Whenever you’re remodeling your backyard, it’s fun to pick new patio furniture. You can pick bright summery colors, wrought iron furniture, and benches that can accommodate party crowds. When it comes to your backyard cushions, look for more than matching colors and seasonal style. Look for these three signs of durable performance:

1. Are the cushions made with a durable outdoor fabric like Sunbrella?

Outdoor fabrics are different from traditional upholsteries. They are woven with fibers that resist UV radiation damage. Sunlight doesn’t just turn the material weak and brittle over time. It also makes the pattern fade to a dull shade. High-quality outdoor fabrics have water resistance, too, so rain and snow can’t damage the fabric. It’s also important that the fabric is designed to be mold and mildew resistant. If it grabs onto bacteria or lets mold grow in between the stitching, then the pillows will be ruined even if they don’t hold onto moisture.

2. Are the pillows built to last?

You should also look for signs that the pillows are meant to last through more than one season. If the fabric is designed to be cleaned and can even stand up to bleach, then the manufacturers anticipate that you’ll be able to use them for more than one season. Make sure the pillows are entirely machine washer safe before you purchase them. Another sign that pillows are built to last is that the pillows and the slipcovers can be separated. Good pillows usually have concealed zippers or snaps so you can wash the covers as often as you need to without washing the entire pillow. Slipcovers also let you change the style of your patio by switching out the fabric and keeping the same pillow forms.

3. How’s the stitching?

Outdoor furniture needs to be even sturdier than their indoor equivalents. Look for pillows with long-lasting stitching and self welts. If you know exactly what pillow styles you’re looking for or just want to browse, go to Today’s Patio for a wide selection.

Download our “Outdoor Furniture Buying Guide” for FREE!

Loaded with important information about the different types of patio furniture materials and styles as well as great style tips from our team of designers, you’ll find everything you’ll need to help you create your own backyard escape. As an added bonus, we’ve also included a useful checklist that you can complete and take with you when you go shopping for patio furniture.