Have you found a perfect outdoor furniture set with Sunbrella fabric? Are you on the fence about making the new furniture purchase because you are wondering if Sunbrella really worth it?
I understand what you are going through because we had to make the same decision when buying a new outdoor patio furniture set.
A lot of people recommend getting outdoor cushions made with Sunbrella because it is one of the best outdoor cushion fabrics. But it’s tough to know if the extra cost for Sunbrella cushions will pay off for you… Is Sunbrella fabric worth it??
So, let me help you make your decision by giving you some insights from our experience with Sunbrella fabric, a complete list of the pros and cons of this fabric, and a list of great outdoor furniture options that use Sunbrella.
Let’s get started!
My Take: Is Sunbrella Fabric Worth It?
We haven’t had to worry a minute about the Sunbrella fabric on our patio furniture holding up in our backyard. We have a large outdoor sectional with Sunbrella fabric that can seat about 6 people, and this piece of furniture has endured some years of heavy outdoor use without a problem!
Yes, we have had to do some spot-cleaning here and there for some stains. But other than that, the fabric has withstood some pretty harsh weather conditions through all four seasons for the past few years.
If you want peace of mind and high-quality outdoor furniture, Sunbrella should be one of your top choices!
✅ Biggest Advantage: High Weather Resistance and Durability
Sunbrella is one of the leading outdoor fabrics because it is extremely weather-resistant and highly durable. This fabric is designed to endure all outdoor elements, including sun, water, and backyard wear and tear. It is hard to find another outdoor fabric that can beat Sunbrella on its durability and weather resistance.
❌ Biggest Disadvantage: High Cost
As you may already know, you will need to pay extra money to get this great weather resistance and durability compared to other fabric options, like basic polyester fabric. But this extra cost is worth it for me because I know my outdoor furniture will last longer than if it had some other types of fabric.
👉 Other Fabric Options:
There are some other popular outdoor fabric options that you may be checking out, too. I have compared some of these options, like Olefin fabric, CushionGuard fabric, and Nuvella fabric, to Sunbrella. Check out how these options stack up!
📣 Need Waterproof Fabric?
Regular Sunbrella fabric is highly water resistant, but it’s not waterproof. If you want waterproof fabric, you need to get Sunbrella Rain fabric! Frontgate has tons of outdoor furniture with Sunbrella Rain fabric. Check out the Frontgate option in my list of great outdoor furniture options with Sunbrella fabric.
What is Sunbrella?
Sunbrella fabric is one of the leading performance fabrics for a wide range of outdoor uses. Manufactured by Glen Raven, Sunbrella has been a well-known brand and a leading fabric for outdoor and indoor furniture, patio umbrellas, marine uses (boat covers, boat cushions, etc.), shade structures, and window treatments since the 1960s. Over this time, Sunbrella has become one of the most popular outdoor fabrics known for high weather resistance and durability.
Sunbrella is a solution-dyed acrylic fabric. Solution-dyed means that the color of the acrylic fibers is dyed all the way through the fibers rather than being applied on top of the fiber. This results in a highly color steadfast fabric that is great for outdoor use.
Additionally, Sunbrella engineers its fabric to withstand the many outdoor elements like moisture, sun, and regular outdoor wear and tear. The company stands behind the durability of this fabric by offering a 5-year warranty on its fabric, which is an industry-leading warranty length.
The Pros and Cons of Sunbrella Fabric for Outdoor Furniture
To help you make the right choice for your backyard, here are all the pros and cons of Sunbrella fabric that you need to know.
Here are the 13 pros of Sunbrella fabric:
#1: Water and Moisture Resistant
One of the many advantages of Sunbrella fabric is that it is very water resistant. Sunbrella specifically engineered this water resistance throughout each fiber to help it endure outdoor elements for many years.
From our hands-on experience, we found that light rain and minimal water simply pooled and easily ran off the fabric. Any set-in water from a wet bathing suit quickly dried up.
So, if you are looking for a fabric that can resist a fair amount of water, this fabric should be at the top of your list.
#2: Mold and Mildew Resistant
Sunbrella fabrics have inherent mold and mildew resistance. If kept clean, they won’t promote mildew growth.
