1. The Frame:
Cheap frames are made of steel. Quality frames are made from aluminum.
Steel is heavy. In order to make a steel frame that can withstand the weight of people, gravity, and objects, it has to be very thick. That makes the chair or table very heavy. Light is better than heavy if you have to move it around for special occasions or each season.
Steel also comes in a wide range of grades. Low grade steel rusts easily. Rusty steel looks ugly and weakens the structure. If your patio furniture is made from an inferior metal (steel), chances are it is made from an inferior grade.
Aluminum is a superior metal for patio furniture (and airplanes too by the way). It is lighter and stronger. Perfect for patio furniture.
But even if the frame is made from Aluminum it can be thin. Thin aluminum is weak and can buckle or crack under the weight of people and gravity.
Thick aluminum frames are the way to go. Thicker aluminum costs more, but this is an important component so it is worth the extra investment.
2. Exterior ‘Wicker’ Material:
The UV resistance of the resin is also an important factor. You do not want your investment to fade, get brittle, and crack after one season in the sun. Quality virgin resin with high UV resistance built in is better and worth the extra cost.
No mix and match pieces. Inferior resin wicker will incorporate multiple cut sections of wicker, joined together. The joints will be weak points and you will be able to see the joints and notice a color difference between each section. Quality resin wicker uses full uncut lengths.
We source patio furniture with only virgin resin wicker, with high grade UV resistance and full length pieces, no off cuts joined together.
Inferior patio furniture cushions will fade, seams will rip, and the cushion material will lose its “spring”. It will feel like sitting on a piece of plywood, and look not much better.
The best cushions in the patio furniture industry are Sunbrella brand. But, there are many different grades of Sunbrella cushion. The highest grades use material that is dyed ALL the way through, not just the exterior surface. If only the surface is dyed, it can be worn off and then fading and discoloration sets in. The higher grades use better UV inhibitors as well. The sun is extremely hard on the cushion material so only the very best UV resistance will prevent rapid fading.
Last but not least, the interior cushion material makes a big difference. Why invest in good cushions if you want to sit on rock hard seats after one season? Quality cushions retain their cushion “spring” year after year.
We source only the very best Sunbrella cushions, with exterior material that is dyed ALL the way through, high grade UV resistance, and extremely durable interior cushion material.