It’s nearing spring, and it is finally time to get the outdoor spaces ready – the perfect time to enjoy the crisp, fresh air without the fear of frost bite. And, yes, it is time to start thinking about summer! As you head out to the garden to tend to your plants, you shouldn’t forget to get an outdoor bench for those times when you need to take a break.
If you spend any sort of time in your garden, you’ll agree with us that having an outdoor bench to sit on makes your backyard a much more comfortable place. A bench allays fears of creepy crawling insects; and you can enjoy that cup of coffee or tea in comfort.
An outdoor bench is great for enjoying the sunshine, reading a book, enjoying that nice cup of coffee or even for star gazing!
While the market has a wide selection of outdoor benches, choosing that one piece or design that will serve you well is difficult for many. With poor consideration, you may end up with an ugly, uncomfortable, and a squeaky bench that isn’t worth your money.
Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. All opinions are our own we pride ourselves on keeping our articles fair and balanced. For more info see our disclosure statement.
Outdoor Bench Buying Guide
Which factors and features do you keep in mind when buying an outdoor bench?
Are you looking for a garden bench for a large outdoor space or a small space? If you have a huge garden, then you may opt for bigger benches and smaller benches for smaller outdoor spaces. Just make sure that the design and the size of the benches match and accentuate the look of your garden.
A rule of the thumb on the purchase of outdoor benches – they should have ample space to accommodate your friends and family and have the capacity to hold the weight of at least two adults comfortably. The design and the material used must maintain the benches structural integrity after many uses.
Material used in construction – strength of the bench
The material used in the construction and the design of the bench determines if the bench lasts or not. Some of the main materials to consider include:
If you are looking to have an all-natural outdoor style, then you may have to go with wood. For best-quality wood used in outdoor or park benches look for the ones made with center-cut heartwood lumber that has consistent grain. It should be screwed using zinc plated or stainless-steel screws. Screws used in timber outdoor benches make tightening easy if the bench ever becomes loose because of age.
The best types of wood for an outdoor bench include:
- Natural cedar or pine: these age to a silvery gray unless sealed or painted. If treated well, they will last for years outdoors. Cedar is expensive compared to pine.
- Teak – this is a tropical tree that makes the perfect choice of material for outdoor furniture. Even when exposed to the elements, teak will last for at least 50 years. This is why teak is very pricey. You may want to apply oil annually or biannually just to maintain that natural reddish-brown color.
- Australian Jarrah – just like teak, it is very durable and will last for decades. It has delicious and deep reddish tones that add warmth and style to the outdoor spaces.
- Natural wood – this comes from roughly cut tree branches, and it doesn’t withstand the elements.
Just like wood, you have to consider how well the metallic outdoor bench will hold against harsh weather. You will also want to consider if the appearance matches the look you are wanting in your outdoor space.
- Extruded aluminum: makes lightweight benches, it is however not as strong as cast aluminium.
- Cast aluminium: cast aluminum is heavier and has intricate and elegant design patterns. It is also more expensive compared to extruded aluminum.
- Ornate iron: the elaborate curves on an ornate iron bench depicts the Victorian era’s style accurately. The benches are heavy making them resistant to the wind.
- Retro metal: makes stylish benches but it is moderately priced.
Apart from your wood or metal outdoor bench types, there are also a couple of other materials that are worth a mention due to their growing popularity.
- Wicker: whether natural or all-weather, wicker benches come from bamboo, rattan vine, or cane and are only ideal for use in a porch or any other covered area outdoors.
- Resin or plastic: Benches made of plastic resin are lightweight, affordable, durable, and easy to maintain. They are also stylish because they come in different bold colors.
Choose a style that suits your garden space, some of the main outdoor bench styles on the market include wooden benches, classic back porch style, or traditional English garden benches. Be sure to check out a few different styles before making the final decision.
Commercial or residential
Is your park bench for residential or commercial use? The use determines the size of the bench, the strength and the sturdiness of the construction. Does the bench need to withstand harsh outdoor weather conditions? Will rough kids be using it or only adults?
Is Storage Space Required?
In a world where we are all looking for a way to save space and money, multi-functional benches come in handy. An important feature to consider is storage space. Of course adding storage space does affect the look of the outdoor bench so be sure to consider whether this is something that will fit in with your desired aesthetic.
What is your budget for the park bench? Price ranges vary for outdoor benches by a huge margin, while more expensive does not necessarily mean better – we highly recommend not just going for the cheapest one available. Build quality is important for a piece of furniture that is possibly going to sit out in the harsh weather conditions it’s whole life!
Our Favorite Outdoor Benches
This is the most practical garden solution with a large capacity to comfortably hold two adults weighing a maximum of 770lbs. Besides sufficient and comfortable seating space, the practicality of this bench comes from the storage space. Clutter and outdoor spaces don’t go together, and this bench covers the need for orderliness.
