Tips for buying Garden Furniture Materials – Pros And Cons

When you think of summer or spring time, your patio, a beautiful garden, summer barbecues or a poolside may come to your mind. It is easy to furnish your outdoor space, but it takes a lot more to achieve factors like comfort, durability and style in the furniture you choose. Below are several considerations you need to make depending on where exactly you want to place your furniture:

  1. Mold & mildew

Mold and mildew thrive in humid and moist areas. Buying furniture that is made of organic materials that retain water will create a breeding space for fungi that causes mold and mildew. This puts your outdoor furniture at risk and also leaves you and your loved ones to getting health problems that may be caused by this kind of fungus.

  1. Moisture and frequent rains

Moist conditions are also likely to expose some types of outdoor furniture to rotting or decaying. If you live in areas that experience rain or are highly humid, you may want to consider water-proof furniture for your garden.

  1. Rusting and corrosion:

Outdoor furniture made of steel or iron may be at a higher risk of corroding due to exposure to water and oxygen. Corrosion leads to rusting and discoloration of the metal used. If you live close to a coastline, you may want to avoid metallic furniture because of the salty air and water which will enhance the corrosion process.

  1. Warping

You will want to consider whether the material that your furniture is made of allows water penetration. Water seeping material is prone to uneven drying and in return, tends to twist or bow thus changing its original shape. The action of warping leads to misalignment of the seams in your furniture and loosening of the fasteners that were used to bind it together.

  1. Sun & fading

You will need to invest in outdoor furniture made from materials that can withstand UV rays if you live in an extremely sunny place. Exposing furniture to the hot sun can cause fading thus denying you that appeal that attracted you to the furniture initially. Worse still, it can lead to uneven spotting as loss of luster in your furniture.

  1. Cracking

As a matter of fat, some materials expand or contract depending on their surrounding temperature. You must be wary of this factor when purchasing your outdoor furniture as it may cause splitting or cracking.

  1. Ability to retain heat

Furniture that retains heat from the sun can be uncomfortable and unsafe to have in your outdoor space. It can also cause inconveniences to you especially if you wish to move it around your garden.

  1. Wind

You will want to buy heavy furniture if you live in a very windy area. This prevents your outdoor furniture from becoming a hazard by being blown away by the wind. Choosing the appropriate kind of furniture for a windy place also saves you the hustle of always having to secure then when they are not in use.

  1. Durability:

There are some types of furniture materials that call for replacement once in a while whether the conditions are right or not while others may last for all seasons without losing their luster. This may be due to factors like usage too. You may want to consider some more durable material if you plan to use your outdoor furniture more often.

  1. Ease of cleaning

Durability of your outdoor furniture will also depend on the way you take care of it. Whereas some require simple and quick cleaning, others may need more intensive cleaning.

  1. Eco friendliness

Environmental degradation has a ripple negative effect on everyone including humans and animals. You will want to consider eco-friendly outdoor furniture.

  1. Finally, Cost

This is a very important consideration because whatever material or outdoor furniture you choose to buy should be within your budget. When looking at the financial implications, think of how often you need to replace that particular item and whether it has special maintenance requirements.

Generally, outdoor furniture is manufactured in a way that it is able to withstand elements like strong sunlight and rain. However, depending on the materials used to make the furniture, some last longer than others. It is crucial for you to understand about various materials used in making outdoor furniture before making a choice on which you will invest in.

garden furniture material

Below is a list of different materials, their pros and cons that will assist you to make an informed choice:


This material has stood the test of time as a popular material for garden furniture. Its popularity can be attributed to its sturdiness, versatility and the fact that it is easy to work with. However, you need to be careful of the type of wood you choose for your garden furniture.

Hardwood is more preferable because it is more resistant to weather damage and it is long lasting. Soft wood on the other hand is more appropriate for indoor furniture because it is prone to being damaged by weather. Hardwood however also has differences depending on the choice you make:

a. Teak

This type of wood provides a great garden furniture material. Its popularity can be pegged to its ability to repel water and high natural oil content that allows it not to expand or contract when being dried. It appears honey gold in color when well maintained but turns a nice silver-gray color when you do not polish it over time.

• It is very strong and does not warp
• It does not crack or become brittle
• It is rot resistant
• It does not decay and is insect resistant
• It is durable and can last well over 45 years.
• It requires minimum maintenance through oiling.

• It is very expensive

b. Shorea

The origin of this hard wood is Southeast Asia. Just like teak, it has a high oil content but appears reddish-gold in color. It is believed that exposing it to heat strengthens it more and improves its flexibility.

• It is strong
• Weather and insect resistant
• It is eco-friendly
• Cheaper than teak.
• It is not well known thus not readily available

c. Eucalyptus

It has a rustic look and turns silver patina in color if not regularly oiled.

• It is cost effective, both growing it and buying the furniture
• Durable
• Rot resistant and insect resistant too.
• It is eco-friendly
• A sealant is required to make it less prone to marine and pinhole borers.
• It cracks easily if not treated with a sealant

d. Ipe

Also known as ironwood, this hardwood whose origin can be traced to central and South America can last up to 40 years. Exposing it to weathering makes its rich colored grains to fade slower.

• It is durable and strong
• Pest and fungi resistant
• Requires a lot of preparation before building furniture with it
• It is difficult to work with

e. White Oak

This hard wood is readily available and very long-lasting. It has water repelling ability which has made it very popular for building boats over the years. To retain its durability, you have to keep oiling it. This wood turns grey if left untreated over time.

