There is nothing better at the end of a tiring day than relaxing on your patio or veranda with a glass of something good, unless it’s taking that first cup of coffee outdoors in the morning sun.

There is a vast range of outdoor furniture to complement your patio; sometimes the choice can be overwhelming. This short guide can help you decide the best alternative for your outdoor space. Wood is a great choice for outdoor furniture, but not all woods are suitable for all locations and climates. Before you fall in love with that patio set, take the time to look at your outdoor area. Is it undercover? Is it exposed to harsh sunlight? Is the surface stable and firm?

If you have a protected patio, with a firm, solid surface, you can get away with furniture made out of a cheaper type of wood. However, that same wooden furniture would suffer in a harsher environment. If your patio is exposed to rain or strong sunlight, you need to choose a more durable wood. You will also need to afford your wooden outdoor furniture some extra protective measures.

So what timber will work best for you? Here are the top six.

White Cedar

White cedar is a softwood that has a natural resistance to insect attack, decay and disease, which makes it ideal for outdoor furniture. It can be left in the natural state or treated with oil and will withstand sun and snow.


A strong, light and golden coloured hardwood that should be oiled every six months or so to preserve the colour. Slightly more expensive than white cedar.


Teak is very durable and a popular choice for outdoor furniture. It will last for around 50 years and weathers to a silver-grey unless you oil it once or twice a year.


A classic wood for outdoor furniture, jarrah is naturally rot, termite and fire resistant. You can expect your jarrah furniture to last up to 50 years with a regular application of finishing oil designed for jarrah. Probably the most expensive choice.


From the most expensive to the cheapest. Treated pine requires no additional preservatives, but untreated wood needs to be repainted or resealed each year. Typical lifespan for treated pine furniture is around 25 years.


Slightly more expensive than pine, redwood is a durable timber with natural resistance to rot and termites. You should protect your redwood furniture annually with appropriate sealant. With care it will last more than 25 years.

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