Tips For Choosing The Right Patio Furniture

Sprucing up your outdoor patio space takes color coordination and a sharp eye for spotting quality! Steel or aluminum? Wood or resin wicker? With so many brands and styles to choose from, sorting out the best from the hacks isn’t easy.

Patio lamps, umbrellas, sofa beds, lounge chairs, ottomans, hammocks, dining tables - there’s just so much outdoor furniture to choose from these days! When you’re ready to pull the trigger, a simple Google search will yield you a ton of results for the best patio furniture, but stay clear of clever marketing tactics.

Whether you love a rustic wood look or want something more chic and modern looking, you can find patio furniture that adds character and comfort to your outdoors. Follow these helpful tips to guide you in your search for the best patio furniture.

Outdoor patio in the garden with sofa chair and pillow decoration

Buying Factors To Consider When Choosing Patio Furniture

Beauty is in the eye of the holder, but attractive decor isn’t the only factor you should be looking at when planning your outdoor space. Once you have your budget in mind, add these five important criteria to your list of buying factors. 

  1. Assembly: Some, but not all, patio furniture, needs to be installed or assembled. The instructions may not always be clear, or you may not feel confident in your own handy skills. There are services that will assemble your furniture and deliver it for you. If you prefer to do it yourself, research to find out how long it will take. Are the components (screws, fasteners, joints) included? Will special tools be required (allen key, needle nose pliers)?
  2. Durability: Patio furniture is exposed to extreme weather, rain, moisture and sun, so durable construction materials are critical. Level of sturdiness, resistance to the elements, chipping and damage will vary depending on the type of material you choose.
  3. Size: Consider the surface area of your prospective patio, deck or other outdoor space. Will it fit in your patio space, deck, cabin, lodge, etc? How much seating do you require? Do you have room to store it when not in use? Can it be transported or moved with ease?
  4. Functionality: Bistro chairs or lounge? Sectional sofa or multi-functional patio bed? In addition to space considerations, you’ll want to think about how you plan to use your new patio furniture. Will it make your patio more spacious or better organized? Can it be reconfigured for economy of space?
  5. Maintenance: Even the most expensive, premium grade patio furniture needs to be properly maintained and cared for. It may be all-weather resistant PE rattan on the label, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect it without any care and expect a pristine finish? Ask yourself, is the material difficult to clean? Does it require cleaning often? Should it be covered or stored when not in use? 

Patio Furniture By Construction Material

Perhaps the most important factor for judging the quality of any patio furniture is the construction material. Different types of material offer different benefits. There are also different requirements for caring and maintaining the life of your furniture depending on the material.

Quite often, you’ll find patio furniture that is composed of several types of material. The frame may be metal, with woven coverings or ceramic inlays for example. Components such as screws, hooks, or handles may be plastic or wood.

Whether it’s a lounge chair, dining table, or sectional, the frame should be durable and stable. Take a look at the 5 main types of construction material you’ll find in patio furniture selections below.

1. Steel Patio Furniture

Image of steel patio furniture
  • Widely used in modern designs and classic style decor
  • Highly durable and stable
  • Heavier than aluminum or wood, lighter than wrought iron
  • Found in high-grade furniture
  • Powder coated finish protects against rain, humidity and extreme temperatures
  • Can be left outdoors year-round

Often used as framing for high-end patio chairs and furniture. highly durable. heavier than aluminum but lighter than wrought iron, patio furniture with steel components or framing is long lasting and doesn’t require much maintenance.

When it comes to steel, functionality over style is the key factor. Clean lines and modern style furniture are what you’ll find when exploring your selection of brands. Steel adds durability and stability to your patio furniture, which is why it’s usually more costly than aluminum. It doesn’t dent as easily as aluminum either.

Choose steel that is powder-coated for rust resistance. You can clean steel patio furniture quite easily with warm water and mild soap, but you should dry it immediately. A heavy duty cover will protect it against the rain and moisture. If you apply a coat of liquid car wax once a year, your steel furniture will have added weather resistance. 

2. Wrought Iron Patio Furniture

Image of Wrought Iron Patio Furniture
  • Distinctive, rustic appeal
  • Highly durable but prone to rust
  • Heavier than aluminum or steel patio furniture
  • Coated with weather-resistant finish for improved protection against the elements
  • Should be covered from rain and moisture when not in use

Naturally corrosive and heavier than steel or aluminum, wrought iron patio furniture has a distinct look to it that makes it unique. If you’re going for a rustic decor, wrought iron will give your patio that homestyle, ranch feeling.

