Owning a beach house is a dream for many. Being able to walk out to the ocean means beautiful sunsets, warm weather, and an awesome space to hang out outside.
While living by the sea is awesome in many ways, it also presents its own unique challenges. One of those challenges is salty, humid air. Salty air coming off the ocean can be really tough on decks, outdoor furniture, and siding. For that reason, it’s critical to purchase high quality, durable outdoor furniture that can stand up to the ocean’s unique humidity. If you purchase the wrong kind of furniture, it can lead to warping, swelling, and rotting, not to mention dangerous splinters and cracks.
Furniture near the sea will also frequently be wet - you’ll want to be able to sit in it after coming in from the ocean or your pool without damaging it. The best patio furniture for a beach house will also be waterproof.
Another challenge with buying furniture for oceanfront properties is the intense heat. As many beach homes are located in warm areas, outdoor furniture should be able to stand up to the heat and be comfortable to sit in. You’ll also want to choose furniture that won’t fade with lots of exposure to the sun.
If you have a seasonal beach house, you know that the winter weather can be equally as harsh. In that case, you’ll need to find furniture that can withstand intense heat as well as snow and heavy winds.
Finally, the best furniture for beach homes should be maintenance free! The last thing you want to do when you get to your vacation home is deal with sealing, painting, or fixing up your outdoor furniture. You should be able to use it right away with no hassle at all.
The best patio furniture will last over 20 years.
In summary, the key characteristics that we’ll consider in our search for the perfect beach house patio furniture are:
- Ability to stand up to salty air
- Fade-resistance in direct sunlight
- Low maintenance
- Lasting over 20 years
The Best Materials for Beach House Patio Furniture
Of course, different materials are better suited for salty-air environments than others. We’ll explore a few different options to help you make the best decision for your vacation or beach home.
Here’s a quick summary:
|Outdoor Furniture Material||Fit for Beach Houses|
|Poly/HDPE Lumber (Synthetic Resin)||Best|
Poly (HDPE) Furniture
The absolute BEST furniture for salt air is HDPE/poly lumber furniture. Poly lumber is a synthetic resin material that is made from recycled milk jugs and other consumer recyclables. Thanks to its recycled content, it’s eco-friendly and ultra-sustainable. This composite lumber has the look and feel of real wood but also has a number of benefits over traditional wood that make it particularly well suited for oceanfront properties and humid, salty air environments.
First, because it’s made of plastic, it’s very resistant to moisture and salty, sea air. This means that you’ll be able to use it after coming in from the ocean or beach without any worries. And you’ll be able to leave it outside year round in the salty climate without the furniture cracking, peeling, rotting, or warping.
Second, it won’t absorb heat. Many beach house patios are exposed to direct sunlight for at least part of the day, so having furniture that doesn’t absorb heat is crucial - what’s the point of having outdoor furniture if you can’t use it! If your vacation home gets really cold in the winter, poly patio furniture can stand up to that, too.
Poly lumber comes in a wide range of colors, making it perfect for a beach house’s fun, oceanside style. Poly lumber is also UV-treated, meaning that it can be left outside in the sun and will resist fading for many years.
Finally, beach homes can sometimes have strong gusts of wind. Poly furniture is a great choice in this respect because it’s heavy enough that it won’t blow around in the wind. It can be left outside at almost all times with the exception of severe hurricanes (in which no furniture can be left outside!).
The biggest drawback of poly lumber is probably the cost. It does come in at a higher average price point than most of the materials on this list (with the exception of teak). That said, though, if you can afford the upfront cost, you won’t need to buy any beach patio furniture again. Our manufacturers offer warranties that are over 20 years, so you can be sure that you won’t be buying any patio furniture anytime soon. Additionally, our manufactures use marine grade stainless steel hardware (screws and fasteners) in their furniture, further protecting your furniture from rust and degrading.
If you’re interested in purchasing some poly furniture, here are a couple of recommendations:
This outdoor adirondack is a great choice for the beach because you can easily fold it up and take it from your patio down to the beach! It has all of the benefits we mentioned above and comes with a 20 year warranty.
If you are looking for a durable adirondack for your beach house patio while on a budget, consider the Freedom Collection from Wildridge. You won’t find a better price for a poly adirondack chair that’s made with Amish craftsmanship and includes a 20 year warranty.
Monarch specializes in selling poly lumber furniture from manufacturers based in Amish communities. We offer FREE shipping to the continental United States. Check out our collection of adirondack chairs, rocking chairs, and dining sets today!
Teak is a great option for outdoor furniture. Historically, teak was actually used to make ships! You can see how durable and water resistant it must be if it was used in ships. Thanks to its natural oils, teak resists rain and humidity, making it a great choice for wet environments.
