What are the Different Types of Outdoor Cushions?

Autumn Rivers

Many people have outdoor seating in their backyard or on their porch. Unlike most types of indoor seating, the outdoor kind usually does not come with its own built-in cushions, which means that it is necessary to purchase separate outdoor cushions. Fortunately, there are types for every kind of outdoor seating, with chair cushions being the most common. On the other hand, benches and chaise lounges often call for longer cushions that are the correct shape and size for the furniture that they belong on, while outdoor sofas usually require several separate cushions.

Patio chairs and couches often require outdoor cushions that are the same shape as their frames.
Patio chairs and couches often require outdoor cushions that are the same shape as their frames.

Patio chairs usually require outdoor cushions that are the same shape as the chair frame. There are various chair shapes, which means that there are just as many chair cushions, with square, rectangular, and round being the most common. There are also seat cushions that are square with a rounded back, square with rounded corners instead of the angular kind, or even in the shape of a trapezoid. Some companies even allow customers to request custom chair cushions that perfectly fit their patio chairs. These cushions may have the seat part and the back part sold separately to allow for easy replacement, or they may come with both parts connected.

Throw pillows might be used as an outdoor cushion.
Throw pillows might be used as an outdoor cushion.

Longer outdoor cushions are often necessary when a patio features more than just a table and chairs. For example, some yards have a wooden or metal bench that requires a cushion for comfort. Like chair cushions, this type comes in various sizes, ranging from a regular rectangle or trapezoid, to a rectangle with some or all of the corners rounded. This type of cushion usually only comes as one piece, though cushioning for the back part of the bench may be purchased separately.

Chaise lounges usually require long cushions that include support for both the head and the body. This type of cushion usually only comes in the shape of a rectangle, though corners can be either angular or rounded. It is usually possible to choose between a lounge cushion that comes with both the head and body cushioning connected together, and a two-piece cushion. Chaise lounge outdoor cushions can also usually be custom made.

There are also cushions available for outdoor sofas. These are typically thicker than the kind that fit benches, as most sofas are built for more cushioning. They usually come with two or three cushions, depending on the size of the couch. Outdoor cushions for sofas that stay outside usually also include cushioning for the back, and while most of these cushions are not connected, they are typically sold together in a set.

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Discussion Comments


Sometimes I use throw cushions that were made for indoor furniture on my outdoor patio furniture. They are softer and more comfortable, so they are more enjoyable to use. It's just important to remember to take them indoors frequently and at the end of the summer season, or they will not last very long.


I have found that cushions for outdoor furniture typically only last for a season or two, so there is no point in spending a lot of money on them. The best strategy for buying new outdoor cushions is to shop for them at the end of the summer season in the clearance section of a retail or department store. Though the selection may be limited, you will get a great deal, so you won't be out a lot of money when they wear out.

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