Soft Outdoor Furniture - Your Questions Answered

A soft garden sofa made from fabric is on a patio surrounded by greenery and purple flowers. The sofa is covered with striped and patterned garden cushions. A bottle of champagne is waiting to be poured.

The 10 questions I'm asked most often about Armadillo Sun garden furniture…

When you’re deciding upon garden furniture, there is quite an array of materials to choose from: wicker, wood, concrete, metal, plastic… and many variations of each.

An option that is unlikely to jump to mind is soft fabric furniture, filled with comfortable, body-supporting polystyrene beads. I certainly never considered it until a trip to the USA in 2012. There I was introduced to stylish textiles that I’d be happy to have in my living room, but that could be left outside all year in the sunshine and rain.

This fabric is a game-changer for garden furniture.

It's extraordinary to see a soft squishy sofa sat outdoors here in the UK. So it's not surprising that I'm asked lots of questions about it! 

Here are the ten questions I hear the most but if there’s something else you’ve been wondering about, please get in touch.

As a whistle-stop introduction to Armadillo Sun, we are specialists in soft outdoor furniture, handcrafting our designs in a converted barn in Kent for sale online. If you’d like to try out our outdoor furniture, we take up a stand at several RHS Flower Shows. Please sign-up to the Armadillo Sun newsletter to find out about our upcoming events (as well as to be the first to hear about our brilliant offers).

I look forward to seeing you for a nice sit-down!

Garden Bean Bag Furniture - Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can outdoor furniture made from fabric get wet?

Yes, all Armadillo Sun soft garden furniture can be left out in the rain. In fact, it can be left outside all year.

A soft pink-beige background with five black stars. Text reads "it is a very comfy seat, easy to get in and out of, and is definitely water resistant like they say. It does not go mossy or green when left out in the damp." Click for more independent reviews.

The fabric we use is solution-dyed acrylic that is known for its durability, fade-resistance, and colourfastness.  Water bounces off it and, if the heavens open in a downpour, it’ll run straight through the woven fabric without leaving any damage.

The filling for outdoor furniture is important too. With some garden sofa cushions the outer fabric feels dry, but when you sit down, you soon discover that the interior is still wet.

We fill our soft garden furniture with premium polysterene beads that do not absorb any water. 

Instead water bounces off, or runs straight through our furniture. This ensure it dries quickly and removes the squelchy breeding ground for mould and other nasties. Plus no-one will leave your garden party with a soggy bottom!

2. Is bean bag garden furniture comfortable?

Our bestselling product is the Armadillo Sun outdoor bean bag because it is so comfortable.

A pale pink-beige background with five black stars. Text under the stars reads "It is the most comfortable chair that I have and I use it every day. When my friends come to visit they often ask to sit on it" Click for more independent reviews.

We use the same premium bean bag filling for the Armadillo Sun Garden Sofa Sets and the Luxury Sun Lounger. This makes our garden furniture suitable for all-weathers, but, also, incredibly comfortable.

The lounging experience is so different from hard metal garden chairs, or the foam-filled cushions on a standard sectional sofa. With beans that mould around your body, this outdoor furniture is lovely to sit on, and would be a respectable addition to any living room too.

We pride ourselves on the quality of our materials and the beans we use hold their shape and stay supportive. We don’t use interior bags within the furniture because we find that they encourage uncomfortable clumps and lumps. Instead the beans flow freely around inside, shifting and moulding around you.

Two soft blue garden chairs with orange striped garden cushions in a patio corner. There is a blue geometric-patterned pouffe in the foreground with sunglasses and a book.

3. How easy is it to get up out of bean bag furniture?

Now to address the question, I suspect some of you of a certain age will be asking:

If I sit down into a garden bean bag, or even onto a lovely squishy garden sofa, will I ever get back up again?!

Let me dispel any concerns that these are like the bean bags of the 70s – saggy, flappy, things with as much support as a blancmange – these are not the bean bags we are making! 

Armadillo Sun garden furniture is filled generously and provides full and proper support.

It won’t be that you can’t get up, it’ll simply be that you won’t want to get up!

If you’d like to give any of our furniture the “sit-test” yourself before committing, then please sign-up to our newsletter. We take up a stand at the major RHS Flower Shows, including Chelsea, and our subscribers are first to know where we are next off to. We sometimes have tickets to give away too!

4. Can I put the cover of my soft garden sofa or outdoor bean bag in the washing machine to clean it?

No - but you don’t need to! The fabric is stain and mould resistant, so you just need a cloth, water and mild detergent to wipe it clean.

Or, if your cushioned sun lounger has been out all winter and, like me, you’re a little on the lazy side (I like to consider it carefully prioritising my time!), just jet wash it clean from the mud and seasonal debris. It’ll come up a dream. I do mine at the same time as my patio paving to get ready for garden-party season!

5. Will soft garden furniture go mouldy?

The fabric we use is resistant to mould but it sometimes grows on any old unwiped stains. The easiest thing to do is give it a good jet wash, and it’ll look like new.

6. How long will soft garden furniture last?

Armadillo Sun furniture is made from solution-dyed acrylic that has resort-level UV resistance: the colour and pattern will not fade or rub off. The fabric comes with a 5-year manufacturer guarantee against fade and rot too, for greater peace of mind.

This fabric also has a high abrasion resistance so won’t scratch, even when used on a gravel patio. Plus, we handmake all our products with high attention to detail and secure overlocked seams. We do offer a 2-year guarantee for any issues on stitching, but you’ll see from our reviews that this is not something we rely on.

A pale pink-beige background with five black stars. Text reads: so comfortable and looks amazing in my garden! The stitching and material are of high quality. It's extremely light so moving it around is easy... just perfect! Click for more independent reviews.

7. How heavy is bean bag garden furniture?

One of the benefits of soft garden furniture with a bead filling is that it is lightweight – for example, the Armadillo Sun Luxury Sun Lounger is about half the weight of a traditional sun lounger. It can be moved and rearranged easily and without ompromising your back!

Whether to follow the sun around the garden, or to change-up your patio to host different events, bean bag furniture is a flexible, versatile addition to your outdoor space. This is garden furniture that can even be moved indoors when needed without worrying about scratching the paint off living room walls or damaging a doorframe.

8. Can I customise my garden furniture order?

We want you to love your garden furniture and for it to fit your outdoor space perfectly. We will always do whatever we can to tailor your furniture for you.

Please get in touch if you have something in mind or you’d like to tweak the details on the pieces we have available.

9. How and when will my garden sofa, cushioned sun lounger, or garden bean bag be delivered?

All our soft garden furniture comes filled with beans and ready to relax on.

Put your screwdriver away, there won’t be any need for it!

Bean bag furniture is light, but it is large, so your order will come on one or more pallets. We use a courier and will always email you when your order is ready for delivery.

For garden bean bags, you can expect delivery within 5-7 working days. Garden Sofas and Luxury Sun Loungers are made-to-order so take between 4-6 weeks.

If you have specific requirements in terms of timing or location of delivery, please let us know. 

10. How often do the beads in bean bag furniture need replacing?

This depends on how much the furniture is used but we’d suggest a top-up evey 2-3 years. You don’t need to replace the beans just add more to keep the filling to the level of support you prefer.

If you have any questions about Armadillo Sun soft garden furniture please contact me by email or on the phone. Or you can read more about the Armadillo Sun Luxury Sun Lounger now in our article on “sun loungers you can leave outside”.

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