Can you use metal sun loungers in a hot climate?

In this article, we’re discussing whether you can use metal sun loungers if you live somewhere with a climate warmer than the UK…

The first thing we must do here is address the elephant in the room. Yes, a metal sun lounger will get hot when exposed to direct sunlight.

However, if you live in a country with a hotter climate than us folks here in the UK, then you will know that most patio furniture materials will get hot in the sun.

Even a concrete paver, which is generally thought of as being cold to the touch, can be impossible to walk on after a good blast with some 30°C plus sunshine.

Metals like the cast aluminium we use for the Lazy Susan collection have what is known in the trade as high thermal conductivity, which means they absorb and transfer heat efficiently.

When we say that cast aluminium patio furniture "transfers heat efficiently" we are referring to its thermal conductivity, which is a measure of the metal’s ability to conduct heat.

Cast aluminium sun loungers will absorb heat quickly when exposed to direct sunlight, the surface will rapidly absorb the sun’s energy, causing the furniture to heat up.

Metal Sun Loungers from Lazy Susan

However, just as quickly as it absorbs heat, it also releases it quickly and efficiently. When the temperature of the environment drops (such as during the evening, when you move it to a shaded area or if there’s a sudden summer downpour), the aluminium will cool down relatively fast.

That ability to cool is what gives cast aluminium much of its durability. Plastic resins and woods on the other hand have low conductivity. This means they might not absorb as much heat as metal but the fact they can’t dissipate it as quickly is what results in them degrading over time.

They are not as durable or long-lasting, and they can split, warp or fade when exposed to UV rays. Or at the very least, they will require significantly more maintenance (such as the application of a protective finish) to keep this from occurring.

We recently looked at our range in detail in our recent guide to garden sun loungers but that was very much focussed on UK gardens. In this article, we want to look at their suitability for warmer countries than ours and discuss how you can mitigate the impact of the sun if you live in a hot climate.

What contributes to heat retention?

While we are talking here about loungers, as they are one of the more popular items we sell in countries such as SpainFrance and Italy, the same is true and applies to all the different types of metal furniture we sell, such as garden chairs, tables, benches, etc.

It is also important to distinguish the metal we use and how we finish it from other common metals used across our industry. We chose cast aluminium as it is a great all-rounder. All materials have their pros and cons. Weighing them up in terms of which fits best for you and your outdoor space is how you choose.

When it comes to which will get hottest to the touch in direct sunlight, cast aluminium is the best choice of metal. However, it will get hotter than resin, which is probably the best material for heat retention.

However, it is also worth noting that many HDPE rattan loungers are wrapped over a cast aluminium or steel frame. And that said, even plastics will still get hot to the touch. As we said before, even when treated for UV, it can still soften or warp in extreme heat.

Different metals have varying levels of thermal conductivity too. For instance, cast aluminium will heat up and cool down more quickly than steel or wrought iron.

The colour and finish applied also play a significant part. For example, black plastic/resin loungers will potentially absorb more heat than white metal loungers.

Black will absorb all wavelengths of UV light and convert them into heat, while white will reflect most wavelengths and absorb less heat. This reflection means that white furniture will remain cooler.

Of course, the biggest factor in determining how hot a lounger will get from direct exposure to the sun is time. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight will increase the temperature.

What are the advantages of a metal sun lounger in a hot climate?

Of course, using metal sun loungers in a hot climate can present some challenges, as it can with all materials. However, we think the style and durability, coupled with a few considerations means it is a great sun lounger material choice.

Metal sun loungers, especially those made from top-grade powder-coated cast aluminium such as ours, are highly durable and resistant to the elements, including UV rays, rain, and the high humidity that often go hand in hand in countries with hot climates.

What are the advantages of a metal sun lounger in a hot climate?

Plus, they just look great, especially if you prefer a more classical style. They have a romantic and sophisticated charm that has seen many hotels across Europe purchase large quantities for their patios, terraces, and poolsides.

We have tested a lot of furniture, and metal lounger frames provide a sturdy and stable structure, which is less likely to tip over compared to lighter materials such as plastic.

Wood too offers the same stability but the advantage cast aluminium has is that, whilst robust, it is still light enough to pick up and move. Plus, our loungers are wheeled as shown above to make this even easier.

Lazy Susan’s tips for using our metal loungers in hot sun

Lazy Susan’s tips for using our metal loungers in hot sun

Of course, the best way to prevent a metal lounger from getting too hot is to keep it out of the sun. However, that sort of defeats the point of them. If you do want to use them to sunbathe on a sunny day, then we have a few other ways you can mitigate the heat:

1. Cushions

Pair your sun lounger with our fitted lattice lounger cushions to prevent direct contact with the hot metal and provide additional comfort. The cushion measures 182 x 57 cm, so it will perfectly cover our metal loungers, and they are made from a fast-drying lightly water-resistant fabric, so are perfectly at home next to a pool.

2. Shade

While we call them sun loungers, we should be cautious when sunbathing. Too much sun can cause serious harm. It pays to take precautions and by placing the loungers in a shaded area such as under a pergola or canopy or by pairing them with our parasols you can minimise direct exposure. Available with 2.5, 2.7 and 3.5-metre canopies, they feature a crank handle for easy opening/closing, a tilting pole so you can angle to the sun, and a fast-drying lightly water-resistant fabric.

3. Cover

Another great way to keep them cool (and clean) is to use a sun cover for the loungers when they are not in use. This can help keep the metal cool and ready to use when sat direct sunlight. There are several companies online who will make to size or you can purchase different size covers from the likes of Amazon. Just make sure they are constructed from a breathable waterproof cover and that they have a way (such as drawcords or velcro straps) to secure them to the lounger and prevent them from blowing away.

Our final thoughts on metal loungers…
Our final thoughts on metal loungers…

Most materials will get hot when exposed to direct sunlight, and metal, in particular, can be uncomfortable or even unsafe to sit on without taking at least one of the 3 steps above (preferably two with cushions and shade in our opinion).

The big advantage that cast aluminium has over other lounger materials is that it will cool down fast. It is designed to withstand rain, sun, and wind, maintaining its integrity and appearance over time.

It will not rust like other metals, making it a great choice for around the pool or close to the sea. Unlike heavier materials such as wood, iron or steel, it is relatively lightweight, making it easy to move into the shade and rearrange or store when not in use.

You can also opt for our white aluminium loungers rather than the black or slate grey, as lighter colours will absorb much less heat.

Cast aluminium furniture requires minimal maintenance too. A simple wash with soapy water is usually sufficient to keep it looking like new.

The manufacturing process we use not only produces a quality cast, it enables us to form ergonomic design for added comfort, and our range features adjustable backrests, armrests, and wheels for easy mobility.

Pairing them with our lounger cushions will also enhance the comfort and style, whilst ensuring you can use them on a hot day. And while metal itself can get hot in the sun, cast aluminium will cool down quickly when popped in the shade.

By choosing cast aluminium sun loungers for your villa, you will get a combination of durability, low maintenance, aesthetic versatility, and comfort.

We think these benefits far outweigh the fact they can get hot (as easily mitigated as that is), making them a practical and stylish addition to any outdoor living space.

If you have any photos of your Metal Sun Loungers from Lazy Susan, we’d love to see a few snaps for our Do Some Good charity campaign. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or Upload Here.

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