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How to pick the best outdoor furniture at any budget

Thursday, August 20, 2020   /   by The Villages Home Search

How to pick the best outdoor furniture at any budget

Outdoor spaces in our stay-at-home world are more important than ever before. Whether you have a small balcony or a sprawling backyard, a bit of fresh air is key to fighting quarantine fatigue.


For many of us, sprucing up our outdoor areas is at the top of the home projects to-do list, but picking out quality furniture can be daunting. In the past, we offered five tips for finding top-flight outdoor furniture. Now, we’re breaking down the best outdoor furniture by material—wood, metal, plastic, fabric, and wicker.


While it’s true that some outdoor furniture can be astronomically expensive—running into thousands of dollars—don’t despair! There are plenty of options for budget-conscious patio dwellers, too. Need even more picks? Don’t miss our favorite affordable outdoor sofas and budget-minded dining sets.


Review our advice and get shopping—the outdoors are calling.


Wood outdoor furniture


Wooden patio furniture is sturdy, long-lasting (if well cared for), and often feels the most like having real furniture outside. It can also be expensive. Look for dense-grained tropical hardwoods—like teak—that are able to resist warping and swelling, or opt for cheaper wood and throw on a cover for protection.


Other popular woods used in outdoor furniture are cedar, pine, and eucalyptus. Be aware that wood furniture often requires staining and oil to maintain its original appearance.



<div class="c-shoppable c-shoppable--has-image" data-anthem-component="1531957" data-cid="site/shoppable-1590175072_8400_53133" data-cdata="{"anthem_component_id":1531957,"title":"Graywashed Eucalyptus Marciana Outdoor Dining Table ","chorus_asset_id":19928314,"url":"https://www.worldmarket.com/product/graywashed+eucalyptus+marciana+outdoor+dining+table.do?sortby=ourPicksAscend&from=fn","retailer":"Cost Plus World Market ","price":"$400 (orig. $500)","description":"

Made from hearty eucalyptus wood and graywashed for a more contemporary look, this dining table has a large surface and stable, U-shaped base. Seal with a outdoor wood furniture finish to ensure it lasts.

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<div class="c-shoppable c-shoppable--has-image" data-anthem-component="940008" data-cid="site/shoppable-1590175072_3822_53134" data-cdata="{"anthem_component_id":940008,"title":"Regatta Mesh Dining Chair ","chorus_asset_id":8195039,"url":"https://www.crateandbarrel.com/regattameshdiningchair/s595837","retailer":"Crate and Barrel ","price":"$381","description":"

Crate and Barrel’s Regatta outdoor dining chair uses a wide-slat design of handcrafted, farm-grown teak with UV-resistant white mesh inserts as contrast.

","entry_id":21031630,"image_url":"https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/NONfZYvSrT4jufzFapwZdJWpr3I=/1000x0/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/8195039/RegattaWhtMshDngChrOFRG16.jpeg","anchor_id":"Regatta_Mesh_Dining_Chair_-940008"}">



<div class="c-shoppable c-shoppable--has-image" data-anthem-component="1531958" data-cid="site/shoppable-1590175072_718_53135" data-cdata="{"anthem_component_id":1531958,"title":"Olema Teak Lounge Chair ","chorus_asset_id":19928835,"url":"https://www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod12720044&categoryId=search","retailer":"Restoration Hardware ","price":"$2595 ","description":"

Designed David Sutherland uses dramatic angles in a semi-reclined lounge chair made from sustainably harvested, premium Grade-A teak.

","entry_id":21031630,"image_url":"https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/U33qloHXg0oyFnX1NYXk5ZRMocs=/1000x0/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19928835/prod12720044_E510414347_TQ_RS.jpeg","anchor_id":"Olema_Teak_Lounge_Chair_-1531958"}">



Metal patio furniture


Thanks to the steep price tags of wooden outdoor furniture, metal is becoming an increasingly popular choice. Aluminum furniture is lightweight, durable, and doesn’t require much maintenance.


Steel is a heavier option, but both usually need to be coated with a protective finish known as powder coating. The good thing about metal outdoor furniture is there are a lot of options at all price points.



<div class="c-shoppable c-shoppable--has-image" data-anthem-component="1531959" data-cid="site/shoppable-1590175072_2318_53136" data-cdata="{"anthem_component_id":1531959,"title":"Ainsley Patio 3-Piece Bistro Set ","chorus_asset_id":19928809,"url":"https://www.wayfair.com/outdoor/pdp/hashtag-home-ainsley-patio-3-piece-bistro-set-w001537837.html","retailer":"Wayfair ","price":"$150 (orig. $290) ","description":"

This three-piece bistro set comes in three different colors (navy, white, and red), and is made from powder coated steel. The two chairs can be folded up for easy storage, making this affordable, well-reviewed set a good option for small spaces.

