Cafe Furniture Material – The Pros and Cons Explained

cafe furniture material

Choosing the right furniture for your cafe helps create an ambience and sets the tone for your dining experience. It serves as an indicator as to what your customers can expect. The style of furniture and cafe furniture material should be visually appealing, functional, and of good quality. Nobody wants to spend time in a cafe with out-dated shabby furniture.

We’ve put together the pros and cons of different cafe furniture materials, to enable you to make an informed decision when shopping for cafe furniture.

1. Metal – Pros and Cons

Metal is one of the most durable cafe furniture materials and is particularly popular with those cafe owners looking to create an industrial theme. Due to its high tensile strength, steel and aluminium furniture fits well into a variety of cafe styles.


  • One of the strongest materials for cafe furniture and having welded joints adds to its durability
  • Many outdoor metal chairs are stackable
  • Budget-friendly option
  • Painted metals are hard to scratch or chip
  • Lightweight and easy to move around


  • Their simplistic design isn’t for everyone
  • Some metal chairs may react with moisture and cannot be used outdoors

2. Polypropylene Furniture

Polypropylene is a common cafe furniture material and because they lend themselves to mass production, they are relatively inexpensive to buy. Polypropylene also adds great versatility to your cafe.


  • Huge range of styles, colours, and patterns
  • Easy to stack and maintain
  • Lightweight
  • Good value for money
  • Colour and theme for every budget


  • Polypropylene furniture can be scratched
  • Plastic tables lack strength
  • Potential to be blown over outdoors in gusty conditions if they do not have a good weight

3. Wood furniture

Wood furniture has always had charm and appeal. Beech, oak, ash, and pine are all common types of cafe furniture material. The majority of the manufacturing process is automated which means that wood furniture is available in a wide range of finishes and colours to suit your décor.

You can also wood furniture to create rustic appeal or for a look that is sleek and contemporary.


  • Wooden furniture is long-lasting and durable
  • Wood lends a warm cosy feel
  • Wood is a cafe furniture material that is natural and welcoming


  • Some wooden furniture is much heavier than other cafe furniture materials
  • Wood can react to liquids so regular cleaning and maintenance is recommended
  • Some woods are prone to marking and scratching so you may want to have your furniture treated with a protective sealant
  • Only certain woods such as teak are suitable for outdoor use

The bottom line

When making your choice of cafe furniture material it depends on your personal preference, your cafe’s theme/décor, and the ambiance you’re hoping to create. While a particular material might work well in a competitor’s cafe, it may not suit yours. Rather than following the latest trends, focus on your budget, your customer demographic and your location. Cafe furniture should be a balanced mix of appearance, functionality, and quality.

Here at Cafe Chairs Melbourne, we stock a wide range of cafe furniture to suit all budgets and decors and at very affordable prices. Why not browse our online store for inspiration or visit our Melbourne showroom to see our furniture up close.