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The best materials for modern outdoor tables and chairs(1)

Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-05-01      Origin: Site


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At the start of every summer, we’re reminded that outdoor patio furniture is an investment. But when those pieces have to go up against pounding rain, howling wind or beating sun, you’ll want to make sure they can withstand the elements every season. That’s the crucial characteristic of all contemporary outdoor furniture—its material makeup.

The truth is, there are many great materials to choose from. But determining the best depends on factors like your lifestyle and location.

Types of Materials

Most outdoor patio furniture is made of:

1. Woods like teak, eucalyptus and cedar

2. Synthetics like plastic, ABS and synthetic resin wicker

3. Metals like aluminum, steel and wrought iron

4. Synthetic fabrics

outdoor furniture


Of all the possible wood choices for outdoor furniture, teak is, by far, the most popular choice. And for good reason. Teak outdoor furniture has superior natural all-weather capabilities. It can withstand even the harshest environments, and has an unparalleled aesthetic with its beautiful, warm tone. Teak has high oil and natural resin content, making it more resistant to insect attacks and impermeable to water. The oils also protect the wood from dry rot, making teak a very strong and long-lasting outdoor furniture option.

When new, teak wood furniture has a golden-honey brown color. If untreated, teak wood will naturally age into an elegant patina grey. (Such aging does not affect the strength of the wood, but may not be the look you’re going for.) To keep the original color from fading, a teak sealant will typically last a full year before you need to reapply.

Synthetic Resin & Plastics

Another great material for modern outdoor furniture is synthetic resin because of its low-maintenance, light weight and extremely durable all-weather properties. Traditional synthetic resin outdoor furniture is typically woven in a wicker style for the classic outdoor look. This is not to be confused with natural wicker rattan, which fades when exposed to sunlight and is usually placed indoors. Synthetic resin wicker furniture can withstand the harsh conditions of the outdoors.

There are a few common synthetic materials used to make synthetic resin wicker, like nylon, polyethylene and PVC. When considering a synthetic resin piece of furniture, ensure you are getting High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) wicker. HDPE is a higher grade thermoplastic with higher strength, durability and heat endurance than PVC.

On the smoother side, molded plastics–high grade polyethylene, polypropylene and so forth–offer unequaled sculptural and color options. Plus, they combine great durability with a low weight that makes outdoor seating and tables much easier to move around. The hollow nature of some molded plastic pieces even allows for the inclusion of color-changing LEDs.


Wrought iron has been common in the past, but due to its heavy weight, pronation to rust, and high-maintenance requirements, it is no longer common in modern outdoor settings. These days, the most common metals used for modern outdoor patio furniture are aluminum and steel.


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