The Best Outdoor Cushions, Pillows and Poufs for Every Style and Budget

Find the best UV- and water-resistant cushions, pillows and poufs, and successfully prep your outdoor space for summer.

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April 22, 2021

Choosing cushions and pillows for your outdoor space should be fun. You've already found the perfect weather-proof sectional and patio chairs (which is arguably the toughest part of the job), and now you get to play with different colors and patterns and pull the look together. So why does this step often feel like such a chore?

In part, it's because there are a lot of factors to consider: What materials actually prevent mold and mildew? Are UV- and fade-resistant fabric the same thing? Are Sunbrella pillows worth the price tag? How thick does a porch swing cushion need to be? So, to take some of the work out of the search, we're breaking down all the details you need to know and sharing our favorite outdoor cushions and throw pillows. Scroll on to shop like an expert.

Best Weather-Proof Fabrics

Surprisingly, not all "outdoor" cushions and pillows are actually suitable for the elements. Some need to be kept in the shade or they'll fade fast, while others need to be covered at the first sign of rain, dew or a splash from the pool. (This means that you also can't leave them out overnight.) So, if you're in the market for cushions that require minimal maintenance, you'll want to look for UV- and water-resistant fabric. UV-resistant fabric has been specially treated to withstand the sun's rays and reduce fading, while water-resistant fabric has been designed to repel water and ward off mold and mildew.

To make matters even easier? Look for DuraSeason or Sunbrella cushions. Both types are fade- and water-resistant, but they're available at slightly different prices. DuraSeason is a Target-exclusive brand and on the more affordable end, whereas Sunbrella is a high-performance brand that costs more but has the added benefit of being stain-resistant. (They totally live up to the hype and are worth the price.)

Best Outdoor Dining Cushions

Want to make your outdoor table way more comfortable? Top each seat or bench with a weather-proof cushion. The cushions featured below are all water-resistant, so your kiddos can sit whether they've been inside or in the pool. And the individual seat pads all have ties, so you can secure the cushions to the chair and prevent them from sliding. (Consider that feature a must if you have little ones.)

Best Outdoor Deep Seat Cushions

So, what's the deal with "deep seats," you ask? They're basically ultra-thick cushions for deep-set outdoor furniture, like chairs, loveseats and sectionals. (In other words? They're crucial to a comfy patio.) Typically, they come in two pieces, with a large pillow-style back and a deep seat, and they work well with wicker or wrought iron furniture. All of the ones below are outfitted with UV-resistant fabric and are available in a variety of fun colors and patterns that won't fade any time soon.

Best Outdoor Bench and Swing Cushions

As it turns out, "outdoor bench cushions" are synonymous with "porch swing cushions." So, if you recently purchased a porch swing that didn't come with a cushion and you're having trouble finding one that you like, try searching under both terms. You'll also want to look for one that has ties in the back, so you can secure it to your new favorite seat, and you'll want to make sure that it's four to six inches thick for maximum comfort. (Many reviewers report that cushions under four inches are too flimsy.)

Best Outdoor Poufs and Ottomans

Outdoor poufs are pretty useful. They can hold serving trays like a coffee table, seat extra guests like a spare chair and prop your tired feet up just like a footrest. (Plus, they're super cute.) Add even more functionality to your space by snagging one of our favorites down below; they're all fade- and water-resistant.

Best Weather-Proof Outdoor Pillows

Pillows should always be chosen with care, but especially when you're styling an outdoor space. (Because not all outdoor pillows are actually weather-proof.) Look for DuraSeason or Sunbrella fabrics, polyester fill (which dries fast) and removable covers that you can toss in the wash whenever you need an easy cleanup.

Best Eco-Friendly Outdoor Pillows

And if you're looking for something a bit more eco-friendly? We've found some cute outdoor pillows for you, too. All of the accent pillows below are water-resistant and crafted using recycled polyester sourced from plastic bottles. In turn, your purchase helps divert pollution from our oceans and landfills.

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