Which metal is light and durable

Garden furniture materials: all properties at a glance

You want to feel safe when buying garden furniture - we understand that. After all, this is an acquisition that should last for several years and also appeal permanently. The problem is the many questions: Is aluminum better than teak? Wasn't braid particularly trendy? What is this “Sunbrella” made of? Doesn't iron furniture rust? Which material lasts the longest?

We answer these and other questions so that you can make an informed decision when buying your garden furniture. Nowadays, of course, practically all garden furniture is weatherproof and designed to be as easy to care for as possible, otherwise it would have long since disappeared from the market. But there is also significant differences in the various materials you should know about.

Which garden furniture material can convince you?

We are now presenting the most common materials for garden furniture - including all the advantages and disadvantages. Who deserves the title of the best garden furniture material? You sit on the jury and at the end you have to answer the question: who is your winner? We start chronologically with the oldest companion of us humans: wood.

Why garden furniture should be made of hardwood (and not softwood)

A rule of thumb: hardwoods beat softwoods. At least when it comes to the weather resistance of garden furniture. Incidentally, most domestic softwoods are among the softwoods. Hardwoods, on the other hand, are generally winter-proof and very durable. Nonetheless, hardwood garden furniture changes during unprotected overwintering or with prolonged UV radiation - at least externally. The result will be "Patina look”Called - a silver-gray layer on the wood. However, this is by no means a flaw. On the contrary: for many wood lovers, this look is even trendy and gives the garden furniture an exclusive and natural charm. A tip: If you want to achieve a patina layer that is as even as possible, you can help by wiping the furniture down at least once a year. The best way to do this is to use some warm water and the rough side of a pan cleaner.

However, some wood lovers would prefer to keep the original wood tone of their garden furniture - that's no problem either. For this purpose, the wood should be oiled about three times a year, in any case before the garden furniture is stored in winter. However, if something “patina look” should be perpetuated in the wood, the layer can simply be sanded off or treated with a cleaner.
Generally important: Before buying, look for a certified wood quality. In this way you can be sure that you are supporting sustainable wood processing. In the following we will now introduce you to three of the most popular hardwoods.

The “false acacia” - ideal for the price-conscious wood lover?

Did you know that you can usually get the “wrong acacia” in stores? Whoever buys acacia wood in Germany usually gets the wood of the robinia, also known as “false acacia”. The “real acacia” comes from Africa, while the black locust comes from North America - but is now also planted in Southeastern Europe. However, this “dizziness” is by no means dramatic: the two woods are hardly related, but have very similar properties. The wood consists of a yellowish olive to brown tone and is hard - definitely harder than oak. The “false acacia” even has a decisive advantage: it survives the winter better than the “real acacia”, which only very few tree species that also grow in Europe can claim. The “false acacia” is a hardwood and is not only weatherproof, but also resistant to moisture, insects, fungi and mold. Due to these properties, the wood impresses with a relatively high Shelf life of 15-25 years (Durability class 1-2). The big plus point of the “false acacia” is related to these outstanding values: Because this type of wood is nonetheless priced affordable.

However, every material has its pitfalls and these should of course not be concealed in this competition for the best garden furniture material. The particular hardness of the acacia means that the material has rather straight lines and cannot be worked as finely as other types of wood - but the wood is naturally captivating with its fine grain. Another disadvantage, however, is the relatively high risk of warpage, which can lead to cracks or splinters. In addition, it is best to ensure that only screws made of stainless steel are used, as otherwise less noticeable discoloration may otherwise occur due to the high acid content of the wood.

All of this is good to know, but there are also complaints on a very high level. The wood of the robinia or the “false” acacia is convincing excellent value for money through the very good durability of the wood. If you like the warmth of wood, maybe you will find your favorite to furnish your garden furniture here?
Have you already decided on acacia wood? Then take a look at our acacia garden furniture. Or should it be a different type of wood? We would also be happy to introduce you to eucalyptus and teak.

