Wicker vs Metal Outdoor Furniture

Wicker vs. Metal Outdoor Furniture

When it’s time to update your backyard design, there is much to take into consideration. It can be challenging to find outdoor furniture that’s stylish, durable, and within your budget. Two of the best available options are wicker and metal patio furniture. Check out this breakdown of both types to help you make an informed decision for your home.

Picture of a round outdoor dining table.Bay Terrace Brown Wicker 48 in. Round Outdoor Dining Table

What is Wicker?

Contrary to popular belief, the term “wicker” refers to the weaving process rather than the material. This opens up a world of possibilities for those who love the classic look of wicker furniture since you can find styles, colors, and maintenance levels to suit your needs. Rattan is the most common organic fiber used to make wicker. Pliable and easy to work with, this fiber comes from palm stems. While lovely, this is best for indoor use since it tends to deteriorate with excessive moisture and sunlight. Manufacturers often use synthetics like vinyl and resin for outdoor wicker furniture. They also use an aluminum frame for added reinforcement. These pieces have the same chic look of their natural counterparts with the added benefit of being weather- and fade-resistant.

Picture of an outdoor loveseat.Manchester Hill Antique Bronze Outdoor Loveseat

What is Metal?

You have several options when it comes to metal outdoor furniture. Each one has pros and cons, but the best choice comes down to your personal preference.
  • Stainless Steel: Sleek and on-trend, stainless steel resists rust and wear with proper care. However, it is quite heavy, making it difficult to move and store.
  • Wrought Iron: Probably the sturdiest of the three, wrought iron furniture stays put in windy conditions. Timeless and sophisticated, well-maintained tables and chairs can last for decades. Frequent upkeep is necessary to prevent corrosion, though.
  • Aluminum: Metal patio furniture made from aluminum is affordable and comes in an array of colors. These lightweight pieces require minimal effort to rearrange, but dents and damage are more likely to occur.

Metal Bistro Table

Durability Makes a Difference

Durability is the key to determining whether wicker or metal patio furniture is right for your deck or balcony. Since some materials are better suited for outdoor use, this should be your first consideration when choosing outdoor seating or dining collections.

Wicker

While rattan holds up best in screened porches and climate-controlled interiors, resin wicker is the better choice for furniture that needs to withstand the elements. Thanks to a protective lacquer, this furniture resists fading and rot. Plus, if damage does occur, repairs are as simple as reweaving any loose fibers.

Wicker Seating Set

Metal

Metal patio furniture also varies in durability depending on the material. For example, aluminum is light, so you run the risk of it blowing away in a storm. However, a thin powder coating gives it the same resistance to water and sunlight as stainless steel. Iron, on the other hand, rusts rather easily, so pieces require care when exposed to rain or snow.

Aluminum Table

Maintenance

Regardless of their outstanding strength, both wicker and metal outdoor furniture needs some upkeep. Resin wicker requires the least maintenance with occasional brushing and an additional lacquer coat if it starts to lose its glossy finish. Wipe away rust as it forms, repaint chips, and buff out scuff marks on iron, aluminum, or steel models.

What to Consider When Decorating

One of the most exciting parts about choosing between wicker vs. metal patio furniture is the many ways in which you can decorate. It’s important to consider where you live, your style, and color preferences.

Locale

Location is everything when you’re trying to decide between wicker or metal outdoor furniture. If your home is in an area that gets high winds, you may want to avoid lightweight pieces like rattan or aluminum. Alternatively, saltwater and humidity can corrode iron and steel. Additionally, metal matches the ambient temperature, so hot weather can make for a scorching seat.

Picture of a metal bistro set.Metal Bistro Set

Color

The resin used for most outdoor wicker furniture comes in a variety of hues, including natural-looking neutrals. Most metal patio furniture is also available in an assortment of colors, particularly aluminum, which can have a solid or textured finish. Wrought iron, however, typically comes in its signature matte black.

Colorful Retro Loveseat

Style

Highly versatile, both types of furniture coordinate with a range of styles. While many associate wicker with coastal and traditional decor, much of today’s selection works well in contemporary designs, too. You can opt for darker shades and clean lines to achieve this look. The streamlined silhouettes of metal patio sets go well with modern exteriors, but the wide array of colors also creates some exciting design opportunities. Select brighter tints for a fun, eclectic backyard, or choose earthier tones to create a tropical vibe. Of course, wrought iron always has a timeless appeal.

Garden View Black 5 Pc Rectangle Outdoor Dining Set

Exploring Your Options

Whether you pick wicker or metal patio furniture, there are plenty of ways to decorate your deck or porch. Check out these suggestions for some inspiration:

Deciding Between Wicker vs. Metal Patio Furniture

Wicker and metal outdoor furniture each has unique benefits, so your final decision should come down to which type works best for your lifestyle and tastes. Both are versatile and have weather-resistant, long-lasting options that will allow you to enjoy your selection for years to come. Hopefully, this analysis helps you find the perfect fit.