Choosing the right furniture for your patio depends on how you use your outdoor space. Maintenance and style desires also play a major role.
Consider how you will most use the furniture. You may only need some comfortable chairs, recliners, and side tables if your patio is most heavily used for sitting in the sun, relaxing with a book, or conversing with others over a drink. On the other hand, if you tend to throw barbecues, have parties, or just enjoy meals outside, tables and more comfortable seating like outdoor couches and standing tables may be needed.
If space is a concern but you like to entertain, then furniture that can be stowed away and is easily stackable may be the best choice. Weatherproof options may be needed, especially for backup furniture, if you don't have a shed, garage, or other covered location to store extra furniture when it isn't in use.
How much maintenance are you willing to deal with? Resin, powder-coated metal, and glass-top furniture requires next to no maintenance. You will need to occasionally clean it off, but this can typically be done with a garden hose or a cloth and a bit of glass cleaner. These materials are also durable, so they can last many years with just this small amount of maintenance.
Wood and wrought iron furniture requires a bit more work. Wood must occasionally be sanded and repainted or stained. Teak, one of the easier woods to care for, still needs to be treated with a conditioner once a year. Wrought iron must also be sanded to remove rust and then repainted periodically. For upholstered outdoor furniture, fabric choice also plays into maintenance needs. If the fabric isn't treated, it will need frequent washing and stain removal, for example. Treated fabrics can typically be wiped clean.
Finally, consider the style you are going for. If you simply want casual, functional furniture, then opt for resin or aluminum furniture with simple, easy-to-clean fabric pads. For a more formal look, wicker, wood, or metal furniture with more in-depth upholstery and pads can make your patio an extension of your living room.
Style should fit your yard. A flower-filled cottage garden, for example, calls for wicker or wrought iron (or powder-coated aluminum that mimics wrought iron), whereas a lodge-style home in the mountain may look best with sturdy cedar or redwood outdoor furniture.
Visit an outdoor furniture showroom to see all of the options that are available.