The wood in greatest demand: eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is nowadays the most planted tree in the world - with 18.3 million hectares, mainly in Africa, Brazil, China and India. The very different climate zones ensure the many faces of the wood, which originally comes from Australia, New Guinea and Tasmania. Depending on the type of eucalyptus tree, the garden furniture is made of this material 5 to 25 years (depending on the resistance class). One of the best woods is “Red Gum” (Eucalyptus Camadulensis), which is light to wine red in color. This wood is just as widespread in Germany as the two lighter species Eucalyptus Globus and Eucalyptus Grandis. In general, the even grain of the coarse-pored eucalyptus wood looks particularly decorative and noble. So get yourself a real gem into the garden that your guests will envy you for.

But: Eucalyptus is one of those woods that are considered to be relatively maintenance-intensive. A disadvantage if you prefer to be more comfortable. But those who take care of their wood will be rewarded: If cared for carefully, the type of wood is characterized by a high resistance to insects, fungi and pests out. The resins and oils in the wood ensure that it is particularly stable and weatherproof. In addition, the pronounced alternating twist is one of the positive properties of the wood, because it is less prone to splinters or warping. Also a not to be despised plus point: Eucalyptus is cheaper than teak, perhaps the best-known hardwood on the market.
Are you already convinced? Here you will find garden furniture made of eucalyptus to rummage through.

Teak - the super wood without disadvantages?

There is a very good chance that you will only need to buy teak patio furniture once in your life. Because: This wood lasts for at least 25 years. At least - some even write 100 years. So if you buy your first own set for the garden at home when you are in your late 20s, you will have a very long time of rest - provided you can be permanently inspired by the charm of wood. Teak doesn't just belong the highest resistance class but also has one very high dimensional stability and a low risk of warpage - a combination that otherwise not found in this form is. The home of teak trees is Southeast Asia, even if teak is now being produced in other countries. The highest quality and therefore most valuable teak trees, which can grow up to 40 meters high, come from Myanmar (formerly Burma). The tropical climate ensures that teak can handle moisture and water excellently. This allows teak furniture in Germany overwinter outside without any problems - without losing quality. Fluctuating temperatures are not a problem at all. This was made possible by the very high proportion of rubber in the oily wood, which makes the exceptional robustness and resistance to insects, fungi and acids can be explained.

Wood in general - and teak in particular - are rather heavy materials, which, however, only has advantages when wintering outside, because: Storms and stronger winds are usually not able to move the furniture. If you have no problems with the grayish patina look, you can also leave the care of the furniture to nature - especially near the sea. Here, the sand and salty air ensure that the teak garden furniture is kept clean. The golden brown tropical wood is ideally adapted to the natural conditions in the fresh air and is therefore one of the first contenders for the title of “highest quality material for garden furniture”.

But we know: quality has its price. There are certainly cheaper garden furniture than those made of teak. In so far as this should be seen as a disadvantage: The probability is high that you will only buy teak garden furniture once in your life. If we add this amount to the number of years that teak wood has adorned your balcony or terrace, these one-off costs are quickly put into perspective. So if you like a warm wood tone and expect high quality from your garden furniture, you should definitely take a look at garden furniture made of teak.

But we also know: not everyone is completely addicted to the charm of wood - garden furniture made of plastic and metal also captivates with numerous advantages, which we would of course like to present to you below.

Plastic garden furniture: more than expected

Wood is wood, metal is metal - plastic, on the other hand, can be many things, in shape and color. A great advantage if you want to explore all the possibilities of your individual taste and treat yourself to chic garden furniture for the green oasis of well-being. Only plastics offer this flexibility - but that's not the only plus point. The constantly evolving technologies ensure more and more valuable properties in plastics - and the at a comparatively low price. Plastic furniture is also relatively light and therefore quick and easy to transport - especially practical if the garden furniture is to be wintered indoors. Alternatively (and space-saving), furniture made of plastic can also be stacked or folded - an advantage that wooden garden furniture usually cannot offer. This also saves space on the terrace or balcony in summer.

