All summer, stores, and other sellers have been throwing all sorts of patio cushions at customers so we could enjoy the sun–but inevitably, many of them didn’t quite move the last of their inventory before autumn came, and so are holding patio cushions clearance sales. That’s great news if you need some outdoor cushions–but the rest of us just smile, remember those days, and toss our outdoor cushion covers in the wash.
This is one of those times when we get to enjoy some of the many benefits of our investment in patio cushion covers. We don’t have to scour sales and buy more patio cushions because our patio cushion covers keep our cushions in great shape year after year.
That means we get to keep our favorite patio cushions, which in turn means we also get to reduce the waste we generate. And that means more planet for patio parties when the summer comes back. It seems like the only reasons to forego patio cushion covers would have to be 1) you don’t know about them or 2) you don’t know you can get mildew-resistant, machine-washable ones.
Reduce Waste: Stop Cycling Through Clearance Patio Cushions
Although there are ways to recycle them, old cushions usually end up in the same landfills as all the rest of our garbage. In 2018, a whopping 17 million tons of textile waste ended up in landfills! And cushions aren’t made of leaves–they’re part of the problem.
Don’t buy new cushions and throw out your old ones just because they are on clearance; instead, prolong the lifespan of your existing cushions with protective cushion covers. It’s a smarter, long-term investment and a more environmentally responsible way to shop.
Once you invest in some solid outdoor cushion covers, you can stop at least a small part of that wasteful cycle, and go many more years before you need to throw out or recycle another cushion. What a relief to be free of at least a little bit of wasteful consumption!
Think Twice Before Buying Outdoor Cushions on Clearance
If outdoor cushions are for sale on clearance, it’s usually because the seller is having a hard time moving the inventory off of the shelf. This could indicate that the available styles are unpopular or outdated, or that there is something not quite right about the cushion’s design.
It’s also likely that clearance cushions are lower quality or made with cheaper materials than other cushions – it’s less likely that they are made to last. If prices seem suspiciously low, it’s likely that the cushions weren’t manufactured here in the United States. When something seems too good to be true, it usually is, right?
Another thing to keep in mind is that items for sale on clearance tend to have strict “no returns” policies; if the cushions aren’t the right fit for your patio furniture, or the color is a little off when you see it in person, you’ll be stuck using them anyway or throwing them away.
Cushion Covers vs. Clearance Patio Cushions
Instead of endlessly cycling through clearance cushions, the perfect solution is to go with a mildew-resistant, machine-washable, removable patio cushion cover for each outdoor cushion. A cushion cover will protect the cushion all summer long, so that the next year, you can pull out those same, perfectly healthy cushions and use them again. You can even wash the patio cushion covers between uses or when the inevitable spill occurs, which is something you certainly can’t do with a bare, “disposable” cushion.
In fact, a good set of outdoor cushion covers enables you to pull your cushions out even during the wettest months without worrying about ruining them. If your covers are machine-washable and even resistant to that icky mildew in the first place, it’s no problem to stay comfy in your lawn chair all through Little Jimmy’s soccer season. Did we mention Fig Leaf has waterproof outdoor cushion covers too?! (pictured below)
The Problem With Cheap Outdoor Patio Cushions
Clearance cushions are on clearance for a reason. Here are some of the potential problems you could encounter with cheap outdoor cushions on clearance:
Limited selection: If you manage to find some outdoor cushions on clearance, you will likely have a very limited selection of sizes, colors, patterns, styles, and fabrics to choose from. You may have to settle for something that’s not quite what you envisioned for your outdoor patio or doesn’t quite fit your outdoor furniture.
Mismatched sets: If you are shopping for an entire set of outdoor furniture, it may be difficult to find matching cushions on clearance, which can result in a mismatched or pieced-together look.
Poor quality: Some clearance cushions are lower quality compared to full-priced cushions or removable cushion covers. This can affect their comfort, appearance, and lifespan. You will be hard-pressed to find cute and comfortable cushions that are made with good quality, fade, and mildew-resistant fabric.
Damage or defects: Sometimes, cushions are on clearance because they are damaged, defective, or have cosmetic flaws such as tears, loose threads, fading, or even stains. Sometimes they are on clearance because someone bought them and returned them.
Non-refundable: Most clearance items are sold “as is” and can not be returned, exchanged, or refunded. This means you’ll be stuck with the cushions you buy, even if they aren’t what you expected upon arrival.
Seasonal availability: The other challenging thing about cushions on clearance is that they can be hard to find. Outdoor furniture sales tend to take place only during certain seasons- usually, off-seasons when people are less likely to be shopping for outdoor furniture.
Manufactured overseas: Cheap cushion covers on clearance are less likely to be made here in the United States, which could mean lower quality standards and labor standards, and greater environmental impact. You may have to pay higher shipping costs and deal with longer shipping times.
Stop Hunting for Patio Cushion Clearance Sales
Look, cushions aren’t shoes or cars. Sure, they can be fun to shop for when you’re initially setting up your outdoor furniture arrangement, but a patio cushions clearance sale isn’t the kind of shopping experience you look forward to every year forever. That’s especially true if you have to drag yourself through the slush to an expensive brick-and-mortar store to (with luck) find what you’re looking for.
