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Foam for Outdoor Cushions

almost | Posted in General Discussion on

I am making cushions with sunbrella fabric for outdoor chairs.  I was looking for foam for the cushions and was told that “Dry Fast” foam (the foam is open so water runs right through it) was the right type to use….but I was shocked at the price of the foam.  Is there a particular foam that would be OK for outdoors but maybe not as expensive?

Thank you!


  1. Teaf5 | | #1

    Almost all foam is open, especially the cheaper stuff! The closed-cell foam (therma lite, for backpacking and snow camping) is much more expensive.Army/navy surplus supply stores (and some home dec or fabric stores) sell foam slabs in various thickness; it's usually cheaper to buy a small-bed size and cut it to size than to buy pre-cut chair cushions. You can also using foam camping mats from Walmart, outdoor gear, or hardware stores.

  2. Josefly | | #2

    If you buy a small bed-sized piece of foam, as Teaf5 suggests, an electric knife comes in very handy for cutting it to size.

    1. Stillsewing | | #3

      I can concur with the last post. I am making well remaking cushions for our conservatory and have cut circular foam cushions (about 10 years sitting in the sun) into "D" shapes. -- to stop them rolling around -- and did it with an ordinary breadknife, I was afraid that an electric knife would run away on me. When covered they are fine - three done two to go.By the way the foam was 8 inch circle by 20 inches long

      1. almost | | #4

        THANK YOU everyone!  I thought that I had to use some kind of special outdoor foam.....which was going to cost a LOT!  I'm so glad to learn that regular foam is all that I really need with my sunbrella fabric and all will be good. 

        The suggestions as to how to cut the foam is very helpful. 

        1. Betakin | | #5

          I made and covered the outdoor pool and patio furniture cushions for one of my DD's and she purchased the foam at our local fabric store. The cushions have held up well through desert sun, wind and rain. Monsoon winds even blew a couple of cushions into her pool and it has been several years now and they are still as good as the day I finished making them.

          I'm sorry but I don't know what type of foam we used but the fabric stores do sell it. You can choose the thickness of foam you prefer and take it to the cutting table and they will cut it to the measurement needed.   

  3. vintagecouture | | #6

    Look for a local company that cuts foam to your measurements.  Ask for "reticulated foam."  This is foam that does not absorb the water.  If the cushions get rained on the water runs right through.  It is not very expensive.  I bought enough foam to make seat cushions for 8 resin wicker chairs and it cost me less than $50.00.

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