How to find durable designer quality patio chair cushions

By: Roger Hutchison

Patio chair cushions not only provide you with an extra level of comfort, they keep your furniture protected from the elements. Of course, you don't want just any old chair cushions. You want patio chair cushions that look great, feel great, fit your furniture perfectly and of course you want patio chair cushions that last.

Here are three tips to help you find the perfect cushion to meet your needs.

Tip #1 Look for patio cushions that have durable fabrics and sturdy manufacturing. Durable patio chair cushions don't have to be ugly. There is absolutely no reason why a cushion can't be beautiful and last a long time.

Here's what to look for:

-Durable fabrics are key. No, not plastic. Plastic splits and pinches. Look for cotton canvas. Why? It's soft, durable, and it can be washed. Additionally, cotton comes in just about every color or pattern under the sun. The sky is the limit.

-Strong, reinforced seams supported by durable piping. What usually gives first on a cushion - the seam. Look for cushions that have reinforced stitching or better yet, reinforced piping to protect the seams.

-Reinforced zippers. To make your cushions look and feel their best, you're going to wash your cushions occasionally. A zipper on the back makes this process significantly easier.

All you have to do is unzip, remove the center, and drop them in the wash. However, zippers like seams if manufactured shoddily will be the first thing to give. Reinforced zippers last longer.

Tip #2 Lasting cushion comfort and durability means quality foam centers. Patio chair cushions can have a variety of fillers. You'll find them with lose filler or more often with a foam core. For optimal durability and comfort go with the foam core, more specifically a high density foam core. The difference is that the high density foam core is not only comfortable and supportive; its real strength is that it keeps its shape for years.

How thick your cushions are is up to you. I prefer 2 inches of high density foam because it is thick enough to keep my legs from falling asleep but not so thick that I feel like I'm sitting on a phone book.

Tip #3 Look for a patio chair cushion that stays put. Who wants a cushion that slides off onto the ground or a cushion that only covers half of your chair - that's certainly not comfortable nor a good way to make your cushion last. This is accomplished in two ways. First, make sure that your cushions have the ability to be secured to your chair in the right places. This not only ensures that the wind doesn't zip them into the neighbor's yard but it means that when you sit down to relax, your cushion is where it is supposed to be. Unfortunately, tie downs can rip off. Look for ties that are durable with reinforced stitching.

In addition to being able to secure your cushions to your chairs, look for cushions that are designed for your type of furniture. This means that if you have an Adirondack chair, look for cushions designed for the unique angles of an Adirondack. A finely tuned chaise has three segments, a finely tuned chaise cushion has three segments too: the back, seat, and legs. For an optimal fit, look for a cushion that fits your chairs like well placed puzzle pieces - notches and all. A cushion designed for your specific chair lasts longer.

There's nothing worse than spending a fortune on a patio chair cushion only to have it fall apart before the end of the summer. You now have the tools you need to find gorgeous patio chair cushions that not only meet your design needs, the meet your comfort needs and best of all, they last a good long time.

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