Teak has great durability in hot environments and won’t absorb sunlight and overheat. Its natural wood look also gives it a rustic and cozy feel to your beach house’s patio. However, if not properly maintained, it can develop a gray patina, especially in salty air climates. Some people love it, but others hate it! Be sure you know what you’re signing up for before buying teak furniture.
Finally, teak is heavier than most traditional woods, meaning that it is better able to stand up to heavy winds that are often present in oceanfront homes.
While teak is probably the highest quality option on the list, it is also easily the most expensive option on the list. Teak is a tropical wood that takes many decades to grow, so it is harder to find than many other options.
Stainless Steel Furniture
Stainless steel is a good choice for beach house furniture. A lot of stainless steel furniture on the market today is rust-resistant, but you’ll want to verify the quality of the stainless steel before you make your purchase.
Stainless steel is usually a heavier choice as well, so it will also be able to stay put in heavy winds. If you’re interested in stainless steel furniture, we’d recommend finding a few pillows to go with your patio furniture.
Aluminum is a strong and durable material that works well for most patios. Because it is water and rust proof, it will do well in humid climates, like those found near beach homes and other oceanfront properties. It doesn’t require much upkeep and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth and mild dish soap.
However, we ranked aluminum “okay” because it’s a very lightweight material. That may be great for most patios, but it is a concern in coastal climates. Winds from tropical storms can often be very strong, and the lightweight nature of aluminum makes it susceptible to blowing around.
Wrought Iron Furniture
Wrought iron is a popular choice for outdoor furniture. It has a distinctive black color and usually features ornate patterns. Wrought iron has a couple of characteristics that make it good for salty air, oceanside environments, but it also has a couple of key drawbacks that make us hesitant to recommend it wholeheartedly.
On the plus side, wrought iron is heavy. It’s heavier than aluminum and poly lumber, meaning it’s probably the best option on the list if your primary concern is heavy winds during tropical storms. Also, it can easily be cleaned with a damp cloth, making it easy to remove sand or any other debris. It also has a beautiful, handcrafted, unique look to it that can give your patio a nice charm.
However, wrought iron furniture has the potential to rust if it’s not powder-coated properly. While higher-end, more expensive wrought iron will be powder coated, not all wrought iron furniture will be. This is especially a concern in salty air environments, where humidity will be a real issue.
Secondly, wrought iron is a metal material and will absorb heat. This means that it’s poorly suited for exposure to direct sunlight. Its black color won’t fade much, but it will cause the furniture to absorb more heat.
If you choose wrought iron, we’d definitely recommend some pillows to make your furniture more comfortable.
By plastic here, we mean cheap, injection molded chairs. You should definitely AVOID these chairs if you’re at all able to! In addition to being super lightweight (they will easily blow around in any moderate wind), they are also generally cheaply made and won’t last longer than a year or two.
The salt air of oceanside beach homes won’t particularly be an issue, but plastic chairs are usually flimsy and can break easily.
The best use case for plastic chairs is as a temporary seating option until you’re able to get more durable, more comfortable furniture that can last much longer.
Wood is a very common choice for many beach houses, but unfortunately, it’s not particularly well suited for harsh, oceanfront climates. A lot of outdoor furniture is made with pressure treated pine that’s sealed or painted.
Traditional wood does not stand up well to salty air. Unless you do an exceptional job of covering or sealing your furniture, wood will warp and expand as the moisture sets in. Ultimately, wooden furniture will weaken severely and will develop rough edges that lead to splinters and cracking. One day, you may sit in your furniture only for it to collapse beneath you!
Wood is heavy enough to withstand some of the strong gusts you’ll get on your beach house patio, but definitely not all of them. It’s a little lighter than HDPE lumber and much lighter than teak, meaning that it will blow around from time to time and can cause damage in heavy storms.
Other Ways to Protect your Beach House Furniture
Maybe you’ve already got outdoor furniture for your oceanside home and aren’t looking to swap it out? You can definitely still protect your furniture if you’re willing to do a little maintenance work.
Buy Furniture Covers
Furniture covers will do a great job of protecting your furniture from the ocean’s salt air. Of course, this does take more ongoing work than buying the right material from the start, but it will drastically extend the lifespan of your furniture.
You’ll probably have to replace these covers ever few years if you want them to stay looking nice. Another negative is that you won’t be able to see your furniture all the time and will have to uncover/cover your patio furniture each time you use it.
Seal and Re-seal your Patio Furniture
If you have traditional wooden furniture, you can look into sealing it with a furniture sealer. If you go this route, you should probably reseal your chairs yearly, which can be a real hassle. But it will also keep your traditional wood furniture from splintering and weathering, so it may be worth doing if you’d rather not purchase new furniture.
When you choose a sealer, you should try to make sure that it won’t alter the color of your furniture. Also, since many beach homes have lots of exposure to direct sunlight, furniture sealant with built in UV protection would be ideal.