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Which Wood Type is Best for Me?

Posted by Eric King on

When it comes to choosing the type of material you would like your porch swing to be made from, there are many options! There are several types of material from which swings can be constructed. With so many choices, how do you know which one is right for you?  Well, let us help you decide. We will describe a few of our most popular wood types, along with available choices, and provide the benefits of each to help make your decision as easy as possible!

Natural Wood

Natural Wood Swings are available in a variety of hardwoods.  Today, we will cover the species of wood that are most popular among manufacturers.  The most common types of woods used in porch swing construction include:

  • Cedar
  • Teak
  • Cypress
  • Pine (treated)

There are many benefits to using these four types of woods in porch swing construction.  Let’s take a more in-depth look at each!

Cedar or Western Red Cedar

Natural hardwood is resistant to rot, decay, and insects, which means when used it will help your swing last longer and require less maintenance over its lifetime.  Red cedar has a natural beauty, unlike many other woods, with its crisp, rich tonal properties. Cedar wood furniture is built to last both indoors and outdoors.

Red cedar wood is very versatile, which means it is ideal for accepting and holding a wide variety of beautiful finishes including dark & light stains.

Red cedar furniture is also environmentally friendly.  It will aide in the removal of greenhouse gases, it’s a renewable resource, and naturally biodegradable.  Red cedar is sourced from the most sustainable, managed forests in the world.

Take a look at three of our most popular cedar swings by clicking the links below:

  1. Traditional English Red Cedar Swing
  2. Marlboro Red Cedar Swing Bed
  3. Nostalgic Porch Swings – Cathedral Swing (Pictured above)


This natural hardwood is eco-friendly due to its hardness and long-time endurance.  Outdoor teak furniture is naturally resistant to water, mildew, fungus, and most wood eating insects.  Teak is extremely dense, durable and has a high oil & wax content. Due to these benefits, teak has been used in the boating industry for hundreds of years!

Teak is an extraordinarily low maintenance wood.  It does not require any preservatives, paint, or varnish, and the natural oils form a barrier against the elements without having to use sealers or finishes.

Bali Bliss Bed Swing - Magnolia Porch Swings

This wood has a beautiful, natural color variation from a rich amber color to a nice weathered, silvery-gray color.  Teak is much more scratch resistant than other softer woods such as pine or cedar. One other benefit of teak wood, is that it will not hold temperature.  So in the heat of summer, you will not burn your buns when you sit down on a teak swing :)

Check out two of our Teak swings at the links below.

  1. All Things Cedar – 4 Foot Teak Swing
  2. The Bali Bliss Bed Swing (Pictured above)


Grown in the Southeastern Region of the US along the Gulf Coast, this wood has legendary beauty and natural durability.  Cypress wood has long been used in coastal areas because of its ability to generates its own preservative oil, called Cypressene, which can stand up to the heat, humidity, and torrential rains of coastal areas.

Cypress wood tends to be a light, yellowish-brown color.  It has straight grains with a medium texture. This wood is naturally rot-resistant and is a natural insect repellent.

Cypress is known as “Eternal Wood”, which means it is built to last and age with you.  It will accept all types of paint or stain options you decide to cover it with, although neither paint nor stain are required when using cypress wood.

You can see two of our Cypress swings at the links below:

  1. Hershyway Cypress 4 Foot Grandpa Swing
  2. LA Cypress 5 Foot Flip Console Swing

Pine (Treated)

Pine wood is generally more lightweight than the other woods listed above, as well as less expensive.  It is yellow-ish or white-ish in color and can have brown knots throughout. This wood is great if you desire a more rustic look.

Pine accepts paint and stain very well.  It will develop a nice rustic look with age and use, and it resists shrinking and swelling over time.  Pine should be sealed if it will be left outdoors. It is not as naturally weatherproof as the other woods above, but as long as it is sealed, it works just as well!

Pine is often the wood of choice for ski lodge decks, marina docks, and landscape walks. This is because treated lumber offers distinct advantages over other traditional outdoor materials. Not only is it insect and rot-resistant, it's also milled from a renewable resource -- plantation grown southern pine.

Click on the links below to see three of our pine swings:

  1. HammMade Traditional Swing Bed
  2. Uwharrie Chair Co. Nantucket 2-person Swing
  3. Custom Carolina Elegant Charleston Swing Bed (Pictured above)

 Synthetic/Plastic (Poly)

Referred to as poly, this synthetic material is about as low maintenance as it gets. Although it is not real wood, it can look just like it. This gives you the wood aesthetic you’re looking for without needing to worry about how well it will hold up outdoors.

This material is made of recyclable plastic from consumer products like milk jugs. Not only are you doing yourself good, you’re helping to repurpose common household waste.


The best part about this material? It’s very resistant to many outdoor elements like moisture, insects, warping, fading, and splinting that can sometimes occur with wood. Poly also doesn’t require waterproofing, and you can easily clean it off with regular ol’ soap and water.

Leaving a poly porch swing in the sun is no issue either! This material can withstand prolonged sun exposure better than many other materials. This material is also more kid-friendly as many of the swings made with poly have smoother edges, which will prevent accidental nicks and scratches if you bump into it.

Click on the links below to see a few of our poly swings:

  1. Royal English Garden Eco-Friendly Swing
  2. LuxCraft Plain Poly Porch Swing - 5 Foot

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