cushions should also include some Dacron wrap. This adds the extra fullness and shape to cushions which makes them look even more appealing for some spring, summer or fall lounging. Rather than having a simple, square piece of foam inside your cushion, you have a piece that has been wrapped completely in the soft edges of Dacron. Some cushions will not say whether they include this extra layer, but you can often tell just by looking at the shape.
Knowing the inside and out of picking out patio furniture cushions can help you find the ones that will hopefully last for years. Picking out the patterns of your cushions will be the fun part. Stripes are always festive for the outdoors, with floral patterns taking a close lead. Of course, there is nothing wrong with going with solid colors. If you have an intricate wrought iron set, or many pieces, in a setting with tons of flowers and plants, then going for a simple cushion will let the eyes enjoy the scenery a little more. Luckily, most patio cushions are designed to fit any set, whether it is teak, iron or plastic resin, so one does not have to worry that they have found the perfect pattern, but not know if it will fit. Look for quality polyfills, UV-resistant coatings and comfortable softness and you can have a complete sanctuary for outside of your home.