What is the Best Wood for Patio Furniture? 10 Top Picks

Carefully study your patio furniture and you will find out that 80% of them are made of wood. Even if it is a metallic chair it will have a part that has wood like the sitting base or the arms. However, not all types of wood can work well on patio furniture. Some types of wood rot faster than others while some absorb more moisture than others. 

There are some types of wood that will provide the best color for your patio furniture, but they rot easily. Weather is the main agent that accelerates the destruction of wooden patio furniture

You should take all preventive measures to protect your wooden patio furniture like covering them with furniture covers. Cleaning and repainting your wooden patio furniture will also extend its useful life. 

Wood for Patio Furniture 

  1. Cedar 

It is a lightweight wood that is resistant to rot, powder beetle, and termite. Cedar does not crack because it has a high level of moisture retention. It needs very little care and maintenance. If it is not painted it ages into a nice silver shade. 

The high resistance to rot and termite makes it best for fencing and roofing. Cedar is hard but vulnerable to breaking (brittle). It is soft and easy to work with but it is known for not holding screws in position for a long time. The overall softness is what makes it a poor screw holder. 

  1. Cypress 

Cypress has natural oils that make it rot resistant and insect resistant. It ages into a wonderful silver grey color if left unfinished. The natural oils also make it water-resistant, but for some time. It is softer than cedar but hard to break. 

Cypress has many colors depending on the climatic conditions the tree grows. There are three basic colors which are yellow-brown, red-brown and dark-brown. It is light and has a beautiful grain pattern that makes it the best for patio furniture.

  1. Teak 

This is the most expensive type of wood. This is because it is rot-resistant, termite-resistant, and somehow dense. Teak has straight grains that will not warp and crack over several years. In general, teak is a durable wood that has an attractive appearance. Teak gets darker as it ages, but in a good way. 

Teak has natural oils that make it water-resistant and some extractives that prevent distractive insects and termites. The water resistance ability is what makes it best for patio furniture and boat building. The best thing about teak is that it is stable and does not shrink or expand with a change in humidity. 

Teak only grows in southern Asia and must be shipped out. This has made it vulnerable to illegal logging. Make sure you buy teak that is legal and from cultivated woodlands. 

  1. Acacia 

It is the best hardwood for patio furniture. It is resistant to weather, termites, and rot. Acacia is found in most parts of the world, hence more affordable than teak. This is why it is best for patio furniture. Acacia can live for long if you seal it and keep it off the ground.

It has a good dark brown color that will not fade if you seal it. Avoid the grass or direct ground because the acacia will absorb moisture.

  1. Ipe 
image credit: https://ipefurniture.com/

Ipe is a famous tree in Central and South America. It is a hard and dense timber that is hard to work with. It does not break easily hence durable. The best thing about this tree is that it is resistant to termites and insects even without applying wood preservatives. 

It has a cutting resistance when dry which makes it hard to repair any furniture made of it. Use screws and interlocking joints because ipe is resistant to glue and any other adhesives. It is a strong wood that can stay for forty years, but it is resistant to finishes and some paints. 

  1. Redwood 

This is a very expensive type of wood because it grows slowly and is rare to find. It has oils that make it resistant to insects and moisture. The wood has a natural pitch and resin, making it the best for most finishes. 

Redwood is used to make wide boards that are resistant to dents, chips, and some dings. Be careful while machining redwood because it is susceptible to tears.

  1. Black locust 

Black locust is just a name, it does not mean this tree can be eaten by locusts. It is the hardest tree in human history. Black locust is resistant to insects and rot. The wood is easy to work with and can produce good curves. 

It has excellent weathering characteristics and straight grains. Black locust has high density and hard fibers that make it hard to machine. However, it accepts most finishes and glues, bringing out a wonderful uniform pattern.  

  1. White oak 

This is wood that is used to make most outdoor and indoor furniture. This is because it is easy to find and can come in any width size and thickness. It is resistant to rot and can stay for years if it is well maintained. Regularly stain and apply finishes to have shiny white oak furniture. 

The only downside with white oak is that it does not have natural oils like teak or cypress, hence it should be painted with water-resistant seals. 

  1. Douglas-fir 

This is the hardest softwood that is hard to find making it very expensive. The problem with this wood is that it is vulnerable to insects and absorbs water/moisture. 

Apply waterproofing seals and finishes to prevent it from absorbing moisture. However, it holds on to most adhesives and paints. It has a natural bright color that makes it good with a clear finisher. 

  1. Mahogany 

We cannot talk about woods for patio furniture and forget about mahogany. This wood has a lot of history in the furniture industry. It is a strong wood that is resistant to insects and moisture. It has a variety of colors that make it the best wood for patio furniture. However, it requires good maintenance for it to keep its natural color. 


All of the above woods are best for patio furniture, but choosing one will depend on your personal preference. If you want durability choose hardwoods and those that are resistant to rot and insects. If you want elegance, choose the wood that has a wonderful natural color like redwood or mahogany. You can try and mix up your patio furniture by using any type of wood.