One of our first discussions about our design requirements was about chair comfort. Most outdoor sofas are not comfortable. We wanted to emphasize comfort in both the physical and visual sense, and tinkered with foam densities, fabric styles, and ergonomics. Here’s how we made the most comfortable outdoor furniture ever (without sacrificing durability).
We Made Outdoor Cushions Like Indoor Mattresses
Twenty minutes on a typical outdoor sofa tells you that comfort was not a top priority for the manufacturer. Butts know best, but you may want to understand why. Unzip the cushion of your typical outdoor (or even indoor!) sofa and look at how it’s made. Go ahead. It’s probably a single piece of foam—maybe 4-5” thick—and a single layer of polyester batting that wraps around the foam.
Rather than mimic the single foam square of most sofas, we looked to a different piece of furniture for inspiration: the mattress.
The Outer sofa cushion is over six inches thick and has three layers, one of which is memory foam that you’d typically find in luxury mattresses. Memory foam isn't meant for the outdoors, so we added a water-proof barrier around the foam to keep it dry.
You can comfortably lay down on the Outer sofa all morning, afternoon, and evening. Each section is truly the most comfortable outdoor chair.
A Fabric That’s Soft, but Tough
We wanted the material to have the same hand-feel as an organic fabric (soft to touch), but the performance characteristics of outdoor apparel (moisture-wicking and mold resistant). We didn’t want a synthetic material that felt stiff in any way.
To pull it off, we harnessed advances in material technology. Our patent-pending Outer fabric has a special nano coating that resists the elements. In order to make it feel like cotton, we applied the characteristics of a natural fiber thread to our manufacturing process. The addition of slub, which is something you’ll find in quality European fabrics, gives it that artisanal quality. To geek out on this a little bit more, we chose a fabric with low thermal conductivity, which feels warm to the touch. (Think about how your fuzzy fleece jacket feels on your skin.)
Outdoor Seating for All Body Types
While no seat will fit everyone perfectly, we wanted ours to offer the “best sit” for the broadest range of heights. This was a feat of proportions.
Much like there is data supporting the standard heights of your kitchen countertop or dining table, there is research (and good old common sense) that shows that proper seat depth will make for a comfortable sit. The number that we’ve come up with is around 40”. A 40” depth creates a nice balance between having to slouch and sit upright. It's our own goldilocks measurement.
We’re on a mission to build the best outdoor living brand and that means rethinking every component from the ground up. This makes our product development significantly longer, but the end result is well worth it. This is only the beginning of our product development journey. We’ll continue to challenge old design standards, and innovate materials as fast as technology makes it possible.