What is a Chair Pad?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
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  • Last Modified Date: 07 October 2019
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Wooden, plastic, metal or rattan furniture can be sturdy but it isn’t always as comfortable as those seated might want. Also, the simplicity of furniture made of these materials may not appeal to everyone’s decorating sensibilities. For either or both of these reasons, people may look for a chair pad to enhance comfort and/or add to style.

There are numerous chair pad types. Some are cushioned and covered with various fabrics. They provide some extra comfort when people are seated. Others can be made of materials that aren’t particularly thick, like braided hemp or straw. These can add a decorative touch to chairs and help protect the seating surface. Most chair pads, no matter what the style, come with tie attachments. These are usually tied to the chair’s back right near the seat to help keep the pad in place.

Since chair seats come in some many shapes, people may need to look for shapes in chair pads that are similar. For instance, round seats are best covered with round chair pads. It’s a good idea to measure the chair before setting off in search of a chair pad to cover it. The pad should cover the chair seat but not overlap it. Occasionally, people will custom order chair cushioning so that the fit is perfect, or those gifted in sewing or other crafts may make their own chair cushions.


Sometimes people also purchase pads for the backs of chairs too, and these may be sold in a set with seat cushioning, or may need to be purchased separately. Again, measuring is important so that pads don’t overlap chairs. Sometimes it is truly easier to make pads at home or custom order them to get the perfect fit, and the fabrics that are most desired. Another time a back chair pad might be desirable is when people use wooden or wicker rocking chairs. Adding extra cushioning to the back can provide more comfortable seating.

A number of durable chair pads or cushions exist that are designed for use outdoors. These may employ more weather friendly fabrics like vinyl, which can hold up better in sun exposure or if it gets hit by the occasional rainstorm. Many different cushion options exist for a variety of outdoor seating types, including chaise lounge chairs or cushions for ottomans.

For everyday use, people may want to look for a chair pad that has a washable cover. If kids or even adults will regularly use the pads for kitchen or dining room seating, they can get dirty quickly. Some people buy covers for the pads, which can be thrown in the wash, and others buy pads that aren’t washable, and then purchase covers for them to protect them from getting soiled.


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