If you have a deck, patio, or yard, then you probably want to use that area in the spring, summer, and fall. And even sunny winter days.
Enjoying your outdoor space for parties, relaxing or dining, with old and new friends. And don’t forget family. Of course, this will require some outdoor furniture to make everyone comfortable.
However, there is a problem that many people consider in this situation that a lot don’t take into account. Which furniture will last the longest outdoors?
So if you don’t want to have to replace your furniture every year. Buy outdoor furniture made from materials that will last for years.
Outdoor furniture made from HDPE or Wrought iron are known for their durability and longevity. Material that will last outdoors regardless of what the weather is outside.
These are our top picks for outdoor furniture materials that will last but there are others to be considered.
But they should be examined more closely and to determine not only what outdoor furniture will lasts the longest outside. But also which one will fit your deck or patio the best.
Before we jump to furniture materials that last the longest outdoors, let’s consider what can impact how long they will last.
The Factors That Affect Longevity
As you have probably guessed, there are numerous factors that will affect the longevity of any piece of furniture, not just the most durable.
Sometimes these factors are beyond your control, but they can help you decide what piece would look great in your deck and last a long time.
Geography And Climate
The country or region that you live in and the climate of that place matters immensely.
The climate is especially important, as the climate and weather of a place is normally the aspect that gradually wears down furniture’s durability.
As such, you need to ask yourself some questions about where you live. Does it rain a lot? If so, the chair you just bought could be subject to water erosion.
Do the temperatures stay consistent throughout the year, or is your region subject to seasonal weather?
The constant back and forth of weather changes can break furniture that isn’t adaptable to different climates (heat expands and cold contracts).
Where I am, in Calgary the extreme changes in weather can wreak havoc on furniture. Going from -20°C to 15°C o the same day. Requiring furniture that can handle such rapid change.
Even things like is it windy or do you live by the sea matter, as the wind off the ocean brings salt with it that also damages furniture.
Light furniture can easily blow around in the wind. Breaking when they hit something. Salt water is extremely corrisve. Whatever fasteners your furniture has it better be stainless steel.
If you buy outdoor furniture, you need to make sure the material it is made out of can withstand the elements well, but these factors don’t just stop at nature.
If you have a pool and your furniture is next to that pool during a hot, sunny day, the chemicals that are used to clean the water might evaporate and interact with your furniture, thus weakening it.
The topography of the land might play a factor as well. If you live on a hillside, when you use your furniture and put weight on it, the weight might not be evenly distributed, which would cause one side to deteriorate faster than the others.
Material is always going to play a factor when purchasing outdoor furniture. Some material is just not durable and will only continue to be useful as furniture should you keep it safe in storage until you need it.
This doesn’t mean that the strongest material is going to be the most durable, though. Let’s take wood and metal for example.
While metal is undoubtedly stronger than wood, it also can be corroded very easily. Water and salt are two that do not play well with metal. Causing it to become brittle and very weak to even the slightest touch.
And watch rust stains. Now that can do damage to composite decking.
Yet, when you have something like stainless steel, this can be very different, and it would not suffer from the same effects that corrosion does as other metals do.
Everything in life needs maintenance. If you don’t maintain your car, it breaks down. If you don’t maintain your body, you could develop health problems.
This applies to furniture too, as if you don’t maintain your furniture, then it is liable to break as well.
Leaving furniture outside all the time is all well and good, if you live in a consistent climate, and you check it every so often.
If you live in a volatile climate, don’t do this, then you are probably going to run into some problems.
The problems that we mentioned from the climate and temperature earlier will begin to take their toll, and the general wear and tear of use will begin to appear as well.
These might not become readily apparent, but all it takes is one strain too much and suddenly, you are on the floor, shattered chair legs around you, wondering what happened.
The good news is some of the longest-lasting furniture material also requires the least amount of maintenance. Doubling the benefit.
