How Do I Choose the Best Patio Bistro Furniture?

Dan Cavallari

Patio bistro furniture usually comes in a set that includes a small table and two or more chairs. The table is quite small, usually only large enough for drinks and perhaps a small plate of food, and this intimate set-up is often used by sidewalk bistros and other restaurants for guests dining outdoors. When choosing the best patio bistro furniture for your needs, consider first how the furniture is likely to be used, and where you are likely to place it. The materials used to make the furniture will have the biggest impact on durability and aesthetics, so research the different options carefully.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

One of the most common choices of material for patio bistro furniture is wrought iron, which is iron that has been worked by hand into elaborate patterns and shapes to make beautiful pieces of furniture. True wrought iron is somewhat hard to come by, since the process has largely been replaced by iron casting and the use of other, more workable materials such as steel, so it is important to research the furniture in order to find out if it is true wrought iron. Steel is very often used to make furniture labeled as wrought iron, which can save you money and maintenance effort: some steel is less likely to rust than iron is, which means you will spend less time repainting or otherwise maintaining the patio bistro furniture.

If you want chairs with cushions, be sure to choose cushions that are made from synthetic materials that are water-resistant. If you choose natural fibers, be sure they are easily washable, and store them indoors when not in use to prevent damage to the cushions. Some bistro tables feature a glass tabletop, which is attractive but more delicate than other materials. It is possible for the glass to crack fairly easily if, for example, a branch blows off a tree and strikes it, so be prepared for replacement costs if this should happen.

Regardless of the materials you choose for the patio bistro furniture, be sure it is stable and resistant to water damage. This furniture is very likely to be exposed to rain and direct sunlight, so wood, wicker, and other materials will need to be treated to resist water damage. Metals may also need some protection, though many metals used for patio bistro furniture is naturally resistant to water damage, or otherwise created to do so. The furniture should be strong and resistant to warping, cracking, splitting, and other common damage.

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