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Best Outdoor Dining Table Materials for Al Fresco Meals

Best Outdoor Dining Table Materials for Al Fresco Meals

From boisterous backyard barbecues with friends to sipping your coffee quietly on a crisp, cool morning, moments spent around your outdoor dining table are often some of the most memorable. Choosing the right material for an outdoor dining table affects the aesthetics, durability, and ease of maintenance. Keep reading for a comparison of outdoor dining table material options to find the perfect one to complement your outdoor dining space.


Wood Outdoor Dining Tables

wood outdoor dining table Shop This Wood Outdoor Dining Table

Warm, inviting, and sturdy, wood outdoor dining tables transcend the confines of a single patio style. Choose a reclaimed wood look with chunky planks and rough-hewn edges to gather for campfire favorites in your rustic retreat. Straight lines, angular bases, and light wood tones with minimal knots and blemishes balance out sleek metal and concrete finishes on your modern style patio. Feel the cooling ocean breezes, even if you’re landlocked, when you sip a pina colada around a driftwood-look dining table in your coastal themed backyard.


No matter what style you want, choosing the right wood species affects the longevity of your table. Teak and acacia are two commonly used wood species for outdoor furniture because of their durability. Rain, pests, and weather elements don’t stand a chance against naturally resilient teak wood, which resists rotting, warping, and splintering and can last for decades. Acacia wood costs a little less than teak but still resists weather damage, scratches, rotting, and pests. Both are low-maintenance options, with occasional cleaning and oiling required if you want to preserve the wood’s natural hue. Other wood types may need occasional sealing to protect them from moisture.


Aluminum Outdoor Dining Tables

Aluminum Outdoor Dining Table Shop This Aluminum Outdoor Dining Table

Aluminum proves that you don’t have to be the strongest or heaviest to come out on top. This lightweight metal outdoor dining table material stands strong against weather elements, and it’s easy to move when you want to rearrange your patio.


If you live in an area with consistently strong winds, consider a heavier metal option, such as stainless steel or wrought iron. Since it’s rust-resistant, aluminum fares well if you live near the shore or in a rainy climate. It’s also low-maintenance. Just wipe it down when it gets a little dusty or your famous potato salad spills at your next cookout.


Simple, angular aluminum outdoor dining tables mesh with your sleek modern decor, perfect for settling in to sip martinis with your closest friends. Warm up the look by mixing aluminum with wicker or wood on the tabletop to pull in rustic or traditional aesthetics, so your family feels right at home enjoying relaxed family meals outdoors each night.


Plastic Outdoor Dining Tables

Plastic Outdoor Dining Table Shop This Plastic Outdoor Dining Table

Don’t pass on plastic as an outdoor dining table material until you see the surprisingly realistic wood-looking tables you can get that are made from plastic material. Since they’re often made with recycled plastic, this option earns you a few points in the earth-friendly column, too.


Because of its versatility, plastic can be made to replicate almost any material or style. Cozy up to a plastic cask-replica table to create dude-ranch vibes, or go with a tall, sleek, round table for a simple modern look. Traditional wood-look tables are also prevalent in plastic.


No matter which style you choose, plastic tables are easy to move if you’re ready to restyle your patio, and they resist stains and wash easily with a spray from your garden hose. Continuous color throughout the plastic and UV protective coatings help them hold onto their charming wood-mimicking looks for longer. Plastic tables give your tweezers a break since they don’t give you splinters. They also don’t rot, chip, or peel.


Wicker Outdoor Dining Tables

Wicker Outdoor Dining Table Shop This Wicker Outdoor Dining Table

Rattan and wicker are two commonly used words to describe that classic woven outdoor patio furniture everyone recognizes. But what’s the difference? They’re actually two different things. Wicker refers to the weave style, and manufacturers use different materials to create it. Natural materials, like reed and willow, aren’t very durable for outdoor use. Synthetic materials, like resin, do a much better job of lasting through summer thunderstorms, spilled drinks, and heavy use at all of your backyard barbecues. Rattan is a type of material that’s sometimes used to make wicker furniture.


Wicker furniture usually starts with a lightweight aluminum frame to keep it sturdy while making your wicker furniture easy to rearrange when you want a fresh patio look. It’s easy to spray clean if it gets dirty as long as you choose all-weather resin wicker, which can handle getting wet. Tie together your traditional patio decor with a wicker table with its detailed texture and homey feel.


Steel Outdoor Dining Tables

Steel Outdoor Dining Table Shop This Steel Outdoor Dining Table

When strength is a priority, steel comes in clutch for your outdoor dining table. Compared to aluminum, steel is heavier and harder. It stands up to high winds, and it doesn’t dent easily. That means an errant ball from your kids’ backyard pickup game is less likely to leave a dent if it accidentally hits your outdoor dining table. There’s no guarantee the margaritas and salsa you’re enjoying while they play is going to fare as well.


Outdoor furniture uses stainless or galvanized steel to keep rust at bay. Look for powder-coated steel for extra protection, especially on a pool deck for protection against chlorine or in coastal areas where salty air can damage the steel. Modern and retro dining tables often use steel as the framework. It’s perfect for creating the smooth, straight lines in modern furniture.


Iron Outdoor Dining Tables

Iron Outdoor Dining Table Shop This Iron Outdoor Dining Table

Iron is hefty and classic, the perfect material to withstand high winds. Because of its weight, iron takes some muscle to move, so choose your placement carefully before setting up your outdoor iron dining table. Iron is more susceptible to water damage and rusting than other metals. A powder-coated finish helps protect the iron from the elements, and an occasional application of rust protector also helps.


Traditional wrought iron tables with scrolls and intricate detailing are perfect for hosting tea parties nestled among your classic English flower garden. For a more relaxed, natural look, opt for an outdoor table with iron legs and an earthy wood top. This option is perfect for industrial style backyards where mixed materials are common. Combining materials also helps tie together a patio with a mix of materials and styles.

Your backyard style, how you use the table, and how much maintenance you’re willing to do influence your decision. Get free shipping* on your outdoor dining table at Overstock.

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