Polywood vs Resin: Comparing Durability, Aesthetics, And Eco-Friendliness For Your Outdoor Furniture Choices

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Polywood and resin outdoor furniture showcasing their unique features, durability, and styles side by side

A beautiful outdoor living space is an essential part of any home. When selecting furniture for your patio, garden, or backyard, it is crucial to choose materials that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also durable and environmentally friendly. Two popular materials for outdoor furniture are Polywood vs resin. This article will compare Polywood and resin in terms of their features, benefits, limitations, and applications, to help you make an informed decision when choosing outdoor furniture.


Polywood is a synthetic wood material made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) derived from recycled plastic lumber. This eco-friendly outdoor furniture material is designed to withstand various weather conditions, making it an excellent choice for patio furniture, decking, and other outdoor applications.


Resin refers to a group of thermoplastic materials often used in the production of outdoor furniture and garden decorations. Resin can be molded into various shapes and designs, making it a versatile and customizable option for outdoor applications. Resin materials include resin wicker, which is a popular choice for patio furniture, and durable resin composites for planters and outdoor storage.

Comparison of Polywood vs Resin as Materials For Outdoor Furniture

Both Polywood and resin are popular choices for outdoor furniture due to their weather-resistant properties, low-maintenance requirements, and durability. This article will explore the differences between these materials, comparing their environmental impact, durability, maintenance, aesthetic appeal, and cost considerations. By the end of the article, you will have a comprehensive understanding of Polywood and resin, enabling you to make an informed decision when selecting outdoor furniture materials.


Origin and development

Polywood was developed in the late 1980s as a response to the growing need for eco-friendly and sustainable outdoor furniture materials. The company behind the innovation aimed to create a long-lasting and weather-resistant alternative to traditional wood, using recycled plastic lumber sourced primarily from milk jugs.

Material composition

Polywood is made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), a durable and recyclable plastic material. The manufacturing process involves cleaning, grinding, and melting the recycled plastic, which is then molded into the desired shape and form. The result is a strong, weather-resistant, and eco-friendly material ideal for outdoor applications.

Features and benefits


Polywood is made from recycled plastic lumber, which helps reduce the amount of plastic waste in landfills. By using this sustainable furniture material, consumers contribute to a circular economy and promote environmental conservation.

Durability and weather resistance

Polywood is highly resistant to various weather conditions, including sun, rain, snow, and saltwater. Its UV-resistant properties prevent fading, while its marine-grade polymer composition ensures that it can withstand harsh coastal environments.

Low maintenance

Polywood outdoor furniture requires minimal maintenance compared to traditional wood. It does not need painting, staining, or sealing, and can be easily cleaned with soap and water. Polywood is also resistant to rot, insects, and mold, making it a hassle-free option for long-lasting outdoor furniture.

Color stability

Polywood color options are designed to maintain their vibrancy over time. The color is integrated throughout the material, ensuring that it does not peel, chip, or fade, even after prolonged exposure to the elements.



Polywood tends to be more expensive than some resin materials due to its durability and eco-friendly composition. However, the long-term value and reduced maintenance costs may offset the initial investment.

Limited designs and styles

Polywood furniture typically has a more traditional and classic design, with a focus on functionality and durability. While the material is available in various colors, it may not offer the same level of customization as resin materials.


Outdoor furniture

Polywood outdoor furniture is a popular choice for patio dining sets, Adirondack chairs, rocking chairs, benches, and more. Its weather-resistant and low-maintenance properties make it ideal for year-round use.

Fencing and decking

Polywood decking and fencing materials are an eco-friendly alternative to traditional wood, providing long-lasting and weather-resistant solutions for outdoor spaces.

Marine structures

Marine-grade polymer materials like Polywood are suitable for docks, piers, and other marine applications due to their resistance to saltwater and harsh coastal environments.


Types of resin

There are various types of resin materials, including thermoplastic resins such as polyethylene, polypropylene, and PVC. Resin wicker, a popular choice for patio furniture, is made from woven synthetic fibers that mimic the look of natural wicker.

Material composition

Resin materials are made from thermoplastic polymers, which can be molded and shaped into various forms. They often contain additives such as UV stabilizers, colorants, and fillers to enhance durability and aesthetic appeal.

Features and benefits


Resin furniture is typically lighter than Polywood, making it easier to move and rearrange in outdoor spaces.

Durability and weather resistance

Resin materials are designed to withstand various weather conditions, including sun, rain, and cold temperatures. Some resin products, like resin wicker furniture, are also UV-resistant, ensuring long-lasting color and durability.

Low maintenance

Resin furniture requires minimal maintenance, similar to Polywood. It does not need painting, staining, or sealing, and can be easily cleaned with soap and water. This makes it a practical option for those looking for low-maintenance outdoor furniture.


Resin is highly customizable, as it can be molded into intricate designs and patterns. This allows for a broader range of styles and options compared to Polywood, catering to various aesthetic preferences.