Garden furniture made of all plastic (made of polypropylene, polycarbonate or Mecalit plastic) is usually very easy to care for and weatherproof. The only exception: some plastic furniture sensitive to heatwhich can be problematic especially at very high summer temperatures. Another factor that should be considered: Plastics are made with the help of fossil petroleum, which can have a negative impact on the carbon footprint, but does not apply equally to all plastics. The advantages of plastic garden furniture weigh heavily, however, especially the excellent price-performance ratio. No other material tops the flexibility of plastic. That is why we are happy to present you three of the many faces of plastic garden furniture in the following sections.

Polyrattan is not the same as rattan (even if it sounds similar)

Rattan and poly rattan not only share the name, but above all their appearance - both are handcrafted and exude a touch of luxury vacation. The effort is worth it, because your own garden becomes a cozy paradise with a lounge set made of rattan. But there is one very important difference between rattan and poly rattan: Rattan is made of natural wood fibers, while poly rattan is made of plastic mesh. Furniture made of polyrattan has a decisive advantage over rattan models: The synthetic wickerwork is ideal for garden furniture. Polyrattan withstands winter challenges, lets rain roll off without effect and retains its appearance permanently even with strong UV radiation. Rattan, on the other hand, is far less weather-resistant. Garden furniture made of polyrattan is a luxurious eye-catcher in the fresh air, is easy to care for and is lightweight. If you treat yourself to a lounge made of polyrattan, you can redecorate or bring your furniture inside in no time at all. That’s also why Poly rattan furniture has been extremely popular for years.

However, we should not forget: Furniture made of rattan is ideal for indoor use and, as a natural material, even has a better carbon footprint than polyrattan. You should also not forget an important tip: The particular advantages of a poly rattan set depend on the quality of the material. If you save on quality, you will not enjoy all the advantages of polyrattan garden furniture. An important indicator for the quality of plastics is the glass fiber content, which should be as close as possible to 40%. In general, however, the following applies here: the higher the proportion, the better for the garden furniture.
Before reading any further, would you like to take a quick look at our polyrattan garden furniture collections? No problem. Next, let's look at a plastic that can look confusingly similar to wood.

Polywood: For everyone who cannot decide between plastic and wood

We have shown that wooden garden furniture has many advantages - as do plastics. What could be more obvious than combining these two materials? This is not only possible, it has already happened: such a successful mixture is called polywood. This is where artificial and natural fibers from wood, cotton or even coconut meet. This results in a fabric that looks like wood, but thanks to the plastics it has other advantages. Furniture made from real wood is usually expensive, sometimes delicate and heavy. In addition, garden furniture made of polywood is more resistant to moisture (with the exception of hardwoods such as teak), hardly needs any maintenance and still looks like new years later. Speaking of looks: Polywood patio furniture is available in various shapes and colors and can represent any desired wood look with color gradients and grain. As a customer, you have many options when it comes to garden design. Garden furniture made of polywood can also score points in comparison to pure plastics, because Due to the added wood fibers, less petroleum is required in the manufacture of the furniture - which in turn has a positive effect on the climate.

Unfortunately, polywood is not perfect either: complete moisture resistance cannot be guaranteed here. However, in the dreary seasons, a protective cover is sufficient to protect the furniture from excessive moisture, cold and mold. Such a cover or a place in the shade also help against the heat sensitivity that garden furniture made of polywood shares with other plastics. Here you should also watch out for glasses, which quickly act as a lens when the sunlight is right and can develop threatening temperatures for the garden furniture.
We see: Even an apparently ideal mix has its quirks. Still, garden furniture made of polywood is a sensible alternative and maybe just the thing for your needs?

Rope: high-quality seating comfort without compromise?

Many action heroes have already hung on the rescue rope in the course of their adventure. A classic, because ropes played a vital role in everyday life even with the ancient Egyptians. In the meantime, the topic of ropes has changed a bit and has arrived at garden furniture - under the English term “rope”. Rope is currently shaking up the garden furniture market and now measures itself against such established materials as teak, aluminum or polyrattan. So it's time to take a closer look at the material.

Rope is particularly convincing because of its light cosiness. It hugs the body structure wonderfully and combines inexpensive seating comfort with a low weight. Another highlight of the material: Rope is general very easy to care for - and therefore easy to clean. But be careful: Rope has many faces and is difficult to grasp.

