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What are the best outdoor furniture materials

We expect a lot from our furniture.

It needs to look nice, it needs to be comfortable, and it needs to be functional.

With outdoor furniture, we expect all of that and more.

We not only need it to be functional, comfortable, and stylish, but it needs to be able to hold up under extreme weather conditions.

If your outdoor furniture isn't designed to withstand the elements, you're just throwing your money away.

You also want something that's easy to clean, because you'll be cleaning them often.

In the article below, we list a wide range of the most popular outdoor furniture materials and their benefits so you can make an informed decision when it's time to buy new furniture.

Table Of Contents

  • Aluminum

  • Synthetic Wicker

  • Wood

  • Concrete

  • Recycled Plastic

  • Sunbrella

  • Steel

  • Wrought Iron

  • Choose Wisely

1. Aluminum

Aluminum is the most popular contemporary patio furniture material, and the competition really isn't close.

It resists rust and moisture damage better than most other materials, and a powder-coated finish offers additional protection against the elements.

Aluminum is lightweight but strong, making it dependable and easy to store and arrange.

Tubular aluminum is the most lightweight option, while wrought and cast aluminum are heavy enough to withstand the weather, but still light enough to easily rearrange and store.

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2. Synthetic Wicker

Most outdoor wicker patio sets are made from synthetic wicker.

It's also called resin wicker and is made to look like natural wicker, and it is much more durable.

Natural wicker is made from plant materials and is a technique that has been utilized by cultures all over the world.

The ancient Egyptians even used it to make wicker baskets.

As beautiful as it is, natural wicker is easily damaged in the rain, sleet, snow, and moisture, making it a poor choice for outdoor furniture.

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3. Wood

Not all woods are created equal, but if there is one thing they all have in common, it's the ageless appeal of it's natural beauty.

Pine, cedar, or fir are softer woods with some natural weather resistance, and hardwoods like shorea and teak are known for their exceptional durability and performance.

Wood will lend a warm and casual feel to any outdoor space, and can easily withstand rain, sunlight, humidity, wind, and extreme temperatures.

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Outdoor wood furniture

4. Concrete

You read it right, concrete makes for great outdoor furniture.

No more warping, rotting, staining, sagging or splinters with concrete.

And it won't fall apart if you forget to bring it in for the winter.

Concrete will withstand the worst that mother nature (or you) can throw at it.

Not even hurricanes are a match for concrete furniture.

Concrete truly is the superhero of outdoor furniture.

It's one of the oldest, strongest, and most durable materials that humans have ever made, and if done right it can be very stylish as well.

Concrete furniture will bring style to your backyard, and you'll be able to enjoy it for generations.

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5. Recycled Plastic

Recycled plastic furniture ranks at the top of the list for both style and performance.

Recycled plastic is much stronger than you'd think, and it is extremely durable.

It's resistant to moisture, rotting, and cracking, and it's impervious to saltwater and stains.

It also resists fading, because its color is intrinsic to the material.

And, best of all, recycled furniture can be made to resemble wood, but doesn't come with any of the extra maintenance that wood brings.

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6. Sunbrella

Sunbrella is, by far, the best fabric for upholstered outdoor chairs and sofas.

The fabrics are available in various colors and patterns and are completely durable and fade-resistant.

Traditional dyeing processes only leave color on the surface of the fiber, so they fade fairly easily.

Sunbrella fibers are saturated to the core with UV-stable pigments, making them resistant to fading and the degrading effects of sunlight.

The fabric is also engineered to resist mold and mildew, so you aren't forced to clean them over and over again.

If you want an outdoor space that has the look, feel, and comfort of your living room, sunbrella is the way to go.

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7. Steel

Heavier than aluminum, steel provides strength, stability, and endurance in extreme temperatures.

Powder-coated finishes aid in rust resistance.

Steel is typically used for framing high-end modern chairs and bistro-style seats and is often used for retro designs and zero-gravity loungers.

Its hefty weight provides a sturdy, long-lasting construction, and the classic look of steel lends a clean, sophisticated feel to your space.

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8. Wrought Iron

Wrought iron is beloved for its distinctive appearance and wind-resistant sturdiness and strength.

It's heavier than aluminum, and in its natural state, it's more vulnerable to the elements.

However, most wrought iron furniture is specially treated with weather-resistant finishes that help seal out moisture and prevent rust.

Because of its heavy weight, you don't have to worry about it ending up in a neighbors yard after a storm, and it can withstand even the most direct sunlight without showing any damage.

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Choose Wisely

Even more important than style and functionality for outdoor furniture is its durability.

The best looking patio table or the most functional lawn chair is worthless if it can't stand up to the elements.

Also, be mindful of the climate where you live.

Is the weather dry? Do you live in an area prone to hurricanes? Earthquakes? How harsh are your winters?

Those are all critical questions to ask yourself when you're picking out your outdoor furniture.

The list above gives you eight great outdoor furniture material options that can stand up to even the most extreme conditions.

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If you liked this article, you should give these a read:

  • 8 Things Every Kids Play Room Needs

  • Picking The Perfect Patio Pieces

  • How To Get Your Deck Ready For Summer

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