The Best Outdoor Benches of 2024 – Picks from – Bob Vila

By Jasmine Harding | Updated Mar 6, 2023 11:45 AM
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Photo: amazon.com
An outdoor bench can make a beautiful garden look even more picturesque. Outdoor benches evoke a feeling of relaxation and calm, bringing up images of balmy days, birds singing, and fragrant flowers. The right outdoor bench can elevate your garden or patio and add cozy seating at the same time. Whether purely for decoration or to create a spot to enjoy some quiet time outside, a good outdoor bench is beautiful and durable. Here are some of the best outdoor benches to bring beauty and function to any garden or backyard.
Photo: amazon.com
Two of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a good outdoor bench are style and function. Since everyone has different needs and preferences, we chose the best outdoor benches from a range of bench types, materials, and sizes, including everything from classic metal garden benches to wooden picnic table seats. (However, we did exclude concrete and natural stone benches from this list; based on our research, they were not as popular as other types of benches.) Also, to ensure a high level of quality, our top picks came from reputable brands and retailers, including brands like Polywood, Plow & Hearth, and Wayfair. To that end, there’s a bench on our list to suit almost any use, whether decorative or functional.
Within each category, we kept a few important criteria in mind. First, the outdoor benches on our list are durable, made of materials designed to weather the outdoors. That said, shoppers should keep in mind, of course, that no material is entirely weatherproof, so even the best benches require some care to ensure that they last.
In addition to outdoor-friendly materials, we also prioritized comfort, choosing some benches with backrests, armrests, and restful-looking seats. Then, because style is ultimately subjective, the picks on our list include a range of styles that can look great in a variety of gardens. Lastly, some benches earned a spot on our list for their excellent extra features, like convertible designs or built-in storage.
These stunning benches provide comfortable seating to make any outdoor space inviting.
A convertible design makes the Lifetime Convertible Bench a versatile choice for outdoor seating. This adaptable bench features a convertible backrest that folds down to a table with the simple pull of a lever—converting it back and forth is easy enough for one person to handle. Want even more seating options? Two of these benches pushed together can create a full-size picnic table.
This bench has a wood-grain look, made of weather-resistant polystyrene, which gives the appearance of wood without the necessary upkeep that comes with real wood. The bench and tabletop are mounted on a durable and powder-coated steel frame. The large size and robust materials give this bench a 500-pound weight limit, offering enough seating for two or three people.
While this bench is less ornate than some options, it’s still a handsome-looking choice. Its simple design and neutral colors can blend right in with a pretty garden backdrop or an existing patio set.
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Get the Lifetime outdoor bench at Amazon, Wayfair, or Lifetime.
With a budget-friendly price and a pretty, decorative design, the Best Choice Products Steel Garden Bench is an excellent pick for almost any garden. This classic traditional metal garden bench is made of lightweight but durable alloy steel. True to traditional metal benches, it features an ornate scroll pattern and floral filigree design that adds charm to any garden or deck.
While Best Choice Products advertises this as a three-person bench, its smaller size and 300-pound weight limit will likely work for only one or two people. The compact footprint and delicate design make this bench a lovely choice for a cozy garden nook.
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Get the Best Choice Products Steel Garden outdoor bench at Amazon, Target, or Best Choice Products.
Made of hardy acacia wood, the Walker Edison Vincent Patio Wood Loveseat Bench is the perfect pick for those who like the rustic appeal of a wooden bench. This bench is an all-rounder: It’s durable, comfortable, and beautiful.
The solid acacia wood build makes it a weather-resistant pick. Simple lines and a chevron-patterned backrest also make it a stylish choice for contemporary yards. Plus, this bench comes in a few finish options to suit different styles. A 400-pound weight capacity means this love-seat bench is intended to seat two. It features comfortable, contoured seats that are slatted to prevent water pooling. Maintenance is also fairly easy with this bench; Walker Edison recommends applying teak oil every couple of months to keep the wood vibrant.
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Get the Walker Edison outdoor bench on Walker Edison.
Metal outdoor benches are a long-lasting and low-maintenance choice. Made from weather-resistant cast aluminum, the Patio Sense bench is virtually maintenance-free apart from the occasional cleaning. Though sturdy, the cast aluminum makes this bench relatively lightweight so it’s easy to move around. The sturdiness of cast aluminum is also hard to beat, and this two-seater bench has a high weight capacity of 450 pounds.
