10 best garden benches: wooden and metal outdoor bench seats

The best garden benches for your outside space; from classic wooden garden benches to decorative metal bench seats and colourful, contemporary outdoor designs

A wooden garden bench against a dark painted outdoor wall
(Image credit: Garden Trading)

On the hunt for the best garden benches for your outside space? Whatever the size of your patio or lawn, an outdoor bench is a year-round essential to encourage you to get outside and enjoy the garden.

The best garden benches are multifunctional, doubling up as useful outdoor seating and creating a decorative focal point to draw your eye down the garden. And some go even further, offering super useful hidden storage to stash the practical – yet not so picturesque – garden essentials.

Whether you're looking for a classic wooden garden bench, a decorative metal bench or a colourful and contemporary outdoor design, for the patio, terrace or balcony, we've rounded up the best of the bunch in this guide.  

Want more great outdoor buys? Don't miss our guide to the best garden furniture

The best garden benches 2021

The best wooden garden benches

A wooden outdoor bench is a garden classic, and with wood's thermal properties meaning it doesn't get too hot in the sun or too cold in the winter, plus its organic materials blending in perfectly in an outside space, it's easy to see why it's one of the most popular options for the best garden benches. 

For longevity of design look for hardwearing hardwoods – like teak, eucalyptus or acacia wood – when buying. These woods are tough and have naturally occurring oils which help to repel water and make them weather-resistant. 

Woods like teak – an exceptionally slow-growing wood that therefore tends to be both expensive to buy and harder to harvest sustainably in volume – can be left to weather naturally to a silver finish, although it, and faster-growing alternatives like acacia and eucalyptus, will benefit from a little yearly maintenance with a wood preservative to prolong their lifespan.

A modern wooden garden bench in front of a dark grey panelled wall

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

1. Garden Trading Chastleton Bench

A modern wooden garden bench: hardwearing and durable reclaimed teak

Specifications
Seats: 3
Size: H90 x W160 x D67cm
Material: Reclaimed teak
Colour options: Teak
Assembly required?: No
Reasons to buy
+Teak wood is naturally hardwearing and weather-resistant+Reclaimed timber is a more sustainable option+Fully-assembled+Can seat three people+Wood doesn't get too hot or too cold+Fully assembled
Reasons to avoid
-Some maintenance required to maintain the colour, but can be left to weather naturally-Wood retains moisture after a downpour

This contemporary garden bench may be an investment, but crafted from reclaimed teak the solid hardwood bench is designed to last a lifetime, with the natural oils present in teak wood offering long-lasting protection from the elements.

It's wide enough to seat three comfortably, and the geometric backrest design gives this garden classic a modern edge, making it the perfect addition to any contemporary outdoor space. 

Arriving fully assembled for instant enjoyment, you can allow the teak wood to weather gently over time to a soft silvery colour, or top up with a coat of teak oil at the beginning of each summer season to maintain the rich golden hue.

A wooden garden bench with a fan-shaped backrest

(Image credit: La Redoute)

2. La Redoute Zeda Acacia Garden Bench

A statement acacia wood garden bench: create an impact with this fan-shaped backrest

Specifications
Seats: 3
Size: H94 x W180 x D73cm
Material: Acacia wood
Colour options: Wood
Assembly required?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Statement fan-shaped backrest+Can seat three people+Wood doesn't get too hot or too cold
Reasons to avoid
-Sloping backrest might not be for everyone-Some maintenance required to maintain-Wood retains moisture after a downpour-Self-assembly required

Inspired by the classic Adirondack chair shape, this wooden garden bench features a statement fan-shaped backrest. 

Built from solid acacia wood – that's been sourced from managed forestry – the three-seater bench feels robust, and the weather-resistant hardwood will ensure good durability and longevity outdoors. 

Just like the Zeda Adirondack Armchair with which it can be paired, the bench seat has a sloping backrest that encourages you to recline slightly, although in this model the seat remains flat. That angle may not be for everyone, but we found it a comfortable position to sit back and watch the world go by.

