Review of Our Outer Sofa After 1 Year Outside

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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?

outer sectional furniture on a big patio

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; our partnership ended. We no longer work together in any capacity, I have no plans to work with them in the future, and I don’t have affiliate links. This review is truly unbiased in every way!

See our original post sharing our patio makeover from drab to fab here.

a patio with a live outer sectional sofa on it

We have the 5 piece in pacific fog gray with arms, sitting on our patio that has no overhead protection. If I were putting it up for sale, I would describe the sofa today as “like brand new”. 

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 food, that they all that indeed. They only have light dirt here and there. I haven’t taken the time to wash them in the washing machine.

There is one place that changed permanently 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. The sun discolored it. I recommend taking the time to tuck the shell behind the cushion if your Outer sits in the sun!

Outer Patio Furniture Review: How Often Do I Pull The Shell Over?

What makes this couch different is the shell attached behind the cushions. You just pull it over when it’s not in use:

pulling the shell over the outer sofa

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.

the Outer sofa with the attached shell on
patio makeover for the outer furniture review

blue pot | rose from Lowes | coffee table | umbrella

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 the weather is nice. This takes about a minute and a half, start to finish. 

Do we forget to unroll the shell and leave it exposed? Yes all the time, especially if we’re entertaining late into the night or multiple days in a row, or just busy. This means the cushions are damp with dew in the morning. They dry out after some sunlight and are can 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 fine 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.

sofa on a patio for an outer furniture review

Sources: coffee table | blue and white pot

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, yes, the sides of the cushion are damp around the edges. The cushions are made of waterproof, quick dry material.

Outer recommends during bigger rain storms to take your cushions in, or put their big all weather cover (sold separately). The cover would be for big rainstorms, and long, off season times you aren’t touching it.

I don’t own a large cover so I never did that! Taking the cushions inside somewhere just isn’t conducive to my busy, working mom-of-4 lifestyle so I found that unrealistic! Ours gets covered up with the shell during rainstorms and that’s all I can do.

Honestly, for the price, they should throw the big cover in with the sofa if they are recommending we use it! But on the other hand, mine has been just fine so far without it.

Does My Outer Have Mildew?

I don’t know if my sofa would have mildew and be an issue if we didn’t use it as often as we do. I’m not sure what this furniture would look like with the shell over it for months at a time without taking the shell off through out a rainy winter. Would moisture get trapped inside?

We use the Outer just enough even during the freezing cold months, taking the shell off here and there, so it naturally gets airflow under the shell. Our Outer sofa cushions have no mildew after a full year. Absolutely none! Maybe using our outdoor fire pit and eating s’mores out here in the winter is actually helping our Outer look good longer? Seriously!

a bluestone patio makeover with flowers and an outer furniture review

The Outer Sofa Cushions

We eat on our Outer sofa – our kids roast S’mores here with our portable firepit a lot and in the summer I send my kids out here with popsicles, juice, etc. We haven’t left spills sit long though, and chocolate has wiped right off with scrubbing. No stains. Some light dirt from the outside, yes!

But, amazingly enough, you can zip the cushions off and wash them in the washing machine. They wash with their shell attached. 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:

woman picking up an outer sofa cushion for an outer furniture review

Is The Outer Sofa Comfortable Though? Heavy to Move?

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 soft to the touch. The sections clip together securely so the seats don’t come apart.

The clips holding the seats make it bulky and annoying if you need to move the couch, because you have take the clips apart first to move it even a little bit. The clips are underneath the seats.

The Outer seats are heavy. I can pick them up and move them by myself, but it’s not easy!

a total patio makeover with a large stone and furniture

Outer Furniture Review Pros:

  • Longer lasting than average outdoor patio furniture pieces
  • Shell takes 1 minute to put on/off
  • Stain resistant cushions. Spills wipe up
  • Cushions are waterproof (or water resistant) and feel heavy duty
  • Cushions can be zipped off and washed in washing machine (with the shell) if they get stained!! Huge bonus!
  • Memory foam is inside
  • 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 or add on in the future
  • Wicker is very thick and strong, with 5 year warranty
  • Frame is aluminum and 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 extremely high, especially compared to other store’s “fast furniture” that is more affordable for most people. The Outer is considered premium outdoor furniture and should last longer, of course, so there is some savings that way.
  • When the couch is all wrapped up with the shell on, it’s not that attractive to look at in my opinion. Scroll up to see photo at the top of this review.
  • The underside of the shell will change color in the sun if you let it fall over the back of your sofa, instead of rolling and tucking it behind the cushion properly. (Learned that lesson the hard way, don’t do it!)
  • A large extra (optional) winter cover is sold separately, so another piece to buy if you want that
  • Very modern look. If you lean towards a traditional style they don’t have a traditional option.

I hope this helps!

You Will Also Love:

Our Back Patio Tour

a patio makeover with a couch, umbrella and table

The Bluestone On Our Patio: What It Is, Qualities, Cost, Etc.

bluestone patio outside a White House in a yard

Our Zoysia Grass

a big backyard filled with zoysia grass and fenced in

Our Home’s Paint Color, and 13 White Brick Paint Colors

white painted brick house

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