Is Stainless Steel Or Aluminum Better For Outdoor Furniture?

Are you looking to purchase new outdoor furniture and aren’t sure which material is the right choice for you? Maybe you are torn between stainless steel and aluminum and aren’t sure which is better for outdoor furniture.

Is Stainless Steel Or Aluminum Better For Outdoor Furniture

Finding the right material for outdoor furniture can be tricky. After all, you want your furniture to be stylish, but incredibly durable without being too heavy to move around.

Keep reading to see whether stainless steel or aluminum is better for outdoor furniture and everything you need to consider when choosing your outdoor furniture. 


Stainless Steel and Aluminum Advantages in Outdoor Furniture?

When it comes to outdoor furniture both stainless steel and aluminum are fantastic options, but there are a few differences between them that can help you make the right choice for you. 

Aluminum is the better option if you want lighter furniture that is easier for you to move around. Aluminum is a fairly lightweight material, and you don’t need to worry about struggling to lift it yourself. It is also quite durable, so you shouldn’t need to worry about it only lasting one winter. 

However, it is not as durable as stainless steel. Stainless steel is heavier and costs more, but has more durability and strength!

It would take quite a few knocks from the wind to damage your stainless steel outdoor furniture. You also don’t need to worry too much about it getting damaged by harsh weather. 

Stainless steel features chromium additives that form an invisible nanoporous film around the metal. It is this film that offers protection from harsh winds and rain.

It helps to keep your stainless steel furniture corrosion-resistant, so you don’t need to worry about rust or other damage! 

Aluminum, on the other hand, does not naturally offer this protection. You will need to apply a protective coat or sealant yourself to provide aluminum furniture with the same level of protection.

It is because of this that many people consider stainless steel to be more durable than aluminum. The protective coating stainless steel offers should also help your outdoor furniture last longer, so you can enjoy it for many summers to come! 

Steel is also a lot stronger than aluminum. Sure this does come with an added weight, but as we mentioned earlier, your stainless steel outdoor furniture can withstand more knocks than aluminum without getting dented.

As aluminum is a thinner metal, it doesn’t take much for it to get dented. One bad knock or dropping a chair could leave it seriously dented, potentially ruining your new outdoor furniture!

If you want outdoor furniture that you haven’t got to be too careful when using, then stainless steel is the best option for you! It will provide you with wonderful durability and protection from the elements as well as being able to withstand a knock or two! 

However, if you are on a budget, aluminum is a good choice. The outdoor furniture will be lighter to move and will still have a good level of durability, just be sure to add a protective sealant if you intend to leave the furniture outside during the rain. 

Now that we have established which material is better for outdoor furniture, let’s move on to see what else you should consider when purchasing outdoor furniture. 

Which Lasts Longer Aluminum Or Stainless Steel Outdoor Furniture?

Typically, stainless steel outdoor furniture will last longer than aluminum outdoor furniture. This is because stainless steel tends to be stronger and more durable than aluminum.

You can expect your stainless steel furniture to last a few more years than aluminum furniture, especially if you are leaving the furniture out during wet and harsh winters. 

However, how long your outdoor furniture lasts will depend entirely on how well you care for it. If you regularly clean and maintain your furniture and protect it from harsh winds and rain, regardless of the material used to make the furniture. 

If you care for your aluminum furniture correctly, then it could last longer than stainless steel furniture that is not cared for correctly! 

What To Consider When Purchasing Outdoor Furniture

What To Consider When Purchasing Outdoor Furniture

We’ve already established that you need to carefully consider the material of your outdoor furniture (and opt for stainless steel if you have the budget), but what else should you consider?

There are a few features that you should keep in mind to ensure you purchase the best outdoor furniture for you. So let’s take a quick look at these now to help you make the right choice today! 

It’s Weight

After selecting the material, consider the weight of the furniture. You will want the furniture to be heavy enough that it doesn’t blow over in a slight gust of windOpens in a new tab., but also light enough that you can move it around easily.

If you don’t plan to move the furniture around constantly, then you don’t need to worry about the weight too much and you can select heavy furniture that will stay grounded no matter the weather! 

For those that are planning to move the furniture regularly, such as indoors during bad weather, then opt for lightweight furniture.

This will allow you to move the furniture without needing to wait for a second pair of hands and will save you time too. Allowing you to rearrange your deck anytime that’s convenient for you. Without waiting for someone to lift the other end.

Make sure to check the weight of the furniture on its label or product description before purchasing. If you are placing the furniture on a deck or a balcony, make sure that the weight of the furniture will not exceed the maximum weight of the balcony or decking. 

