There are a ton of options in choosing what kind of furniture to acquire for your outdoor space, but not all of them are equal. Wrought iron is heavy to move, but won’t blow away. Teak is beautiful, but won’t last as long as wrought iron (as in, forever). Aluminum is practical, but it’s… well… aluminum. Here are some of your options and some pros and cons to consider that will make your backyard or patio the place to be!

Wrought Iron

Wrought Iron has a distinct effect that you just can’t get from any other material. Wrought iron is durable but may rust if the powder coating is damaged. It’s durability, however, comes from the fact that it weighs as much as elephants. On the comfort scale, however, it’s not exactly a Chanel couch. It has a hard surface and can become very hot in the sun. This can be mitigated with cushions that can be taken inside and laundered, though, which may be a great feature. Because it’s so heavy, if your wrought iron coffee table blows away in the wind, then so did your house and you have far more important things to worry about.

Teak Wood

Teak is an excellent choice for outdoor furniture because it combines elegance, comfort, and durability. Teak grows dense and has natural oils that protect it from damage in various weather conditions with little or no maintenance. Compared to wrought iron, teak is a bit less durable, but far more classy. Teak wood is often taken from old growth forests, so if you do choose teak, please be sure to find furniture made from renewably harvested sources such as sustainable teak wood plantations. An elegant teak wood set on the patio sectioned over a large outdoor rug would make any barbeque a success, even if you did burn the bratwursts. Alternative woods to teak are redwood and eucalyptus. Avoid pressure treated lumber as it is treated by dangerous chemicals, and whatever the wood source, be sure it is renewable.

Aluminum

Aluminum is a far more practical alternative to both of those above. It is lighter than either one and usually cheaper as well. It will generally not last as long, so if you are looking to finish off a beautifully redone patio with something that will be around for your grandchildren, aluminum is not the way to go. Nuts and bolts on aluminum chairs often rust faster and are indicative of a cheaper manufacturing method, so beware of these if you are looking for quality pieces. Aluminum could be the perfect option for a household that wants to pull all their furniture inside, or keep extras out of the way, as it is light and easy to move. One option is to have a nice set of teak or wrought iron, with aluminum reserves for the bigger parties. Leaving aluminum outside is inadvisable though as it might blow away in a strong gust.

Whatever your goal for your outdoor furniture is, there’s a material that will help you achieve it in a price range you can afford. Heavy iron stays put, while aluminum can be shuffled around with ease and teak provides an elegance you just can’t beat.

This is a guest post by Claire Wilson from the UK. If you are selecting outdoor furniture for your yard or patio, don’t forget about outdoor rugs – check what worldmarket.com has to offer.