What to Look for When Buying Patio Furniture

By Patio Living

So you just bought a house with a patio, refinished your current patio, or maybe you just decided to install one. You’re ready to furnish it, but you’re not quite sure where to begin. Luckily, we have a simple acronym to get you started: “PDF” – Price, Décor, Function. It’s pretty straightforward, but it may cover more ground than you think. Let’s take a look.

Price: How Much Do You Want to Spend?

With patio furniture, “inexpensive” doesn’t necessarily mean “cheap,” and there are plenty of quality patio furniture options available to suit both the thrifty and the extravagant regardless of style, durability, or functionality. Since no one wants to spend more than they need to, it’s a good idea to find a retailer who offers price matching.


Say, for instance, you’ve found the perfect patio set on one site but you notice that the café table is a few bucks less on another site. It could be cheaper to purchase the chairs from one site and the table from the other, but this savings may be eaten up by the additional shipping costs. So if the original site is willing to match the competitor’s price, that’s money you’re saving that can go into your grilling fund.

Speaking of shipping, it is a good idea to always go with a vendor who offers free ground shipping. Hidden shipping fees can provide an expensive surprise at checkout if you’re not careful.

Décor: What’s Your Style?

iStock_000006126132_LargeWhen choosing your patio furniture, feel free to let your creative side flourish, but also take into account your surroundings.

  • Forested Backyard: Wood or wicker is a good natural choice—and one that offers a lot of customizable options in terms of color.
  • Open Backyard: Consider a bench or a set of minimal, wrought-iron chairs that provide a simple complement to nature.
  • Dry Climate: Teak is an excellent choice whether it’s treated to maintain the wood’s rich, natural brown or left to age into a fashionable gray. Teak is also naturally rot resistant and requires little in the way of maintenance.

For the environmentally minded patio shopper, recycled plastic furniture is an eco-friendly solution. A brand such as Polywood comes in a vast array of colors and styles in addition to its innate durability. Quality plastic is also very easy to clean and won’t peel, splinter, or fade.

Here are a couple more points to keep in mind:

  • Cushioning: Select cushions that fit an overall color scheme, and consider buying multiple colors for the changing seasons.
  • Dimensions: Ask yourself, is there a good flow of traffic? Did you leave space for accessories?

Function: What’s Your Goal?

Do you plan to dazzle the neighbors with your grilling skills or would you rather have a nice spot to get away and relax? Or maybe a mix of both?

If solitude is your priority, then don’t neglect the importance of shade. If you plan on spending a lot of time outside, an umbrella is a must to protect your skin (and your cool drink) from the sun. And for umbrella materials:

  • Sunbrella offers UV protection and resistance to water, mildew, and wind as well as a high-class look.
  • Olefin is a more inexpensive option with a heavy tolerance for fading.
  • Pacifica, a sturdy polyester, offers a four-year warranty for fade, mildew, and rot.


If you plan to entertain, you may want to look into aluminum or other lightweight materials for your chairs and tables since you (or your guests) are probably going to be rearranging the furniture a lot. For the dining table, if you live in a warmer climate, a glass or a wooden picnic table can be a good option for quick and easy cleanups. If your evenings are cold, consider a fire pit table, which can make even the largest social gatherings feel cozier and more comfortable.

Obviously there’s a lot to keep in mind when furnishing your patio – no one said it was easy – but think of the rewards! After all, where else can you go at home to enjoy peace, sun, and fresh air? So the next time you are exploring options for patio furniture, just remember: Price, Décor, Function.


PatioLiving-LogoPatioLiving launched in 2009, with two visionaries and one goal in mind: to provide premium outdoor furniture and accessories at competitive prices and offer an exemplary online shopping experience. The brands and products featured on PatioLiving are hand selected for quality, durability, and style, and we proudly stand behind every product available through our marketplace. With a knowledgeable sales team and “ask-me-anything” customer service representatives, we strive to help each customer to make an informed and knowledgeable purchase that they will enjoy for years to come.


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