10 best outdoor benches: seating for the patio or garden

Discover the best outdoor benches – from classic wooden garden benches to handy storage seats and pretty patio and porch options

A decorative outdoor bench on a gravelled patio
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(Image credit: Serena & Lily)

On the hunt for one of the best outdoor benches for your outside space? Whatever the size of your backyard or patio, an outdoor bench is a year-round essential that offers a comfortable seating spot from which to enjoy your outside space.

The best patio benches are multifunctional, doubling up as useful outside 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 – outdoor essentials.

Not sure which material to opt for? We've broken down the pros and cons of the most common options you'll need to decide between at the end of this guide – whether you're considering hard-wearing (yet expensive) teak wood, affordable (but less durable) softwood, powder-coated steel, or moisture-resistant aluminium, plus everything in between.

And whether you're looking for a classic wooden outdoor bench, a decorative metal loveseat, or a contemporary three-seater, you'll find the best of the bunch in this guide.  

Want more great patio options? Don't miss our guide to the best outdoor furniture, otherwise, read on to find the best outdoor bench for you...


The best outdoor benches

A wooden outdoor bench with curved arms - Cambridge Casuals

(Image credit: Cambridge Casuals)

1. Cambridge Casual Isla Teak Wood Outdoor Bench

A decorative Lutyens-style 3-seater bench made from hardwearing teak wood

Specifications

Dimensions: L66 x W24 x H41"
Seats: 3
Materials: Teak wood
Color options: Wood

Reasons to buy

+
Decorative Lutyens-style design
+
Made from hardwearing, weather-resistant teak wood

Reasons to avoid

-
A little light upkeep is required to prolong wood's lifespan
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Some self-assembly required

The Lutyens bench is the creation of Sir Edwin Lutyens, a British architect who designed many English country houses in the early 1900s and regularly worked with garden designer and horticulturalist Gertrude Jekyll. The Lutyens style bench, also sometimes known as a Sissinghurst bench or Marlborough bench, is a look now emulated by a variety of manufacturers. 

Made from one of the most weather-resistant woods available, this hardwearing teak wood option offers a spacious three-seater frame alongside its distinctive Lutyens-style rolled arms and high scalloped backrest. Allow it to weather to a beautiful silver-gray patina over time, or keep topped up with a yearly dose of teak oil to preserve its golden brown hue and ensure decades-long use.


A classic style white outdoor bench

(Image credit: Decor Therapy )

2. Decor Therapy Henley 2 Seater Outdoor Bench

A compact and affordable 2-seater bench with a white painted finish

Specifications

Dimensions: L48 x W22 x H35"
Seats: 2
Materials: Painted acacia wood
Color options: White, Brown

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Classic style
+
Space-saving compact design

Reasons to avoid

-
Some self-assembly required

If you're looking for a budget outdoor bench that doesn't feel like a compromise on style, then we think this straightforward outdoor bench from Decor Therapy could be the one. 

The painted white finish is perfect for a coastal style patio or country garden look, and the light colorway means its perfect for a smaller space, where the pale color will help to bounce light around and prevent the seating from overwhelming a space.

There is some self-assembly required with this two-seater option, but it's all easy stuff, so you'll soon be ready to pile it high with cushions and cozy up for an afternoon or evening in the sun.


A wooden outdoor bench with chevron detail - Breakwater Bay

(Image credit: Breakwater Bay)

3. Lark Manor Harbison Chevron Wooden Garden Bench

A contemporary wooden bench with shaped seats and a modern chevron design

Specifications

Dimensions: L48 x W25 x H35''
Seats: 2
Materials: Acacia wood
Color options: Brown, Dark Brown, Gray Wash

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable seats
+
Coordinating outdoor furniture
+
Range of color options

Reasons to avoid

-
A little light upkeep is required to prolong wood's lifespan
-
Some self-assembly required

A wooden outdoor bench doesn't have to be classic in style, and this contemporary chevron design proves a wooden garden bench can work just as well in a modern outside space. The solid acacia wood design features a high back and shapely curved seats to create comfortable support for two, with three color options available to choose from – golden brown, dark brown, and a mid-gray wash. There is also a great range of coordinating outdoor furniture if you want to extend your outdoor seating, including the air with the matching Harbison Chevron Chairs (opens in new tab), the coordinating Harbison Chevron Coffee Table (opens in new tab), and the Harbison Chevron Picnic Bench (opens in new tab).


