A Guide To Patio Furniture Materials

When it comes to patio furniture, there’s many materials to choose from depending on what type of style and function you seek to create in your backyard. We’ve created this short guide on furniture materials to give you an idea of what type of materials to shop for.

Wrought Iron
Iron is the fourth most abundant metal on earth, making up around five percent of the earths crust. This metal extracted from iron ore has been wrought into different shapes and functions since the Iron Ages until today. It is sturdy, durable which makes it a great material for withstanding the elements. However, this material is heavy and can potentially rust even if its powder coated. Because of some areas climate- like Florida where conditions are more humid and salt air present - its almost a sure thing to expect rust.

On the comfort scale, wrought iron furniture is not very comfortable. To make it more enjoyable it requires cushions, but, many manufacturers already now include them with the patio sets.

Maintenance Tip: We recommend that you clean with mild soap and rinse your wrought iron furniture every now and then. And if it gets any cracks, use paint to touch them up, as well as rust protector.

Steel furniture is sturdy and durable like wrought iron. Although it is heavier than aluminum furniture, when in direct sunlight -steel does become hot to the touch. 


Steel furniture is a great for constant-use environments such as restaurants. Steel furniture provides good durability for these high use environments but again it is not rust proof.

Maintenance Tip: We recommend to wash with mild soap and rinse. Touch up as soon as possible when rust appears.

Aluminum is durable, aesthetically pleasing, and an affordable material for patio furniture. Most of the aerospace and transportation industries use aluminum due to its lightweight, durable and non-corrosive qualities. This material doesnt rust and its very low maintenance.

9K10If its put under the sun in darker finishes-it can become hot, but most aluminum furniture comes with cushions or slings that minimize the heated surface area. Its a great option for patio furniture.

Maintenance tips: We recommend to wash with mild soapy water (Dawn brand dishwashing soap works well) and rinse.


Natural Wicker/Rattan
Wicker is a woven style of furniture which involves platting or weaving natural plant fibers such as rattan, cane, willow and raffia to form furniture pieces. It is lightweight and flexible, naturally confortable but most wicker furniture also bring cushions.

Wicker is suitable for indoor use, and looks wonderful in sunrooms and enclosed. Its available on a wide range of colors, and provides a coastal, sunny country style.

Maintenance Tip: we recommend to clean with mild detergent and rinse dry. Wicker and rattan furniture usually come with cushions, which you can also clean with soap and water, (for a tutorial click here). For the wood frames brushing off and vacuuming works best.

Synthetic Wicker (outdoor)
Same weaving process as mentioned above using resin materials that can last when exposed to the outdoors. These models usually are woven on top of aluminum frames as well. Be careful when shopping- inferior products will use steel or wood frames and inferior wicker weaves without UV inhibitors- all of which can dramatically shorten the life of product.

Synthetic wicker is usually best suited for covered patios as it requires cushions. Frames can be left in weather, but, always is a good idea to bring in cushions or cover.

Maintenance tip: We recommend to wash with mild soapy water (Dawn brand dishwashing soap works well) and rinse.



Wood is a solid, sturdy, heavy and less heat absorbing, and if cared for well- it can be long-lasting. The downside to better wood furniture is that it is expensive and requires more maintenance. The most common types of wood furniture are teak, cedar, pine and eucalyptus. Teak has a dense grain and is resistant to rotting and swelling, eucalyptus is more budget friendly and resistant to moisture damage. Both will require some upkeep to protect their integrity.

Cedar and pine are usually less expensive and commonly paint finished-these types are not as dense and therefore, not recommended in humid climates as they can rot or require frequent painting.

Maintenance tip: Wood furniture requires more maintenance than other materials. It requires a preservative to protect against weathering and insects, as well as a brightener to maintain its original appearance if not painted.

Polymer, Plastic, Resin
Plastic furniture can be made to resemble wicker, wood or other types of furniture. It is lightweight, low maintenance, inexpensive and available in a wider range of colors than other materials. Marine grade polymer furniture is made of high-density polyethylene and it was developed to be highly durable and resistant to moisture, stains, mildew, and insects. 


Marine grade polymer is our preferred material in this category because it is extremely durable and heavy in the toughest salt air environments. Also the latest modern styles are being designed with MGP materials, so that's a plus! 

Maintenance tip: We recommend to wash with mild soapy water (Dawn brand dishwashing soap works well) and rinse.

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