Best Garden Furniture to Leave Outside
The main function of garden furniture is that it will be used outside. Although in Britain we predominantly use our garden furniture through the spring and summer months we often leave our garden furniture outside all year round. We would all expect patio furniture to be fine when left outside all year round, but the truth is many materials used for outdoor furniture are not fully durable throughout these harsh winters and rainy autumns. Here, we have reviewed the best garden furniture to leave outside all year round to help you make an informed decision on your garden furniture choices.
Cheap Rattan – Cheaper rattan furniture will be made with steel frames which, as we have established with steel furniture, will rust and leave orange rust stains on your patio when exposed to damp conditions. Therefore, cheap rattan will have to be stored inside during colder months. Cheap rattan is also often made with a PU or PVC plastic which will snap and go brittle. You will be able to tell if the furniture is cheap rattan as it will only come with a one-year warranty and will often be flat packed and require full assembly.
Real Rattan – Real rattan cannot be left outside all year round thanks to the UK’s climate. Authentic rattan tends to rot when exposed to damp conditions making it impossible to leave outside without constant maintenance. This often means that genuine rattan is hard to come across in the UK.
White Stores Rattan – White Stores uses powder-coated aluminium frames for our rattan furniture as this completely prevents rust and corrosion, even in harsh and damp conditions, as well as being lightweight and easy to move around. We also only use HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) rattan which is 100% weatherproof. This means that it is fully protected from UV rays so that it will never fade, it is strong and durable against frost and cold weather so that it will not go brittle or snap, and it is waterproof preventing rust and damp.
White Stores rattan patio furniture is extremely low maintenance and only requires a wipe down with warm soapy water should wind knock dirt over the set or it has bird droppings on. We also offer winter covers for a wide range of our rattan garden furniture as this then prevents the dirt and droppings getting onto the rattan and means your furniture is always clean and ready to use.
White Stores is proud that our synthetic wicker can be left outside all year round and does not need to be stored indoors throughout the winter months. We believe synthetic rattan furniture as a whole is the best garden furniture to leave outside all year round.
Plastic garden furniture, otherwise known as resin, is a cheaper option for garden furniture that has been commonly used for decades. However, its price is a reflection of its quality and it is not very durable. Coloured plastic fades in the sunshine and white plastic gets incredibly mouldy and dirty when left outside. Although, the mould and dirt are easy to clean with soapy water it is an inconvenience that can be avoided with other garden furniture. Plus, plastic is incredibly light and will get blown around and broken by windy weather quite easily, so leaving it outside all year round is not a good option if you want your furniture to last.
Though an incredibly strong and durable metal, iron garden furniture will rust when left outside in damp conditions. This can be a problem also because iron furniture is incredibly heavy, and this makes it difficult to move your furniture and store it in a safe place, so you are often forced to leave it outside all year round. You can coat your furniture in a rust and corrosion-resistant paint, but this will have to be done regularly and is not guaranteed to prevent all weather damage. Additionally, when left out in the sunshine cast iron furniture will heat up making it quite uncomfortable to sit on.
There are a variety of woods used to create outdoor furniture, such as hardwoods, softwoods, including eucalyptus, pine and cedar. These wood materials cannot be left outside without additional treatment as it will get damp which will cause the wood to rot, snap and crack. Wood also often loses its colour when exposed to direct sunlight, however, it does not heat up like metal furniture and is, therefore, more comfortable to sit on.
There are plenty of wood treatments, such as oils and sealants, which can be used to prevent damp and rot, and if you regularly treat your furniture as well as store it away for winter you can expect your wood furniture to last between 25-50 years. Many people are willing to do this thanks to the classic look and appeal of wood furniture.
Metal furniture, typically made from steel, is a sturdy and strong choice for garden furniture, it can be moulded into many shapes and looks incredibly stylish. However, steel does heat up quickly and will also rust when exposed to damp and cold weather questions. Steel furniture does need to be stored away throughout the winter otherwise it will leave orange rust marks on your patio. You can expect steel furniture to only come with a one-year warranty, however, it is a cheaper option which means that replacing your furniture will not be too costly.
Cast Aluminium is a very strong choice for patio furniture, especially if it has been coated with a powder coated finish, as it will not fade or rust. Aluminium furniture requires very little maintenance in comparison with other metal furniture, as well as being much lighter and easier to move around. Unlike other metals, aluminium stays cool in the sun which is ideal for summer use. Aluminium is corrosion resistant and can be left outside for extended periods, however, this is a more expensive material versus other metals.
A newer material to the outdoor furniture scene, fabric furniture fares very well when left outside all year round. Fabric furniture has taken its inspiration from the boating industry and used a very similar material to create waterproof, outdoor seating. Made using aluminium frames to prevent rust, and filled with a quick dry foam which helps water to run straight out of the fabric, fabric furniture is incredibly weather resistant but still light enough to move around.
Fabric furniture can be left outside all year round as it is fade resistant, mould and mildew proof, UV resistant and easy to clean. In fact, it is not only weather that fabric furniture is protected from, it is also protected from liquid spillages such as wine, and even more stubborn stains like chocolate and fruit juices. Liquid spillages will bead up roll straight off of the fabric, the same way a light shower would affect the furniture and for stubborn stains, they can be removed immediately with a solution of:
150ml of bleach
40ml of mild soap
2 litres of water
Simply, apply the solution on the fabric and clean with a soft-bristle brush. Allow the mixture to soak into the fabric for up to 15 minutes then rinse thoroughly until all soap residue is removed. Then simply allow to air dry and you will never know the mess was there!
Although fabric furniture can be quite expensive it is well worth the investment as it is expected to last upwards of 10 years.