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What are Different Types of Outdoor Furniture?

By J. Beam
Updated May 16, 2024
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Whether it’s a deck, patio, porch, or sun room, if you have an outdoor living area, you need to furnish it with outdoor furniture. Outdoor furniture comes in many varieties and price ranges. Depending on your outdoor furnishing needs and styles, you can select from furniture sets or individual pieces in styles and prices to fit every need.

The least expensive type of outdoor furniture is made from hard plastic resin. Chairs range from captain-style chairs to Adirondack chairs and even chaise lounges. There are full-size tables for outdoor dining and smaller end tables for a more casual arrangement.

Plastic furniture is by far the most weatherproof choice, but it is somewhat difficult to clean it and keep it looking new. However, most sets and individual pieces of plastic furniture are inexpensive and effectively serve their purpose without breaking the outdoor decorating budget. One major drawback to plastic tables is that they are light-weight in construction and tip easily when used with an umbrella.

Powder-coated cast aluminum outdoor furniture is sturdier than plastic resin, often has more intricate designs, and is also more expensive. Cast aluminum furniture often features other materials in its construction, such as glass-top tables or wooden slats in benches. There are different qualities of cast aluminum, and so prices range from slightly higher than plastic to considerably higher. For a more elegant space, cast aluminum provides more design options and will wear nicely.

Another choice in outdoor furniture is wood. Cedar is a popular wood used in furniture construction. Many stores sell individual pieces such as swings, gliders, chairs, and benches, but sets and individual pieces can also be custom ordered from several sources. Wood furniture is the most expensive type of outdoor furniture, but wears better than all other types when properly cared for.

You might want to consider mixing and matching like pieces of different construction, whether plastic with wood or cast aluminum with PVC-coated steel. The furniture should be comfortable but practical, so keep in mind the frequency of use when deciding how much to spend. Large lawn and garden retailers, along with specialty nurseries, home improvement centers, and some pool and spa stores, carry a variety of outdoor furniture. Shopping online is another way to compare construction, prices, and styles before you buy.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Heavanet — On Dec 15, 2014

@rundocuri- You certainly don't have to spend a lot of money to have a nice outdoor sitting area. There are several easy and inexpensive ways that you can dress up basic, plastic outdoor furniture so you can accomplish your goals.

The easiest way to make plastic furniture look nicer is to add covers or cushions to it. These items are available in most outdoor living sections of retail and home improvement stores, and they come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. A good tip to follow when selecting furniture covers and cushions is to look for those made of weather-resistant materials so they last for many seasons of exposure to the elements.

Another easy and inexpensive way to enhance plastic furniture is to paint it. This type of furniture is available in limited colors, but spray paint comes in almost every color imaginable. You can even paint your outdoor plastic furniture to match the exterior of your home for an added touch of style. Just be sure that you choose paint that is formulated to bond onto plastic so it will last and won't chip.

By Rundocuri — On Dec 14, 2014

I'm looking for some tips for making resin outdoor furniture look more attractive. I like the fact that it is the most inexpensive type of outdoor furniture available, because I am on a budget. But I also think that resin furniture has the tendency to look cheap.

By anon345386 — On Aug 19, 2013

Thanks for letting me know the different kinds of outdoor furniture. I only knew about some of them.

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