While the fabric itself won’t promote mold or mildew growth, these fungi can grow on dirt or other foreign substances left on the fabric. It’s, therefore, essential to keep Sunbrella fabric clean to maintain its resistance.
#3: Stain Resistant
Not only is the fabric designed to resist water, but it is also designed to resist stains. Stain resistance is a must-have for outdoors, as any fabric in your backyard will experience heavy wear and tear that will result in some type of stain.
From our experience, we have been able to quickly wipe off most stains, and any ‘set-in’ stains have been fairly easy to remove following Sunbrella’s care instructions.
#4: UV and Fade Resistant
Because this fabric is solution-dyed and treated with UV inhibitors throughout the manufacturing process of the fiber (as opposed to a dye being placed on the fiber after the manufacturing process), this material is highly resistant to fading from UV exposure and normal backyard wear-and-tear.
From our hands-on experience, we have not experienced any fading on Sunbrella cushions, and some are in direct sunlight for several hours a day.
#5: Doesn’t Get Too Hot
Another great thing about this fabric is that it won’t ever get overly hot when it is in direct sunlight. So, not only will UV rays not affect the color of this fabric, this fabric should keep a comfortable temperature during hot weather.
#6: Very Durable
Sunbrella fabric is a very strong material that is designed to last for the long run in your outdoor space. These synthetic fibers are specially designed to withstand the harsh elements of your backyard by being water, stain, fade, and abrasion-resistant.
From our hands-on experience with Sunbrella, we haven’t seen any rips or tears on our outdoor cushions despite the heavy use they have received. This is definitely a very durable fabric.
#7: 5-Year Warranty
Sunbrella stands behind the weather-resistance that is engineered in its fabric and the high durability of the fabric by providing an excellent warranty.
Regardless of where you buy the fabric, Sunbrella carries a 5-year limited warranty, which is longer than warranties for most outdoor furniture and other items.
#8: Easy Maintenance
Usually, all that is needed to clean Sunbrella material is mild soap and water to clean away any dirt or dust on the fabric. Refer to instructions from Sunbrella for harder-to-remove stains, especially if you would like to clean the fabric in the washing machine.
From our hands-on experience, we have easily cleaned any stains we have seen on our Sunbrella fabric. Additionally, we have found that it doesn’t seem to get or feel as dirty as other outdoor fabrics that we have used.
#9: Bleach Cleanable
For stubborn stains, Sunbrella fabrics can be safely cleaned with a bleach solution without damaging the color or fabric. This is a great characteristic in case mold or mildew does appear on your outdoor cushions.
#10: Sustainably Made and It is Recyclable
Sunbrella fabric is manufactured without any harmful chemicals, and the 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.
You might think a fabric offering all of this outdoor protection can’t be comfortable or soft. However, many people find Sunbrella to be plenty soft and comfortable.
We have used Sunbrella extensively, and we have always found that it is very comfortable.
#12: Wide Availability
Due to this high performance, Sunbrella is used by many outdoor furniture brands as the go-to choice to make high-quality furniture.
You can find Sunbrella fabrics, cushions, or furniture with Sunbrella fabric from many retailers and manufacturers. These retailers and manufacturers include Amazon, Wayfair, Frontgate, Home Depot, Lowes, Neighbor, SunHaven, Yardbird, and 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 Sunbrella to meet your needs.
👉 Check out my list of some of the best outdoor furniture with Sunbrella below!
#13: Wide Variety
Sunbrella comes in a wide range of styles, patterns, and colors to easily meet your design needs. If you are shopping for furniture with Sunbrella fabric, the main limiting factor that you may face is the Sunbrella fabric options provided by the patio furniture manufacturer. Some manufacturers may only provide one or two color options, whereas other manufacturers can provide a wide range of colors and patterns with their outdoor furniture.
Here are the 3 cons of Sunbrella fabric:
#1: High Price
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, I believe that the higher price is justified given the fabric’s high weather resistance and durability coupled with the industry-leading 5-year warranty.
