10 best garden benches 2021: stylish outdoor seating for two

The best garden benches for your space – from the classic wooden garden bench to timeless metal, elegant rattan and contemporary outdoor bench seating

Best Garden Benches 2021 - wooden garden benches, metal garden benches and more
(Image credit: Garden Trading)

The best garden benches out there are multi-functional, doubling up as both a handy perch plus an exterior décor feature to boot. A versatile addition to any garden space, we think it’s high time this trusty furniture piece was celebrated a little more. 

No matter how big or small your garden is, benches are an ideal way to create a quiet spot where you can pause and appreciate your outdoor space. Place a bench in a sunny spot, under a shady tree, on a balcony, or next to your house, and you'll have the perfect place to sit and relax with a cup of coffee and a good book.

We've rounded up the best garden benches for you to choose from. There’s the classic wooden garden bench, durable metal designs, lightweight and elegant rattan options and colourful contemporary bench seats. Keep scrolling to find your favourite. Want more great buys? Don't miss our guide to the best garden furniture

The best garden benches

Best garden benches - best metal garden bench - Garden Trading Richmond

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

1. Garden Trading Richmond bench

Best garden bench: this durable metal garden bench wins on versatile design

Specifications
Material: Powder coated steel
Size: H81 x W150 x D63cm
Weight: 21kg
Reasons to buy
+Timeless design great for wide range of garden styles+No need to perform regular maintenance as with wood furniture
Reasons to avoid
-Weighty, so you won't want to be moving it too often-Metal can get hot in the sun

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 durability of the powder-coated steel design, ensuring this is a bench that's able to withstand the elements outdoors without needing the maintenance involved in the upkeep of a wooden garden bench.

Best garden benches - best wooden garden bench - Argos Newbury

(Image credit: Argos)

2. Argos Home Newbury Wooden 2 Seater Garden Bench

Best garden bench: most affordable wooden garden bench

Specifications
Material: FSC pressure treated timber
Size: H85 x W122 x D57cm
Weight: 8.5kg
Reasons to buy
+Very affordable wooden bench+Lightweight for a wood design, so easy to move
Reasons to avoid
-Will need to be treated to preserve the wood-Not as sturdy and long-lasting as teak or acacia wood-Self-assembly required

A classic wooden garden bench at one of the most affordable price points around, the Newbury garden bench from Argos is made from pressure-treated FSC certified timber.

Simple yet timeless, this is a great affordable two-seater bench for catching the morning sun. Unlike the other wooden benches on our list, this bench isn't made of teak or acacia hardwood, so it's probably not going to be as durable as the other wood options, but that does mean it's much more lightweight and easy to move about the garden as the whim takes you.

Just note you will need to do some self-assembly to fit this bench together when it arrives, but everything required is included in the set.

Best garden benches - best rattan garden bench - La Redoute

(Image credit: La Redoute)

3. La Redoute Natural Rattan Garden Sofa

Best garden bench: best rattan garden bench for elegant seating

Specifications
Material: Non-barked rattan frame, varnished woven rattan seat
Size: H83 x W110 x D61cm
Weight: 6kg
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight and easily moveable+Best for patios
Reasons to avoid
-Need to bring indoors when not in use

Rattan furniture is having a moment, both indoors as well as out, and luckily this versatile rattan garden bench from La Redoute offers the best of both worlds, looking as good in the interior as it does on the patio – perfect if you're limited on areas to store 'traditional' garden furniture over winter.

The handwoven design features elegantly curved arms and a woven diamond motif crafted from pale, natural-toned rattan, whilst its lightweight design makes it easy to move outside when the sun comes out.

Just bear in mind rattan isn't as durable outside as wood or metal; it will need to be stored away from the damp and kept off the grass on wet days, and is best kept out of the full sun for prolonged periods as this can dry out the rattan weave and cause splitting. 

On a covered terrace or beneath a shady pergola though, nothing says English summer to us like reclining with a long cool drink on this pretty rattan bench seat.

Best garden benches - best wooden garden bench - Garden Trading

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

4. Garden Trading Chastleton Bench

Best garden bench: a hardwearing and durable solid reclaimed teak bench

Specifications
Material: Reclaimed teak
Size: H90 x W160 x D67cm
Weight: 26kg
Reasons to buy
+Hardwearing and durable teak wood+Reclaimed timber offers a more sustainable option+Fully-assembled
Reasons to avoid
-Weighty, so you won't want to be moving it too often-Will need some regular maintenance if you want to preserve the colour-Teak wood is a more expensive yet konger lasting material

Crafted from reclaimed teak, this solid hardwood bench from Garden Trading is designed to last a lifetime, with the natural oils present in teak wood offering long-lasting protection from the elements.

Allow it to weather gently over time for a soft silvery-finish, or top up with a coat of teak oil at the beginning of each summer season to maintain the rich colour.

Arriving fully assembled, the geometric design gives this wooden bench a contemporary feel, making it the perfect addition to any modern outdoor space. 

