Last updated on July 11th, 2022
In today’s saturated business ecosystem, determining the quality of a given product may be challenging. Most outdoor furniture retailers have little to no information about their products. For example, it’s not uncommon to find outdoor furniture being sold in grocery or hardware stores.
People with terribly limited knowledge of the outdoor furniture industry will tell you how durable their products are and how they’re guaranteed to last for many years.
To avoid frustrations and ensure the next set you purchase will last, the first question to ask yourself when purchasing new outdoor furniture is: what outdoor furniture lasts longest?
Wrought iron is the most durable outdoor furniture material guaranteed to last the longest. But because you want to save time, money, and effort you’d spend on furniture maintenance, we prepared this guide to help you determine what outdoor furniture lasts the longest.
From teak to wrought iron to recycled plastic and steel, keep reading to learn what materials last longest as outdoor patio furniture.
Table of Contents
How To Choose Furniture That Will Last Outdoors?
When choosing your next outdoor furniture set, you need to consider several factors to ensure the furniture lasts as long as possible.
You want your outdoor furniture to be as durable, aesthetically appealing, easy to maintain, and eco-friendly as possible.
The following is a list of what to look for when choosing your outdoor furniture set and what kind of furniture lasts the longest.
Design and Style
Aesthetics is an essential factor when shopping for the most durable outdoor furniture. In addition, the design and style of your furniture can make or break your outdoor living space.
So before you settle on a particular design, think of your preferred theme and how you want your furniture to blend in.
If you want to enjoy every moment you spend outdoors, your outdoor furniture should reflect your personal tastes and sense of style as well as the architectural style of your home.
Think of what materials last the longest for outdoor furniture, which undoubtedly is wrought iron as it can fit into any design and style.
Climate is another factor worth considering when shopping for the most durable outdoor furniture. Your ideal patio furniture should be able to adapt to the climate of your area.
For example, if you live in wet or coastal climates, you should avoid patio furniture susceptible to rotting, mold, mildew, and fungal infestation. And if you live in salty environments, you need to settle for outdoor chairs made for salty climates.
In the case of wet or coastal climates, you should avoid teak furniture and similar types made of natural materials, especially wood, since they retain more water, making them only suitable for sunny, dry, and hot climates.
For mild weather, go for aluminum furniture since it is naturally resistant to rust. While mold and mildew do not necessarily damage your outdoor furniture, they create an environment where fungi thrive and can cause respiratory health problems.
Specific outdoor furniture options require more specialized care and maintenance than low-maintenance ones. You don’t want to invest in an outdoor furniture set that will drain your finances when it comes to maintenance.
For example, metal furniture is a high-maintenance option that requires regular cleaning to keep rust off bay. Painting metal outdoor furniture is also a great way to keep them looking sleek. Teak and other durable woods also require specialized maintenance.
On the other hand, recycled plastic furniture, especially high-density polyethylene plastic, is low-maintenance and requires minimal cleaning and care.
After considering different factors, only one remains constant: cost. Once you understand what outdoor furniture lasts longest and is most adaptable to different environments, the next thing that will influence your buying decision is the cost.
What are the financial implications or benefits of buying one type of patio furniture over the other?
You may want to stick to a specific budget, but you also need to understand the cost and value of each material used to make your ideal patio furniture.
Will you need to replace the furniture often? Is it a high-maintenance option? Calculating the overall costs you’ll incur in the long run should help determine if a specific piece of furniture is worth it.
Today we’re all aware of how industrial production and the materials used in production affect the environment. We may not understand the specifics, but we know some production processes negatively affect the environment.
Knowing this, most consumers prefer to support ecologically responsible and safe processes.
The good thing is that more and more established outdoor furniture brands have joined the green movement in adapting safer, eco-friendly methods of producing high-quality furniture.
For example, some furniture manufacturers use recycled materials, especially those used to make high-density polyethylene plastic using biodegradable materials.
You can support the green movement by buying outdoor furniture made of (FSC) Forest Stewardship Council certified materials.
Some outdoor furniture materials are naturally weather-resistant, can last for years with minimal maintenance, and still look as good as new.
Others are highly susceptible to wear and tear and may need to be replaced frequently.
Another factor that determines durability is usage. For example, if you spend more time in your outdoor space or host frequent summer dinners outside, your furniture will wear out under constant use.
It should be highly durable depending on how frequently you want to use your outdoor furniture.
Which Type of Outdoor Furniture Lasts The Longest?
Having considered all the essential factors determining what material lasts the longest for outdoor furniture, let us now examine the different types of patio furniture to determine what kind of outdoor furniture lasts the longest.
How Long Does Aluminum Outdoor Furniture Last?
