Your Guide to Choosing Long-Lasting Outdoor Furniture

Written by Neighbor Editorial Team | @neighboroutdoor | Opens in a new window. |

Your outdoor living space deserves furniture that is weather-resistant and built to last. Read this article to learn which materials are best suited for this.

Your Guide to Choosing Long-Lasting Outdoor Furniture

Have you been wanting to create your dream outdoor space, but don’t know where to start? Perhaps you’ve purchased outdoor furniture before, only to have it deteriorate after a year or two.

The right piece of furniture for your outdoor living space should not only be aesthetically pleasing, but it should withstand exposure to the elements season after season. Because outdoor spaces are becoming more valuable than ever before, it’s important to choose high-quality, durable pieces that are better for the environment. Not only will these pieces last longer for you, but they’ll be less likely to end up in a landfill after only a year’s use.

This article will help you understand what types of materials are made to withstand the test of time. Long-lasting outdoor furniture pieces rely not only on material quality but also craftsmanship and design—and are proven to be worth the investment.

Premium Outdoor Furniture Materials

When the weather gets warmer and outdoor living calls your name, it’s tempting to purchase low-quality pieces with an inexpensive price tag. What many homeowners don’t consider is how quickly replacement costs add up if you’re purchasing new outdoor furniture every few years. Exposure to the elements such as wind and rain will quickly deteriorate cheaply-made outdoor furniture, so it’s worth the investment to opt for premium materials. Plus, better quality materials are better suited for year-round use. Take a look at our materials guide to learn about materials that promise both style and durability.

Teak outdoor dining set


Teak wood is derived from teak wood trees called Tectona grandis and is largely considered to be the gold standard for wooden outdoor furniture. As a premium material, teak is known for its durability and low maintenance needs. Teak is weather-resistant, repels moisture, and naturally deters pests such as termites. Its resistance to mildew and weather makes it a popular choice for long-lasting outdoor furniture. See more about teak vs. other wooden furniture in our outdoor wood furniture buyer’s guide.

Modern Adirondack-style chairs made of recycled HDPE

Recycled HDPE

Synthetic materials such as High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) are not only weather-resistant; they’re also environmentally sustainable. HDPE is made of landfill-bound plastics and can easily handle the wear and tear of weather conditions. The result is outdoor furniture that is both comfortable, durable, and offers a unique aesthetic to your outdoor space—take our Low Chair, for example.

Neighbor's XY Dining Set

Steel is often used in high-end outdoor furniture designs, as it’s corrosion-resistant, durable, and feels modern in an outdoor space. Steel is heavier than aluminum, and won’t blow away in heavier winds. Its durability will allow stainless steel pieces to hold their shape for years to come. Because of its anti-corrosion qualities, we have committed to using stainless steel in all of our fasteners, and hardware.

Neighbor's Terra Collection made of aluminum

Aluminum may be lightweight, but don’t let that fool you—it’s incredibly strong and corrosion-resistant, especially when powder-coated. Aluminum furniture, like our Terra Coffee Table, is low-maintenance, easy to clean, and extremely durable. This material is a popular choice in furniture frames because it can easily be combined with other materials such as rattan to give your outdoor area a unique and stylish appearance.

Closeup of synthetic woven rattan material

Rattan and Wicker

Rattan, the thin pliable stems of a palm, have been traditionally used in the construction of indoor wicker furniture, along with other natural materials. This type of natural wicker is not especially weather-resistant, and can easily fade or fray with excessive exposure year-round.

Weather wicker, on the other hand, is made of synthetic materials such as polyethylene and is much more durable. Synthetic wicker is designed to withstand moisture, sunlight, and harsh weather conditions, making it a more long-lasting option for outdoor furniture.

Adirondack chair made of ipe wood

Ipe Wood

Hardwoods such as Ipe wood are excellent choices for outdoor furniture because of their durability and natural resistance to damage and warping. Even with years of exposure to outdoor elements, Ipe wood naturally repels water and insects. It offers unique grain patterns and a natural, classic look to your outdoor patio. While durable, Ipe wood often requires yearly maintenance, which is something to consider when purchasing.

Craftsmanship details in outdoor dining chair made of teak wood

Exemplary Craftsmanship

High-quality craftsmanship not only contributes to the durability of your outdoor furniture—it also enhances its beauty and aesthetic appeal. When purchasing a new piece of furniture, look for pieces that offer both quality and sustainability, particularly in these elements:

  • Joinery and Construction: Joinery techniques contribute to outdoor furniture's strength and longevity. A well-constructed furniture set will not cut corners on joinery and fixings for the sake of cost. At Neighbor, we never compromise during production—all of our pieces use marine-grade hardware and go through rigorous inspections.

