Having a patio furniture set is one of your greatest front or backyard investments as a homeowner. You can sit on them to drink your morning coffee, spend time for weekend relaxations, or entertain guests during important occasions.
Most outdoor furniture is made without cushions, and sitting on them for longer durations can sore behinds. This is why it’s a wise decision to buy patio cushions to make sitting and leaning on outdoor furniture more comfortable.
There is one problem. Once you get to the home improvement store, you’ll be shocked at the price tag and have second thoughts about buying patio cushions. So why are outdoor cushions so expensive?
To give a simple explanation, they’re made from special durable materials that are water, mold-growth, weather, and UV resistant — perfect for comfortable, low-maintenance, beautiful, and long-lasting outdoor relaxation spots.
If you can afford outdoor cushions for your patio furniture set, we’ll discuss important points to consider on choosing the best products for your money and tips to get discounts.
And if you’re short on cash, we’ll share alternative strategies you can use to make your outdoor furniture beautiful, comfortable, and durable without too much maintenance work.
But before anything else, we’ll give in-depth answers to the questions: Are outdoor cushions necessary for patio furniture? Why are patio furniture cushions so expensive? Why is it important to have the right cushion for your outdoor furniture? So without further ado, let’s get straight to them.
Why Are Outdoor Cushions Necessary for Patio Furniture?
Patio furniture is built from various materials and comes in different designs. Some are exclusively plastic, metal, wood, or concrete — all durable to the constant changes in weather and daylight cycles. At times, these materials are also mixed for different build qualities. But most of them are delivered to your home without patio cushions.
Sure, you can sit on patio furniture in its default form. But what if the weather outside is perfect for backyard sunbathing, barbecue, bonfire, drinking, conversations, or sleeping? Nobody will last long sitting or lying down without feeling soreness in certain body areas without outdoor cushions.
On top of the discomfort, your patio furniture will look bland and uninviting — these things might cause your visitors to think that you don’t like them being around.
Lastly, the great thing about having cushions is that they can come in different cover styles. Some have stripes, and others have circles. There are those with zig-zags. And don’t forget a wide color variety.
Why Are Outdoor Cushions so Expensive?
1. Made from special durable materials
The common ingredients for making expensive outdoor cushions involve polyvinyl chloride (PVC), 100% solution-dyed acrylic, polypropylene, Textilene, polyester, and cotton duck canvas — all known to resist water, sunlight, wind, and snow greatly.
Not only that but outdoor cushions are tightly woven in different styles, preventing mildew from entering the inner foam core and causing mold growth.
As a result, patio cushions don’t fly off, tear, break down, fade or discolor, and get wet easily. They can even last from months to years without damage, and they can be fixed, restored, and dried quickly if they do. The cushions are expensive because they’re made with the same durability and functions as camping gears and clothing.
Not to mention that extensive research was done to make outdoor cushions into what they are today — comfortable, beautiful, and durable.
2. Style and comfort
Professional home designers create different patterns and color choices of outdoor fabric for cushions. So you’re not just paying for the materials and the manufacturing costs but also the artist behind the beauty of the patio cushions.
Because there are thousands of outdoor furniture styles on the market (both mass-produced and uniquely designed), home designers have to think of multiple patterns and colors to match different furnishings styles.
We often associate the word with ruggedness and sturdiness when thinking about durability. So it’s expected that new patio cushions would be uncomfortable to sit and lean on. This isn’t the case.
Through extensive research, scientists and home designers have found a way to make cushions as comfy as the ones you find indoors. Research plus design equals a high price.
Patio cushions don’t just differ in their built materials and weave; they also come in various sizes, slipcover styles, colors, and patterns — some designs found only for indoor cushions can be treated for outdoor purposes. This gives you plenty of options that best suit your specified outdoor furniture style, size, and fashion statement.
And if you can’t find an outdoor cushion with the right fit and design for your new patio furniture at home improvement stores or eCommerce platforms, you can order custom-made. However, be prepared to pay more than the prices you find on the shelves or on search pages.
Why? Because pre-made cushions are manufactured using machines following uniform instructions and ordering custom-made is extra work.
The main function of outdoor cushions is to be low-maintenance and durable seat paddings without sacrificing beauty and comfort. But they can also be used for other purposes such as garden meditation, sunbathing, having a soft platform to step on, and elevated spots where you can rest your tired feet and legs while sitting.
