Buying Guide

Best Patio Furniture for Your Outdoor Living Space

Things To Consider in Outdoor Furniture
Black patio furniture with blue cushions on a patio.

From full furniture sets to patio chairs, there are many types of patio furniture available. With so many options, the best time to select outdoor furniture is well before you need it. Sketch a layout of your outdoor living space on grid paper and experiment with styles and placements so you can get the best combination to serve your needs.


Size of Your Space 

The best patio furniture doesn’t necessarily mean the biggest pieces. Think about how much room you have for patio furniture and accessories. Do you have a smaller balcony that can only hold a small bistro set? Does your backyard have ample space for entertaining? 


Style 

With so many choices, it can be difficult to find the patio furniture that matches your home's style. Our Choose Your Own Color program lets you create custom patio furniture from 27 patio collections and 18 color options. Even the most durable outdoor furniture can be attractive.


Use 

Consider how often you'll use your space. Are you planning to host a lot of outdoor parties on the patio? Do you need versatile patio furniture like stackable chairs and tables for extra guests, or are you looking for a larger, comfortable set for relaxing? Look for durability in all outdoor furniture, especially if the pieces will be in an uncovered area and exposed to the elements.

Outdoor Chairs
Two chairs and a side table with a black and white rug on a patio.

The most common types of outdoor chairs are sling chairs, cushion chairs and caned or woven chairs. 


Sling Chairs

Constructed with a back and seat of soft material looped around a frame, sling chairs have the advantage of being lightweight and easy to move around, and they are usually the least expensive type of patio chair.


Cushion Chairs 

Cushion chairs have more substantial bases and are sold with back and seat cushions and occasionally, decorative cushion in coordinating colors.


Woven Chairs

Woven chairs, such as wicker or cane, are traditionally made of natural plant fibers but now can also be made of plastic or paper-wrapped wire. Woven chairs are noted for their beauty and are often a choice for outdoor furnishings in the South. All-weather wicker is considered by many to be the best outdoor furniture for rainy weather.

Patio Sofas
Wicker sectional sofa with red cushions with a coffee table on a patio.

If the size of your family or your social group requires more seating, rather than add more chairs, consider outdoor lounge furniture such as sofas or large format seating. A loveseat for two or a three- or four-seat sofa takes up more physical space, but you'll need less pieces needed to accommodate everyone comfortably. A larger outdoor seating option also serves as a visual anchor for your setup the same way it does indoors.


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Accessory Seating for Your Patio
An egg-shaped chair with green cushions on a patio.

Non-traditional seating options like benches and swings can provide fun variety to your outdoor decor.


Bench Seating 

Usually available in wood or metal, bench seating offers years of durability.


Glider or Swings 

Gliders or swings add homey charm to your decor. A porch or patio swing will need a spot where it can be hung, either from a sturdy beam or its own frame. A glider is a better choice for small spaces and open-air patios.


Chaise Lounge

Comfortable and versatile, a long chaise lounge adds a dramatic look to your outdoor set.


Garden Stools

Before selecting a garden stool to serve as seating, be sure to check the weight rating. Some are not meant to be used as seats, only as decor or occasional tables.

Outdoor Tables
A coffee table with a gray top and wooden legs on a patio.

Your patio tables should harmonize with your seating, but it should also be functional. Think about how you’ll use the outdoor space most often and design around it. 

  • Provide at least one side table for every two chairs.
  • Large format seating may look better with an outdoor coffee table in the mix. 
  • Bar-height tables make excellent buffet spaces, allowing guests at outdoor gatherings to easily help themselves.
  • Patio dining sets can be large enough to accommodate a family and guests when eating outdoors. Select a smaller and stylish bistro set for al fresco dining with a friend.
Patio Sets
Wicker lounge chairs, love seat and coffee table on a large patio.

Patio sets will come in all kinds of styles and sizes, from a simple bistro set with two chairs and a matching table to a dining set with seating for six to eight.

