There is no doubt that the sight of a porch swing can make your porch look warmer and be inviting. During spring and summer, you can hear friends' laughter and chatter or spend it quietly with a book. In colder months, quiet nights with a portable fire pit and hot chocolate shared with your partner make the porch swing an ideal place to unwind.
All of these plus the repetitive, calming swinging sound of a porch swing makes it a great addition to your outdoor area. Porch swings manufacturers use different materials. The popular swings are the ones built from wood sourced from hardwoods, strong enough to withstand the harsh elements of the outdoors.
There are also metal, synthetic resin, recycled plastic, and porch swings made of fabric. If you're on the lookout for a porch swing, take a look at our guide on what materials are right for you.
Wooden porch swings are the most commonly produced. It's classic and timeless and goes with anything. Choosing a type of wood that's ideal for your location will keep your porch swing in good condition for many years. Make sure to look for certifications and sustainable labels, particularly for woods like Western Red Cedar and Teak to make sure that you buy porch swings made from plantation grown trees.
Western Red Cedar
Western Red Cedar has been dubbed the Tree of Life by the Native Americans because it has been such a useful tree providing them all their needs from its roots up to its leaves. Today, its timber is favored by carpenters for decks, home sidings, and other outdoor structures.
It's resistant to rot and decay and repels water. It is also lightweight and easy to cut, making it accessible in use for outdoor furniture. It is also known for having a pleasant aroma that drives insects and pests away. It does not absorb heat and stays cool enough to sit on during warmer days.
As a material for a porch swing, it possesses those same qualities and can hold a variety of finishes from light to dark and is beautiful with its natural reddish color. As it ages, the grains of the wood begins to rise, and many individuals enjoy the textured appearance. The wood can be maintained using a sealant and cleaned using mild soap, water, and a sponge.
By keeping it dry alongside its metal hardware and storing it during winter will let you prolong the life of your Western Red Cedar porch swing.
Teak tops all the types of hardwood when it comes to material for outdoor furniture, including porch swings. Its rich, golden yellow color makes it a perfect match for a lot of styles. More than its appearance, it is a hardwood known for its excellent ability to produce copious amounts of natural oil.
Its natural oil is what makes it water, rot, and insect resistant. It is a durable wood that can carry heavy loads, something you might want to consider when buying a porch swing.
As it ages, teak furniture owners can enjoy the transition of the wood from golden yellow to a silvery gray. To maintain its natural look, sand it and treat it with special sealants specifically for teak once a year.
Avoid using waxes, varnishes, and other chemicals that will break down the wood's natural oil. Cleaning is a breeze and will need an occasional wipe down or hose down with soapy water. While teak is weather-resistant, covering your teak porch swing during winter can help prolong its natural finish.
Pine is a type of softwood, and softwoods tend to be on the cheaper side than hardwoods. It absorbs paints and stains excellently in a variety of colors and finishes. Its natural finish has a very prominent grain and dark knots that make the wood perfect for rustic styles. If the other hardwoods look too heavy for you, adding a pine to your decor can balance that.
The disadvantage of using pine wood is that it easily dents and scratches, so consider this if you plan on getting a pinewood porch swing if you have kids, pets, or plan to have a lot of people over.
While it is a durable wood, it doesn't have the weather-resistant elements that other hardwoods have, so it easily warps and rots when exposed to constant humidity and moisture. On the other hand, it will thrive pretty well in colder weather.
Cherry is a rich-colored hardwood that is a reddish-brown and polishes well. It is, however, expensive and darkens as it ages, which some people do not prefer. Hard maple is a durable wood with a creamy white color but twists and warps when exposed to moisture.
It is also susceptible to dents and scratches. Oakwood has two types, red and white, and both are sturdy and heavy so it can stand against windy environments. It is also prone to scratches, though more expensive than most.
If you're following the green lifestyle and want to support Mother Nature, then there's recycled plastic porch swings. Recycled plastic, also known as synthetic lumber because it mimics the look of real lumber with a cheaper price tag. It is resistant to rot, insects, cracking, and splitting and is waterproof. However, it is lightweight and may not be ideal for windy landscapes. It can also slightly bent in hotter climates.
Metal porch swings either come in aluminum, steel, or wrought iron.
If you plan to get an aluminum porch swing, choose cast aluminum instead. Cast aluminum is poured hot into a mold to get the desired shape, which comes out more beautiful than your average tubular aluminum furniture. Aluminum is lightweight yet sturdy and is corrosion-resistant. It comes in a variety of colors other than its natural metallic look using powder coating paint technique.
Aluminum is highly malleable and light, so it is prone to dents and scratches. It's not ideal for places where it's windy.
If you love the look of wicker but is hesitant in exposing it to the outdoors, you could always use swings made of synthetic resin. Choose wicker resin made of High-Density Polyethylene, which is durable and resistant to water and UV rays. Synthetic wicker furniture is usually constructed with an aluminum frame to make it stand and adds to its durability. It is also easy to clean and maintain.
Wrought iron is an extremely durable material, and swings made from this comes in a variety of custom designs. It can withstand wear and tear and can endure both hot and cold weather. Paint may chip off easily, so it is advisable to check for signs of rust regularly.
Fabric porch swings are the ones framed with aluminum or wood, clothed in outdoor fabric. It is more comfortable once added with cushions, softer to sit on. Materials often used are outdoor-ready fabrics like Sunbrella, highly resistant to stains, water, and UV rays.
Using the information above, let the materials guide you in choosing the suitable porch swing for your home and your location. Choosing one that can withstand the weather conditions you live in will make your porch swing last longer and make it worth your investment.
Suppose you want to explore getting shaded while dining without the center pole of an umbrella, obstructing a portion of the view or a part of your guest's profile. Buy offset outdoor umbrellas, also known as Cantilevers, instead. They are highlighted with an arched or jointed pole positioned off to one side.