Black metal outdoor bench - Hay Palissades Dining Bench

(Image credit: Hay)

4. Hay Palissade Dining Bench

A contemporary metal bench with modern, minimalist curves

Specifications

Dimensions: L50.5 x W27.5 x H31.5"
Seats: 3
Materials: Powder-coated steel
Color options: Anthracite, Olive, Sky Gray

Reasons to buy

+
Contemporary design
+
Coordinating outdoor furniture
+
No self-assembly

Reasons to avoid

-
Investment piece

Designed by French brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Danish brand Hay, this bench is a contemporary classic.  Available in powder-coated olive green or black, or a galvanized steel option, its timeless minimalist curves add a sculptural quality to the garden, with the 'see-through' design making a small urban garden feel more spacious, and its ribbon-like lines offsetting statement planting. Fourteen coordinating pieces of outdoor furniture also make for easy mixing and matching to enable you to build a set of garden furniture tailored to your individual outdoor space.


A wooden garden bench with slatted backrest - Wayfair

(Image credit: Wayfair)

5. Highland Dunes Royce Wooden Garden Bench

A classic wooden garden bench with a timeless design and range of color options

Specifications

Dimensions: L48.5 x W25 x H35"
Seats: 2
Materials: Acacia wood
Color options: Teak, Dark Gray, Light Mint, Navy Blue, White

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Classic design
+
Good range of color options

Reasons to avoid

-
A little light upkeep is required to prolong wood's lifespan
-
Some self-assembly required

When we think of the archetypal outdoor bench, this classic wooden design is exactly what we picture. Although the minimalist backrest and simple yet elegant armrests mean this bench works just as well in a modern setting as a more traditional patio area. Made from solid acacia wood, you can opt for an au naturel 'teak' finish, or add some contemporary or coastal color with the mint, white, black, or navy options. Whatever finish you opt for, this affordable design will be right at home in a wide range of settings. 


A dark brown outdoor storage bench - Keter

(Image credit: Keter)

6. Keter Solana 70 Gallon Storage Bench Deck Box

A storage bench with a useful hidden deck box to stash away the garden essentials

Specifications

Dimensions: L55 x W23 x H33"
Seats: 2
Materials: Plastic resin
Color options: Grey, Brown

Reasons to buy

+
Useful hidden storage under seat
+
Plastic is low maintenance

Reasons to avoid

-
Plastic isn't the most environmentally friendly option
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Some self-assembly required

If you don't want to clutter your porch or backyard with an unsightly deck box, then this storage bench from Keter will make a useful and practical addition to your outside space. The under-seat storage box holds up to 70 gallons of backyard essentials, and a lockable lid will ensure peace of mind. The polypropylene resin material might not be the most environmentally friendly choice, but it does make for a low-maintenance outdoor option, with no painting, rusting, or denting to worry about.


A folding wooden garden bench

(Image credit: Joss & Main)

7. Joss & Main Mignardise Wooden Garden Bench

A classic wooden garden bench with a timeless design and range of color options

Specifications

Dimensions: L48.5 x W24 x H31.5"
Seats: 2
Materials: Acacia wood
Color options: Natural wood, light gray, dark gray, blue

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Useful folding design
+
Good range of color options

Reasons to avoid

-
A little light upkeep is required to prolong wood's lifespan
-
Some self-assembly required

If you have a smaller backyard that needs to double up for many different uses, then this simple yet stylish folding two-seater wooden bench makes it easy to maximize your outdoor space when the bench isn't in use, and it's perfect for easy storage, or for packing up and moving if you're renting your property or planning a house move. The solid acacia wood design comes in four attractive colorways – natural wood, ash gray, pale blue, and slate gray – that allow you to blend or contrast with any existing outside decor or planting, and best of all, it comes in at a very affordable price point.


Black metal folding outdoor bench - Walmart

(Image credit: Walmart)

8. Lavish Home Folding Garden Bench

A space-saving metal outdoor bench with an ingenious design

Specifications

Dimensions: L41 x W17 x H37"
Seats: 2
Materials: Powder-coated steel
Color options: Antique Black

Reasons to buy

+
Foldable for easy storage
+
Space-saving compact design
+
Pretty decorative style

Reasons to avoid

-
Some self-assembly required

Perfect for bijou backyards, this clever metal outdoor bench is another option that's great for small space patio owners or those for whom space-saving storage is high on the agenda. Designed to fold away neatly when it's not in use, the decorative powder-coated steel design still makes for sturdy seating for two, and its pretty scrollwork back and armrests will add some focal-point charm and romance to the patio.