Due to this versatility, patio cushions are highly in demand among homeowners. They are often out of stock in home improvement stores located in high-end suburban neighborhoods and tourist destinations like hotels and resorts.
With increased demand and low supply, it’s not a mystery why outdoor chair cushions are so expensive. Don’t be surprised if a sales representative tells you their patio cushions are out of stock because a local beach resort has bought all of them.
5. Weather-proof or resistant and easy to dry
We all know that fabric and foam easily soak up water and need to be squeezed or spun to make drying easier. Although patio cushions are made from fabric and foam, they are also weather-proof. Not just against the rain but also snow.
If it rained last night and is sunny the next day, you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon without worrying about sitting on a wet foam.
This allows patio cushions to stay dry when left outside during a downpour or in the winter. At times, moisture does seep through, especially with cheap varieties. However, the water quickly evaporates when exposed to direct sunlight due to the foam and fabrics’ properties of fast heat absorption and retention.
Just be advised that the fibers in some patio cushions can be damaged when dried in direct sunlight. If you buy these varieties, it’s best to towel, air, or pressure dry them to preserve their color and form. In summary, outdoor cushions are expensive because they are well designed, delicately manufactured, and require scientific research to develop.
Why Is It Important to Have the Right Kind of Cushion for Your Outdoor Furniture?
Each of us live in different regions around the planet. Some are in tropical areas, while others reside in temperate zones. Since patio cushions have different build qualities, one variety is perfect for tropical households while the other is best suited for places that experience the four seasons.
This is why buying the right patio cushion is important for a homeowner. You don’t want to own the four-season-resistant variety while you live in a tropical climate because they are more expensive. They might also get weathered sooner because they weren’t built to brave only the sun and rain. The same goes for the other way around.
Another thing to keep in mind is the size of the cushion. An inch smaller or bigger will make your entire outdoor furniture set look awkward. You can choose to buy a bigger foam and cushion cover and trim the excess.
But do you want that kind of hassle plus the extra costs? It’s best to measure your chairs’ back posts and seat sizes before heading to the home improvement store.
What to Consider When Buying Outdoor Cushions (Factors Other than Price)
1. Match patio cushions with patio furniture sizes and color schemes
Home design is not just about comfort but also about style. Ensure that the patio cushions fit well with your outdoor furniture and have coverings that look great to the furniture surface’s material, pattern, and color. For example, if your backyard sofa set is made of beige-painted rattan, it would be nice to pair it with brown or dirty-white cushions.
2. Outdoor cushions should be built with comfortable and durable materials
It’s easy to get tricked into buying weather-proof cushions or cushion covers if you only look at the label. Be sure to read the rear description thoroughly. If the product tag mentions polyester, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), 100% solution-dyed acrylic, polypropylene, Textilene, or cotton duck canvas, you’re looking at the right merchandise.
Better yet, test the cushion by sitting on it, ask questions from a sales representative, and check if the brand of the cushion is reputable.
3. Choose patio furniture cushion brands that resist water, mildew, and molds well
The materials stated in #2 will help you determine if the patio cushion is weather, mildew, and mold-proof. Additionally, you’ll want to look for labels that say “microbicidal” and “antimicrobial” — these are indicators that the surface and interior of the patio cushion aren’t conducive to the survival and multiplication of bacteria and molds.
4. Patio cushions shouldn’t smell bad quickly, are easy to wash, and dry fast
Aside from wear and tears on patio cushions caused by weather and time, you also want to pay attention to how easy they are to wash, dry, and the smell they give off when you sit on them.
Typically, an outdoor cushion can be cleaned by spraying a little water and wiping it with a dry cloth, and some even only require brushing and can be dried under the sun or light airing.
The most common problem is the musty smell of the foam that escapes when the cushion is pressed or sat on. Sometimes, it even smells like a dead animal if the moisture or water in the foam core is left unwashed and undried for weeks. Antibacterial or antimicrobial properties are great deterrents to bad cushion foam odors.
Look for labels like these when shopping.
5. Pick patio cushions that don’t fade easily
100% solution-dyed acrylic is not just a durable outdoor fabric. It’s also one of the best innovations for long-lasting pillow and cushion cover colors and patterns. By picking a patio cushion covered with dyed acrylic, you can ensure that its design, art, or color will last from months to years.
