If you have purchased high-quality patio furniture, you need to protect your investment with a durable cover that will prolong the life of your furniture and keep the finish looking pristine.
But not all patio furniture covers are created equal. Here is our complete guide to choosing the perfect cover for your patio furniture so you can continue to relax and enjoy the outdoors for years to come.
What Type of Protection Does My Patio Furniture Need?
Different patio furniture covers offer various levels of protection. To find the right cover for your outdoor furniture, you need to consider any potential threats to the finish, durability, and structure.
If your outdoor furniture is exposed to direct sunlight, you will need to use a cover with a high UV rating to minimize fading and brittleness.
Furniture located close to pools, water features, or left exposed to the rain will need a waterproof cover to prevent the wood from swelling and rotting.
Animal droppings, insects, and tree sap can damage the paint or finish on your furniture, so a cover that has a tight weave with minimal mesh is ideal to prevent them from leaking onto your patio furniture.
Also, take into account what your outdoor furniture is made from. Unfinished materials such as raw wood and some metals will need added protection. Where possible, apply a waterproof stain to wood and powder coat metal frames to prevent corrosion.
Glass-topped tables need padded covers to prevent cracks and chips from occurring due to falling sticks or rocks.
Which is the Best Material for a Patio Furniture Cover?
Patio furniture covers come in a wide variety of materials, depending on the level of coverage and protection you need. Some of the most popular options include:
Vinyl covers are an affordable and moisture-resistant option that is lightweight and easy to take on and off your furniture. It is ideal for covering patio furniture that is placed in storage as the material is not form-fitting or breathable and can develop mold or mildew when left in the rain. Look for covers that feature 12-gauge vinyl as it has better durability than standard vinyl covers.
Polyester is quick-drying and breathable, which allows any water trapped under the cover to evaporate easily and prevent mold build-up. Polyester can also be treated with different substances to give the fabric additional properties such as UV-resistance, insulation, and waterproofing. The fabric also has a little stretch to it, which means you can buy a form-fitting cover to fit your furniture perfectly.
Canvas is an excellent option for a breathable, machine-washable cover. Perfect for covering patio furniture in warmer climates, and the tough, durable fabric can be treated to be waterproof and UV protective. The other benefit of using canvas covers is appearance. The texture and style of canvas covers are more visually appealing for patio furniture that remains outside during inclement weather.
Solid plastic is the most inexpensive style of furniture cover, which is best suited to occasional storage, rather than long-term protection. Though waterproof, plastic covers typically do not have adequate ventilation, which can cause mildew and odors from moisture that builds-up inside the cover.
How Can I Measure My Furniture for a Cover?
The covers for your patio furniture should fit snuggly without being too tight to allow for easy removal when the weather warms up. The best way to find the right fitting cover is by carefully measuring each piece of your patio furniture.
For larger pieces of furniture such as sun lounges, deck chairs, coffee tables, and outdoor armchairs, measure the width and depth, as well as the height of both the tallest point in the lowest point on the chair or sofa.
Outdoor tables and chairs can be covered together with a round or square cover. Tuck the chairs into the table and secure with a rope. Using a soft tape measure, measure the circumference of the table and chair set for a round table or the height width and depth of a square or rectangular set.
What Features Should I Look for in a Patio Furniture Cover?
When shopping for a patio furniture cover, there are a few essential features to look for to enhance the protection the product delivers. Some of these features include:
Covered mesh vents
Ventilation is vital to prevent mold build-up, which stains furniture and is dangerous to your health. Make sure your covers feature mesh vents to allow water to evaporate and facilitate airflow. Covered vents are preferable as they improve ventilation while preventing water from leaking on to your furniture.
Tie downs or elastic bands
Tie downs, and elastic bands secure the cover to your patio furniture, which will stop the cover from flying away during windy conditions. These features also help to create a better fit.
Opt for covers that feature soft cloth backing to prevent scratching or rubbing against the furniture, which can ruin the finish. This feature is especially crucial for stained or painted wood furniture, which has a softer surface more prone to wear and tear.