Outdoor Dining Furniture: Metal, Wood, or Synthetic Rattan?

During the spring, summer, and autumn months of the year, you and your family probably love being outdoors in the warm weather. You may even be considering purchasing an outdoor dining set so you can spend even more quality time in the sun. There are several different types of outdoor dining sets available for purchase, but not all will provide you with long lasting use. Let’s break down some of the more popular styles available:

The Different Types of Outdoor Dining Tables

  • Metal- Metal dining sets are widely used. The most common are aluminum and wrought iron. While these tables are sturdy and can take quite a beating from the elements, they are also prone to rust and are extremely uncomfortably to sit on for extended periods.


  • Wood- Wooden dining tables, like picnic tables, are generally treated to resist the effects of rain on the wood. Unfortunately, this treatment does not last forever and ever you may experience wood rot, unless you continue to treat your table each season. Another consideration is the fact that wooden outdoor furniture can have some rough edges or areas, which can lead to splinters in the fingers of your little ones.


  • Plastic- Plastic outdoor dining tables are generally cheaper than other types of tables. However, plastic tables are much easier to break. The color on these plastic tables also tend to fade in the sun. Some individuals purchase white plastic tables to avoid fading problem but find the white plastic is very difficult to keep clean. Also, plastic tables and chairs just do not have that upscale look, regardless of how beautiful the cushions are. Plastic is plastic, and tend to look cheap.


  • Natural Rattan- Natural rattan furniture is beautiful, but is not a very durable choice. Natural rattan or wicker can work well indoors, but when subjected to the elements, it is sooner to rot, crack, tear, and sag with age.


  • Synthetic Wicker – Synthetic wicker can stand up to the elements and look great while doing so. Synthetic wicker is man-made, manufactured from a polyethylene fiber, which makes it much different than natural rattan.

Synthetic rattan offers several advantages over other outdoor dining sets:

  • Easy to clean overall and simple spot treatment for spills and stains
  • Versatility
  • Weather resistant
  • Improved contemporary designs for a more modern appeal
  • Water resistant
  • Light weight and easy to move
  • Will not fade or become dry or damaged by the sun

While other tables may provide a cheaper solution for your outdoor living space, synthetic wicker furniture stands the test of time and will save you a lot more money in the long run. When long lasting, low maintenance is what you are after, this may be your best choice.