During the nice weather, you may want to spend time outside. Eating outside on your deck or patio can be a great experience, especially with the right outdoor dining sets and patio furniture. Outdoor dining sets can come in wood, metal, or plastic. Some have glass tabletops, and others have umbrellas for shade. Patio furniture can include reclining chairs and end tables as well. These all come in a huge range of prices to fit any budget. Having great outdoor dining sets and patio furniture makes spending time outdoors more enjoyable.


When it comes to patio furniture, you’ll find an incredible assortment of options and price points. Take a step back in time by picking up antique pieces that can be refinished, or move into the 21st century with a sleek, modern look that will impress your guests.

You can spend a small fortune on high-quality items that will last for a decade or more, or you can hit the bargain basement sales to come out with a highly affordable set that will get you through a few years. Whether you’re trying to save money or you’re more focused on cost-effectiveness, here’s what you should know about finding the right patio furniture for your needs.

Be Willing to Shop Around

Remember that you can find almost anything on the Internet, so shopping around is easier than ever before. If you find a look and brand that you love at one store, you can check other retailers to see if someone else has it for less. Your manufacturer warranty will be the same, but it’s an easy way to bring down the initial cost.

As you’re shopping around, be sure to look at the total cost. When you buy through a local retailer, you can pick up the merchandise yourself and save on shipping cost. The deal online may seem highly attractive until you enter your zip code and see the delivery fees.

Another point in favor of the local retailer is that you’ll have additional support if there are any problems with your furniture. Rather than trying to get someone over the phone and haggling over the return shipping charges, you can just take the furniture back to your local store and ask them to make it right.

Define Your Needs

There’s more to buying patio furniture than just finding a set that you like and taking it home. You also need to look at different features and consider your own needs. Some people love having cushions, and they’re willing to put them away in a deck box to keep them safe and dry. If you really don’t want that bit of hassle, then you’re better off with sling furniture or plain wood that can easily get wet. If your patio is covered, then the matching umbrella isn’t necessary. However, if your area is in the blazing sun, then you’ll want a coordinating umbrella for shade and some protection from the rain.

Ask yourself how the patio will be used. If you’re going to focus on meals and entertaining, then outdoor dining sets or a bar may be the way to go. If you’re planning on using it as a private retreat where you can sit back and relax after a long week, then a couch and ottoman may be more appropriate. Whether you’re decide on chaise lounges or a simple glider, you’ll only meet your needs if you take the time to define them.

Choose the Material

When it comes to patio furniture materials, you can go with wood, metal or plastic. The plastic options carry the lowest price points, but they also don’t last as long. Metal is an excellent choice for durability and price, but rust may be a problem. Look for powder-coated pieces that can stand up the elements better. Finally, teak and other wood species are still an excellent choice when it comes to patio furniture, and they tend to carry the highest price points. Check the finish on wood furniture regularly to keep it in top condition, and seal the material at least once a year to keep it waterproof.

Another option worth considering is timeless wicker. In past eras, wicker was made from strands or thin, flexible wood, and it wouldn’t take long to start wearing down under the elements. However, you can now get wicker furniture that’s made from high-quality resins that can last for a decade or longer.

If you do get furniture with cushions, insist on water repellent fabrics that can handle a little moisture. Even the most diligent person will occasionally leave the cushions out in a rainstorm, so it’s important to know that the material will survive some adverse weather.

Learn About Brand Names

When you walk into the store and start looking at the different options, you may not take notice of the brand. The fact is that patio furniture brands just don’t have the recognition of indoor furniture brands. However, there are some high-end manufacturers who offer quality furniture that can withstand years of regular use. These include:

  • Brown Jordan
  • Forever Patio
  • Harmonia Living
  • Gloster
  • Sunset West
  • Alfresco Home
  • Woodard
  • Tropitone
  • Zuo Modern
  • Hospitality Rattan

When you do find a set that you love, it will be easier to comparison shop if you have the brand name and model number. If you’re looking at the house brand for a big box store, remember that you get what you pay for. The lower cost today could mean that you’re living with lower quality for the next few years, so weigh the decision carefully.

Check the Warranty

The warranty can help you determine if the furniture you’re admiring today is worth the price. You’ll pay more for a piece with a five-year warranty, but you can be confident that the item will last. Before buying based strictly on the warranty, take the time to research the company to be sure that they’re going to honor their guarantee and take great care of you when the time comes.

Saving on the Purchase

Whether you decide to go with high-end merchandise or want to stick with the budget-friendly options, there are ways to save a little more on your purchase. Remember that different companies will have sales, so ask a representative to put you on the mailing list. If you’re not in a rush for the new furniture, then wait for an end-season sale when items will be marked down to make room for new seasonal merchandise. You can also search online for coupons and special offers. It will take a little more footwork and patience on your part, but you can easily find the patio furniture you love at a more attractive price that will fit in your budget.

Test Drive the Furniture

Before you commit to the final purchase, take the time to test drive the furniture. Don’t be afraid to pull out one of the dining chairs and have a seat. If you’ve been admiring couches, then sit down, lean back, and see how easy it will be to relax on the couch. The best outdoor patio furniture will sit comfortably, feel sturdy, and easily support your weight without rocking or shifting. If you’re looking at dining sets, then pull the chair up under the table to see how easily it slides into place. Check the legroom and other features. When you’re making a commitment to furniture that will grace your patio for years to come, you want to choose pieces that will exceed your expectations and suit your family perfectly.

Size Matters

Finally, consider the size of your furniture and the patio. If you’re blessed with a large space, then you can get matching sets for dining and just relaxing. If you’re working with a smaller area, then you’ll want to take a close look at the measurements. When you consider the furniture size ahead of time, you can be confident that your new items will fit your patio perfectly without making the space feel crowded.

When you’re ready to buy patio furniture, remember that you don’t have to pick up the first set that appeals to you. Take the time to define your needs, the available space, and your goals. Ask yourself if you want to save money today with a budget set or save in the future by spending more on high-quality furnishings. One you know what you want, you can narrow down your search and start comparing different sets. When you’re ready to make the purchase, look for coupons or ask about sales so that you can save a little more. With the right attention and care, you can find exactly what you’re looking for and keep the expense in line with your budget.