Aluminum is one of the most common materials used to make patio furniture. It is more suitable for rainy climates because it is naturally resistant to rust and can stay in good condition for as many as 15 years.
Aluminum is also lightweight furniture that’s resilient and versatile. Its only weakness is that it may not be ideal for windy environments since it’s lightweight, so you must take measures to prevent it from being blown away.
It also takes in much heat if exposed to the sun and can be frigid in winter. In addition, this type of furniture is susceptible to oxidation, so it’s not suitable for beach use.
Otherwise, aluminum furniture is cost-effective and durable. This furniture type is available in different varieties, including:
Cast Aluminum: Cast aluminum is made from molten aluminum and comes in different shapes and designs. It is different from the usual aluminum made from a hollow or thin metal and is produced by pouring molten aluminum into a cast iron to produce unique designs.
Wrought Aluminum: Wrought aluminum is essentially iron manipulated into various designs and then reinforced multiple times to create something similar to wrought iron but lightweight and less costly. There are different types of aluminum, but cast and wrought are the most popular, cost-effective, and durable materials.
How Long Does Teak Wood Outdoor Furniture Last?
Wood furniture might be a better choice if you’re keen on a more natural outdoor space. Bear in mind, however, that not all types of wood furniture can withstand different outdoor elements.
So far, teak wood leads the pack as the longest-lasting furniture made of natural materials. Other durable woods include Acacia, White Oak, Cypress, Shorea, and Cedar. These materials can withstand different weather conditions and are naturally waterproof.
According to different furniture manufacturers, teak wood can last for as many as 75 years with proper care and maintenance, but the minimum life span you can be sure of is 25 years.
How Long Does Wrought Iron Outdoor Furniture Last?
Wrought iron furniture is essentially curved and molded metal. As a malleable iron, it’s usually mixed with a slag filament during production and then handcrafted into different unique designs.
This furniture material is corrosion-resistant and long-lasting, making it an excellent choice for patio and porch living. In addition, wrought iron furniture is heavy and rarely gets blown away by wind unless you’re dealing with a tornado or a hurricane.
Wrought iron furniture can be hot to the touch if exposed to direct sunlight and cold during winter, but these can be solved with good cushions. The only drawback is that it rusts easily, but even this can be solved with a good powder coating and protectant.
How Long Does HDPE Plastic Outdoor Furniture Last Outside?
If you don’t know about this recycled plastic called HDPE, then it’s about time you do. HDPE is short for high-density polyethylene plastic, a synthetic material made from recycled post-consumer plastic bottles.
HDPE plastic furniture has a wooden texture and appearance that is highly durable and heavy. One significant advantage of HDPE is that it doesn’t rust, rot or wear out from the elements and retains its natural aesthetics for a long time.
It can be maintained with minimal cleaning and makes some of the longest-lasting patio furniture that can be customized into various colors. Since it is a recyclable material, it’s eco-friendly.
How Durable Is Composite Outdoor Plastic Furniture?
Besides HDPE plastic furniture, composite plastic is another type of patio furniture that can last for a minimum of 20 years. Composite plastic furniture can be customized to fit different environments and styles.
Composite plastic furniture is typically comfortable and doesn’t require cushioning or extra padding, nor does it fade from prolonged exposure, so repainting is unnecessary, maybe after several years of use.
In addition, composite plastic outdoor furniture is easy to clean lightweight material that doesn’t rot or succumb to harsh climates. Like HDPE plastic furniture, this furniture type may be a little pricey, but it’s worth every coin.
How Durable Is Shorea Wood Outdoor Furniture?
Shorea wood can be a great alternative to teak. It’s just as long-lasting but very affordable. It offers the same advantages as teak, but because it’s readily available, it’s more cost-effective than teak.
In addition, Shorea is sturdy, dense, and of robust quality. It’s not susceptible to pest infestation and comes in various sizes and styles.
How Long Does Stainless Steel Outdoor Furniture Last?
There’s a reason why most public recreational facilities like parks and commercial outdoor spaces like restaurants have stainless steel furniture and not other materials.
The secret is in the durability of this material, being heavy-duty, not easy to vandalize or blow away, and all that. It can be easily repainted, is perfect for stormy climates, and can last a long time.
However, if not correctly coated, stainless steel furniture can develop rust since it is not naturally rust-resistant and can get too hot or too cold, depending on the weather.
How Durable Is Natural Wicker Furniture Outdoors?
Contrary to popular belief, resin wicker doesn’t refer to any material in particular. Instead, it describes the way outdoor furniture frame material is woven to create a unique furniture design.
