The Pros and Cons of Plastic, Wicker, and Wood Outdoor Furniture

Selecting the right outdoor furniture involves several different types of considerations. For instance, if you’ve got growing, active children in the home, you’re probably going to want inexpensive furniture that can still take a beating, while you’ll want attractive, stylish outdoor furniture for entertaining and leisure. Three of the most common outdoor furniture materials available are wood, wicker and plastic. Here are the pros and cons of each and why you might want to have a workable combination of the three in your outdoor living space:

Plastic Outdoor Furniture

Plastic outdoor furniture is inexpensive, easy-to-clean and fairly durable. It’s an excellent choice for households with small children because it can stand up to misuse and can easily be resold once the family has outgrown it. It is also lightweight, which makes it easy to move to various parts of the yard and garden. Its drawbacks include:

  • Plastic holds heat very well, and children’s tender skin can be burned by suddenly plopping down into a plastic chair on a hot summer day.
  • Plastic also fades significantly as a result of exposure to sunlight.

Outdoor plastic furniture can also be moved into playrooms for use during winter.

Wicker Outdoor Furniture

Classic and comfortable, wicker furniture looks good on any porch or patio. Synthetic wicker is lighter and less expensive than wicker made from woven wood, but it’s also less durable and more prone to breakage and fading. Be certain to choose weather-resistant wicker for outdoor use. Quality wicker furniture has no serious drawbacks; however, you might want to provide it with a protective covering during times of heavy precipitation, particularly if your wicker chairs have fabric cushions.

Wood Outdoor Furniture

Wooden outdoor furniture is attractive and solid, and because wood doesn’t hold heat the way that plastic does, it’s a good choice for areas that experience significant amounts of hot weather. However, if you live in an area that receives more than a few inches of rain per year, you should make certain that you store your wood furniture indoors during the rainy season. Because wood is highly porous, it can harbor mould and other fungal growth and can even rot if allowed to get too damp. Sealant can help keep moisture from damaging wood furniture, but it can’t completely stop the process.

Cedar and teak make the best wood furniture because the wood of these trees is extremely strong and dense. Teak furniture in particular is very expensive, but a good set of teak outdoor furniture is an investment that will last more than your lifetime. The beauty of teak wood increases with age and exposure to the elements.

Most people mix and match outdoor furniture to meet the needs of their families. That could mean a cheerfully coloured outdoor table and chairs for the children and their friends, a stylish wicker patio set, and a lively teak garden bench in which to relax and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings.