CushionGuard vs. Sunbrella: Which is the Better Outdoor Fabric?

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Home Depot is a popular place to buy great outdoor patio furniture. As you shop patio furniture on Home Depot, you will find that two of its outdoor furniture brands, Hampton Bay and Home Decorators Collection, will feature two fabric choices: CushionGuard and Sunbrella. 


Both of these fabric choices can be an excellent fit for your next patio furniture purchase, but which one is the best for you? 


Read on below to find out!

Summary Table

Category Winner Explanation
Moisture Slight Edge to Sunbrella Both are water-resistant, but Sunbrella is engineered to be mold and mildew resistant
Sun & Heat Tie Both are highly fade-resistant
Durability Tie Both should last many years in your backyard
Warranty Sunbrella Sunbrella has a 5-year warranty
Maintenance & Care Tie Both require minimal maintenance
Eco-Friendly Sunbrella Sunbrella has more environmental certifications and eco-friendly characterisitcs
Price CushionGuard A patio set with CushionGuard is usually cheaper than the same set with Sunbrella
Comfort Tie Both fabrics are very comfortable


CushionGuard and Sunbrella are both great performance fabrics that should last several years in your backyard. 


We give the edge to Sunbrella as the overall winner because of its tried-and-true presence as a market leader in making high-quality, weather-resistance outdoor fabric that is backed by an industry-leading 5-year warranty.


If you are looking for a great weather-resistant fabric at a better price point, then CushionGuard should be your choice as Hampton Bay and Home Decorators Collection patio furniture at Home Depot (the only place you can buy patio furniture with CushionGuard) with CushionGuard is usually cheaper than the same item with Sunbrella fabric.









CushionGuard: Overview

CushionGuard is a Home Depot-exclusive outdoor fabric. You can find this outdoor fabric on Home Depot’s Hampton Bay and Home Decorators Collection outdoor furniture, umbrellas, and cushions. You can purchase items with CushionGuard fabric online or in Home Depot stores.


CushionGuard is made from 100% solution-dyed polyester, and Home Depot states that this material is “stain-resistant, fade-resistant, and spill-resistant.”


Where You Can Buy CushionGuard:


As stated above, you can only buy patio furniture and other items with CushionGuard fabric only through Home Depot on select items in its Hampton Bay and Home Decorators Collection collections.

Hampton Bay Hampshire Place Fire Pit Set

Hampshire Place 5-Piece Steel Wicker Patio Fire Pit Set with CushionGuard Stone Gray Cushions

Sunbrella: Overview

Sunbrella is one of the most popular outdoor fabrics used in various outdoor items: cushions, shades, and marine fabrics.


Sunbrella is made from solution-dyed acrylic. Solution-dyed means that the color of the fiber is dyed all the way through the fabric during the manufacturing process of the fabric, which results in a highly color steadfast fabric that is great for outdoor use.


Where You Can Buy Sunbrella:


You can find patio furniture with Sunbrella fabric at many retailers (like Amazon, Wayfair, and Home Depot) and many popular high-quality brands like:


RST Brands Portofino Sectional Set

Portofino® Comfort 6 Piece Sunbrella® Outdoor Sectional Seating - Laguna Blue

Key Similarities

Both Sunbrella and CushionGuard fabric offer protection against moisture, fading, and backyard wear and tear. These are key must-haves if you want high-quality outdoor fabric that will last several years in your backyard.

Key Differences

One of the main differences is the warranty: CushionGuard comes with a 3-year warranty, and Sunbrella comes with a 5-year warranty. Our view is that the warranty is indicative of how long you should expect the fabric to handle outdoor elements, which leads us to believe that Sunbrella’s moisture- and fade-resistance and overall durability will last longer than CushionGuard’s. 


Additionally, another key difference between CushionGuard and Sunbrella is that a set with CushionGuard is usually cheaper than the exact same patio furniture set with Sunbrella. So if price is a key factor for you, CushionGuard might be the right choice for you.

Characteristics Comparison


Winner: Slight edge to Sunbrella


Reason: Both of these materials offer water and stain resistance, but it is unclear if CushionGuard is engineered to be mold and mildew resistant like Sunbrella.

Home Depot states that CushionGuard fabric is stain and spill-resistant, which is needed if you expect your patio furniture to get wet at any point. What isn’t clear, though, is if the fabric is resistant to mold or mildew.


