Your local weather patterns will have a large influence over the best choice of bistro sets. Not only can weather determine how and when you use your patio set, but they can also affect the lifespan of your chairs and table.
Generally, you won't be sitting out on the patio enjoying tea in pouring rain, but you're also unlikely to have time to pack up your set before every shower. The same can be said for very warm weather, you might think that noonday sun is the perfect setting for coffee or a glass of cold whiskey, but what if the metal on your chair is scorching hot?
If you don't have a good idea of your local weather patterns, it's probably a good idea to do a bit of research prior to purchasing a bistro set. Having this knowledge will help you decide what type of materials would be best for your bistro set.
Wooden bistro sets offer many options for stylish additions to your patio or garden. Natural wood grains blend well with plant features, tile, carpets, hardwood floors and even modern home designs. Unlike metal bistro sets, wooden ones will very rarely be unusable due to temperature extremes. Wood is naturally a poor conductor of heat, so using your set on a warm day is no issue.
On the other hand, wooden bistro sets can offer the need for additional maintenance over time. Treatments that make wood able to withstand outdoor weather can wear off and require redoing. If you aren't diligent enough, your tables and chairs can become worn out or molded leading to breaks and possible falls.
If you're looking for the best of all worlds when it comes to maintenance, comfort and accessibility, wicker bistro sets are probably best. Due to its porous nature, wicker doesn't hold water well, so you won't have to worry too much about wiping off after every shower.
Given that wicker is plant-based (usually bamboo, reed or willow) it is very temperature resistant and won't become very hot even at the peak of noon. Wicker allows breezes to caress all parts of your body equally and flexes evenly, simulating the comfort you would get from cushions, without the possibility of feeling too hot.
Unfortunately, wicker material on chairs does not have the longest lifespan. The material is plant-based and usually paired with a wooden frame, so over time, you can expect to see fraying or breaking of wicker along the edges of the frame.
Metal bistro sets can be argued to have the best longevity of all the other bistro materials. This is especially the case when your metal bistro set is treated with weatherproof paint or is powder-coated steel.
Powder-coated steel offers a stunning amount of versatility when it comes to design. It is created by melting powdered paint onto steel, creating a layer of protection against rusting, scratching, and staining.
As wonderful as durability is when it comes to your bistro set, metal by itself is normally not that comfortable. On hot days, metal chairs can be too hot to use unless they are placed in a shady area or have cushions for seating.