Reading on the deck, enjoying a meal outside, or sitting under the trees can be as comfortable as sitting in your living room. The right outdoor pillows add a splash of style and comfort to a porch or patio space, and a new set of cushions or cushions covers is an affordable way to spruce up a deck.

But how to choose outdoor cushions? First, determine the type of cushion you need. Are you looking for throw pillows? Do you need back cushions or bottom ones? Are you searching for comfortable seating for a rocking chair, a bench, a loveseat, or a high back chair?

Outdoor cushions come in many sizes and shapes, so make sure you’re pairing the cushion itself to the correct seating. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the thickness of the cushion, particularly if you’re pairing the chairs with a table. Thicker bottom cushions may raise the seating height, while thinner ones will offer less comfort. We’ve compiled a range of sizes and shapes for all types of seating.

Finally, outdoor cushions are made specifically for durability in the elements, though this doesn’t mean you should leave them out all the time. 100% waterproof cushions are almost impossible to find, and likely wouldn’t be very comfortable — but most cushions are water-resistant. In other words, they may soak up water if left to sit in a wet environment, but spilled liquid or rain should mostly roll off. Read the manufacturers’ guidelines and customer reviews carefully before purchasing to make sure you have the type of cushion to suit your needs.

Are Outdoor Cushions Machine Washable?

Are outdoor cushions machine washable?

First and foremost, prevention is key to the longevity and cleanliness of your outdoor cushions. Strong rain, harsh sunlight, and excessive exposure to the elements will contribute to faded color or even mold, no matter how durable the fabric. Wooded areas may result in stains from falling leaves and seeds. To protect your cushions, bring them in at night and during storms or strong sunlight.

You can also choose someplace sheltered to store them when you’re not using them. A cabinet near the door or an outdoor chest will make it easier to put away your cushions. We reviewed some great outdoor storage chests that you can check out here.

You may want to wash your outdoor cushions no matter how carefully you protect them from the elements. Check the manufacturer’s instructions first, but many outdoor cushions are machine washable. So long as they will fit in your machine, your cushions will benefit from a deep clean on the inside and the out.

If you want to add an extra disinfectant, pour a cup or two of white vinegar in with the detergent. Line dry the cushions outside. Note that machine washing may disfigure the cushions or cause a faster breakdown of the material.

If you prefer, you can clean your cushions without ever bringing them inside. For a lighter clean, mix 1 part water, 2 parts vinegar, and 1 part baking soda in a spray bottle. When the mixture stops fizzing, put the nozzle on the bottle, then spray the  cushions. Let them dry in the sunlight. The sunlight and the vinegar will act as disinfectants.

Alternatively, bring a bucket full of detergent and hot water outside and scrub the cushions with a scrubbing brush. Allow the soapy water to sink into the cushion if needed. Rinse them with clean water and allow to dry outside.

Don’t feel like spot cleaning, but love your spot-clean-only cushions? Consider purchasing one of the machine-washable covers listed in the last section of this article.

Outdoor Patio Pillows and Cushions You’ll Love in 2020

RSH Décor Indoor/Outdoor Cushion Set

Outdoor tufted cushion set by RSH Decor.

These colorful, made-in-the-USA outdoor cushions are available in two different sizes and come in many bright, cheerful colors. The set includes one loveseat cushion (measuring 41” or 44” depending on the set) and two U-shaped single cushions (measuring 19” x 19” or 22” x 22”). They’re UV-resistant, fade-resistant, and stain-resistant with polyester filling. The manufacturer recommended that you sponge wash them.

“Excellent quality! They’re heavy, stitched well, I have nothing negative to say.” Reviewers report these cushions are plush and comfortable. They loved the array of available colors. One reviewer notes that water rolls right off the fabric. The most common concern was that the actual color did not match the color in the photo.

Love it? Click here to buy now.

Seat Cushions Outdoor Chair Pads with Ties

Colorful outdoor seat cushions with ties.

These pretty patterned cushions are available in three colorful designs to match your decor. They include ties to attach to the back of your seating. They measure 16”x17” for use with 18”x18” pillow inserts. You can purchase them in sets of two or four, and they’re made from fade-resistant, water-repellent polyester. Just be aware that these are bottom cushions only, without backs.

Reviewers loved the vibrant colors and bright prints; they described them as comfortable and having just the right thickness. Some customers said they didn’t fit their chairs, so make sure you measure the seating you’ll use them with before ordering.

Ready to buy? Click here.

South Pine Porch Deep Seat Cushion Set

Teal deep seated outdoor cushion set by South Pine.

This set includes a seat cushion and a back cushion, and are available in several bright colors. The outdoor polyester fabric resists stains, mildew, UV rays, and water. The soft, polyfiber filling in the back cushion is eco-friendly — it’s made from recycled plastic bottles. You can use this set for single chairs or buy multiple sets to line them up on a loveseat.

Many people noted that these cushions are “plush yet supportive.” Customers loved the vibrant colors and the durable fabric. They overwhelmingly were impressed with the quality and durability and found them very comfortable. One reviewer noted the color was slightly different from the picture.

To learn more, click here.

Greendale Home Fashions Outdoor Bench Cushion

Outdoor tufted bench cushion by Greendale.

