Choosing the Perfect Outdoor Cushions for Your Patio Furniture

One of the joys of warm, sunny days is getting to spend time on the patio, deck, or in the yard—and it’s even better when you’ve got brand-new outdoor cushions! Swap your worn, faded, or mildewed seat cushions with replacement Sunbrella® cushions for a fresh look. Sunbrella® performance fabric is mold-, mildew-, and fade-resistant, making these cushions perfect replacements for worn seat pads and chair cushions. Following these easy steps will help you select the best patio furniture cushions for your outdoor seating. 

Step 1: Measure Your Existing Cushions or Furniture

Properly fitting cushions are more likely to stay in place and prevent gaps for better comfort while you read, eat, or lounge. Avoid cushions that slip, slide, or bunch up by measuring your existing cushions or furniture to find the best size. There are two options to determine the correct size for new cushions: Measure your existing furniture or measure the cushions you’re replacing. 

1. Gather your tools: You'll need a flexible tape measure and a pen and paper. 

2. Measure the existing cushions you are replacing. If you don’t have any cushions, measure the physical bench, chair, or lounger where you will use your new cushions. Write down these measurements: 

  • Width: Measure the widest part of the seat from side to side (usually at the front). 
  • Depth: Measure the seat from front to back at its deepest point. 
  • Thickness: Measure the cushion's height from top to bottom at its thickest point. 
  • Seat back: For lounge-style cushions, repeat the width, height, and thickness measurements for the backrest portion of the cushion. 
Cushion measurement graphic

3. Note additional details you may need for a comparable replacement: 

  • Ties or attachments: Check if the cushions have any ties or attachment points and note their location and length. 
  • Special features: Note any cushion features (bolsters, headrests, or curved edges) and consider these while shopping for replacements. 
  • Seam type: If you wish to replicate the appearance of your existing cushions, note the type of seam they have—and take photos to compare as you shop. 

For the best fit when measuring based on your chair, round up by an extra inch or two for a snug fit. If you’re measuring an existing cushion, allow for any shrinkage that has occurred through fill compression during use. Always double-check your measurements before ordering to avoid mistakes, and if you’re ordering from the same manufacturer, check the specifications provided by the brand for a perfect fit. 

Step 2: Selecting the Right Shape and Size

Sunbrella® replacement cushions are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, including square, rectangular, curved or contoured, and hinged chaise lounge cushions. To choose the best shape for your existing furniture, first consider the type of cushion you are replacing. If the worn-out cushion fit the furniture well and provided adequate comfort, it makes sense to choose a new cushion in the same size and shape. But if the cushion wasn’t comfortable or didn’t provide a snug fit, now is the time to find a more suitable option. 

Compare your measurements from the first step against the manufacturer’s size information to find the best fit. Remember, your old cushions will have lost some of their loft, so replacement cushions will likely be thicker. If your old cushions were too thin, now is the time to choose thicker cushions for more comfort. 

Woman on white lounge cushion

Step 3: All About Cushion Construction

Sunbrella® offers a variety of cushion styles and construction options, each designed to work with different types of seating. Ultimately, the best cushion construction type depends on your preferred comfort level, type of seating, and seating measurements. Let's explore the different construction types to find your perfect match: 

Illustration of different kinds of cushions

Boxed Cushions – A classic and versatile seat cushion style that offers clean lines and a tailored appearance. This style features sewn side panels that create a squared shape, and it is finished with narrow piping, cord, or fabric. 

  • Box cushions are ideal for outdoor dining set chairs and some lounge chairs. 
  • Box cushions come in various thicknesses so you can find your ideal comfort and support. Thicker box cushions are ideal for outdoor dining chairs as they provide extra comfort and support at the table. 

Knife-Edge Cushions – While similar in shape to the boxed seat cushion style, knife-edge cushions are constructed by stretching fabric over the fill with the stitches running directly along the edges—creating a clean, sharp line, similar to a knife blade. 

  • Knife-edge cushions are often preferred for outdoor accent chairs or patio chairs. 
  • Knife-edge cushions come in various thicknesses so you can find your ideal comfort and support. 

Hinged Seat Cushions – These cushions cover both the back and the seat of a chair to provide added comfort and support. They are connected along the edge where the seat and seatback meet, so there are no gaps in coverage—and they can be folded for storage or transporting. 

  • This cushion type comes in multiple sizes: with extra length in the seat and leg area to fit chaise-style lounge chairs, or in a shorter style to fit patio chairs and armchairs. 
  • The high back portion of a hinged seat cushion provides additional comfort. 

Specialty Cushions – Sunbrella® replacement cushions are designed in a variety of specialty styles to fit your favorite outdoor furniture, including long bench seat-style cushions, contoured settee cushions, Adirondack chair cushions, and contoured cushions for curved-back chairs. 

  • To determine your ideal specialty cushion style, measure your existing cushions or furniture and compare the measurements to the product size chart provided by the manufacturer. 
  • While some cushions of similar sizes may be interchangeable, it is best to choose your cushions based on chair type and measurements for a comfortable fit. 
Patterned outdoor seat cushion

Step 4: Style and Personalization

Sunbrella® offers replacement cushions in a kaleidoscope of colors and patterns, making it easy to transform your patio into a vibrant haven. Choosing the perfect palette doesn’t have to be overwhelming: Your outdoor space is a wonderful canvas for expressing your style. After deciding on style and size, let's unleash your inner decorator! Here are some inspiring themes to consider: 

  • Coastal: Add splashes of color with aqua blues and bright corals, sea glass shades, or nautical-inspired navy and white stripes that echo the serenity of the oceanside. 
  • Desert: Bring the warmth of the desert to your outdoor seating with cushions in rich terracotta hues, cactus-inspired greens, fiery oranges, and earthy browns. 
  • Nature-Inspired: Let shades of lush greenery, vibrant blooms, and the sky's bright hues inspire your color choices for a gorgeous garden vibe. 
  • Modern: Choose bold geometric patterns and monochromatic palettes or pair charcoal and black with contrasting pops of bold reds or oranges for a chic, modern vibe. 
  • Mix and Match: Pair your cushions with statement outdoor throw pillows in eye-catching colors or patterns to liven up your outdoor space.  
collage of outdoor cushions

When choosing replacement Sunbrella® cushions, ensure you have the correct measurements, choose based on your furniture type, and let your imagination run wild when selecting colors and patterns. Explore our collection of outdoor cushions to create a relaxing outdoor space or explore our Guides for more inspiration.