Outdoor Furniture Materials Guide: Factors to Consider for Outdoor Materials


Furnishing your outdoor living area is just as importan […]

Furnishing your outdoor living area is just as important as furnishing the interior of the house. Picking the right furniture for the patio deserves the same amount of care and attention as picking furniture for the living room. When you are looking for new furniture for your outdoor area, be sure to consider the following factors.

Sun & Temperature

If you live in a sunny area or one with dramatic seasonal climate shifts, you’ll need to look for outdoor materials that can withstand damage from harsh UV rays and fluctuations from extreme heat to cold.


Constant exposure to the sun can cause many materials to fade and lose their luster over time. The aesthetic change can be appealing (e.g. patina) or simply a decreased vibrancy of color or uneven spotting.


Some materials noticeably expand and contract when they are heated or cooled. They can crack, split, warp or become brittle when exposed to extreme temperatures or drastic fluctuations. Dry air can also cause furniture to bend and crack.

Heat Retention

The heat can also lead to other logistical problems. Patio furniture that is left out in the sun can heat up, making it uncomfortable (or unsafe) to touch. Nobody wants to burn their skin when they sit down in or attempt to reposition a poolside lounge chair.

The Rain and Humidity

Moisture can cause problems that affect the appearance or durability of patio furniture. In some cases, the moisture-related issues will impact our health. Unsealed wood furniture can warp and become damaged with prolonged water exposure. Patio furniture made with steel or iron can rust. Outdoor furniture that doesn’t dry entirely or is prone to still water can harbor mold or mildew growth. If it isn’t cleaned correctly, users risk skin irritation or respiratory issues if they come into contact with the furniture.

The Wind

When people do consider weather elements that can impact their furniture, they can still overlook the windiness of their area. For one thing, patio furniture needs to be sturdy and heavy enough that it won’t be blown sideways or away during particularly windy days. You want your outdoor furniture to be heavy enough to stay put, but also durable enough to remain intact should the wind blow anything into your furniture as well. Still, owners can secure or store their furniture away if they anticipate a particularly windy storm. You wouldn’t want your grill covers or patio umbrellas to get blown away.

The Weather

There are many crucial questions you should answer before picking patio outdoor furniture, regarding the weather. Is the temperature high and the weather droughty? How often does the rain? Do you live near the beach or place with high level of humidity? Is your outdoor space windy? And so on.

Each type of weather conditions would cause disadvantages to certain kind of outdoor furniture. Hot and dry weather can crack some types of wood. The windy garden will make aluminum furniture fly or fall down.


Your garden furniture will not be there for mere display; they need to be functional pieces you can not only use, but actually enjoy using. The key to this is checking for comfort before purchasing furniture pieces such as sofa sets, chairs, sun loungers, daybeds, and deck chairs. If you’re buying a rattan chair, for instance, sit in it and get a feel for fit and comfort. Is the chair seat roomy enough to fit you front to back and side to side, but without having you feel dwarfed by its size? If it comes with a cushion—which is recommended, to prevent sagging over time—does it have ample padding? If you’re shopping for a rattan dining set, check that the seat heights are appropriate for the table height, and that the table’s legs give the sitters plenty of clearance.

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