Besides its durability, this bench is also a pretty pick. A crisscross back and seat design, armrests with scroll details, and an antique bronze finish give this bench a traditional rustic look. The simple but classic design can suit pretty much any garden or patio.
Product Specs
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Get the Patio Sense outdoor bench on Amazon.
With a faux wood appearance, the Polywood Vineyard Bench offers an elevated look compared to typical plastic benches. This weather-resistant bench is constructed from genuine Polywood lumber, a faux lumber made from a proprietary blend of sustainable materials that includes recycled plastics.
Since this “wood” is made of plastic, it avoids many of the pitfalls of real wood. It won’t rot, crack, or splinter, and it hardly needs any maintenance—just the occasional cleaning with soapy water and a soft brush. Because its color is continuous throughout the material and it’s finished with a UV protectant, this durable bench is resistant to fading and also won’t chip or peel.
Aside from its durability, this bench is also an attractive pick. It has a simple design and comes in a few different finishes to match existing outdoor decor.
Product Specs
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Get the Polywood outdoor bench at Amazon, Wayfair, or Polywood.
Need a spot to store outdoor goodies? The Keter Solana 70-Gallon Outdoor Storage Bench features a roomy storage compartment, perfect for adding extra hidden storage to a patio or garden.
This bench is made of long-wearing polypropylene resin, finished with a wood-look texture. It comfortably seats two or three people with its large seat and has a 551-pound weight limit. Flipping up the seat reveals 70 gallons of hidden storage, and since this bench is weatherproof, it’s a great place to store some patio cushions and blankets or smaller garden tools and accessories. Users who want to add an extra layer of security can lock the storage compartment with a standard padlock (sold separately).
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Get the Keter outdoor bench at Amazon, Wayfair, or Keter.
A sturdy and stylish outdoor bench pairs beautifully with an outdoor dining table. The Gracie Oaks Eules Wood Picnic Bench can help create an elevated picnic area, well suited for both adults and kids.
This sturdy bench is made of solid acacia wood that rests on top of an iron frame. A natural-toned stain gives this bench a slightly rustic look. The clean design features straight lines and a sawhorse-style base that gives the bench a modern, industrial silhouette.
This bench seats two and has a weight capacity of 450 pounds. It’s a great choice paired with an outdoor dining table or placed on its own in a patio or garden.
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Get the Gracie Oaks outdoor bench on Wayfair.
Lounging in the garden is even more relaxing with the Outsunny 2-Person Outdoor Glider Bench. This rocking love-seat bench features a smooth gliding mechanism that mimics the gentle back-and-forth of a rocking chair. Since this bench doesn’t have a rocker, it’s safe to place on the patio or in the garden.
Combining both durability and comfort, this glider bench features a stable and rust-resistant steel frame. The backrest and seat are made of a mesh fabric that is breathable and quick to dry, plus it cradles the body. With a 440-pound weight capacity and enough room for two, this bench makes sitting outside with a partner even more enjoyable.
Product Specs
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Get the Outsunny outdoor bench at Amazon or Aosom.
With a little pop-up table, this outdoor bench from Best Choice Products is a great option for those who like to enjoy their coffee outdoors. At first sight, this bench looks very simple. Made of steel with a black finish, it has a basic slatted design to complement a variety of decor.
What sets this bench apart is the pop-up table in the middle of the bench. Measuring 15.5 inches by 15.5 inches, it’s the perfect size to place a couple of mugs, small plates, or books. When it’s not needed, the table is easy to push back down for an extra seat. This bench has a high 617-pound weight limit and seats up to three people with the table down or two people with the table pulled up.
Product Specs
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Get the Best Choice Products Steel outdoor bench at Amazon, Target, or Best Choice Products.
The Plow & Hearth Blooming Garden Metal Bench is another traditional garden bench that adds charming seating to an outdoor space. This eye-catching bench features a decorative back adorned with scrollwork and vines. A deep-bronze finish highlights this vintage-inspired design.
