18 of the Best Wood for Outdoor Furniture

Best Wood For Outdoor Furniture
Photo by Philip Jahn

While wood furniture is a common choice for outdoor furniture areas, not all woods are suitable for your patio or garden. Both the elements and regular use must be overcome by outdoor furniture.

Before selecting any outdoor wood furniture, keep that in mind along with your needs and requirements.

With wood, the appearance is one of the first things to consider. Wood is timeless, referring to traditional red cedar or a delicate fir.

Since ancient times, people have used wood to construct everything from bridges to baby cradles. Everywhere in the world, we use it.

Another incredibly versatile building material is wood. The sheer variety of colors and textures on offer is where it all begins.

Our projects can also include finishes, which serve two purposes. They not only make our projects more durable, but they can also be any color under the sun.

Without much ado, here are some of the best wood for outdoor furniture.


Everyone is familiar with teak. It is possibly the Rolls-Royce of exterior woods because it is strong, waterproof, stable, straight-grained, and aesthetically pleasing.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention teak, even though it is unquestionably expensive and the epitome of perfection.

Also, it can be left outside in the worst weather because it repels dirt and insects and doesn’t attract either. You should already know everything you need to know, given that teak is a traditional wood used in boat construction.

DIY garden furniture makers will find the wood a joy to work with, and it machines beautifully. The teak initially has a medium golden brown hue but gradually darkens. Like a fine wine, teak only gets better with time!

Teak is another material many people avoid because of its connection to unethical forestry practices. Make sure the supplier you choose has a firm, unambiguous commitment to the environment.

Furthermore, Teak is somewhat pricey, which can turn off many people, which is understandable. But you might think it’s a reasonable price for the king of outdoor woods. With teak, you can expect many, many years of service.

If you’re on a tight budget but still want high-quality outdoor wood, you might find that Iroko is more affordable while still providing comparable outdoor performance.


Consider a wood known as “African teak” if teak is a bit out of your price range. Iroko gets its name from its cellular structure and similar appearance.

This tropical African hardwood has not only exceptional scratch resistance but also a lot of inherent resistance to moisture and insect attack.

Iroko resembles teak in terms of strength, durability, and low maintenance requirements because it is slow grown in the Ivory Coast region and has a high natural oil content.

Moreover, not to mention its breathtaking, exotic appearance. Iroko is a wood that can start as a golden-yellow color before aging to a stunning, deeper shade of brown or bronze. A go-to species for displaying luxury outdoors. This is one of the best wood for outdoor furniture.

Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar is a deceptively high-performance outdoor timber despite being categorized as a softwood.

This species offers remarkable natural resistance to insect attack and decay because of the high resin content of the timber. This makes cedar an obvious choice for virtually any outdoor application and its gorgeous reddish-brown coloring.

The substances in cedar known as “thujaplicins” are what give it its inherent toughness and resistance to insect and fungal attacks. Even after the timber has been harvested, these are still in operation and will be for a very long time.

Furthermore, this species, while soft, light, and simple to work with, doesn’t require any treatment before being used outdoors. However, as with any wood, it will eventually weather to a silvery-grey color.

Be advised that this wood is less dense than our other recommendations. It might work best as cladding, fencing, or other exterior furniture that won’t be subjected to much impact.

Alaskan Yellow Cedar

Western Red Cedar has become more expensive recently. As a result, it might be a little out of your price range. Fortunately, many affordable alternatives are available, with Alaskan Yellow Cedar being one of them.

Alaskan Yellow Cedar shares the same qualities as Western Red Cedar, including exceptional outdoor durability, stability, and resistance to corrosion and decay.

You’ll be happy to learn that Alaskan Yellow Cedar is very simple to treat and can look similar to its Western Red cousin when stained with a tinted stain if you want to replicate Western Red Cedar’s desired appearance but at a lower cost. This is one of the best wood for outdoor furniture.

White Oak

Those who live in humid climates have a great choice in white oak. This low-pore wood was once even used to construct ships. It maintains its durability for years by readily absorbing penetrating oils.

Red oak and white oak have very different structural characteristics, so when purchasing, confirm the species.

Douglas Fir

Despite being a softwood, fir is surprisingly sturdy. It’s one of the hardest softwoods! Additionally, it has naturally occurring resin, just like cedar, which offers a strong defense against fungus and decay.

Fir can be useful for those on a slightly tighter budget because it is widely available. This wood is of the least expensive types of wood for outdoor use.

This species works well and machines well for DIY garden furniture makers, and it readily accepts finishes like clear varnish, stain, or paint.

However, along with its usefulness, this Canadian timber is well-liked for its distinctive wild grain. This species is a go-to wood for any outdoor space due to its versatility in finishing.

European Oak

Oak is a staple structural wood that is frequently used for oak-framed structures. This should provide all the information regarding its durability and outdoor performance capabilities.

Oak is not only incredibly sturdy, strong, and beautiful. It’s not surprising that European Oak has endured the test of time, given that its timeless, adaptable golden-medium brown shade complements any outdoor setting.

However, despite being an excellent hardwood option, oak garden furniture occasionally needs to be protected and covered when not in use (ideally).

Sealing the wood can help stop moisture from getting inside and prevent warping. Also, the high cost might be prohibitive for some people. This is one of the best wood for outdoor furniture.


