1) Quality of the rattan
a. Look for a thicker quality weave. Thicker quality weave will stand the test of time. Check the edges. Is there a good thick weave at the edges? Edges take a lot more wear and tear.
b. UV resistant rattan. This is critical! As outdoor furniture is subject to the sun and the elements. Without UV resistance added to the rattan will break down and look faded after a season or two
2) Quality and thickness of the foam
a. Check the density and thickness of the foam. Foam from the mass retailers is often too soft initially (they do this to get the sale) but in the long term this is a bad thing. The cushions will break down and have to be replaced after a season or two.
3) Removable cushion covers? Colour of the cushions
a. You want to be able to remove the cushion covers for cleaning. Manufacturers often cheap out and don’t provide removable covers. Look for zippers on the cushions to know it’s removable.
b. You want a colour that looks good, but also not easily show dust or stains. Look for a brown, or grey fabric. Avoid white or light colours you can always add bright toss cushions for accent. With removable cushion covers you can change the covers in a few years if you get tired of the color. For winter always wash the cushion covers in and spray with Scotch Guard. For storage use a high quality furniture water proof but breathable cover and load the cushions on one piece and secure with the cover.
4) Aluminum Framing
a. You want powder coated aluminum framing. The powder coating on the aluminum enhances the ability to resist corrosion and damage from the elements.
a. You want to easily stack and store in the winter seasons. Otherwise your entire garage or basement will be taken up by your outdoor furniture.