When the days get longer, and the weather warms up, many of us venture into our gardens to enjoy the summer days and sultry evenings. Dressing your outdoor furniture to be as comfortable and attractive as possible makes your time in the garden all the more special, and outdoor cushions could be just the thing to achieve this. If you're wondering how to pick through all the options available, this buying guide is here to help you out.
Whether you're looking for some waterproof cushions for chairs or large pieces for your bench or sofa, we've got you covered. We've listed our favourites from Argos, Amazon and eBay, including everything from tropical covers, to bright orange fabrics to bring you the top 10 best outdoor cushions in the UK. So if you think these may be something you’d use, keep reading our buying guide to find out more.
If you’re not sure where to start when choosing the best outdoor cushions, we’ve included all the main considerations in this handy buying guide. So, let’s take a look at what they are.
How we spend our time in the garden depends on the space and the types of furniture we have. When it comes to shopping for cushions to adorn our well-chosen pieces, think about how you plan on using them, as there are a few different types to consider.
Scatter cushions add a touch of colour and interest to your furniture, as well as adding some padding to benches and chairs that may be a bit uncomfortable. Seat pads are also a great way of making outdoor chairs softer, for cosy dining and long lunches that last well into the evening.
Cushions designed for sun loungers are elongated to give you full body padding against any hard wood or metal - these tend to have seams and folds that follow the contours of the lounger. Floor cushions are also becoming popular, and are a great way of adding additional seating if you’re short on space or are entertaining a crowd al fresco.
There are two main types of fabric available when shopping for outdoor cushions - cotton canvas and coated polyester. This section will take a look at each one and their pros and cons.
Cotton canvas has been used for many years for outdoor furnishing and is well-known for its strength and versatility. It offers excellent value for money and can be easily dyed, so comes in a whole host of different colours to match your decor.
However, unless it's been coated in a protectant, canvas cushions usually won't be water-resistant. If these are left outside, they could lead to problems with mould or mildew, so unless already treated, you will need need to waterproof them yourself, at least once a year. You should also avoid using cleaners that contain chlorine, as they can easily bleach the colour and ruin the cushion.
Coated polyester is composed of woven polyester fibres encased in a protective layer, which is usually PVC. This fabric is very strong and isn’t susceptible to rips and tears. It's also usually water-resistant or waterproof, so it won’t absorb any moisture after being left out overnight during heavy showers.
The downside of coated polyester is that it can get really hot in the sun, so might be uncomfortable to sit on during very hot days. It also tends to lose colour and fade in the sunlight, which you will probably notice over time. It's worth noting, too, that bleach-based cleaners should be avoided as they can degrade the protective coating.
There are two main types of filling used for outdoor cushions, each with slightly different properties. Polyester fill is a popular choice as it's soft, fluffy, and cost-effective, but it doesn’t offer much in the way of support. Clustered polyfill is similar, but the fibres are wrapped in small bundles. While this does make the cushions a little firmer, they are still at risk of quickly becoming flat.
Foam fillings aren’t as common as polyester but are often used when the cushion warrants something a little denser to stop it from collapsing so easily. However, foams can be very heavy, so can be cumbersome to move around, and can emit a strong chemical smell.
By their nature, outdoor cushions are likely to come in contact with moisture, whether it be early morning dew or water patches left by passing rain. To keep your outdoor cushions in shape for as long as possible, you'll need to stop them from coming into contact with any moisture. Or, simply opt for waterproof cushions.
Water-resistant cushions stop moisture from completely soaking into the fabric, as any water can simply be wiped off. Because the moisture is repelled, there’s little chance of mould and mildew becoming a problem, so they can be left out overnight or during short showers. It's these little touches that make life that bit easier!
Cushions meant to be placed on a seat or sunlounger can easily move around while you’re sitting or lying on them. Needless to say, this can be a bit annoying! The cushions don't sit straight, they slide out from under you, and they can easily end up flopped on the ground covered in dirt.
To avoid this nightmare, simply opt for outdoor cushions with ties. That way, you can secure the cushion to the furniture to help them stay in place while you're relaxing - and they look much neater.
If you’re regularly using your outdoor cushions when dining or having drinks, it’s likely that at some point, something is going to get spilt on them. Especially if you have kids, as our little darlings seem to be able to make a mess out of anything!
Cushions with removable covers for machine or hand washing definitely help, as it gives you the option to clean off the stain without getting the whole cushion soaked. This is much easier and quicker to clean and means that you don't run the risk of harbouring any lingering moisture that could lead to mould or mildew.
Now that we’ve looked at all the different aspects of choosing outdoor cushions, it's on to our recommendations. Here's a list of our top 10 hand-picked favourites from online UK retailers. Enjoy!
|Type||Scatter / seat|
|Dimensions||42 x 39 x 4 cm|
|Fill||Polyester / foam|
|Dimensions||48 x 96 x 7 cm|
|Dimensions||91 x 46 x 5 cm|
|Dimensions||40 x 40 cm|
|Dimensions||162 x 47 x 8 cm|
|Dimensions||34 x 28.1 x 4.5 cm|
|Dimensions||192 x 59 x 8 cm|
|Dimensions||40 x 40 cm|
|Dimensions||150 x 60 x 8 cm|
|Dimensions||42 x 42 cm|
Field & Hawken
Waterproof Outdoor Garden Cushion
High Density Foam Patio Bench Seat Cushion
Pin Stripe Black and White Floor Cushion
Luxury Sage Sun Lounger Cushion
Set of 4 Decorative Cushion Covers
Sun Lounger Seville Cushion - Orange
2 Pack Scatter Cushions – Blue/Denim
Garden Chair Cushion - Cream
Sun Lounger Cushion Seat Pad - Set of 2
2 Garden Cushion Pads - Coastal Stripe
Designed, Printed, and Handmade in the UK
Customisable Foam Cushion Pads and Covers
Additional Seating for Garden Parties
A Tailored Design That's Durable and Practical
Strong Breathable Fabric That's Water Resistant
Thick Foam Filling That Doesn't Go Flat
No Need to Worry About Accidental Spills
Comfortably Cushion the Back and Seat Of Your Chair
Designed to Fit Your Furniture Perfectly
Comfortable Cushions With a Beachy Vibe
|Type||Scatter||Seat||Floor cushionn||Lounger||Scatter||Lounger||Scatter||Seat||Lounger||Scatter / seat|
|Material||Coated polyester||Cotton||Cotton||Coated polyester||Coated cotton||Cotton blend||Coated polyester||Cotton||Coated polyester||Cotton|
|Fill||Polyester||Foam||Polyester||Polyester||n/a||Foam||Polyester||Polyester||Polyester / foam||Polyester|
|Dimensions||42 x 42 cm||150 x 60 x 8 cm||40 x 40 cm||192 x 59 x 8 cm||34 x 28.1 x 4.5 cm||162 x 47 x 8 cm||40 x 40 cm||91 x 46 x 5 cm||48 x 96 x 7 cm||42 x 39 x 4 cm|
If your garden needs a little help to become the relaxing outdoor space it deserves to be, then we have some fantastic recommendations of things to buy that can help you achieve that quiet corner of peace and tranquillity. Have a look below at just some of the many buying guides we have available.
Making the most of your outdoor area will create an additional living space that's both comfortable and inviting. We hope that you've found our recommendations useful and that you can now spend many a happy hour in your garden with your new outdoor cushions.
Author: Catherine Torrance
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