How to Choose the Best Patio Furniture Materials

Picture of a black outdoor end table. Picture of a teak outdoor chair. Picture of a gray wicker outdoor storage box.

 

 

 

 

 

What’s the Best Outdoor Furniture Material?

Shopping for outdoor furniture involves evaluating many of the same qualities you consider for indoor decor. Style, longevity, comfort, and cost are all important to choosing the patio furniture material that fits your lifestyle and tastes. Still, many buyers forget about a crucial aspect of the decision unique to decorating outdoors.

When purchasing patio furniture, it’s important to consider your local climate. While all manufacturers strive to make high-quality, durable products, some outdoor furniture materials work better than others in certain parts of the country.

Rain & Snow

Those living in areas with a lot of precipitation may want to look for outdoor furniture that withstands inclement weather. If limited space prevents storing your patio set indoors in the winter, the best outdoor furniture materials to stay outside year-round are wrought iron, aluminum, and cast aluminum.

Wrought Iron

Tables and chairs crafted from wrought iron can weather strong winds, snow, and rain. Regular care, treatment, or a patio cover can help to prevent the onset of rust during wet weather. A wrought iron dining set works best when placed under an awning or umbrella, as metal patio furniture is uncomfortable once it heats up under the sun.

Aluminum

Lightweight and easy to store, an aluminum patio set can hold its own against precipitation and temperature changes. These aluminum pieces stack easily, which is perfect if you need to store your dining set in a small shed or garage.

Cast Aluminum

Cast aluminum metal patio furniture with powder coating is rustproof, so this material is ideal for areas that see weather conditions from heavy rainfall to seasonal swings between high to low temperatures. A cast aluminum outdoor dining set is easy to move and rearrange yet sturdy enough for windy days.

Picture of a cast aluminum dining set.Cast Aluminum Dining Set

 

Heat & Humidity

Heat and moist air can take a toll on outdoor furniture. If you live in a southern or southwestern state, the best patio furniture materials are often wood, plastic, or wicker. These options are well-suited for any home that gets a lot of sunshine.

Wood

While it requires a bit of upkeep, treated wooden outdoor furniture holds up extremely well on patios. Teak, eucalyptus, and cedar are the best patio furniture materials, but large wood conversation sets or teak patio dining sets can be expensive. Acacia, white oak, and other types of wood also have moisture-resistant properties and may carry a lower price tag than teak outdoor furniture.

Plastic

Immune to humid weather and rust, plastic outdoor chairs are a budget-friendly option. Molded pieces can mimic the look of wood, wicker, or other materials and come in a wide range of colors and styles. High winds and storms may sweep resin furniture off the deck, so be sure to put these plastic patio pieces into storage before thunder and lightning begins.

Plastic Patio Set

Wicker

With its classic good looks, wicker patio furniture is popular for a reason. Both all-weather and natural wicker pieces are popular, though they have different properties. All-weather wicker features synthetic resin with a woven look. This eco-friendly alternative is UV-resistant and can handle rain as well as varying temperatures.

Strong and beautiful, natural outdoor wicker chairs or tables often feature rattan and bamboo. These plant-based materials require more delicate and attentive care than resin and may need to go into storage during rainy or humid weather.

Protection in Any Climate

Moving items to storage or fitting them with covers during bad weather will help to prolong the life of any outdoor furniture material. Still, since a sudden storm can take anyone by surprise, it’s always smart to pick items that fit the environmental conditions in your part of the world.

Covered outdoor furniture.Outdoor Furniture Cover

What about Outdoor Furniture Fabric?

Cushioned seating and shade are essential when it comes to being comfortable on the patio. Premium outdoor fabrics like Sunbrella resist fading and water damage, which makes them perfect for pillows and umbrellas. Cotton canvas is another great patio furniture fabric, but be sure to store cushions made with this cloth when it rains.

The Bottom Line

Many factors go into the decision to buy patio furniture, but how materials work for your climate is a variable too vital to ignore. Sometimes, spending a little more for the best outdoor furniture materials may mean the difference between replacing a set in five years or enjoying vibrant and beautiful decor for a decade or longer.