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It’s springtime here in Ohio, and with warmer weather comes the reintroduction of our patio. In summer 2007 we contracted out for a new backyard paver patio. It’s held up well despite the sports-sized dogs tearing over it everyday during playtime, plentiful warm weather get-togethers with friends, parties for special events, and the constant Ohio sun. But the patio seating — not so much. We’d purchased a basic patio furniture set from Kroger, but not surprisingly, after three years the grocery-store cushions are totally unusable.

The furniture itself is holding up just fine, so instead of spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on an entire new set, I’m now in search of new patio cushions. For a while I’ve kept my eyes open at the big box and a few specialty places for decent affordable cushions that won’t burn the retinas out with garish colors, but haven’t had much luck.

I think I found something useable a month ago while I was in Dallas. But before I commit the bank account, I thought I’d throw it out to the Toolmonger crowd: What is your advice for replacement patio cushions? Do you fabricate your own, or is there another affordable solution I’m missing?

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20 Responses to Reader Questions: Replacement Patio Cushions

  1. Matt says:

    We usually do the big box as well on about a 2-3 year rotation depending on how much they get worn out, but we almost always buy in the fall/winter when they have clearance sales on patio stuff.

  2. Mac says:

    We do the same as Matt. Wait ’till late summer / fall and you should find a deal. 3 years at least, but we really try to keep them out of the weather when we’re not using them.

    Of course, there’s always duct tape! :-D

  3. Nirk Miggler says:

    I don’t come to this website for Good Housekeeping

  4. Dave says:

    What you really need is some landscaping advice. Don’t they have trees in Ohio? shrubs?

  5. G says:

    Wow. I haven’t been to the comments in a while. When did unpleasant bullshit (“Good Housekeeping?” Really?) start?

  6. Kris says:

    We’ve had very good luck with replacement cushions from Target. They hold up well for a few years despite assault from the weather and our lazy dogs who lay on them looking like they are waiting for a cocktail waitress.

  7. Adam R. says:

    Look at Anderson’s or Big Lots. Both of them had replacement stuff that is at least as good as what you had on before.

  8. DocB says:

    I recommend Hayneedle (http://www.hayneedle.com/outdoor/cushions-&-covers/outdoor-cushions.cfm) Lots of selection, great quality and Ive had nothing but good customer service.

  9. Shadyone says:

    Or support your local business and buy a product that will last for 10 yrs. or better w/care. Check out your local awning/canvas or upholster shop.
    Just like others have said, think season. Better deals in the winter.

  10. Fong says:

    I’ve found decent cushions at Jcpenny.com. I know, random.

    You guys in OH must have a different definition than us west coasters for spring. I just spent three days in Solon, OH and was wearing thermals the whole time.

  11. JonnyB says:

    My wife made some cushions for our patio set, along with a longer cushion for a bench, and a few to use when sitting in the grass from outdoor fabric she picked up at a fabric store (Jo-ann Fabrics). They look great and she was able to select a fabric from more color/pattern options than you get at most big box stores.

  12. IronHerder says:

    While it is true that I don’t visit Toolmonger for home decor recommendations, a lot of the remaining posts don’t hold my interests, either. But many are wonderful, if not the post itself, then the comments. I just got through using some Lox-head screws, something that Toolmonger brought to my attention. Lox screws may not be much better than Robertson (square) drive screws, but both lack the Philips Frustration Factor (TM).

    Back to the post’s topic (rare in any of my comments), as a true bottom-feeder, my patio furniture & cushions are courtesy the “Free” section of CraigsList. Gotta save the money for tools at Harbor Freight or tag sales or auctions.

    IronHerder

  13. Have to agree with “Shadyone”…if you go with a fabric called “Sunbrella”, you’ll likely get about 7-10 years out of one set of cushions. It’ll cost more than what you can find at big box stores, but it’s a better decision in the long run. Sunbrella was originally designed for boat covers, awnings, car convertible tops, etc…VERY durable stuff (100% solution-dyed acrylic).

    For example, Target sells seat cushions for $50/2 ($25 ea). They’re polyester which means about 2-3 years at best…plus they’ll fade quickly. You can find the same size cushions in Sunbrella fabric at most specialty stores & online for about $39 each & you’ll be getting a MUCH longer life, plus they won’t fade at all.

    Best of luck!

  14. Toolfreak says:

    The best solution I found was getting the type of heavy-duty patio furniture that is just ergonomic shaped steel – no cushions needed. They are quite comfortable, and the ones I bought even had a corkscrew type of base/seat attachment making for a springy rocker effect. Found ‘em on sale at HD for a price that was way to good to pass up. Under $100 for a set of 4. They are also nice because they are solid steel rod (with mesh for the seat and back), so there’s no place for water to get into and rust them away. They are also sufficiently heavy so they deter theft, and there isn’t much worry they will blow away or even tip over in storms or high winds. They were also USA made. The factory black powdercoating is apparently pretty good, I’ve used them as cutting surfaces for wood projects and other yard stuff, and have yet to see a scratch or blemish. They haven’t faded from the sun either, and they’re outside 24/7 going on 4/5 years now.

  15. Michael Ring says:

    It depends on the number of cushions you need and if you have a place to keep them, but I go with Pier 1. They have stylish cushions, but you need to bring them in.

  16. Beachbum says:

    Does anyone know if the quality of Kroger’s patio furniture is decent? I’m Looking to buy a new in the box Delaware 7 piece patio set from someone in LA. I have never heard of Kroger and am worried it won’t last for more than a few years. Plus we live by the beach. Your help would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • linglewoman says:

      Kroger is a low end grocery chain in the midwest.

      • Lynn1 says:

        Kroger is also in the south and depending on location is just as good as Publix (south) or Meijer (Midwest) I purchased my set over 4 years ago. It has lasted outside through rain, sun (Georgia heat) and even snow. But you do have to replace the cushions if you leave them outdoors at about the 3 year mark.

  17. linglewoman says:

    At the cost of these patio cushions I am surprised that someone has not come up with the idea of making slipcovers for these similar to pillow covers. Get dirty slip them off and throw in the washer.
    Same thing for throw pillows. I don’t know how many stupid throw pillows I have because of changing decor. It would be a lot easier to change throw pillow covers not to mention they’d be a lot cheaper.

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