There are benefits to each type of metal when it comes to outdoor furniture. Which is best for your patio? The best metal outdoor furniture for each person differs based on your preferences. With budgets, quality and design in mind, here are the pros and cons of iron, aluminum and steel patio furniture.
Which Metal Outdoor Furniture is Best?
Aluminum Patio Furniture
Aluminum is strong and stylish. Because it is a non-ferrous metal (meaning it does not contain iron), it will not rust. Aluminum is lightweight compared to steel and iron. However, it may dent or scratch more easily than steel.
Cast aluminum is constructed by pouring liquid aluminum into a mold which makes it sturdy and heavy enough to withstand the elements. Extruded aluminum is lightweight and easier to move around, but is less likely to hold out against wind and weather.
Maintenance for aluminum patio furniture:
- In order to preserve the natural luster of aluminum, wash frequently with a hose, preferably on a rain-like setting, and an aluminum cleaner or mild soap and water.
- Remove scuff marks with a nonabrasive polish.
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Stainless Steel Outdoor Furniture
Stainless steel is another option for outdoor furniture. Stainless steel is iron with carbon mixed in to add strength. Therefore, it is one of the strongest materials. Stainless steel is harder and heavier than aluminum and is less likely to warp or become deformed.
Although it depends on the product and brand, steel is often less expensive than aluminum furniture, but is more prone to rusting if it’s not powder-coated. A powder coat is preferred and lasts longer than paint.
As with other options, steel can become hot to touch when in the sun. Consider adding all-weather cushions to your steel outdoor furniture.
Maintaining steel patio furniture:
- Lightly sand with extra-fine sandpaper if scratched.
- Treat with rust inhibitor and apply touch-up paint.
- Use furniture covers during winter months to ensure long-lasting use.
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Wrought Iron Patio Furniture
Wrought iron furniture offers extraordinary support and stability. It is a heavy option so wrought iron patio furniture won’t be blown away by wind. Wrought iron furniture is often more expensive than other furniture options but may have more ornate design options.
Maintaining wrought iron patio furniture:
- For added protection, wrought-iron furniture can be sandblasted or powder-coated.
- Use extra-fine sandpaper, rust inhibitor or touch-up paint to maintain the look and feel of wrought iron furniture.
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Which Metal Outdoor Furniture Should You Choose?
If you’re looking for outdoor furniture that is lightweight, doesn’t rust and is a moderate price, go with aluminum.
Steel outdoor furniture is a cheaper and more durable option, but you want to find a set with powder-coating!
If you’re looking for ornate designs and long-lasting strength, keep an eye out for wrought iron furniture.
To learn more about all patio furniture materials, view our infographic on outdoor furniture materials!
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