Whether you want to elevate your outdoor entertainment setup, or you’re fashioning the ultimate outdoor oasis, our buying guide will help you find the best furnishings for you.
Here we will talk you through everything you need to know about garden furniture so that you can transform your space into a soothing sanctuary to retreat to during sunnier spells.
A popular composition in the world of outdoor patio furniture, your new rattan garden furniture will feature a woven effect that perfectly complements outdoor spaces.
Whilst natural wicker patio furniture has an earthier appeal, it’s important to note that this kind is not weather resistant. For this reason, the vast majority of outdoor garden furniture pieces are made using a synthetic polyethylene resin.
High quality, synthetic rattan garden sets are extremely robust, making them an excellent choice for those who live in wetter climates, as it’s almost completely weatherproof.
Benefits of rattan
Wood is a wonderful option for those with an authentic, natural theme in their garden and, providing you choose wisely, furniture of this type will prove a highly durable and sturdy addition to your outdoor setup.
If you’re struggling in terms of where to begin, or you’re confused as to which type of wood to choose, bear in mind that hardwoods, such as teak and eucalyptus, will result in higher quality wooden garden furniture.
Whichever you go for, it’s important that your sun lounger and garden bench are annually treated with oil and stain to help preserve peak condition and prevent any visible signs of weathering.
Benefits of wood
If durability and low maintenance are two of your utmost priorities, metal patio furniture may just pose the perfect solution.
If you do decide to opt for metal garden furniture, you’ll find that it’s sturdy and weatherproof. Most of these dining sets come with cushions that will need to be stored away when it’s wet or cold. Lots of sets are minimalist in design and some are foldable — which is great if you have a smaller garden or balcony.
Benefits of metal patio furniture
Here we answer frequently asked questions about caring for your garden furniture.
How do you choose garden furniture?
If you are shopping for garden furniture online, it’s crucial that you set plenty of time aside to perform direct, like for like comparisons as there are hundreds of different sizes, designs, styles and qualities to pick from. Performing direct comparisons between products will allow you to determine the best value item available to you, and ultimately, will remove a lot of confusion.
Cushion Material – There are a whole host of different materials used to create cushions for garden furniture.
Fillings – Cushion and seat pad fillings are available in just a couple of options, making this a much more straightforward product to shop. However, it’s still crucial that you get it right. The main filling types are foam, fibre and foam that is wrapped in fibre.
We recommend opting for cushions that are composed of foam wrapped in fibre, as this style looks good from an aesthetic perspective and also recovers most effectively from weather damage. You can expect to pay more for this composition, but it is worth it for the durability and comfort of the furnishing.
PE v PVC Rattan – There is a selection of rattan materials available to choose from including PVC, PU, and PE.
If you are looking to save money upfront and aren’t thinking too much from a long-term perspective, PVC and PU furnishings may just present the perfect option for you. However, if you’re trying to source a premium quality outdoor furniture set that will stand the test of time, opt for PE instead. PVC and PU tend to crack or go brittle when left outside, whereas PE is completely weatherproof and can be left outdoors comfortably all year round.
How do you take care of your garden furniture?
Caring for rattan garden furniture
Rattan furniture and natural wicker furniture should have its grooves cleaned regularly with a brush, and you should always use a weatherproof furniture cover when it isn’t in use. Synthetic rattan can be kept outside, however, if you wish for your furniture to retain premium condition, it is still best to make use of a furniture cover.
Caring for wooden garden furniture
Softwoods are more porous than hardwoods and will require washing down with a quality wood cleaning product once per annum before being treated with a stain or paint. Hardwoods on the other hand will need to be washed down each year with soapy water. Hardwoods tend to weather naturally, which some find appealing. However, depending on your preferred aesthetic, you may wish to treat these with a stain or oil, too.
Caring for metal garden furniture
The majority of metal garden furnishings will come complete with a protective sealant to help prevent rusting so, more often than not, you will just need to clean them with soapy water every now and again. One of the most effective ways to retain the quality/appearance of your metal garden furniture is to keep it covered and store in a dry place when it’s not in use.
Caring for plastic garden furniture
Plastic garden furniture boasts a whole host of benefits – one of the most appealing being that it is incredibly easy to care for. All you need to do with plastic garden furniture is wash away grime with warm, soapy water. If you notice any yellowing to your plastic garden furniture, you may wish to treat it with an abrasive solution to help relieve those tell-tale signs of discoloration.
Should you cover garden furniture?
If possible, garden furniture should always be covered to help prevent damage from the elements. Some materials are completely weatherproof, meaning that they don’t necessarily need to be covered up, however, ensuring that your garden furniture is protected will help alleviate any signs of weathering and keep your furnishings in peak condition for longer.
Furniture covers tend to be relatively inexpensive, so if you don’t have an outdoor storage facility, look to invest in a weatherproof cover of film that will shield your furniture from the elements.
What garden furniture can be left outside?
Plastic garden furniture and synthetic rattan garden furnishings are weatherproof, meaning they can be left outside comfortably without the worry they will tarnish or deteriorate. However, if at all possible, using a furniture cover or placing in a dry storage facility is always advisable as this will keep your furniture dry and prevent the need for regular cleaning.
When should you paint garden furniture?
Some garden furniture shouldn’t be painted at all. Plastic garden furniture and synthetic rattan, for instance, should be left well alone in this regard. However, if you wish to spruce up wooden furnishings, metal outdoor furniture, or natural rattan furniture, you are more than welcome to do so.
You can paint your outdoor furnishings whenever you please, however, be sure that all components are completely dry to begin with. Porous materials such as wood and natural rattan will soak up water, which in turn will negatively impact the finished look of your paint job. Also, be sure that your natural furnishings are treated properly before applying paint. Using oil and stain once a year is important if you wish for your furniture to retain optimum condition, so don’t skip on this just because you’re keen to paint.
How long will garden furniture last?
How long your garden furniture will last depends largely on what you buy. Softwood furnishings aren’t incredibly durable, however, if they are well cared for and suitably stored, they can last for many years — and this goes for most outdoor furnishings. Providing you use furniture covers and, if at all possible, store your furniture in a shed or outbuilding, your tables, chairs and loungers should last a good few years in any case.
If you’re keen to optimise the life of your outdoor furniture, store it safely in a dry space and use the recommended treatments as advised. Following these simple steps will help keep your garden furniture sets in a premium condition for as long as possible.