Best garden furniture 2020: the best end of summer picks to buy now

Discover the best garden furniture to buy now to see you through the end of summer and well into 2021...

best garden furniture stylish outdoor living room with rugs and festoon lights
(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

The best garden furniture is an all year round buy, even as we near the end of summer. The great news is you can still find some gorgeous pieces that will see you through sunny autumn days and into 2021. 

So which are the top buys right now? Our picks include small garden-friendly sets, stylish outdoor dining tables and chairs, garden sofas, super chic bars and pretty garden swings. We have chosen pieces in all materials – hardwearing wood, stylish metal and weatherproof rattan – so there are a range of price points to choose from too. 

Read on to see the top outdoor furniture for every budget, then check out our list of the best garden furniture covers to keep your new purchase in prime condition.

Made.com garden furniture

(Image credit: Made)

1. Swara Garden 4 seater Round Dining Set

Best garden furniture for a contemporary feel: a stylish set perfect for alfresco dining

Specifications
Material: Polyrattan and glass
Seats: 4
Size: Table H74.5 x W100cm, chair H63 x W87 x 49cm
Care: Cover or store in wet weather
Reasons to buy
+Rattan effect but weather resistant +Modern, boho design 
Reasons to avoid
-On the small side 

Looking for a dining set to give your garden a contemporary, boho feel? The Swara set from Made.com would be perfect. 

Rattan effect

If you love real rattan furniture but it's not a practical choice for your garden, this set is made from Polyrattan so you still get that lovely, textured effect but this is much more hardwearing and can withstand the odd shower. Just make sure you do bring it in or cover if the rain is really torrential.  

Ideal for smaller gardens

If you don't have a ton of space in your garden, this would be a good option, as even though it still seats four, it's a really compact design. Plus it's not too boxy so won't make your garden feel smaller either. 

Garden Trading Camley industrial style garden table set

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

2. Garden Trading Camley Bar Table Set

Best garden dining set for space saving: this bar-style table set is big enough for a few friends but the seats neatly tuck away after use

Specifications
Material: FSC new teak and aluminium
Seats: 6
Size: Table H75 x W181 x D90cm, stools H46 x W41.5 x D34cm
Care: Store under cover in winter
Reasons to buy
+Compact lines+Good looker
Reasons to avoid
-No back support so not as comfy for anyone sitting for a long time

If you’re looking to seat six round your table with ease, but don’t want a dining set that requires loads of space, the large Camley Table Set could be the one for your outdoor space. 

Smaller footprint

This set teams a table with stools rather than chairs. Result? When they’re not in use the seats sit neatly under the table so they won’t take up more than their fair share of a small outdoor space.

Great design

We like the slatted teak of the table and chairs, which would complement a modern garden design beautifully. There is a two-seater version perfect for balconies and small courtyard gardens, too.

John Lewis Marble-Effect Garden Bar Table and Two Stools

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

3. John Lewis Marble-Effect Garden Bar Table and Two Stools

Best for mixing a cocktail: a stylish garden bar with room for two guests to watch as you mix their favourite tipple

Specifications
Material: Marble-effect glass top and powder-coated aluminium
Seats: 2
Size: Table H112.3 x W150 x D79.7cm (D84.7cm when pulled out), stool H83 x W48.9 x D45cm
Care: Wipe clean
Reasons to buy
+Be your own outdoor mixologist+Weather resistant for year-round use
Reasons to avoid
-Not a budget buy

Rather than the conventional table and chairs bistro set, how about this marble-effect garden bar table and two stools, which will make space for mixing and sipping cocktails in the sunshine.

Cocktail maker

This garden bar has a lower shelf, cutting board for preparing fruit and three metal storage drawers for ice and bar tools, so you’ll be all set.

Smart stools

The stools that come as part of this set have footrests and backs so you can sit out in comfort and style as the sun goes down.

Argos Home Ipanema 4 seater garden set with 2 tables in blue

(Image credit: Argos)

4. Argos Home Ipanema 4 Seater Rattan Effect Sofa Set

Best budget garden furniture: an affordable seat and table set which will add a pop of colour to your patio

Specifications
Material: Metal and rattan effect
Seats: 4
Size: Table H40 x Dia.70cm and H35 x Dia.50cm; chair H80 x W61 x D71cm, sofa H80 x W111 x D71cm
Care: Weather resistant
Reasons to buy
+Brilliant colour+Stackable chairs for easy storage
Reasons to avoid
-Could get too hot to sit on in full sun

Never mind if the flowers aren’t blooming: you can add a burst of summer colour to your garden with the Ipanema Rattan Effect Sofa Set.

Two tables

There’s room for everyone to set their drinks down with this set’s two tables, making for long relaxed gatherings in the sun.

Balcony friendly

Try this set if your outdoor space is a balcony as well as on a terrace as it’s made for both situations.

Made Bosco Garden dining bench in green and taupe

(Image credit: Made)

5. Made Bosco Garden Dining Bench

Best garden dining bench: an unobtrusive design that can be mixed and matched with tables and chairs

Specifications
Material: Polyester weave and metal
Seats: 2–3
Size: H43 x W177 x D45cm
Care: Cover or store in wet weather
Reasons to buy
+Subtly stylish+Organic colourway for versatile styling
Reasons to avoid
-A back support’s a must for extended sitting

Made for dining but great as seating on a balcony or patio, the Bosco Garden Dining Bench will fit two or three. 

