Sunbrella Cushioned Outdoor Sectional

Sunbrella Cushions For Your Outdoor Furniture – The Many Benefits

Are you looking to buy some new patio furniture? These days, many patio sets – at least the most comfortable ones – will include outdoor cushions of some kind.

If you spend long nights outdoors lakeside, pool side, or just in your backyard, you will want the comfort of seats with cushions.

And if you do buy an outdoor sofa, sectional or conversation set with cushions, having Sunbrella cushions will provide  you many benefits – ones which you will enjoy for many years to come.

Of course, you can buy a set without cushions – whether that is  a wicker or faux wicker resin patio set, or some thin sling type fabric seated chairs. Either of these options can be used without cushions. However, the comfort level is just not the same. Even most wicker sofas or chairs come with cushions even though they can certainly be sat on without.

Outdoor Natural Wicker Seatee Set
Outdoor Wicker Loveseat Seatee can be used with or without a seat cushion

If you are purchasing a new patio set – conversation set, table and chairs dining set, outdoor sectional or just some throw bolster pillows for decorative purposes – think about the type of fabric covering the cushions.


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One of the most popular fabric coverings for outdoor patio furniture cushions is Sunbrella. This is a registered brand name of fabrics which have been designed and manufactured specifically for outdoors. You will find other fabrics available on outdoor cushions but, they probably will not stand up to the properties of Sunbrella fabrics.

Conversation Set with Sunbrella Cushions
Enjoy the comfort, style and durability of these Sunbrella fabric covered cushions on this beautiful patio conversation set!

Other fabrics used to cover your patio cushions will most likely be durable and treated with some kind of weather proofing. However, they do not necessarily guarantee the lasting quality and durability that comes with Sunbrella fabrics.

Here are some of the many properties and benefits of Sunbrella fabrics:

Easy Care Fabric

Because Sunbrella fabrics have so many built-in defensive properties, protecting the fabric from outdoor weather, the sun and stains, this in itself makes them very easy care. You do not have to worry so much about carting the cushions to a covered space every time they are not in use. While this practice of having your outdoor cushions covered when not in use is a good one – for any outdoor furniture or cushions – you will have to worry much less about cushions covered with Sunbrella fabrics.

Sun Protection – UV and Fade Resistant

This property of Sunbrella fabrics is very important especially if the cushions are left outdoors all the time. Many other fabrics that you buy for outdoor use will fade within a year or two of purchase. If color saturation is important for you, then Sunbrella fabrics are one of the best.

If you bought an outdoor sofa, chairs and ottoman set with dark blue cushions, you don’t want that dark blue to become medium-light blue within a few years. And if the cushions are not Sunbrella fabrics and they do fade, they will most likely fade in some unusual patterns. Where the sun is the brightest may be where the fade is most noticeable. This is to say, you may get uneven fade – which makes the fading issue even worse. This is a situation which is a lot less likely with Sunbrella covered cushions.


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Easy Care Fabric

Because Sunbrella fabrics have so many built-in defensive properties, protecting the fabric from outdoor weather, the sun and stains, this in itself makes them very easy care. You do not have to worry so much about carting the cushions to a covered space every time they are not in use. While this practice of having your outdoor cushions covered when not in use is a good one – for any outdoor furniture or cushions – you will have to worry much less about cushions covered with Sunbrella fabrics.

Sun Protection – UV and Fade Resistant

This property of Sunbrella fabrics is very important especially if the cushions are left outdoors all the time. Many other fabrics that you buy for outdoor use will fade within a year or two of purchase. If color saturation is important for you, then Sunbrella fabrics are one of the best.

If you bought an outdoor sofa, chairs and ottoman set with dark blue cushions, you don’t want that dark blue to become medium-light blue within a few years. And if the cushions are not Sunbrella fabrics and they do fade, they will most likely fade in some unusual patterns. Where the sun is the brightest may be where the fade is most noticeable. This is to say, you may get uneven fade – which makes the fading issue even worse. This is a situation which is a lot less likely with Sunbrella covered cushions.


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Water and Stain Resistant

While Sunbrella fabric cannot guarantee to be waterproof, it is water and stain resistant. Waterproof means that no water will ever penetrate it. This is a property of fabric which may be found in some vinyls and other synthetics but, it would not be very comfortable necessarily to sit on.

The water and stain resistance means that water and any drips and spills will, for the most part, bead on top of the fabric and, if brushed off, will not stay. As with any specialty finish, washing and normal wear and tear will naturally diminish this, but over a reasonable amount of time.


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Mold and mildew resistant

This is a really important quality for those who may leave the cushions out in all weather conditions, especially wet ones. Even if your Sunbrella cushions  become penetrated with water, they will resist any rot and mold forming.

A standard cotton cushion cover without any protective barrier, if left wet for extended periods of time, will most certainly develop mold or mildew – something that is very difficult to get rid of. The only way to get rid of mold and mildew is with straight bleach. If bleach is used on these fabrics, most of the other properties and  finishes of the fabric, along with the color, will be diminished completely.

Casual Lounge Chair and Ottoman Set with Sunbrella Fabric
Lounge all day long in this bean bag chair and ottoman set covered with Sunbrella outdoor fabric.

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Breathable

As mentioned above, in order to get an absolute waterproof fabric, you would need some marine grade vinyl, as an example. While this may be very appropriate for a boat – which is in water all the time – it is not the most comfortable for sitting on for long periods of time partly because of the ‘stick’ factor.

The ‘sticky’ factor is due to the fact that it is most likely not breathable. Just like your favorite breathable athletic clothing, Sunbrella fabrics allow for breathability, making for much more comfortable long periods of sitting and lounging.

5-year Warranty

As an added bonus, some Sunbrella fabrics come with a 5 year limited warranty. While this may not apply to all outdoor patio furniture sets, just the fact that they offer this warranty on fabrics is proof that they are serious about their fabric properties and quality.

If you are considering buying some new patio furniture – a table and chairs set, some lounge chairs, an outdoor sectional or a conversation deck set – which has cushions, for quality, longevity and good looks, you may want to consider a set which comes with cushions covered with Sunbrella fabric. If the patio set comes with Sunbrella fabric, it will definitely be mentioned as there really is no comparison fabric on the market today.


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If you are specifically looking to buy an outdoor sectional or larger conversation set, my personal feeling is that these are purchases in which one should seriously consider buying a set with Sunbrella covered cushions.

Because of the size of the sectional or seating set, you will have many cushions to deal with. If you want to store them while the weather is not worthy of enjoying them, you will need to have a covered space large enough for all of them.

If you have that space and the dedication to moving the cushions all the time, then you may be fine with a less expensive set of cushions. Otherwise, I would recommend seriously considering buying a Sunbrella Sectional set or Sunbrella conversation set.

Sofa, Chair and Ottoman Set with Subrella Fabrics
Sunbrella Covered Cushions on this sofa and chair set will not require much maintenance or storage.

It is to be expected that you will pay more for a patio set with Sunbrella fabric but, with the quality, the color stay properties, and long lasting durability, it may be worth it in the long run.


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Enjoy your new Sunbrella patio furniture set…

and Happy Sunbrella shopping!

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