11 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

Included in this guide:

Best outdoor benches - Gardeningetc
(Image credit: Serena & Lily)

The best outdoor benches are perfect for creating a comfortable seating spot from which to enjoy your outside space - whether that's a modern backyard, a pretty patio or a classic porch.

Traditional or contemporary, there will be a patio bench to suit your tastes and add the finishing touch to your garden; the only difficulty can be in finding the right one for you, which is where this guide is designed to help out.

Whether it's a decorative metal bench you'd like for the end of the garden, a classic wooden bench to pile high with cushions and use to enjoy a good book on the porch, or a useful storage bench to stash your backyard essentials, we've rounded up the best outdoor benches on our radar.

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

By price: Low to High

A yellow metal outdoor bench - Mainstays

(Image credit: Mainstays)

1. Mainstays Hello Sunny Outdoor Patio Bench

A cheerful yellow metal bench: bring joy to the garden

Dimensions: L43 x W24 x H35"
Materials: Powder-coated steel
Color options: Yellow
Reasons to buy
+Great price+Contemporary colorful design+Unusual floral detail
Reasons to avoid
-Only one color option

The name says it all really, Mainstay's Hello Sunny Outdoor Patio Bench is guaranteed to brighten up your backyard with its vibrant yellow colorway. And even better, it has a bargain price tag. 

The powder-coated steel design features a mesh seat and bold floral backrest - perfect for injecting some statement style into your garden. 

The only downside? There's only one color option, although we couldn't love the sunshine yellow any more. 

White outdoor bench - Decor Therapy

(Image credit: Decor Therapy )

2. Decor Therapy Marley White Wood Outdoor Bench

Most affordable outdoor bench: a classic painted wooden bench that's a great money-saver

Dimensions: L48 x W22 x H35"
Materials: Painted acacia wood
Color options: White, Brown
Reasons to buy
+Great price+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 the Marley outdoor bench from Decor Therapy could be the one. 

Available in a painted white or natural wood finish, this acacia wood bench is compact, but perfect for a smaller porch or patio.

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

Black metal folding outdoor bench - Walmart

(Image credit: Walmart)

3. Lavish Home Folding Garden Bench

Best space-saving bench: this ingenious design folds away when not in use

Dimensions: L41 x W17 x H37"
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 outdoor bench is designed to fold away neatly when it's not in use - perfect for space-saving storage, or just for clearing the decks when you need more outside room.

The pretty powder-coated steel design is crafted to withstand the elements, and despite its collapsible form makes for sturdy seating for two.

Wooden outdoor picnic bench - Wayfair

(Image credit: Wayfair)

4. Breakwater Bay Brown Diboll Wooden Picnic Bench

Best picnic bench: a smart chevron design in a range of finishes

Dimensions: L53 x W16 x H18"
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
-Some self-assembly required-The lack of backrest won't be for all

A versatile 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 dark brown outdoor storage bench - Keter

(Image credit: Keter)

5. Keter Solana 70 Gallon Storage Bench Deck Box

Best storage bench: a useful hidden deck box to stash away the garden essentials

Dimensions: L55 x W23 x H33"
Materials: Plastic resin
Color options: Grey, Brown
Reasons to buy
+Useful hidden storage under seat
Reasons to avoid
-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 makes a useful 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 wooden garden bench with slatted backrest - Wayfair

(Image credit: Wayfair)

6. Beachcrest Home Leora Wooden Garden Bench

Best wooden garden bench: a timeless classic in a range of color options

Dimensions: L48.5 x W25 x H35"
Materials: Acacia wood
Color options: Teak, Dark Gray, Light Mint, Navy Blue, White
Reasons to buy
+Classic design+Good range of color options
Reasons to avoid
-Some self-assembly required

When we think of the archetypal outdoor bench, this classic wooden design is exactly what we picture. 

You can stay traditional with the natural acacia wood finish, or add some contemporary color with the Light Mint or Navy Blue options. 

Whatever finish you opt for, this timeless design will be right at home in a wide range of settings. 

A black metal kissing bench - Walmart

(Image credit: Walmart)

7. Safavieh Lara Outdoor Traditional Kissing Garden Bench

Best decorative metal outdoor bench: romantic seating for two

Dimensions: L44 x W24 x H31"
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 or Antique White finish to add some whimsical charm to the garden.

A wooden outdoor bench with chevron detail - Breakwater Bay

(Image credit: Breakwater Bay)

8. Breakwater Bay Brown Diboll Chevron Wooden Garden Bench

Best contemporary wooden bench: shaped seats and a modern chevron design

Dimensions: L48 x W25 x H35''
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
-Some self-assembly required

An outdoor bench certainly doesn't have to be classic, and this contemporary chevron design proves a wooden outdoor bench can be modern as well as traditional.

