Which Outdoor Furniture Material is Best for Your Cabin?

Your dream of claiming a slice of the wild is finally a reality. You completed construction on your cabin nestled in the woods or along a mountainside. As you apply the last coat of paint and install the cabinet hardware, don’t forget to invest in high-quality outdoor furniture that can weather the demands of cabin life.

Cabin outdoor furniture doesn’t have a buffer of a balcony or canopy to protect it from gusts of wind, forest creatures, mudslides, rain, snow, or torrential rain. To furnish your cabin deck or patio with durable, long-lasting furniture, carefully consider how your material options will react in your specific climate.


What Conditions Exist Around a Cabin?

Cabin conditions vary widely by region. A cabin tucked away in the Adirondacks faces different environmental challenges than one located in the San Bernardino forest in California. That said, all cabin furniture is exposed to dirt, muck, and grime. Cabins in Northern states contend with cold weather and snow, while those outside of the Southwest experience rain and moisture throughout the year.

Vineyard Deep Seating Chair
Vineyard Deep Seating Chair

Complement your research with specific information about the climate near your cabin. As you begin comparing various outdoor furniture materials, prioritize ease of cleaning, water-resistance, and lumber resiliency. 


How Materials Behave in the Mountain or Forest Environments

Your outdoor furniture needs to be as hard-wearing as the lumber used to build your cabin. Certain materials handle the challenge more effectively than others. How much time do you want to spend cleaning and maintaining your furniture? How well does the material withstand fluctuations in temperature, exposure to moisture, and direct sunlight? 

Aluminum

Aluminum

Aluminum is a modern, popular furniture material made of metal.

  • Aluminum is a sturdy material with a smooth surface that is simple to clean and maintain. If washed, grime and dirt won’t cause staining.
  • Aluminum is resistant to rusting and water damage, making it suited for areas with frequent rain.
  • Aluminum does not warp or become brittle in freezing winter temperatures. However, the surface would be cold to the touch.
  • You can upgrade to powder-coated aluminum for outdoor furniture that is corrosion-resistant.
  • Aluminum is a sleek, contemporary material that provides contrast to a rugged cabin or streamline a modern one.

Wrought Iron

Wrought Iron

Wrought iron has been used for outdoor furniture for thousands of years due to its distinct appearance. 

  • Cleaning wrought iron is relatively simple – use a damp cloth when mud or grime accumulates. 
  • Cheaper wrought iron is not water-resistant.
  • Wrought iron furniture that is not powder-coated and liable to rust should brought be indoors during snowstorms or inclement weather.
  • Wrought iron retains heat, and, like metal furniture, should be left to cool down after prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.
  • The unique look of wrought iron adds vintage appeal to your cabin design.

Plastic

Plastic

Simple plastic is a low-cost outdoor furniture material that is readily available at most hardware and outdoor supply stores. 

  • Plastic is a smooth surface that only requires occasional wipe downs to keep it looking its best.
  • Plastic is resistant to water and rust. You do not have to move plastic furniture inside during a rainstorm.
  • Low temperatures and winter snowstorms can cause plastic furniture to become brittle and break easily.
  • Plastic is lightweight, making it easy to move inside. During periods of high wind and rain, it should be weighed down or stored.
  • Plastic is available in a wide variety of bright and neutral colors.

HDPE Lumber 

HDPE Lumber

HDPE lumber is a higher-end material option made from recycled plastic.

  • HDPE lumber can be wiped down quickly once muck and grime build-up.
  • HDPE lumber is not affected by moisture and rain exposure, as the material does not rust or warp.
  • HDPE lumber can weather snow and low temperatures without degrading or cracking.
  • HDPE lumber is heavier than materials like aluminum or plastic, making it resistant to wind gusts but more difficult to rearrange.
  • HDPE lumber is available in a wide variety of color choices to align with natural or modern color schemes.

Teak

Teak

Hardwoods are the most resilient options of wood material, and teak tops the list. 

  • Teak is fairly easy to clean and must be treated occasionally to avoid a “silver patina” discoloration.
  • Teak that is maintained will be minimally affected by rot or mildew from moisture or rain.
  • Teak won’t have its integrity compromised by severe winter snowstorms or beating sun.
  • Teak naturally creates its own oil, making it extremely durable and weather-resistant compared to other varieties of wood.
  • Teak is generally available in its signature lumber color, but that natural look can add to the charm of your cabin.

The Final Verdict

For furniture materials that resist rotting and rusting, your best bets are aluminum, plastic, HDPE lumber, and teak. Most materials other than plastic can endure colder temperatures, and certain metals like wrought iron and aluminum are made more durable with treatment.

Chippendale 5-Piece Nautical Trestle Dining Arm Chair Set
Chippendale 5-Piece Nautical Trestle Dining Arm Chair Set

Ultimately, you’ll base your decision on your style preferences. Cabins are an obvious style match for teak and other woods, but you may want to go against the grain and invest in fashion-forward geometric aluminum furniture to stand out.

Before making a decision, consider your local climate and your overall budget. To make the most-informed decision, take a deep dive into our materials. Once you settle on outdoor furniture materials, begin planning the best spaces to entertain.

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