Metal patio furniture offers strength and durability, creating a long return on your investment. If it’s time to invest in new furniture you’ve probably considered different options, including both steel and aluminum.
Is steel or aluminum better for patio furniture? In this guide, we’re going to find out.
Aluminum Patio Furniture – The Pros and Cons
Aluminum is one of the most widely used engineering materials for a variety of applications. Unsurprisingly, it is also used for patio furniture.
The pros or advantages of aluminum furniture are significant:
- There’s a vast variety of styles and designs.
- The material is lightweight, so it’s easy to move and store furniture.
- Aluminum resists rust by building an impermeable natural patina.
- A lot of great-looking aluminum furniture is surprisingly affordable.
The cons or downsides of aluminum furniture include:
- The lightweight material will sometimes work against you. Furniture could move around in high winds.
- Aluminum is softer than other metals, like stainless steel, and can be dented or deformed.
- Aluminum is more thermally conductive than steel, so can feel extremely cool or hot to the touch, depending on the conditions.
As with all materials, there are some tradeoffs. To decide if they’re worth making, let’s compare aluminum to stainless steel…
Stainless Steel Patio Furniture – The Pros and Cons
Stainless steel is weather-resistant and heavy-duty. It’s used on outdoor products ranging from grills and smokers to patio tables and chairs.
The pros or advantages of stainless steel furniture include:
- Furniture is heavier than aluminum so there’s less risk of it blowing around.
- The classic look of shiny stainless steel may suit your exterior décor.
- Stainless steel resists rust but isn’t rust-proof like aluminum.
- Stainless steel is harder and stronger than aluminum.
The cons or downsides of stainless steel patio furniture are worth considering:
- Stainless steel furniture typically costs more than aluminum.
- The material will eventually corrode, especially with prolonged exposure to moisture.
- Being heavier, it’s harder to move around and rearrange your patio.
Many buyers are willing to compromise on the downsides, especially considering the benefits of stainless steel outdoor furniture.
Which is the Right Choice for You? Think About Your Budget First
If it comes down to budget, then your choice will naturally be aluminum. Comparable sets of furniture will typically be less expensive when made from aluminum.
You can get impressive sets for smaller homes like this Flash Furniture Round Outdoor Table Set that is identical to the sets used by many cafés and restaurants.The unique color of this set will enhance any outdoor setting. Designed for all seasons. this gold finish set is also ideal for commercial places.
If you want a more traditional esthetic, you could consider the Nuu Garden Bistro Aluminum Table and Chair Set, which has an anti-rust coating surface, ideal for all seasons. Each foot comes with a height-adjustable & anti-slip rubber base for uneven ground. Durable and elegant yet lightweight this set is perfect for any setting, from a balcony to a poolside.
Compare the price of the above aluminum sets to this CasualStay Stainless Steel Rocker Set, and you’ll pay more and lose a table in the process. The durable stainless steel frame and plush cushions are advantages, but you pay a premium for these.
So, if your ultimate goal is to get quality furniture but on a budget, then aluminum would be the better option for your patio furniture. If budget isn’t a problem and you seek the best quality and durability, stainless steel will suit.
Think About the Style You Prefer
Because aluminum and stainless steel are quite close in overall quality, your choice might come down to style. If you’re asking is steel or aluminum better for patio furniture, and you’re open-minded about the budget, then it’s recommended that you focus on the style first.
Aluminum, being easier to work with, often has more style variations available when compared to stainless steel. This Laurel Canyon 7 Piece Cast Aluminum Furniture Set is made to an incredibly high standard.
Being cast aluminum, it’s heavier than tubular (hollow) aluminum products. It combines some of the advantages of stainless steel and aluminum in one package. A similar design in stainless steel would be near impossible to achieve.
The Bottom Line: Is Steel or Aluminum Better for Patio Furniture?
When asking is steel or aluminum better for patio furniture, the answer depends on what you want. When shopping on a budget, look for aluminum first. If you don’t mind the budget, you can start to consider the stainless steel options.
If you want durable furniture with intricate styling similar to wrought iron, then you’ll need to stick to stainless steel.
Both materials are excellent and make great outdoor furniture. Stick to your budget and shop according to your preference for style, and you won’t go wrong with either one.