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8 Most Durable Outdoor Patio Furniture Materials

Castlery|Jun 25, 2024

When buying outdoor furniture, durability is one of the most important factors to look out for aside from comfort and style. Not only will your patio furniture have to deal with all the rigours of everyday life, such as kids, pets, spillages, and more - but it also needs to cope with the external elements.

Of course, some materials for patio furniture are far better at coping with these outdoor conditions than others. That said, let’s take a look at the 8 most durable materials for outdoor furniture and discuss their unique properties!

What to consider when selecting outdoor materials

When choosing materials for outdoor furniture, here are some of the most important factors to consider to ensure you select the best option for your needs:


Outdoor furniture must withstand exposure to the elements, including sun, wind, rain, and snow. Consider materials that are resistant to rust, corrosion, and fading. If you frequently host guests and lounge outdoors, more durable materials like wood or metal are more suitable than plastic.


Consider how much time and effort you are willing to spend on maintaining your outdoor furniture. Materials like teak or aluminium require little maintenance, while others, such as wrought iron, may require regular upkeep.

Rain and humidity

If you live in an area with high moisture levels, opt for furniture that is water-resistant or treated to withstand moisture. Moisture can promote mould and mildew growth, causing odours, stains, and can also compromise the structural integrity of the furniture.

Sun exposure

Outdoor materials should be able to withstand prolonged exposure to sunlight. Ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause certain materials to fade, become brittle, or even crack. In addition to fading, sun exposure can cause some materials to become discoloured or yellowed, which can make furniture look old and unattractive.

Wind and storms

Outdoor materials should be able to withstand wind and storms without becoming damaged or blown away. Materials that are too lightweight or not secured properly can easily become damaged or dislodged during a storm.


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

The most durable outdoor furniture materials

1. Wood

Wood is often the go-to material for outdoor lounge furniture. It’s durable and beautiful making it the natural choice for many homeowners.

However, it’s important to remember that not all wood is the same. The way they respond to atmospheric conditions can make a difference in how long your outdoor lounge furniture lasts.

Hardwoods, such as teak, stand up very well to the elements. They are strong and resistant to insects, cracking, and warping. Teak is dense and oily, naturally resistant to water, rot, and insects, making it a popular choice for outdoor furniture due to its durability and natural beauty. However, teak is expensive and can be heavy and cumbersome.

Softwoods, like pine and cedar, look beautiful but are more susceptible to weathering and require more protection. 

Whether you choose hardwood or softwood, all outdoor wooden furniture will need care in the form of oiling, painting, or varnishing to maintain its natural resistance.

The Rio Outdoor Teak Dining Set provides beautiful and durable outdoor dining! Picture credits: @finding.jules

A person sitting on a teak dining bench, leaning against a teak dining table in the backyard.
A teak outdoor modular sofa and coffee table placed in a corner on a patio.

@homewithchrissym creates a cosy corner out on the patio with pieces from the Rio Outdoor Collection -  the left-facing 2-seater, right-facing 1-seater, corner sofa, and rectangular coffee table.

2. Aluminium

Aluminium is another popular material for outdoor patio furniture because of its durability, lightweight, and resistance to rust and corrosion. It's also easy to clean and maintain, making it an ideal choice for outdoor living spaces. 

Aluminium furniture is available in a variety of styles and designs, from modern to traditional, and can be powder-coated in any colour to match your outdoor decor.

The downside to aluminium is that it can still be prone to scratches and dents, which can be unsightly and may require touch-ups or repairs over time.

The Sorrento Outdoor Sectional Sofa has a black aluminium frame that boasts a sleek and airy design. Picture credits: @thismodernstyle

An outdoor sectional sofa with a black aluminum frame sits atop a wooden deck.
A wooden and aluminum dining table and dining chair set placed in the backyard.

Other than lounges, the Sorrento Outdoor Collection also features an Outdoor Dining Set for alfresco dinners. Picture credits: @tinadoodles

3. Wicker

Wicker is another outdoor material that is commonly used for furniture making. But, do take note that natural wicker - often made from bamboo or rattan - is not inherently weather-resistant and requires a lot of maintenance.

On the other hand, resin wicker (or all-weather wicker) is a synthetic material that is designed to mimic the look and feel of natural wicker, but with added durability and weather resistance. Synthetic wicker is highly resistant to moisture, UV rays, and temperature fluctuations. It also does not fade, crack, or become brittle easily.

@ellisandhale creates an inviting patio lounge with the Malta Outdoor Lounge Set.

An outdoor resin wicker sofa, lounge chair, and coffee table under an umbrella.
An outdoor wicker lounge chair and coffee table placed by a pool.

The Sierra Outdoor Lounge Chair creates the perfect tropical retreat in @libertyInteriors’ home. Also pictured: The Sierra Outdoor Coffee Table.

