Creating an inviting outdoor living space takes time, effort, and investment. After all the work you put into designing your patio, deck, or backyard retreat, you’ll want the furniture you choose to withstand the elements so you can enjoy it for years to come.
When shopping for outdoor furniture, durability, and longevity should be top priorities. Materials like wood, aluminum, and synthetic wicker stand up well to rain, sun, wind, and other outdoor conditions. Investing in quality materials upfront will save you money and trouble down the road.
Tips for choosing durable outdoor furniture
- Opt for wood furniture, especially teak or eucalyptus, for natural durability and beauty. Be sure to seal and maintain wood yearly.
- Wrought iron is extremely strong but requires frequent sealing and staining to prevent rust, especially in humid climates.
- Powder-coated aluminum withstands the elements well, is rust-resistant, and requires little maintenance.
- Look for all-weather resin wicker made with UV-resistant synthetic fibers over aluminum frames for durability without upkeep.
- Acrylic fabric like Sunbrella resists fading, stains, and mildew better than cotton canvas and other fabrics. Quick-dry foam helps prevent mold in cushions.
Here are the most durable options for outdoor patio furniture:
Wood is a classic choice for outdoor furniture because of its natural beauty, warmth, and durability. When properly maintained, wood can last for decades outdoors.
Teak is one of the best woods for patio furniture. Its dense, oily properties make it resistant to water, rot, mildew, and insects. Although more expensive than other varieties, teak is an investment that will stand the test of time with little upkeep required. Look for Grade A teak from responsibly managed forests.
Other durable wood options include eucalyptus, shorea, acacia, and cypress. Apply a sealant yearly to protect the wood from moisture and UV damage. Store furniture cushions and covers during winter or rainy months.
Wrought iron is renowned for its strength and durability. Intricately forged and hammered into shape, this heavy metal becomes stronger through heating and shaping. Wrought iron patio sets can last for generations when properly maintained.
The downside is wrought iron’s susceptibility to rust. Frequent staining and sealing is required, especially in seaside climates. Cushions or pillows should be added for comfort.
A lightweight and affordable option, aluminum excels at resisting corrosion and standing up to inclement weather. Powder-coated aluminum furniture comes in myriad colors and styles to complement any aesthetic.
Aluminum requires little maintenance – just occasional cleaning with mild soap and water. One downside is its tendency to dent, which can detract from its appearance over time.
Stainless steel contains chromium and nickel, making it highly resistant to rust and corrosion. This durable metal is ideal for humid and seaside environments. Stainless steel has a sleek, modern look and is easy to clean and maintain.
On the downside, stainless steel conducts heat easily, making it hot to the touch when exposed to direct sunlight. Condensation can also form on the surface.
Resin wicker furnishes the look of natural wicker but with added durability. Made from synthetic fibers coated over aluminum frames, resin wicker stands up to rain, sun, and salt air without cracking or peeling.
This weather-resistant material won’t splinter or need repainting. Resin wicker comes in various textured weaves and can be shaped into different silhouettes. The main downside is that it lacks the biodegradability of natural wicker.
A glass-topped table adds sophistication to any patio. Tempered glass is treated with heat or chemicals to make it shatter-resistant and able to withstand temperature extremes.
For optimum durability, choose a table with heavy-duty grade glass rather than standard. Avoid placing glass-topped furniture near areas where falling debris could cause chips or cracks.
The right outdoor fabric is essential for ensuring patio furniture maintains its beauty. Solution-dyed acrylics like Sunbrella fabric offer superior fade, mold, and mildew resistance. Look for a 5-year or longer warranty from the manufacturer.
For sofa cushions, choose quick-dry foam that allows moisture to pass through. This prevents mold growth and speeds up drying after rain.
No matter how durable the materials are, proper maintenance is key to preserving outdoor furniture’s integrity.
For wood, apply teak oil or sealant yearly to protect from moisture and UV damage. Wrought iron and stainless steel benefit from occasional oiling. Use touch-up paint on aluminum to cover scratches.
Provide shade with patio umbrellas and store furniture when not in use. Investing in custom furniture covers provides an added layer of protection from rain, wind, pollen, and dirt.
With the right materials and care, your outdoor living space will stay looking beautiful for many years of backyard barbecues, relaxing weekends, and time spent with loved ones. Do your homework to select pieces made to last.