This reversible, tufted cushion measures 51” x 18”, making it sized specifically for bench seating. The polyester material is water, stain, fade, and mildew resistant and available in a few bright colors. You can feel good about your purchase knowing this cushion is also eco-friendly – the polyfiber filling is made from recycled plastic bottles. The cushion is reversible and includes ties to secure it in place.

These cushions are thicker and comfier than most, and reviewers were happy with the colors. Some buyers did notice slight variations in size, however. Note that the manufacturer states the cushion needs to settle to its final shape after shipping, and the dimensions may vary by up to 2 inches in either direction. The thickness of the cushion may also adjust the seating height.

To see pricing, click here.

High Seat Outdoor Chair Cushion by Uheng

Outdoor high back rocking chair cushion by Uheng.

If you’ve been looking to upgrade your rocking chair or lounge chair, look no further. This cushion is available in two sizes, both of which are suited for high backed chairs. The eco-friendly polyester is water-resistant and fade-resistant. The bottom is non-slip, and the cushion includes six ties to secure it to the chair. Note that the dimensions may vary by up to two inches, and it may take a few days for the cushion to settle after shipping.

These comfortable pillows receives rave reviews. One reviewer notes that the material is breathable and dries out very quickly.

To read reviews, click here.

Greendale Home Fashions Outdoor Cushion Set

Cabana blue outdoor cushion set by Greendale Home Fashions.

This set of reversible outdoor cushions covers the seating and the back. The bright colors add a vibrant splash to your decor, and the polyester fabric resists water, stains, fading, and mildew. The overstuffed polyfiber fill is made from recycled plastic bottles and is made to last. These cushions measure 42” x 21” and include ties to secure them to the seating. Spot clean with a diluted soap solution only.

Most people said this set was nicely made and high-quality. Reviewers were pleased with the heavy material and bright colors.

Like it? Click here to buy now.

Duck Covers Dining Seat Cushion

Outdoor dining seat cushion by Duck Covers.

These classy, bottom cushions are available in four earth colors. Instead of ties, attachment clips secure the cushions to your seating for subtle security. Unlike most outdoor cushions, these are filled with foam, not polyfill, for a different level of comfort. They’re water, stain, fade, and UV-resistant. 

Reviewers report that these pretty cushions are high quality, comfortable, and firm.

To see pricing, click here.

The Best Outdoor Cushion Covers

Waterproof Seat Cushion Covering by Vanteriam

Outdoor waterproof pillow covers by Vanteriam.

This set includes two patio seat cushion covers made of water-resistant canvas polyester. They measure 19” x 20” x 2” and are available in several vibrant colors. The attention to detail is exceptional: the zippers and edging are the same color as the fabric for consistent, stylish design. Spot clean or wash by hand, and allow to air dry.

These are an affordable solution to brighten up tired pillows and add a splash of color to your decor. Reviews vary on their water-resistance; some say water simply rolled off, while others say the cushion cover did absorb water but dried quickly.

To read the latest reviews, click here.

Decorative Outdoor Pillow Covers by Joyaco

Joyaco outdoor pillow covers.

For a pop of solid color, check out these pillow covers. Each set includes two covers, available in either 18”x18” or 20”x20”. They’re made of canvas polyester with PU coating and listed as waterproof and stain resistant. The zipper is hidden for a smooth, stylish look. These can be machine washed cold on a gentle cycle.

“A great buy for anyone who is trying to furnish their outdoor patio or deck.” Reviewers gave these pillow covers high ratings. They appreciated the ease of inserting the pillow, the range of available colors, and the affordability.

To learn more, click here.

CozyLounge Patio Chair Cushion Covers

Outdoor patio chair cushion covers by Cozy Lounge.

There’s a cover for every cushion, and these sets are available in multiple sizes, colors, and set sizes. Purchase them individually or in sets of two or four. The fabric is UV piece-dyed, meaning they’re built to resist fading in the sun. The polyester fabric is listed as “80% water resistant”. In other words, they’re not waterproof, but the water should roll off quickly and the fabric will resist stains better than most.

Amid all the rave reviews about quality and durability, customers were also pleased to receive a personal note from the owner of the business with their purchase.

Ready to buy? Click here.

All Smiles Linen Pillow Covers

This set of four cushion covers comes in several patterns, ranging from flowery to tropical and beyond. The linen is fade-resistant and shrink-resistant and can be tossed in the washing machine. These covers measure 18” x 18”, so make sure you purchase the correct set of pillows, which are not included. Purchase these to add to your shams as a cozy, cheerful addition to a bottom and back set of cushions.

Reviewers were pleased with these durable and bright pillow covers. These can be used both outdoors and indoors as a quick, affordable way to refresh tired cushions. One reviewer reports that they dried out quickly with no shrinking or color runs after a rain storm.

Love it? Click here to buy now.

To Sum it Up…

You can stay classy and comfortable even when you’re outside. A durable set of outdoor cushions or cushion covers offers an affordable, easy way to make your outdoor space much more relaxing. Make sure you care for your new cushions by storing them somewhere dry and sheltered when not in use.

Spot cleaning or hand washing tend to be the best ways to clean your outdoor seating, but some will tolerate a gentle machine wash. You’ll thank yourself for investing in durable, cheerful outdoor pillows — enjoying a meal outside or curling up under the trees with a good book is the one of the quickest and healthiest ways to unwind.