Finding the Perfect Fit: How to Measure Patio Furniture for Cushions

Finding the Perfect Fit: How to Measure Patio Furniture for Cushions

Whether you’ve just purchased patio furniture or you want your pieces to look like new again, new cushions can add color and comfort to your outdoor living space. But it’s not always easy to find the perfect fit, especially if your furniture has a unique shape and size. With that being said, you’re likely tired of cookie-cutter cushions that don’t fit your chairs or benches the way you want them to.

The good news is that it’s easier to measure patio furniture for cushions than you might think. In these videos, we’ve broken down the steps you can take to measure your pieces to make sure your cushions fit. We’ll go through:

  • How (and why) you should measure your chair,
  • Measuring the chair’s total width,
  • Measuring the back height, and
  • Measuring seat depth.


How (and Why) You Should Measure Your Chair

Before you measure your bench or chair, you’ll, of course, need measuring tape! We recommend a firm tape (like carpenter’s tape) instead of a flexible (or tailor’s) measuring tape so you’ll get more accurate results for the height, depth, and width.

Now, it’s important to measure your patio furniture—not just your old cushions. This is because, over time, a cushion can lose some of its filling (or height), and the fabric might stretch. So if you measure an old, worn-out cushion, this may give you a size that won’t fit your furniture. In short, measuring your patio pieces (in addition to your cushions) s your best course of action.

If you're ready to get started, check out this video featuring Toni, one of our patio cushion and decor experts. You can also read on for a more detailed description of measuring each dimension.


Measuring Total Width

Once you have your measuring tape in hand, it’s time to get started! First, you’ll measure the width of your piece, which is the left-to-right span across the seat. Do this at the front edge of the seat, between the arms (or across the middle), and at the rear (where the seat meets the back). 

These three measurements will allow you to determine which part of the seat is the widest. Your measurement of the widest part of the seat is what you’ll want to record as the “width.” Don’t forget to round up your result to the nearest half-inch.


Measuring Back Height

Next, ask yourself if you want a separate back cushion for your furniture. If so, you’ll want to measure the height of your chair from its tallest point to the seat. Round up your result to the nearest half-inch. 

If you only want a seat cushion, you can skip this step and move on to measuring the seat’s depth. As an aside, you can always place a fun throw pillow or two onto your chair or bench in place of a back cushion!


Measuring Seat Depth

Finally, you’ll measure the seat’s depth from the center of the front edge to the center of the rear, where the seat meets the back. Round up your result to the nearest half-inch.

Keep in mind that if you’re interested in ordering a separate back cushion, you’ll have to account for one cushion sitting on top of another. Make sure to subtract the thickness of your desired seat cushion from the height of the chair back. This will allow you to prevent your back cushion from sticking up over the back of your chair. So, for example, if your desired seat cushion is 4 inches thick, and the back height is 18 inches, you’d take 18-4 = 14 inches. You’d then know to record 14 inches (NOT 18) as the desired height for your back cushion. Again, you can skip this if you don’t want a back cushion for your patio furniture.

Please note that if you’d prefer a one-piece cushion instead—with the back attached to the seat—you will NOT have to subtract the seat’s thickness. This is because the back cushion won’t sit on top of the seat cushion. Toni explains how to measure these one-piece, high-back cushions in this video.  

And there you have it: With these tips for measuring patio furniture, you’ll be able to find cushions that are the perfect fit! But if your piece is a unique shape or size, custom cushions may be a great option. You can find these through Summer Living Direct, a patio cushion and accessory manufacturer that makes all cushions to order. We have over 400 types of fabric and a wide variety of colors and sizes to choose from, so you can make sure your patio cushions fit just right and look amazing!


If you’re ready to spice up your patio with cushions that fit perfectly, check out our made-to-order options at You can also find umbrellas, curtains, outdoor art, and other accessories to complement your new cushions.


Summer Living Direct—a branch of Jordan Manufacturing—has helped Indiana homeowners, decorators, and DIY-ers find quality custom cushions, curtains, outdoor art, and umbrellas for their patios since 1994. To learn more, please visit our website or follow us on Facebook.