It's worth bearing in mind that this design does require some self-assembly once it arrives. It's a fairly simple job, but two pairs of hands definitely make things a little easier.

A wooden garden bench on a lawn

(Image credit: John Lewis)

3. Barlow Tyrie Lavenham 3-Seat Eucalyptus Wood Garden Bench

A timeless wooden garden bench: classic design made from solid eucalyptus wood

Specifications
Seats: 3
Size: H90 x W158 x D64cm
Material: Eucalyptus wood
Colour options: Wood
Assembly required?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Timeless design+Can seat three people+Wood doesn't get too hot or too cold
Reasons to avoid
-Some maintenance required to maintain-Wood retains moisture after a downpour-Self-assembly required

Designed by Barlow Tyrie, the company responsible for the iconic 'London Bench', a familiar sight in public parks in London, this much-loved style is the shape most of us picture when we conjure up the image of a classic wooden garden bench. 

Made from solid eucalyptus wood, a hardwood with naturally occurring weather-resistant oils, this material is a far faster-growing alternative to teak wood, making it generally cheaper and more sustainable to harvest, although slightly less durable. A yearly top-up with a wood preservative should keep this bench in good nick though.

We like the simple, classic and sturdy design, which will work perfectly in any style of garden. There is still some self-assembly required at this price point, but it's all fairly straightforward stuff.

A wooden garden storage bench

(Image credit: Dakota Fields)

4. Dakota Fields Wooden Bench

A wooden storage bench: hide outdoor essentials in this seat with built-in storage box

Specifications
Seats: 2
Size: H85 x W114.5 x D61.5cm
Material: Fir wood
Colour options: Wood
Assembly required?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Useful hidden storage+Affordable+Wood doesn't get too hot or too cold
Reasons to avoid
-Softwood isn't quite as durable as hardwood outdoors-Some maintenance required to maintain-Wood retains moisture after a downpour-Self-assembly required

If you have a smaller garden then this compact multifunctional bench will work hard to earn its keep, offering seating for two plus hidden storage for plant pots and tools in the built-in storage box under the seat. 

The affordable price tag is also a winner, although the bench is crafted from fir wood which, despite being fairly durable for a soft wood, probably won't have the longevity of a teak, eucalyptus or acacia hardwood alternative, and it doesn't feel quite as robust. Keeping it topped up with a wood preservative will lengthen its lifespan considerably though.

Top with cushions and you have the perfect place to lounge with a good book or cool drink on a hot summer's day.

A modern wooden garden bench

(Image credit: Case)

5. Heal's Tanso Teak Garden Bench

A contemporary wooden bench: simple and refined design that's suitable for indoors or out

Specifications
Seats: 2
Size: H80.5 x W116 x D55cm
Material: Grade A teak
Colour options: Wood
Assembly required?: No
Reasons to buy
+Teak wood is naturally hardwearing and weather-resistant+Compact size is useful for smaller spaces+Can be used indoors or out+Wood doesn't get too hot or too cold+Fully assembled+Coordinating outdoor furniture available
Reasons to avoid
-Some maintenance required to maintain-Wood retains moisture after a downpour

Inspired by the refined simplicity of Japanese furniture, the Tanso outdoor collection fuses robust and weather-resistant grade A teak wood with a level of craftsmanship that makes the furniture range as suitable for use indoor as out. 

Ideal for smaller spaces, the simple lines of the benchseat are designed to showcase the beauty of the natural wood grain, and it's certainly a bench we'd be as happy to admire up close in the hallway as in an outdoor courtyard. 

Alongside this compact bench, the range offers a selection of coordinating outdoor furniture to create a wider outdoor set, including a relaxed outdoor sofa and armchairs, and design-led outdoor dining table and chairs.

The best metal garden benches

A metal garden bench can bring decorative detail to the garden and provide low-maintenance seating, without requiring the regular upkeep a wooden garden bench may demand. 

