The Best Materials for Outdoor Furniture


With summer right around the corner, you may be looking into updating your outdoor patio furniture. That means finding sturdy materials that holds up well against everything Mother Nature can throw at them - without sacrificing comfort levels.

There are so many different types of materials out there to choose from, but figuring out which one is perfect for you depends on your lifestyle and location.

Here are some of the best materials to look for when choosing outdoor furniture:

 

Teak

Wood furniture is a popular choice, but not all woods are created equal. It’s such a popular choice because it’s beautiful and easy to work with.

But when it comes to outdoor furniture, you need to make sure the wood is durable enough to withstand the weather.

Teak is naturally resistant to rot and decay, making it ideal for use in harsh weather conditions.

Teak is also highly resistant to insects and fungi, so it will not be easily damaged by pests. In addition, teak has a high oil content, which gives it a natural resistance to water damage.

 

 Teak Outdoor Chair

With proper care, teak furniture can last for many years. It has a beautiful golden-honey brown color when new, which can be preserved with a teak sealant.

 

Resins & Plastics

Furniture made of resins and plastics are not only extremely durable and low-maintenance, they are also designed to withstand the elements, making them perfect for any outdoor space.

 

 

Outdoor chair with iron frame

One type of resin that is particularly well-suited for outdoor furniture is HDPE wicker. This high-quality material is made from a higher grade thermoplastic, which has superior strength, durability, and heat endurance. With its low maintenance features and weather-resistant qualities, HDPE wicker is ideal for anyone who wants long-lasting furniture without the hassle of constant upkeep.

Molded plastic is another popular material for modern outdoor furniture. These versatile materials are lightweight and easy to move around, and offer a wide range of benefits, including flexibility in design and style. Whether you want something simple and understated or colorful and eye-catching, molded plastics come in a wide range of colors and styles to suit your tastes.

 

Metal Benefits

Wrought iron has been a popular choice for patio furniture for centuries because of its durability and classic look. However, wrought iron is also very heavy, making it difficult to move around.

Additionally, wrought iron is prone to rusting, so it requires regular maintenance. For these reasons, wrought iron has largely fallen out of favor in recent years.

These days, the most common metals used for patio furniture are aluminum and steel. Aluminum is lightweight and easy to move, while steel is very strong and durable. Both materials are also resistant to rusting, making them low-maintenance options for busy families.

 

Aluminum

The durability and light weight of aluminum make it an attractive option for outdoor furniture. Unlike iron or steel, which are prone to rusting when exposed to rain or moist air outdoors.

Aluminum can be left outdoors without fear of them rusting or corroding. Additionally, aluminum furniture is very easy to move around, making it perfect for patios or decks that see a lot of traffic.



Lounge chair with aluminum frame


Steel

The weight of steel makes it an excellent material for stationary outdoor furniture, but it also means that these pieces won't be as easy to move around. Galvanized or stainless-steel are better options because they don’t rust nor corrode easily when exposed outside elements like regular iron.

Galvanized steel has been used for years because of its ability to withstand water and corrosion. Stainless steel contains chromium which makes it perfect in marine environments. A layer of zinc coating will prevent corrosion from salt-water exposure.

It is susceptible to chlorine, which will cause it to rust over time. So if you have a pool nearby, look for one with an extra layer of powder coat finish.


Patio chairs with outdoor fabric

 

Outdoor Fabric

When shopping for outdoor furniture, consider fabric upholstery. It provides the ultimate lounging experience and a look that is well-suited to both indoor use as well.

For weather resistant outdoor fabric, look for materials made from synthetic fibers like vinyl, polyester, or acrylic. These fibers are typically more breathable and resistant to sun damage, moisture, and other outdoor elements.

Of course, weather resistant outdoor cushions will depend on the quality of its fill material. Insert materials like QuickDry foam are specifically designed to speed up water evaporation and runoff, preventing mold and mildew growth.

However, it is important to note that leaving upholstered furniture unprotected can cause serious damage to the upholstery and other components. Store them away when not being used or invest in high-quality outdoor furniture covers that are specifically designed to protect upholstery from moisture and the elements.

Conclusion

Outdoor furniture is a great way to enjoy your backyard, patio, or deck during the warmer months. However, not all furniture is created equal. If you want your furniture to last, it's important to choose materials that are durable and easy to care for.

Teak, molded plastic, aluminum, and steel are all great options for outdoor furniture. These resist rust and moisture, making them low-maintenance and long-lasting. While outdoor textiles add comfort and convenience to your lounging activity. 

 

 

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7 comments

vidya

great tips and ideas …We are looking into putting a patio in our backyard soon and once we do that, the next thing will be furniture for that.. so this helps!

Gwen

Dominique, I’m glad the article was helpful for you!

Dominique

This is really helpful as our last outdoor furniture was iron and is rusting! Now I have a better idea of what to look for! Thank you!

Gwen

That would be terrible Samantha. I’m glad the article was helpful.

Gwen

Thanks for the comment Martha.
There are a lot of inexpensive furniture out there. Sometimes it’s better to pay more for better quality furniture that will last longer.

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