Choosing the right patio furniture is a big decision for any family. You want to make sure that you’re getting the best possible quality material that is guaranteed to stand the test of time.
The complicated part is actually finding the right material for your outdoor furniture because they all seem to have their pros and cons.
Of all of the different materials out there, polywood and aluminum are definitely the most popular choices. Both are very durable and look great too.
But, which is better – polywood or aluminum? To help you make your decision, we’ve created this handy guide that lists all of the key features of the materials.
What Is Polywood Furniture?
Before we jump straight into discussing the pros and cons of both of these materials, first, let’s take a look at what exactly polywood is.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this material, polywood is essentially lumber that is made from HDPE (high-density polyethylene).
Made from petroleum, it is a thermoplastic polymer. They are synthetically manufactured to be incredibly dense and strong.
Most of the materials that go into polywood furniture are recycled items such as bottles and household plastics. This makes it an incredibly eco-friendly option.
There is also no wastage in the making of the furniture itself.
Unlike wood, which often has bits and pieces of lumber left over in the factories that go to waste, all of the polywood is recycled in some shape or form after the furniture is complete.
In addition to this, UV pigments are added to the furniture when they’re being made, and this gives them an incredibly durable colour and clean appearance that won’t fade over time.
This means that the furniture won’t need to be repainted, as the colour is actually infused into the material itself.
As an added bonus, small scratches are less noticeable, with matching colours hiding the cut.
You can choose two different types of finish for the polywood too, the classic look, and the vintage look. The classic look is the most popular and essentially has a perfect paint finish that looks clean and bright.
The vintage is another popular option and has pigment added to different points of the material, giving it a slightly worn, textured look.
A great thing about polywood is that it is super easy to clean. All you need to do is wipe it down with a cloth whenever you need to.
You don’t need to worry about it blowing away in the stormy weather either, like rattan-based furniture. It’s incredibly heavy, and won’t be affected by bad weather conditions.
Now that we’ve taken a closer look at polywood furniture, we can move on to discuss outdoor aluminum furniture.
What Is Aluminum Furniture?
Aluminum furniture is one of the original materials used for this purpose. Dating back to the 1960s, we see lots of vintage aluminum furniture that has a beautiful, classic appearance.
The reason why we see so much of this furniture in antique stores today is that when it’s properly manufactured, aluminum can last decades.
If properly manufactured, it won’t rust at all, or gather any rot. It’s highly weather resistant, and if you take the proper steps to take care of it, along with powder coating, it will be with you for many years to come.
You don’t need to take many steps in order to keep it looking fresh, as the material can stand to be left outside in all manner of different weather conditions.
When cleaning aluminum furniture, all you need to do is take a clean cloth over the surface of the material.
But do make sure you don’t use any abrasive sponges or harsh cleaning chemicals that may affect the weather resistance of the material.
The best thing about this material is that it’s 100 percent sustainable.
That’s right. Aluminum is actually known as the most sustainable material in the world. 75 percent of all aluminum that’s being circulated today has been recycled at some point.
During the recycling process, the material doesn’t lose any of its desirable properties either, so you can guarantee that it’s of the highest quality.
The furniture isn’t too heavy either, depending on the set that you buy. This means that it’s easy to maneuver around when you have guests or need to put them away for any reason.
Most aluminum furniture will be accompanied by some sort of seat cushion because, in hot weather conditions, it can be hot to sit on.
The material heats up very quickly, so choosing some seat cushions to go with your furniture is important.
Polywood VS Aluminum – Which Is The Best Option?
Now that we’ve taken a closer look at these materials, we can move on to discuss which might be the best option for garden furniture. They both have their pros and cons, and we’ll take a look at some of these here.
By discussing some of the key features demonstrated by outdoor furniture, and the most desirable qualities you should consider when making your decision, we’ll help you choose between polywood or aluminum.
One of the key things that should fuel your decision is how easy the material is to take care of.
