What patio furniture materials are the most weather-resistant to the UK climate?

Our product development team is looking closer at the top 3 patio furniture materials that are the most weather-resistant and best suited to the UK climate...

When selecting patio furniture materials for the UK climate, the key considerations are durability, weather resistance, and ease of maintenance.

Our climate includes frequent rain, variable temperatures, the occasional frost, and sunshine (although maybe not as much of that as we’d like), so there is a definite demand for materials that can withstand these conditions.

The Met Office define our climate as:

“The UK has a temperate maritime climate. In general, that means that we have a cool and mild climate, with changeable weather. We all know the weather here can change quickly. It's not unusual for us to see many different weather conditions in one day. Lots of different factors influence our weather. Warmer tropical air meets colder arctic air in the air mass above us. This is what causes the large changes in weather we experience and fuels our more severe storms.”

Here at Lazy Susan, we all feel like amateur meteorologists at times. The Met’s website is often open on most of our laptops. If the sun is shining, we sell outdoor furniture, so it pays to keep our eyes on the forecast.

Patio Furniture from Lazy Susan UK

There is no escaping our preoccupation with the weather here in the UK too. The theory is that talking about it is a way to break the ice, fill an awkward silence, or just give us something to talk about.

We think it probably has more to do with the fact it changes all the time. Even in summer, we can see 4 seasons in one day. All that unpredictability means we need patio furniture constructed from materials that are designed to be weather resistant - be that sun, wind, rain, or snow!

Our top 3 outdoor furniture materials for the UK climate

In this article, our product development team have compiled the top three patio furniture materials they think are the most weather-resistant and best suited to the UK climate.

1. Cast Aluminium Outdoor Furniture

Here at Lazy Susan, we are known for our trademark cast aluminium outdoor furniture. We looked at the process of how it is made and why we chose it for our collection in our How is cast aluminium garden furniture made? article.

To summarise the basic process, a mould is made by pressing the form or pattern into sand. Molten aluminium is then Aluminium poured into the mould, taking its shape as it cools and solidifies.

Once cooled, the cast aluminium piece or part is removed from the mould, cleaned, and hand-finished. We then apply a durable powder-coated finish that we looked at in detail in our What are the advantages and disadvantages of powder-coated aluminium garden furniture? article.

Cast aluminium is strong and resistant to rust and corrosion, making it ideal for the UK climate. Compared to other metals like steel and iron, aluminium is much lighter, making the furniture easier to pick up and move.

It does not require frequent upkeep like wood and is super easy to clean and maintain. The casting process allows us to create intricate and detailed designs that are often more elaborate than what can be achieved with other manufacturing methods.

Its low maintenance and versatility, mean it won’t go out of style and because it can withstand all weather conditions without significant wear and tear, you’re making a long-term investment that can sit outside without any concerns for many summers to come.

Pros of Cast Aluminium Patio Furniture

  1. Rust Resistance
    Unlike iron or steel, cast aluminium does not rust, making it ideal for our wet climate.

  2. Durability
    It is strong but lightweight, making it easy to pick up and move but robust enough to withstand winds.

  3. Low Maintenance
    Requires minimal upkeep and a simple wipe-down with warm soapy water will usually suffice.

Cons of Cast Aluminium Patio Furniture

  1. Temperature Sensitivity
    Can get hot in direct sunlight but we looked at why this is also an advantage and how to mitigate in our Does an aluminium garden table and chairs get hot in the sun? post.

2. Teak Wood Patio Furniture

Teak Wood Patio Furniture

Teak outdoor furniture is the premium option for outdoor settings, prized for its durability, beauty, and relatively low maintenance compared to other timbers, it has a natural resistance to weather and pests.

Its inherent strength and elegant appearance, make it a popular choice in the UK for those looking to invest in long-lasting and attractive outdoor furniture.

Most of the teak patio furniture sold in the UK, the wood is sourced from Southeast Asia, with Myanmar, Thailand, and India being the biggest exporters.

It is also extensively grown in plantations in countries like Indonesia, Costa Rica, and other tropical regions, helping to meet the global demand for sustainable forestry.

If you are considering purchasing teak, then in our opinion, you must look for sustainably harvested and certified teak to support responsible forestry best practices.

Teak patio furniture is beautiful, and it is an exceptionally durable hardwood that can last for decades, even in the harsh outdoor climate of the UK.

It contains a high natural oils and rubber content, which makes it resistant to water, pests, and rot.

In terms of maintenance, it starts off a beautiful golden-brown colour that when exposed to the sun and rain, will form a silvery-grey patina that helps to protect the timber from decay. Some people like this, if you don’t it will require oiling to keep it protected.

Pros of Teak Patio Furniture

  1. Natural Oils
    Teak is highly resistant to water and pests due to its high natural oil and silica content.

  2. Longevity
    With proper care, teak furniture can last for decades.

  3. Look
    A natural material that offers a classic, timeless look.

Cons of Teak Patio Furniture

  1. Cost
    Typically more expensive than HDPE and cast aluminium.

  2. Maintenance
    While low maintenance, it will need regular oiling to maintain its appearance and keep it protected from the elements.

3. HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) Plastic Patio Furniture

HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) Plastic Patio Furniture

If we had written this article 10 years ago (which we probably did to be fair), we would not have included plastic outdoor furniture. However, resin technology has come a long way, both in terms of raw materials and product design.

High-quality HDPEs (or High-Density Polyethylene to give them their full name) are a practical, durable, and low-maintenance option that is perfect for UK patios.

HDPE furniture is typically created by moulding the plastic into various shapes and designs. This allows for a wide range of styles and forms, from classic to contemporary.

One thing we would advise that you look out for is to check that HDPE is made from recyclable plastics. Many manufacturers are now using recycled HDPE to make outdoor furniture, contributing to sustainability and reducing environmental impact.

Its resistance to the elements, and impact, combined with its ease of cleaning, now make it a popular choice in the UK. It is readily available online and in large high street/home improvement stores, and the wide range of designs and colours means it can complement a wide range of patio decor styles.

HDPE is known for its strength and durability. It does not splinter or crack easily and can withstand heavy use. HDPE is highly resistant to weather conditions such as UV rays, rain, snow, and extreme temperatures. It does not fade, warp, or become brittle when exposed to the elements as some resins can.

Pros of HDPE Patio Furniture:

  1. Weather Resistance
    Extremely resistant to moisture, UV rays, and temperature fluctuations.

  2. Durability
    It can last for many years without cracking or fading.

  3. Eco-Friendly
    Often made from recycled materials.

Cons of HDPE Patio Furniture:

  1. Looks
    Some people prefer the higher quality look of teak and cast aluminium over plastic.

  2. Weight
    While weight is an advantage if you want to move it, HDPE can be a little too light so is easily blown over so look for plastics paired with other materials such as metal (as shown in the photo above).

Which outdoor furniture material is the most weather-resistant?

For the UK climate, we think that cast aluminium patio furniture and modern HDPE plastics (or pieces that combine both materials) are probably the best choices you can make for your outdoor space due to their excellent weather resistance, durability, and low maintenance needs.

Teak is also a top contender if you prefer natural wood and are willing to invest the time and money needed to keep it looking good and resistant to the elements.

Which outdoor furniture material is the most weather-resistant?

At the end of the day, this is just our opinion, and of course, we are a little biased. The best type of patio furniture material for your outdoor spaces depends on how you like to use it, the type of outside space you have, what materials you like the look of, and your budget.

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

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