Should Outdoor Furniture Be Covered? Here’s What I Think

Those who are “outdoorsy” and adore being out in our gardens or relaxing on the patio tend to invest in outdoor furniture. A patio set is a must for entertaining or just taking some quiet time alone in the garden. When you spend money on this furniture, presumably you are keen to look after it well. Should you cover this outdoor furniture to protect it from the elements? Here’s what I think.

Unless one can store outdoor furniture elsewhere, you should keep it covered. You can buy weatherproof furniture covers, but you can cover the furniture with a tarp if you would like a cheaper option. Indoor storage would be the first prize but keeping the pieces covered is a good alternative.

Winter can have a damaging effect on your newly-purchased patio set and make it look old and grubby very soon if you don’t take care of it. Metals can rust, wood may split, wicker may unravel, and plastics will crack with no protection from the weather. Covering the furniture is a good idea, but you can also take other steps to protect your outdoor furniture.

Should Outdoor Furniture Be Covered?

Our outdoor furniture needs to be protected from inclement weather and the harsh summer heat. Here are some ways to keep your patio set looking good for years to come.

Move Outdoor Furniture To An Indoor Storage Area

The best option is to move your garden furniture to another indoor space. If you don’t have room inside your home, perhaps a garage or a shed will suffice. If your space is limited, try to stack it to maximize the storage area. Buying furniture with detachable legs will save space when stacking and storing in a compact space. 

Should Outdoor Furniture Be Covered? Here’s What I Think

If you have no storage space to keep your furniture indoors, it may be worth your while renting a storage unit for the winter.

Protect Your Outdoor Furniture With Individual Covers

With no indoor storage space for your patio set, the next best option is to purchase individual covers for each unit. They are readily available in various sizes and colors. Be sure to check that the covers are still in place now and then because the wind can cause them to slide off or expose certain parts to the weather. Take care of the covers and the furniture by brushing off snow, debris, and ice.

Cover Your Outdoor Furniture With Tarps

Individual covers for your patio furniture can be expensive, especially if it is a sizeable set. You can buy some tarps to put over them in harsh weather conditions as a cheaper alternative. Some people prefer to cover their furniture every evening, which will help to keep them looking new for longer.

Tarps often come with grommet holes, making it easy to secure the tarp to the furniture. You can thread twine, rope, or bungee cord through the grommet holes and cinch the tarp around the bottom to keep moisture out. Leave a small gap underneath to prevent mildew. Tarps come in a range of different sizes. You should choose heavy-duty plastic ones that are also waterproof. 

Cover The Frames Of Outdoor Furniture

If you live in a place where temperatures drop below freezing point, it is best to bring the cushions inside during the winter. The frames can be left on the patio covered with either a tarp or individual furniture covers.

If you can remove the covers from the cushions, this may be a good time to clean them according to the factory instructions. If not, you can simply spot clean the dirty areas. When they are completely dry, you can store them in boxes or plastic bags until the weather warms up and you start venturing out into the garden again. 

Other Ways To Protect Your Outdoor Furniture

Keeping your outdoor furniture covered will go a long way to maintain its good condition, but there are other ways to help preserve it. 

Should Outdoor Furniture Be Covered? Here’s What I Think

If at all possible, your outdoor relaxing area should be set up under an awning, a remodeled carport, or a patio that has a large overhang. The set will have less exposure to the elements, and being in the shade will prevent sun damage, and the set will last longer. If you enjoy sitting outdoors, it’s a good excuse to build a pergola over your deck or concrete porch!

You can also buy or build a deck box to store the cushions from the patio set when the furniture is not used. Covers for the deck boxes are also available, so they will not get damaged by the weather. 

When choosing your patio set, think ahead to the maintenance you will need to do. Choose weatherproof materials and items that you can easily clean if they develop mildew or algae. Removable cushions are easy to wash and a good choice.

When it comes to metal furniture, the powder-coated type can be given another coat of paint to spruce it up when necessary. Sometimes you can give the furniture a good scrub to clean it up.

Woven plastic rugs work very well in outdoor areas because they are waterproof, and you simply hose them down when they get dirty. At the same time, you are doing your environmental duty by recycling!

You can also buy UV protection sprays that act like sunscreen for upholstered outdoor furniture. Furniture dealers usually stock these sprays. They can provide instructions on how to apply them and how often they should be done.

If your area is very windy, it’s a good idea to either take your cushions inside when you’re not using the furniture or make sure that they are tied securely to the chairs and covered. Chairs can be anchored to the patio as well if necessary. 

If you have a wooden patio set, an excellent way to protect it is to seal it with a coat or two of polyurethane. It will give some protection from the sun, and at the same time, it will enhance the natural beauty of the wood. 


When you invest in outdoor furniture, and you want to keep it in mint condition, it is ideal if you can store it indoors when you’re not using it. But if you don’t have the space, covering the furniture is a must during the winter or other times when you aren’t using it. And even when it is being used regularly, covering it is a good idea, along with any other care and maintenance. You won’t regret it! 


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