Sunbrella fabric is engineered to repel water and stains, and it is designed to be mold and mildew-resistant. Sunbrella specifically engineered this water and stain resistance throughout each fiber to help it endure outdoor elements for many years.

Sun & Heat

Winner: Tie


Reason: Both fabrics are solution-dyed, making them highly fade-resistant.

Sunbrella fabric is a solution-dyed acrylic that is treated with UV stabilizers throughout the manufacturing process of the fiber. Solution-dying is a process that makes the color part of the fabric, rather than a dye that is placed on top of the fiber. This solution-dying process makes the material highly resistant to fading from UV exposure and normal backyard wear and tear. 


CushionGuard is a solution-dyed polyester fabric. Like Sunbrella, solution-dying makes this fabric highly resistant to fading from UV exposure. We don’t know, however, if CushionGuard is made with additional UV stabilizers like Sunbrella.


Winner: Tie


Reason: Both CushionGuard and Sunbrella should last many years in your backyard

CushionGuard is designed to be a very durable fabric that should endure typical backyard wear and tear. You can typically expect this material to last for several years.


Sunbrella fabric is a very strong material that is designed to last many years. This material is designed to withstand the harsh elements of your backyard by being water, stain, fade, and abrasion-resistant.


Winner: Sunbrella


Reason: Sunbrella comes with a 5-year warranty, whereas CushionGuard has a 3-year warranty.

A great feature of Sunbrella fabric is that it carries a 5-year limited warranty, which is longer than warranties for most outdoor furniture and other items.


On the other hand, CushionGuard carries a 3-year warranty. Although Sunbrella has a longer warranty than CushionsGuard, the 3-year warranty for CushionGuard is fairly long, considering that the average fabric warranty is one year.


We note that you should check the warranties for each fabric to review in detail what these limited warranties cover.

Maintenance & Care

Winner: Tie


Reason: Both of these fabrics require minimal maintenance year-round.

Usually, all that is needed to clean CushionGuard or Sunbrella is mild soap and water to clean away any dirt or dust on the fabric. Refer to manufacturer instructions from CushionGuard and Sunbrella for how to clean harder to remove stains.


Winner: Sunbrella


Reason: Both of these fabrics produce little wastewater due to solution-dying processes, but Sunbrella states more environmental certifications and environmentally friendly programs.

Sunbrella fabric is certified to be manufactured without any harmful chemicals, and the solution-dying manufacturing process produces little wastewater. One drawback of Sunbrella is that solution-dyed acrylic is not directly recyclable. However, Sunbrella has a “Recycle My Sunbrella” program that allows end-users to send fabric that has reached the end of its useful life back to Sunbrella to find additional applications for the fabric, like automotive insulation and felt.


CushionGuard is a solution-dyed fabric, and solution-dying processes generally produce less wastewater than typical batch-dying processes for fabric.


Winner: CushionGuard


Reason: Outdoor items with CushionGurad fabric are usually cheaper than the same item that has Sunbrella fabric.

You can directly compare the fabric price difference on many Home Depot items with CushionGuard fabric or Sunbrella fabric, as the company offers customers a choice of fabric on many Hampton Bay and Home Decorators Collection items. 


We find that the price of a Hampton Bay or Home Decorators Collection patio furniture set with Sunbrella fabric is a few hundred dollars more than the exact same patio set with CushionGuard fabric. However, this difference will vary based on the size of the set and the types of items included in the patio furniture set.


You will typically find that Sunbrella fabric and patio furniture with Sunbrella fabric carries a higher price than other fabrics or outdoor furniture made with different fabrics. However, we find that the higher price is justified given the fabric’s high weather resistance and durability coupled with the industry-leading 5-year warranty.


Winner: Tie


Reason: Both of these fabrics are very comfortable cushion fabrics.

Despite all of the outdoor protection Sunbrella provides, this is a very soft and comfortable material that is an excellent choice for cushions where comfort is a must. 


The same can be said for CushionGuard, as we found both fabrics very comfortable from our hands-on experience.

Hi, I’m Ashley!

I started Live Your Best Backyard to share my hands-on experience and countless hours of research on all things backyard to help you find the best products, ideas, tips, and information for your backyard!

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