When most people think about patio furniture, they picture summer days – lying in the sun, reading a book, sipping on iced tea. But what about when winter rolls around? How will your furniture hold up then? In this article, we’ll take a look at five different materials that are perfect for patio furniture during the winter months.
Let’s get started!
How Winter Conditions Affect Patio Furniture
Winter can be tough on patio furniture. The conditions can wreak havoc on even the most well-made pieces. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing furniture for your patio during the winter months:
Moisture: One of the biggest enemies of patio furniture is moisture. When water seeps into the cracks and crevices of furniture, it can cause the wood to rot, the metal to rust, and the fabric to mildew.
Freezing Conditions: Another thing to consider is freezing conditions. When water freezes, it expands. This can cause cracking, warping, and even breaking in some cases.
Wind: Strong winds can also cause damage to patio furniture. If your furniture is not properly secured, it can be blown over and damaged during an intense winter storm.
Dryness: While moisture is one of the biggest enemies of patio furniture, dryness can also cause its own set of problems. If the air is too dry, it can cause the wood to splinter and crack.
With those things in mind, you can store patio furniture rather than leave it outside in winter if you are at all worried about your outdoor furniture holding up well outside in the cold.
However, there are plenty of materials that are designed to stand up to winter weather and still look great. Here are five of the best materials for patio furniture during the winter months.
5 Best Patio Furniture Materials for Winter
The materials below describe the best frame, fabric, and cushion materials for outdoor patio furniture for the winter.
We selected these because they have characteristics to withstand winter conditions, requiring the least care and maintenance compared to other materials on the market.
Best Materials Summary:
- Sunbrella (Olefin and Other Performance Fabrics)
- Cushioned: Reticulated / Quick-Dry Foam
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a synthetic resin that is widely used for many outdoor applications because of its high-weather resistance and durability. It is a tough plastic that is highly resistant to weathering, cracking, and tearing. This makes it the perfect material for outdoor furniture that will be exposed to winter conditions. HDPE furniture is also easy to clean – simply wipe it down with a damp cloth.
HDPE furniture is a great choice for winter patio furniture because it is non-porous. This means that water and moisture will not be able to seep into the material, which can cause mold and mildew growth.
If you have ever shopped for an Adirondack chair, you will find this as one of the main materials used to make these types of chairs. However, HDPE is also used in a wide range of outdoor furniture types, especially as the synthetic resin in many high-quality wicker-styled patio furniture sets.
If you’re looking for HDPE furniture, be sure to check that it’s made with 100% recycled materials. This will ensure that your furniture is as eco-friendly as possible.
Common Question: Is ‘PE Rattan’ or ‘All-Weather Wicker’ a Good Patio Furniture Material for the Winter?
PE rattan is a synthetic polymer that is commonly used for wicker-style patio furniture. It is made to resemble natural rattan, but it is more durable and weather-resistant. This makes it a great choice for winter patio furniture.
However, the things listed as PE Rattan may be made with LDPE (low-density polyethylene), which is a different type of plastic than HDPE that’s not as durable or resistant to the elements. So, if you’re looking for PE Rattan furniture, be sure to check with the manufacturer to see what type of plastic it is made from.
Aluminum furniture is made out of a lightweight metal that is corrosion-resistant and does not rust. It is a popular choice for outdoor furniture because it is durable and can withstand winter weather conditions. It’s also an affordable option compared to other metals like stainless steel.
Aluminum furniture is often powder-coated, which gives it a smooth, polished finish. This coating helps to protect the metal from weather damage and makes it easier to clean.
During the winter months, studies have shown that aluminum metal furniture actually becomes more durable. This is because the cold weather makes the metal stronger and denser, which means it is less likely to dent or scratch.
Common Question: Is Steel a Good Patio Furniture Material for Winter?
Overall, steel is a good alternative to aluminum for winter use, although it doesn’t withstand cold temperatures as well. By itself, steel will rust when exposed to moisture and can become brittle when left outside in the winter. But there are many protective finishes that can be applied to steel furniture that will make it a good choice for winter patio furniture.