Environmental concerns

Resin materials are often less eco-friendly than Polywood, as they may not be made from recycled materials and can be more challenging to recycle at the end of their lifespan. This can be a concern for those looking to minimize their environmental impact.

Potential quality issues

Resin furniture can vary significantly in quality, depending on the manufacturing process and materials used. Lower-quality resin options may be prone to cracking, fading, or becoming brittle over time, so it is essential to research and invest in high-quality resin furniture.


Outdoor furniture

Resin is a popular choice for outdoor furniture, including resin wicker furniture, outdoor benches, and chaise lounges. Its lightweight nature, durability, and customizability make it a versatile option for various outdoor settings.

Garden decorations

Resin garden decorations, such as statues, fountains, and ornaments, are common due to their weather resistance and intricate designs. These pieces can add a unique touch to gardens and outdoor spaces.

Planters and containers

Resin planter boxes and containers are another popular application for this material. They are lightweight, durable, and available in various shapes, sizes, and designs, making them suitable for various plants and garden styles.

Comparison Between Polywood vs Resin

Environmental impact

Sustainability and eco-friendliness

Polywood has the advantage in terms of sustainability and eco-friendliness, as it is made from recycled plastic lumber and can be recycled at the end of its lifespan. Resin materials, on the other hand, may not always be made from recycled materials, and some types can be more challenging to recycle.

Recycling and disposal

Both Polywood and resin materials are recyclable, but Polywood is generally easier to recycle and has a more established recycling infrastructure. Proper disposal of resin materials may require additional effort to ensure they are recycled correctly.

Durability and maintenance

Weather resistance

Both Polywood and resin are weather-resistant materials, capable of withstanding harsh outdoor conditions such as rain, snow, and sun exposure. However, Polywood tends to be heavier and more robust, making it less likely to be affected by strong winds.


Polywood is known for its long-lasting performance, with some outdoor furniture pieces lasting for decades. Resin furniture can also be durable, but its lifespan may be shorter than Polywood, especially for lower-quality options.

Maintenance requirements

Both Polywood and resin require minimal maintenance, making them convenient choices for outdoor furniture. Neither material needs painting, staining, or sealing, and both can be cleaned easily with soap and water.

Aesthetic appeal

Design variety

Resin offers a wider range of designs and styles compared to Polywood, due to its moldability and customizability. This allows for more intricate designs and patterns, catering to a broader range of aesthetic preferences.

Color options

Polywood has a reputation for maintaining its color over time, thanks to its UV-resistant properties. While resin materials can also offer a wide variety of colors, they may be more prone to fading over time, depending on the quality of the product.

Cost considerations

Initial investment

Polywood outdoor furniture tends to be more expensive upfront compared to many resin options. However, its durability and low-maintenance nature may offset the initial cost over time.

Long-term value

Considering longevity, maintenance costs, and potential replacement expenses, Polywood may offer better long-term value for some homeowners. Resin furniture can still be a cost-effective option, but investing in high-quality products is essential to ensure long-lasting performance.

Choosing Between Polywood vs Resin

Factors to consider


Consider your budget when selecting outdoor furniture materials. Polywood may be more expensive initially but could provide long-term value due to its durability and low maintenance.

Environmental impact

If environmental impact is a priority, Polywood may be the more sustainable choice due to its use of recycled materials and recyclability. However, some resin options may also be eco-friendly, so research specific products to determine their environmental impact.

Maintenance requirements

Both Polywood and resin offer low-maintenance solutions for outdoor furniture. Consider your preference and available time for maintaining your outdoor space when making your decision.

Aesthetic preferences

Resin offers a wider range of design options, while Polywood may be more limited in terms of styles and detailing. Consider your personal aesthetic preferences when choosing between the two materials.

Tips For Selecting The Right Material


Assessing individual needs

Take the time to evaluate your specific needs and preferences in terms of budget, environmental impact, maintenance, and aesthetics to determine which material best suits your requirements.

Researching product reviews and warranties

Reading product reviews and researching warranties can provide insight into the quality and durability of specific products, helping you make an informed decision.

Consulting with experts

Speak with outdoor furniture professionals or experts who can offer guidance and recommendations based on your unique needs and preferences. Their experience and knowledge can help you make the best choice for your outdoor space.


Polywood and resin both offer durable, weather-resistant, and low-maintenance options for outdoor furniture. However, there are key differences between the two materials. Polywood is typically more eco-friendly, offering a sustainable option made from recycled materials, while resin is known for its lightweight nature and customizability.

Choosing the right material for your outdoor furniture is essential to ensure that it meets your needs in terms of durability, maintenance, aesthetics, and cost. The right material can enhance the enjoyment of your outdoor space and provide long-lasting value.

Ultimately, the decision between Polywood and resin will depend on your personal preferences, budget, and priorities. It is essential to consider both the aesthetic appeal and the environmental impact of your choice to make a decision that aligns with your values and complements your outdoor space. By taking the time to research and understand the differences between Polywood and resin, you can make an informed choice that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

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