Wrought iron can withstand a lot of wear and tear without getting damaged. Moving it around can be cumbersome, but a weather-resistant finish means you can leave it outdoors year-round. When cleaning your wrought iron patio furniture, look for rust spots and cover these with a spray paint. An annual washing with soap and water should suffice to keep your wrought iron in good shape.

3. Wood Patio Furniture

Image of Wooden Patio Furniture
  • Less weather resistant than metal patio furniture
  • Available in a wide array of styles
  • Requires special maintenance and care
  • Durability varies with the type of wood

Wood patio furniture instantly adds warmth and character to any outdoor patio. Cedar, acacia, pine, teak, red wood, white oak - there are so many options, styles, and prices when it comes to choosing the best wood patio furniture. Each type of wood has its pros and cons. All wood, however, requires special care and maintenance to preserve it in pristine condition.

Most wood furniture, you’ll find, is specially treated to improve its resistance to weather and moisture. Dust, dirt, pollen and other forms of outdoor debris can easily adhere to the surface of your wood furniture, so clean them regularly. 

Wood that is high in oil, such as teak, for example, possesses a natural durability and higher resistance to weathering than softer woods such as pine and cedar.

4. Aluminum Patio Furniture

Image of Aluminum Patio Furniture
  • Most common type of patio furniture
  • Lightweight
  • Rust Resistant
  • Weather resistant
  • Can be left outdoors year-round
  • Easy to clean

Aluminum happens to be the most widespread metal on earth and the second most abundant element after silicon. Widely used as framing for furniture because it easy to mold, fold and recyclable. Although it oxidizes, the aluminum oxide adheres to the surface, forming an added layer of protection against further rusting.

You can find patio furniture that is either wrought or cast aluminum. Look for powder coated aluminum with added protection against weather. To care for your aluminum furniture, clean with water and soap at least twice per year. 

5. Resin Wicker Patio Furniture

Image of Resin Wicker Patio Furniture
  • Stylish, attractive design
  • Widely available
  • More durable than rattan or traditional wicker
  • Resists rain, humidity and sunlight
  • Resists cracking and chipping better than traditional wicker
  • Can be left outdoors year-round

Synthetic fiber that simulates wicker, woven over a metal frame. Wicker refers to the weaving style rather than the actual fabric. Wicker furniture is typically made of rattan or cane, but resin consists of a more weather-resistant high-density polyethylene PVC, nylon, or polyethylene (PE).

When shopping or reading reviews of outdoor patio furniture, you’ll often come across wicker furniture with the description PE Rattan Wicker. The PE indicates it isn’t actually rattan, but a polyethylene synthetic fiber that looks like rattan and is woven in the wicker style.

HDPE is an even more durable, high-grade type of resin wicker. UV coated resin wickers are also a great option because they offer further protection against the sun.

Maintaining resin wicker furniture is relatively easy, but does require more routine work. Keep them covered from the sun when not in use. Wash dirt thoroughly from the surface. Use a power hose if you can. Then, spray clean with a multi-purpose household cleaner and lint-free cloth to remove any remaining dirt or blemishes.

To keep its attractive appeal you should give them a full cleaning once every 3 months at minimum. Cleaning them once at the beginning and end of each season will definitely keep your resin wicker patio looking like new!

Best Brands of Patio Furniture

Spend a little time researching online and you’re sure to come across dozens of reviews ranking the best patio furniture brands and products. The same names repeatedly make the grade because consumers and industry experts alike have agreed they are the best of the best.

These are the top 7 brands of patio furniture:

  1. BROWN JORDAN: Top Brand Of Outdoor Patio Furniture Overall

  2. FOREVER PATIO: Best Mid-Range Quality Patio Furniture Brand

  3. GLOSTER: High Quality Teak Outdoor Furniture

  4. HARMONIA LIVING: Best High Density PE Wicker Patio Furniture

  5. HOSPITALITY RATTAN: Best Brand For All Weather Rattan Wicker Furniture

  6. WOODARD: Oldest Brand Of Outdoor Patio Furniture

  7. ZUO MODERN: Best Brand For Modern Styling Patio Furniture


Attractive marketing photos and clever ad slogans can’t make up for shoddy construction or poor materials. Weather resistant, functional designs that can adapt to your needs and spacing requirements are key elements of a quality patio furniture that should be at the top of your list.

Your outdoor patio can be just as inviting, relaxing and memorable a space as your living room or bedroom. With planning and research, your investment will go further, providing you with comfort for years to come.

Happy patio furniture hunting!

About the Author William Clay

William Clay is a BBQ enthusiast dedicated to sharing his grilling (and overall cooking) expertise with FireFoodChef's readers.