Which couch fabrics stay cool in summertime?
April 17, 2016 4:09 PM   Subscribe

I have a scratchy-bum cotton and who-knows-what-other-material couch I purchased at Goodwill many years ago. It sure was a steal, but now when it is hot in the summer, it's absolutely painful to sit in.

I know I can research what fabrics stay cool (silk?) but if there's a silk couch somewhere, I'll be dag-nabbed if I could afford it -- plus, I'm guessing couch materials are woven to be heavy and durable, attributes that probably trap heat in, but maybe there was once an upholsterer in the Deep South who had a big idea...?

Thank you!
posted by alice_curiouse to Home & Garden (14 answers total)
I am sitting on a leather couch (which I received for free.) It's pretty much the only object in my house that I can tolerate sitting on year-round. Bonus: when I've lived with cats it accumulated exactly zero cat hairs.
posted by SMPA at 4:17 PM on April 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

yes, our leather couch is my napping spot year round and it stays delightfully cool in warm weather. not sure how it would do for a high-humidity heat though...
posted by supermedusa at 4:20 PM on April 17, 2016

I have the opposite experience with leather. Boiling hot in summer and freezing in the winter - you pretty much had to be sitting with a sheet or a blanket on top of it year round.

My couch right now is microfiber and is very comfy.
posted by bleep at 4:28 PM on April 17, 2016 [5 favorites]

I google-imaged "tropical furniture" and saw a lot of wicker. Don't know if that helps, but the wicker structure should allow for cooling air flow and also wicker furniture seems to be inexpensive.
posted by bunderful at 4:46 PM on April 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

I would look for a smooth cotton fabric, perhaps even a polished cotton.
posted by DrGail at 4:50 PM on April 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Leather in HUMID heat is miserable. Perhaps if you live in a place where it's hot but more dry....
posted by thebrokedown at 4:55 PM on April 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:10 PM on April 17, 2016

Elderly cotton velvet is nice year round, if you have access to old couches.
posted by glitter at 5:16 PM on April 17, 2016

linen blend or linen, or a very smooth cotton.
posted by frumiousb at 5:17 PM on April 17, 2016

I have aleather couch and while I love it for its ease of cleaning, yeah, here in Seattle its hot and clammy! I don't entertain so I don't care who is looking at it but I resorted to using a spare fitted bed sheet made of cotton as a sofa cover in the summers to make it bearable.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 5:27 PM on April 17, 2016

In the tropics we had rattan furniture with cushions wrapped in a very smooth cotton, like sheets. They were accordingly cool to sit on, also like sheets.
posted by Andrhia at 7:54 PM on April 17, 2016

My sister recovered her couch in polished cotton and it always felt cool to the touch to me, like sheets. It does show dirt, though, so she got a rather busy pattern.
posted by Foam Pants at 8:15 PM on April 17, 2016

Our alcantara couch feels very much like suede, but stays comfortable in hot or cold weather.
It's a synthetic. It's a durable material, resists stains well, and so has been used in higher-end car seating lately. Wish my car had it rather than leather! Good luck.
posted by artdrectr at 11:42 PM on April 17, 2016

If the sofa is otherwise cozy, I'd get an all-cotton slipcover for it. Most sofa fabrics are a mystery to me; I end up assuming most people enjoy wearing trousers 24/7 much more than I do. But a washable soft cotton -- ahhhh. Like a lot of things it just gets better and better with each wash.

"The fabric is particularly comfortable in hot weather" says one review on these LL Bean ones which are very similar to what I have.
posted by kmennie at 12:49 AM on April 18, 2016

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