Your Guide to Buying Super-Stylish and Durable Outdoor Cushions

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An outdoor space in which to enjoy in warmer months, or even all year-round, can be a tremendous amenity for any home. Even if the space is no more than a small balcony, taking in fresh air in privacy can be truly rejuvenating. Of course, this type of outdoor area is made even more comfortable by the right outdoor furniture, including comfortable places to sit. When it comes to outdoor furniture, often the most comfortable options are those which have removable seat cushions. Not only do these provide added padding for sitting and lounging, but they also make it easy and affordable to refresh furniture without completely replacing it. Buying new outdoor cushions that are not only durable but also attractive and welcoming can be a fun way to revive older furniture or simply change things up a bit. Outdoor cushions of various styles are widely available from furniture retailers, home improvement stores, and also online from eBay.

Choose a Type of Outdoor Cushion

Naturally, the first decision to make when purchasing outdoor cushions is which type of furniture is in need of new cushions. Different types of furniture will require cushions in different shapes and sizes.

Patio Chair Cushions

There are a number of types of patio chairs that may require replacement cushions. The type of chair will determine the type of cushions that are necessary. For instance, some chairs, like wrought iron patio chairs, may have an ornate back that is meant to be displayed and is not meant to be covered with a cushion. In this case, only the seat will need a cushion. Other chairs will have a place for both a seat and back cushion, which means that considerations like measurements will need to be made for both sections of the chair. When shopping for new outdoor cushions, be sure to verify if chair cushions are for the seat only or for the entire chair.

Lounge Chair Cushions

Another popular piece of patio furniture is a lounge chair, which may also be referred to as a chaise. Unlike regular patio chairs, these are lower to the ground and have an extended seat to allow for lying down, sunning, and otherwise lounging. Lounge chair cushions will therefore be considerably larger than regular chair cushions. It is also important to note that these cushions may come in a single piece with a crease where the seat meets the back, or may come in two pieces that need to be attached separately. Personal preference determines which style is better for any particular chair. However, if the cushions are separate it is possible to get one section in a solid and one in a pattern or otherwise mix and match, which could be an interesting style choice.

Bench Cushions

Adding a cushion to an outdoor bench can be a great way to make a picnic table more welcoming and more comfortable. Bench cushions are also appropriate for porch swings or other outdoor bench-style seating areas. Bench cushions will not have any back portion and are simply shaped like a rectangle that will fit into the bench’s seat.

Outdoor Floor Cushions

Finally, there actually does not even need to be a piece of furniture in order to enjoy the comfort of an outdoor cushion. Floor cushions can be an interesting design element and serve as extra seating, even outdoors. These oversized and overstuffed cushions may be brightly colored and give off an aura of a Moroccan palace, or they may simply match the cushions on the rest of the patio furniture.

Measure Furniture

It will be important to have proper measurements for the patio furniture before attempting to buy new cushions. Take careful note of the depth and width of the piece of furniture that needs the cushions. If the current cushions are a preferred thickness, then it may be useful to also measure the cushions and find new ones that are similarly thick. However, thickness is variable, so it is also possible to choose cushions that are a different thickness in order to make the furniture most suitable for the family’s own tastes. In general, outdoor furniture cushions are between 2 and 8 inches thick.

Choose an Outdoor Cushion Material

Because outdoor cushions must stand up not only to the wear and tear of being sat upon, but also to the punishment of the elements and inclement weather, it is important to choose a material for the cushions that will be resistant to each of these things. The following table outlines the different types of materials that may be appropriate for outdoor cushions.

Fabric

Water resistance

UV Resistance

Cotton Canvas

Only if treated

No

Acrylic Linen

Yes

Yes

Dacron/PET

Yes

Yes

PVC

Yes

Yes

The two most important factors in choosing an outdoor fabric for cushions is whether that fabric will be resistant to moisture and mildew, and if it will stand up to the sun’s rays summer after summer. A buyer should keep in mind that a water resistant cushion is not the same as a waterproof cushion. When cushions become wet, they should be dried thoroughly before being used again.

Choose a Cushion Color

The color of an outdoor cushion can truly make or break the look of an entire patio or garden. Be sure to choose colors that will be appreciated year after year, otherwise the cushions will have to be replaced multiple times over the years as fashion dictates. Of course, the simplest choice for outdoor cushions is a solid color. But even if this is the chosen route, do not feel as though the cushions on every piece of furniture must be the same color. It can be attractive and fun to have the chairs have cushions in one color while the chaises have another and a few floor cushions have a mixture. This can really add interest to the space.

Striped Outdoor Cushions

Striped patterns are also extremely popular for outdoor cushions. Not only does the pattern tend to hide dirt better, it has a classic, Mediterranean feel. Red and white or blue and white striped outdoor cushions are particularly nautical and glamorous, while black and white is a bit more dramatic and exciting.

Outdoor Cushion Patterns

Beyond solids and stripes, there is still a whole host of patterns that may be appropriate for outdoor cushions. Floral patterns may add color to a yard that is mainly dominated by grass or a swimming pool. Toile is a linen fabric that often shows blue and white patterns of pastoral scenes; it can also be an elegant choice, particularly combined with wrought iron or wicker. Of course there are also geometric patterns as well as many designs which are reminiscent of more exotic locales like India. These types of designs can really bring a bit of warmth and excitement into any yard or patio area.

In general, these bold patterns will be best suited for use with darker woods and natural colors rather than the bright white that characterizes some outdoor furniture. However, a buyer should not be afraid to take a chance on bold colors or patterns. They can really accent the furniture and breathe new life into an otherwise drab outdoor space. Not to mention, since they are removable cushions, if they ever begin to seem a bit too bold or outdated, it is easy to replace them without much fuss.

How to Buy Outdoor Cushions on eBay

Buying outdoor cushions online can save time and money, and online shopping also offers a buyer more options from which to choose. On eBay, merchants sell many different types and styles of outdoor cushions for virtually any sensibility or space.

In order to find the best outdoor cushions for your space, simply search for "outdoor cushions" in the search box on the eBay homepage. Buyers may want to specify whether they are looking for outdoor chair cushions, outdoor bench cushions, or some other style. When the results are listed, it is possible to then sort or winnow the cushions by price, condition, and other descriptors.

If you have questions about issues pertaining to the sale including shipping charges, it is possible to double check with the seller. Some sellers may only be selling a cushion without a cover, while others may be selling replacement covers without the cushion. A quick note to the seller via eBay channels will be able to clear up any questions you have so that the purchase can be made with confidence.

Conclusion

Being able to spend time outdoors without having to leave the home can really feel like a gift. Whether it is sipping a freshly made cocktail after work on an apartment balcony or spending an entire afternoon grilling food for the neighborhood, a beautiful patio or yard is a wonderful investment. Nothing sours those relaxing outdoor experiences faster than finding yourself or a guest sitting on a sagging cushion, or even worse on the damp and soggy ground because there is no suitable chair. This is why it is so important to take the step to replace outdoor furniture cushions often and keep them in good condition. Whether you choose striped cushions that remind you of a cruise through the Caribbean or a simple solid color that brings out the color in your daughter’s eyes, stylish outdoor cushions are an easy and affordable way to bring a little excitement back to the outdoor space of any home.

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