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Ainsley Patio 3-Piece Bistro Set



This three-piece bistro set comes in three different colors (navy, white, and red), and is made from powder coated steel. The two chairs can be folded up for easy storage, making this affordable, well-reviewed set a good option for small spaces.


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Wayfair / $150 (orig. $290) Buy





<div class="c-shoppable c-shoppable--has-image" data-anthem-component="1531960" data-cid="site/shoppable-1590175072_9933_53137" data-cdata="{"anthem_component_id":1531960,"title":"Breton Black Metal Sofa ","chorus_asset_id":19928794,"url":"https://www.cb2.com/breton-black-metal-sofa/s267345","retailer":"CB2","price":"$799 (orig. $999) ","description":"

This streamlined sofa is made using a black matte powder coated iron frame and topped with plush off-white seat cushions.

","entry_id":21031630,"image_url":"https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/ux62ehT60H8b4wdc-0Z4R_Lbw1Q=/1000x0/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19928794/download.jpeg","anchor_id":"Breton_Black_Metal_Sofa_-1531960"}">



<div class="c-shoppable c-shoppable--has-image" data-anthem-component="940012" data-cid="site/shoppable-1590175072_5077_53138" data-cdata="{"anthem_component_id":940012,"title":"Marbella Aluminum Dining Table","chorus_asset_id":8195235,"url":"https://www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod8040520&categoryId=cat7730020","retailer":"Restoration Hardware ","price":"$1795-$2595","description":"

Try out the modern look with this low-slung, rustproof aluminum table that can seat up to ten.

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Plastic


Plastic furniture may have a reputation for being flimsy, but new technology proves that it can be a great material for outdoor furniture. Using high-density polyethylene—some of which is recycled from milk cartons or bottles—plastic furniture can be highly durable, doesn’t require painting or sealing, and can be designed to look like almost anything.


Of course, there are still some poor quality plastic products out there, but even low-end furniture can be treated with UV-stabilizing pigments to reduce fading. The best part? Plastic is easy to wipe down and won’t peel like other products.



<div class="c-shoppable c-shoppable--has-image" data-anthem-component="1531961" data-cid="site/shoppable-1590175072_8335_53139" data-cdata="{"anthem_component_id":1531961,"title":"Reel Black Outdoor Dining Chair ","chorus_asset_id":19928718,"url":"https://www.crateandbarrel.com/reel-black-outdoor-dining-chair/s517582","retailer":"Crate & Barrel ","price":"$134 (orig. $149) ","description":"

This slatted seat dining chair is made from recycled plastic tops and fast-growing eucalyptus for a sleek, midcentury-inspired look.

","entry_id":21031630,"image_url":"https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/Zels7UhLrz2fyTRnXVTNvyyE7OY=/1000x0/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19928718/ReelRcyclDngChrBlkWCshSHS20_3D_16x9.jpeg","anchor_id":"Reel_Black_Outdoor_Dining_Chair_-1531961"}">



<div class="c-shoppable c-shoppable--has-image" data-anthem-component="940014" data-cid="site/shoppable-1590175072_2854_53140" data-cdata="{"anthem_component_id":940014,"title":"Emmet Lounge Chair ","chorus_asset_id":8195281,"url":"https://www.roomandboard.com/catalog/outdoor/emmet-lounge-chairs-in-white/emmet-lounge-chair-and-ottoman/917140?articleNumber=917140&an=0_917140","retailer":"Room & Board","price":"$429","description":"

Available in eight colors, these outdoor loungers made of recycled high-density plastic are a modern take on the classic American Adirondack chair.

","entry_id":21031630,"image_url":"https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/rCbXy2QrH-1W24WZ9E_KHQoiMvY=/1000x0/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/8195281/emmet_917140_14e_g.jpeg","anchor_id":"Emmet_Lounge_Chair_-940014"}">



<div class="c-shoppable c-shoppable--has-image" data-anthem-component="940015" data-cid="site/shoppable-1590175072_9533_53141" data-cdata="{"anthem_component_id":940015,"title":"Telescope St. Catherine Collection","chorus_asset_id":13755159,"url":"https://www.patioliving.com/telescope-casual-st-catherine-mgp-recycled-plastic-conversation-patio-lounge-set-tcstcathlouset?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=2033713&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkPD67Zy34AIV1f_jBx21HwxiEAkYFiABEgItk_D_BwE","retailer":"Patio Living ","price":"From $5,002","description":"

Made from eco-friendly recycled plastic, this all-weather collection is available in many different colors and finishes. The collection includes everything from coffee tables to sofas.