Buying new outdoor cushions every year is a drag on the budget too. Sure, it’s not a fortune–but who among us likes a money pit, large or small? Obviously, it’s much better to be able to reuse the cushions you already have.
Choose Pillow Covers Over Clearance Outdoor Pillows
Removable cushion covers aren’t just a solution for seat cushions- they work great for your decorative outdoor pillows too! This solution allows you to repurpose old pillows that may still be in perfectly good condition but are stained, faded, or no longer in style.
Our cushion covers can be customized to fit any size pillow and will make your worn-out pillows look brand new again. Adding a few brightly colored pillow covers to your outdoor patio furniture will make your outdoor spaces look much more dynamic and feel much more comfortable.
Outdoor Cushion Cover FAQs
Below are some common Q&As that will help you find the perfect outdoor cushion covers – and ensure that they withstand the test of time!
1. What should I look for when shopping for outdoor cushion covers?
Some cushion covers out there are simply better than others. If you’re looking for cushion covers that are made to last, keep an eye out for fade and mildew-resistant cushion covers that will hold up against the elements. And pay attention to the materials they are made of! Our poly-knit blend is one of the most fade-resistant fabrics out there.
For the sake of convenience, look for cushion covers that are easy to remove and machine washable. Last but not least, it’s best to buy cushion covers made here in the United States, ideally from a small business (like ours!) rather than a large corporation.
2. How do I figure out which size of cushion cover will fit my cushions?
If you’re buying cushion covers in an effort to reduce waste, you’ll want to be careful and ensure that they fit over the cushions you already have. There are two main types of cushions out there, boxed-edge cushions and knife-edged cushions, so double-check and be sure you’re ordering the right type of cushion covers. Refer to a size chart whenever you can – and if you think your cushions are between sizes, go with the larger size to be on the safe side. It’s always easier to adjust/tighten slightly larger ones after the fact!
3. How can I protect my outdoor cushion covers?
The radiation of the sun will break down the fibers in any cushion cover fabric over time, so try to minimize direct sunlight to prevent fading. To reduce damage from direct sunlight, position your cushions in as much shade as possible, and take the covers off or bring your cushions inside during prolonged periods of non-use. You can also add UV protection and/or a waterproof sealant to most cushion covers to minimize wear and tear from the elements. Another option is to completely cover up your patio furniture when it’s not in use.
4. How should I clean my cushion covers?
If you can remove the cushion covers, do so and wash them according to the instructions on their tags. Often this means you can run them through the laundry, but not always. Investing in high-quality, removable outdoor cushion covers like ours at Fig Leaf will make the whole cleaning process much easier! Read our complete guide to cleaning outdoor cushions for more maintenance tips and tricks.
5. Can I get custom cushion covers made?
Of course! Since we make Fig Leaf Cushion Covers here in the United States, we can quickly and economically create custom cushion covers to fit almost any type of furniture. If you would like a specific size or color that isn’t listed on our website, just reach out to us to learn more about your custom options. We can even create custom cushion covers with printed logos, words, or images on them – for the perfect office decor or personalized gift!
Start Shopping for Cushion Covers Instead!
Fig Leaf Cushion Covers offer a wide and always-growing selection of outdoor cushion covers for every season and personal style.
If you want to reflect what Mother Nature is putting out there, you might like some of our nature-inspired solid colors, like a deep Forest Green or velvety Green Moss. These cushion cover colors look great against a Pacific Northwest backdrop.
A little liveliness can go a long way though; maybe brighten things up with a whimsical, floral print like Forget Me Not. Our floral prints look wonderful alongside those spring flowers!
We also carry a range of modern prints that can add visual interest to your garden or patio without being too over the top. If you’re looking for cushion covers that are interesting but won’t ever go out of style, Black Stripes like these are a forever classic.
We also have festive prints and fun colors to pair with special occasions and holiday seasons throughout the year. We love warm, rich colors like rusty orange for fall and bright cheery colors like cherry red for the holidays.
If you want something unique, take a second to check out the Limited section. These are special, limited-edition colors and prints that aren’t always available.
Not able to find your flavor? Contact us to talk about a custom color or print of your own!
A Recap on Clearance Patio Cushions & Better Solutions
The winter months are a good time to take advantage of patio cushions clearance sales, but an even better time to invest in patio cushion covers so you won’t have to keep on buying cushions, clearance, or otherwise. Save yourself the shopping trip and the money!
Once you decide to invest in some outdoor cushion covers instead, you can do all the shopping from inside the comfort of your home. Waste is reduced all around, but your outdoor cushions are enhanced. You can even get a few different prints and colors to give the decorator deep inside you some options to work with.
And if you have your own ideas for what kinds of patio cushion covers you’d like to see when you look out your window or walk onto the patio, we just might even be able to bring them into reality! We’re a customizing company and will do our darndest to make your ideas work. Both when it comes to prints/colors and dimensions.
Have fun being the savvy shopper you are!