Though it is obviously not a huge deal, cost is still a massive factor in the search for appropriate patio furniture.
You don’t need to buy the most expensive furniture, but buying the cheapest item is often asking for trouble.
A lot of the time, the reason that it is so cheap is that the manufacturer skimps on labour and material hoping to reduce cost, making the furniture poorly constructed and made from weak, knock-off materials.
On the flip side, paying more doesn’t mean it will last longer.
After a certain point, there is only so much you can do to make a piece of furniture better. But buying from trusted brands often helps to ensure you will get furniture with a good track record.
They often sell for a reasonable price while still using quality materials. These are the gems that will last years in on your deck.
Long-Lasting Furniture Material
Now that we’ve talked about what factors affect how long a piece of furniture will last outdoors. It is time to talk about the types of furniture that you should buy if you want it to be durable and long-lasting.
Wrought iron is probably one of the most durable materials that you can buy on the market today, and outdoor furniture has been made from it for years.
The metal is forged and moulded in ways that make it seem elegant and give it a classic look and feel of Victorian era.
This metal is very durable and tough, with not much able to break it. It is also long-lasting and, thanks to the way it is forged and its high carbon content, it is weather-resistant as well.
The metal is easy to clean, as not much can stick to it, which is an incredible bonus when you are dealing with the muck outside.
An obvious downside – if it can be called a downside – to wrought iron furniture is that it is incredibly heavy.
While this makes it very sturdy and difficult to move in bad weather, it also makes it difficult to move around your deck.
Be careful on composite decking which can easily scratch.
The beautiful designs that can be made with wrought are perfect for any home or deck you can think of and are one of the main reasons that people love this material for their furniture.
The second-longest lasting material is definitely plastic. This can be strange to some people, as many think plastic wouldn’t last that long, and they are kind of right.
Cheap, plastic furniture does have a habit of breaking or snapping over time. Plus the colour can fade or discolour.
But that’s the old cheap stuff.
Now there is HDPE plastic like poly lumber. One of the best known is PolyWood, which even Trex makes their outdoor furniture out of.
HDPE plastics have become more prevalent because of its durability and very long-lasting. Along with its wood feel. Especially the high-end brands which add texture to the material.
Polywood is made with almost 100% plastic polyethylene or polypropylene, with both of these products being extremely dense plastic material. Which can be machined like wood to make wonderful outdoor furniture. But last longer without all the maintenance.
If you are going to buy plastic outdoor furniture, make sure it is HDPE and not the low-cost junk that is flogged by a lot of stores. The durability will save you money in the long run.
Similar to pressure treated vs composite decking. Yes, injected plastic will cost less but it will not last as long nor perform as well. If you want it to last, buy the good stuff.
If you still wanted to go for a well-designed metal furniture piece, but don’t want wrought iron or like its heaviness, then you should pick cast aluminum.
It is a much lighter option than wrought iron, which is perfect for sets of furniture you need or want to move around.
The material is also very durable and resistant to rust, though not on the same level as wrought iron.
The movability of cast aluminum is great as, even though it is very durable, it does have its breaking point.
So, when incredibly cold or hot weather rolls in, and you are worried, you can simply pick up the furniture and place it in a safe place or out of the path of the weather.
Teak is a kind of tropical hardwood that is native to south and Southeast Asia.
It has been used for thousands of years for various important structures and construction projects, due to its reliability, durability, and the ease at which it can be worked.
The wood is perfect for outdoor use, as it is resistant to a lot of problems that other woods face. These include fungi, insects, chemicals, and has an incredibly strong resistance to water.
Since these destroy normal wood, many people buy teak outdoor furniture.
In fact, teak’s use in the construction of outdoor furniture is just its most recent engagement.
It has been used in ship construction – as part of the deck and furnishing –, in port infrastructure or in bridge construction, as the lining on the outside of a window, in the entirety of river boat design, even indoor furnishings – like cabinets, shelves, walls, and doors.
