The best garden furniture for any outdoor space

best garden furniture

Whether you're looking for a table and chairs, a sun lounger or a furniture set fit for the whole family, make the most of your outdoor space, no matter the size, with this selection of the best garden furniture around.

When it comes to sprucing up your garden, patio or balcony, a good piece of garden furniture can really bring an outdoor space to life – as well as provide somewhere comfortable for you and your family to gather or relax on those warm summer days.

Things to consider when buying garden furniture

Space

If you have a big garden or plenty of patio space, a large outdoor dining table, sofa or reclining chair could well be the perfect addition.

But even if you have limited space, i.e a small yard or balcony, you can still find outdoor furniture to fit your needs – a bistro table with two chairs is a classic piece of garden furniture that will last for years to come. The most important thing to remember is to measure your space before you buy.

Material

Rattan is sophisticated and on trend, teak is tough and timeless, and metal is both of those things and more. Of course, there's also plastic, which is lightweight and easy to clean.

You will, we expect, already know what material garden furniture you're looking for and much of that will be down to personal taste. But bear in mind how it will look with cushions, parasols and anything else you might want to add, how it will fit in with the aesthetics of your outdoor space, and how easily it can be put away. Which leads us to…

Storage

Eventually, the warmer months will come to an end and your garden furniture will need to be stored – or at the very least covered with something ultra-durable. Yes, that applies to all-weather garden furniture too.

The British weather never fails to disappoint surprise us and sustained rain can warp wood, corrode metals and make fabric go mouldy. Even though good garden furniture can look better with age, putting it safely away when the weather turns will often be the best solution.

Not only will it help to preserve the material, but it may also put your mind at ease, sparing you any nasty surprises when it comes time to use it next year. So think about where you'll store it and, if you're short on space, consider investing in folding furniture that can be tucked away neatly.

Here's the best garden furniture to buy this year.

1. Best value garden furniture: IKEA Sollerön Modular Sofa

1. Best value garden furniture: IKEA Sollerön Modular Sofa

IKEA comes up time and again when garden furniture is discussed on Mumsnet. A bit like the Kettler Corner Set (see below), but quite a bit cheaper, this combination of separate seating sections means you can create a sofa in multiple shapes and sizes to suit your space. You could even use one of the sections as a makeshift table too.

So whether you want to spread out, or gather round for casual dining, this is a versatile option that most will love.

The cushion covers are water-repellent, fade-resistant and easy to remove for machine washing. There’s also storage space under the seats which is handy for blankets and extra cushions.

Price: £463

What Mumsnet users say

“I recommend the Ikea rattan-look all-weather outside furniture.”

“The all-weather basket weave furniture is really lovely and hard-wearing. IKEA have a good range that can be left out all year.”

Buy now from IKEA

2. Best patio furniture: Royal Garden Elegance Metal Two-Seater Garden Bistro Set

2. Best patio furniture: Royal Garden Elegance Metal Two-Seater Garden Bistro Set

The 60cm glass-top dining table is spacious enough to easily accommodate two people while the chairs boast beautiful detailing and are ergonomically designed with curved frames.

Made from top-quality steel and coated with moisture-repelling Thermosint, you don't need to worry about leaving this set out in the odd shower.

The chairs are stackable when not in use – handy if you have a small garden and don't want to encroach on your child's playing space.

Price: £365

What Mumsnet users say

“Royal Garden. Am sitting on it now. No maintenance at all and just needs a wipe to be dry enough to sit on after rain. I am in Scotland and it is wonderful for this climate. Best thing I ever bought.”

“I have had the Royal Garden for nearly 10 years and it is as new. Even with all the cold weather this winter it did fine and I don't cover it.”

Buy now from Homebase

3. Best for relaxing: Keplin Zero-Gravity Chairs

3. Best for relaxing: Keplin Zero-Gravity Chairs

If you're looking for something low-maintenance that will allow you to relax in comfort, then this set of two Keplin Zero-Gravity recliners will suit any form of outdoor space.

Made from close-weave textoline fabric with a detachable head pillow, these heavy-duty reclining chairs are easy to clean, sturdy and can be folded away neatly for storage.