Wicker furniture can be anything from woven bamboo, rattan, or willow to other synthetic materials like polyethylene resin.
Wicker furniture is a little more ornamental and ideal for people with distinct tastes. Still, it’s just as durable but doesn’t attract rust as metal furniture, although it is designed with protected metal frames covered with a woven layer.
If you opt for this type of furniture, you should ensure that it stays on a covered patio, away from direct exposure to the elements to extend its lifespan.
Despite natural wicker furniture having metal underparts, it may not withstand hurricanes and tornadoes, although it’s affordable and can serve you for more than 15 years.
How Long Does White Oak Outdoor Furniture Last?
White oak is yet another alternative to teak and Shorea woods. It’s versatile and can stay outdoors for several decades with proper maintenance. In addition, since it can repel water, it makes excellent patio furniture.
The only downside to white oak is that it doesn’t have enough natural oil and must be repainted regularly to maintain the natural look.
What Is The Most Durable Wood For Outdoor Furniture?
Wood is no doubt the most popular option for outdoor furniture. The natural aesthetics can fit into just any environment.
However, not all wood is the same and having highlighted different wood furniture in this guide, we can conclude that teak is more durable since it is waterproof and compatible with most climates.
Other wood alternatives include white oak acacia, Shorea, cedar, and cypress. These wooden furniture types will last longer with proper oiling, waterproofing, and sealing.
What Is The Most Durable Outdoor Furniture Fabric?
Typically, most outdoor furniture is robust and durable; they’re not usually as comfortable as your indoor couch or sofa. To make outdoor living more comfortable, you need durable seat cushions to cover your furniture.
Again not all fabrics are the same, and some may not withstand weather effects, so you need to determine the best ones for your outdoor living space. Below are a few examples:
Acrylic fabric is a solution-dyed durable material with minimal maintenance. This fabric is resistant to mold and mildew, sun damage, and stains, and doesn’t fade quickly. So you can leave it outside for a long time and not worry about significant damage.
Olefin is a synthetic fiber that is easy to clean, doesn’t fade, and is bleach-cleanable. In addition, Olefin fabrics can resist stains and abrasions, are durable, and dry fast making them highly beneficial if you have kids or pets.
Like acrylic fibers, Olefin is solution-dyed and resistant to mold, heat, and moisture. It’s also lightweight in texture, super smooth, and more affordable than acrylic.
Polyester and Prints
Polyester is a synthetic material usually coated with acrylic or vinyl (PVC mesh), which works as a protectant. While polyester-based fabrics are a great alternative to acrylic and Olefin fabrics, the quality is not the same, and they fade quickly from prolonged exposure to weather.
These outdoor fabric options are cheaper, but to retain the quality, you’ll need to bring your cushions inside after use. The good thing about this fabric is its flexibility, water and tear-resistant, and quick drying time.
FAQs: What Outdoor Furniture Lasts Longest
What type of outdoor furniture is the most durable?
Wrought iron furniture represents synthetic materials as the most durable, and teak leads in the category of organic materials. We also have HDPE plastic as the longest-lasting recycled plastic. These furniture materials are versatile and survive for a long under different weather conditions.
What type of outdoor furniture fabric is the most durable?
Acrylic, Olefin, and polypropylene fabrics are the most durable. Polypropylene is a fine marine fabric that is more UV resistant than other materials. In addition, it’s ideal for outdoor cushions since it dries faster and is stain-resistant.
How long does wicker furniture last?
It depends on how well it’s maintained. If properly taken care of, wicker furniture can last anywhere between 12-15 years or more. Synthetic resin wicker lasts much longer than natural resin and requires little maintenance.
Is wicker or rattan better for outdoor use?
Both natural wicker and rattan furniture are timeless woven pieces that can be designed into different themes and styles. In addition, both are durable and can endure the elements stoically.
What are the longest-lasting outdoor furniture materials?
So far, we have found that HDPE plastic, wrought iron, and teak are the longest-lasting types of outdoor furniture materials best known for their versatility and multiple advantages.
What Is The Most Durable Outdoor Furniture: Verdict
The quality and maintenance requirements of your outdoor furniture determine its durability. The type of outdoor climate and environment is yet another factor worth considering.
Since family bonding and memories are made in outdoor living spaces, you want to pick the ideal furniture to accommodate friends and family members with different body types and weights.
That’s why picking the longest-lasting patio furniture is recommended. While style and taste are equally important, it doesn’t make financial sense if you have to replace each set every couple of years due to poor quality.
So before purchasing outdoor furniture, first understand your outdoor setting, the prevailing climate, and maintenance requirements.
From there, you can go for the best outdoor furniture you can afford, easily maintain and use for as long as possible.