The wood is so sturdy and versatile that it continues to be the wood of choice for a lot of construction today.
It also looks beautiful when carved right and can really present an idyllic scene in your yard, while lasting for years at a time.
The plus with teak is it requires little maintenance. It can be left to silver with only annual cleanings. Giving you more time to enjoy your outdoor furniture.
A completely different kind of material that people opt to use when they are looking for outdoor furniture is wicker.
Wicker work is one of the oldest continuous methods of making furniture and dates back almost 5000 years ago. While it was first documented in Ancient Egypt, it is quite possibly even older than that.
To make wicker, you must plait plant material that is similar to a kind of thin cordage into the shape that you want.
Often there is a particular method to do this or people use a mold. Most wicker nowadays is made from synthetic fibres rather than actual plant material as well.
Synthetic wicker will last much longer than natural fibres.
Due to the thousands of different sturdy cords that are used to make wicker furniture, it is incredibly durable and sturdy, being able to last outside in the elements easily.
The nature of the furniture also means that it is very light and can be transported around easily.
While wicker cannot achieve bold designs, like teak or wrought iron, the delicate designs of wicker itself cannot be achieved by other materials.
It provides a beautiful feel to the garden that transports you back to those days of old by the riverside along the Nile.
Shorea wood is another wood from the regions of Southeast Asia and is mostly found in Indonesia, the Philippines and Nepal.
Like Teak, it is an incredibly dense and durable wood that is incredibly resistant to pests, fungi, and water damage or decay.
This is because these regions are very humid and wet places, which means that the plants and animals living there need to adapt to the climate itself.
As such, most of the furniture made from this wood can remain outdoors for long periods of time.
Shorea is also one of the longest-lasting woods available, only outlasted by Teak itself.
When you buy shorea furniture, the metal bolts and nuts that hold the furniture together normally break long before the wood does.
The great thing about this wood is that it is affordable. Making it a more budget-friendly long last furniture option. allowing you to have furniture that will last but not break the bank.
The one thing that should be noted about the wood is its need for maintenance.
While it can last for a great deal of time and still be in fantastic condition, it will require a regular check and clean to make sure that it is in tip-top shape.
If you want it to maintain its warm brown colour. Regular oiling with teak or timber oil is necessary.
Otherwise, you may find it breaking down sooner than expected.
Stainless steel is the choice for many a council or construction company, when they are putting infrastructure in public places.
There is a perfectly good reason for this, and that is that it can weather almost anything that is thrown at it. It is a heavy-duty, durable metal that is hard to vandalize, and when it is, it can easily be repainted.
It is also insanely resistant to the weather and the elements outdoors. It is very hard to move from where it is placed and basically takes a lifetime to wear down before it needs replacing.
However, this also requires the stainless steel to be coated and made correctly, other it will rust and fall apart just like any other metal.
The problem is that stainless steel-constructed furniture is very heavy and a bit of an eyesore.
Not many people like the designs that are put on them, and it kind of makes a garden look more like an industrial estate than anything.
Not people’s first choice for most furniture and not ours either, but glass does have its uses as a piece of outdoor furniture.
Most people would use glass as a tabletop, as windows for a shed, or small side or accent tables.
While glass can be quitter fragile, most glass made for the outdoors is tempered to withstand some punishment similar to glass railing or windshields.
As such, it won’t break from putting a coffee cup on it or even from dropping on concrete – though it may still crack.
This material can add an incredible touch of class to a drab deck, as glass itself is a delicate and beautiful object of attention.
It can even be coloured to provide a new spectrum of display upon the world within your yard.
However, it is still worth noting that glass can only be used for certain things, like table tops. Making a glass chair is probably not a wise or smart move and could lead to injury.
There are plenty of outdoor furniture materials that last for a very long time.
Weighing the pros and cons of your furniture material options will ensure you buy the one that will last the longest on your deck or patio.