Best garden benches - best bistro garden bench - Argos Eve

(Image credit: Argos)

5. Argos Home Eve Metal 2 Seater Garden Bench

Best garden bench: best foldable metal bistro bench for space-saving design

Specifications
Materials: Painted metal
Size: H80 x W82 x D46cm
Weight: 8.9kg
Reasons to buy
+Great space-saving option for small outdoor areas+Foldable design makes for easy storage +Affordable+Matching table and chairs
Reasons to avoid
-Not a lot of room for two!-Metal can get hot in the sun

The perfect seating option for a compact courtyard or small patio, this foldable metal garden bench is easily storable when not in use, and at just 82cm wide will easily fit on even the narrowest of balcony spaces – although two adults might be fairly tightly squeezed!

Available in pretty sage green or contemporary grey, the bench also comes with matching foldable bistro chairs and a folding table, making for a very affordable and easy-to-set-up outdoor seating set.

Best garden benches - best foldable wooden garden bench - Conran

(Image credit: The Conran Shop)

6. The Conran Shop Folding Outdoor Bench in Teak

Best garden bench: a foldable wooden garden bench

Specifications
Material: Teak wood
Size: H90 x W120 x D59cm
Reasons to buy
+Hardwearing and durable teak wood+Foldable design makes for easy storage 
Reasons to avoid
-Wood will need some regular treatment to maintain its colour

Speaking of foldable garden furniture, if you're looking for a space-saving option that is a little more sturdy, then this folding wood bench from The Conran Shop could be just the ticket.

Crafted in Indonesia from hardwearing teak wood, the clean-lined design will add a contemporary touch to the garden, whilst its easily foldable frame will save space when it comes to storing over winter. 

Moisture-resistant teak is one of the best hardwoods for withstanding outdoor rot and decay and holds incredible strength, so you can expect this investment to stand the test of time.

Best garden benches - best metal garden bench - Hay Palissade Bench

(Image credit: Hay)

7. Hay Palissade Bench

Best garden bench: a modern and minimal metal bench seat

Specifications
Material: Electro galvanized steel
Size: H80 x W128 x D70cm
Weight: 16kg
Reasons to buy
+13 coordinating options let you build a garden furniture set suited to your outside space+Contemporary yet timeless style
Reasons to avoid
-Fairly weighty to move around-Metal can get hot in the sun

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 design is timeless in its simplicity, weathering both the elements and changes in fashion to remain contemporary in style.

There are 13 complementary outdoor furniture pieces to complete this 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 sun lounger. 

Best garden benches - best wooden garden bench - Cox and Cox Ravenna

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

8. Cox & Cox Ravenna Bench

Best garden bench: a timeless wooden garden bench

Specifications
Material: Treated acacia wood
Size: H89 x W180 x D65cm
Reasons to buy
+A change from the usual 'orange' wood bench+Fitted bench cushion included
Reasons to avoid
-A £60 charge for two-man delivery is an expensive addition to the price-Currently a long lead time

New for 2021, the Ravenna range from Cox & Cox is currently pre-order only with stock of this contemporary garden bench due in early May.

Made from treated Acacia wood which is strong and durable outdoors – although generally not considered quite as long-lasting as teak garden furniture – we particularly like the grey-wash finish of this set, especially if you're not a fan of the usual 'orange' wooden garden furniture tones and don't want to wait for a teak bench to weather to a more muted silver over the years.

Unlike our other options, this wooden bench comes with a fitted bench cushion, meaning despite the wait for its arrival, you'll able to relax with a book in comfort from the moment it arrives. 

Best garden benches - best colourful garden bench - John Lewis Salsa

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

9. John Lewis & Partners Salsa 2-Seater Garden Sofa

Best garden bench: on-trend, colourful and contemporary design

Specifications
Material: Steel and rattan
Size: H81.5 x W117 x D65cm
Weight: 7kg
Reasons to buy
+Colourful and contemporary+Lightweight+Can be left outside all year round
Reasons to avoid
-Will best suit a modern garden style

You may need to wait a little while to get your hands on John Lewis' Salsa range as there is currently a 5 week lead-time, but we think pre-ordering is worth it to add some summer colour to your garden with this range. 

Available in two-seater bench seat, chair and table this set makes a great addition to a fun and contemporary family garden. Made from powder-coated steel and fade-resistant coated rattan, John Lewis claims this range is durable enough to leave out in the garden all year round, making it a really low-maintenance option.

Opt for minty-green Agave or our favourite the bluey-grey Mineral colourway for a garden bench with a difference.

Best garden benches - pretty metal scrollwork bench - Perch and Parrow Zen

(Image credit: Perch & Parrow)

10. Perch & Parrow Zen Outdoor Bench

Best garden bench: an elegant scrolled metal garden bench

Specifications
Material: Powder-coated netal
Size: H93 x W128 x D44cm
Reasons to buy
+Great for a country garden
Reasons to avoid
-Metal can get hot in the sun

We love the elegant scrollwork detail of Perch & Parrow's Zen metal garden bench. 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.

Available in a distressed grey or powder-coated black, you will have to wait until April for this bench to come into stock, but pre-order now and you can be ready to don your straw hat, pile with cushions, and sit back in style as the garden gets into full bloom.

How to buy the best garden bench 

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. 


Want more outdoor inspiration? Check out our guide to the best rattan garden furniture for timeless outdoor style, get ready for the sun with the best sun loungers or create some much-needed shade with the best garden parasols