How Long Does Patio Furniture Last?

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall

A fantastic backyard space can add a lot of positives to your home, providing extra room for relaxing and entertaining. You could set up a dining area, lounge space, or a cozy reading nook with the right furniture. However, choosing patio furniture that lasts is essential to maintaining the backyard of your dreams.

Patio furniture can last 15 to 25 years or more if you take care of it properly. High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is one of the longest-lasting materials for patio furniture. HDPE features a super durable plastic material that mimics wood, wicker, and other looks. It’s the opposite of plastic patio furniture, which is often the cheapest but only lasts about a year.

If you’re in the market for new patio furniture, knowing how long patio furniture lasts is important. You don’t want to waste your money on furniture that will wear down within the first year. Typically, longer-lasting patio furniture is easier to maintain, too.

How Often Should You Replace Patio Furniture?

Depending on your patio furniture type, maintenance, and the climate, you could have your patio furniture for many years. On the contrary, a lower-grade material that you don’t pay much attention to might last less than a year. Here’s a breakdown of different popular patio furniture styles and how long you can expect them to last.

Wicker Furniture

With proper care, wicker patio furniture could last for 15 years or more. If you have natural wicker furniture, clean it regularly by vacuuming off dirt and dust. Since wicker furniture has lots of crevices, it’s best to use a small brush attachment to get into all the nooks and crannies.

Use a damp cloth to wipe it down after removing as much dust and dirt as possible with the vacuum. You can use a mild soap with water if it’s overly dirty.

After cleaning, make sure to dry the furniture thoroughly before using it. Sitting on wet wicker furniture could ruin its shape. If you have synthetic wicker made from PVC, resin, or vinyl, you can care for it in the same way.

Synthetic wicker can last longer than natural wicker since it doesn’t splinter like natural wicker. But, both can serve you well for many years with the proper maintenance.

Metal Patio Furniture

Metal patio furniture comes in different types, most commonly cast aluminum and wrought iron. Wrought iron furniture can last for 25 years or more, and aluminum lasts for about 15 years or more. But with the right care and diligence, both types of metal furniture could last your lifetime.

Cleaning wrought iron is relatively simple. Occasional cleaning with mild soap and water helps keep dirt from building up. It’s also essential to inspect your wrought iron furniture for chips or scratches.

Chips and nicks make it easy for rust to get in and take over. It’s also important not to let wrought iron furniture sit in any standing water as it can lead to rust. If you notice any chips, use special touch-up paint for wrought iron/exterior metal to repair it.

Aluminum needs similar cleaning with mild soap and water, but unlike iron, it doesn’t rust. However, it’s still subject to oxidation. If you notice any spots, use a metal polish to remove them immediately.

Also, it’s worth noting that aluminum furniture can get hot under the sun and very cold in winter. So make sure to use outdoor cushions for maximum comfort.

Teak Furniture

Teak is a popular wood for outdoor furniture and can last for well over 25 years. It’s also on the pricier side.

Although highly durable, it’s advisable to cover it when not in use for maximum protection from the elements. Covering teak furniture can significantly increase its lifespan.

Caring for teak is easy but depends on the overall look you want. Teak initially appears golden-brown but naturally turns a silvery gray over time. If you’re going to maintain the original coloring, use a teak sealer after cleaning with a water-based teak cleaner.

If you want the grey patina, simply clean with the teak cleaner once or twice a year. Follow the directions of whichever product you use, and always let the furniture dry thoroughly.

Plastic Patio Furniture

Basic plastic patio furniture might be your cheapest option, but it won’t last very long. It’s a great choice if you’re on a budget and want to jazz up your backyard fast for an outdoor party. You can find some great styles in lots of different colors.

It’s easy to clean with just soap and water, but it’s also prone to fading, cracks, and other damage. If you’re working with a low budget, plastic furniture can work temporarily. But only expect it to last you for about a year.

What Is The Longest Lasting Patio Furniture Material?

HDPE plastic patio furniture will last you for at least 15 to 25 years and require little maintenance. High-density polyethylene plastic features a very durable construction, unlike cheap plastic furniture.

It’s also very resistant to moisture, so mold and mildew are of little concern. You’ll also notice fewer scratches and pest-related issues. You still might get the occasional squirrel or other pests that want to gnaw on your furniture. But it’s not as easy to chew through HDPE as it would be natural wicker.

You could also use special rodent-repellant sprays if this is an issue for you. HDPE also doesn’t warp, helping it retain its original look for years, regardless of the environment.

HDPE plastic furniture can last you for 25-plus years with little maintenance. You’re more likely to replace it because you’re ready for a design change over wear-and-tear. But, HDPE comes in an array of styles and colors, and it can mimic the look of wicker or wood furniture.

What Is The Lowest Maintenance Patio Furniture?

Thanks to its super durable nature and material, HDPE furniture is also very easy to clean. You don’t need to use a sealer or worry about chips in the finish.

There’s also no danger of rust or oxidation. Simply cleaning now and then with mild soap and water is often all this patio furniture needs.

Is It Okay To Leave Patio Furniture Out In The Rain?

Patio furniture is designed to be outside, so technically, it can get wet. However, most patio furniture is water-resistant and not completely waterproof. Therefore, it’s best to avoid longtime exposure to moisture.

Keep your outdoor furniture covered when it’s raining to prolong its lifespan. Use sealants to protect against moisture. You can also apply an outdoor furniture protectant spray to help prevent cracking, UV fading, and more.

Wrapping Up

High-quality outdoor furniture can last for years, whether you get wood, metal, or wicker. You could have your patio furniture for over 25 years with proper maintenance. Although basic plastic furniture offers a cheap alternative, it will only last about a year.

Most maintenance requires simple regular cleaning with mild soap and water. If you have wood or wicker furniture, using a sealer can prolong your furniture’s lifespan. With metal furniture, stay vigilant about oxidation and clean spots immediately.

Rust can seep into chips in wrought iron furniture’s finish, so make sure to inspect it often and touch it up as necessary. No matter what material your outdoor furniture is, covering it when not in use will prolong its lifespan.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic is the longest-lasting patio furniture, possibly lasting your lifetime if you want it that long. It’s resistant to fading, warping, splintering, mold, and mildew. You can find it in styles resembling wood and wicker so that you can get the look without the extra necessary maintenance.

Stacy Randall
Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

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