What Types Of Outdoor Cushions Work In Humid Climates?

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey

Selecting the right outdoor cushions for your furniture can be quite challenging. You want to have furniture that fits the space, is comfortable, and is built to last. But you also want outdoor furniture and cushions that look great and complement your outdoor design aesthetic. With all these considerations to take into account, picking outdoor furniture is often easier said than done. If you live somewhere with a wet climate, you have even more factors to consider, like what type of outdoor cushions work best in humid climates?

Selecting synthetic materials that are UV resistant as well as water resistant for your outdoor cushions is a great way to prolong their lifespan. Natural materials are more prone to mold. Remember, just because a product is built outdoors doesn’t mean it will hold up in humid environments. In particularly wet climates, consider acrylic fiber fabrics, Olefin fabrics, or polypropylene fabric, which is a type of material common in marine furniture, and highly durable.

There are lots of directions you can go when selecting patio furniture and the outdoor cushions that go on top of them. There are so many designs, and just as many variables to consider when making your final outdoor cushion selection. Before making an impulse purchase, read through these various factors, as well as the materials listed below that are known to perform well in wet environments.

Four Considerations When Choosing Cushions In Humidity

1. High Humidity Versus Frequent Rain

When you are figuring out which type of cushions work best for your wet climate, you need to think about whether your area is just humid or if it is also very rainy. If you live somewhere tropical with lots of rain, you should opt for the most durable and water-resistant of fabrics. If, however, you just happen to live somewhere with a higher dew point, then you have more variety in your options.

2. Durability And Strength

In addition to understanding the level of moisture you need your cushions to handle, you also need to think about how long you want these cushions to last. If this is a one or two summers sort of situation, you have a lot of options. If, however, you want these cushions and outdoor furniture to last you 5 years or longer, then you want to choose a durable and strong material.

3. Have Your Budget In Mind

While the furniture pieces might set you back more financially, outdoor cushions for humid environments are not cheap. This is especially true if you are looking for something of decent quality that is made to last. Make sure you have your approximate budget number in mind when you are looking at outdoor cushions, as this will help narrow the search, and keep you looking at the right materials.

4. Detachable Versus Permanently Affixed Cushions

You should also give some thought as to whether you plan to leave your cushions on the furniture at all times, or if you will remove them and safely store them when they are not in use. Removing and storing cushions can be annoying, and you might not even have room. But if you do plan to store cushions in a weather-proof area, then you can choose pretty much any type of outdoor cushion, as they won’t be as susceptible to wet and severe weather.

Best Outdoor Cushion Fabrics For Humid Climates

Polypropylene Fabric

Arguably the absolute best cushion material for outdoor cushions in humid climates is polypropylene fabric. Polypropylene is commonly found on boats and on other marine furniture. It is highly durable, UV and water-resistant, and it is also easy to clean. This makes it ideal for those who want durable cushions that are built to last. The trouble is these are not always the softest cushions, and they are often quite pricey. These cushions are particularly pricey if you need them custom-made.

Olefin Fiber Fabrics

If you are looking for something a little more lightweight and softer than polypropylene, then you might want to consider cushions made from Olefin fiber fabrics. Olefin is a soft and light material that is specifically made for outdoor use. Olefin has lots of advantages. It is great for humid climates, it is highly durable, and it is even easy to clean. Several popular companies like GeoBrella use this type of material. Keep in mind this material is a bit pricey.

Acrylic Fiber Fabrics

If you are on a tighter budget but still want outdoor cushion material that will perform well in humid conditions, consider trying a fabric made from acrylic fibers. There are lots of different types of acrylic fiber, and some work better than others. But 100% acrylic fiber designed for outdoor use can work great for outdoor cushions in wet conditions. It is highly durable and strong. Best of all, there are tons of designs and fabrics to choose from. This means no matter what your design aesthetic is, you are bound to find cushions to match easily in an acrylic fiber fabric.

What Type Of Furniture Is Best In Places With High Humidity?

Now that you have a better idea about the best cushion material for your outdoor or pool furniture, you should also know the best materials for the outdoor furniture itself. While you can select from all sorts of materials, there are a few materials that work significantly better than others in more humid conditions.

Solid Woods Like Teak, Cedar, and Redwood

If you don’t want to go the synthetic or metal route, there are some types of natural wood that actually perform quite well in humid and wet climates. Teak is probably your best option for wood outdoor furniture. It is a very hard wood, and it has natural oils that resist moisture from entering it. This is why it is so common on boats. Keep in mind teak wood is incredibly expensive, so a teak outdoor furniture set will cost you a pretty penny.
Cedar and redwood are two other hardwoods that perform well in humid climates. Keep in mind that these woods are also quite expensive.

Synthetic Or Resin Wicker

A popular and stylish option is synthetic or resin wicker. This is a synthetic and much more durable twist on classic wicker furniture and has become quite popular in recent years. This furniture is durable and fantastic at resisting mold or damage from water. Know that some of these products are better than others, so choose based on quality and budget.


Aluminum is a lightweight, affordable metal option. It doesn’t rust like iron and other metals, so it is a great option for humid and wet climates. Being lightweight, this furniture is easy to move around and stack or store when the seasons change.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is also resistant to corrosion, similar to aluminum. It is a bit heavier than aluminum. This might make it slightly less mobile, but it will hold up in the wind. It is also quite durable and strong.

What Materials Should You Never Use In Humid Climates

Leather And Other Animal Products

Leather might make for fantastic indoor couches and even car interiors, but it is not going to work well in humid climates. Even treated leather is still going to be susceptible to mold in humid climates. You are better off selecting a synthetic fabric, as it will require much less maintenance and hold up better in the wet and sunny elements.

Pure Natural Fibers

Natural fibers might breathe well or be soft, but they won’t hold up outdoors, especially in humidity. Natural fibers are more likely to mold, and won’t stand up over time. This is why these fabrics are usually used indoors rather than outside. Even coated natural fibers are not ideal, as this coating eventually wears off.

Any Fabric Without UV or Weather Protection

You should always purchase products that are built to withstand severe weather and UV rays. Some products are naturally resistant, while others will need some added layer or coating. Failure to buy products with this protection will result in outdoor cushions that will deteriorate quite quickly.

Wrapping Up What Type Of Cushions For Humid Weather

When you are looking for the perfect outdoor cushions, it is important you consider your environment. If you live somewhere with high humidity, you should select cushions that can withstand this moisture. Polypropylene material, olefin fabrics, and fabrics made of acrylic fibers are all great and durable options for those who live in wet places.

You should also make sure you buy furniture that performs well in wet climates. Teak, cedar, and redwoods are all good natural materials while resin wicker and stainless steel are ideal if you want to go the synthetic or metal route.

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Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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