When choosing outdoor furniture, it is essential to choose durable furniture to withstand the weather. Outdoor furniture should withstand snow, rain, and sun without rusting or breaking down. So, how do you know if your outdoor furniture will withstand the elements?
This guide will discuss the ten most durable materials to consider when purchasing outdoor furniture. Continue reading to make the best decisions for all your outdoor furniture needs.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Makes Outdoor Furniture Durable?
- 2 10 Most Durable Outdoor Furniture Materials
- 3 What Aren’t Furniture Materials as Durable?
- 4 How Long Should Your Outdoor Furniture Last?
- 5 Final Thoughts
What Makes Outdoor Furniture Durable?
There are many things to consider when choosing outdoor furniture that will be durable from the elements. The materials used to build the furniture, the quality of the assembly of the furniture, and the frame the furniture is made on all contribute to the durability of your outdoor furniture. We will elaborate below on how these factors affect the durability of your outdoor furniture.
Withstanding the Outdoor Elements
When building outdoor furniture, you need to consider the outdoor elements. Most people keep the outdoor furniture outside year-round. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your outdoor furniture can last for years out in all weather conditions. The list below is some elements to consider when buying outdoor furniture.
- You will want water-resistant materials due to rain
- Other moistures sources should be considered, like sprinklers and puddles
- Sun rays can cause your furniture paint to dull.
- Snow should be considered when buying outdoor furniture
- During the spring and fall seasons, it is common for the weather to fluctuate significantly. It would be best to have outdoor furniture that can handle this fluctuation.
It is essential to consider your overall climate when building outdoor furniture. It would help if you had furniture that could withstand any weather types thrown at it.
One of the most critical factors in durable outdoor furniture is the table’s assembly. When you screw parts of your furniture together, you need to ensure that your screws are in. loose screws will not withstand the outdoor elements. You will also want to ensure that your screws are strong to protect them from weather changes better.
Loose or thin screws can cause your outdoor furniture to fall apart. You will need screws that can handle a lot of weight, and your screws will need to be put in all the way. After screwing your screws in, give the part a shake to ensure it doesn’t wobble. If it wobbles, then you need to screw it in more. The assembly of your furniture is key to making sure your furniture lasts.
For indoor furniture, it is trendy and stylish to have thin, feeble designs, but this design type is highly unpractical for outdoor furniture. Outdoor furniture needs to have a thicker, sturdier design than indoor furniture. Outdoor furniture takes on way more wear and tear than indoor furniture.
The frame design is essential when building outdoor furniture. If you have a fragile frame design in an outdoor piece, then it is unlikely that you will have that piece of outdoor furniture for long. Outdoor furniture needs a frame design that can last through many situations.
You need to consider a few different types of materials when building or selecting outdoor furniture. The first material you need to consider is solid materials like wood and metal. You need a strong building material for your furniture to ensure that the outdoor furniture lasts a while.
The second type of material you need to consider is fabric materials. It is common for outdoor furniture to wear out its fabric materials quickly. Fabrics will endure rips, sun bleaching, or dirt when used in outdoor furniture. You need a fabric that is water-resistant and durable to prevent rapid wear and tear.
You need to consider the nuts and screws that go into your outdoor furniture. New nuts and screws are ideal because old screws will snap sooner than new screws. Check your screws to make sure that there is no rust on them. Rusty screws will snap in outdoor conditions.
Proper Maintenance is Crucial
If you want outdoor furniture to last and remain durable proper maintenance is required. Some materials need more than others, but a specific material can last many lifetimes with the correct care. We will discuss the different types of ways to maintain your outdoor furniture below.
Maintaining the Outdoor Fabric.
Fabric is one of the quickest outdoor furniture materials to become worn out. Regularly applying an outdoor water and sun shield to your outdoor fabrics is a great way to keep them preserved longer. To treat mold on your outdoor fabric, you will need to wash it in a cold wash cycle with one cup of bleach. The bleach will kill the mold on your outdoor fabrics.
You need to clean your outdoor fabrics regularly to prevent mold and discoloration. Another way to keep your outdoor fabrics well maintained is to cover them with a tarp when not in use. You should keep even water-resistant fabrics away from water as often as possible to keep the fabric lasting as long as possible.
Maintaining Wood on Outdoor Furniture
Another common material used to build outdoor furniture is wood. Some woods are very durable and are fantastic for use outside, but they still need regular maintenance. If you notice mold on the wood of your outdoor furniture, then you need to mix bleach with water and spray it on the mold. Mold can wear out your wood furniture and spread rapidly.
When outdoor wood furniture is not used, you should cover the furniture with a tarp. A tarp will protect your outdoor wood furniture from rain, snow, and sun. This is especially vital during the winter and springtime, although you may have concerns about your wood furniture becoming sun-bleached in the summer.
