What Is the Best Material for Outdoor Furniture? 6 Key Considerations, Explained

In nature, climate and weather changes can cause erosion. This is when natural events like rain, snow, or weather storms cause wear and tear or sediment build-up. Regardless of where you call home, all outdoor furniture can suffer from erosion.That’s why choosing the right material for outdoor furniture is so important. Don’t waste money or time investing in the wrong finishes or materials. Quality and durable outdoor furniture can last and stand up to the elements.

So, you won’t have to worry about a surprise rain shower chipping the table paint or high winds toppling the umbrella! But, how to choose outdoor furniture that can stand up to the test? Read on to learn the six key considerations you need to know.


1. Traditional Materials

The best material for outdoor furniture depends on practicality and aesthetic. For a more traditional approach, choose classic materials. Natural wood or faux wood gives off an elegant and traditional look without sacrificing durability.

While wood is a beautiful material that can fit into any outdoor scheme, it requires more care. Every few years you may need to refinish your outdoor wood furniture to maintain appearance and color.

If you don’t refinish wood surfaces, the material could turn brittle or porous. This could lead to damages and an unsightly appearance.

More Options

Wicker and rattan are two wood materials that have experienced a design renaissance. Unlike total wood pieces, wicker and rattan are lightweight. That’s because these materials blend natural wood and other fibers to create a thinner surface.

While the aesthetic appeal of these materials is high, they require more time and attention than other materials. For example, to clean and maintain wicker or rattan you need a small brush to get into the grooves and crevices of the material. Like wood, you may also need a sealant to keep the finish looking fresh.

If natural materials seem too time-consuming to care for, consider faux wood finishes. These finishes use plastic or other inexpensive and durable materials to create the illusion of natural wood. While these outdoor furniture pieces may not be as luxurious to the touch, they can be easily cleaned and stand up to erosion and harsh weather.


material for outdoor furniture


2. Modern Materials

Modern materials like stainless steel, aluminum, or glass are elegant and extremely practical. These materials require less maintenance than traditional materials like wood.

For example, a glass outdoor table needs a spray cleaner and a wipe down. While an aluminum outdoor chair base can be hosed down with water or wiped clean with a multi-purpose cleaner.

An Investment

If your budget allows, choose stainless steel or wrought iron materials. More costly than glass or aluminum, these materials fight against water damage and weather wear and tear.

For example, wrought iron is one of the most prized outdoor furniture materials because of its heavyweight, durable, and attractive features. Wrought iron is a pliable material.

Therefore, it can transform into any furniture design feature or shape. The material makes an excellent outdoor umbrella base, table base, or chair frame.


material for outdoor furniture


3. Finishes Matter

Regardless of what outdoor furniture material you choose, finishes always matter. As mentioned, a wood finish needs a sealant. But painted wood requires extra attention.

For example, rain or excess moisture can cause the wood to warp in shape and paint chipping. And when it comes to those other materials like aluminum or wrought iron, watch out for finishes and coating. This outer layer can suffer from the elements like rain, snow, or hot climates.

Depending on the finish of choice, visit your local hardware store or handy professional. Ask for the best sealant or protector and regularly coat your outdoor furniture to keep it looking fresh.

4. Weight and Durability

When choosing outdoor furniture materials, you have to consider weight and durability. For example, do you live in a tropical climate or an area prone to high winds and storms? Then, you need furniture with a heavy base or higher weight to prevent breakage or accidents.

Weight and durability are two factors that influence the price. While a fabric folding chair may be significantly cheaper, the lightweight material and inexpensive base may rip or break in a short time.

That’s why you should invest in quality pieces. Check out this outdoor furniture to shop for your patio space.


material for outdoor furniture


5. Think About Textiles

Besides the material base or frame, have you considered outdoor furniture textiles? Think sofa cushions, umbrella fabric, throw pillow materials, and area rugs. Outdoor fabric can collect dirt or dust.

And natural elements like water accumulation or temperature changes can cause serious issues like mold. Outdoor furniture material should be water-resistant and specially formulated for your patio space.

6. Cover-Up vs. Au Natural

When you’re not using outdoor furniture, how can you protect the materials? Consider investing in a special cover or tarp. But, if you prefer to leave your furniture au natural without a tarp or protector, remember that the finishes must stand up to the elements.

In the case of a surprise rainstorm or if you forgot to bring your outdoor sofa cushions inside, don’t panic. The best outdoor materials won’t erode or change appearance.

material for outdoor furniture


Make a Wise Investment and Choose the Right Material for Outdoor Furniture

Choosing material for outdoor furniture depends on taste, preference, and budget. But, remember to consider the material for more than aesthetic appeal.

Wood, stainless steel, and wrought iron are durable materials but each presents special care instructions. Consider finishes, weight, and durability.

These elements help preserve your pieces. Don’t forget to look beyond the base and choose high-quality textiles that stand up to harsh weather.

For the ultimate protector? Consider a furniture cover. If you found this information helpful, check out our other home stories.

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