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Defining Durability: Is Metal, Wood, or Wicker the Best Outdoor Furniture Material?

Ah, outdoor furniture. It's not just about picking the prettiest piece; it's about selecting something that'll stand the test of time (and weather). Ever had that annoying moment where that chic patio table started chipping way too soon? The culprit: material choice.

Now, when we talk about materials that have made a mark in outdoor settings, three contenders consistently emerge: metal, wood, and wicker.

Metal, with its industrial charm. Wood, radiating warmth and nature. And wicker, weaving tales of tradition and versatility.

So how do you determine the best fit for the patio furniture set of your dreams? Let’s find out together. 

Material Matters: The Foundation of Outdoor Furniture Longevity

Crafting an ideal outdoor space is as much about substance as it is about style. With materials like metal, wood, and wicker at the forefront, understanding their characteristics is key to knowing exactly what you should invest in. Here's a closer look at what makes each material tick.

1. Metal Outdoor Furniture

For generations, metal has been a top choice for outdoor furniture design. Its appeal is evident, yet, as with all materials, it comes with its own set of advantages and challenges.


  • Rust-resistant properties: One of metal’s shining qualities (pun intended) is its resistance to rust. This means that come rain or high humidity, metal furniture tends to hold its own, keeping that unsightly orange-brown menace at bay.

  • Sturdy and long-lasting: When you invest in metal, you're banking on durability. This material is known for its strength, promising a lasting relationship with your outdoor space.

  • Sleek, modern appearance: With clean lines and a contemporary feel, metal furniture can instantly elevate the look of your patio or garden, offering a blend of form and function.


  • Heat sensitivity: Metal has a knack for soaking up the sun's heat. Under its blazing gaze, metal furniture can become quite hot, making that midday lounge a tad uncomfortable.

  • Maintenance: While metal is undeniably robust, it’s not entirely maintenance-free. Regular checks for scratches and timely touch-ups can ensure it stays in prime condition.

Here are common metals used to make outdoor furniture: 

  • Aluminum is lightweight and doesn't rust, making it a favorite for those who like to shuffle their furniture around.

  • Wrought iron, on the other hand, is heavier and oozes an old-world charm. It's incredibly sturdy but might need a watchful eye for rust.

  • Stainless steel combines the best of both worlds: rust resistance and sturdiness, but it can come with a slightly higher price tag.

2. Wooden Outdoor Furniture

Wood possesses a timeless allure that has captivated homeowners and designers alike. When it comes to outdoor settings, wood brings warmth and an inherent beauty that few materials can match. But beyond its aesthetic appeal, what are the practical pros and cons of wooden furniture?


  • Visual Appeal and Flexibility: Wood, with its distinct grains and textures, stands out in any setting. Be it a rustic ambiance or a polished finish, wood's versatility is unmatched.

  • Sustainability: When sourced responsibly, wooden furniture is an eco-conscious choice. Its renewable and biodegradable nature means a reduced environmental footprint when compared to many synthetic alternatives.

  • Natural Ambiance: The organic vibe of wood enhances outdoor environments, creating a harmonious and inviting space.


  • Maintenance Requirements: Wooden pieces may need regular sealing or staining to retain their beauty and guard against the elements.

  • Susceptibility to Decay: Left untreated or without the right care, wood can be susceptible to decay, particularly in damp surroundings.

Here are common types of wood suitable for outdoor furniture:

  • Fir: Known for its strength and straight grain, fir is often used in furniture for its durability and smooth finish.

  • Hemlock: Valued for its light color and even grain, hemlock is resistant to wear, making it suitable for pieces that see frequent use.

3. Wicker

Wicker furniture, with its signature weaving and enduring style, has long been a go-to for patios and porches. Beyond its artful design, wicker offers both benefits and challenges. So, what exactly can you expect from this versatile material?


  • Lightweight and Maneuverable: One of wicker's standout qualities is its weight – or lack thereof. Lightweight by nature, rearranging wicker pieces to refresh your patio's look or accommodate guests becomes a hassle-free task.

  • Weather-Resistant Synthetic Varieties: While traditional wicker may have had its vulnerabilities, modern advancements have introduced synthetic types that stand up impressively to the elements.

  • Design Flexibility: From traditional basket weave designs to more contemporary patterns, wicker offers a wide array of design options, allowing it to fit seamlessly into various aesthetic visions.


  • Natural Wicker's Durability: Authentic, natural wicker, though beautiful, can sometimes falter under extreme weather conditions. It may require sheltering from persistent rain or searing sun.

  • Protective Measures Needed: Both natural and synthetic wicker benefit from certain protective measures. While synthetic types are more forgiving, shielding wicker from prolonged sun or heavy rain can extend its lifespan and keep it looking fresh.

Distinguishing between wicker types is crucial when making an informed decision. Natural wicker is crafted from organic materials like rattan or bamboo, offering a traditional look and feel. On the other hand, synthetic wicker is often made from resilient resins or plastics, offering enhanced durability without compromising on appearance.

Factors Beyond Material: Enhancing Longevity

Choosing the right material for your outdoor furniture is undoubtedly essential. However, the lifespan of your cherished pieces doesn't solely hinge on whether they're metal, wood, or wicker. Good old-fashioned care plays a pivotal role. Even the sturdiest materials benefit from a little TLC now and then.

One of the game-changers? Accessories. Consider, for instance, patio furniture covers. They act as a shield, protecting your furniture from the unpredictable whims of the weather. Beyond covers, there's a range of other care products available that can further ensure your furniture remains in prime condition.

The Verdict: Which Material Reigns Supreme?

When it comes to declaring a winner, it's not so black and white. The "best" material is often a deeply personal choice, shaped by individual needs, preferences, and even nostalgic ties. Metal offers durability and a modern flair but might challenge you on hot days. Wood exudes a timeless charm and natural warmth, though it asks for some upkeep. Wicker, with its intricate designs, promises versatility but seeks shelter from extreme elements. Each has its merits and moments.

In the end, your outdoor sanctuary should be a reflection of you. Eager to explore further? Browse our comprehensive online collection, offering a diverse range of outdoor furniture options- from garden chairs and tables to sofa and chair sets. Discover the ideal fit for your space with us.