The Best Outdoor Furniture for the Arizona Sun

Poly Furniture Recommendations Summer

If you’re looking for the best possible outdoor furniture for Arizona or other desert climates, you must consider which materials your furniture is made of and how those materials hold up to intense heat and sunlight. 

You’ll also want to consider your budget - how much are you willing to spend on your outdoor furniture? 

Arizona desert with cacti

With summer temperatures consistently reaching over 100°F, your furniture must be able to take heat and lots of sunlight without breaking down or fading. You’ll want to be sure that your furniture doesn’t become too hot to to the touch when left outside, and that it can handle intense sunlight without degrading. 

We’ve put together a short guide to help you choose the best furniture for your outdoor space.

Wood

Weathered wood furniture

Traditional wood is a common choice for outdoor furniture given its stylish and classy look. Its organic style and texture is much sought after in patios and decks and brings a natural glow to any outdoor space. 

Pros:

  • Natural and organic look and feel brings a glow to your space
  • Sturdy material

Cons: 

  • Can splinter or crack when left in the Arizona sun
  • Can be expensive
  • Requires annual maintenance, like re-painting and re-sealing to avoid fading and erosion

If you’d like to use a natural wood for your patio or backyard, we recommend you use teak (see below)

HDPE Recycled Plastic (Poly)

High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) lumber is made with recycled milk jugs and other consumer recyclables. Most poly lumber is treated with UV protectant so it can stand up to direct sunlight, making it ideal for Arizona and other desert climates. With the look and feel of real wood, poly lumber is a better choice for your Arizona backyard or patio.

Pros:

  • UV protected - color won’t fade, even in direct sunlight
  • Durable, high quality. Many manufacturers offer 20+ year warranties on their furniture
  • Low maintenance - no painting or resealing required
  • Sturdy and comfortable - one of the sturdiest yet most comfortable options. Poly won’t become overly hot to the touch unless it’s a black or darker color 

Cons: 

  • Price. Poly can be more expensive than cheaper plastic or wicker furniture, though it will typically outlast these materials by many years.
  • Heavy weight makes it more difficult to move (though protects against wind)

Aluminum

Metal furniture

Aluminum is a relatively inexpensive metal that’s commonly used in outdoor furniture. Though it’s a sturdy and easy to maintain material, aluminum and other metals are not good choices for the Arizona climate as they readily absorb heat and become very hot to the touch.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Sturdy material that’s easy to maintain

Cons: 

  • Absorbs heat and will become extremely hot in the Arizona sun
  • Lightweight - may blow around in windy weather. On the other hand, this makes it easier to rearrange.
  • Varies in quality. Be careful when buying aluminum furniture; while some pieces are sturdy and high quality, others may be made cheaply and will fall apart after just a couple of years. 

Wicker

Rattan wicker furniture

Wicker furniture comes in many styles and materials. For outdoor furniture, we recommend a plastic resin wicker as opposed to a natural fiber wicker. Plastic resin will stand up to weather better than organic wicker, which can more easily come unraveled and fade in the Arizona sunlight.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Won’t be too hot to the touch even if left in the sun for hours

Cons: 

  • May require pillows for comfort, which will quickly fade in the Arizona sunlight
  • Lightweight - may blow around in windy weather. On the other hand, this makes it easier to rearrange
  • Not ideal for prolonged exposure to direct sunlight; should be kept in a shaded environment

Teak Wood

Teak furniture patio set

Teak wood is a durable and stylish material that’s quite common in outdoor furniture these days. Historically, teak has been used in shipbuilding as it has watertight qualities and stands up very well to moisture. But how does it handle intense heat and sunlight? Teak is probably the best natural wood for handling the harsh Arizona sun.

Pros:

  • Natural oils give teak strong protection against moisture
  • Durable - will last many years
  • Low maintenance. There’s no need to apply oil every year unless you want to protect your furniture’s natural color. 

Cons: 

  • Expensive. Teak is one of the most expensive options on the list given how long it takes for teak to grow and be harvested (up to 80 years!)
  • Color changes over time with exposure to sunlight (from golden honey brown to silvery gray)

Plastic (Injection Molded)

cheap plastic injection molded furniture

Plastic furniture is easily the most inexpensive and budget friendly option for outdoor furniture. It’s commonly available at most big-box or hardware stores and is ultra-lightweight. Unfortunately, because it can be overly flexible and lightweight, most people perceive its quality to be lower

Pros:

  • Inexpensive. Plastic furniture is by far the cheapest option on the market. Plastic furniture is a great choice for temporary furniture while you search for something that will last longer
  • Easy to clean, low maintenance
  • Resistant to water, rust, and snow. Also resistant to termites and other insects

Cons: 

  • Ultra-lightweight and lacks sturdiness - thought this makes it easy to move around, your furniture may blow around in the wind. It’s also prone to snapping if your guests are too rough with it
  • Not durable. Plastic furniture will last only a few years, especially if left outdoors. 

Our Recommendation

We recommend that those in desert climates like Arizona opt for the most durable material possible. In our opinion, that’s poly lumber. Though it may be more expensive than some other options, it will last much longer and has qualities that are better suited for environments with intense sunlight and heat. 

At Monarch, we specialize in selling American made poly furniture. Many of our manufacturers are based in Amish communities and use Amish carpenters in the production of their products. Our manufacturers offer warranties ranging from 20 years to lifetime, so you’ll never need to worry about buying another piece of outdoor furniture. 


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