Choosing Durable Outdoor Garden Furniture

Outdoor garden furniture is not just about aesthetics and comfort. It’s more about resilience and longevity. The ideal outdoor furniture must be able to withstand the elements and last for years, providing value for your investment. This guide will take a look into the world of outdoor furniture materials, exploring their strengths, weaknesses, and everything in between. The aim is to help you make an informed decision when choosing the most durable furniture for your garden.

Understanding the Importance of Durability of Outdoor Garden Furniture

Outdoor garden furniture is exposed to various weather conditions, including sun, wind, rain, and snow, so durability is an important factor to consider when choosing outdoor furniture. Durable furniture is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and everyday wear and tear, offering you excellent value for your investment.

A variety of materials are available for outdoor garden furniture, each with its unique blend of resilience, aesthetics, and maintenance needs. Some materials, various woods like Teak for example, offer exceptional weather resistance and longevity. Others, such as aluminium or plastic, provide the convenience of lightweight design and low maintenance. Others, like wrought iron, bring strength and classical elegance to your outdoor space.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Durable Outdoor Garden Furniture

When selecting the most durable materials for your outdoor garden furniture, several factors should influence your decision. These include:

Weather Conditions

The local climate is an important factor to consider. It affects the durability and maintenance requirements of outdoor garden furniture. For instance, wooden furniture may not be the best choice for areas prone to heavy rainfall or high humidity levels. On the other hand, metal furniture can become too hot in sunny regions.

Maintenance Needs

Consider the amount of time and effort you are willing to invest in maintaining your outdoor furniture. Some materials require more care than others. For instance, wooden furniture may need regular oiling or painting, while metal furniture might need rust protection.

Comfort and Functionality

Outdoor furniture should be comfortable and functional. Consider materials that offer a comfortable seating surface, such as cushions or padded seats, and can withstand the weight of people using them.


The cost of outdoor garden furniture varies widely depending on the material. While some materials like Teak and wrought iron are more expensive, others like plastic and aluminium are more affordable.

Exploring the Most Durable Outdoor Garden Furniture Materials

There are countless outdoor furniture materials available in the market. However, not all materials are created equal in terms of durability. Here is an exploration of the most durable materials for outdoor garden furniture:


A popular choice for outdoor furniture are hardwoods due to their incredible strength and durability. It has a dense grain and is rich in natural oils, making it highly resistant to weather conditions, insects, and decay. Over time, hardwoods develops a beautiful patina, enhancing aesthetic appeal. However, hardwood furniture is quite expensive and requires regular maintenance to retain its appearance and durability.


Aluminium is another excellent material for outdoor garden furniture. It is strong, lightweight, and resistant to rust and corrosion. Aluminium furniture is easy to maintain and clean, making it a perfect choice for outdoor living spaces. However, it can be prone to scratches and dents, which may require touch-ups over time.

Powder-Coated Steel

Powder-coated steel is a durable and long-lasting material for outdoor furniture. The powder coating provides a protective barrier against rust and corrosion. However, the coating can chip or crack over time, exposing the underlying steel to the elements. Regular inspection and touch-ups are necessary to maintain the furniture’s durability and appearance.

Wrought Iron

Wrought iron is a sturdy and durable material that can last for many years with proper care. It is highly resistant to wind and weather conditions. However, wrought iron is heavy and may require cushions for added comfort. It is also susceptible to rust if not properly treated.


Plastic is a lightweight and affordable option for outdoor garden furniture. Modern plastic furniture is treated to be resistant to fading and cracking, making it a practical choice for outdoor use. However, it may degrade with prolonged exposure to the sun.


Rattan is a type of vine that is woven into durable and attractive furniture. Synthetic rattan, also known as resin wicker, is a popular choice for outdoor furniture because of its weather resistance and easy maintenance.

Making Your Decision

Choosing the most durable material for your outdoor garden furniture ultimately comes down to your specific needs and preferences. Consider your local climate, maintenance requirements, budget, and personal style when making your decision.