Outdoor vs. Indoor Furniture Price Comparison: Which Is More Expensive?
It depends on the intricacy of the production, design, and materials used. A patio sofa made of hardwood with a simple and modern design is cheaper than a luxuriously-designed indoor couch. Swapping the nature of the designs and materials would also interchange the results.
But if we were to talk about typical price estimates, indoor furniture sets are always more expensive than their patio counterparts. This is because indoor varieties are bigger and more cushioned, and the foams are stapled or sewn to the furniture frame. Indoor sofas require a lot of time, effort, and materials to build, making them pricier.
Whereas patio furniture is commonly built in smaller sizes, with fewer materials, following simpler designs, their cushions can be removed and stored elsewhere.
Benefits of Buying Expensive Patio Furniture Cushions
1. A beautiful and welcoming home
Whenever relatives, friends, or colleagues visit your place, they can’t help but feel envious of your beautiful and comfortable patio furniture set. They’ll also want to spend an afternoon or evening in the area whenever they’re visiting. As a homeowner, you’ll feel happy and content that your hard work is seen as a success.
2. More opportunities to relieve stress
Suppose you don’t give much attention to what others think about your home and want to beautify your abode for yourself. In that case, having your own patio cushions to make free time relaxation even better is a great investment.
Imagine sitting down drinking your favorite beverage, feeling the wind, and looking up without caring. You wouldn’t want to be anywhere other than your outdoor space.
3. A more attractive property listing
If you want to sell your home fast, your patio furniture with cushions will increase the appeal of your listing to attract potential buyers. In online and local real estate listings, the living room and kitchen are the first places buyers look at while they peruse.
But what seals the deal is the backyard. Once buyers see how beautiful you’ve set up your backyard patio in the photos, they will call to make an offer.
4. Better home resale value
Cushions for your patio furniture set aren’t just investments to improve your mental and emotional health, but they’ll also help your home fetch a higher selling price on the market. Forget about backyard pools, hot tubs, sports courts, or highly-personalized landscape designs.
Most people nowadays want a simpler lifestyle. And nothing reflects that better than a modern and comfortable backyard patio.
Where Can I Get Good Quality Outdoor Cushions at Good Price?
Unless you earn five to six figures a month, buying new cushions for your outdoor table and chair set can challenge your budget. The question is: Where to buy cheap outdoor cushions?
There are plenty of places you can purchase the highest quality and weather-resistant patio cushions. Examples are Amazon, Walmart, wayfair, Home Depot, and Bed Bath and Beyond.
However, you want to know which brands deliver their promise. If you have no idea who to buy cushions for your patio furniture set, then use this list as your guide:
- The best in budget and currently sold with a discount.
- Great for small patio furniture.
- Reversible and tufted.
- It comes in red, brown, orange, blue, and other floral designs.
- Different sizes are available for a variety of furniture styles.
- It has string ties that make the cushions easily stay attached to furniture.
- It comes in a variety of colorful patterns and tropical designs.
- It has received a lot of good reviews.
- Sold in solos or pairs.
- It includes a free return.
- The best overall.
- Perfect for modern patio furniture designs with simple colors.
- Sold with a back pillow.
- Easy to maintain.
- It comes in three sizes.
4. IN4 Care
- For beginner-level outdoor patio setup.
- It has five stylish designs. Three geometrics with 3 different colors, one floral, and one striped for single-person chairs.
- Only at $38.
- Good for all seasons.
- It received plenty of positive reviews.
- Comfortable loveseat cushion for you and your spouse.
- 3- layered core foam to maximize thickness without compromising on softness.
- Has garages to prevent water from entering and the zipper from scratching your furniture.
- Stain and fade resistant.
- Costs less than $75.
Are There Any Affordable Alternatives to Outdoor Cushions?
Yes! You can make your own at home if you have a sewing machine and intermediate seam-crafting skills. You need to know where to buy weather-resistant fabric and polyurethane foam or fillings wholesale.
There is also the choice of buying foldable canvas or cloth furniture. They are equally as stylish as having new patio furniture with an outdoor cushion but aren’t as comfortable.