  • The advantage of buying in sets is that you can easily outfit an entire patio for one price and all the furniture will be perfectly matched. However, you are limited to a single style. If you prefer a more eclectic style, purchasing a set as your sole outdoor decor may be less satisfying. 
  • Use accessories to introduce additional color and texture into a patio furniture set and personalize it.
  • Fire pit patio sets are available that include seating and a coordinating fire pit to warm up your conversation area.
Patio Furniture Materials

One of the most important choices you will make when buying new patio furniture is the type of material you need. Think about durability, use and how it will fit with your lifestyle when deciding on the best material for outdoor furniture.


Aluminum 

  • Lightweight
  • Doesn't rust or fade
  • Low maintenance
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Powder-coat finish provides durability
  • Use car wax or mineral oil to protect surface
  • Wash with soapy water and rinse


Plastic 

  • Lightweight
  • Often stackable 
  • May be made of recycled materials
  • Apply cleaners that prevent mildew
  • Rinse with water


PVC (poly-vinyl chloride)

  • Lightweight
  • Low maintenance
  • Available in many colors
  • Wash with soapy water and rinse


Steel 

  • Sturdy and durable
  • Requires little to no assembly
  • Comfortable
  • Apply protective finish to prevent rust
  • Wash with mild soap and rinse


Wicker and Rattan 

  • Lightweight and flexible
  • Durable and comfortable
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Dust occasionally
  • Use all-weather fabrics for cushions and pillows, unless furniture is protected
  • Wash with mild detergent and rinse


Wood

  • Types available include teak, cedar, cypress, pine and more
  • Teak provides an ideal combination of beauty and durability
  • Solid and sturdy
  • Use paint with UV filters to prevent fading
  • May require a preservative
  • Wash with soapy water and rinse
  • Use brightener and oil to maintain original appearance


Wrought Iron 

  • Sturdy and durable
  • May be mounted on wheels
  • Available in a wide range of designs
  • Use paint to touch up cracks
  • Apply rust protection
  • Wash with mild soap and rinse
Fabric Types for Outdoor Furniture
Swatches of different colored and patterned fabric.

The type of fabric on outdoor furniture is an important consideration. Durability and fade resistance are qualities to look for, especially when the outdoor space isn't covered. If you entertain frequently or have children who are prone to spilling things, stain resistance and ease of cleaning should be considered. The best material for outdoor furniture should be attractive, long-lasting and easy to clean.

   

Acrylic, Cotton Blend, Olefin and Others

  • See manufacturer's label for warranty details
  • Weather resistant
  • Typically most inexpensive option


CushionGuard

  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Water repellent
  • Fade resistant
  • Stain resistant
  • Exclusive to The Home Depot


Sunbrella

  • 5-year limited warranty
  • Water resistant
  • Fade resistant
  • Clean with mild soap and warm water
  • Highest upfront investment


Tip: Consider UV- and weather-resistant fabric for cushions to provide your patio furniture with built-in sun protection and increased durability.

Patio Accessories to Complete Your Space
Pillows and other patio accessories on a gray and white rug.

Patio accessories can add functionality or bring another element of style. Changing outdoor throw pillows or outdoor rugs is an easy way to refresh the look of your outdoor living space.


Decor

Accessories like lanterns, rugs and pillows add color and style while helping you create an outdoor space that is truly your own.


Umbrellas and Awnings 

If your patio or deck has direct exposure to the sun, consider adding a patio umbrellas or a retractable awning to create some shade. This will protect seating areas from the heat and harsh light. Plus, it reduces exposure to the sun's rays that can cause outdoor furniture to fade. 


Accordion Tables 

Accordion tables expand and collapse as needed to create extra space or save room. They make great additions if you want to have enough table space for occasional parties but prefer to have more room to move around the rest of the time.


Carts

Carts are mounted on wheels and provide convenient storage and extra surface space in one stylish package.


Wheels/Casters

Some items come mounted on wheels or casters for easier mobility. This is especially desirable in items constructed of heavier materials such as wrought iron or steel.


Collapsible/Modular Design

Some pieces of outdoor furniture are designed to collapse or come apart for easier storage and/or transport.

There are many factors involved with how to choose patio furniture that’s right for your outdoor space. In addition to appearance, consider durability and comfort. See something that catches your eye when shopping for the best patio furniture? Find products fast with image search in The Home Depot Mobile App. Snap a picture of an item you like and we’ll show you similar products.