#2: Texture and Stiffness
Some people find certain Sunbrella fabrics a bit rougher to the touch compared to indoor fabrics, though this can vary based on the specific type or style. Also, some people find the fabric a bit stiff initially, although it may soften over time and with use.
When haven’t had these issues or complaints using our patio furniture with Sunbrella fabric.
#3: Not Entirely Waterproof
While water-resistant, Sunbrella fabrics are not entirely waterproof. In heavy rain conditions, water can seep through. We wrote an in-depth post about how well Sunbrella handles rain that you need to read.
👉 Are you looking for waterproof outdoor fabric? Then you need to look for outdoor furniture with Sunbrella Rain fabric! Check out the Frontgate furniture option below for some great furniture with Sunbrella Rain fabric
8 Great Outdoor Furniture Options with Sunbrella Fabric
Not sure if the patio furniture you found with Sunbrella fabric is the perfect choice for you? Or are you still on the hunt for the right buy for your outdoor space? Then check out these 8 great options (in no particular order)!
Neighbor is one of our favorite outdoor furniture brands because they make great, high-quality outdoor furniture. All of Neighbor’s outdoor furniture, like this sofa from their Haven collection, is made with Sunbrella fabric.
One thing you will really love about Neighbor is that their cushion material is quick-dry foam. Unlike other foam materials that can absorb a lot of water, this foam will have water pass through quickly, allowing it to dry much faster than other foam types.
- High-quality teak or aluminum frame options
- Sunbrella fabric
- Ever-Dri foam cushions
- Lots of furniture options to make a complete set
- Many color and style options
- 3-10 year warranties and 30-day return period
- Shipping charge
Terra Outdoor has loads of great outdoor furniture, and its Belvedere collection has a lot of great options to pick from if you are in the market for Sunbrella patio furniture. One thing you will really like is that the Belvedere collection has white and black frame color options on the aluminum frames and two different color options on the teak frames. This allows you to match the frames with the perfect Sunbrella fabric color.
- All-weather wicker on an aluminum frame
- Waterproof Sunbrella Rain fabric with tons of color options!
- Very comfortable cushions
- 10-year frame warranty
- 90-day return period
- Sunbrella Rain is more expensive than regular Sunbrella fabric
Do you want an outdoor fabric that is completely waterproof so that you don’t have to worry at all about your cushions getting wet? Well, then you need to check out the Palermo collection from Frontgate, which has Sunbrella Rain fabric that is waterproof. If you don’t love this option, plenty of other Frontgate collections have Sunbrella Rain fabric as an option, too.
Looking for deep-seating outdoor furniture? Look no further than this high-quality Wyatt collection from Arhaus. You will be hard-pressed to find a comfier outdoor seating collection with Sunbrella fabric.
A fire pit table is nearly a must-have item for any backyard, and this Milea fire pit set with Sunbrella cushions from RST Brands is a perfect way to add a complete fire pit table setup to your outdoor space. A great feature of this seat is that the two chairs have rocking and swivel capability.
If you need a great quality patio furniture set with Sunbrella that won’t bust your budget, then you need to check out Ohana’s wicker outdoor furniture. You can find some large seating sets (and small ones, too) that are much more reasonably priced than some other options on the market.
This Malmo collection conversation set from AKOYA has everything you could want in a high-quality patio furniture set: great frame materials, Sunbrella fabric, quick-dry cushions, and no assembly needed. Pick from five different fabric color options to get a set to fit your backyard style perfectly.
I mentioned early on in this post that Sunbrella can be used for more than cushion fabric. So, here is an outdoor umbrella from PURPLE LEAF that is made with Sunbrella fabric! This is a great, high-quality cantilever umbrella that should last a long time in your outdoor space.
Sunbrella is definitely worth the higher cost that usually comes with furniture with this fabric. Sunbrella has all the right weather-resistant characteristics, and the fabric should last a long time in your outdoor living space. Plus, the company stands behind its highly engineered fabric with a 5-year warranty, something that is hard to find for other outdoor fabrics.
If your budget can afford it, I definitely recommend investing in patio furniture with Sunbrella. We have Sunbrella fabric on our outdoor sectional, and we have been very impressed with how well it has performed and how great it looks to this day.
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