Remember, the most durable outdoor garden furniture provides excellent value for your investment, offering years of comfort and enjoyment. So take your time, do your research, and choose wisely.

Maintaining Your Outdoor Garden Furniture for your Garden space

No matter the material, all outdoor garden furniture will need some degree of care to maintain its durability and appearance. Here are some tips:

  1. Regularly clean your furniture with mild soap and warm water.
  2. Treat wooden furniture with a suitable oil or varnish to protect it from the elements.
  3. Inspect metal furniture for signs of rust or corrosion. Treat any issues promptly to prevent further damage.
  4. Cover your furniture or store it indoors during harsh weather conditions or when not in use.

By following these guidelines and choosing the most durable material, you can enjoy your outdoor garden furniture for many years to come.

Remember, investing in durable outdoor garden furniture is not just about spending money. It’s about creating a comfortable and inviting outdoor space that you and your family can enjoy for years to come. So take your time, do your research, and make a decision that you’ll be happy with for years to come.

At Porton Garden Aquatic and Pets we have a wide range of garden furniture, from garden tables to outside rocking chairs, stone benches, wooden benches, metal garden furniture.

Should you have any questions or queries regarding any of our outdoor furniture range, please do not hesitate to contact us in-store or via our website.

Frequently asked questions:

What is the best Outdoor Garden Furniture that holds up to the weather?

When looking for outdoor furniture that can withstand various weather conditions, consider the material it’s made from. Some of the best materials for outdoor furniture include:

  1. Teak: Teak wood is well-regarded for its durability and resistance to weather. It naturally contains oils that repel water and prevent damage from insects. Over time, teak weathers to a greyish colour, but its strength remains intact.
  2. Metal: Steel and wrought iron are both very durable, though they require a bit more care to prevent rust. They’re ideal for areas that are windy because their weight keeps them in place.
  3. Aluminium: Aluminium is rust-resistant, lightweight, and relatively durable. However, because of its light weight, it may not be the best option for windy areas.
  4. Resin Wicker: Also known as all-weather wicker, resin wicker is a weather-resistant synthetic that can emulate the look of traditional wicker but with better durability. It’s lightweight and can handle rain, sleet, and sun.
  5. Plastic/Polymer: High-quality plastic or polymer furniture is resistant to moisture, rust, and rot. Many brands offer eco-friendly options made from recycled materials.
  6. Concrete: Concrete furniture is trending because it’s extremely durable and modern looking. It’s an excellent choice for a permanent outdoor setup, though it can be very heavy to move around.

Remember that while these materials are more durable, no outdoor furniture is 100% weatherproof. It’s always a good idea to use protective covers or store your furniture in a shed or garage during harsh weather or during the off-season to prolong its life. Applying appropriate protective finishes or paint can also help to preserve the materials.

What is the best low-maintenance garden furniture?

Low-maintenance garden furniture will ideally be made from materials that withstand outdoor elements well and are easy to clean. Here are some examples:

  1. Resin or Polyethylene Wicker: Synthetic wicker materials like resin or polyethylene are designed to resist the elements and are quite easy to clean, often needing just a wipe down with mild soap and water.
  2. Aluminium: Aluminium is naturally rust-resistant, lightweight, and generally easy to care for. It can be cleaned with a little mild soap and water.
  3. Recycled Plastic/Polywood: Furniture made from recycled plastic, also known as Polywood, is incredibly durable and low maintenance. It is resistant to moisture, mildew, and fading. Cleaning usually involves a simple scrub with soap and water.
  4. Teak: While Teak requires some maintenance to keep it looking its best, if you don’t mind it developing a silvery patina, it can be very low maintenance. A quick brush or wash to remove dirt every so often is all it needs.
  5. Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is sturdy, long-lasting, and low maintenance. It’s rust-resistant and easy to clean with mild soap and water. It might need occasional polishing to maintain its shine.
  6. Powder-Coated Steel or Iron: Powder-coating is a process that covers steel or iron with a layer of polyester or epoxy powder, which is then heated to form a protective skin around the metal. This coating makes the furniture rust-resistant and easy to clean.

