Choosing the Best Material for Outdoor Furniture

It may be a bit more complicated to choose outdoor furniture than it is to choose pieces for inside your home, as your outdoor furniture needs to be durable and endure a variety of weather conditions and extremes in temperature. Many people are also a bit rougher on outdoor furniture than indoor items, as you might be more likely to eat while lounging on the patio than when in your home's living room, which exposes patio furniture to the risk of spills and food stains. You may be more likely to put your feet on your patio furniture and allow pets to climb onto it as well!

All of this means that your outdoor furniture needs to be very durable while also being attractive and comfortable. To ensure that your outdoor furniture pieces work for your space, note a few pros and cons of some material options. This will help you then determine the style of furniture that is right for your home's exterior.


Canvas, vinyl and other such materials are rough and rugged and meant to withstand scratches from animals and other such damage. These materials also have the advantage of offering various designs and colours, so you can brighten up your home's patio with lots of vivid patterns. The downside of fabric or upholstered pieces is that they might not be as durable against inclement weather as you expect; the fabric may show stains after being exposed to heavy rains and may eventually discolour or fade.

Plastic and synthetics

Plastic and synthetic resins and similar materials are lightweight and easy to clean, but note that they may not be as durable as you assume. The plastics and synthetics used for outdoor furniture need to be very soft so they're comfortable for sitting, but this also makes them vulnerable to scratches and outright breaks. These materials can also absorb spills and stains more easily than you might expect. While they're very budget-friendly, these pieces may then need to be replaced more often.

Teak and bamboo

Bamboo and teak furniture are very dense and durable, so they won't get scratched very easily. These materials are also unlikely to fade or discolour due to exposure to the elements, although teak does fade naturally, going from a soft wood tone to a silvery grey shade. Teak and bamboo don't rust or corrode, nor do they need painting or staining over the years. They're very easy to maintain and can last for many years, even if left out and exposed to the elements.