If you’ve owned outdoor furniture before, you know just how painful, inconvenient, and uncomfortable those flimsy cushions can be. Most backyards don’t look as stunning as the one featured above. More often than not, the weather gets the best of them and they end up looking something more like this just after a couple of years of use…
You’ve likely gone outside to check your email or read the news while enjoying your fresh morning cup of Joe. What a peaceful and tranquil moment for you to ease into a great day. Until… you sit down and immediately experience what we call, “Wet Butt Syndrome.” The morning dew and rain from last night drenched your cushions, leaving your pants wet and resulting in a 0% chance of you enjoying your outdoor space until the cushions have a chance to dry.
Wet cushions can put a real damper (*pun intended) on any day and leave you shut indoors wishing you were enjoying the sunshine.
To make matters worse, when you sat on the wet cushions and quickly got up, your delicious pick me up turned into a liability as your coffee spilled all over the furniture and your clothes. With 99% of outdoor furniture on the market, you’re likely stuck with that deep coffee stain in your cushions until you decide it’s finally time to upgrade your set or buy more replacement cushions.
You’ll also likely need to replace your cushions after repeated moisture has created the ideal environment for mold and mildew to grow. Unfortunately, it's all too common to replace outdoor cushions every year or every other year. Not only is this inconvenient, the price adds up too. Often, you will find yourself spending almost as much money on cushion replacements as you did on your entire outdoor furniture set (finding the right custom dimensions can be difficult and costly!). And what's worse? Those pricey cushions and replacements are very uncomfortable.
After experiencing the headache of traditional outdoor furniture cushions, we decided there had to be a better way. So we completely flipped the script with our proprietary Outer cushion technology and reinvented the outdoor sofa!
Here is a deeper dive into the “why” behind our cushion design, layer by layer:
1. High Resiliency Foam for Support - High Resilience Foam is a very good quality polyurethane foam that is used in most types of expensive furniture, including seating on yachts and boats. High resiliency means the foam has a much higher responsiveness than memory foam, so it also makes for an excellent mattress. Because of this, those that enjoy more of a bounce in their mattress will gravitate towards this type of foam. High resilience foams are much less popular than memory foam, but they make up important layers of many popular mattresses. Oftentimes the transitional layer or base layer of memory foam mattresses will contain high resilience foam at high densities. This provides a more even feel across the mattress, and less of a sinking feeling that memory foam alone would have.
2. Visco Elastic Memory Foam - This layer of foam is used for luxurious comfort and was designed specifically to make the sofa feel comparable to a mattress in comfort. It is a blend of polyurethane foam that NASA developed for airplane cushions in the 1970s. The main difference between visco elastic foam and other types of polyurethane foam is its slow response and low resistance. Its soft surface allows for contouring and its slow response lowers bounce. Because of these multiple layers of comfort and durability, we designed the Outer cushion to be 6 inches thick.
3. Polypropylene batting for softness and shape - Polypropylene batting is a lightweight, flexible material that is great at absorbing liquids. Not only is it able to withstand higher solid loading than other materials, but it’s also temperature resistant and resistant to bleaches and most solvents
4. Waterproof Protective Barrier - This proprietary technology ensures that the memory infill layer will remain dry in the event that the cushions do get wet. The barrier plays a key role in facilitating a quicker drying process and helps prevent mold/mildew from forming. This is a key element for Outer’s durability and water resistance (the main reason you don’t have to panic if the cushions get wet!).
5. Proprietary Stain, Fade, Water & Mildew Resistant Fabric - Our fabric is the cherry on the top! We were originally planning to use Sunbrella fabric, but it didn’t align with our eco-friendly values since it is made with a solution dyed acrylic and falls into recycle code 7. So while it cost us more money and took us longer to develop, we created our own proprietary fabric which has the same performance characteristics and durability as Sunbrella (stain, fade, water, and mildew resistant), but is better for out planet. And in the event you spill your coffee on your Outer, no need to worry. You can easily clean black coffee in a matter of seconds - watch it for yourself on our gray fabric here or our cream fabric here.
In the event that you spill something a bit more worrisome on your (think: red wine), here are some best practices for cleaning. If what was spilled is extra stubborn, the cushion covers are easily removable and machine washable, so you can throw them in your washing machine for a more thorough clean. If all else fails, we offer a best in class 5 year warranty on all of our cushions because we believe that they will hold up to everything Mother Nature (and life!) can throw at them.
But you don’t have to take our word for it, check out our customer reviews, test it for yourself with a Neighborhood Showroom visit, or casually chat over the phone/FaceTime with a Neighborhood Showroom Host in your neighborhood. If you’d like to sit on an Outer in your area or chat with your neighbor to hear about their experience, you can learn more here.
This piece was written by Outer's own Product Specialist, Ali Movassaghi.