Look for powder-coated or electro-galvanized options which seal the metal with a waterproof barrier to prevent the material corroding in outdoor moisture, and ensure any paint chips are repainted promptly to maintain the furniture's weather-resistance.

A metal bench also has the bonus of being quick to dry – or wipe down – after a downpour, although it can become very hot in the sun, or cold in cold weather, so cushions might be a must for comfortable seating.

A green metal garden bench on a pool terrace

(Image credit: Hay)

1. Hay Palissade Bench

A modern metal garden bench: minimalist design for a contemporary outdoor space

Specifications
Seats: 2-3
Size: H80 x W128 x D70cm
Material: Electro-galvanized or powder-coated steel
Colour options: Anthacite grey, olive green and galvanized steel
Assembly required?: No
Reasons to buy
+Contemporary design+Ergonomic shape+Wide range of coordinating outdoor furniture available+Water drains off easily+Low maintenance
Reasons to avoid
-Metal seating can get hot in the sun-Quite deep, so perhaps not for smaller spaces

Designed by French brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Danish brand Hay, the Palissade outdoor furniture range has become something of a modern classic. 

Available in powder-coated olive green, black or galvanised steel, this minimal curving bench seat is timeless in its simplicity, weathering both the elements and changes in fashion to remain contemporary in style.

There are fourteen pieces of coordinating outdoor furniture within the range, allowing you to mix and match items to build a garden set perfectly crafted for how you will use your outdoor space, including armchairs, dining chairs, tables and a far-more-comfortable-than-it-looks metal sun lounger. 

A black metal decorative outdoor bench

(Image credit: Perch & Parrow)

2. Perch & Parrow Zen Outdoor Bench

An elegant scrolled arm garden bench: timeless seating for two

Specifications
Seats: 2
Size: H93 x W128 x D44cm
Material: Distressed powder-coated iron
Colour options: Dark brown and distressed grey
Assembly required?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Compact size is useful for smaller spaces+Water drains off easily+Low maintenance
Reasons to avoid
-Metal seating can get hot in the sun-Self-assembly required

Perfect for a country-style garden or classic courtyard area, we can imagine this pretty garden bench surrounded by trailing roses and looking every inch the romantic English country garden idyll.

Scrolled arms and a scalloped backrest add decorative detail without verging on twee, instead creating an interesting focal point at the end of the lawn or hidden down a garden path.

Available in a distressed grey or powder-coated black, it does require a little self-assembly on arrival. But you'll soon be ready to don your straw hat, pile with cushions, and sit back in style as the garden gets into full bloom.

A black metal garden bench against an outdoor wall

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

3. Garden Trading Richmond bench

A timeless metal garden bench: there's room for three on this versatile bench seat

Specifications
Seats: 3
Size: H81 x W150 x D63cm
Material: Powder-coated steel
Colour options: Carbon black, foliage green and pomegranate red
Assembly required?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Timeless design great for wide range of garden styles+Can seat three people+Water drains off easily+Low maintenance
Reasons to avoid
-Metal seating can get hot in the sun-Self-assembly required

Classic yet contemporary, Garden Trading's Richmond bench is inspired by the iconic metal benches of London's parks and green spaces. 

This matt-finish steel bench is available in carbon black or foliage green, which, combined with the minimal slatted framework, means the timeless design blends effortlessly into any garden scheme, from a modern courtyard or country cottage garden to a contemporary urban space.

We love the simplicity and durability of the powder-coated steel design, which ensures this bench can withstand the elements outdoors without needing the maintenance involved in the upkeep of a wooden garden bench.

