What are the best UV-resistant materials for outdoor furniture in the UK?

12 June 2024

When you invest in outdoor furniture for your garden or patio, you want to ensure its longevity. The elements can quickly wear down less durable materials, and in the UK, where the weather can be unpredictable, this is especially true. The sun's UV rays alone can cause substantial damage to your furniture, causing fading and weakening of the material over time. So, what's the solution? Selecting furniture made from UV-resistant materials. Within this article, we'll explore the best fabrics and materials that are not just decidedly resistant to the inclement UK weather, but also effectively withstand the test of time against those harmful UV rays.

Exploring UV-Resistant Fabrics for Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor furniture isn't just about tables and chairs. It also includes cushions, awnings, and umbrellas, which require fabric that can stand up to the elements. When considering UV-resistant fabrics for your outdoor furniture, it's essential to think about both durability and comfort.

There's a plethora of UV-resistant fabrics available, but some of the best include solution-dyed acrylic and polyester. Solution-dyed acrylic fabric is a top choice for outdoor furniture due to its resistance to fading and degradation from sunlight and chemical exposure. This material is also water-resistant, making it an excellent choice for the unpredictable UK climate.

On the other hand, polyester is another great option for outdoor furniture as it retains its color well, even when exposed to sunlight. It can also be coated for added water resistance, making it a versatile fabric choice for your patio furniture.

Durable Wood Options for Outdoor Furniture

When it comes to wood, not all types are created equal, especially concerning outdoor furniture. Some woods can warp, crack, or rot when exposed to the elements, so it's crucial to choose a variety that will withstand the UK weather and the harmful effects of UV rays.

Teak is a popular choice for outdoor furniture due to its high oil content, which makes it naturally weather-resistant. It's also resistant to warping, cracking, and decay, which makes it one of the most durable types of wood for outdoor use. Additionally, teak tends to age gracefully, turning a beautiful silver-grey colour over time when exposed to the sun.

Another option is eucalyptus. It's also durable and resistant to rot and insects, like teak. It's less expensive than teak but requires a bit more maintenance to keep it looking its best.

Rattan Furniture: Combining Durability and Style

Rattan is another favourite material for outdoor furniture. Traditionally made from the stems of palm, it’s lightweight yet robust and flexible. This is ideal for creating a wide range of furniture styles while still being able to withstand the elements.

Modern rattan furniture, often referred to as 'rattan-effect' or 'synthetic rattan,' is made from durable resins which are even more weather-resistant than traditional rattan, offering superior resistance to UV rays, rain, and frost.

This synthetic rattan is perfect for the unpredictable UK climate as it can survive outside all year round, with minimal maintenance required. Plus, it offers the same stylish aesthetic as natural rattan, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to your outdoor space.

Aluminium: A Modern Choice for Outdoor Furniture

Aluminium outdoor furniture has become increasingly popular over the years due to its modern aesthetic and durability. Aluminium is a non-ferrous metal, meaning it doesn't rust or corrode, even when exposed to the elements.

One of the significant benefits of aluminium is that it's lightweight, making it easy to move around your patio or garden. But don't let its weight fool you; aluminium is incredibly durable and resistant to UV damage, making it a great material choice for outdoor furniture in the UK.

Aluminium furniture often comes with a powder-coated finish, further enhancing its durability and providing a wide range of colour options to suit your outdoor decor.

Choosing the Right Outdoor Dining Set

When it comes to choosing an outdoor dining set, the material it's made from is one of the most important considerations. After all, you want your dining set to last for many summers to come.

Given what we've discussed, teak, aluminium, and synthetic rattan are all excellent choices for a dining set. They all offer superb durability and resistance to UV rays, ensuring your dining set doesn't fade or weaken over time.

Additionally, consider the fabric of any cushions that come with the set. Solution-dyed acrylic or coated polyester are both great options that will resist fading and withstand the elements.

Remember, investing in UV-resistant materials for your outdoor furniture not only ensures longevity but also maintains your furniture's appearance, so it always looks its best. After all, your garden or patio is an extension of your home, and you want it to be a space you're proud to show off.

Stainless Steel and Wrought Iron: Heavy-Duty Options for Outdoor Furniture

If you're looking for sturdy materials that can stand up to the harshest of weather conditions, you should consider stainless steel and wrought iron for your outdoor furniture. Both these materials have their distinct advantages and are ideal for creating high-quality garden furniture that can brave the UK weather.

Stainless steel, as the name suggests, is resistant to staining and corrosion, making it a fantastic choice for outdoor furniture. It's incredibly durable, and it holds up well against the elements, including UV rays. Stainless steel furniture often comes in sleek, modern designs that can add a touch of sophistication to your outdoor space. However, it's worth noting that stainless steel furniture can be quite heavy, so it might not be the best option if you plan on frequently moving your furniture around.

On the other hand, wrought iron is another strong and durable option for outdoor furniture. It's sturdy, long-lasting, and can handle the most inclement weather conditions the UK can throw at it. Wrought iron furniture has a classic, timeless appeal that can enhance the aesthetics of your garden or patio. However, like stainless steel, it is also quite heavy. To ensure longevity and guard against rust, wrought iron furniture is usually coated with a weather-resistant finish.

When maintained properly, both stainless steel and wrought iron furniture can last for many years, making them superb investments for your outdoor space.

Easy Clean Functionality and Care of Your Outdoor Furniture

Ease of cleaning and maintenance is another factor you might want to consider when choosing your outdoor furniture. UV-resistant materials like teak, aluminium, rattan, and solution-dyed fabrics are not only durable but also easy to clean, which is a significant advantage given the unpredictable UK weather conditions.

Teak furniture can be cleaned with a soft brush and soapy water, while stubborn stains can be removed using a teak cleaner. Aluminium and stainless steel furniture can be cleaned with a mild soap solution and a soft cloth. Synthetic rattan furniture can be wiped clean using a damp cloth.

As for solution-dyed fabrics, these can be cleaned with a mixture of water and mild detergent. Remember not to use abrasive cleaners or bleach as they can damage the fabric.

Maintaining your outdoor furniture is crucial for its longevity. By ensuring your furniture is clean and cared for, you can keep it looking its best for years to come.


In conclusion, UV-resistant materials are crucial for outdoor furniture in the UK due to the country's unpredictable weather. From durable woods like teak and eucalyptus to synthetic materials such as aluminium and rattan, there are plenty of options available. The best choice ultimately depends on your personal style, budget, and the level of maintenance you're willing to commit to.

Remember, investing in quality materials up front may be more costly, but it ensures longevity and keeps your furniture looking great for longer. Whether you're furnishing a patio, decking area, or "rattan garden", be sure to select materials that resist UV damage, are easy to clean, and add to the visual appeal of your outdoor space.

Choosing outdoor furniture can sometimes feel like a daunting task, but armed with this knowledge of UV-resistant materials, you're well-equipped to create a stunning and durable outdoor space to enjoy for many summers to come.

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