Remember, even low-maintenance garden furniture will benefit from being covered or stored during extreme weather or the off-season to prolong its life. It’s also worth noting that cushions and other soft furnishings often require more care, so you may want to opt for removable and washable covers, or store such items when not in use.

Can you leave rattan furniture outside all year?

Rattan furniture is made from a type of palm native to Asia, and while it’s beautiful and lightweight, it isn’t naturally resistant to moisture or extreme temperatures. This means that natural rattan furniture left outside all year round is likely to deteriorate rapidly.

However, synthetic rattan (often called PE rattan, resin wicker, or all-weather wicker) is a different story. It’s made from a type of resin that is designed to withstand the elements, which means it can generally be left outside all year. That being said, like any outdoor furniture, it will last longer if it’s properly cared for.

Even all-weather synthetic rattan furniture will benefit from a bit of TLC:

  1. Cleaning: Regularly cleaning your furniture with a mild soap and water will prevent the build-up of dirt and grime.
  2. Covering: While synthetic rattan is more weather-resistant than its natural counterpart, using a cover during periods of bad weather or during the winter can help to prolong its life.
  3. Cushion care: The cushions that come with rattan furniture are often not as durable as the frames. It’s a good idea to remove these during heavy rain, and it’s often recommended to store them indoors when not in use.
  4. UV Protection: Long-term exposure to direct sunlight can cause synthetic rattan to fade or become brittle. If possible, try to place it in a shaded area, use a UV-protective spray and a cover when not in use.

In conclusion, while synthetic rattan furniture can technically be left outside all year round, it’s best to take these measures to ensure it lasts as long as possible.

Should I cover my garden furniture when it rains?

Covering your outdoor furniture during rain can help prolong its lifespan, even if it’s made from weather-resistant materials.

Here’s why:

  1. Protects from Water Damage: While many outdoor furniture materials are designed to resist water, long-term exposure to moisture can still cause damage. Wood can warp or rot, metal can rust, and even weather-resistant synthetics can eventually wear down.
  2. Prevents Dirt and Debris: Covering your furniture helps to keep it clean, preventing a build-up of dirt, leaves, and other debris that often accompany rainstorms.
  3. Cushion Care: If your outdoor furniture has cushions, these are often more susceptible to water damage than the furniture itself. While many are made with outdoor-grade fabrics designed to handle a bit of moisture, they’re not typically meant to endure heavy rain and may take a long time to dry out, leading to potential mildew issues.
  4. Extends Furniture Life: Simply put, the less exposure to the elements, the longer your furniture is likely to last.

It’s worth investing in high-quality furniture covers that are designed for outdoor use. Look for ones that are made from durable, waterproof materials and that fit your furniture well. Some covers have vents to allow air circulation, which can help prevent mould and mildew.

Of course, if a rainstorm is coming and you have the ability to bring your outdoor furniture inside (into a garage or storage shed, for example), that can provide even more protection.

Should you put garden furniture away in winter?

Whether you should put your garden furniture away in winter largely depends on the type of furniture you have and the weather conditions.

In general, it’s a good idea to protect your outdoor furniture during the winter months, especially if you live in a place with harsh weather conditions, such as heavy rain, snow, or ice. These conditions can potentially cause damage, even to furniture made from durable, weather-resistant materials. For example, wood can warp or crack in fluctuating temperatures, metal can rust from excessive moisture, and plastic can become brittle in freezing conditions.

If you have space, storing your garden furniture in a shed, garage, or under a covered patio during winter is an excellent way to protect it. If you’re unable to store your furniture indoors, you should consider using high-quality, waterproof furniture covers to protect it from the elements. These covers should be secured to prevent them from being blown away in the wind.

For items with removable cushions or fabric elements, it’s usually recommended to store these indoors during winter, regardless of what you do with the rest of the furniture. Most fabric, even outdoor-grade fabric, will benefit from being kept in a dry, indoor environment when not in use for extended periods.

In conclusion, while it’s not absolutely necessary to put garden furniture away in winter, doing so can help to extend its lifespan and keep it looking its best.