  • Finishing Touches: Finishing options are another way to protect your furniture. A well-applied protectant can protect against warping, rotting, and other weather-induced damage. Many of our pieces can be left outside all year.

  • Customization Options: Many high-end retailers offer customizable options to suit different outdoor living spaces. Customizing a high-quality piece of furniture allows you to make your outdoor living space personal and unique.

    Closeup detail of armrest on teak outdoor chair

Design and Functionality

You shouldn’t have to compromise design for functionality—outdoor furniture sets should offer a blend of durability, comfort, function, and style. At Neighbor, our thoughtfully designed pieces are perfect illustrations of what functional, unique furniture should look like.

Furniture Types and Styles

When it comes to deciding what type of outdoor furniture to purchase, consider your primary goals for your outdoor space. Looking to entertain large groups in style? Neighbor offers dining sets and multipurpose sectionals to help you throw the party of your dreams. Want a more intimate setting? Take a look at our lounge chairs and loveseats for a cozy outdoor setup. Whatever your needs, consider choosing quality, long-lasting furniture that you can enjoy for seasons to come.

Teak outdoor dining set with teak sun loungers in background

Outdoor Dining and Lounging

Two of the most popular furniture choices for an outdoor space are outdoor dining sets and lounge sets such as sectionals and sofas. Dining alfresco is much more enjoyable with furniture that is comfortable and can be left outside through each season, like our Haven Dining Set constructed from durable teak.
Animation demonstrating modularity of Neighbor's Haven sectional
From sectionals to sofas, loveseats to chaises, Neighbor offers beautifully designed lounge options that are made to last. Our Haven Sectional has a modular, modern design and can be customized to fit any space.

Additional Features

To complete the look of your outdoor living room or dining space, add some additional features and accessories to both enhance and prolong the usability of your outdoor furniture. Consider the following features as ways of complimenting your outdoor space:

XY Dining Table

  • Patio Umbrellas. Invest in a quality patio umbrella that will not only provide shade and protection from the elements but will also last through the seasons. Also consider our XY Round Dining Table, designed to resist all weather and fit perfectly with outdoor umbrellas with its built-in umbrella base.
    Rook Fire table - rounded concrete
  • Fire Pits: Fire pit tables are a stylish way to enhance your outdoor experience and can be used as a centerpiece when gathering with friends and family. Our Rook Fire Table is a great option.

    Protective cover covering outdoor sofa
  • Furniture Covers. Protective furniture covers are easy to use and will prolong the life of your outdoor pieces by protecting them from harsh weather conditions.

    Outdoor fabric wicking water
  • Water-Resistant Upholstery. Neighbor’s recycled Sunbrella fabric is an innovative material that is fade-proof, stain-resistant, and easy to clean.

Additional Considerations for Longevity

The last thing a homeowner wants is to have to purchase new outdoor furniture after only a year or two. Quality outdoor furniture can be an investment, and there are other factors to consider to make the most informed decision. Here are some more elements to take into account when buying outdoor furniture for your dream space.

Warranty and Retailer Reputation

It’s worth the effort to do some research on the retailer or company when making a new outdoor furniture purchase. What values are important to you, and does the retailer share those same values? At Neighbor, we are committed to top-notch customer service, providing quality furniture, and operating with honesty and integrity.

Additionally, a homeowner should strongly consider the importance of a warranty when investing in new outdoor furniture. A solid warranty will cover various aspects of wear and tear on your furniture, allowing you to purchase with confidence. Check out our warranty policy here.

Climate Considerations

It’s important to take your home location’s climate into consideration, specifically how the climate and weather may impact your choice of outdoor furniture materials. Do you live in a particularly humid climate? Consider mold and mildew-resistant materials like teak or powder-coated aluminum metal furniture. Are windy conditions a factor? Think about purchasing outdoor furniture made of heavier materials such as stainless steel.

Young couple lounging on teak outdoor sofa with rust-colored cushions
Discover Your Outdoor Haven

Outdoor living spaces, like their indoor counterparts, are worth investing in high-quality, durable furniture. Look for the most durable outdoor furniture that will withstand the wear and tear of daily life. It’s worth investing in long-lasting pieces that you can enjoy for years to come. At Neighbor, we believe you don’t have to sacrifice style for durability—we offer sophisticated, modern pieces that are made to last. Visit our Outdoor Lounge page to start creating the outdoor space of your dreams.

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