What is Olefin Outdoor Fabric? 12 Pros and Cons

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Are you considering purchasing patio furniture that has cushions with Olefin fabric? But what is Olefin fabric? Is it good patio furniture fabric?


If you want to figure out if this is the right fabric for your next outdoor furniture purchase, read our 12 pros and cons of Olefin below!


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Olefin is one of the best weather-resistant and highly durable outdoor fabrics that you can find on the market for all kinds of outdoor furniture. Olefin is used in many high-quality outdoor furniture pieces in many patio furniture brands and retailers. If you are looking for an outdoor fabric that can last for many years in your backyard, Olefin is a great option for you to consider.

Overview: What is Olefin?

Olefin is the name of the fabric typically made from synthetic polyolefin materials like propylene and ethylene, with propylene being the primary material used to make Olefin fibers. In many cases, you will find that polypropylene is one of the primary synthetic materials used to make Olefin fabric.


The key point is that Olefin is not a brand name for a fabric like SunbrellaCushionGuardDuraSeason, or other name-branded performance outdoor fabrics. Instead, this is the trade name for the material, and several manufacturers make Olefin.


Regardless, this material is a prevalent option for outdoor use in many furniture items like patio sofas, sectionals, chairs, or other items with cushions and other outdoor items like patio umbrellas.


Olefin fabric is an excellent option if you want a highly weather-resistant and durable outdoor fabric.

Our Personal Experience with Olefin Fabric

We have used outdoor furniture with Olefin for many years and have always been impressed with the performance and durability of the fabric. The fabric is easy to maintain and can last for several years without significant fading or wear and tear.


We live in an area of the country that experiences some extreme temperatures, so we have seen Olefin be put to the test. The fabric has always held up well and continues to look great year after year.

Some Olefin Fabric Options on Amazon

Grand Patio Conversation Set

Image of Grand Patio Outdoor Furniture conversation set

SUNSITT Conversation Set

Image of SUNSITT Conversation Set

Harlie & Stone Bistro Set

Image of Harlie and Stone Bistro Set

12 Pros and Cons of Olefin Fabric

Below are our 12 pros and cons of Olefin fabric for outdoor furniture

#1: PROOlefin fibers are highly water-resistant

Olefin has a high water resistance because it is made from synthetic fabric. Any water that comes in contact with the fabric will pool on the fabric and runoff. As a result, this material is also mold and mildew resistant.


From our hands-on experience, we found that light water and rain easily run off the fabric. Any set-in water from a wet bathing suit quickly dried.


Common Question: Is Olefin fabric waterproof?


Answer: Although Olefin is highly water-resistant, it is not waterproof. This means that if you leave your patio furniture outside during a rainstorm, the fabric will become wet, and the water will penetrate through the fabric. But, the fabric will repel light amounts of water.


So, if you are looking for a completely waterproof fabric for your patio furniture, Olefin is not the right option for you.

#2: PROOlefin fabric is stain-resistant

Olefin fabrics are also highly stain resistant because the synthetic fibers repel water very well. This means that you can quickly wipe up any spills on your patio furniture without worrying about staining. Any dirt or debris will sit on the surface of the fabric and can be easily removed with a soft brush or towel.


So, if you are looking for outdoor cushions with high stain resistance, then you should consider cushions covered with Olefin.

#3: PROOlefin is very fade-resistant

Olefin is a solution-dyed material. The fabric’s color is introduced at the beginning of the manufacturing process, and it is dyed throughout the fabric – not dyed on top of the fabric. Therefore, the color is part of the actual fabric, which causes the fabric to be very colorfast and resistant to fading from exposure to UV light.


From our hands-on experience, we have not experienced any fading on cushions or other fabric made with Olefin after several months of use in direct sunlight.

#4: CONOlefin fibers are sensitive to extreme heat

One downside is that this material can be very sensitive to extreme heat, so caution should be taken when cleaning this material or using this in very hot climates (you will need to refer to manufacturer instructions for additional information).


For example, if you accidentally leave your Olefin patio cushions in the direct, extreme hot sun for an extended period, the fabric can become damaged.