• It is water proof and thus rot resistant
• It is very strong
• It has little oil content which makes using a sealant during its preparation a necessary action.


It has a reddish tint and is beautiful to look at. However, it requires much care and maintenance and can easily rot when exposed to wet conditions.


It is readily available and has a nice red-brown color. However, it is more prone to warping and cracking as compared to eucalyptus material.


Among all types of material that you would want to consider for your outdoor furniture, metal is the most durable and strongest. It has many different productions that do not necessitate use of screws or other fasteners and this increases durability of your garden outdoor furniture. It is easier to shape than wood and can be used together with other materials like wood.

However, metallic garden furniture can be uncomfortable to touch when the weather is sunny as it tends to heat up. Depending on the type of metal, some are hard to move thus can give you logistical problems. Metal may also rust or corrode depending on the climatic conditions and maintenance performed on it.

Below are different types of metal, their pros and cons:

a. Stainless steel

• It is very strong
• Has high density and thus does not dent easily
• It is immune to corrosion and rust
• Its heaviness makes it ideal for outdoor because it cannot be blown away by the wind.
• It is easy to clean and maintain
• It is environmental friendly as it is mostly produced from recycled metal.
• It is expensive
• It retains heat
• It requires a polyester powder coating to make it more weather proof

b. Aluminium

• It is strong and durable
• It is easy to work with and mould into different shapes
• It is not very expensive
• It requires low maintenance and is rust resistant.

• It requires a polyester powder coating to make it more weather proof
• It retains heat
• It can be easily blown away by the wind

c. Wrought iron

• It is strong and long lasting
• It is heavy and thus the furniture is very sturdy.
• It has a stylish and classic appearance
• It is highly recommended for windy areas.
• It rusts easily and thus requires higher maintenance
• It retains both heat and cold
• Due to its heaviness, you may find it difficult to move it around your garden
• Garden furniture manufactured from wrought iron can be uncomfortable to sit on or use without upholstery like cushions.

Plastic and resin

Garden furniture made from these materials has become popular over the years due to the different shapes and sizes it comes in. They are typically light in terms of weight, not expensive and come in different colors. Generally, they are fade and weather resistant and easy to clean.

You can choose your garden furniture depending on these common types of plastics and resin materials used to manufacture them:

a. Synthetic resin

• It is eco-friendly and doesn’t emit chemicals into the environment
• It does not puncture easily and is extremely weather resistant
• It is 100% recyclable
• It is not recommended for windy areas as it us not heavy.

b. Recycled plastic

• It is eco-friendly and will give your patio a very stylish look
• You will find garden furniture made from recycled plastic very strong and durable
• It is moisture resistant which keeps it mold free and rot free
• It will be easy for you to maintain as it is easy to clean and fade resistant.
• It is not suitable for windy areas due to its light weight.

High pressure laminates

If you opt for garden furniture made from this material, they will offer you a sleek look. This material is stain and scratch resistant because it is very hard. It is generally made of a combination of aluminium and resin which has been heated under pressure. Some manufacturers of this material also add melamine to increase its durability.

• The look modern and sleek
• They do not harbour bacteria
• Do not get marks on impact
• It is expensive

Tempered glass

You may want to consider this material for your garden furniture for example table tops.

• It is elegant looking
• It is resistant to temperature changes
• It can be cumbersome to move around depending on the weight of the glass used.
• It may be prone to breaking from falling objects
• It can also cause glare when placed in a sunny area


If you are seeking to have a more permanent and solid look for your garden, concrete is your go-to material for your outdoor furniture.

• It is long lasting and strong
• You can mould it in whichever form you like
• It easily stains
• It is heavy to move

Concrete Composite

It is also known as polymer concrete. If you are looking at having something that looks like concrete but is lighter and more resilient to weather elements, then concrete composite would be ideal.

It is easy to design
It is lighter and stronger than concrete
• It is more tensile than regular concrete in terms of strength
• You will find garden furniture made from this material less porous and thus more resistant to stains, scratches and damage on impact.
• It does not crack as a result of changes in temperature
• It is easy to mould into any shape
• It is heat resistant and can make a food fire table or fire bowl for your garden.


Rattan is a type of climbing plant that is fibrous in nature. It can be woven together to make outdoor furniture for your garden. It is a very common and popular material, highly preferred for its resistance to UV light. Sunlight does not contribute to its fading or wearing out.

You will find furniture made from rattan very attractive because of its natural look. However, you have to be keen when purchasing rattan furniture to ensure they are perfectly weaved. Loose fibres will reduce the quality and durability of your garden furniture.

• It is versatile and handy and will give you very long-lasting furniture
• Your furniture will be eco-friendly as the materials used are recyclable
• You will have resilient furniture that can withstand all types of weather conditions even the rain; but it would need to be enhanced with a coat of lacquer.
• They are very attractive
• You can customize cushions to use on the seats depending on your style
• Without a coating of lacquer, rattan soaks up water and can therefore rot easily
• Your furniture will be uncomfortable without upholstery
• It may also loosen over time and thus requires care and maintenance often

All said and done, you may want to consider investing in some quality garden furniture covers. This will help you to keep your furniture in the ideal condition, away from dirt especially when they are not in use for long periods of time. Furniture that is prone to fading will be well protected from damage.

Tips for selecting the best quality garden furniture covers include:

  1. The covers should be soft on the inside to avoid scratching
  2. They should be made of material that is breathable
  3. True waterproof covers are the best
  4. Have the correct dimensions of your furniture to ensure the covers fit properly.