Wooden outdoor picnic bench - Wayfair

(Image credit: Wayfair)

9. Breakwater Bay Brown Diboll Wooden Picnic Bench

A versatile bench seat with a smart chevron design and a range of finishes

Specifications

Dimensions: L53 x W16 x H18"
Seats: 2-3
Materials: Acacia wood
Color options: Brown, Dark Brown, Gray Wash, White Wash

Reasons to buy

+
Versatile seating option
+
Space-saving design
+
Good range of color options

Reasons to avoid

-
The lack of backrest won't be for all
-
A little light upkeep is required to prolong wood's lifespan
-
Some self-assembly required

A versatile seating option, this armless picnic bench can be used as a stand-alone bench seat or as useful additional seating at an outdoor table or around the barbecue. Available in a good range of color options, from the natural acacia wood finish or dark brown stain to lighter white and gray washes, there is a style to suit most spaces, and the pretty chevron seat pattern adds some welcome detail. A backless bench seat is also perfect for placing in front of borders when you don't want to block the view of your planting, although, of course, you might not want to linger for quite as long on a bench that doesn't offer back support.


A black metal kissing bench - Walmart

(Image credit: Walmart)

10. Safavieh Lara Outdoor Traditional Kissing Garden Bench

A decorative metal outdoor bench that makes for romantic seating for two

Specifications

Dimensions: L44 x W24 x H31"
Seats: 2
Materials: Iron
Color options: Rustic Brown, Antique White

Reasons to buy

+
Decorative detailing
+
Unusual design

Reasons to avoid

-
Some self-assembly required

For something a little bit different, we love this pretty decorative metal bench in a traditional 'kissing loveseat' style. Perfect for hiding away at the end of the garden to bring a little romance at the end of a backyard stroll, the elegant scrolled ironwork design will create an interesting focal point. Opt for the dark brown, antique white, or petrol blue finish to add some whimsical charm to the garden.


Outdoor benches: buying advice

Hardwearing, attractive and practical – the best outdoor benches should ideally be all three. But what makes for a durable patio bench? One that's sturdy enough to weather everything the weather throws at it without too much maintenance? We've broken down the pros and cons of some of the most popular outdoor bench materials below to help you find the right option for you.

A pale wood garden bench with Scandinavian feel

(Image credit: Skagerak)

Wooden outdoor benches

A wooden outdoor bench is a timeless option that will suit a wide variety of patio styles. Wood is also a great insulator, meaning it won't get too hot in the baking sun or too cold in low temperatures which makes it perfect for year-round outdoor seating. Plus, if you opt for hardwood, the tight grain and naturally occurring oils will repel water, frost, and wind, making hardwood patio furniture a highly durable option.

However, you will need to do a little upkeep to keep a wooden outdoor bench looking its best; a quick top-up with a wood preservative every year should do the trick. It's also worth remembering that wood will retain moisture after a downpour, so you won't be able to wipe it dry as easily as a metal or wicker option. You can read our top tips for keeping your wooden garden bench in good condition in our guide to how to clean wooden garden furniture.

You'll find plenty more detail on which woods to consider in our 'Is outdoor furniture weatherproof?' article, but as a quick overview, the hardwoods you'll want to look out for are:

Teak: long prized for its strength and durability outdoors, as well as its tendency to weather to a beautiful silver/grey patina over time if left untreated, this slow-growing wood has an incredibly dense grain and high natural oil content which prevents moisture from penetrating the timber. However, that slow-growing habit and its toughness to craft mean it's one of the most expensive outdoor furniture woods to invest in. As demand outstrips supply it's also in danger of being harvested unsustainably. Reclaimed teak wood can be a cost-effective and eco-friendly solution, or make sure to look for FSC-certification which should ensure the tree has been felled within a managed forest and will not have contributed to damaging deforestation.

Acacia and eucalyptus: far faster growing than teak, and therefore much more affordable, these woods are fast becoming some of the most popular choices for outdoor furniture. The wood grain is slightly less dense than teak, but with some maintenance, they still hold up well outdoors, with their quicker growing habit allowing them to be grown and managed to yield greater quantities of wood more sustainably - although again, it's always important to look for FSC accreditation.