Ipe, a more recent dense option, is imported from South America. It exhibits its water resistance by barely floating due to its extreme density. It is also known as Brazilian ironwood, and despite being less expensive, it is just as durable as teak. Even with treatment, it can persist for years.


Mahogany is a priceless wood from the past. The wood is available in various hues and withstands the elements well. To maintain the correct color, though, regular maintenance is necessary. Also, mahogany is one of the best wood for outdoor furniture.

Acacia Wood

Here’s a fun fact: the acacia tree was once referred to as the mother of all trees. Because of its longevity, writers from all over the world continued to write stories about it.

Additionally, we know this particular wood was used to build ships because of its water resistance and near-indestructibility.

You ask, “How about its practicability?” Well, it wouldn’t be wise of us to include this wood on the list if we didn’t think it was straightforward to work with or didn’t harden after being dried in the kiln.

The other quality that makes it perfect for creating outdoor furniture without sacrificing quality is that.

However, there is still more. Also, you’ll be pleased to learn that it is affordable, has an even texture, and is scratch-resistant.

Black Locust

If you’ve ever built a fence around your house with wooden posts, black locust was likely used to make those posts. We know this because, in this nation, black locust is frequently used to make fence posts. They are high-density posts that are extremely strong and rot-resistant.

The process of keeping black locusts is not tricky. Your furniture won’t ever show signs of wear and tear as long as you keep in mind to work on the refinishing project at least once a year.

Although we have not yet seen any severe reactions from this particular species, we have heard reports that it may irritate the skin and eyes.

Some people have even gone so far as to claim that it made them queasy. So, give this tree a test before making the purchase. This is one of the best wood for outdoor furniture.


Due to its rapid growth rate, eucalyptus became a choice in the furniture industry as people realized it was a sustainable resource.

Its high oil content is another factor why we adored it so much. It is a kind of wood resistant to water damage and can remain outside for days when it is raining.

We’d say 20 to 25 years if we had to guess how long eucalyptus furniture will last you. And even then, if you keep in mind to give it an occasional treatment with high-quality acrylic sealant, you might be able to extend that time.

However, if fading is your main concern, there won’t be a problem. It has deep color tones that hardly ever deteriorate over time. Pests are the only thing to worry about because they are fairly susceptible.


Because of its high rot resistance and durability, cypress is a good choice for outdoor furniture. Here, practicability also plays a role.

Any woodsman you run into will confirm what we’ve known for a long time: cypress has remarkable qualities like holding the painting, wood nails, finishing, and even gluing.

Is the wood expensive? In no way. Alis, you’ll love the yellowish-brown color it gives your furniture, and it’s one of the more affordable woods on the market. The smell was the only thing we didn’t enjoy. We thought it was acrid.


Furniture and other wooden items are frequently made of the well-liked, environmentally friendly hardwood Shorea. Its beautiful grain and high durability make it a preferred material for many homeowners.

As a result of its high hardness to weight ratio, Shorea wood is frequently referred to as “The King of Hardwoods.”

It is one of the world’s hardest woods, with an average Janka score of between 130 and 1700 PSI. Shorea wood is, therefore, a preferred material for outdoor furniture, flooring, and other high-use items.

Shorea wood is renowned for having stunning grain patterns. The wood’s reddish color and darker streaks can add personality to any room.

Furniture made of shorea is frequently promoted as an inexpensive substitute for mahogany. Because of its resemblance in appearance and characteristics to mahogany, shorea is sometimes referred to as “mahogany light.” Furniture made of shorea is also renowned for its strength and longevity.

Shorea wood might be the best option if you’re looking for an inexpensive, attractive, and long-lasting option for outdoor furniture needs.


Redwood, another American-native wood, is renowned for its natural beauty and resistance to decay and pests. Finding redwood that complements the design of your backyard is simple because you can find it in various colors.

Use white redwood, sturdy and adaptable wood that is soft and prone to dings and dents, in low-traffic areas and on objects that you won’t use excessively frequently. This is one of the best wood for outdoor furniture.


Pine is a widely used wood for furniture because it is inexpensive and accessible. Also, pine is a softwood, making it less resilient than other choices on this list. Even so, it still has a great appearance and is ideal for those on a tight budget.

Since pine doesn’t naturally contain as much oil as some of the other woods, using a sealer every two years is advised to add a layer of protection.


A beautiful hardwood that grows in temperate climates is walnut. It can develop into a tree that stands alone, a Juglans genus (a group of trees), or a member of the Fagus genus (another group).

Black walnut wood is typically used to make walnut furniture. The heartwood is a pleasing dark brown color with a faint reddish undertone. It’s an excellent option for interior design, whether used alone or with lighter wood tones in the same piece of furniture.

You can make a wide range of items from walnut wood, including cabinets, tables, chairs, dressers, headboards, and more.

Although some pieces call for the walnut veneer to be applied over another type of hardwood (like plywood), walnut itself is occasionally used to make furniture items. This is one of the best wood for outdoor furniture.


For centuries, outdoor projects have been done out of hardwood maple. Numerous maple species exist worldwide, including in Asia and North America.

Due to its strength and durability, maple wood is a preferred material for furniture. Additionally, its lovely grain is a preferred material for flooring, cabinetry, and other decorative items.

However, as a rule, pests and diseases do not affect maple trees, making them an ideal choice for lumber. Also, make sure to choose maple wood that has a lovely grain and few knots when making your selection. If you do this, your furniture or other projects will look fantastic for many years.

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