The design features a high back and shapely curved seats to create comfortable support, whilst a broad range of coordinating outdoor furniture allows you to craft a seating set to suit you perfectly.  

Pair with the matching Diboll chevron chairs, the coordinating coffee table, handy side table, or the chevron picnic bench already featured in this guide.

A wooden Adirondack bench - Selkirk Wooden Garden Bench Beachcrest Home Wayfair

(Image credit: Beachcrest Home)

9. Beachcrest Home Selkirk Wooden Garden Bench

Best Adirondack bench: the much-loved design, now made for two

Dimensions: L52 x W37 x H38"
Materials: Acacia
Color options: Wood
Reasons to buy
+Classic Adirondack style
Reasons to avoid
-Some self-assembly required

The distinctive Adirondack design is a much-loved classic, and we love this take on the style which sees the bold outline transformed into seating for two. 

The rolled seat edge and slightly angled backrest make for a comfortable reclining position - perfect for sharing a morning coffee outdoors or enjoying a sundowner with a view. 

A wooden outdoor bench with curved arms - Cambridge Casuals

(Image credit: Cambridge Casuals)

10. Cambridge Casual Isla Teak Wood Outdoor Bench

Best large outdoor bench: spacious seating with an elegant curved-arm design

Dimensions: L66 x W24 x H41"
Materials: Teak wood
Color options: Wood
Reasons to buy
+Generous seating space+Hardwearing, weather-resistant teak wood+Elegant design
Reasons to avoid
-Some self-assembly required

If you're looking for an outdoor bench that offers plenty of seating space, then Cambridge Casual's Isla bench provides a generous 66 inches of it. 

Crafted from hardwearing and naturally weather-resistant teak wood, the design features an eye-catching backrest and shapely rolled arms.

The price point is a little higher than that of our other options, but we think it's well worth it for the elegant teak wood design that is likely to withstand the elements for years, if not decades, to come.

Black metal outdoor bench - Hay Palissades Dining Bench

(Image credit: Hay)

11. Hay Palissade Dining Bench

Best contemporary metal bench: modern, minimalist curves

Dimensions: L50.5 x W27.5 x H31.5"
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

For a contemporary outdoor bench design, we don't think you can beat the iconic Palissade bench from Scandinavian brand Hay. 

Crafted from powder-coated steel, the curved design is modern and minimal but still surprisingly comfortable, with the ergonomic lines supporting in all the right places. 

Pair with the Palissade dining set, lounge chairs or bistro set to create a design-led outdoor seating area. 

How to choose an outdoor bench

The most important thing to remember when buying an outdoor bench is to check your measurements.

It can be easy to get carried away when you find a patio bench you love the look of, but not all outdoor benches are created equal, so make sure to check the width of the bench to ensure it will suit your requirements. If you're just looking for a seating spot for two then a compact design may be perfect, but if you want to be able to seat an extra person or two then choose an option that gives everyone plenty of seating room. 

If you're buying for a smaller backyard, or want seating to fit in a garden alcove or a narrow porch, then again make sure you check your measurements to ensure your bench will fit the exact spot you have in mind.

What are the best materials for an outdoor bench?

There are four main material options to choose from when considering the best outdoor bench for your backyard.

Wood Classic and timeless, a wooden garden bench can be traditional or contemporary in style. Look for hardwoods like teak, acacia or eucalyptus that are naturally tough and weather-resistant due to the wood's high oil content. The bonus is that wood is a good insulator, so it doesn't get too hot in the baking sun or too cold in low temperatures, however, you probably will need to do some upkeep to keep a wooden outdoor bench looking its best. A quick top-up with a wood preservative every year should do the trick.

Metal A metal garden bench will be sturdy and hardwearing, although the surface will get hot in the summer and cold in the winter, so comfortable cushions are a must if sitting for any length of time. Look for tough metals like iron, steel and aluminum. Most metal outdoor furniture will be treated in some way to prolong its lifespan - powder-coating is one of the most popular methods to increase longevity and protect corrosive metals from moisture.

Rattan A traditional organic material, woven rattan creates a timeless, classic look in the garden. However, natural rattan, although beautiful, doesn't have much weather resistance, so is best kept for covered outdoor areas and sunrooms. Modern 'poly-rattan' is now often used for patio furniture as a rattan substitute, this is a plastic polymer designed to imitate the look of real woven rattan. Poly-rattan is more hardwearing and weather-resistant, but as it can't be broken down by nature it's rarely an environmentally friendly option. 

Plastic Man-made plastic outdoor furniture is generally the cheapest patio furniture you can buy. It also has the benefit of being light and easy to move. Exposure to the sun and cold can make it brittle though, so it's best stored indoors in bad weather. 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. 

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.