Factors to consider when choosing outdoor furniture

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Factors to consider when choosing outdoor furniture materials. If you want outdoor furniture to maintain its structural integrity and appearance for many years, year-round maintenance is also an important aspect.


Rain & Humidity

If you live in an area with frequent heavy rain or high humidity, consider choosing furniture materials that can resist damage from various water-based problems. Because residual moisture not only physically degrades the material, but also poses a risk to human health.


Mold and rot

Wet conditions create an environment for various fungi to thrive, and materials that easily absorb moisture are prone to mold, which can cause respiratory problems, irritation, and other health problems.


If maintained in a timely manner, the material will not usually be damaged. However, if not maintained in a timely manner, rot will cause the material to biodegrade and decompose.



Metals such as iron or steel are susceptible to corrosion when continuously exposed to water and oxygen. The oxidation process slowly eats away at these metals, causing rust or discoloration. In addition, the pH of the air and rainwater accelerates the chemical process, so rust is more common in coastal areas.




Materials that can be penetrated by water may be unevenly wet and dry inside, resulting in warping (twisting or bending) in shape. It’s hard to detect at first, but over time, the material deformation can be noticeable.


Sunlight and Temperature

If you live in a sunny area or one with dramatic seasonal climate changes, you’ll want to choose outdoor materials that can withstand UV rays and extreme temperature differences.



Extended exposure to sunlight can cause many materials to fade and lose their luster: colors lose color vividness, uneven spots.



Some materials expand and contract noticeably when heated or cooled. They can crack, split, warp, or become brittle when exposed to extreme morning and evening temperatures. Also, dry air can cause furniture to bend and crack.


Heat Absorption

Patio furniture in direct sunlight can get hot and uncomfortable (or unsafe) to the touch. If not insulated and cushioned, it can burn the skin in severe cases.



If you live in an open and windy area, then weight is a consideration, otherwise the table will be blown away tomorrow morning. Outdoor furniture should be heavy enough to avoid tipping over or blowing away.


Don’t challenge Mother Nature, she can easily damage a nice lightweight deck chair or dining table, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Otherwise, you’ll need to continue to store or protect your items when you’re not using them.




Under ideal conditions, some outdoor materials may last for years, but in the real world of bad weather, they may need to be replaced every few seasons.


In addition, durability is related to usage. If your patio table only sees a few meals each summer, it will get less wear and tear than the lounge chairs that sit by the pool at high-end resorts and hotels.


Cleaning and Maintenance

Aesthetic and functional durability also depends on how well you care for your patio furniture. Some materials can be cleaned quickly and easily with simple soap and water. Others require special care products, so if your time is valuable or you don’t want to hassle, choose materials that require less maintenance.


Environmental protection

Nowadays, everyone knows that the production process and the raw materials used in products will have an impact on the environment. Most luxury outdoor furniture brands have adopted a "green" manufacturing method and use materials that are biodegradable, recyclable or certified by environmental organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Different outdoor materials do vary in their recyclability.




Ultimately, most people consider the budget when considering what materials to buy furniture, but the relationship between price and service life in the long run is also important.  Does it need to be replaced frequently? Does maintenance take a lot of time and effort? These are key cost considerations.


Outdoor Metal Furniture Frame and Metal Accessories Materials


Metal is the strongest and most durable material for outdoor garden furniture.


Due to the strength of metal itself, the material can be thinner and the shapes can be more complex. The design provides manufacturers with greater design flexibility and can make some metal chairs and tables that do not require bolts, screws, or other fasteners, which make furniture more susceptible to damage.


However, metal also has its disadvantages: it heats up in the sun and is hot to the touch. And large wrought iron furniture is very heavy and difficult to move. All metals are susceptible to rust and corrosion to some extent.



Stainless Steel

This strong metal alloy is very strong and is ideal for large outdoor dining tables, sofas, and cabinets. The high-density structure of stainless steel itself helps prevent dents from frequent use.


Although it does get hot to the touch in the summer heat, stainless steel withstands high temperatures better than most metals. The composition of stainless steel makes it almost impervious to rust and corrosion, but coatings are recommended to enhance the stainless steel's resistance to weathering, especially in coastal areas where salt air and water are present.


The higher the chromium content of stainless steel, the higher the alloy's resistance to atmospheric corrosion. The presence of molybdenum prevents red rust and reduces the depth of surface pitting.


Garden and patio furniture made from stainless steel is heavy and will not tip over or blow away in windy conditions. With a stylish silver appearance, it is an excellent material choice for high-end modern outdoor furniture.


Although it is expensive, stainless steel is worth the money. Not only is it relatively easy to clean, it is often made from recycled metal, making it more environmentally friendly.

Pros – Durable, strong, rust-proof, wind-resistant, easy to clean

Cons – Expensive and absorbs heat




Aluminum is the most popular metal for outdoor furniture. Despite its light weight, it is strong, durable, and can be easily machined into a variety of complex shapes.


Aluminum is relatively cheap, low maintenance, and never rusts. Although it is highly resistant to weathering on its own, it is recommended to apply polyester powder coating: not only does it increase protection from external scratches, but it also adds color.


The paint will bond better to the metal and is more resistant to fading (if left by the pool and exposed to salt air). Like other metals, aluminum will heat up, so it is best to have cushions to keep it cool and comfortable.

Pros – Strong, lightweight, weather-resistant, cheap and low maintenance

Cons – Hollow tube frames may blow apart in strong winds, absorb heat from the sun



Iron has been used for tools, buildings, and furniture for a long time in human history for its strength and durability - if properly cared for, it can last for a hundred years.


Heavy and difficult to move, suitable for forged or cast iron furniture However, it certainly won’t blow away in the wind like aluminum furniture; when iron is heated and hammered into shape, it has great ductility, which allows wrought iron to be made into gorgeous hand-crafted designs by master craftsmen.


Cast iron, on the other hand, can be melted and poured into molds to form a variety of shapes, but: it’s heavier. Despite its long lifespan, outdoor wrought iron furniture requires frequent cleaning and maintenance to prevent rust.


Luckily, most wrought iron nowadays is specially treated, such as painted to seal it from moisture damage.


The metal is very in sync with the temperature, getting very hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter.

Wrought iron outdoor furniture is hard and can be uncomfortable without padded seats and backrests.

Pros – Durable, sturdy, stylish classic look, perfect for windy areas

Cons – Rusts easily, requires more maintenance, uncomfortable, hard to move, hot in hot weather, freezing in cold weather.