Does Outdoor Furniture Need to Be Covered? Exploring the Facts

Does Outdoor Furniture Need to Be Covered? Exploring the Facts

When thinking about your outdoor space, one question that may cross your mind is whether you need to cover your outdoor furniture or not. You might wonder if covering your patio furniture is necessary and if leaving it uncovered can cause damage. While your outdoor furniture is designed to withstand various weather conditions, covering it can undoubtedly prolong its lifespan and maintain its appearance.

As you consider the potential benefits of protecting your outdoor furnishings, keep in mind that not all furniture is created equal. Some materials might be better suited for exposure to the elements than others. For example, certain patio furniture is water-resistant, but not waterproof, meaning it can handle getting wet, but accumulating damage over time is still a possibility 1. In addition, it's worth noting that covering your furniture can save on maintenance costs such as cleaning, painting, and even replacing your furniture 2.

Taking the time to determine the best course of action for your specific outdoor furniture will ensure that your investment remains intact and enjoyable for years to come.

Importance of Protecting Outdoor Furniture

Protecting your outdoor furniture is essential to maintaining its appearance, comfort, and longevity. By taking the appropriate steps to shield your patio furniture from the elements and environmental factors, you can enjoy your backyard oasis for many years to come.

Exposure to harsh weather conditions, such as rain, snow, and sunlight can cause your outdoor furniture to deteriorate over time. For example, wooden furniture may warp, metal pieces can rust, and fabric cushions could fade. To prevent these issues, it's crucial to invest in quality covers for your furniture. These covers not only protect your pieces from the elements, but also from damaging UV rays, which can harm the materials and colors.

In addition to using covers, you should also keep your patio furniture clean. Regular maintenance, such as removing leaves and twigs, wiping down surfaces, and washing cushions as needed, helps to prolong the life of your pieces and keep them looking their best. A clean and well-maintained outdoor area ensures that you and your guests will always have a comfortable space to relax and enjoy.

Consider the location of your outdoor furniture as well. When possible, place your pieces in a shaded area, such as under a pergola or large tree. This will help to minimize the impact of harsh sunlight and heat on your furniture, further extending its life span.

It's also a good idea to bring in any small, lightweight pieces of furniture or cushions during severe weather or winter months. If space is limited, covering your furniture is still one of the best options for protection, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space year-round.

Remember, investing in the proper protection for your patio furniture not only keeps your backyard looking great, but it also ensures that your outdoor pieces last for many years to come. Take the time to care for your furniture, and you'll enjoy a comfortable, inviting outdoor space that stands up to the elements and the test of time.

Factors to Consider for Protecting Furniture

When it comes to protecting your outdoor furniture, there are several factors to consider. In this section, we'll discuss the type of furniture material, climate, and usage frequency.

Type of Furniture Material

The material of your outdoor furniture plays a significant role in determining the level of protection needed.

  • Wood: Wooden furniture, especially hardwoods like teak and eucalyptus, is durable and can withstand a certain amount of moisture. However, it's important to properly maintain wooden furniture by applying sealants and stains to prevent cracking and splitting.

  • Metal: Metal furniture, such as aluminum, steel, and wrought iron, is robust and long-lasting. However, iron and steel can rust, so it's crucial to provide protection with protective coatings or covers when not in use.

  • Wicker: Both natural and synthetic wicker furniture is popular for outdoor spaces. Natural wicker can unravel and become damaged when exposed to the elements, so it requires regular maintenance and protection with covers. Synthetic wicker is made from materials like plastic or resin, making it more resistant to weather, but still benefits from being covered when not in use.

  • Plastic: Plastic furniture is lightweight and weather-resistant but can become brittle and crack in extreme temperatures. To keep your plastic furniture in good condition, use covers or store it away during harsh weather.


The type of weather your outdoor furniture is exposed to will also influence the level of protection it requires.

  • Rain and Snow: If you live in an area where heavy precipitation is common, ensure your furniture is covered or stored away when not in use.

  • Sun and UV: Prolonged exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays can cause damage to all types of outdoor furniture. Consider using furniture covers with UV protection or placing your furniture in shaded areas to reduce UV exposure.

  • Windy Environments: Strong winds can cause debris to damage your outdoor furniture. In these areas, secure your furniture and use sturdy covers to protect it from potential damage.

Usage Frequency

The frequency with which you use your outdoor furniture also plays a role in how it should be protected.

  • Frequently Used: If you use your outdoor furniture on a near-daily basis, consider investing in durable materials like metal, synthetic wicker, or hardwoods, which often require less maintenance.

  • Occasionally Used: For furniture that sees sporadic use, using covers, storing your furniture away when not in use, and conducting regular maintenance can help prolong its lifespan.

By considering the type of material, climate, and usage frequency, you can better protect your outdoor furniture and ensure it remains in good condition for years to come.

Benefits of Covering Outdoor Furniture

Covering your outdoor furniture provides numerous benefits that ultimately help maintain the appearance and prolong the lifespan of your beloved patio pieces. By investing in quality covers, you ensure that your furniture stays protected and remains in pristine condition for years to come.

First and foremost, covers offer protection against the elements. Outdoor furniture is constantly exposed to rain, snow, dust, and debris, all of which can cause considerable wear and tear. By using weather-resistant covers, you prevent water damage, rot, and mildew from taking hold. Moreover, quality covers offer advanced waterproof protection that prevents moisture from seeping through and impacting the integrity of your furniture.

In addition to safeguarding against moisture, protecting your outdoor furniture from harmful UV rays is essential. Prolonged sun exposure can cause fading and damage, particularly to fabrics and certain wood types. Opting for covers with built-in UV protection shields your furnishings from the harsh effects of sunlight, ensuring they maintain their original color and luster.

Another key advantage of covering your furniture is the reduced need for cleaning. Although cleaning your patio furniture is still necessary, using covers can greatly decrease the frequency of these chores. By keeping your furniture free from dust, leaves, and other debris, you save yourself time and energy spent on maintenance.

Furthermore, covers allow you to protect the cushions, often the most vulnerable part of your outdoor furniture. Cushions can become dirty and weather-damaged quickly if left exposed. By covering the frames and storing the cushions appropriately, you extend the life of these essential components, ensuring both comfort and lasting beauty.

In summary, covering your outdoor furniture is a smart investment that pays off in many ways. By providing protection from weather, UV rays, and debris, you maintain the appearance and functionality of your patio pieces, while reducing the need for cleaning and other maintenance tasks. So, don't hesitate to invest in quality covers for your furniture and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing your outdoor oasis is well taken care of.

Main Types of Furniture Covers

It's essential to protect your outdoor furniture from the elements, and finding the right type of furniture cover can make a significant difference. In this section, we'll discuss the main types of furniture covers, focusing on Materials, Sizes, and Styles.


Durable materials are at the cornerstone of high-quality furniture covers. Some of the most common materials include:

  • Vinyl: Vinyl covers are an economical choice, offering simple protection from water. They're waterproof, but not as breathable as other materials and can trap in heat and moisture, leading to mold or mildew buildup.
  • Polyester: Polyester covers, often combined with a water-resistant polyurethane coating, are a popular choice for outdoor furniture covers. These materials offer durability, water resistance, and UV protection to shield your furniture from both rain and sun damage.
  • Cloth backing: A furniture cover with a cloth backing provides an added layer of protection. This feature helps to prevent scratching and cushions the furniture surface, especially on delicate wood or painted finishes.


Outdoor furniture comes in various shapes and sizes, and so do their covers. Here are some guidelines to help you select the best fit for your furniture:

  • Measure your furniture: Take accurate measurements of the height, width, and depth of your furniture. This will ensure that the cover you choose will adequately protect your outdoor pieces.
  • Consider cover shape: Furniture covers come in a variety of shapes, including square, rectangular, and round. Choose a cover that closely matches the shape of your furniture for the best fit.
  • Go for a slightly larger size: When in doubt, opt for a cover that's slightly larger than your furniture dimensions. It's better to have a bit of extra material than to struggle with a cover that's too tight or leaves some parts exposed to the elements.


