While Las Vegas may not have the super wet winters that other areas of the US have, we have our own set of worries when it comes to patio furniture. Some of the things to look for when it comes to patio furniture in Las Vegas are materials that are UV resistant and will not retain heat. In addition, if your furniture will be in direct sun, you’ll probably want something that is not susceptible to cracking or drying out.
It’s important to educate yourself on the different materials that make up patio furniture so that you can choose the one that will make the most sense for your desires and needs. No matter where you live you want to consider the following when selecting patio furniture.
By asking yourself these questions you'll be able to get a better understanding of the type of patio furniture you should be looking at. Let's dive a little deeper into these questions.
1. How much rain and moisture will your furniture be exposed to?
If you experience high amounts of rain or levels of moisture you'll want to make sure that your furniture is resistant to rot, mildew and rust. A lot of furniture typically comes with some type of protective coating to prevent these things, but it's important to reseal your furniture if you notice chips or scratches. In Vegas, we don't have to worry about this as much as other cities, but when it rains, it pours, so it's still something to consider when looking at furniture with cushions.
2. What amount of sun and heat will your furniture be exposed to?
Large amounts of direct sun or heat can cause furniture to warp, dry and crack over time. Depending on the type of furniture you get, it may also mean that it becomes too hot to touch. In Las Vegas, this is something to especially take into consideration. Chances are, your furniture will be in direct sunlight during some part of the day the majority of the year. You'll want furniture that can withstand the sun and does not retain heat.
3. Do you live in a windy area?
This may seem like a silly question, but if your backyard experiences strong winds you want to stay away from lightweight furniture which can blow over or even away depending on your location. As people living in Las Vegas know, we can get pretty windy, so it might not be best to choose lightweight furniture if you plan on leaving it out year round.
4. What type of durability are you looking for?
Certain materials can take more of a beating when it comes to wear-and-tear, so consider how you'll be using the furniture and what makes the most sense for your lifestyle. Maybe you need the most durable, but if your furniture will be under a covered patio and rarely used you may not need the most durable furniture you can find.
5. What amount of cleaning and care are you willing to give your furniture?
Just like your home, your outdoor furniture will need some annual maintenance and should be cleaned as well. Some furniture will need more maintenance and care than other furniture, so be realistic when considering how much time you're willing to put into caring for your furniture. This will help ensure that your furniture lasts.
6. What is your budget for your furniture?
There's a wide range of pricing when it comes to patio furniture, and many different factors affect the price. Price can be affected by both the quality as well as the material of the furniture.
These 6 questions will help narrow down your patio furniture choices, but even after you have determined the type of environment your furniture will be in and the different desires you have, you may still be left with a few options. Here’s a quick breakdown of the materials I cover in more detail later in this post.
After looking at all of my researching and asking around, my personal recommendation for patio furniture in Las Vegas is to bite the bullet and spend the money to get some higher quality furniture that will last. I recommend either teak wood or all-weather synthetic resin wicker with Sunbrella fabric, but here’s some more information about the different types of materials that you’ll find when shopping for your patio furniture so you can make the decision for yourself.
Wood can be a great option when it comes to patio furniture. There are many different types of woods that can be used, but the most durable and hardy wood when it comes to the elements is probably teak. This is a hardwood that naturally contains more oils than other woods which help make it a great option that is resistant to mold, decay, and rot. In addition, all woods will not carry heat as much as other materials which can make it a great option for backyards with a lot of sun. However, it’s also important to note that wood furniture will require at least annual maintenance to make sure it lasts. Typically this involves oiling, staining and resealing the wood to prevent splintering and discoloration. While it doesn’t rain a lot in Las Vegas, when it does, it pours, so making sure your furniture is sealed properly is a must.
Synthetic Resin Wicker
Not to be confused with Rattan or other natural materials that often come in wicker form, synthetic resin wicker is all-weather, extremely durable and easy to clean. When looking at wicker it’s important to look for ones made out of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and not PVC. PVC is prone to cracking and fraying, while the quality of HDPE is highly superior and will stand a greater chance of withstanding our Las Vegas summers. Rattan and other natural fiber wickers can also be found; however, they cannot withstand the sun and rain and will need to be cared for differently than a synthetic material. Typically the synthetic material is stretched over an aluminum frame to give the furniture more structure, but you’ll still find that these pieces are extremely light.
Aluminum patio furniture can be very versatile and is extremely lightweight which can be a good and bad thing. The lightweight nature of the material makes it great for things like outdoor chairs around a table which may be moved around a lot; however, this also can cause a problem for windy locations. When looking at aluminum furniture you’ll find that there’s hollow or tubular options, which tend to be cheaper and lighter, as well as cast options, which tend to be sturdier but also more expensive. Another thing to keep in mind, since aluminum is a metal this furniture tends to retain heat and can become quite hot in the Vegas sun.
Wrought Iron and Cast Iron
This material is extremely heavy and sturdy and is known for its classic and long-lasting style. Iron does best when it is sheltered from the elements and should also always be powder coated in order to help the material resist rust. Over time, any spots where the protective coating has chipped away should be touched-up. Another metal, wrought and cast iron can get extremely hot in direct sunlight; however, since this furniture does best when not exposed to the elements, you may not need to worry about the sun if the furniture is placed under a covered patio or something similar.
Outdoor Fabric Materials
Acrylic fabrics like Sunbrella are great fabrics to use on outdoor furniture. If they are an all-weather material they’ll be resistant to mold, mildew, water and UV rays. This means your fabric and cushions are likely to last longer and retain their original color without fading. Sunbrella, in particular, is a great company that has created a superior material that tends to last significantly longer than other materials. Learn more about their fabrics here.
Olefin is a cheaper alternative to acrylic fabrics that has many of the same qualities. The main difference is that the martial is not as soft or supple as the acrylic fabrics like Sunbrella.
Polyester fabrics typically need to be coated by either acrylic or vinyl after they have been manufactured. This is what makes them suitable for outdoor use. Acrylic coated polyester is preferable for cushions and pillows as the vinyl coated can be more slick and stiff. It should also be noted that the colors and patterns in polyester fabrics are applied after their fabrication so while the patterns may be more vibrant or intricate, they are also most susceptible to fading.
Cushion Core Foam
It’s typically a little more difficult to find information about the core foam used by different patio furniture stores, but there are some key differences that are important to know.
Open Cell Foam
This is a more expensive foam that tends to be the coolest and most comfortable. In addition to being a quick dry foam, it is also made with an antimicrobial agent that works to protect your cushions from mold or mildew.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Foam
This foam is typically wrapped around another foam center and provides optimum support without flattening or losing its shape over time. In addition, it dries quickly.
This is an affordable foam of medium firmness; however, these foam cushions will soak up water and take longer to dry depending on their location. They’re usually treated with a biocide to prevent mold, but since they take longer to dry, it’s important to keep these cushions from getting soaked.
Cushions with a polyester foam fill tend to be cheaper and dry relatively quickly, but they also lose their shape over time. These types of cushions are machine washable which can be great to combat mold and mildew but will also usually need to be reshaped after being washed. This foam is commonly found stuffed in pre-sewn covers.
If you’re interested in learning more about patio furniture materials, including more specifics on different types of woods or metals, I found this site to be extremely helpful in my research!
What kind of patio furniture do you have? Let us know what’s worked and hasn’t worked for you in the past!