After all, you don’t want to spend all your summertime cleaning and maintaining your furniture instead of enjoying it. You want a material that has designed to last all by itself. Without constant upkeep.
Thankfully, both polywood and aluminum are great options if you’re looking for low-maintenance materials.
Both are super easy to clean and require just a basic wipe with a clean cloth.
With your polywood furniture, you can also give it a once over with a little bit of bleach added to the cleaning mixture. This works well for deep cleaning the material.
In addition to this, as we mentioned above, polywood will never chip or crack like wooden furniture.
This means that you’ll never need to repaint it. You might need to touch up aluminum furniture, depending on whether it’s been painted or not.
Polywood furniture is incredibly heavy, so you won’t have to move it when the weather gets stormy.
With aluminum furniture, you will need to consider moving them to a safe space if it’s particularly windy, as they’re not the heaviest furniture around.
One thing that you need to consider when choosing aluminum furniture is whether or not it has a powder coating. Powder coating helps to protect the material. Makes scratches less noticeable and reduces fading.
Another important aspect to take into consideration is how durable your furniture is.
Let’s face it, buying outdoor furniture is expensive, whichever material you choose, so you need to make sure that it will last you for many years to come.
Polywood has been described as being virtually indestructible. It doesn’t accumulate any chips or dents, and it’s sturdy enough to withstand incredibly harsh weather conditions.
Unlike wooden patio furniture, you can also rest easy knowing that it won’t accumulate any pests because it’s made from plastic.
The warranty for polywood furniture says that it will last you for at least 20 years. The one exception is the hardware which only has a 5-year warranty.
When it comes to aluminum furniture, it is actually known for being incredibly durable, even more so than other metal-based furniture.
Although the material can rust, it doesn’t look like you’d imagine it to.
With materials such as iron, you get an orange hue that damages the integrity of the item. But with aluminum, however, the rust which accumulates is a grayish colour.
Helping to protect the material and doesn’t corrode it like traditional rust. There’s no chance of the material flaking away at all either.
In general, outdoor furniture that’s been made from aluminum will last for up to 30 years or more. This is incredible in terms of durability.
Another factor that you’ll need to consider when purchasing your outdoor furniture is the cost. Polywood furniture, because of its high-quality material, is expensive to buy.
If you’re interested in this kind of furniture, you should expect to pay a bit more. Despite this, all garden furniture that is made from high-quality materials will be costly, but can still be a good investment.
By purchasing high-quality furniture, you’ll save yourself the hassle of having to buy again in the future in the near future.
Both Aluminum and Polywood will last you for many years to come.
The good thing about aluminum is that it won’t cost you an arm and a leg either. It’s actually very reasonably priced for the quality and durability of the material. So if you’re looking for a slightly cheaper option, aluminum might be the right choice for you.
Another thing that’s important to consider is if the materials are sustainable or not.
As we mentioned above, both polywood and aluminum are incredibly eco-friendly, so you know that using either will not add to waste.
Polywood furniture has been made of 90 percent recycled materials, so you can rest easy knowing that they come from a good place.
Aluminum is actually the most recyclable material in the entire world, and your furniture set might just have come from a portion of a plane in its past life.
So Which Is Better?
Both polywood and aluminum are great materials for outdoor furniture.
With low levels of required maintenance. A little cleaning is all that is required for both.
If you’re looking for something that isn’t too expensive, but still has high levels of durability, aluminum is a great option.
However, if you are looking for something more wood-like in look and feel, polywood is a good option.
In windy locations, polywood may be a better option. The extra weight keeps it in place.
On the flip side. Aluminum furniture is often easier to move around. Not weighing as much as polywood.
The biggest distinct difference and reason to choose one over the other is probably what started the conversation.
Both have a very distinct look, not like the other. If you like the look of metal bars, aluminum is your best patio furniture material.
On the other hand, you like the look of wood planks without the maintenance. Polywood is a good option.
The best part is regardless of which one you choose, aluminum or polywood. They will last for years with little maintenance to distract you from relaxing outdoors.