Subtle seating

In garden friendly green and taupe, this woven design will complement your garden’s palette and the long low shape won’t overtake even a small space.

Matching chairs

You can team this design with a dining table, matching chairs, or even use inside and out if you don’t want to accumulate too much furniture to move home with.

Kettler Palma corner sofa and table set

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

6. KETTLER Palma 7 Seater Garden Lounge / Dining Table and Chairs Set

Best garden sofa set for large groups: a compact sofa with chairs too!

Specifications
Material: 5mm half round rattan
Seats: 7
Size: Palma Chair: H85 x W74 x D80cm, Palma Sofa: H85 x W190 x D80cm, Palma Stool: H39.5 x W38 x D38cm, Glass top table: H68 x W149 x D80cm
Care: Cover when not in use
Reasons to buy
+Comfortable and spacious+Looks chic andmodern  
Reasons to avoid
-Weathers easily so must be covered-Cushions need storage

Need a garden dining set for the whole family? The beautiful Palma set is up to the task.

Sturdy and weatherproof 

The hand-woven wicker is tough and weather resistant, making this set suitable for leaving outdoors all year round.

Wood-effect tabletop

The wood-effect tabletop is sturdy and durable, and creates a slightly rustic look that will look great in most gardens. What's more you can combine this set with any other pieces from the Palma range.

Mix of sofa and seats 

The mix of seating means this set is great for lounging in the garden, you could even use the sofa separately,  but can also quickly become a place for alfresco dinners. 

Wayfair swing seat

(Image credit: Wayfair )

7. Arianna Swing Seat with Stand

The best wooden garden swing chair: swing back and forth for an afternoon doze

Specifications
Material: Wood
Seats: 2
Size: H176 x W166 x D123cm
Care: Wipe clean with damp cloth
Reasons to buy
+Great price +Smart traditional look+Easy to assemble
Reasons to avoid
-Not a piece that will last years 

This Arianna swing seat with stand would be a lovely addition to more traditional garden, and the price is great too. 

Durable hardwood

In solid wood rather than weatherproof fabric, this wooden swinging bench benefits from a timeless design, and that’s good news, because the tough materials ensure it’ll last through whatever garden trends might come our way. Reviewers loved the neat design and the cheap prices.

Easy to assemble

You do have to put this swing together yourself but it's a really simple job that any DIY novice could do. You might want to give it an extra coat of yacht varnish too just to see it through the winter.

Best bistro set

(Image credit: Robert Dyas)

8. DuraOcean 2 Seater Bistro Set

Best bistro set: this chair and table set carries some serious eco credentials, too

Specifications
Material: Recycled plastic, Eucalptus wood
Seats: 2
Size: Table H75 x Dia.66cm, chairs H79.8 x W54.4 x D54.8cm
Care: Wipe down and cover in winter
Reasons to buy
+Made from ocean plastic waste+Fully recyclable+FSC-approved wood sourced from eucalyptus
Reasons to avoid
-None

This bistro set from Robert Dyas is worth the investment for its serious commitment to sustainable design – oh and it doesn't sacrifice on style for it either.

Eco credentials

The DuraOcean chair is made with recycled plastic waste from the ocean – think fishing nets, ropes and debris – which not only takes rubbish out of the sea, but also makes for a super-durable design. The wood used for the chair legs and the table is FSC-approved Eucalyptus wood, which means it’s also been sustainably sourced. And when the set comes to the end of its life, it can be fully recycled at your local recycling centre.

Compact style

While this isn't your usual foldable bistro set, it is still very unobtrusive with a slim table and elegant, tapered legs. Tucking it away at the end of the day is no problem.

How to choose the best garden furniture

Materials and maintenance

Generally it’s wood, rattan, and metal furniture on offer, although some designs mix these materials.

Wood will fit in with most plots, and you’ll find it used to make more contemporary designs as well as the more classic pieces you’d imagine. Tropical hardwoods like eucalyptus are naturally oily and stand up to the weather. Other woods may need treatment periodically. Wood also has the advantage of staying cool when temperatures rise.

Metal furniture can look classic or contemporary in appearance. It’s finished to give it protection in the outdoors. It’s easy to keep clean – just wash with soapy water. Cushions will be a welcome extra, and be aware that metal furniture can get hot, too.

Woven furniture is often made from synthetic materials these days to give it weather resistance, and make it easy to look after. Save real rattan for a seat or table you just take out to a paved area on sunny days and then use indoors the rest of the time as you shouldn’t get it wet, nor leave it out overnight.

Storage and moving

If furniture needs to be put away when it’s not in use for a long time, or in the winter, make sure it’s light enough to move without a struggle. You’ll also want to factor this in if you’re a frequent home-mover. If you don’t have enough space to store, look for pieces that can stay out year round, or designs that can be protected with a weatherproof cover.

Cushions

While many seats are comfortable, if you want to turn the garden into a living room in the summer, or sit for happy hours round the dining table, furniture with cushions will be a boon. Look at the care instructions to ensure you get designs suited to your lifestyle.

More top outdoor living buys: