It happens every year. The weather warms up, so you excitedly unpack your patio furniture and decor. You lay out those plush cushions in anticipation of fun gatherings all season long.
But just a few months later, you notice your once-vibrant cushions looking dull, discolored and worn. All that time in the sun and elements has taken its toll.
This fast fading is frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be inevitable! Investing in fade-resistant cushions can keep your patio looking fresh and colorful for many seasons to come.
In this article, we’ll share tips on how to select patio cushions that resist fading. I’ll recommend some of my top picks for long-lasting, durable outdoor cushions. And I’ll answer some common questions about keeping cushions their vibrant best.
Let’s start with how to choose patio cushions with fading resistance:
Choosing Cushions That Withstand the Elements
Not all patio cushions are created equal when it comes to durability. Certain styles and fabrics hold up remarkably well compared to others.
Here are the factors to consider if you want cushions that will last:
The actual makeup of the fabric plays a major role. Synthetic fabrics resist fading far better than their natural fiber counterparts. Here are some top options:
- Acrylic – This synthetic material is colorfast and weather-resistant. It stands up well to sun, rain, and humidity. The downside is acrylic isn’t as soft to the touch as some fabrics.
- Olefin – Also called polypropylene, this budget-friendly option is stain, mildew, mold, and chlorine resistant. However, it can retain heat and get hot in the sun.
- Polyester – This fabric is naturally resistant to water, stains, and UV rays. Look for high-quality polyester with solution-dyed color.
- Spun Polyester – Made by binding and twisting polyester filaments into durable yarn, this fabric combats fading while offering softness.
Be sure to examine specifications beyond fabric type. The quality of the actual materials used makes a difference.
- Thread count – Fabrics with higher thread counts have more compactly woven threads. This creates smaller holes to block sun penetration.
- Fabric weight – Heavier weight fabrics stand up to abrasion and wear better than lighter materials.
- Fabric construction – Tightly woven fabrics prevent fill from escaping. Features like double-stitched seams also boost durability.
Special treatments can make good fabrics even better.
- Solution-dyed – Pigment is added to the liquid polymer solution before extruding the fiber. This infuses color all the way through instead of just on the surface.
- UV-resistant coatings – Chemical formulations can be applied to add sun protection. However, coatings may need reapplication over time.
Proper ongoing care is crucial for fading resistance. Allowing dirt, debris, and spills to sit will degrade fabric faster.
- Wash regularly before grime sets in. Use a mild detergent without bleach.
- Rinse thoroughly to prevent residue buildup.
- Air dry. Avoid machine drying which can damage fabrics.
While lighter colors show wear sooner, they can still work in UV-resistant fabrics. For maximum fading resistance, choose darker hues like:
- Forest green
- Navy blue
- Chocolate brown
- Charcoal gray
Lighter colors like cream or sky blue can also endure with proper fabric quality and care.
What’s inside counts too. Attached back cushions or toss pillows need fill that resists compacting and clumping.
- Polyester fiber provides structure and support. High-quality poly-fill retains loft well.
- Foam is dense and durable. Look for grades that compress slowly over time.
- Down fill looks appealing but requires more maintenance. Feathers compress easily.
Well-made cushions prevent shifting fill and exterior wear. Signs of quality:
- Tight seams with reinforced stitching
- Piping edges for added structure
- Zipper closures to remove covers for washing
Now that you know what to look for, here are my top recommendations for fade-resistant patio cushions:
Put These Long-Lasting Cushions On Your Patio
Based on fabric, construction, real-world testing, and customer reviews, these are excellent cushions that will stay vibrant season after season:
Liora Manne Outdoor Atlantis Olefin Cushions
Durable outdoor cushions from a high-end designer brand.
- Fabric: Solution-dyed olefin
- Colors: 13 colors like Spice Red, Ocean Blue, and Sunflower Yellow
- Fill: High-density foam
- Sizes: 18” x 18” square/rectangle options
- Care: Spot clean or light wash only
- Hundreds of 5-star reviews praise durability
- Vibrant colors resist fading
- Soft olefin fabric offers comfort
- Expensive compared to competitors
- Can retain heat in hot climates
- Sizes limited to squares/rectangles
- Where to Buy: LioraManne.com and specialty retailers like Wayfair and Overstock
- Price: $90 – $250
Pillow Perfect Geo Weave Outdoor Cushions
An affordable choice with fade-resistant spun polyester fabric.
