Spending time outside is a great way to share our time with friends, family, and loved ones. When it comes to outdoor furniture, you need the perfect mix of style, durability, color, and quality. Choosing the right furniture adds flair and creativity to your patio, deck, or yard, but there’s one other factor to think about — comfort.
When it comes to rest and relaxation, there’s really no substitute for deep seating — beautifully made furniture upholstered for the ultimate in luxurious comfort. When it comes to choosing and buying the right outdoor sofa or chair, there are lots of factors to think about. Read on, for some insight into the ones that matter.
Factor One — Choose the Right Materials
The best place to start is by looking at what your furniture is constructed from. When it comes to materials, you have plenty of choices. Whether it’s softwoods, hardwoods, wicker, aluminum, HDPE lumber, or something else, your choice of material has a huge impact on the price, quality, durability, and comfort of your deep seating furniture.
Here’s a rundown of the main material types and what you can expect from each.
Pine and Other Softwoods for Deep Seating
Although pine and other softwoods are abundant and inexpensive, they are not great materials for long-lasting deep seating furniture. Softwoods are not very resilient or durable, and they do not weather at all well. They can be easily dented or scratched and spoil your sofa’s appearance. It’s also likely they will need to be stained or varnished on a regular basis, making maintenance a pain.
Oak and Other Hardwoods for Deep Seating
Although oak and other hardwoods are a better choice than softwoods, they are not the best option. Although they are more durable, there’s still lots of maintenance required to keep them at their best. You can expect to varnish and stain your hardwood furniture every couple of years, and even then strong weather conditions will impact your sofa or chair’s appearance.
Teak for Deep Seating
Teak is rightfully a popular choice. It’s one of the most resilient hardwoods, and it creates its own oil, eliminating the need for varnishing and staining. It’s not without issues though — you need to regularly rub down and treat teak furniture to avoid “silver patina” which can spoil its appearance. Teak is also expensive, especially if you are buying larger pieces of furniture.
Wicker for Deep Seating
Wicker can be a good material for your chair or sofa, so long as you are not putting it outside! The moment you expose wicker to the elements, you run the risk of it coming unbound, getting dirt stuck between the strands, and generally losing its appearance quickly. It’s tough to keep wicker looking clean, and the weather is your enemy. It’s best avoided.
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Lumber for Deep Seating
HDPE is a synthetic resin for building solid, high-quality, durable outdoor furniture. Its cost is offset by the luxury, comfort, and resilience it provides. HDPE is made from recycled landfill-bound and ocean-bound plastics and can be easily colored to almost any shade. It’s easy to maintain, weather-resistant, durable, comfortable, and manufactured to last a lifetime.
Aluminum for Deep Seating
Aluminum isn’t a bad choice for outdoor furniture material — it’s weather-resistant, durable, and inexpensive. The only real issue is with the comfort level, and if you’re looking for luxurious seating, that could be a concern. But aluminum is tough, resilient, and easy to maintain, so it’s definitely one to consider.
Factor Two — Look for Sturdiness, Durability, and Quality
Your deep seating will hopefully get a lot of use, as you entertain loved ones. It has to stand up to the rigors of being outside, providing seating for two or three people at a time, and look great!
You want a deep seating sofa or chair that’s been finely crafted and focuses on durability and quality. Read customer reviews and look into the details of how the deep seating is put together. Ideally, you will want materials that are completely weather-resistant and held together with marine-grade metal hardware. This makes sure the furniture won’t chip, rot, crack, split, or rust.
Since you’re likely investing a fair amount of money in your outdoor furniture, it makes sense to pay for something that’s going to last through the years. This is not the time to skimp on quality.
Factor Three — Think About Your Overall Space
You’ve found the perfect piece and had it delivered. You excitedly put it together on the patio only to encounter a big problem — it completely dominates the space! There’s no easy way around the sofa that so thoroughly occupies every inch of your deck.
In other words, carefully plan out how you’re going to use your space before choosing the right piece. Make notes of the outside area where you’re going to be entertaining, measure it carefully, then get the dimensions of your planned deep seating. Look at any other furniture you’re going to add and imagine how it’s all going to fit together.
You will want convenient pathways between furniture of at least two to three feet to make it easy to move past. We recommend cutting out pieces of cardboard or paper the same size as your furniture’s “footprint” so you can move things around and see how they look. You can also use masking tape to quickly lay down a proposed floor plan.
Factor Four — Cushions Maketh the Sofa
Since you’re going for elegance and comfort, you will want cushions that provide both support and relaxation. There are three main factors here:
- What’s inside the cushions — ideally, you want cushions that have a fairly firm interior that’s hard to crush. Avoid just a standard foam core and go for higher-density cushions that have some resilience and bounceback built into them.
- The upholstery material — if you’re going to leave your cushions outside, you need the right upholstery material for the covers. We recommend outdoor performance fabric — it’s specially designed and manufactured to be weather-resistant, fade-resistant, and to repel rain. It can stay outside all year-round.
- The color and style — you’ll want to add your own unique flair to our outside space, and one of the best ways to do that is with your cushions. Choose colors and patterns that will naturally complement the frame colors of your deep seating pieces.
Factor Five — Balance Quality and Value
Don’t think of your outdoor furniture as a short-term investment. If you do, and you go for a cheap option, you’ll likely end up replacing your furniture every three to five years — it’s a false economy. Great outdoor furniture is manufactured to last a lifetime, and although it may cost a little more initially, you will save money in the long term.
Add to that the satisfaction of owning some beautiful furniture, the ability to customize colors and designs, and the inspiration of using your outdoor space, and it will be money well spent.
Factor Six — Accessorize for Success
A deep seating sofa or chair is a great starting point for your outdoor space, but why stop there? Imagine building a whole room outside. Add in a couple of Adirondack chairs for guests, and combine those with a side table or two for snacks and beverages. For the whole alfresco experience, you can even consider a dining table and chairs.
Whatever you choose, the only limit is your imagination!
The POLYWOOD Deep Seating Collections
When you purchase POLYWOOD outdoor furniture you’re investing in beautiful, luxurious, and comfortable deep seating. We have dozens of different styles, designs, colors, and collections of deep seating furniture from which to choose. Here are some of our favorites…
- Club — A nautical-inspired collection that features curved cushions.
- Harbour — A luxurious and contemporary deep seating collection.
- Mission — A classically-designed deep seating collection with a dramatic, architectural look.
- Vineyard — This casually elegant collection features soft, button-back cushions.
- EDGE — A contemporary collection that can be customized to fit the shape and size of your outdoor space.
- Braxton — This rustic deep seating collection features appealing cross back designs on the backrests.
- Lakeside — A cottage-inspired collection that features thick back slats and soft, button-back cushions.
- Grant Park — A versatile and contemporary deep seating collection.
- Riveria — This collection features thin cushions and reclined backrests that give each piece a contemporary feel.
- Prescott — This collection features robust frames with sleek angles and curves for a more contemporary aesthetic.
We have a variety of products in our deep seating collections, all designed to maximize outdoor comfort, and give you the peace-of-mind of owning high-quality, durable, and weather-resistant furniture. In the market for your own? Shop our favorite Deep Seating Sets.
Blog Post Updated March 26, 2021