Maintaining Outdoor Metal Furniture
Many people think that they don’t have to worry too much about maintenance because they have outdoor metal furniture. However, this is not to case. Metal outdoor furniture is highly durable but can become rusted if not correctly maintained. Rust can ruin your outdoor metal furniture, and it is vital to take precautions against rust.
To clean your outdoor metal furniture, you need to dampen a rag with water and use a non-abrasive soap. Clean your outdoor metal furniture regularly to keep it lasting longer. Neglecting to keep your metal furniture clean will cause it to deteriorate faster.
If you notice your metal outdoor furniture becoming discolored, you need to apply a white vinegar and water solution to the table. Metal outdoor furniture becomes discolored due to oxidation. The white vainer solution will help the oxidation of your metal furniture cease.
Maintaining your outdoor furniture is vital to making your furniture last for as long as possible. Without proper furniture maintenance, you will miss out on years of potential furniture use. Keeping your outdoor furniture well maintained is the best way to make your outdoor furniture last for years. Neglecting to maintain your outdoor furniture will cost you a lot of money in the long run.
10 Most Durable Outdoor Furniture Materials
We will discuss the different types of durable materials that you can use for your outdoor furniture and how to pick the one that is best for you. Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of each material to choose the best one to suit your needs. Picking durable materials for your outdoor furniture will keep your outdoor furniture lasting for years.
Recycled plastic lumber is one of the most popular durable building materials for outdoor furniture. This option is excellent for those looking to have durable outdoor furniture that helps the environment. Recycled plastic lumber is easy to maintain. This furniture needs the occasional wash for prolonged performance.
The pros to using recycled plastic lumber go as follows
- Recycled plastic lumber is easy to clean and susceptible to mold or rust
- Recycled plastic lumber is environmentally friendly
- Recycled plastic lumber is water-resistant
- Recycled plastic lumber is excellent during all weather types, whether hot or cold.
All these things are why recycled plastic lumber may be an excellent option on the market for you. However, recycled plastic lumber is not always the best option for everyone. Listed below are why this type of material may not be ideal for you.
- Recycled plastic lumber can be expensive to get a hold of.
- You may not find recycled plastic lumber pleasing to the eye.
It is essential to consider these things when buying materials for your outdoor furniture; if you neglect to look into the pros and cons of recycled plastic lumber, you may spend more money than you have the budget for.
Also, check out our 7 Best Recycled Plastic Outdoor Furniture Manufacturers guide here to read all the information about the best options out there.
2. Solution-dyed Olefin or Solution-dyed Acrylic (Fabric)
This is one of the most durable fabric options for your outdoor furniture. Fabric types are often overlooked when choosing an outdoor furniture fabric. Solution-dyed Olefin or Solution-dyed Acrylic has many benefits. The pros of this type of fabric are listed below.
- Solution-dyed Olefin or Solution-dyed Acrylic is water-resistant, which is essential during rainy days.
- These fabrics hold their colors longer than other fabrics, which is ideal for being in the sun for long periods.
- This fabric is ideal for all types of weather.
However, there may be reasons why you don’t want to use this type of fabric for your outdoor furniture. The cons of Solution-dyed Olefin or Solution-dyed Acrylic are listed below.
- Solution-dyed Olefin or Solution-dyed Acrylic is more expensive than other fabric types because of its durability.
- These fabrics are not very soft because they are built more for durability than comfort.
Take these pros and cons into consideration when buying materials for your outdoor furniture. Sunbrella is a popular solution-dyed acrylic, and we answer if you can wash Sunbrella cushion covers in the washing machine here.
Iron is a popular material for building outdoor furniture. Wrought iron is the stronger version of cast iron, but they are excellent for durable outdoor furniture. The following are the benefits of using wrought iron and cast iron in your outdoor furniture.
- These materials are solid and will not wear down quickly.
- Intended to last for many years
- Will withstand all weather types
There are also plenty of cons to this type of material to consider before selecting it.
- Conducts heat and can burn people in the summer
- Uncomfortable to sit on
- Expensive material
Cast aluminum is a durable metal used to build outdoor furniture. There are many benefits to using cast aluminum in your outdoor furniture. The benefits of this material are listed below.
- This material doesn’t rust, making it great for wet environments.
- His material is very sturdy
- This metal is cheaper than other metals
There are also cons to take into consideration when choosing this material. The cons to using cast aluminum are listed below.
- Compared to other metals, this material is much lighter in weight.
- This material can corrode
- This material is uncomfortable
Cedarwood is a popular material to use in outdoor furniture. This wood is very durable and accessible. Listed below are the benefits of using cedarwood in your outdoor furniture.