What is rope made of?

Similar to polyrattan and rattan, we first have to differentiate between an artificial and a natural variant. Natural fibers have significant disadvantages because they are more susceptible to powdery mildew or rotting processes.That is why only artificial rope fabrics play an important role in garden furniture.

But there are quite a few plastics. These include, for example Nylon, polyethylene, polyester or polypropylene - and all of them are used for rope. Some plastics score particularly well because they do not absorb moisture, while others can withstand great heat without any problems. In general, however, the following applies: The synthetic fibers are very robust and resistant. Rope is therefore ideally suited for outdoor use - regardless of the plastic used.

Another reason for that Rope diversity: The synthetic fiber is available in various designs and formats. Sometimes the material is several centimeters thick, sometimes it consists of a knitted pattern or is reminiscent of cords. What they all have in common, however, is the “rope-like” look, which is simply hip and currently very much in trend. You benefit from this: there is enough choice available for every taste.

In the advantage of diversity, however, there is also a potential disadvantage: Rope is not just rope. Hence you should When buying garden furniture made of rope, take a close look and make a conscious decision. In addition, the Achilles' heel of plastics should be remembered: heat. The number of degrees varies, but the warmer it gets, the more likely it is that rope can permanently deform.

But it is also clear: every material has one (or two) hooks. The Benefits of rope outweigh however clearly. Rope scores above all with its low price, low weight and remarkably high seating comfort. So do you shimmy to your fresh rope design and choose garden furniture made of rope for your oasis at home? Or do you want to take a look at another modern plastic wonder first?

The indestructible Sunbrella: the material for every season (including winter)

What do you think of a living room in the fresh air when the sun is shining gloriously from the sky? If that sounds tempting: Only garden furniture with a textile surface can bring this comfortable flair to the balcony or terrace at home. Textiles are usually made of synthetic fibers (mostly polyester and vinyl). Sunbrella, the textile superhero for garden furniture, is the exception to the rule. Sunbrella is made of acrylic fabric - a fabric that can actually be left outside all year round.

Sunbrella is not new at all, it has been known for over 50 years. Since then, the material has been used primarily in boat building and sailing and has therefore proven itself for outdoor use, not just for cushions and cushions. Liquids roll off the dirt-repellent and mold-resistant Sunbrella fabric and the sun's rays do not fade the colors of the garden furniture. This is due to the special manufacturing process: the color pigments are applied to the synthetic fibers before production - and not afterwards. This way, the colors stay lively and sustainable. The breathable and skin-friendly acrylic fabric It also caresses the skin and offers a level of comfort that is second to none.

Most garden furniture made from Sunbrella is complemented by an aluminum frame, which means that the furniture is particularly easy to care for. All you need for cleaning is a cloth, warm water and a little soap. Anything else should not be used, however, because the protective layer can suffer, so that some of the positive properties of the material can be lost. But that was all due to the disadvantages. Garden furniture made from Sunbrella is not considered a super material for your own garden equipment for nothing. But textiles need a solid base - this is usually made of metal in garden furniture. This is the subject of the next chapter.

Metal - the guarantee for timeless garden furniture

What all metal garden furniture has in common: They are timeless - and not only very robust and have a long service life: the design of the furniture also does not lose its value. The metallic look simply looks classy over the long term. We introduce you to three metals that know how to impress with these qualities.

Garden furniture made of aluminum - the particularly (easy-care) metal is 20 years old

Aluminum combines all the positive properties of metals (durable, timeless and robust) and even goes one better with the plus points: garden furniture made of aluminum is particularly light for a metal and has a significantly lighter than iron, for example. In spite of this, aluminum is easy to shape and stable in production and is therefore a very everyday companion in the home garden, balcony or terrace. The design is particularly impressive due to the very smooth and pleasant surface. This surface also primarily determines the quality of the aluminum, because: the better the coating, the longer the furniture will last. With a high-quality powder coating, aluminum lasts for 20 years and is absolutely rust-free or weatherproof, regardless of whether it is about moisture, cold or UV radiation. In addition, if the coating is intact no maintenance required.

