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How Can I Make My Patio Chairs More Comfortable?

I’ll be honest, our patio furniture cushions have seen better days. You can almost feel the wood through them! So what are our options if we want to make them more comfortable?

If your patio cushions aren’t as comfortable as you’d like, you can either replace them or refurbish them. If you refurbish them, make sure you use water-resistant foam of between 2.5-4 inches in depth to ensure maximum comfort.

Let’s dive down into the topic of making your patio furniture cushions more comfortable in greater detail, and discover what to look out for when buying new ones or refurbing old ones…

How Can I Make My Patio Chair Cushions More Comfortable?

If you’re finding your patio cushions aren’t as comfy as you’d like, you have two main options. You can replace them, or you can refurbish them.

If your cushions are simply too thin for your liking, the easiest (although not the cheapest) option is to replace them with deeper and/or softer cushions.

However, if you really like the look of your cushions but they’re just not comfy anymore, you can replace the foam inside. You’d be surprised by how much difference this can make. We’ll take you through the steps of how you replace foam in patio chairs a little further on.

How Can I Make My Outdoor Seat Cushions Softer?

As we mentioned earlier, you can replace the foam inside your patio furniture cushions to give you a softer feel. Choosing a squishier filling will give you a softer feel. 

In the meantime, you can actually make a bit of difference by regularly turning the cushions so they don’t always get squashed in the same places, and by plumping them up before and after you sit down.

You can also add extra cushions for a bit more padding, or place a throw over the seat. A deep faux fur throw actually makes quite a difference to the comfort of the seat. (Just remember to bring it in at night, or it’ll soon resemble a wet dog.)

How Do You Put Support on Outdoor Furniture?

Sometimes, you need to fix the seat support as well as the cushions. This short film shows you how to reinforce an outdoor couch seat, getting it ready to take your comfy new cushions.

This technique uses a single piece of flat plywood that’s cut and shaped to fit the couch frame. The original frame webbing can be fastened to this using zip ties, then pulled to the right tension. This gives additional support to the seating area.

How Thick Should an Outdoor Chair Cushion Be?

Their water-resistant materials means that outdoor cushions tend to be a little thicker than their indoor counterparts. A typical outdoor chair cushion is between 2.5 inches and 4 inches deep. 

How thick you like your cushions to be depends on their use. A rocking chair on the porch will have deeper cushions than a dining chair, for example.

The thickest and most luxurious type of outdoor cushions are marketed as “deep cushions”, and these are usually around a comfy 5.5 inches deep. Perfect if you want to sink into your couch with a good book and a sundowner.

What is the Most Comfortable Patio Chair Cushion?

If you want deep, comfy cushions, go for ones labeled “deep”. Just make sure that your style of outdoor chairs and sofa will take these, as some don’t have the right frame or proportions for a thicker seat or back.

The deep cushions are around 5 to 6 inches deep. Measure your furniture: will these fit? If so, go for it, as they really are a comfortable option.

For more tips about choosing the right outdoor cushions for you, take a look at our article. 

Is Memory Foam Good for Patio Seat Cushions?
Is Memory Foam Good for Patio Seat Cushions?

Is Memory Foam Good for Patio Seat Cushions?

Memory foam makes a super-comfy filling for chair cushions. However, it needs approaching with caution when it comes to patio seating, as memory foam isn’t waterproof.

If you see memory foam mattresses or seat pads advertised as waterproof, read on carefully: it tends to be memory foam encased in a waterproof cover. This may be sufficient for the occasional spill or accident indoors, but is it enough for a lifetime outdoors?

So while memory foam may be great for comfort, it may not be robust enough as a patio seat cushion filler. However, if you can get really good-quality and well-made water-resistant covers, the foam should survive the occasional shower (just make sure you bring them indoors at night and in wet weather).

What is the Most Comfortable Outdoor Seating Material?

Polypropylene is a great choice for outdoor seats, because it’s both soft and durable. Cushions made from polypropylene with something like Sunbrella UV-resistant and water-resistant covers should be both comfy and tough, and last you plenty of seasons.

If you want to know more about patio cushion filler, we look at various types in detail in this article. 

What Makes a Patio Cushion Comfortable?

Comfort is a subjective thing. Some of us love nothing better than sinking down into a deep, squashy cushion that molds around us, while others prefer something more supportive and firm. If you get the chance, pop down to your local Lowe’s or Home Depot and try out a few seats before you buy your cushions.

If you’re buying new patio cushions, here are a few tips to make sure they’re comfy.

  • Go deep. You can get thinner cushions that are 2.5 inches deep, which can be a little comfortable on your behind. Aim for at least 4 inches
  • If you have the room and the budget, go for deep cushions that are 5.5 inches thick
  • Some waterproof covers are softer than others. Patio cushions are always going to be more rigid than indoor ones because of the waterproof finish, so test a few to see which fabric is the most yielding
  • Don’t forget your back. Choose firmer cushions for the back of the seat so you’re well supported. Need extra help? Place a lumbar cushion at the back of the seat to support your lower spine
  • Add plenty of soft and luxurious extras, like more cushions and throws. Just make sure you keep them indoors and bring them outdoors only when needed

How Do You Make or Replace Foam in Patio Chair Cushions?

Do you want to replace the foam in your patio chair cushions? This is a cheaper option than buying new, and it’s a pretty straightforward job. It’s likely that the cushions will wear out before the chair or couch frames, so this is a useful technique to know about.

  • Take out the old foam. If you’re lucky, there’s a zipper. If not, carefully open a seam using a seam ripper
  • Using the old foam as a template (but not for depth as it’s flattened with time!), cut out the new foam to the correct size
  • Now cut the same size piece of cotton batting to form an extra layer. Fix this to the new foam using spray adhesive
  • Slip the foam and batting inside the cover and zip or stitch it up
  • If you don’t have a zipper, you may decide to fit one at this point. However, it’s really important that you use a waterproof zipper, or this may become a weak point where moisture gets in

Can you make a whole new patio cushion? Yes you can. This tutorial takes you through how to make easy outdoor cushions, using a single piece of fabric for simplicity and to cut down on seams. 

Again, make sure everything you use is waterproof: even if you’re going to be good and store your cushions indoors, they still need to be robust enough to withstand outdoor life and survive accidental days out in the rain (we all leave them out occasionally, however conscientious we try to be!).

Final Words

Our patio furniture cushions are in such a bad state that we’ll probably just replace them now.

However, it’s good to know they can be refurbished with water-resistant foam relatively easily (we were tempted!).

I guess we need to ensure we buy decent quality cushions with a good depth of foam – or we may well regret not refurbing them ourselves. 🙂

Mark H.

Homeowner and property investor Mark H. aspires to bring you the very best outdoor living content, based on his years of experience managing outside spaces. Read more >