When you're shopping for outdoor furniture, you need something that is capable of withstanding the elements. All patio furniture that you can buy online is designed with some degree of weather resistance in mind, but different materials will have different maintenance requirements as well as their own advantages and disadvantages. For most shoppers the primary concern is appearance, but beyond that the material considerations include weight, durability, comfort, and maintenance required.
Aluminum furniture is naturally rust resistant and light-weight, making for easy to move and durable outdoor furniture. Aluminum can become extremely hot when sitting in direct sun, and is easier to damage than some other materials, though the furniture will stand up well to normal use.
Wrought Iron furniture is extremely sturdy and durable and will hold up well under even fairly rough treatment. Of course the cost of this durability is weight: wrought iron will generally be the heaviest of your patio furniture options. Wrought iron furniture is usually treated with powder coating or another kind of coating to prevent rust. Finally, all-weather fabric cushions are recommended for added comfort when sitting in wrought iron furniture.
Steel patio furniture bridges the difference between aluminum and wrought iron, offering a strong material that's heavier than aluminum but far lighter than wrought iron. Stainless steel outdoor furniture is naturally rust resistant, but like aluminum, steel can grow quite hot when sitting in the sun so all-weather fabric cushions are recommended.
Wicker patio furniture, also known as Rattan furniture, are well suited for both indoor and outdoor use. Rattan is particularly popular patios, porches, and sun rooms. When used as outdoor furniture wicker is lightweight, flexible, and far more comfortable than raw metal, though just like metal furniture your wicker patio furniture can also use all-weather fabric cushions for added comfort.
Wood patio furniture is sturdy and comfortable, but requires additional care to keep it in good condition. Well cared for wooden patio furniture can last a long time, but requires UV and water protective sealants, and may require additional protection against insects depending on region. Some woods, like cedar, have natural weather and pest resistant properties, and while they look great they can be costly.
Plastic patio furniture is lightweight, inexpensive, and longlasting with minimal or no mantenance. For the eco-friendly, there are even plastic patio furniture lines made from recycled materials. As an added bonus, plastic outdoor furniture is often stackable, making it an excellent choice for additional seating that will live in storage most of the time.