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Should I choose wood or metal for my garden swing seat?

A garden swing seat can be the crowning jewel in any outdoor space. Whether it acts as the centrepiece of an alfresco social occasion with friends and family—or simply just a pleasant place to retire to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings of your garden. Yes, a swing seat can be a wonderful investment.

When searching for the right garden furniture piece, however, one that perfectly suits your needs and environment, you’re most likely to be presented with two material choices. Wood or metal.

But which is better, a metal swing seat or a wooden swing seat?

Let’s take a deep dive into the benefits and drawbacks of each material, and find out which is the right one for you.

metal swing seat

Metal Swing Seats

The pros

A metal garden swing seat is a contemporary option that can fit a number of different garden layouts and aesthetics. For patios, decking or lawns, this affordable furniture is a safe choice for those looking to add dimension and style to their outdoor space. 

Aluminium, a common material used in metal garden furniture, is fairly robust and durable to the elements. Its rust-proof qualities will keep it in good condition in the face of the ever-unpredictable British weather. Aluminium is also lightweight, so changing your garden furniture set up is a straightforward task.

The cons 

The downfall of metal outdoor furniture, particularly those pieces made of steel or iron, is that they are highly susceptible to corrosion and decay. Even when employing preventative measures and treatments, the oxidation process will eventually start to weaken the metal. Rust will cause structural issues while discolouration means the overall aesthetic quality of the furniture will suffer. What was once a shiny, pristine metal swing seat, will, over time, show signs of aging and deterioration.  

Although aesthetics can be subjective, there’s something to be said about the presence of a metal structure in an organic environment like a garden. While it’s easy to visually accommodate a natural material such as wood into your outdoor space, metal has a tendency to look at odds with its surroundings. Wood, after all, derives from nature and will seamlessly find harmony in your garden. 

Another practical disadvantage of metal furniture is its capacity to absorb the sun’s blistering rays. Given that the best time to enjoy your outdoor swing seat is during those long summer days, having furniture that is too hot to sit on is hardly ideal.

heart back affinity swing seat

Wooden Swing Seats

The pros

One word: aesthetics. You simply cannot come close to matching the visual splendour of a handmade wooden swing seat. Whether it’s oak, painted accoya or cedar, garden furniture made from the finest timber will always trump the competition when it comes to making an impact in your garden. Particularly when in the hands of a Sitting Spiritually master craftsman, a wooden swing seat can be an exquisite feature for your outdoor space.

Structurally, a high-quality timber swing seat is immensely durable. The naturally sturdy properties of materials like oak makes for the perfect outdoor furniture piece. With beautiful grains and no defects, and protected against the elements, this is a material that will stand the test of time. 

If mother nature does start to make an impact on your wooden swing seat, and it’s not looking quite as immaculate as the day it arrived, there are some wonderful refurbishment services available, or, alternatively, swing seat covers to keep the elements at bay!

A swing seat is all about comfort. And there are a few more relaxing experiences than sitting on a beautifully smooth wooden seat. Throw in a cushion or two, grab a good book, and you can while away the hours in perfect bliss. Comfort-wise, with its luxurious natural finish and ergonomic design, a timber swing seat once again outshines its rivals.

Another super benefit of choosing wood for your swing seat is the versatility it offers in creating a wholly unique furniture piece. We believe that choice should always be a vital part of finding the right swing seat, and there are numerous ways to add personal touches and accessories to build the perfect outdoor seat. From bespoke carvings and inscriptions, to alternative arms and drinks shelves; there are plenty of ways to make your wooden swing seat truly…yours.

The cons

Because of the naturally hard-wearing, durable properties of timber, a wooden swing seat is likely to be heavier than one with a light aluminium frame. Something to consider when rearranging your garden furniture. Of course, this process can be made much simpler when your swing seat can be unhooked from the frame and moved with relative ease!  

As you might expect with a handcrafted garden feature that uses high-grade materials, the initial cost is going to be higher compared to a metal swing seat. With this kind of investment, however, the price is truly reflected in the quality of the craftsmanship and the materials used. But with such an exquisite piece, that’s built to last: you’re buying once, buying well.

So, which should I choose?

It looks like we have a clear winner. Although metal swing seats are a perfectly serviceable option that will provide a pleasant retreat in your outdoor space, in terms of aesthetics, durability, and overall quality, a wooden swing seat is the option for you. Why not get in touch and find out for yourself? 

Posted by Siobhan on March 3rd 2022

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