- This wood is both lightweight and durable, making it easy to transport
- This material is insect resistant which is ideal in an outdoor setting.
- This wood is water-resistant, making it excellent for all weather conditions.
- This type of wood is easy to work with.
There are some cons to consider about cedarwood too. Those cons are listed below.
- This wood is flammable, meaning it may not be ideal around an open flame
- This material needs to be regularly maintained.
- More expensive than other types of wood.
See our related outdoor wood furniture articles here:
- How to Refinish Outdoor Wood Furniture
- 10 Best Oils for Outdoor Wood Furniture
- 10 Best Clear Coats for Outdoor Wood
6. PVC Mesh (Fabric)
PVC mesh is a type of fabric typically used on outdoor furniture. There are many benefits to using PVC mesh fabric in your outdoor furniture. These benefits are listed below.
- This material is completely waterproof, making it an excellent fabric for all weather conditions.
- It takes a long time for the colors on this fabric to fade, making it great in sunlight.
- This material is not breathable, meaning it needs to be washed regularly.
There are also many cons to consider in PVC mesh. These cons are listed below.
- This material is not environmentally friendly.
- This material is not soft, making it uncomfortable.
You can actually find PVC mesh outdoor rugs that are waterproof and a great option for styling patios.
Cypress wood is a material that is easily accessible and often used for building outdoor furniture. There are many benefits to using Cyprus wood in your outdoor furniture. These benefits are listed below.
- This wood is rot-resistant.
- This wood is sturdy and can build many types of furniture
- This wood is water-resistant, making it suitable for all weather conditions.
There are also cons to consider when using cypress wood in outdoor furniture. These cons are listed below.
- Cypress wood should not be used around an open flame because it is flammable.
- The color of the wood will fade over time.
8. HDPE Wicker (Synthetic Wicker)
HDPE wicker is more durable than standard wicker and is commonly used in outdoor furniture. There are many benefits to using HDPW wicker in outdoor furniture. These benefits are listed below.
- HDPE wicker is water-resistant, making it excellent for all weather types.
- This material is stylish.
- The color doesn’t fade.
There are also some cons to consider when using HDPE wicker in your outdoor furniture. The cons are listed below.
- This material is expensive.
- This material isn’t always accessible.
Teakwood is commonly used for outdoor furniture. There are many benefits to using teak wood in your outdoor furniture. These benefits are listed below.
- Teakwood is water-resistant, making it ideal for all weather types.
- Teakwood is sturdy.
- Teakwood can be very stylish.
There are also many cons to consider when using teakwood in your outdoor furniture. These cons are listed below.
- Teakwood is an expensive building material.
- Teakwood is a hardwood which means it is not easy to work with.
Read our related teak wood furniture articles:
- Can You Use Teak Oil on Any Wood?
- 10 Best Teak Adirondack Chairs for Your Outdoor Space
- How Long Does Teak Oil Take to Dry?
- 5 Best Teak Sealers for Outdoor Furniture
Concrete is a material that is frequently used to build outdoor furniture. It is weather-resistant and durable. There are many benefits to using concrete in your outdoor furniture listed below.
- Concrete is exceptionally cheap compared to other materials on this list.
- Concrete is waterproof and performs well in every season and temperature.
- Concrete will last for a very long time.
There are also many cons to consider when choosing concrete to build your outdoor furniture.
- Concrete requires daily maintenance because it becomes stained when neglected.
- Concrete is dangerous if someone falls and hits their head on it.
- Concrete seating is uncomfortable.
What Aren’t Furniture Materials as Durable?
When building outdoor furniture, you will want to avoid materials that are not durable. Examples of materials that are not durable are listed below.
- Untreated Lumber
- Natural wicker
- cheap plastics
- pressed laminate
- extruded aluminum
How Long Should Your Outdoor Furniture Last?
If your outdoor furniture is made from durable materials and well maintained, you can expect it to last 15 years or longer. The materials used and your care will determine how long your outdoor furniture lasts.
The key to making outdoor furniture that lasts for a long time is proper build, materials, and maintenance. If any of these areas are lacking, your furniture will not survive if you can make it last. So take good care of your outdoor furniture and make it from durable materials to get the most out of your outdoor furniture.
Find the best outdoor furniture in our guides below:
- 25 Best Outdoor Furniture Brands
- 10 Most Comfortable Outdoor Lounge Chairs
- 10 Most Comfortable Outdoor Sectionals
- 10 Best Outdoor Loveseats in 2022
- 10 Most Comfortable Outdoor Sofas
- 10 Most Comfortable Outdoor Chairs for Reading
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.