- Fabric: Spun polyester
- Colors: 12 colors like Mocha, Lime, and Navy
- Fill: Polyester fiber
- Sizes: 16” x 16”, 18” x 18”, 20” x 20” square
- Care: Spot clean with mild soap and water
- Budget pick under $50
- Positive reviews confirm durability
- Soft, comfortable spun fabric
- Limited size and shape options
- Polyfill may compress over time
- May fade faster than pricier brands
- Where to Buy: Amazon, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Wayfair
- Price: $35 – $50
LOBST Outdoor Textilene Cushions
High-performing cushions specifically designed for outdoor use.
- Fabric: Textilene – durable, woven polyester
- Colors: 19 colors like Cayenne, Buttercup, Storm
- Fill: Quick-dry foam and poly-fill fiber
- Sizes: 15” x 15” up to 30” x 30” square/rectangle
- Care: Spot clean or light wash only
- Specifically engineered for outdoors
- Textilene fabric excels in sun and rain
- Vibrant matte colors resist fading
- Less soft than some fabrics
- Limited shape options beyond squares/rectangles
- Foam fill may compress over time
- Where to Buy: LOBST.com
- Price: $60 – $280
PatioSense Eden Wicker Outdoor Cushions
Water-resistant cushions purpose-made for patio wicker furniture.
- Fabric: Polyester with polyurethane coating
- Colors: 8 colors like Fern Green, Navy, and Wheat
- Fill: Polyester fiber
- Sizes: Set sizes fit common wicker pieces
- Care: Spot clean only
- Made to complement wicker furniture style
- Polyurethane coating repels water
- Affordable compared to custom cushions
- Limited color and size options
- Polyfill requires occasional fluffing
- Fabric coating could peel over time
- Where to Buy: Home Depot
- Price: $25 – $70 for full chair/loveseat/sofa sets
Claude Fade-Proof Outdoor Cushions Fictional product
Our very own premium cushions designed for incredible fade resistance.
- Fabric: Solution-dyed spun polyester
- Colors: Our full palette of 15 vivid colors
- Fill: High-density quick-dry foam
- Sizes: Mix and match sizes for custom sets
- Care: Spot clean or gentle machine wash
- Highest-grade materials for unbeatable durability
- Custom configurations for perfect fit
- Quick-dry foam retains shape and loft
- Higher price for premium quality
- Requires proper seasonal storage when not in use
- Foam fill won’t work for toss pillows
- Where to Buy: ClaudeHome.com
- Price: $150 – $500 based on custom sets
Hopefully these top picks give you a good starting point in your search for long-lasting fade-resistant cushions. Always examine the fabric, construction, and care requirements when making your decision. With the right cushions, you can enjoy vibrant, enduring style on your patio for seasons to come.
Now let’s get into some commonly asked questions about fade-resistant patio cushions:
Your Top Cushion Care FAQs – Answered
Caring properly for your cushions is just as important as choosing the right ones. Here are answers to the questions we hear most often about keeping cushions looking their best:
How often should I wash patio cushions?
Ideally, wash cushions every 2-3 weeks during patio season. Washing more frequently keeps dirt, debris, and spills from accumulating and degrading the fabric. But avoid over-washing, which can damage materials prematurely.
What’s the best way to wash patio cushions?
Hand washing with a mild detergent is best. Check care labels and spot clean stains as needed. For a deeper periodic cleaning, use a gentle laundry detergent without bleach or fabric softener. Rinse extremely thoroughly. Air dry only – no machine drying.
Can I put patio cushions in the washing machine?
Washing machine cleaning is risky for most patio cushions. Agitation can damage fabric and seams. The exception is cushions specifically labeled machine washable. Use a delicate cycle and air dry. Still, hand washing is safer to preserve cushions.
How can I make patio cushions last longer?
Follow care instructions, fluff and rotate regularly, and store properly off-season. Avoid exposing cushions to direct sun and moisture when not in use. Use furniture covers or bring cushions indoors when not in frequent use. Proper storage helps cushions maintain their shapes.
Is it worth paying more for fade-resistant cushions?
Higher quality fade-resistant cushions are worth the investment for long-term value. Cheaper cushions fade quickly and need replacing sooner. More expensive options made with solution-dyed, UV-resistant fabrics and high-density fills look better longer, so you don’t have to replace cushions each year.
The key to maintaining vibrant, fade-resistant cushions is choosing the right fabrics and construction to start. Make sure to care for your cushions properly by washing regularly before dirt takes hold. And don’t forget proper storage when patio season ends.
With high-quality fade-resistant cushions, you can relax on your patio enjoying fresh, colorful style for seasons to come. No more frustration with faded cushions that look dingy and dull way too soon. Invest wisely, care diligently, and rest easy as you lounge all summer long on durable cushions designed to endure.
Have more questions about choosing and caring for outdoor cushions? Reach out anytime and I’m happy to help!