Are All Outdoor Cushions Waterproof?

Overall, your outdoor furniture needs to be as great and functional as indoor furniture. That’s why you have to pay attention to the furniture you use outside, including the cushions. While trying to get the perfect outdoor cushion, one thing you have to pay attention to is its water resistance level. Before deciding what outdoor cushions to purchase, you need to know if all outdoor cushions are waterproof.

Not all outdoor cushions are waterproof (although most are water-resistant). The best waterproof material you can get is 100% Solution Dyed Acrylic, such as the Sunbrella cushions. However, you can also make your cushions waterproof by using a cushion slipcover or applying a waterproof spray.

No matter what kind of cushion you decide to use, ensure you’re getting one that will repel water and UV rays. This will guarantee its longevity. Let’s look at some details you need to know about waterproof and water-resistant outdoor cushions so you can make the best decision for your situation.

Are all Outdoor Cushions Waterproof?

Outdoor porch big swing wooden chair with cushion on the terrace with wooden floor

Outdoor furniture, especially cushions like the Montlake Water-Resistant Square Outdoor Seat Cushion (on Amazon), are usually made with materials suitable for the outdoors, i.e., materials that can withstand different weather conditions. Because of that, it’s not out of line to ask whether outdoor cushions are waterproof for protection against rain and other water elements.

Unfortunately, not all outdoor cushions are waterproof, or even water-resistant. The first thing you have to realize is that the water-resistance level of your outdoor cushions depends largely on the type of fabric used to make them.

Some cushions are more water-resistant than others. Also, while most cushions are water-resistant, not all are waterproof. That means they can resist water penetration to an extent, but not totally. All these are determined by the kind of material your cushion is made of.

If you’re fine with a regular water-resistant cushion, that’s okay. However, if your target is a waterproof cushion, then you have to be more intentional about finding them. So, you have to do your research and confirm the water-resistance level of each material before making a purchase.

How to Tell if Your Outdoor Cushions are Waterproof

As we’ve said, the material used in making outdoor cushions determine their water resistance level, and that’s what you should note.

For example, outdoor cushions made of polyethylene or polypropylene are water-resistant but not waterproof. They can’t completely resist water penetration – only to an extent.

Many homeowners use Sunbrella fabrics for their outdoor cushions because they’re UV-resistant. The material also contains a metallic sheen alloy that allows water to pass through. Still, that only makes the fabric water-resistant, not waterproof.

If your outdoor cushion is made of oilcloth fabrics, it’s indeed waterproof. Oilcloth is made up of finely wafted linen and boiled linseed oil. While oilcloth cushions are waterproof, they can be vulnerable to rips due to their stiff and rugged nature. The stiffness and toughness also makes them less comfortable.

You should pre-treat your cushions with a waterproofing spray before use to increase their water resistance and ensure their highest quality. In addition, it is recommended to store your cushions under cover or inside when not in use to prevent water damage.

Even though outdoor cushions are often made from water-resistant fabrics rather than waterproof ones, they are much stronger than indoor cushions. Indoor cushions are generally made of cotton blends or polyester and are made for comfort, not weather resistance. As such, indoor cushions should never be used outside!

What are the Best Waterproof Outdoor Cushions?

Sitting room area on screened walkout deck with patio table

As much as outdoor cushions are made with materials suitable for outdoor purposes, some of them are not resistant to some weather elements. These cushions must be kept in the shade to prevent fading, and others must be covered at the first sign of rain or splash.

This makes it more important for you to find material that’s both water and UV-resistant. Any material that possesses these two qualities will be able to endure the sun’s rays, won’t fade quickly, and will also repel water to avoid mildew and mold.

Generally, the best outdoor fabric you can get is 100% Solution Dyed Acrylic. This type of fabric is beautiful and will improve our patio’s overall look with its lovely splash of colors.

On top of that, it’s also made with a unique process that makes it durable, water-resistant, fade-resistant, mold and mildew resistant, and one of the most cleanable fabrics you can find.

One such acrylic fabric is the Sunbrella cushion. Sunbrella cushions are both fade and water-resistant, and on top of that, they are stain-resistant. These qualities make up for the high cost, which means they are definitely worth the hype. Greendale Home Sunbrella Fabric (on Amazon) is a perfect example of an outdoor Sunbrella outdoor cushion you should consider purchasing.

How Can I Make My Outdoor Cushions Waterproof?

Every year, homeowners have to deal with water on their patio, either in the form of snow or rain. Only waterproof cushions are safe when this happens – others take a beating, including the water-resistant furniture.

Thankfully, there’s a way you can make your outdoor cushions waterproof and keep the water at bay.

Your first option is to invest in a waterproof outdoor cushion slipcover to protect your cushions from the weather. These slipcovers are removable cushion covers for your outdoor furniture cushions. This allows you to transform the aesthetic of your patio or hide mildewed, faded, or even damaged cushions, making them look as good as new.

They’re machine-washable, fade and mildew-resistant, and machine-dryable. That means you can keep them clean no matter the weather. You can even swap out cushion covers throughout the year to keep things interesting.

Complement the holiday season with festive red cushions, and jazz up the spring with florals! There will never be a dull moment on your patio.  

Another way you can make your outdoor cushions waterproof is by using waterproof sprays. In general, these sprays use a proprietary formula that enhances the water-resistance of a fabric. Surfaces treated with waterproof spray retain their texture, color, flexibility, and breathability.

Moreover, outdoor cushion fabrics become more stain-resistant when treated with it. Waterproofing sprays are recommended for most outdoor cushion fabrics.

There are great waterproof sprays on the market that you can purchase. Some examples are STAR BRITE Waterproofing Spray (on Amazon) and Extra Strength Fabric Protector Spray (also on Amazon).

What is the Best Outdoor Waterproofing Spray?

When considering the best outdoor waterproofing spray for your cushions, know that you can never go wrong with Scotchgard Water & Sun Shield (on Amazon). This spray makes outdoor fabrics fade-resistant by protecting them from harmful UV rays, and at the same time, making your fabric water repellent.

To successfully apply this spray, you should follow these steps:

  • To catch overspray from the waterproof spray, place a blanket on the ground. You can use a tarp or something similar.
  • Spray the cushion with the waterproof spray while holding it 8 inches away. Cover the fabric with the spray, but do not soak or saturate it.
  • Let the waterproof spray dry for 24 hours before using the cushion. You’ll notice that there’s no difference in the texture of the fabric – it will look and feel the same way it did before you applied the waterproof spray.

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