","entry_id":21031630,"image_url":"https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/jSavtERGMbYbJnfpQ_dQcYkQiBg=/1000x0/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/13755159/TCSTCATHLOUSET1_zm.jpg","anchor_id":"Telescope_St._Catherine Collection-940015"}">


Fabric


If your dream afternoon involves a couch and some sun, look no further than an outdoor sofa. Usually a blend of wood or powder-coated steel with fabric cushions, outdoor couches offer a level of relaxation that just can’t be matched in a dining room chair. Speciality treated fabrics mean that these gems can hang outside, no matter the weather.



<div class="c-shoppable c-shoppable--has-image" data-anthem-component="1545469" data-cid="site/shoppable-1590175072_449_53142" data-cdata="{"anthem_component_id":1545469,"title":"Standish Patio Loveseat ","chorus_asset_id":19994087,"url":"https://www.target.com/p/standish-patio-loveseat-natural-gray-project-62-8482/-/A-52841383","retailer":"Target","price":"$400","description":"

Made with a sturdy, rust-resistant steel and wicker base, this compact loveseat comes with soft gray fabric cushions that are neutral enough to fit most any decor.

","entry_id":21031630,"image_url":"https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/LPg4iopLGHxVnuDsgoXzp9paJmU=/1000x0/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19994087/GUEST_d838e884_28da_4a95_b63e_c3356e09411d.jpeg","anchor_id":"Standish_Patio_Loveseat_-1545469"}">



<div class="c-shoppable c-shoppable--has-image" data-anthem-component="1092311" data-cid="site/shoppable-1590175072_2960_53143" data-cdata="{"anthem_component_id":1092311,"title":"Barra Teak and Metal Sofa ","chorus_asset_id":16194076,"url":"https://www.crateandbarrel.com/barra-teak-metal-sofa-with-charcoal-sunbrella-cushions/s167047","retailer":"Crate & Barrel ","price":"$900 (orig. $1,800) ","description":"

Available in light silver and dark charcoal color options, we love this sofa for its eye-catching contrast between teak and fabric. It’s a fun take on often boring teak furniture, and Sunbrella fabric holds up in tough conditions.

","entry_id":21031630,"image_url":"https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/j-Ly6Zn2-RcdVbrJdZ3yx05xRKs=/1000x0/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/16194076/download__3_.jpeg","anchor_id":"Barra_Teak_and_Metal_Sofa_-1092311"}">

Barra Teak and Metal Sofa



Available in light silver and dark charcoal color options, we love this sofa for its eye-catching contrast between teak and fabric. It’s a fun take on often boring teak furniture, and Sunbrella fabric holds up in tough conditions.


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Crate & Barrel / $900 (orig. $1,800) Buy





<div class="c-shoppable c-shoppable--has-image" data-anthem-component="1531963" data-cid="site/shoppable-1590175072_6555_53144" data-cdata="{"anthem_component_id":1531963,"title":"Cache Outdoor Sofa ","chorus_asset_id":19928929,"url":"https://www.bludot.com/cache-outdoor-sofa.html","retailer":"Blu Dot ","price":"$3,999","description":"

This eye-catching outdoor sofa features a tubular aluminum frame that cradles comfy inset cushions upholstered in high-performance Sunbrella fabric. Available in charcoal or tomato.

","entry_id":21031630,"image_url":"https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/WrhylFq4u_JxRcEuCuyQESGhk-E=/1000x0/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19928929/ca1_cachsf_tm_frontlow_cache_sofa_sunbrella_tomato.jpg","anchor_id":"Cache_Outdoor_Sofa_-1531963"}">


Wicker and rattan


Before you think wicker furniture only belongs at grandma’s house, take a look at this generation’s wicker: It’s sleek, lightweight, and comfortable. Wicker can also be used indoor or outdoors, so it works well on sunrooms and porches.



<div class="c-shoppable c-shoppable--has-image" data-anthem-component="1531964" data-cid="site/shoppable-1590175072_1983_53145" data-cdata="{"anthem_component_id":1531964,"title":"Outdoor Basket Chair ","chorus_asset_id":19928775,"url":"https://www.cb2.com/outdoor-basket-chair/s498783","retailer":"CB2","price":"$399 (orig. $529) ","description":"

Designed by Brett Beldock, this faux rattan basket chair provides a deep seat for lounging on a slim, powder coated frame.

