The Best Garden Furniture To Leave Outside (2023)

TThe 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.

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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.

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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.

Cast Iron

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

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!

(Video) The pro tips to keep patio furniture looking new all winter long

Although fabric furniture can be quite expensive it is well worth the investment as it is expected to last upwards of 10 years.


What is the best outdoor furniture to be left outside? ›

Teak and aluminum furniture, along with sunbrella fabrics, are your best bet if you plan to leave your patio furniture out all winter. All other types of furniture, with the exception of stone, should be placed into storage or brought inside.

What type of patio furniture is the most weather resistant? ›

Wrought Iron is one of the most durable and longest lasting type of outdoor furniture available, many times lasting decades. Truly an investment that keeps on giving, wrought iron furniture is also the heaviest frame.

Is it okay to leave patio furniture outside? ›

Yes! Patio furniture is designed to be outdoors. However, fall and winter weather can damage your furniture if you don't take the proper precautions. Always clean and apply protective sealants to your furniture before storing or covering it for winter.

What material lasts the longest outside? ›

Here's our list of the most durable materials for outdoor furniture:
  • Wood. In the furniture industry, solid wood is known for its resilience and durability. ...
  • Wrought iron. ...
  • Stainless steel. ...
  • Plastic. ...
  • Rattan. ...
  • Resin. ...
  • Glass. ...
  • Concrete.
Nov 30, 2021

What is the most durable material for outdoor furniture? ›

Metal. Metal is typically the strongest and most durable for outdoor furniture, as you can shape it into more complex designs than other options. It's commonly seen on outdoor lighting and sculptures and decor.

What is the most durable fabric for outdoor furniture? ›

For outdoor fabrics, man-made fibers like coated polyester, acrylic and olefin are common because they tend to wear better than natural fibers and are more naturally resistant to moisture.

What garden furniture does not rust? ›

Cast aluminum won't corrode, rust or fade, so you can enjoy your furniture outdoors all year long.

What is the most low maintenance patio? ›

If you love a great patio and want to embrace low-maintenance outdoor living … you'll be thrilled to know a paver patio is a low-maintenance structure! Pair it with a composite or synthetic deck and you'll have the ultimate low-maintenance outdoor living space combination.

What is the best weather resistant material? ›

Polycarbonate is another high performance, optimal weather-resistant plastic. It is made from thermoplastic polymers. As a material, polycarbonate is durable and malleable, has exceptional strength, and its properties allow it to withstand considerably high pressure and impact resistance.

What metal holds up best outdoors? ›

Brass and copper are reliable metals to use for the great outdoors. Copper is resistant to corrosion, malleable, and strong. Brass is the result of the combination of copper and zinc, and its color will vary based on the amount of zinc in the alloy.

Does wicker outdoor furniture last? ›

Natural wicker's lifespan outdoors is only one to two years, while if used indoors only the lifespan is much longer. If left outside natural wicker will dry and become brittle quicker, causing it to crack, unravel or get holes. The elements can take a toll on natural wicker.

Is there any at outdoor furniture that you can leave in the rain that doesn t rot? ›

Polypropylene Furniture

Extraordinarily strong and durable, it's immune to the effects of water. Moisture simply can't permeate its dense material, and because it's slick, mildew and rot can't get a grip.

Can wicker patio furniture be left outside? ›

Natural wicker is not intended to be used outdoors and no amount of “water-proofing” spray-on's will protect natural wicker from the sun, moisture, mold, and mildew. If you want to use wicker furniture outside, it has to be resin wicker.

Can you leave wooden Adirondack chairs outside? ›

yes, you can leave your Adirondack furniture outside.

Unlike cheaper plastic, poly lumber doesn't get brittle with cold temperatures.

Which is better for outdoor furniture wicker or rattan? ›

Wicker furniture is popular for outdoor use because it's lightweight and easy to move around. While rattan is durable and has traditionally been used for patio furniture, it's not actually the best choice for outdoor use because it isn't water resistant.

What material is weather proof furniture? ›

Cast aluminium is a smart outdoor furniture material option as it imparts a modern look to the outdoors. This is lightweight, durable, affordable, easy to maintain and does not rust easily, but may become hot when exposed to sunlight.

What is the best outdoor furniture for rainy climate? ›

Outdoor furniture made of teak, shorea, aluminum, recycled plastic, or resin wicker stand up best against rain and coastal climates. You can extend the life of your outdoor furniture by storing it inside, covering it with weatherproof covers, or applying sealants.

Is Sunbrella fabric really worth it? ›

Highly durable, water-resistant, and fade-resistant, Sunbrella fabrics are so well engineered that you need to see it to believe it. Sunbrella fabrics are easy to wash, extremely low maintenance, and mold/mildew resistant. Cushions use a slip off cover that can be tossed in the laundry cycle to remove any dirt spots.

