On the hunt for wooden outdoor furniture? By now you’ve probably seen a ton of varieties on the market — but which one is the best wood for outdoor furniture? How can you make sure you’re selecting the right option for your needs?
From hardwoods, like teak and mahogany, to softwoods, like pine, the list of potential matches goes on and on. But when it comes to outdoor furniture, not all wood options are equal.
In this guide, we share all the must-know details about the most commonly used wood choices and which one is best for outdoor furniture. Keep reading to learn which wood reigns supreme!
What Is The Best Wood For Outdoor Furniture?
We can’t cover every type of wood here, so let’s take a look at some pros and cons of the most common types you’ll see on the market.
There’s no denying that mahogany is a beautiful wood. Its unique color and tough exterior have made it a top choice in furniture for decades.
Its sleek, shiny appearance is a definite advantage, and it will last for years to come. But it comes at a price (both literally and figuratively!).
Mahogany is one of the more high-maintenance wood options. Additionally, mahogany tends to be more expensive and elusive than other wood varieties because it’s at risk of deforestation, making it a less-than-sustainable option for furniture production.
Oak is a strong contender for the best wood for outdoor furniture. It’s timeless, readily available, versatile, and durable. In fact, we love oak for indoor furniture because it’s sturdy enough to stand up to kids and pets.
Like mahogany, oak furniture is on the heavier side and can be difficult to transport and move around. We don’t know about you, but for us, this is a pretty big downside since we like to be able to rearrange our outdoor furniture depending on the activities we’re enjoying at the time.
Pine has been used in various types of furniture for many years. As a softwood, it’s easy to work with, making it perfect for DIY projects and kids’ furniture. It’s also inexpensive, incredibly lightweight, and easy to paint and stain.
However, because pine is such a soft material, it tends to get scratched and dented more easily than other wood materials. This means it won’t last you and your family nearly as long as hardwood furniture.
Maple is usually seen in high-traffic areas of the home, like kitchen cabinets or dressers in bedrooms. We love maple for its creamy color (which is very easy to stain) and the fact that it’s a durable wood.
Sadly, maple is prone to cracks, and it’s not super weather-resistant, making it a not-so-great choice when it comes to outdoor furniture.
When you’re shopping for wooden outdoor furniture, you want durability, style, and quality. In our humble opinion, teak checks all the boxes, making it the best wood for outdoor furniture.
Learn more about why we’re such big fans of teak below!
Why We Use Teak In Our Outdoor Furniture
Teak wasn’t nicknamed the king of timber for nothing!
Aside from being a beautiful, timelessly stylish option for outdoor furniture (we love those warm, honey tones), teak won our hearts thanks to its durability.
Not only is it strong and sturdy, but teak’s natural oils also protect it against the elements as well as pests. This means less stress for you when it comes to leaving your new furniture out in the wild (a.k.a. the backyard). You can rest assured that it can fend for itself!
When it comes to design, our teak collection takes its cues from the automobile world, where aerodynamics are of the utmost importance. As we created our wooden furniture collection, we knew we wanted to create pieces that are as functional as they are luxurious.
Our sleek, integrative design means that each piece of teak seating — from our Teak Outdoor Loveseat to our 5-Seater Teak Outdoor Corner Sectional — is high-quality, comfortable, and includes the Outer design features that you know and love, like our protective OuterShell™.
There’s another important factor we took into consideration when selecting teak as our go-to wood for creating outdoor furniture, and that’s sustainability.
Unfortunately, not all teak is responsibly sourced or economically viable, so we wanted to make sure ours was. We only use the highest-quality, Grade A teak that’s Forest Stewardship Council® certified — that’s the big tick of approval for environmentally conscious products!
For each teak tree harvested from our source in Central Java, Indonesia, three more trees are planted in its place to ensure maximum sustainability.
We’re also proud to be working with One Tree Planted in our home state of California to fight deforestation and reduce our impact on the environment even further.
So next time you’re using our Teak Outdoor Coffee Table With Tapered Leg or our Teak Outdoor Coffee Table With Concrete Inlay, you can feel a little warm and fuzzy inside knowing you’re helping us minimize our carbon footprint and make the world a more sustainable place to live.
Caring For Your Teak Furniture
Teak Cleaning Tips
As with all outdoor furniture, teak requires cleaning once in a while. Thankfully, teak is really easy to clean, and it doesn’t require a lot of TLC to keep it looking pristine.
As a general rule, we recommend cleaning your teak furniture at least once a season to keep it fresh and ready to use.
If you notice your teak furniture is visibly dirty — say, after some sneaky severe weather has crept in or your pup has gotten its dirty paws on your couch — that’s also a great time to freshen things up with a quick once-over.
You won’t need much more than a bucket of water and gentle detergent, a soft bristle brush, and a garden hose to get your teak looking as good as new. It’s a quick process that can be done within an hour, tops.
We even made sure our cushions are easy to clean so you can spend less time scrubbing and more time relaxing. All Outer cushions are made with a nano-coated performance fabric that’s resistant to stains from dirt, mold, and bleach, plus they’re water- and UV-resistant, too.
This makes our cushions essentially lifeproof and reduces the time you’ll spend cleaning. Better yet, they’re machine washable — simply zip the covers off, throw them in the wash on a cold cycle, and let them air dry.
Our built-in OuterShell™ also helps to cut back on the need for cleaning. This cleverly designed cover tucks neatly behind each Outer sofa cushion and can be rolled out at a moment’s notice to protect your furniture when it’s not in use.
Say goodbye to sneaky bird droppings and moist morning dew and hello to couch cushions that are always clean, dry, and ready to use!
Looking for a step-by-step guide to cleaning your teak outdoor furniture, including each and every tool you’ll need to get the job done? We’ve got you covered. Check out our dedicated blog post for cleaning outdoor furniture.
Teak Maintenance Tips
As we mentioned earlier, one of teak’s major advantages is that it’s super low-maintenance — no sanding, oiling, or ongoing upkeep required.
If left unmaintained, you might notice your teak will begin to naturally develop an attractive silver-gray patina. If that’s not your style, you can easily restore the original honey-toned hue of your Outer teak furniture by using a teak cleaner, such as Star Brite or Losso.
There’s also teak-specific oil available to apply to your furniture, though this is completely optional. It can help to keep the wood’s grain from cracking and will give your furniture a nice sheen.
Get The Best Wood For Outdoor Furniture With Outer
Selecting the best wood for outdoor furniture might sound overwhelming, but by following the information outlined in this guide, you’ll be on your way to making an informed decision. We recommend teak for its durability, style, and (when you choose Outer) its sustainability factor.
Each piece of Outer teak furniture — from our Teak Outdoor Loveseat to our Teak Outdoor Coffee Table With Tapered Leg — is expertly crafted with durable, sustainably sourced materials so you can enjoy your furniture for many years to come.
Teak is also low-maintenance and easy to clean. Spend less time oiling and scrubbing and more time relaxing on your Outer teak furniture!