Patio Furniture: The Ultimate Guide

Create a cozy outdoor room with the right patio furniture: wood, wicker, metal, plastic, composite, upholstered, and more.

Even though it lacks four walls, your deck is a room. I'm Lacey Howard and just like any other room in the house your deck needs the right furniture to be comfortable and inviting. Wood furniture for a deck requires savvy shopping. Purchase only pieces made from rot-resistant wood. Your options include pressure-treated pine, cedar, Cyprus, and redwood. If you love wood, teak will likely be your choice. It can be pricy, but with the protective coat of olive season, it'll last for decades. Untreated wood furniture weathers to a silvery gray. So plan to paint or stain and then seal your wood furniture every 1 to 3 years. If you love texture choose furniture made from natural fibers such as wicker, bamboo, rattan or twig. These materials are delicate. Keep them under a protected roof for awning and apply marine-grade varnish or paint the piece every year for extra protection. Metal has long been a top choice for outdoor furniture. Broad irons have been around since the Victorian Age. It's heavy duty, but requires a little care. Aluminum furniture is now available in many durable finishes. Some resemble more expensive iron, but are totally maintenance-free. Tubular metal furniture is cheaper and lighter, but less durable. Solid cast frames are pricier and heavier, but they last longer. Plastic furniture was once considered the low style and low quality option. Those days, they're over. Plastic and resin furniture comes in dozens of styles and brilliant colors. Plus, it's virtually maintenance-free. And if you're going green, look for newer plastics made from recycled materials. Composite wicker looks like the real step, but it's much tougher. It's made by ripping strips of resin around a rest proof aluminum frame. But you've get what you pay for. Top quality composite wicker cost slightly more than comparable natural pieces. But composites usually come with a 10-year warranty. No matter the style or type of furniture, you can get a whole new look with a fresh coat of spray paint. Outdoor seating goes an average to awesome when you add fabric and cushions. Choose a woven synthetic fabric with a 1- to 3-year warranty. And don't forget about the cushions. Choose self-draining polyester stepping, which instantly channels away water. No matter what you chose, wood, wicker, metal or plastic, your outdoor furniture will turn your deck into an outdoor room.