What is a good alternative to Sunbrella? ›

Durability: Olefin boasts superior durability versus Sunbrella and is especially resistant to abrasion. Water-resistance: Although Sunbrella tends to be more water-resistant, Olefin wears less over time, even when frequently exposed to saltwater and chlorinated water.

What is the best waterproof material for outside? ›

Outdoor Waterproof Fabric - The Best Fabric for Furniture
  • Polyester. Polyester is one of the most versatile fabric choices for outdoor furniture and can be used for everything from throw pillows to umbrellas. ...
  • Olefin. ...
  • Solution-Dyed Acrylic. ...
  • 100% Polyester. ...
  • High UV-Rated Fabric.

What metal is best for not rusting? ›

Copper, brass, and bronze do not rust for the same reason as aluminum. All three have a negligible amount of iron in them. Therefore no iron oxide, or rust, can form. However, copper can form a blue-green patina on its surface when exposed to oxygen over time.

What metal does not rust outdoor furniture? ›

Aluminum is the most popular metal for outdoor furniture. Despite its lightweight, it is strong, durable and can easily be worked into a variety of intricate shapes. Aluminum is relatively inexpensive, low maintenance and never rusts.

What type of patio lasts the longest? ›

Concrete. Concrete patios are typically one of the least expensive to build. Assuming proper installation and maintenance, they are one of the most durable, too, though like brick, concrete is subject to cracking with freeze-thaw cycles.

What is the easiest patio furniture to keep clean? ›

Wrought iron and stainless steel are popular choices for outdoor furniture for their durability and ease of maintenance. In most cases, metal patio furniture will easily return to “like new” condition by using a sponge or brush to clean surfaces with a quarter cup of mild dish soap added to a gallon of warm water.

What is the most inexpensive patio material? ›

Concrete is one of the most common and the cheapest materials for building a patio. Concrete is a piece of aggregates and paste – stone , sand, grave, or even shells may be crushed in the concrete; water and cement are a paste.

Is galvanized or stainless better for outdoor use? ›

Galvanized steel offers excellent resistance against water and chlorine but pales in comparison to stainless steel's corrosion resistance when dealing with marine environments. The protective layer on galvanized is also not self-healing like the passive layer on stainless steel.

Is zinc or galvanized better for exterior? ›

Zinc plating or electroplating is a process where zinc is applied by using a current of electricity. It is a thinner coating than hot-dip galvanizing making it unsuitable for outdoor applications. Its advantages are its brightness and uniform color making it more aesthetically appealing.

Which is better galvanized or stainless steel? ›

While galvanized steel is more supple and easier to work, stainless steel resists corrosion better and is stronger. The zinc that coats galvanized steel protects it from rust by keeping the steel from coming into contact with oxygen, which causes corrosion.

Is it OK to leave outdoor furniture in the rain? ›

Can you leave patio furniture outside in the rain without a cover? Technically, you can, but if you know heavy downpours are on the way, you should apply a cover to reduce the risk of rust and avoid overly soaked outdoor cushions.

What outdoor furniture can withstand the sun? ›

Outdoor Furniture Hot, Dry, and Sunny Regions

Synthetic resin and teak are the best materials for places that get a lot of hot, sunny days. Make sure to buy High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Wicker and not inexpensive PVC material. PVC has a tendency to fray, fracture, or become brittle.

What type of outdoor furniture is best for rainy climate? ›

Outdoor furniture made of teak, shorea, aluminum, recycled plastic, or resin wicker stand up best against rain and coastal climates. You can extend the life of your outdoor furniture by storing it inside, covering it with weatherproof covers, or applying sealants.

What kind of outdoor furniture for wet weather? ›

For people in damp, humid climates, you need furniture that is resistant to rust and can handle constant exposure to moisture. Aluminum furniture or wicker are both great options, but take special care to avoid iron.

What outdoor furniture is easy to maintain? ›

Go for Easy-Care Outdoor Furniture

Most metal, teak, cedar, and all-weather wicker pieces can stand up to whatever nature throws their way. With a bit of regular cleaning, furniture made using these forgiving materials will look wonderful for years.

Can you leave patio furniture outside in winter if it is covered? ›

“If you live in a climate where temperatures fall below freezing, it's always best to bring the cushions indoors for the winter,” Knapp says. The frames can stay outside, covered. Once inside, if the cushion covers are removable, clean them as recommended on the tag. If not, spot clean them.

Should outdoor furniture be covered when not in use? ›

Indoors, Garage, or Shed

Even if you bring your winter patio furniture inside, you should keep some kind of covering on it. Doing this will keep it safe from water leaks and dust.


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