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The Trouble With Wicker and 2 Other Common Patio Furniture Materials

In the world of home decor, trends come and go and patio furniture is no exception. But which material is the best and most durable for your outdoor living spaces when you live in Phoenix, AZ and other parts of the “Valley of the Sun?” These days you can find patio furniture in a wide variety of materials and price points from wicker to teak to plastic to steel. Right now synthetic wicker is everywhere, but the trouble with wicker and 2 other common patio furniture materials is they might not last as long as steel when it comes to our extreme weather conditions.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you might have second thoughts about chasing trends when it comes to patio furniture.

1. Wicker:

Right now in the world of patio furniture, synthetic wicker is everywhere, and by everywhere, we mean everywhere. The problem though with this is that not everyone likes wicker, synthetic or not. In fact, if you google the term, “I hate wicker,” you’ll find a number of posts devoted to the dislike of wicker as well as an entire Facebook page.

Hatred of wicker is frankly, too strong and negative, plus, full disclosure, a lot of wicker furniture is made using steel frames, but we don’t make wicker patio furniture here at Steel Advantage, so we hope the wicker patio trend will end soon. Still some people like it and synthetic wicker is a durable, yet still lightweight alternative to real wicker. However, it is plastic and up close looks like plastic.

2. Teak:

Real teak wood furniture is expensive, very expensive. You don’t really see a lot of teak furniture in Phoenix or Mesa area homes as a result. Teak furniture is a lot more common in restaurants and bars, as well as the less expensive synthetic resin teak furniture. However, there isn’t the extreme hatred for teak that you find with wicker, unless you’re talking about boat decks, and we aren’t.

Synthetic teak is pretty low maintenance but is plastic. Real teak wood is very high-maintenance and to keep it from turning gray, you have to apply oil to it regularly. Plus for our hot weather and the wet monsoon season, any type of wood isn’t the best choice when it comes to outdoor furniture materials.

3. Plastic:

If you’re looking for cheap, I mean inexpensive, ok cheap, patio furniture, then there’s just straight up plain old plastic that isn’t pretending to be anything else but plastic patio furniture. What can we say about this material? It’s easy to clean. Even your 3-year-old can move it. If it blows into your pool, it won’t get ruined. It’s rust and termite resistant.

Now for the bad and why it’s not a good choice for patio furniture. One word: Monsoons. That’s right, extremely lightweight plastic patio furniture will blow away during a monsoon or dust storm. Also, your puppy might chew on it. Chewed up patio furniture isn’t a good look for your yard or patio. And your neighbors won’t appreciate your plastic furniture blowing over your fence and into their yard or pool.

4. Steel:

When it comes to timelessness and durability, you really can’t beat steel when it comes to choosing patio furniture for your Phoenix area home. Steel is heavier than plastics and can withstand all but the most extreme monsoon conditions. Plus, because it’s powder coated, it’s resistant to wear and tear, even rust, in spite of being metal.

With proper care, your steel framed patio furniture can last for generations, only needing new cushions and pillows. You can’t really say that about wicker, even imitation wicker. And unlike plastic furniture materials, your steel furniture won’t blow away or get ruined by the new puppy. In addition, because of the versatility of steel, you can have furniture custom made to your design specifications including how high it is so aging pets can still jump on your lap when you’re outside and they want to snuggle.

Of course, patio furniture is a matter of individual taste as well. We love steel furniture and doors, which is why we’re in the business of making steel patio furniture. What’s your favorite type of patio furniture? Do you agree that steel is better? Let us know in the comments below.


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