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When it comes to shopping for backyard furniture, it is important to know what type of material is best suited for your needs. Different materials have different requirements in terms of care and maintenance, as well as different price points. Where and how you plan to use your new outdoor furniture is also an important factor to consider.

Synthetic Resin Wicker

Synthetic resin wicker is very popular in the industry because it is a material designed to be used outdoors. HDPE specifically, (High Density Polyethylene) is known as the best type of synthetic wicker for patio furniture. It is extremely resistant to cracking and fading in the sun, and won’t lose color from being scratched. The color runs all through the entire material, not just on the surface. HDPE is also very resistant to cold temperatures which can cause other materials to crack.

If you’re a fan of the modern outdoor look, synthetic wicker is a good choice because there is a lot of variety in the marketplace. Many manufacturers use synthetic wicker for their modern design furniture. The differences come down to the wicker, which can vary. The wicker can be flat or thick weave, wide or thin, textured or plain, and use a different finish or combination of finishes. A popular look these days is blending mid-century with modern design elements.

Aluminum Backyard Furniture

Most synthetic wicker is attached to aluminum frames. Aluminum is very reliable because it will not rust. Rust from aluminum only appears superficially on the surface, but will never harm the integrity of the metal. Aluminum frames with powdercoat finishes are essentially rust-proof and can be used in coastal areas with no worry about corrosion.

Benefits of Aluminum Outdoor Furniture:

  • Easy to clean and polish
  • Much lighter than wrought iron or steel
  • Rust proof
  • Malleable and easy to manufacture
  • Can be left outside

For these and many other reasons, aluminum is also a smart choice for backyard furniture. Aluminum dining sets and chairs are very lightweight. They can be moved around and reconfigured without much effort, and you can leave them outside for extended periods of time with little to no maintenance. This is great for people who like to have large gatherings but don’t want a lot of back breaking work. All you really need to do is hose it down every now and then. As a soft metal, aluminum can be worked into curved shapes for a softer look, but is also great for creating a clean modern look.

Teak Furniture

The properties of teak make it one of the most used wood types because it contains natural oils that prevent rot and mildew. When allowed to age gracefully, the wood takes an attractive silver patina but won’t lose it’s integrity. You can leave teak in this state but you always have the option of bringing it back to life by doing an application of teak oil. This brings back the wood’s beautiful blond color.

It’s important to consider that teak will require more maintenance than other types of outdoor materials. It’s important to brush it off every few months to remove dust and pollen from the grain of the wood. To maintain the color, an application of teak oil is necessary at least once a year. Keeping the furniture protected such as under a covered patio or shaded area also helps a lot. Teak is also more expensive than synthetic wicker and aluminum furniture.

When it comes to making backyard furniture, it’s very important to use durable materials that can endure the elements. Whether it’s extreme heat or extreme cold, mother nature can make your outdoor furniture rust, crack, peel, or fade within a year if the materials are not up to par. Don’t be afraid to ask too many questions when you’re shopping for your first time and make sure the furniture you’re getting will last you for many years to come.