4. Steel

Stainless steel is extremely strong, making it a great choice for sofa frames or dining table supports. Its high density makes it hard to damage and very durable over long periods. Stainless steel is more or less immune to rust and corrosion, which is especially beneficial in coastal areas with high salt content in the air. 

However, stainless steel can get very hot to touch, making it less suitable for furniture surfaces exposed to direct sunlight. This thermal conductivity means it’s best used for structural elements rather than seating surfaces.

The Como Dining Chair features a wicker seat and backrest with a black steel frame.

A close-up of a wicker dining chair with a black steel frame.
A balcony with a checkered rug and a aluminum foldable dining set.

@tommy.lei makes the most use of the outdoor space with the Balcony Round Foldable Table Set.

5. GRC

Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GRC) is often used in outdoor furniture as it combines the strength of concrete with the flexibility of fiberglass, creating a durable and versatile material that is well-suited for outdoor use.

GRC is highly durable and can withstand various environmental stressors. The glass fibers embedded within the concrete matrix significantly enhance its strength, making it resistant to cracking and chipping. This durability ensures that GRC furniture can last for many years, even in harsh outdoor conditions.

Furthermore, GRC is relatively lightweight, thanks to the incorporation of glass fibers. This makes GRC furniture easier to move and rearrange, which is a significant advantage for outdoor settings where flexibility is often needed.

On the flipside, as GRC is porous, spills should be wiped down immediately to prevent any permanent staining. Because of this, you might want to think twice if you’re looking for outdoor furniture to dine on.

The Olwen Side Table is made from GRC, which is lightweight and easy to move around.

A white side table next to a black leather armchair that is made from GRC.
A round white coffee table made from GRC.

From the same collection, the Olwen Coffee Table is also an outdoor-friendly piece that can spruce up your outdoor space.

6. Rattan

Rattan is popular for its lightweight, ease of movement, and resistance to weather and sun damage. One of its main advantages is its natural look which can give your outdoor living space a cosy, relaxed feel. 

It's also relatively easy to clean and maintain and can be treated with special coatings to help protect it from the elements.

However, while rattan is generally weather-resistant, it can still be prone to fading or cracking over time, especially if it has prolonged exposure to sunlight. Rattan furniture can also be difficult to repair if it becomes damaged, as it is woven together and may require professional restoration. 

Recommended read: Rattan vs Cane: Which is Better for Outdoor Furniture?

The airy and natural look of the Mico Rattan Armchair creates a tropical look in any outdoor space. Picture credits: @bbbuffaloe

Two rattan chairs with fluffy blue seat cushions.
A rattan armchair and matching footstool placed by the window.

The Mico Rattan Armchair is a versatile piece that also looks good indoors Picture credits: @akenfoo

7. Olefin

When it comes to upholstered outdoor furniture, look for fabrics like olefin as these fibers are known for their strength, resilience, and versatility. 

One of the key advantages of olefin is its excellent resistance to various weather conditions. It is highly resistant to moisture, which prevents mold and mildew growth. Additionally, olefin does not absorb water, allowing it to dry quickly after rain or spills.

Additionally, olefin has inherent UV resistance, meaning it won’t fade or degrade when exposed to sunlight for extended periods. This makes it an ideal choice for outdoor furniture that is constantly exposed to the sun.

But, one thing to keep in mind is that olefin can be sensitive to high temperatures and may melt if exposed to extreme heat or direct contact with hot objects. So, avoid placing any hot objects on olefin fabric surfaces like sofa cushions.

The Maui Lounge Chairs feature weather-resistant cushions, ensuring that your outdoor lounging is fuss-free! Picture credits: @mishandkirk

Two lounge chairs with an acacia wood base placed on a patio.
A close-up of water poured on an outdoor dining chair.

Most of our outdoor furniture come with 100% olefin outdoor seat cushions for maximum relaxation with minimal clean-up.

8. Plastic

In the past, plastic outdoor furniture has been very susceptible to fading and cracking, but modern variants are generally treated to be much more resistant and they have become a sought after option.

Plastic also does not need to be treated or maintained in the same way that wood or iron furniture does.

One of the main downsides is that plastic does not hold up to UV exposure well, so that means lengthy periods in the sun can cause the material to degrade slightly.

Choose the right outdoor furniture material

Choosing the right material for your outdoor patio furniture is essential to ensure longevity, durability, and comfort. With the right treatment and care, these outdoor materials can give you years of outdoor dining and entertaining pleasure. 

Remember to consider the specific environmental conditions of your area and your aesthetic preferences when choosing the right material. Don’t forget to use outdoor furniture covers to protect your outdoor furniture so you can enjoy them for years to come.

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