Unspecified wood: if a wooden garden bench doesn't specify the type of timber it's made from then the likelihood is that it's a softwood that won't be particularly durable outdoors. Of course, it might be an oversight on the behalf of the retailer, so don't be afraid to ask for more information, but, if a wooden outdoor bench is both a really good price and a nameless 'wood' build, you may be replacing it sooner rather than later, which needs to be factored into whether it really ends up being good value.

A green metal garden bench seat and chair in a contemporary garden

(Image credit: HAY)
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Metal outdoor benches

A metal garden bench provides low-maintenance seating, without requiring the regular upkeep a wooden garden bench may demand. 

A decorative metal bench with scrolled arms and intricate detailing is perfect for a country garden or more formal look, whilst the simple silhouette of a striking modern outdoor bench will lend a sculptural quality to an urban setting, or contrast well with statement planting.

A metal outdoor bench also has the bonus of being quick to dry – or wipe down – after a downpour, although metal can become very hot in the sun, or cold in cold weather, so adding some outdoor cushions will be a must. 

The three main varieties of metal that you're likely come across in outdoor furniture manufacture are steel, iron, and aluminium.

Steel and iron: generally the cheapest options, steel, in particular, is highly corrosive when exposed to moisture, so protection comes by way of powder-coating the metal with a thin yet tough layer of paint. This acts as a barrier to moisture and protects the metal underneath from exposure to the elements. However, if chipping does occur then it's important to repaint any damaged areas quickly to prevent water from getting in. Joints and fixings can also be a weak point, as it's hard to fully powder-coat places where screws may damage the painted surface. Bubbling paint and tell-tale orange streaks are usually the first signs that oxidisation has begun. 

Aluminium: in contrast this metal forms its own thin layer of oxidised material which acts to create a barrier to any further oxidisation, meaning it will stand up better to life outside in the elements. In this case, powder-coating is purely for aesthetics, so you don't need to worry about moisture penetrating into joints and rust forming. It's also lightweight so therefore easy to move around the garden (although may need storing on especially windy days!). Aluminium outdoor furniture is usually more expensive than steel or iron, but if you're looking for patio furniture that will remain strong, durable and have good longevity when left outside in the elements, it's likely to provide  better long-term value.

Colourful polyrattan seating in a patio garden

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)
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Plastic patio benches

Man-made plastic outdoor furniture can be one of the cheapest options to buy. It's also low maintenance, requiring no upkeep, is lightweight and easy to move, and can come in a range of bright and playful colors that work well in a family outdoor space. Exposure to the sun and cold can make plastic outdoor furniture brittle and prone to fading though.

However, unless a plastic outdoor bench is made from recycled or repurposed materials instead of virgin plastic, it's rarely a sustainable material choice. Plastic uses vast amounts of irreplaceable natural resources in extraction and manufacture, and due to the difficulties in recycling the end product generally ends up in landfills; so the cheap price for the end-user has massive costs in terms of environmental damage. 

HDPE – short for high-density polyethylene – and also commonly known as polylumber or POLYWOOD®, is a manmade material with similar origins to plastic. This can be can a less environmentally harmful option if you look for options that repurpose single-use plastics in the manufacture of the material.


How we chose the best outdoor benches

To round-up the best outdoor benches for this list we sat down on the job to try out some of the most popular designs, grilled the Gardeningetc team for their expert knowledge on the best outdoor materials, asked friends and family for their top-rated products, and took into account third party reviews on retailer websites. Click here to find out more about how we review products on Gardeningetc

Amy Lockwood
Amy Lockwood

After specialising in Textile Design for Interiors at Winchester School of Art, Amy spent many years working in the design and interior industries, including styling and visual merchandising for many well-known brands. She now writes for multiple interior publications, including Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Ideal Home, and Real Homes to offer advice on creating a well-designed interior, whether that's choosing the perfect shade of paint, what to look for when investing in a new sofa, or sourcing on-trend and sustainable products for the home.


Amy joined the Gardeningetc team to bring her design knowledge outdoors, offering advice on what to consider when shopping for the best garden furniture, how to choose the ideal garden bench, and sourcing everything you need to create an outdoor living area that will become the perfect place to kick back and relax when the sun shines.