Polyethylene furniture (or “poly” as it is more often called) has quickly taken the outdoor furniture market by storm. Adirondack chairs, dining sets, lounge chairs, and even fire tables are now being made with the stuff. Why? Because it’s awesome.
What is polyethylene?
Polyethylene is a man-made plastic usually made from recycled materials. It is used in a variety of different items such as tubes, plastic parts, laminates and even furniture!
What are the benefits of poly furniture?
Poly furniture comes in a huge range of colors and is colored all the way through. This means that (with the exception of a few colors) there will be very minimal fading and any nicks or scratches will barely show! Depending on the manufacturer it is typically very heavy, so you do not have to worry about it blowing across your patio when the wind picks up. Lastly, it can be left outside year-round (even in Wisconsin snow), so you do not have to worry about dragging it inside at the end of the year. All in all, poly furniture is incredibly low maintenance, long-lasting, and a great addition to your outdoor space.
What should you pay attention to when buying poly furniture?
- Comfort. When buying poly furniture, you definitely want to sit in the exact chair or one very similar because each style and manufacturer will have slightly different designs. If you want to enjoy your furniture in your backyard, do not buy it without test driving it!
- Structure. Better quality poly furniture will be shaped for comfort and have more boards. The frame will also vary between manufacturers. Some, such as Berlin Gardens, will have fully welded aluminum frames while others will have cheaper and lighter frames that are not fully welded.
- Density. In addition to the structure, stronger and heavier boards are less likely to warp. A classic Adirondack chair from Berlin Gardens weighs 65 pounds and is composed primarily of recycled milk jugs. There are 10 milk jugs per pound of product, so one Adirondack chair is made up of about 650 milk jugs.
- Hardware. Is the hardware clearly visible or is it primarily tucked in places that are not visible? What type of hardware do the chairs use? Berlin Gardens uses marine grade alloy chrome plated stainless steel.
- Finish. Some poly companies will offer different finishes such as standard and natural. Standard finish is going to be smooth and a little bit glossier. If this is the look you’d prefer, you definitely should pay attention to how smooth it feels when comparing manufacturers! On the other hand, many companies offer a natural finish option. This is going to look more like wood and have a much richer appearance.
- Color. In the hot summer sun, poly furniture can get warm. If you have a patio that you know will be right in the hot sun, you may want to consider a lighter color that will stay cooler throughout the summer!
- Warranty. Good products have good companies that stand behind their products. Buying furniture is an investment and you want it to last! For example, Berlin Gardens poly comes with a 20-year warranty and they have outstanding customer service.
- Manufacturer. Where is the furniture produced? The manufacturer has a lot to do with the smoothness, construction, and overall quality of the product. Berlin Gardens is proud to be made by an Amish workforce in Berlin, Ohio.
If you want low maintenance furniture that is built to endure Wisconsin weather and last you a very long time, poly furniture could be the perfect solution. Stop by Vande Hey Company today or check out Berlin Gardens and our other furniture lines here.