How many years does outdoor furniture last?

We are discussing how many years the popular outdoor furniture materials should last when left exposed to the British weather and how you can best prolong them...

Sometimes, this question can seem a bit similar to “How long is a piece of rope?”

While outdoor furniture can last for more than 15 years, its lifespan depends on various factors, including the type of material the furniture is made from, as well as how it stands up to the weather that Britain chucks at it.

In this article, Lazy Susan will give you the lowdown on the general lifespan of outdoor furniture, as well as what you need to do to ensure it doesn’t break down before its time. 

The materials matter

Outdoor garden furniture isn’t always cheap, which is why homeowners are often on the lookout for tables, chairs, sofas, and more that look good but are also durable. 

One of the most important factors in making your choice is the type of materials your furniture is made from. Let’s have a look at the most popular:

1. Aluminium 

The materials matter: Aluminium

At Lazy Susan, we make our own furniture using high-grade cast aluminium. This material is weather-resistant, it won’t rot, and it won’t rust. You can leave it outside in the sunshine, in the rain and even in the snow.

It’s also affordable, lightweight, and it can last for over fifteen years when looked after.

2. Rattan Furniture 

The materials matter: Rattan

Like wood furniture, rattan furniture can be split between two types:

  • Natural rattan

  • Synthetic rattan

Natural rattan is the most expensive of the two because it’s made from, well, more expensive, natural materials. The downside is that it isn’t as weather-resistant as synthetic rattan and won’t last as long. Ultimately, natural rattan can last for around 5-10 years.

Synthetic rattan, on the other hand, is made using materials like PVC and can last much longer — with a 10-20-year run. 

3. Wicker Furniture 

The materials matter: Wicker

Wicker is a type of weave and how long your wicker furniture lasts depends on both the quality of the weave (if your furniture is poorly woven, this indicates that it will loosen sooner rather than later) and the materials used to make it.

For example, if you’ve opted for natural rattan, you only need to see above to learn that your wicker furniture possibly won’t last longer than ten years.

If, on the other hand, you’ve opted for wicker furniture made from high-quality synthetic materials like nylon or PVC, you might get a good twenty years out of it. 

4. Wood

The materials matter: Wood

There are many different types of wooden furniture and they fall into two main types: 

  • Hardwood

  • Softwood

Hardwood is more expensive but lasts longer. It can deal with harsher weather conditions, such as strong winds. It can last for over thirty years as long as you maintain it properly and stop it from rotting prematurely. 

Softwood furniture, on the other hand, has a much shorter lifespan but you can still get a good fifteen years out of it.

5. Wrought Iron

The materials matter: Cast Iron

Wrought iron isn’t always a budget-friendly option — but it’s super strong, sturdy, and durable, which is what many homeowners are looking for. It can also help you achieve a vintage look in your garden and even adds a touch of drama. 

Wrought iron isn’t without its issues, though, and it can rust and chip over time. If you do the right things to look after it, though, wrought iron furniture can last for over thirty years or more. 

How to maintain your outdoor furniture 

How to maintain your outdoor furniture

To get the most out of your outdoor furniture and preserve its lifespan, here are some general tips:

1. Invest in high-quality materials  

As we’ve seen, some garden furniture lasts longer. To ensure any patio furniture that you buy lasts as long as it can, make sure to pay attention to things like the quality of the workmanship and material before buying. The best garden furniture should come with a guarantee, too.

2. Carry out regular maintenance 

All outdoor furniture requires some degree of maintenance, no matter how durable it is. However, it’s also worth noting that different types of outdoor furniture require different maintenance methods. 

For example, wrought iron furniture requires a fresh paint job every few years, while some wooden furniture will need to be oiled and sealed. 

All furniture should be cleaned regularly with a damp cloth, as well as soapy water now and then, while some (especially natural rattan) should be taken indoors during bad weather. 

Final Thoughts... 

As we’ve seen, outdoor furniture can often last over twenty years — and sometimes much longer than that. It all depends on the quality of the materials, with the likes of aluminium, wrought iron, and hardwood furniture lasting a long time.

That said, properly maintaining your furniture is essential, too. Provided you look after it and treat it correctly during bad weather, you’ll get lots of years of enjoyment and pleasure out of your investment. 

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