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Home Our Guide To Outdoor Furniture Materials
Home Our Guide To Outdoor Furniture Materials

Our Guide To Outdoor Furniture Materials

Outdoor furniture materials

As we embrace the outdoors, creating a cozy and inviting space becomes a priority. But with so many options, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. From timeless classics to modern innovations, there’s a material to suit every style and budget. By understanding each option’s basics and pros and cons, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision that will enhance your outdoor space. With our guide, you can create a comfortable and stylish outdoor retreat, perfect for relaxing with family and friends. 

Factors To Consider When Choosing Outdoor Furniture 

Have you got an outdoor area that you want to bring to life with comfortable furniture? Here are some factors to consider. 

Think about the area 

When designing your outdoor space, many ideas will rush to your mind. However, you need to consider the area and what would be best for you. For example, do you plan to use your outdoor space for eating or relaxing? You don’t want to put a big table on a small patio that is better suited for two chaise lounges

Think about the natural elements 

Before you can start planning your outdoor space, you need to think about the weather where you live. If you live in a hot, dry climate, you’ll need to buy different furniture than you would if you lived in an area with lots of rain or humidity. 

Maintenance requirements 

Different types of outdoor furniture require different types of maintenance. For example, if you’re deciding whether to buy an outdoor dining table or a lounge chair, you’ll need to consider the maintenance requirements for each and be willing to put in the work to maintain them. 

Think about quality and comfort 

While you won’t be using your outdoor furniture year-round, you still want to be comfortable when you do. Therefore, one of the things to keep in mind when choosing outdoor furniture is quality and comfort. Outdoor furniture, such as loungers, should be soft to sit on and made from high-quality materials to keep it in shape for years to come. 

The Best Materials For Outdoor Furniture

Wood 

Wood is one of the best materials for outdoor furniture because of its durability and aesthetics. However, it’s important to remember that there are very different types of wood. For example,  hardwood and softwood are different, especially in the way they respond to weather conditions, which can be the difference between your outdoor furniture lasting many years or becoming damaged after the first rainfall. 

Pros

  • Provides any outdoor space with a natural and warm feeling
  • It can be stained or painted to match different aesthetics
  • Durable if properly maintained

Cons

  • Requires regular maintenance like sealing, staining or painting to protect against weathering
  • Susceptible to rot, warping and insect damage if not treated
  • Higher initial cost compared to some other materials

Wood outdoor furniture is versatile and can work well in a variety of outdoor spaces, such as 

  • Gardens and backyards
  • Decks and patios 
  • Porches or verandahs
  • Poolside 
  • Coastal locations
  • Balconies and rooftop gardens 

Aluminium

Aluminium is another popular material for outdoor furniture. It is durable, lightweight, and resistant to rust and corrosion. People also choose aluminium furniture for their outdoor spaces because it is easy to clean and maintain.

Pros

  • Strong and durable
  • Resistant to rust and corrosion
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • It can become hot in direct sunlight 
  • Lightweight means it can be blown over in strong wind

Aluminium outdoor furniture is versatile and can work well in a range of outdoor spaces, such as

  • Coastal environments
  • Poolside
  • Balconies and rooftop gardens
  • Outdoor dining areas 

Stainless steel 

Stainless steel is a metal alloy that’s extremely strong, making it a popular choice of material for outdoor couch frames or dining tables. Another reason why people love stainless steel outdoor furniture so much is that it’s less immune to rust and corrosion, making it great for houses in coastal areas. Not only is stainless steel easy to clean, but it’s also often made from recycled metals, making it an environmentally friendly choice.

Pros

  • Strong and durable
  • Doesn’t dent easily like aluminium
  • Powder coating prevents moisture, which means no rust
  • Can withstand all weather conditions

Cons

  • Retains heat
  • Expensive

Stainless steel is best suited for outdoor spaces that require high durability and resistance to corrosion, such as

  • Coastal environments 
  • Poolside 
  • Outdoor dining areas 

Rattan 

Rattan is a type of vine woven into furniture. It is a popular choice for outdoor furniture because it is lightweight, easy to move around, and resistant to sun and weather damage.

Pros

  • Natural and organic look
  • Lightweight and easy to move around
  • Resistant to fading

Cons

  • Not as durable as some other materials
  • Can unravel or break over time
  • Requires occasional cleaning to prevent mould and mildew buildup

Rattan furniture is best suited for outdoor spaces that prioritise a natural, relaxed and tropical vibe, such as

  • Gardens and patios
  • Poolside 
  • Coastal environments
  • Sunrooms and covered porches 
  • Small outdoor balconies 

Wrought iron 

Wrought iron has been one of the best materials for outdoor furniture for centuries due to its durability and strength. If properly cared for and maintained, wrought iron can last hundreds of years. 

Another great thing about wrought iron is that when heated, it can be hammered into shape, meaning you can get wrought iron outdoor furniture in a range of styles and designs.

Pros

  • Strong and durable
  • Stylish, classic look
  • Great for windy areas

Cons

  • Difficult to move
  • Requires more maintenance
  • It can be uncomfortable if sitting without cushions
  • Retains heat and cold

Wrought iron furniture is best suited for outdoor spaces that prioritise durability, timeless elegance and a classic aesthetic, such as 

  • Traditional courtyards 
  • Mediterranean and Tuscan-inspired backyards 
  • Balconies and rooftop gardens 

Plastic 

Plastic outdoor furniture is a great option if you’re looking for something lightweight and affordable. In the past, plastic outdoor furniture used to be susceptible to fading and cracking. However, with new technology and techniques, modern variants are treated to be more resistant.

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to move
  • Resistant to moisture, rot and insects
  • Low maintenance 
  • Wide range of styles and colours available

Cons

  • Less environmentally friendly compared to other materials
  • Lower aesthetic for some people
  • Not ideal for windy environments

Plastic furniture is best suited for outdoor areas that prioritise affordability, low maintenance and versatility, such as

  • Decks and patios 
  • Poolside
  • Balconies and small outdoor spaces
  • Outdoor dining areas 

The Best Materials For Outdoor Cushions

There are so many material options to choose from, including

Polypropylene 

Polypropylene is one of the best materials for outdoor cushions due to its incredible durability and long-lasting nature. This type of material is weather-resistant and can withstand sun, rain, humidity and even salt water. Due to its durability, polypropylene is a popular fabric, so you can get it in all types of styles and colours for your outdoor cushions.

Vinyl 

Vinyl is waterproof and easy to clean and is commonly used for outdoor cushions, particularly in poolside environments. It’s resistant to moisture, mould and mildew but may not be as breathable or comfortable as fabric options. 

Cotton 

Cotton has been a popular choice for outdoor cushion material for hundreds of years. Not only is cotton comfortable, but it’s also breathable and lightweight. However, if untreated cotton is used on cushions, it’ll be vulnerable to humidity and mildew after some time.

Acrylic linen 

Due to it being a strong and durable fabric, acrylic linen is commonly used for outdoor cushions. The benefits of this material are that it’s resistant to rot, mildew and fading as well as being very easy to clean. 

Buy Outdoor Furniture at Home Fires

From stainless steel to rattan and everything in between, there are so many different types of materials to choose from when considering new outdoor furniture. Whether you’re looking for a chaise lounge for lying poolside or a dining set for your deck, Home Fires has a wide range of outdoor furniture to choose from.
Do you have questions or need help finding furniture that’s perfect for your outdoor area? Contact us today or see us in-store.

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