How To Shop For Outdoor Furniture

Portland Outdoor Dining – Schneiderman’s

Outdoor living is a huge part of how we enjoy our summers (and, hopefully, spring and fall!).

BBQ’s with friends and neighbors with the kids playing baseball in the yard. A restful afternoon on the patio or sitting by the pool. And watching the sunset over the lake while lounging in a comfortable chair or chaise.

So if you’re in the market for new outdoor furniture, remember that this is about creating a space that you are likely to use more than your living room for at least 4 months of the year.

Take the time to search out the right pieces for your needs, and take into consideration the elements that will help ensure that your pieces not only look great, but are long-lasting.

How to Shop for Outdoor Furniture. Helpful information on what to look for when buying furniture for your deck or patio.
Outdoor Umbrella – Ocean Breeze | Bronze Outdoor End Table


It may seem like a given, but when looking at outdoor seating, the materials should be outdoor friendly. The easiest materials to take care of will be the most used.

  • Open weave seats are both hoseable and allow for air flow.
  • Vinyl/all-weather wicker won’t shred or mold like natural wicker.
  • High density polyethylene made from recycled materials won’t crack, rot or splinter.


The best material for an outdoor frame is aluminum. While steel is a little heavier, it will also rust if the finish is damaged at all. Aluminum will maintain it’s strength even if the finish is damaged.

Aluminum should be powder-coated, not painted. Check the corners and edges for telltale drips and globs, which are typically an indication that the piece was painted and the finish will chip quickly.


Check the joints on the furniture.

High quality outdoor furniture is made in pieces that can be easily repaired. Lower quality pieces are welded or glued – making sure you will buy more if even a small part breaks.


Look for a large, supportive base. The chair should not feel wobbly when you sit down.

Also, make sure the base is appropriate to the patio or ground that it will be sitting on. Skinny legs sink into grass quickly and can also get caught between decking boards.

For more tips and inspiration to help you enjoy your time outdoors, check out our post:  How To Make Your Deck Or Patio An Outdoor Oasis


*Updated and republished

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