The International Residential Code requires a deck to be built to hold a minimum of 40 lbs per square foot. So overweighting your deck should not be a concern with most furniture.

It’s Weather Resistant

If the furniture you are buying isn’t made with weather-resistant material, check to see if any additional sealants or protectants have been added.

These will provide a protective coating to your furniture and prevent water from damaging your furniture. When these sealants are applied correctly, the water will run down the furniture, rather than sitting on it. 

This helps to prevent any water damage like rust or corrosion. Ideally, you want your outdoor furniture to be as water resistant as possible.

Not only will these sealants offer protection from rain, but snow and ice too, which can melt on your furniture and cause similar problems to rain! 

If the outdoor furniture does not come with these protectant seals, you can purchase them yourself and apply them. Of course, make sure to consider the added cost of this when looking at your budget.

It might end up costing you more than if you purchased more expensive furniture which has used stainless steel than cheaper furniture without the sealants applied! 

Whether It’s A Set Or Not

Are you looking to purchase one or two chairs or a six-piece dining set? Even if you are just purchasing one chair it is always worth seeing if the furniture is part of a wider set or not.

That way, if one of your chairs becomes damaged or you want to add more to your collection, you can purchase them from the same collection, giving you matching chairs. 

If you purchase one and it isn’t part of a wider set, that might be fine for now, but you could wind up with mismatched furniture as you continue to add to your outdoor furniture collection.

While some people will enjoy this, consider whether you want all your outdoor furniture to match or not! This will help you narrow down your choices and find the right furniture for you. 


You will also want to consider the style of the furniture. It’s all good having durable and strong outdoor furniture, but is it in a style that you like? Do you know what style you would like?

These days aluminum, stainless steel, and virtually any other material used can create virtually any style of outdoor furniture. 

Sites like Pinterest are perfect for inspiration and help you narrow down the style that you want. These days, you can choose from a range of colours too, so you shouldn’t have to compromise on anything when choosing your outdoor furniture! 


Finally, you will want to consider the cost of the furniture. Make sure you consider your budget carefully before searching for your new outdoor furniture. You don’t want to stretch yourself too thin and purchase furniture that will cause financial distress. 

So set a strict budget and stick to it as best as possible. Consider what you need from your furniture and how often you intend to use it so you can create a budget that reflects how much use you will get out of the furniture. 

These days your choice of outdoor furniture is endless so you don’t need to panic! You are sure to find outdoor furniture that suits your tastes and your budget. 

How Can I Weather-Proof My Outdoor Furniture?

There are a few ways you can weatherproof your furniture. First, you can apply protectant sealants or sprays to protect your outdoor furniture from the rain. These can be purchased as sprays, waxes, or clear varnishes that can be painted or sprayed onto your outdoor furniture. 

Make sure you follow the instructions on the sealant or protectant carefully to prevent damaging the furniture. Check before use too that it is safe to use on the material your furniture is made with! 

You can also add some grease to your outdoor furniture. This will protect it from rust, as the grease will act as a protective layer, keeping water from penetrating the furniture.

This is an affordable alternative if you don’t have the budget for expensive sealants and sprays. Just take a thin layer of grease and apply it to the furniture, taking care to avoid getting any grease on your clothes! 

An even cheaper and easier option is to use some WD-40! The multi-use spray is perfect for protecting your outdoor furniture from rust and corrosion.

All you need to do is spray it on the furniture and it will dry quickly, allowing you to carry on using your outdoor furniture without needing to worry about products getting on your clothes or skin! 

Finally, you will want to regularly care for and maintain your outdoor furniture. Make sure that you wipe away any water to prevent any rust or water damage. You will also want to keep your outdoor furniture protected from the snow and any harsh winds. 

How you do this is up to you. You could purchase covers for your outdoor furniture, or you could move it indoors during the harsh winters. You might want to stake your furniture to the ground to ensure it stays in one place when winds hit.

Regardless of how you secure and maintain your furniture, make sure it is the cheapest and easiest option for you! 

Final Thoughts  

And there you have it! For those with a little more money to spend, stainless steel outdoor furniture is the better choice! However, if you are on a budget, you can’t go wrong with aluminum!

Sure it’s a little lighter and less durable, but it will still last for many summers to come! Make sure you follow our tips for caring for your outdoor furniture and you can enjoy strength and durability, regardless of the material you choose!

Ryan Nickel

A Red Seal carpenter, passionate about building decks to be enjoyed.

Recent Posts