It has a durable polypropylene resin plastic construction to withstand the outdoor environment and to last for a long time. The storage box is also of resin construction and has an in-built moisture resistance and ventilation keeping your stored items dry and safe. The lockable lid tops the security and safety detail on this storage container that doubles up as a garden bench.
The other essential feature is the fact that this storage garden bench will not lose its elegance even when exposed to harsh weather or abuse from your kids and pets. The resin is resistant to UV radiation, and it will not rust, warp, peel, or dent. It also doesn’t need painting.
For comfort, this bench’s armrests and backrest have comfortable contouring.
The fusion of functionality and elegance on this Keter Eden garden bench shows that storage and seating don’t have to be boring or ugly. You can also have this bench indoors if you wish to. It measures 32.8 x 23.4 x 54.6 inches.
- It is comfortable
- It has a large lockable storage
- It is durable thanks to the use of resin in its construction
- You can add cushions to the open back area.
- It looks great
- The plastic finish isn’t super smooth which some people may not like
This is a bit of a DIY type kit that is easy-to-set-up bench and comes with all the necessary assembly parts except for timber. To set it up, you can either use the AnySize Chair or Bench End Kit as well as your 2x4s. The assembly of this outdoor bench is simple, and Hopkins trusts their products seeing that they offer two years of limited warranty.
The assembly parts include two bench ends, assembly instructions, and hardware. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with lumber but this may be a pro instead of a con due to the fact that you can choose a timber type that you like. During assembly, you can make it into a sturdy bench, a loveseat or a chair. All you need is a powered screwdriver and a saw.
The bench ends have cup holders making it highly functional. The color blending of this bench with the outdoors oozes elegance.
With a design made of structural resin, the parts and the seats are made to last. Resin makes for little or no maintenance.
- The pre-drilled holes make for faster assembly
- Great price
- Maintenance is easy thanks to the use of resin in its construction
- They look great
- You can paint them to match your style.
- It is comfortable and sturdy
- You have to spend a bit more time and money on lumber before you get the finished product. If you are not handy and alone, you may have to hire someone to do the job.
The contemporary design and the ergonomic construction of this patio or garden bench will make you wish you could stay sitting on this seat forever. It has a maximum capacity of about 600lbs, and holds two adults comfortably.
Its upscale open-weave Rattan design, as well as the robust resilience of Keter’s polypropylene resin construction, makes this bench very durable, weather-resistant, and maintenance free. The woven texture will not warp, fade, fray or peel.
The armrests and the backrest’s ergonomic design offer ultimate comfort all day long. The cushions add comfort and their comfort results from their luxurious thickness. These cushions are also waterproof, and well, they have a tasteful design which accentuates the rich Rattan Brown.
The use of resin makes this outdoor bench water and weather resistant. The bench will tolerate high temperatures too. Resin makes the bench exceptionally durable.
This bench is perfect for any lazy person or anyone with kids as you only require acetic acid to wipe it. Make sure that you only use acetic acid and not any other chemical or detergent.
Its self-assembly design and light weight make it easy to transport. It comes with an assembly tool. This Keter bench measures 50.4 x 27.6 x 31.1 inches.
- The ergonomic design and the luxurious cushions make this bench comfy.
- It is durable
- Reasonably priced
- It is weather resistant
- It won’t hold well against strong winds
- It is plastic and not a Rattan.
- The cushions could be thicker
This park or garden bench by Mosaic doesn’t just look sturdy; it is sturdy. Cast iron lasts forever, and for durability and protection against rusting, this patio or garden bench has a powder-coat steel frame.
It has a maximum weight capacity of 500lbs, and the Ivy design decorates and adds style to your garden or patio perfectly. The black cast iron makes this bench even more stylish blending with nature naturally.
It is easy to assemble and comes with assembly hardware. This bench measures 50.5 x 24 x 33.5 inches.
- It is affordable
- It is easy to assemble
- It has a sturdy construction
- It looks good for the outdoors
- Powder coating prevents chipping and fading
- Only works for warm weather
- You may have to get pillows and cushions
This 50-gallon decorated and highly functional patio or enclosed garden bench that provides enough seating space for two. It takes advantage of the space below the seat by converting it to convenient storage space.
This All-American design is easy to use, and assembly takes about 5 minutes. Its interior measures 47 ¾ by 17 ½ by 16 ½ inches while the exterior measures 52 ¾ by 21 by 34 ½ inches.
It is durable, thanks to the use of long-lasting, weather resistant, heat resistant and UV-resistant resin in construction. It also has a stay-dry construction design which makes it the ideal outdoor bench.
- It is lightweight and works beautifully indoors and outdoors.
- Great price
- It is easy to assemble and there is no need for tools to use in assembly
- It doesn’t warp, fade or peel
- It is sturdy
- It is waterproof
- If it rains and you open it when it has water on top, the water will get into the storage space.
There are many other outdoor benches on the market but you’ve got to make sure that your choice meets your needs, budget, climatic conditions of the region you live, and it should also be stylish.