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 envision tons of laughter and conversation with friends or quiet afternoons reading a book. In the colder months, quiet nights with a portable fire pit and a hot mug of cocoa with your partner makes the porch swing an ideal place to relax. All of these plus the swinging sound that will accompany your every moment in the porch swing makes it a great addition to your outdoor area.
Different porch swings are made from different materials. Wooden porch swings are typically made of durable hardwoods that are meant to withstand the elements of the changing seasons. 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 the what types of 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 to come. 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 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. In modern use, its timber is favored by carpenters for the production of decks, home sidings, and other outdoor structures. Its properties include resistance to rot and decay and ability to repel water. It is also lightweight and easy to cut making it popular 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 own 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 with the use of a sealant and can be 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 woods when it comes to a choice of 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 strong wood that can carry heavy loads which is something you might want to consider that when buying a porch swing.
As it ages, teak furniture owners can enjoy the transition of the wood from golden yellow to silvery gray. To maintain its natural look, just sand it and treat it with special sealants specifically for teak once a year. Avoiding the use of waxes, varnishes, and other chemicals that will break down the wood’s natural oil that prolongs its life. Cleaning is a breeze and will just 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 wood is a type of softwood and softwoods tend to be on the cheaper side compared to hardwoods. It absorbs paints well and can be stained in a variety of colors and finishes. In its natural finish, it 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 out.
The disadvantage of using pine wood is that it easily dents and scratches so consider this if you plan on getting a pine wood 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 a 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 are not fond of. Hard maple is a durable wood with a creamy white color. While durable, it can twist and warp when exposed to moisture. It is also susceptible to dents and scratches. Oak wood has two types, red and white, both are durable and strong and heavy so it can withstand windy environments. It is also prone to scratches and weighs on the pricier side.
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 with the use powder coating paint technique.
Aluminum is highly malleable so it is prone to dents and scratches. It’s also not ideal for places with windy weather since it will be likely blown away.
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 be exposed to both hot and cold weather. Paint can chip off and must be regularly checked for signs of rust. It also absorbs heat and cold.
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.
If you’re following the green lifestyle and want to support Mother Nature, then there’s recycled plastic porch swings. Recycled plastic is also called plastic 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.