Will Patio Furniture Prices Go Down? – What Survey Shows
Patio furniture prices have the potential to go down in the future. However, there are no surveys or accurate data to support this. But suppose production efforts increase and the demand slowly declines, we can expect that most households, especially in the middle-income bracket, will start to afford outdoor furniture sets easily.
What is the Best Time to Buy Patio Furniture?
Experts say the best time to buy patio furniture is when they are on sale, and the demand is low — in fall and winter. During these months, people are busy with other things, and you can pick the best designs for your backyard without competition. Sellers are also eager to eliminate outdoor items taking up space in the warehouses.
However, these opportunities may not be present if you live in tropical or warmer areas. Your best bet here is to do a lot of research regarding sales. A good strategy is to receive the latest updates from sellers regularly. To start, you’ll need to subscribe to their mailing list.
How to Make My Own Outdoor Cushions to Save Money? (Easy Tricks)
1. Get in touch with wholesalers or manufacturers of outdoor fabric, foams, and filling makers
This tip may not work for everyone as polyurethane and weather-proof fabric makers won’t exist in every town. However, if you know one nearby, make a deal with them and buy something enough or more than your needs.
The best thing about going straight to a manufacturer for supplies is that you’ll have extra materials for replacement cushions, throw pillows, and outdoor pillowcases.
2. Learn sewing skills
Once you have what you need, learn as many sewing skills as possible. Various resources are available online, and they’re mostly for free. It might sound like a tedious process but think of it as a fun experience. Who knows? You might like making outdoor water-proof upholstery and earn extra income out of it.
3. Use a sewing machine
You can sew tufted, boxed, or flat cheap cushions using your hand. But obviously, it would be hard and time-consuming. So use a sewing machine. Depending on which is available, you can rent, borrow, or buy one.
4. Buy the materials and hire a seamster or seamstress
The easiest way to have your own furniture cushions is to buy the materials and hire someone to sew for you. Just give them a picture of the design you intend them to work on and wait for them to finish the product.
Other Tips to Save Money When Buying Patio Furniture Cushions
Aside from making your own cushions, you can save money by purchasing cheap second-hand cushions. This isn’t recommended as used items are either damaged or degraded.
For your last money-saving option, wait for sales or when the demand is low. You’ll need a lot of patience and planning for it. To give you an idea for starting, search for the right cushions for your furniture during the fall and winter months.
Patio furniture cushions are expensive because the manufacturing process of their materials is costly. Professionals in the home improvement industry also design them. On top of that, the demand for these cushions is high, and the supply is low.
However, you can save money by avoiding cushions already made and making your own at home or through a hired seam worker. If these options aren’t available, you can still wait for the right time to go cushion-hunting during fall and winter or when retailers put their wares on sale.
How much do outdoor cushions typically cost?
Weather-resistant cushion prices start at $30 and cost as much as $500. However, most are sold within the $70 to $100 price range.
How long will outdoor cushions last before they need replacement?
It depends on how well you take care of them. If you leave the cushions out to the elements with little attention, they will likely fade or be torn easily within months or a year. But if you clean them from dirt and dust, wipe the moisture off from time to time, and hide them during rainy and winter seasons, you can expect them to last for years.
What to do when built outdoor cushions don’t match my outdoor furniture?
Your best bet would be to order custom-made cushions, buy a bigger built product, or make one yourself. Custom-made cushions will be more expensive. But don’t worry, manufacturers mostly have different sizes available. Just make sure that it follows standard measurements when you’re planning to have patio furniture crafted.
Buying a bigger product and trimming it to fit your furniture would require as much work as making your own patio cushions at home. However, the latter might be cheap. Smart homeowners also choose to use old cushions and re-use them for outdoor spaces by covering them in rain-resistant fabric.
Where would be a great place to buy patio furniture cushions?
The best place would be to go to Home Depot, Walmart, or wayfair physical store. Online shopping is great, but you won’t see the actual product and test it until delivery.
Through physical store purchase, you can tape measure your outdoor furniture first and use the dimensions as a reference when speaking with a sales representative. You can also see if the cushions you’re about to buy are weather-resistant.
How long do outdoor cushions last?
Depending on how much care you give them, they last from months to years. Storing the cushions indoors when not in use will prevent color fading caused by UV rays from sun exposure, especially in the summer.
The same goes for the winter and rainy seasons. By caring for your patio cushions, you can save hundreds as you won’t need frequent replacements.