An elegant look isn’t the only thing this bench has going for it. It’s very easy to assemble and quite durable with a sturdy steel frame and a cast-iron back panel. A powder-coat finish protects this bench from both weather and wear. This bench seats two, each side with curved armrests. A slatted seat isn’t the most comfortable for long-term seating, but it does well to prevent water from pooling.
Product Specs
Pros
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Get the Plow & Hearth outdoor bench at Amazon, Wayfair, or Plow & Hearth.
A simple look, convertible design, and sturdy construction make the Lifetime outdoor bench the best bench for most patios and gardens. For a more classic and basic alternative, the Best Choice Products Steel Garden outdoor bench is a great pick, with its metal construction and floral filigree pattern.
Outdoor benches are intended to be both decorative and functional. Along with looking pretty, they should also suit your space and needs. When choosing the best outdoor bench, consider the bench material, size, weight capacity, style, comfort level, and any additional features.
Most outdoor benches are made of metal, wood, or plastic, but stone and concrete benches are available as well. Each material has its benefits and drawbacks:
When choosing a bench size, consider the intended space and use. The size of the bench should accentuate the look of the garden; it should nestle nicely into the outdoor space without overwhelming the scenery around it. For solo contemplation, a small bench may be the perfect fit. For chatting with friends, look for a bench that will fit two or more people, or about 48 inches to 60 inches long.
Most outdoor benches have a weight capacity of 300 pounds or more to hold the weight of a couple of adults. It still doesn’t hurt to double-check the weight capacity for larger users or to seat more people. A higher weight capacity also signals a sturdier bench, which means it will be more likely to maintain its structural integrity after years of use.
Like other outdoor furniture, outdoor benches come in an array of styles made to suit almost any decor. With so many options to choose from, it’s worth searching for an outdoor bench that suits your personal style, whether that’s modern, rustic, or traditional.
If the bench will be used often, comfort is just as important as style. Armrests and backrests are nice comfort features to have for extended-use activities such as reading, eating, or chatting with friends. For those who want a purely decorative bench or one with a cleaner look, a bench without an armrest or backrest can be a good pick as well.
Outdoor benches generally come in solid or slatted versions, each of which has pros and cons. Solid benches can be more comfortable to sit on, but they can hold water after it rains, which can affect the bench’s long-term durability. Slatted benches, on the other hand, won’t hold pooled water, but their slats can feel uncomfortable after long periods of sitting.
Outdoor benches can include additional comfort and convenience features to add even more value. If the outdoor bench will be frequently used, consider extra comfort features, such as removable cushions. Swinging benches or gliders that create a gentle rocking motion are also great options to inspire even more relaxation.
Function is often as important as comfort, especially for those who need some extra storage. Fortunately, many outdoor benches, in addition to providing a great place to sit, offer much-needed storage space as well. These chunkier benches, usually made of plastic, have a lift-up seat that reveals a weatherproof storage compartment inside.
For even more functionality, convertible benches convert from a plain bench to a bench with a tabletop. This feature can take the form of a convertible backrest or a small section of the seat that pops up to create a small table. These benches are perfect for those who also want to use the bench as a small dining area.
Outdoor benches are a versatile choice for adding beautiful and practical outdoor seating. The right outdoor bench can turn an outdoor dining table into a picnic area or help create a lovely garden oasis. With tons of choices available, from budget-friendly to high-end, choosing the perfect seat can feel overwhelming. Read on for a few frequently asked questions and their answers to help narrow down the best outdoor benches for your space.
Acacia, eucalyptus, cedar, and teak are all excellent options. Teak is a favorite for outdoor furniture for many shoppers because it can last a lifetime with the right care.
Just about anywhere! There are a few factors to keep in mind to create inviting and comfortable seating. Consider the view from the bench and also the conditions in the intended spot. Make sure the spot is suitable underfoot, so the bench is easily accessible and rests in place without rocking. Also, consider what’s overhead: A shaded or covered area can provide a bit of respite from the sun or rain.
It depends on the bench and the weather conditions in the area. Most outdoor benches will last at least 5 years, with many high-quality choices lasting upward of 10 years with proper care.
As with benches made of wood, plastic, or other materials, concrete and stone benches come in a variety of styles and are made for a variety of budgets. For a traditional look that won’t break the bank, however, we like the Athens Stonecasting Genteel Estate Bench.
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