Why is Hardwood better than Softwood for Garden Furniture

A garden or terrace without an elegant, quality wooden garden furniture has become unimaginable. There an enormous choice of wooden garden furniture and finding one that fits perfectly into your garden or terrace should not be a problem. However, it is highly important to pay attention to the type of wood the garden furniture is made of because it is going to be exposed all kinds of weather conditions. In order to make sure that your wooden garden furniture will be able to withstand the intense UV rays and rain as well as the effects of time as long as possible, you should choose quality over design though they do not necessarily exclude one another. On the contrary, you can have both quality and style.


There are basically two types of timber known as hardwood and softwood. The latter refers to wood that is derived from coniferous trees such as pine. Softwoods are inexpensive, easily-worked and are widely used in construction as well as furniture industry. Hardwoods such as oak, mahogany and teak are more expensive, more difficult to work and more expensive. However, they are also more durable and are also more resistant to harsh weather conditions such as direct sunlight and rain which makes them ideal for outdoor furniture including garden furniture.

Outdoor furniture made of hardwood will last two to three decades if taken well care of, while pine furniture lasts only about 10 years. Many types of hardwood can be easily left outdoors both during summer and winter as well as during sunny and rain days without the fear of decay or rot, while furniture made of softwood needs to be physically protected either by covering or storing which is very unpractical.

Garden furniture made of hardwoods is significantly more expensive than softwood furniture but you do not need to spend a fortune to get a quality wooden garden furniture. In addition, hardwood is more durable than softwood which means that in long term, it is even more cost-efficient than softwood garden furniture. Whether you choose garden furniture made of softwood or hardwood you will need to coat it with an oil or varnish at least once per year, depending on your climate and the type of wood you choose.


There is no doubt that hardwood garden furniture is a lot better choice than furniture made of softwood because it withstands outdoor conditions a lot better than softwood but there are major differences between different types of hardwood as well, for example between teak and oak. Teak is considered the best wood for any type of outdoor furniture including garden furniture because it is resistant to water, termites and weather changes, and is extremely durable. In addition, it requires virtually no maintenance and cleaning except for treatment with teak oil once per year to preserve its natural color. Oak, on the other hand, is less resistant to the effects of weather and requires more maintenance than teak in order to prevent decay.

Very popular types of wood for garden furniture are also iroko and shorea both of which have similar properties as teak but are less expensive. Both are resistant to water and insects, however, shorea is less durable than teak, while iroko which is almost as durable as teak offers less stability.


There are major differences between different types of wood and for that reason you should not rush when choosing a new garden furniture. Each wood has uniques properties and each has some advantages and disadvantages that should be kept in mind when choosing between different pieces of garden furniture. Some types of wood are resistant to splintering, some to mold, some to insects and the others to the effects of weather and subsequently decay.

All the leading experts in the field recommend to choose hardwoods because they are extremely durable and are expected to last two to three decades. Among hardwoods, it is recommendable to choose teak because it is highly elegant, requires virtually no maintenance and is the most resistant to the effects of both weather and time of all types of hardwood. It is more expensive than other types of wood but it is also more durable. It is expected to last as much as three decades which makes an investment in a teak garden furniture a lesser expense than it may seem at a first glance. If you are looking for pure elegance that requires virtually no maintenance, teak garden furniture is most certainly the best choice.