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A Quick Guide to Patio Furniture Materials

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As we mentioned in our previous blog, one of the important factors to consider when choosing patio furniture is the material with which it is made. When considering what material your patio furniture should be made out of, there are three things to keep under consideration: the environment, the amount of care it requires, and the aesthetic appeal. In this blog, we will go over the most common materials used to make patio furniture, and how each stacks up to these factors.


Aluminum patio furniture has many benefits, depending on your needs and desires. It is lightweight, making it easy to move around your outdoor space at your leisure. Additionally, aluminum is extremely durable and is resistant to rust and fading. Finally, aluminum is a low-maintenance patio furniture option. All you must do is occasionally wash your furniture with soap and water. You may also consider coating it with wax for extra protection. If your priority is an affordable and durable material for your patio furniture, aluminum is a great option for you.


Plastic furniture is also a good option for some people. Like aluminum, plastic is lightweight. Plastic is a particularly appealing option if you tend to have big groups in your outdoor space and need easy to move, stackable chairs. Plastic patio furniture also comes in a wider variety of colors than other materials, and can be made to replicate other materials, such as wicker or wood. Additionally, plastic is extremely durable, so if you need patio furniture that can take a beating, this is a great option for you. Finally, plastic is among the easiest of patio furniture materials to maintain; simply use a mildew-preventing cleaner, and wash away with water.


Steel is a very sturdy, durable material for patio furniture. While it isn’t as light as aluminum, it is lighter than wrought iron, and great if you want patio furniture that can take a lot with more aesthetic appeal than aluminum or plastic. If your steel patio furniture is stainless steel or has a protective rustproof finish, all you have to do to maintain it is wash it with soap and water occasionally. Otherwise, apply a rustproof finish to ensure maximum durability. Another consideration to make with steel is how hot it can get under the sun. It is best to cover your steel patio furniture, or use a fade-resistant fabric cushion to sit on it.


It is common to see patio furniture made out of woven materials like wicker or rattan. Wicker and rattan furniture have a rustic, coastal feel, and are great for both indoor and outdoor furniture. You can achieve a lot of different looks with wicker/rattan furniture because it comes in a variety of colors and styles. Additionally, wicker or rattan patio furniture is one of the most comfortable kinds of patio furniture. These options are also fairly low maintenance; occasionally washing them with a mild detergent is sufficient. However, wicker furniture is better suited for closed patios or decks instead of in the grass or in direct sunlight, where it can fade and become damaged.


Wood is a classic material for patio furniture. Wood is a solid and sturdy material, and when properly maintained, it can last for decades. When it comes to aesthetics, it is hard to beat wood; there is something universally appealing about the enduringly chic appearance. The downsides: high quality wood is generally more expensive than other patio furniture materials, and it requires more intensive maintenance. It is usually a good idea to apply a protective coating to your wood patio furniture, and to regularly apply a brightener or oil to maintain its beautiful appearance. You will also have to regularly check for splinters as your patio furniture ages.

Wrought Iron

Wrought iron is a classic choice for patio furniture for a variety of reasons. It is a very sturdy material, and is appropriate for many different environments because it can withstand the elements. Wrought iron is a great choice for bistro patio furniture that will be placed on the grass or in direct sunlight because you don’t have to worry about rotting like wood patio furniture. However, wrought iron is also a very heavy material, so it isn’t the best choice if you want to move your patio furniture often. Additionally, it is important that your wrought iron patio furniture is protected against rust, and it may require paint touch ups occasionally. Otherwise, maintenance is rather simple; just wash your wrought iron patio furniture with soap and water.

Whatever material you desire, Bistro Patio has what you need. Shop our collection of patio furniture today!