Furniture covers also come in various styles to cater to specific furniture types or user preferences. Some of these styles include:

  • Full set covers: These covers are designed to protect a complete patio set, including the table and chairs. They're ideal for saving time and effort, as you won't need to cover each piece individually.
  • Individual covers: If you have a mix of furniture types or simply prefer separate covers for each piece, individual covers are a great choice. They come in an array of shapes and sizes to fit chairs, tables, loungers, and more.
  • Sectional covers: Sectional covers are designed for modular or L-shaped furniture, providing a tailored fit that accounts for the unique shape of these outdoor settings.

By considering the materials, sizes, and styles of furniture covers, you'll be better equipped to choose the best protection for your outdoor furniture. Don't forget to look for additional features like adjustable straps, air vents, and color options to personalize your selection and make your outdoor space even more enjoyable.

Best Practices for Covering Outdoor Furniture

Clean and Dry Before Covering

To maintain the longevity and appearance of your outdoor furniture, it's crucial to clean and dry it before covering. Remove any dirt, debris, or stains from the surfaces, as these can cause damage over time. Make sure you also clean the cushions, as they can harbor moisture and mildew, which can be detrimental to the fabric. Once you've thoroughly cleaned your outdoor furniture, ensure it is completely dry before placing any covers on it.

Ensure Proper Fit

When choosing a furniture cover, it's important to find one that fits your furniture properly. A high-quality cover should be made from durable, weather-resistant materials that can withstand harsh outdoor conditions. Opt for a cover with drawstrings or tie-downs to secure it in place, protecting your furniture from strong winds and storms. Additionally, look for covers with a soft cloth backing to avoid scratching more delicate surfaces, such as wood or natural wicker.

Remember, a well-fitted cover will protect your outdoor furniture from moisture, debris, and the elements, allowing you to enjoy your investment for many years to come. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your furniture remains in optimal condition, no matter the season.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I cover outdoor furniture in rain?

Yes, it is recommended to cover outdoor furniture in rain to prevent damages caused by water, humidity, and potential mold growth. Protecting your furniture from harsh weather conditions will prolong its lifespan and maintain its appearance.

Is covering patio furniture necessary in winter?

Covering patio furniture during the winter months is necessary, especially if you live in an area with snow or freezing temperatures. A weather-resistant cover can protect your furniture from moisture, ice, and snow, helping to preserve its structure and appearance.

What materials are best for outdoor furniture covers?

When selecting outdoor furniture covers, choose materials that are water-resistant, UV-resistant, and durable. Common options include polyester, vinyl, and heavy-duty fabric blends. Consider selecting covers with venting to prevent the buildup of moisture and condensation.

Do wicker items need protection from the weather?

Yes, wicker items need protection from the weather, particularly if they are made from natural materials such as rattan or bamboo. While synthetic wicker is designed to be more weather-resistant, it is still advisable to cover these items during extended periods of rain, snow, or direct sunlight to preserve their appearance and functionality.

Are heavy-duty weatherproof covers important?

Investing in heavy-duty weatherproof covers is essential if you live in a region with extreme weather conditions or rapid temperature changes. These covers provide additional protection from harsh elements such as snow, heavy rain, hail, and intense sun exposure, ensuring your outdoor furniture remains in good condition.

How to choose the right size for patio furniture covers?

To choose the right size for patio furniture covers, measure the width, depth, and height of your furniture pieces. Don't forget to account for any cushions, as they will also need to fit inside the cover. Then, select a cover that closely matches these dimensions, ensuring a tight and secure fit for optimal protection. Always check the product details and sizing recommendations provided by the manufacturer to ensure a proper fit.