In addition, aluminum has excellent thermal conductivity. What sounds like an advantage at first, can turn out to be a problem in midsummer, because: The garden furniture can get very hot when exposed to permanent sunlight. Children in particular should be careful here so that they don't burn themselves on the beautiful garden furniture. From an ecological perspective, on the other hand, the material can be assessed as sustainable despite a relatively large amount of energy, because the material 100% recyclable. In addition, it can be said: Compared to other materials with many pluses Garden furniture made of aluminum very affordable. It is therefore definitely worth taking a look at the light and timeless classic.

Nobody burns their fingers on the elegant stainless steel

Aluminum has one disadvantage that stainless steel does not: Stainless steel garden furniture does not get hot. This is due to the low thermal conductivity - stainless steel furniture stays pleasantly warm. No matter how much the sun shines: burns are impossible. Garden furniture made of stainless steel always looks like aluminum elegant and modern - and hold for quite a while. This is due to the chromium-nickel alloys used, which are also referred to as the V2A standard. Moisture and even weak acids have no influence on stainless steel. Particularly robust garden furniture is even made of V4A stainless steel, which includes resistance to salty or chlorinated water. The weather resistance, also against UV radiation, ensures that garden furniture made of stainless steel remains stable for a particularly long time. In addition, are many models foldable or stackable and easy to care for. Very practical in everyday life.

However, as already noted: V2A stainless steel is not invulnerable and, depending on the spatial location, susceptible to “flash rust”. Proximity to train tracks, industrial areas, swimming pools or the sea can mean that small metal particles, salts or chlorine are increasingly in the air and damage the stainless steel. However, this is by no means a knockout criterion: Anyone who applies stainless steel cleaner or polish once or twice a year can easily counteract such deposits.
Stainless steel is not as light as aluminum, but that in turn has an advantage, especially in windy seasons: Stainless steel furniture does not move so easily and is a solid stone or in the garden. Stainless steel garden furniture score with a good price-performance ratio, however, aluminum furniture is usually comparatively cheaper. Just like iron garden furniture, which we will introduce in the next section.

Nostalgic wrought iron and the seductive price-performance ratio

(Wrought) iron has a rustic charm and often exudes a traditional feel when it comes to patio furniture Vintage flairthat the “modern” metals such as aluminum and stainless steel cannot offer. Like all pieces of metal furniture, iron garden furniture scores with its modern powder coating. This makes this garden furniture good Durable for a dozen years and virtually maintenance-free usable. Rust doesn't stand a chance - iron resists all weather conditions. In summer the garden furniture does not get hot and even in winter the coated furniture can be left outside without any problems. You can be sure of a noticeable appearance of rust: This is unusual and definitely a reason for complaint within the warranty period. Garden furniture is usually made of iron like new even after 10 years out.

Problems with garden furniture made of iron can only arise if parts (for example the inner surfaces of the pipes) are not completely coated, which, however, can be ruled out with high-quality furniture. In addition, care should be taken with protective covers in winter, because prolonged contact with the powder coating can result in unsightly stains.
However, when it comes to the price-performance ratio of wrought iron garden furniture: In this area, the material does not have to hide from any challenger.

Which garden furniture material wins (with overview)?

Gardens and tastes are of course different, so the following applies: Only you decide on the material of your garden furniture - and now it is time. We have presented you with a whole range of materials in detail - but maybe a short overview will help with the final decision-making?

So: which material convinced you? One of the natural hardwoods: acacia, eucalyptus or teak? Or was it a plastic that won the competition? There was a choice of poly rattan, polywood or sunbrella. Or maybe a metal has caught on? After all, aluminum, stainless steel and wrought iron have also proven their worth.

We know, of course, that most garden sets are not made of just one of the materials mentioned - they are usually a mix of materials. However, if you have read our article in detail, you have a clear advantage: You now know the strengths and weaknesses of the most common materials and can therefore make well informed decisions.

We wish you a lot of fun and success while browsing.

P.S. If you still need information about wintering garden furniture, simply follow the link provided.