","entry_id":21031630,"image_url":"https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/qAu4CxP_mW9VACUEkShcxPFaz3Y=/1000x0/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19928775/outdoor_basket_chair.jpg","anchor_id":"Outdoor_Basket_Chair_-1531964"}">



<div class="c-shoppable c-shoppable--has-image" data-anthem-component="1531965" data-cid="site/shoppable-1590175072_582_53146" data-cdata="{"anthem_component_id":1531965,"title":"Dog Days Outdoor 3 Seat Sofa ","chorus_asset_id":19928958,"url":"https://www.bludot.com/dog-days-outdoor-3-seat-sofa.html","retailer":"Blu Dot ","price":"$2,599","description":"

Available in coal or white linen, this three-seat outdoor couch features backs of all-weather rattan on a tubular aluminum frame. It’s a minimalist look for maximum style.

","entry_id":21031630,"image_url":"https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/aauuwuuT-Z14lv2ig5p3-ux0Vv4=/1000x0/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19928958/19s_off_dogdays_v2.jpg","anchor_id":"Dog_Days_Outdoor_3_Seat_Sofa_-1531965"}">



<div class="c-shoppable c-shoppable--has-image" data-anthem-component="1531966" data-cid="site/shoppable-1590175072_330_53147" data-cdata="{"anthem_component_id":1531966,"title":"St. Martin Sofa Daybed ","chorus_asset_id":19928904,"url":"https://www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod11070059&categoryId=cat2940159","retailer":"Restoration Hardware","price":"$3395","description":"

With an oviod frame inspired by midcentury style, this all-weather wicker day bed features an octagonal weave and plenty of space for lounging.

","entry_id":21031630,"image_url":"https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/iRUbaSpqfOfmF97n6gXqAJZf27c=/1000x0/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19928904/OD17OD1_R77_p166x167_V1.jpeg","anchor_id":"St._Martin_Sofa_Daybed_-1531966"}">


Rugs


Maybe it’s the pop of color, or maybe it just feels better to have something underfoot, but rugs can tie an outdoor space together. They are made from materials ranging from nylon to polyester to polypropylene, but make sure you find one that is mold and mildew-resistant. Better yet, look for rugs that are treated to resist the harsh exposure to UV rays.



<div class="c-shoppable c-shoppable--has-image" data-anthem-component="1545470" data-cid="site/shoppable-1590175072_7595_53148" data-cdata="{"anthem_component_id":1545470,"title":"Zoey Chevron Indoor-Outdoor Rug ","chorus_asset_id":19994099,"url":"https://www.allmodern.com/rugs/pdp/zoey-chevron-polypropylene-blueoff-white-indoor-outdoor-use-area-rug-a000316525.html","retailer":"All Modern","price":"From $36","description":"

Machine-woven in Belgium from a durable and stain-resistant synthetic fiber, this low-pile rug uses a modern chevron pattern in blue for a coastal feel.

","entry_id":21031630,"image_url":"https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/wXLidR0ieIV8DMhdD7sHBGgEHzs=/1000x0/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19994099/_Outdoor_Use_Area_Rug.jpg","anchor_id":"Zoey_Chevron_Indoor-Outdoor_Rug_-1545470"}">



<div class="c-shoppable c-shoppable--has-image" data-anthem-component="940023" data-cid="site/shoppable-1590175072_8000_53149" data-cdata="{"anthem_component_id":940023,"title":"Ombre Pop Indoor/Outdoor Rug ","chorus_asset_id":13755254,"url":"https://www.westelm.com/products/ombre-pop-indoor-outdoor-rug-t4390/?catalogId=14&sku=8555813&cm_ven=PLA&cm_cat=Google&cm_pla=Rugs%20%2B%20Windows%20%3E%20All%20Rugs&cm_ite=8555813&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9dafoKS34AIVQrXACh2NHA2NEAQYASABEgLLNfD_BwE","retailer":"West Elm","price":"From $80","description":"

Reversible and easy-to-care for, this handwoven indoor/outdoor rug adds texture and color to any outdoor space.

","entry_id":21031630,"image_url":"https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/LcQzFeygrsDt6iNayUQ9LAQ2VUc=/1000x0/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/13755254/ombre_pop_indoor_outdoor_rug_o.jpg","anchor_id":"Ombre_Pop_Indoor/Outdoor_Rug_-940023"}">



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These colorfast rugs—hand-woven from 100 percent solution-dyed acyclic—offer durability, stain resistance, and ease of cleaning.

","entry_id":21031630,"image_url":"https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/5kBE6-gtPnIkGSRaKDA_xsX1xMY=/1000x0/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/13755264/WC18SPR_X1194_Peren_Heath_Ombre_Iron.jpeg","anchor_id":"Perennials_Heathered_Ombre_Outdoor_Rug-940024"}">


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