For example, powder-coated steel furniture is coated with a layer of polymer that protects it from the elements. Another option is galvanized steel, which is treated with a layer of zinc that prevents rusting.
Stainless steel is also a good choice for winter patio furniture. It is an alloy of steel, chromium, and nickel that is resistant to rusting and corrosion.
Keep in mind that not all powder coatings are the same. Some perform better during the winter than others. You may need to regularly refinish your powder-coated steel furniture to keep it looking its best.
Teak is a type of wood furniture that is often designed for outdoor use. It is weather-resistant and durable due to its high oil content, making it a good choice for winter patio furniture. Teak is also resistant to rot, mold, and insect damage, which prevents the wood from decaying.
One downside of teak wood furniture is that it is one of the more expensive hardwoods. But, it will last for many years if properly cared for, saving you money in the long run. Grade A teak wood can last up to 75 years with proper care, while Grade B teak furniture has a lifespan of 25-40 years.
To extend the life of your teak furniture, it’s important to clean it on a regular basis and apply a teak sealer before winter. This will help to protect the wood from the elements and prevent it from drying out and cracking.
Common Question: Can Wood Patio Furniture Be Left Out During Winter?
Not all wood furniture will be able to handle the moisture and cold of winter as well as teak wood does. Some woods are not as naturally weather resistant. For example, some softwoods or untreated hardwoods may be susceptible to warping or cracking from winter conditions.
Furthermore, if your teak chairs or tables are made out of low-grade wood such as grade C teak, they will not be as durable and may only last for a few years.
So, if you have patio furniture made out of a different type of wood, it’s best to bring it indoors during the winter months or store it in a dry place, or at least utilize furniture covers to keep it protected.
Sunbrella is a brand of fabric that is often used for outdoor furniture cushions, umbrellas, and awnings. And it just so happens to be very good at withstanding winter weather conditions.
It is moisture, mold, and mildew resistant, which will help keep the water from damaging the fabric and your cushions during winter. It’s treated with UV stabilizers to prevent fading, and is chlorine-resistant, so it will last for years without losing its color.
Surprisingly, the fabric is soft and playable, making it very comfortable to sit on. It is also available in a wide range of colors and patterns, so you can find the perfect one for your patio furniture.
Common Question: What Outdoor Fabrics Are Best for Winter?
Although we highly recommend Sunbrella for winter conditions, there are plenty of other outdoor fabrics that will also do the job.
Olefin is a man-made fiber that is very strong and resistant to fading, staining, and mildew. It dries quickly and is available in a wide range of colors.
Some other popular fabrics for outdoor pillows and outdoor cushions include CushionGuard, Nuvella, and Outdura. All of these fabrics are resistant to mold, mildew, and fading, and will last for many years with proper care.
These fabrics go great on and are often found on frame materials that perform the best in winter like HDPE, aluminum, and teak. Additionally, you will be able to find these fabrics on wrought iron furniture, plastic furniture, stone furniture, and just about any of the patio furniture types you can imagine.
Reticulated Foam / Quick-Dry Foam Cushions
Reticulated foam is a type of foam that is often used for outdoor furniture cushions. It’s known as open-celled foam, meaning that the cells of the foam are very prorous. This makes it very good at withstanding winter weather conditions that can expand and contract fabric depending on the weather.
What makes this foam great for winter is that this foam has large pores that allow water to pass through quickly and air to flow freely, speeding the drying process. Because of the breathability of this foam, moisture doesn’t pool in the cushions, which makes it naturally resistant to mold and mildew growth.
You can easily clean reticulated foam by removing it from any cushion covers and rinsing it with a hose. Leave it in a well-ventilated area, and it will dry in less than a day.
Reticulated foam is often used with outdoor furniture such as wicker furniture, outdoor couches, and chairs.
Choosing outdoor furniture that can stay outside in the winter can be tricky. But if you’re familiar with the properties of different materials, it becomes a lot easier.
We hope this guide has helped you understand the best patio furniture materials for winter and given you some ideas on how to choose the right furniture for your needs.
These five materials will provide you with long-lasting furniture that can last many seasons and save you money in the long run.