The Outer sofa was the outdoor patio furniture on my dream list last spring. It’s been a full year since we plopped this pretty sofa down on our patio- so this is our official 1 year Outer Furniture Review.
The Outer sat on our uncovered patio, exposed (except for its own shell) to all the outdoor elements for 4 full NC seasons.
For premium outdoor furniture with a high price tag, is it worth it? How is it holding up?
My Outer Patio Furniture Review After Using It For a Year
This post is NOT sponsored or written on behalf of Outer. They don’t even know I’m writing this! I am reviewing the Outer as a consumer / a mom of 4 kids and a large dog, who was annoyed at how quickly our teak outdoor furniture from World Market deteriorated. I partnered with Outer when we originally gave our patio a makeover; that partnership ended. However my code (CMSOUTER) still works for a 25% discount, off anything! You can see our patio makeover from drab to fab here.
The all weather wicker is still just as STRONG 1 year later. No peeling or fading or coming apart. The aluminum frame is impressive. The cushions are touted as waterproof and stain – and I can confirm after leaving them out in the rain, sun, and spilling more than one glass of wine, that they all that indeed.
There is one place that changed over the past year. The color of the underside of the shells – the back of the shell that touches your cushion when it’s covered – turned yellowish. We should have tucked them behind the actual cushion, but instead we just let the shell fall over the back of the sofa. I would guess the sun discolored it. I recommend taking the time to tuck the shell behind the cushion if your Outer sits in the sun! Maybe Outer will fix this in the future.
We have the 5 piece in pacific fog gray on a patio that has no roof or protection. If I were putting it up for sale, I would describe the sofa today as “like brand new”.
Outer Patio Furniture Review: How Often Do I Pull The Shell Over?
What makes this couch different is the shell that is attached behind the cushions. You pull it over when it’s not in use just like this:
The shell protects it from normal rain and debris. When we first got our Outer outdoor furniture we left the cushions exposed at all times for a good month, only pulling the shell over when it rained. I didn’t know better! But using the shell daily will protect it from dew and dirt build up too.
I discuss below what we do during consecutive days of heavy rain.
Now that we have a better grasp of how the shell works, we typically unroll the shell to cover the Outer sofa most evenings, and uncover it in the mornings if we’re going to be home or it’s a nice day out. This takes a minute and a half, start to finish.
Do we forget to unroll the shell and leave it exposed? Yes, plenty, especially if we’re entertaining late into the night or multiple days in a row. If the shell wasn’t pulled but it’s a dry night, the cushions are damp with dew in the morning. They dry out after some sunlight and are quickly ready to be used again!
We’ve left it in the rain with no shell and the entire Outer is soaked. I don’t recommend this as a habit – but it’s no biggie if it gets rained on now and then!
As a habit though, if your patio is uncovered, it’s best to pull the shell over your Outer sofa, even on nights it doesn’t rain.
The cushions are waterproof, so after a big soak with no shell they are dried out after a day of direct sunshine.
Doesn’t Water Come In The Sides of the Outer Sofa Shell?
I always get this question. During particularly large or heavy rain storms after you roll off the shell, the sides of the cushion can still be slightly damp. The cushions are made of waterproof, quick dry material so this is not a big deal.
Outer recommends during bigger rain storms (here on the east coast we get hurricanes!) to take your cushions in or put their big cover they sell separately on top. (Think: tropical storms, sideways rain, and long, off season times). I don’t own a large cover so I never did that! But sure, I probably should buy one. However… after 1 winter it looks great so maybe it’s not necessary in NC.
The Outer sofa has no mildew after a full year. Thats the beauty of buying premium furniture like this!
The Outer Sofa Cushions
We eat on our Outer sofa – our kids roast S’mores here a lot. We love a good summer night with drinks flowing- so naturally red wine has spilled on it more than once. We haven’t left any spills sit long though, and they have wiped right off. ALL OFF! No stains.
But, amazingly enough, you can actually zip the cushions off and wash them in the washing machine! They wash with their shell attached I haven’t done this yet, but it’s comforting to know when I’m watching my 7 year old bit into a chocolate s’more!
You can pick up the cushions together in their shell like this:
Is The Outer Sofa Comfortable Though?
The cushions are thick and comfortable to sit on, from the memory foam inside.
But, the actual texture of the cushion is rougher than an indoor cushion. It feels durable and thick, but not necessarily soft to the touch. The sections clip together securely so they don’t ever come apart.
Outer Furniture Review Pros:
- Longer lasting than average outdoor patio furniture pieces
- No worries about the weather if your patio doesn’t have a roof
- Shell takes 1 minute to put on/off
- Stain resistant. Spills wipe right up
- When we forget to roll on the shell it’s ok – even if it rains – bc cushions are waterproof
- Cushions can be zipped off and washed in washing machine (with the shell) if they get stained
- Memory foam is under the wrapped waterproof material, making it very comfortable
- If you live in a rainy/snow climate you have the option to buy a large cover for particularly bad weather or offseason!
- You can mix and match pieces if we wanted to in the future
- Wicker is thick and strong, with 5 year warranty
- Frame has 10 year warranty
- Outer makes chairs with arms now!
- Easy to assemble. Each box came with its own tool. Took us about an hour for 5 pieces.
- Can quickly pick up the cushions to transport them in the off season if you want. (There is a handle on top of the shell, which uses velcro to attach the top and bottom cushions together)
Outer Patio Furniture Review Cons:
- The price of the Live Outer is high, especially compared to “fast furniture” that is affordable. (This is considered premium outdoor furniture and should last longer)
- You must be okay with the way the cushions look with the shell on.
- The underside of the shell will change color if you let it fall over the back of your sofa, instead of tucking it behind the cushion properly. (Learned that lesson the hard way, don’t do it!)
When we had a partnership together Outer gave me a 25% off discount code that still currently works, CMSOUTER. This is our 5 piece sectional we have, and these are the chairs that have arms. You can see everything including their new products on the Outer website here.
I hope this helps!
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