#5: PROOlefin materials are very durable

Olefin is a very durable fabric that is abrasion-resistant and should endure typical backyard wear and tear. You can typically expect this material to last for several years.


From our hands-on experience with Olefin, we have not experienced any signs of wear and tear on cushions made from this fabric after a few years of use.

#6: PROOlefin fabric is very low maintenance

A great aspect of Olefin fiber is that all that is typically needed to clean this fabric is mild soap and water to clean away any dirt or dust. Thus, you will not need to use any harsh chemicals or cleaners on this fabric.


If you do notice any tough stains, like oil-based stains, refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines on how to remove the specific type of stain you are dealing with.


From our hands-on experience, we have been able to easily clean any dirt or stains that we have noticed on Olefin fabric.

#7: CONThe warranty on Olefin fabric can vary by manufacturer

The warranty of the Olefin fabric depends on the manufacturer that produced the fabric. For some, this can be a 1-year limited warranty. For others, this may be a 5-year limited warranty.


A long warranty is important because it will protect you against any manufacturing defects that could occur with the fabric.


It is essential to check with the manufacturer of your patio furniture to see what type of warranty is offered on the Olefin fabric before making your purchase.


One company that offers a 5-year warranty on Olefin fabric on patio furniture is Outer. See our review of Outer outdoor furniture for more on this company. 

#8: PROOlefin fibers are very eco-friendly

One constant across all manufacturers that make Olefin is that there is very little waste produced during the production of Olefin. Olefin was created by finding the use of propylene, which was once burned off during oil production. Additionally, Olefin fabric can be recycled multiple times to reproduce additional Olefin fabric, thus creating a low carbon footprint.


So, if you are looking for an environmentally-friendly outdoor fabric, Olefin is one of the best choices compared to other fabrics like polyester.

#9: PROOlefin fabric is usually very reasonably priced

What may surprise many is that Olefin offers many great weather-resistant and durable characteristics at a reasonable price compared to other name-brand outdoor fabrics. This is especially true compared to Sunbrella, which usually costs more than comparable Olefin fabric options.


So, if you are looking for high-quality patio furniture at a reasonable price, start your search by looking for products featuring Olefin fabric.

#10: PROOlefin fabrics are very comfortable

We have always been impressed with how comfortable Olefin is whenever we have used patio furniture with this type of fabric. You can find many customer reviews of patio furniture with Olefin fabric with customers stating how pleased they are with the softness and comfort of the fabric.

#11: PROYou can find patio furniture with Olefin fabric at many retailers

You can find Olefin fabrics, cushions, or furniture with Olefin fabric from many retailers and manufacturers. These retailers and manufacturers include Amazon, Wayfair, Frontgate, Home Depot, Lowes, SunHaven, Outer, and many, many more. So if you are looking for a loveseat, sectional, chair, ottoman, or another furniture piece in a certain style (wicker, metal, wood, etc.), you can easily find a furniture option with Olefin to meet your needs.  


If you are interested in high-quality outdoor furniture with Olefin fabric, check out our reviews on Outer and SunHaven.

#12: PROYou will find Olefin fabrics available in many styles and colors

One of the great aspects of Olefin fabric is that it comes in a wide range of styles, patterns, and colors to easily meet your design needs.


However, since different manufacturers produce Olefin material, you will be limited to the patterns and styles of fabric offered by the manufacturer. In some cases, you may only be able to choose from a limited amount of colors of fabric for a certain piece of patio furniture.

Final Thoughts: Is Olefin fabric worth it?

Olefin is an absolutely fantastic option for your patio furniture or any other outdoor use. This is one of the most weather-resistant and durable outdoor fabrics that you can find on the market today. So if you are looking for high-quality outdoor furniture, you should have peace of mind that you are getting a great piece of furniture if it uses Olefin fabric.


As stated throughout this article, we have always been impressed with the durability, performance, look, and feel of Olefin fabric. And it has always been one of our go-to recommendations when helping others shop for excellent patio furniture.

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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