Not all outdoor furniture is made alike. Depending on your preference, you can buy new, used, or vintage patio furniture in a wide range of materials, such as rattan, wicker, cast iron, wrought iron, teak, ipe wood, or synthetics. Is it important to choose furniture that is green and eco-friendly if possible.
From rattan to teak to wrought iron, the many types and designs of patio chairs, patio tables and accessories — like chair cushions, umbrellas, pergolas and more — make it easy to find stylish outdoor furnishings. Find comfortable furniture for any outdoor occasion or outdoor décor style.
Things to Consider When Buying Outdoor Furniture
A black and brown bench with a white cushion on an outdoor rug and surrounded by container plants.
Is the furniture appropriately scaled to the outdoor area where it'll be used? A small deck or backyard patio can be dwarfed by large furniture groupings. Conversely, a spacious deck looks best with a larger grouping.
Will the outdoor patio furniture seat the required number of people? Consider outdoor dining, conversation and who'll typically use the furniture. Keep in mind that stackable metal or resin chairs store in a small space, ready for when you need more outdoor seating.
Do the styles and colors of the furniture blend with your home? Treat the outdoor space of your deck or patio as you would any other room in your home when decorating. Outdoor furniture is available in many styles, from coastal to modern. Choose from cushions with colors as vivid or subdued as you like.
What Is Rattan Furniture?
What you might have thought was bamboo all along is actually rattan, a plant fiber that has been popular since the mid-20th century for making tropical-inspired furnishings for indoor and outdoor use. Every 5 to 10 years or so, it gains a resurgence in popularity—possibly by appearing in films or ads.
Cast Iron Garden Furniture
For years, cast iron has been a popular material for garden furniture: it is heavy, durable, and won't blow away in a strong wind. These dense pieces of iron furniture can be seen in formal garden settings, like at the White House. Early pieces of cast iron garden furniture were designed in the rococo style. Discover why cast iron is still a tried and true material for making outdoor furniture that lasts.
Metal Lawn Chairs (Motel Chairs)
Those colorful steel lawn chairs that Grandmas sat on while they sipped beverages on the front porch are also known as "motel" chairs for their propensity to show up near pools or outside the front offices of Route 66 motels. Most of the originals were allowed to rust and corrode until it was time for them to be sent to lawn chair heaven. Guess what? They're back.
Wrought Iron Furniture
Wrought iron is lighter, and can be manipulated, bent, and welded more easily than its cast-iron cousin. It's been made since the 19th century, and there's a reason why it is still popular today.
If you're a fan of Mid-century modern furniture—both indoors and out—you'll recognize the material, which is used for tables, unusual chairs, and settees or larger pieces.
Learn more about the material and the furniture from which it is made.