Are you unsure if steel furniture is the right choice for your next patio furniture purchase? Don’t worry; you are not alone! We understand there are a lot of materials to evaluate before you decide because we have been there before.
To help you decide, we put together 11 pros and cons of steel outdoor furniture.
Read below to figure out if steel is the right choice for you!
What is steel?
Steel is a type of alloy made with iron and carbon. Its high strength and durability make it perfect for use in a wide array of applications like construction, automobiles, and of course, outdoor furniture. You will find steel in various outdoor applications: outdoor furniture, heaters, fire pits, grills, decor, and more.
Is steel a good patio furniture material?
Absolutely! Steel is a great material for outdoor furniture because it has several characteristics that make it ideal for patio furniture, and numerous outdoor furniture brands use steel to make great quality outdoor items.
Often you will find that steel patio furniture will be labeled as “Galvanized Steel,” “Stainless Steel,” “Powder-Coated Steel,” or “E-Coated Steel.” These terms refer to different weather-resistant finishes, treatments, or alloys used to enhance the durability of steel to make the metal material last many years outdoors.
Live Your Best Backyard Tip: All steel outdoor furniture will need to be treated (e.g., powder-coating) to prevent rusting. If the retailer does not clearly state how the item has been treated, be sure to ask before making your purchase!
Steel outdoor furniture options
The Pros and Cons of Steel Patio Furniture
#1 Pro: Steel patio furniture is usually treated to prevent rusting
As mentioned above, steel patio furniture is often manufactured or treated to prevent rust and corrosion. Stainless steel is an alloy of steel that is specially designed to be corrosion resistant. Galvanizing, powder-coating, and e-coating are treatments and finishes that can be added to steel (yes, stainless steel can be powder coated or e-coated) to prevent rust and corrosion. This treatment helps the furniture withstand weather conditions like heat, cold, rain, and snow.
Powder-coating is a finishing process for metal in which a dry powder is sprayed onto a metal through an electrostatic process and is then heated in a curing process to melt and harden the powder to the metal. Read more about why powder-coating for metal outdoor furniture is essential here.
E-coating is another material finishing process that involves immersing the metal in a bath of liquid solution (e.g., paint, epoxy). Then, an electric current is passed through the solution to attract the solution to the metal until the appropriate coating thickness is applied to the metal.
#2 Con: Steel can rust under the right conditions
Although steel furniture is often treated to prevent rusting, it can still occur under the right conditions – even stainless steel. Factors like salt water, high humidity, and direct sunlight can cause steel to corrode and rust. This is especially true if the finish has been scratched or degraded. Once the base steel metal has been exposed, corrosion can occur.
#3 Pro: Sun will not affect the durability of steel
The sun will not cause steel to fade, warp, or crack like other materials, especially some woods and plastics used for outdoor furniture. Over time, however, consistent sun exposure may degrade weather-resistant finishes like powder coating and e-coating.
#4 Con: Steel can get hot to the touch in direct sunlight
While the sun will not damage steel patio furniture, it can get extremely hot to the touch when left in direct sunlight for extended periods of time. If you are looking for furniture you can enjoy without worrying about burning yourself, steel may not be the best option.
If you want a metal look, consider aluminum as it is known not to be as hot to the touch in direct sunlight.
#5 Pro: Steel is heavy, which makes it resist movement by wind
The heavy weight of steel makes it resistant to movement by wind. This is ideal if you live in an area that experiences high winds or gusts. The furniture will not blow away or topple over as easily as other materials like aluminum or plastic, which are known to be lighter than steel.
#6 Pro: Steel may be difficult for some to move
Since steel is heavier than some materials, it may be difficult for some people to move around. If you plan on rearranging your patio furniture often, furniture with steel frames may not be the best option. Consider aluminum or plastic furniture, which are known to be lighter weight.
However, depending on the type and size of the patio furniture you are considering, the difference in weight between steel and other materials may not matter as much. So, if you have the chance, test out the furniture if you can.
#7 Pro: Steel is very durable and can last many years
The durability of steel makes it a popular choice for patio furniture. Steel frames can last for years, even decades with proper care. This is due to the fact that steel is much stronger than other materials like aluminum, wood, and plastic. Steel is very hard to dent, bend, or break, and it is not susceptible to damage from insects or rotting like wood can.
#8 Pro: Powder-coated and e-coated steel reduces maintenance
Powder-coated and e-coated steel furniture reduces the care and maintenance you need to perform on steel outdoor furniture. The thick protective layer helps to prevent rusting, fading, and scratching. This means the furniture will look new for longer with less care from you.
To clean powder-coated or e-coated steel furniture, simply use soap and water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners as they can damage the finish.
#9 Con: Steel may be difficult to fix if damaged
If steel furniture is damaged, it may be challenging to repair. This is because steel is a very hard material. While this can be seen as a positive since it makes the furniture more durable, it also means that for any damage that does occur, you will have to find a specialist to repair the furniture.
If you are considering steel furniture, ask about the warranty. Many manufacturers offer warranties on steel furniture, which will cover some damage that may occur.
#10 Pro: Steel patio furniture is usually a good value and cheaper than aluminum
Steel is a versatile material used to make all types of patio furniture. Whether you are looking for chairs, tables, lounges, or any other outdoor furniture, steel can be used to create it. This means that you have a wide range of options to choose from when furnishing your patio with steel furniture.
#11 Pro: Steel is used to make all types of patio furniture
Sling patio furniture is also very versatile when it comes to design. You will find that sling furniture can be made in various colors and patterns, which gives you many options to choose from to find the perfect look for your patio. Whether you want a bright and bold color or a more subdued and classic look, there is likely a sling fabric that will fit your style.
When it comes to patio furniture, there are many different materials to choose from. Steel is one of the most popular choices due to its durability and great value. However, some things should be considered when considering steel patio furniture. Steel furniture is heavier than other materials, so it may be difficult for some people to move around. Additionally, the material may rust over time, even if it has been treated to resist corrosion.