Both steel and aluminum offer consumers attractive designs for outdoor patio entertaining. However, select steel if you don't want the appearance marred by possible dents or damage through use or elements. Aluminum patio furniture's appearance can be protected from the weather by taking it indoors when not in use -- or when a storm is expected -- but you can't foresee or prevent damage or dents due to use.
It used to be that aluminum was considered the cheapest in price when it came to outdoor patio furniture. At the time of publication, you could purchase aluminum patio furniture for as little as $200, if price is driving your purchasing decision. But you can get a steel patio set for the same cost. Some aluminum patio furniture sets can cost you as much as $3,000, however, and steel patio sets can run as much as $4,380 according to Patio Furniture USA.
Aluminum is a lightweight metal, easily moved by the frail, young and physically challenged. But this benefit is also a drawback as patio furniture, since it can be easily toppled over or damaged through use. The fact that it has a hollow center instead of being metal through-and-through causes weakness compared to stainless steel. Most steel patio furniture isn't hollow like aluminum furniture, thus it weighs more and offers consumers greater durability and less need for replacement or repair.
Rain, sleet and snow as well as high winds can be the enemy of your outdoor patio furniture. Hail can be a damaging force for patio furniture, too, as can be the water from sandy shores in coastal areas. Furniture made of metal has the potential to rust when faced with wet weather. Aluminum metal furniture is subject to rust and corrosion far more than steel. Consumers living in wet climates and those with harsh winds will fare better in the long run with stainless steel patio furniture, reducing the need to replace as often due to elemental impact.