Many materials can be used to make stair railings. The material that is used and the way the stair railing is made define how much it will ultimately cost and how safe it will be plus how it will look more.
For starters, wood is one common alternative with railings that are out door for instance porches and decks. Composite and vinyl railings are however gaining popularity because vinyl is more resistant to external factors like weather.
Pressure treated pine is a type that is not as resistant to external factors particularly sunlight but it tends to thrive under the rain. Composite railings are somewhat more expensive but they last much longer and are more resistant to being externalized.
Another kind of railing is the metal railing for instance stainless steel, wrought iron and aluminum. Iron is quite expensive but can be used alongside another material like vinyl or any other cheap material.
When it comes to durability, aluminum offers a really long lifespan and with the enamel coating, it can either be easily affected by weather or really resilient. Most homes have cable stair railings made of stainless steel as the connector for the rectangular balusters.
In a situation where the balusters are further apart but there is a translucent or even transparent panel in the middle, then the glass and acrylic railings present the best solution.