Can You Leave Garden Furniture Cushions Outside? It Depends

By   | Last Updated :   July 17, 2021 | Filed In :   Garden Furniture Ideas

When the clouds gather above your garden and a crack of thunder announces an imminent rain shower, removing garden furniture cushions can be a hassle. Even more so if rain showers are common guests during the summer and you have to watch over the cushions all the time.

Today, you can buy garden furniture cushions that are marketed as water-repellent and mould-resistant. But this doesn’t mean you can always leave them outside. Not before a storm and not during the winter.

Read on to find out if your garden furniture cushions can be left outside and for how long.

Are garden furniture cushions waterproof?

Garden furniture cushions can be shower-proof, water-resistant, water-repellent, or waterproof depending on their cover and what goes into it. Unless you read these terms in the product description, it’s safe to assume garden cushions can’t handle rain showers or downpours!

As a rule, budget outdoor cushions are the least likely to withstand weather damage. Most of the time, they’re not even shower-proof. So, think twice before leaving them out in the rain!

Can You Leave Garden Furniture Cushions Outside? It Depends 1

Taking simple steps will keep your cushions in pristine condition. Photo by Canna Curious Club on Unsplash.

What damages garden furniture cushions?

Garden furniture cushions are often under constant attack from UV radiation, rain and moisture, accidental spills, splashes from the pool, temperature extremes and critters. All of these can damage them.

UV rays

UV radiation can fade outside furniture cushions, damaging the covering over time. You don’t want to leave your outdoor cushions in the sun or they’ll end up looking washed out. Place your garden furniture under an umbrella, patio, gazebo, or other structure that provides shade.

Rain and moisture

Rain and moisture can damage garden cushions and turn them into a breeding ground for mould and fungi. More than fading the fabric, moisture can affect the elasticity and comfort of the foam or filling. It can also make cushions smell like you don’t want to sit on them.

Extreme temperatures

Intense heat and freezing temperatures take their toll on exposed garden cushions. The damage may not occur right away, but in time you may notice tears, discolouration, and pilling. Even if the cold doesn’t damage high-quality fabrics, the foam or filling inside may still suffer.


Rats, mice, rabbits, squirrels, frogs and bats—these garden critters won’t usually show up when you’re around, but at night they may call your outdoor cushions their home. Critters are a particular problem if you leave your garden furniture out in the colder seasons. They may even burrow into large cushions.

Can You Leave Garden Furniture Cushions Outside? It Depends 2

Be sure to remove and store cushions in extreme weather! Photo by Robin Jonathan Deutsch on Unsplash.

Which cushion fabrics last longer outdoors?

Solution-dyed acrylic and olefin covers typically provide more protection for outdoor garden cushions than lower-end polyester fabrics. They are more resistant to water and moisture and can better handle other types of damage too.

In the end, it’s not just the fabric that determines how well the cushion takes a downpour but also the filling. A high-quality foam with open pores allows the water to dry out quickly.

By contrast, other fillings may trap moisture and require you to take the pillow out of its case, shake it, and hang it out to dry.

Tips if you leave your garden furniture cushions outside

If you want to leave your outdoor cushions outside all the time, or you accidentally leave them out during a storm, there are a few things you can do to make them look better and last longer. You can waterproof them, dry them, wash them more often, and consider quick storage solutions.

Can You Leave Garden Furniture Cushions Outside? It Depends 3

With a little TLC, your outdoor furniture cushions will last for years.  Photo by Zane Persaud on Unsplash.

The bottom line

Waterproof garden furniture cushions will survive the occasional spring drizzle or summer storm without damage.

But for them to last and look at their best, you need to protect them from the rain, direct exposure to the sun, and critters. You also need to store them during winter. Having the right storage solution around will make your life easier.


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