Can I Leave My Patio Cushions Outside? (An In-Depth Look)

There is nothing like sitting out on your patio during those warm summer evenings. Whether you have a refreshing beverage on hand or a nice conversation partner, one thing is integral to the moment: patio furniture with patio cushions. 

While patio cushions can make the summer experience more comfortable, many people wonder: can I leave my patio cushions outside? 

Yes, patio cushions can be left outside. However, if you want to prolong the life of your patio cushions, you’ll need to take them inside every once in a while and implement some protective measures. 

We will be looking at all aspects of having patio cushions and will cover topics such as: 

  • the pros and cons of leaving patio cushions outside
  • some remedies for your patio cushions when they need a little extra care
  • specialty patio cushion products
  • some other options if patio cushions won’t work for you

By the end of this, you’ll be able to decide whether you can leave your patio cushions outside. 

What Are Patio Cushions, And Why Do People Have Them?

According to IKEA, Patio cushions can come in various patterns and textures, and many have removable, washable covers. 

patio cushions are “coordinated comfort and style for your life outdoors.”


The basic premise is that patio cushions make your furniture (chairs, sofas, chaises) more comfortable by adding cushioning. They look like pillows but are often in specific shapes to fit your seats perfectly. 

Can I Leave My Patio Cushions Outside? 

The million-dollar question is whether it’s okay to leave patio cushions outside, and in this section, we will explore some of the pros and cons. 

Benefits of Leaving Patio Cushions Outside

Leaving patio cushions outside has many pros and can make your summer nights that much more enjoyable. 

  • Convenient comfort: leaving your patio cushions outdoors means you can sit out on your deck any time you please. As they are already set up, you won’t need to pull them out from storage. 
  • Aesthetically pleasing: having your patio cushions outside is a nice way to make your outdoor space look personalized and inviting. As mentioned before, patio cushions can come in a wide range of colours and patterns, so passersby will be able to appreciate your aesthetic. 

Downsides of Leaving Patio Cushions Outside 

The cons of leaving patio cushions outside can seriously ruin them, and it is vital to keep the following in mind if you plan on leaving your cushions out in the open. 

  • Rain and snow: anything that makes your patio cushions damp is not good. It can cause the cushions to smell like mildew. Even worse? Moist environments are prime breeding grounds for bacteria and mould to grow. 
  • Sun: the sun might feel pleasant for humans, but too much sun exposure isn’t good for patio cushions. The sun fades colours and warps patterns, so if you want to keep your cushions looking vibrant, it’s best to protect them from the sun. 
  • Ruined materialOpens in a new tab.: depending on the material that your patio cushion is made out of, the weather can wreak havoc on certain materials. Many cushions are slightly weather-proof, but too much moisture or sun can ruin materials like polyester. 
  • Animals: while we might love those cute furry critters roaming around the neighbourhood, they can be a nuisance regarding outdoor patio cushions. From tears in the fabric to finding urine or excrement on your cushions, animals also pose a hazard to outdoor patio cushions. 


While leaving patio cushions out is generally fine, the consensus points to a balance of outdoor and indoor time for your patio cushions. For periods of mild weather or knowing that you want them outside for a short time, then your patio cushions should be fine. 

In the next section, we will look at some remedies you can apply to your patio cushions when they have too much outdoor time. 

What To Do When Patio Cushions Are Outside Too Long 

If your patio cushions start to show the effects of being outdoors too long, fear not. There are quite a few easy solutions that you can turn to.  

Throw Patio Cushions In The Wash

Many patio cushions nowadays can be easily washed. Read the care label and follow all washing and drying instructions. If you notice that your patio cushions got wet, you can either throw them in the dryer or leave them out in the sun to dry. 

Move Cushions Into The Shade

If a certain area on your patio gets a lot of sun, an easy solution is to move the cushions to a shadier spot when you are not using them. This prevents fading. 

Try Light Cleaning Every Week Or So

Martha Stewart recommends sweeping the surface of patio cushions with a soft bristle brunch and then surface cleaning with mild dish soap. Avoid bleach or other harsh cleaners.

Products To Protect Your Patio Cushions Last Longer

Certain products are worth investing in because they will prolong the life of your patio cushions by years. You will no longer be wondering can I leave my patio cushions outside! 

Water-resistant covers

These are important for anyone that has patio cushions because moisture can occur even when you’re least expecting it. Morning dew can cause some dampness, or even someone accidentally spilling liquid on the cushion can all be cause for concern. 

By covering your cushions with water-resistant covers, you are stopping damaging moisture from even getting a chance to ruin your cushions. 

Sun covers

Similar to water-resistant covers, sun covers are an easy way to protect your cushions from fading. Sun covers can also come in fun patterns, so you don’t have to feel like you’ll be boring. You can also use sun covers when you’re not using the patio cushions and take them off when you do want to use them. 

Storage containers 

Storage containers are a great option for storing your patio cushions. While it does require you to put them away in the containers, your cushions will thank you later. Storage containers help patio cushions retain their colours and also keep moisture and sun out. 

When buying storage containers, ensure they are airtight, and no moisture can get in. Otherwise, this defeats the purpose of having them. 

So can you leave your patio cushions outside? The answer is yes, but with some parameters.

Don’t leave them out for long periods of time. Have some simple ways to protect them from the extremes in weather like rain and snow.

Too much moisture, which can be brought on by rain, snow, or even spills, is detrimental to your cushion’s longevity. Dampness and moisture can cause funky smells and bacteria or mould growth. On the opposite end of the spectrum, too much sun isn’t great because it can cause your cushion’s colours to fade. 

You can buy certain patio cushion products to protect them, such as covers, and there are simple steps such as washing cushions regularly to keep them in tip-top shape. 


Ryan Nickel

A Red Seal carpenter, passionate about building decks to be enjoyed.

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