Outdoor Café Chairs – Which Material is Best?

Whether you’re creating a new outdoor dining space or revamping an existing one, one of the key factors is your choice of outdoor café furniture. If you’ve never invested in outdoor café furniture or your existing furniture is looking a little worse for wear, then we’ve put together a few tips to help you.

Some of the most common materials used for outdoor café chairs are wicker, wood, metal, and polypropylene. In this post we discuss the benefits of each of them, to help you make an informed choice.

Wicker café furniture

Some people mistakenly think that wicker is the name of the material used to manufacture the chair whereas actually it’s actually the name of the weaving process used to create the seat and back of the chair.

Wicker furniture is traditionally made from weaving natural materials such as cane, rattan, bamboo, willow and seagrass around metal or wooden frames. While they look lovely, unfortunately these materials can often unravel over time or crack in the harsh Australian climate. It is for this reason that modern day wicker furniture is often manufactured from synthetic or nylon rattan which is both attractive and durable. Synthetic rattan also has the advantage of being available in a great many colours. It’s strong and easy to maintain with little more than a wipe with a damp cloth and mild cleanser, making it a great choice for busy cafes. Wicker chairs are usually very comfortable to sit in and don’t require additional cushions.

Wood café furniture

Wood café furniture is undeniably natural looking and welcoming but if it’s to be used outdoors then you will need to purchase wood furniture that has been specially treated for that use. Typically teak is a type of wood that is used for outdoor use. For customer comfort, you’re likely to need to purchase cushions for the backrest and seat, so this is an extra cost you might need to factor in.

On the downside, wooden furniture is heavier to move around than wicker furniture and will require regular maintenance to keep it in pristine condition. You may need to stain it and oil it for longer lasting results.

Metal café furniture

Aluminium is one of the most popular metals used in outdoor café furniture and looks sleek and contemporary. One of its benefits is that it is light weight and the chairs can usually be stacked on top of each other for convenient storage. Aluminium chairs are often paired with timber seats for an attractive modern look that works well with most table styles.

Polypropylene café furniture

Polypropylene or plastic is a great choice for outdoor café seating and comes in a huge variety of styles and colours. In fact, many propylene chairs are inspired from designer styles and will give your outdoor space a designer look without the price tag.

Polypropylene chairs are usually moulded from one piece of plastic which makes them stronger since there are no joints to crack or weaken. They’re also UV resistant and waterproof, light to move around and stackable. All they require is a wipe over with a damp cloth to keep them free from dust and debris.

Here at Café Furniture Melbourne, we stock a wide range of outdoor café furniture so why not browse our online store or visit our showroom to take a closer look for yourself?