A contemporary blue metal garden bench

(Image credit: Petite Friture)

4. Petite Friture Week-End Bench with backrest

A cool and contemporary garden bench: minimalist design in a range of bright colours

Specifications
Seats: 2
Size: H77 x W121 x D49cm
Material: Powder-coated epoxy aluminium
Colour options : Blue, yellow, blush pink, burgundy, jade green, bottle green ,white and black
Assembly required?: No
Reasons to buy
+Fun and colourful design+Compact size is useful for smaller spaces+Aluminium is solid yet lightweight for easy manoeuvrability+Water drains off easily+Multiple benches can be stacked on top of each other+Fully assembled
Reasons to avoid
-Metal seating can get hot in the sun

This contemporary metal garden bench is available in eight colourful shades, from the royal blue pictured, to soft blush pink, bold burgundy and bright yellow, alongside classic black or white. 

The compact design is perfect for a small courtyard or balcony space, and as an even more space-saving solution the benches have been crafted to stack one on top of each other if you opt for multiple seats.

Designed by French studio BrichetZiegler which is known for its graphic furniture shapes, the fun, geometric silhouette is made from powder-coated aluminium, which is strong, naturally rust-resistant and lightweight enough to move easily around your outside space.

A red metal outdoor bench on an outside terrace

(Image credit: IKEA)

5. IKEA Brusen 3-seat sofa

A large modern outdoor bench: go bold with this bright red design

Specifications
Seats: 2-3
Size: H75 x W146 x D64cm
Material: Powder-coated steel
Colour options : Red
Assembly required?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Fun and colourful design+Good amount of seating space
Reasons to avoid
-Metal seating can get hot in the sun-Self-assembly required

A curved backrest and spacious seat make this metal bench a comfortable proposition – made even more so with the addition of some brightly coloured outdoor cushions. 

The bright red powder-coated steel design adds a welcome pop of colour to a contemporary patio, although there is a little bit of self-assembly to be done before you can put your feet up.

This design is pretty heavy however, so you may not want to be traipsing it too far up the garden or up too many flights of stairs to a balcony, but that does make for a sturdy and robust bench once it's assembled.

Where to buy garden benches in-stock now

This year garden furniture is selling out fast! If our top picks of garden benches aren't in stock right now, and you don't want to wait, use our handy tool below to find outdoor benches that are in-stock today and ready to buy.

Just click on the image of the one you like best and you'll be taken straight to the retailer to shop.

How to buy the best garden bench for your garden

Material choice 

Hardwearing, attractive and practical – a garden bench is ideally all three. The best wooden garden furniture designs are a classic choice, but you will need to consider that the look and feel of the bench will change over time as it weathers. To keep it looking its best, it's a good idea to apply a suitable wood treatment each year to protect it. 

Powder-coated metal designs are hard-wearing and require little or no maintenance. 

Woven man-made designs are less durable and will need covering or storing inside during winter. 

Choosing the right style 

Most garden benches are high backed with arms, so they provide plenty of back support and a place to rest your arms. If your bench will be your main garden seating, it's worth investing in something that will be as comfortable as possible to sit on for prolonged periods, so backless designs aren't the best choice. 

If you're short on space or only want a bench for occasional seating, however, backless dining benches are ideal as you can easily tuck them away under the table when not in use. There's more options in our best garden dining sets guide. 

Storage 

If your bench isn't suitable to be left outside all year, you'll need to consider how you'll store it inside over winter. No suitable storage space? Check out our best outdoor furniture covers to keep it protected instead. 

Amy Lockwood
Amy Lockwood

Amy writes about interiors and decoration for Livingetc, Homes & Gardens and Real Homes, bringing her design expertise outdoors into the garden for Gardeningetc. 


Initially honing her green thumb growing indoor plants in her first-floor apartment, Amy greatly appreciates the benefits we gain from coexisting with plants, including improved wellbeing, air purification, and reductions in the chemical VOCs that are slowly released into our homes from manmade materials. 


Amy’s wider interest in gardening embraces the design principles of permaculture; considering how we can best balance our valuable outdoor spaces to restore health to our own patches of soil, boost diversity for plants and wildlife, grow healthy nutritionally-dense food, and embrace outdoor living with style-conscious design that helps us to relax, entertain and improve our overall wellbeing through relationship with nature.