Guide to What to Look for in Cushions

In this day and age, cushions are exceptionally important for us to get through with day-to-day activities. Cushions determine a good night’s sleep, cushions make sure that our desk chair is comfy, cushions make sure our car rides to work are at least relaxing. We cannot live without cushions. If you find yourself needing a certain type of cushion, in this article we go over what you need to look for, be aware of, and in what things you can save up on.

Types of Cushions

When it comes to buying cushions, there are many styles and even more options that can be found on any review website. A cushion can be applied to almost any surface from cars seats, to sofas, to beds. In any case, the market is full of styles and shapes of cushions. The standard shapes of cushions you can generally find on the market are as follows:

- Box-shaped

- Triangular

- Round

- Rectangular

- Tubular

Each shape also fits well with different styles and different functions. For example, while box-shaped cushions are great for seating and have wide applications from the house to the car, tubular shaped cushions are more applicable for lumbar support like what is found for desk chairs or even special bed pillows that are used for sitting upright in bed. In addition, tubular-shaped cushions are best for sleeping and often fall under the category of sleeping pillows or even body pillows. Depending on what function you are looking for, each shape corresponds to a better.

Cushion Fillers

When it comes to cushion fillers, the most important aspects are divided into 3 categories: longevity, quality, and firmness. This means that, for example, if you are looking at shopping reviews for a cushion(s) that will endure a long time and not lose shape easily, more expensive fillers would be better. On the other hand, if you are looking for something cheaper and low-cost, you would forgo the more durable aspects in favor of cheaper fillers. Here we highlight the most common options in cushion fillers that can be found.


Foam is a large group that houses different ranges of material. The most common types of foam are polyurethane, which is found in many, many kinds of materials and memory foam, which is on the higher end of filler material.

High-density polyurethane is a very durable and cost effective material. You can find this material in different levels of firmness as well as be comfortable that it will endure a long time.

Memory foam is famous for its elastic properties and soft-to-the-touch feel. You will often find memory foam used in mattresses and shoes, in addition to cushion fillings. This type of foam is durable, long lasting, soft, and quiet on the higher end of fillers. One downside to memory foam, aside from the cost, is that it is not waterproof which means that it is a no go for families with children or in places that tend to get wet.

Hollow Fiber

A very fluffy and comfortable filling, hollow fiber is made of coton threading that incorporates air for adjustable sizing of the cushions. The downside to this filler is its lack of durability and eventual deformation due to repeated use. That makes this filler great for cushions that are seldom used or for those looking for low-cost cushion fillers.


The most expensive option as well as the most famous type of filling, feathers/down are made from geese feathers and often found in comforters or bed pillows. These fillers are not very firm, while on the other hand they are very soft. This filler tends to get lumpy after time, which is why a down/foam blend is often a great option for those looking for a durable and more firm filling. If you are looking to splurge, and get the most fancy filler and/or cushion, down cushions are the top choice.


Most commonly used in sofas and seating, polyester is the more easily accessible (both in terms of cost and availability) filler found in cushions. The filling is often-times a blend of synthetic fabrics and can provide various levels of firmness. Being the most budget friendly option on the list, you should not expect too much durability or comfort from polyester.

Cushion Pads or Inserts

When it comes to cushion pads, the difference between a perfect completely filled cushion and a flat and worn out cushion is the cushion pad or insert. For perspective, the sizes range from 1-2” for cushion pads and 3-8” of thickness for regular cushions. Cushion pads are best for flat surfaces and are great for use in a bench cushion or in outside lawn chair cushions. They provide firmness and filling that adds more appearance to a cushion being used decoratively or even for a cushion that is used frequently like a cuddle cushion. The best part is that the pads are machine washable and can be reused as often as they are cared for.

Pro tip:

The pads tend to be made of foam and by recommendation should be obtained at a larger size than the cushion cover to make sure the cushion itself is full.

Cushion Covers

The most appealing aspect about cushions, outside of the comfort, is the ability to cover them in whichever style, appearance, and material you would like. You can search online endlessly for possible cushion covers of your choice for hours and not find the right one. Worse yet, you can be searching without knowing what are the best choices to make for the places your cushions will go. Here is a review on the types of covers and where best they serve for any cushion you have.

Cotton or linen

Being the most commonly used fabrics for cushion covers, these fabrics are both durable and washable, which is a big plus. The linen fabrics have a tendency to crease or wrinkle, which is a downside, and means that the linen covers should be used on cushions that are less frequently used. If you are looking for something for outside use, these covers are perfect. As long as they dont get direct sunlight, they will be perfect for summer furniture like a garden bench cushion.

Silk or Wool

If you are looking for decorative covers, these are the best choice. They are both luxurious and, with appropriate care, have a lifetime durability. These fabrics are great for adding a fancy feel to your home, but do require special care, alongside the high costs.


A long-term choice in cushion covers, leather is a material that takes time to become user-friendly and has special care requirements. On the other hand, the durability of leather is exceptional and is often seen on clothing, interior design, and sofas themselves. If you are in need of a cushion cover that will endure much use on a sofa, favorite chair, or even as a lap tray with a cushion leather is an optimal choice.


Last but not least, these synthetic fibers are commonly used in more cost effective and budget friendly cushion covers. You can find these covers in a wide array of color choices resulting in an orange cushion to a rainbow cushion. Oftentimes they are blended with the other fibers mentioned before and produce great long-lasting cushion covers. If you are looking for something on the more budget friendly side with a great durability, that is also machine washable and can endure heavy wear, then synthetic blended cushion covers are your best choice.

With that this article wraps up on all the nitty gritty on cushions. Make sure to come back as many times as you may need to see what you can review before you make your next purchase. There are also many good ideas and examples of cushions out there to check out before making your choice. Good luck shopping! May you find the right cushion for you!

By Mo