Price: £130

What Mumsnet users say

“Get a zero-gravity recliner. It folds up, but is extremely comfortable.”

Buy now from Amazon

4. Best rattan garden furniture: Kettler Palma Eight-Seater Garden Corner Set

4. Best rattan garden furniture: Kettler Palma Eight-Seater Garden Corner Set

Kettler make top of the range garden furniture in a variety of styles. Inevitably it’s not cheap, but those Mumsnet users who've splashed out on it attest to its style and quality.

The Palma collection is one of Kettler’s most popular ranges and, while the set is compact, it still caters to eight people.

Manufactured with a strong aluminium frame and high-quality weatherproof hand-woven wicker (in rattan or white), it’s sturdy, durable and would work well in the garden or conservatory.

Price: £1,649

What Mumsnet users say

“I have a Kettler Palma corner set which has two three-seater sofas. It's brilliant quality and has really changed my life. The cushions are heavy duty and withstand a shower. I have covers which I put on for heavy rain.”

“I bought a Kettler table and chairs which has lasted better than anything else I've had. I bought them because we have nowhere to store them indoors and they can stay out.”

Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

5. Best teak garden furniture: Cyan Cadogan Teak Table and Stacking Chairs

5. Best teak garden furniture: Cyan Cadogan Teak Table and Stacking Chairs

Combining elegance with robust construction, the table is crafted from sustainably-sourced A-grade teak while the six armchairs that come with it are made from synthetic rattan – great for resisting the harsh weather – woven over sturdy teak frames (enough teak for you?) and available in honey wicker or java brown.

Make no mistake, this set has been built to last and, according to the manufacturer, can be left outdoors all year round while requiring minimal maintenance, which is useful if you're prone to overlooking these things.

Price: £860

What Mumsnet users say

“Cyan is good for teak. I have a teak table with fake rattan chairs which have lasted for a good ten years.”

“Best place for teak is Cyan. It’s very good quality stuff but about half the price of competitors. I've got quite a few things from them and can vouch for the quality.”

Buy now from Cyan Teak Furniture

6. Best for dining: IKEA Äpplarö Drop-Leaf Table

6. Best for dining: IKEA Äpplarö Drop-Leaf Table

A sturdy but sleek table makes an excellent centrepiece for any garden furniture.

The drop-leaves on this Äpplarö table from IKEA can be folded or removed easily, so you can quickly adjust the table size according to your needs and store it away without hassle.

It’s been pre-treated with several layers of semi-transparent wood stain, which brings out the natural character of the wood and increases its durability.

As one Mumsnet user explains, a couple of coats of oil really suit the table, as well as the chairs that are also available to purchase.

Price: £80

What Mumsnet users say

“I have the smaller drop-leaf Äpplarö table from IKEA and four folding wooden chairs plus cushions. I gave the chairs two or three coats of oil (after a light sanding) in the spring and they've come up beautifully. I left them a day or so between coats for the oil to fully sink in and dry. Folding sets give us more space on the patio and I can put them away over winter.”

“We have the modular Äpplarö range from IKEA. It’s under a pergola but has been outside over a year. The cushion covers are wipeable and machine-washable.”

Buy now from IKEA

7. Best for small spaces: Charles Bentley Cast Aluminum Bistro Set

7. Best for small spaces: Charles Bentley Cast Aluminum Bistro Set

This classic set from Charles Bentley (available in different styles and colours) is made from cast aluminium and shows that garden furniture needn't just be about finding something big to suit the whole family.

Ideal for enjoying coffee with a friend, a quiet moment alone, or perhaps an aperitif with your partner, this traditional bistro table lets you enjoy comfort in your own garden in style.

Tuck it in the shade when you want to cool off or pull it out when you want to sit and catch the sun. It's weather-proof so can be kept outside all year round and has a central hole in the table to fit a parasol.

Price: £170

What Mumsnet users say

“I would recommend metal garden furniture. With padded cushions which can be brought out as required. No upkeep at all. Lasts for years.”

Buy now from Wickes

8. Best garden furniture for families: Argos Eight-Seater Rattan Effect Sofa Set

8. Best garden furniture for families: Argos Eight-Seater Rattan Effect Sofa Set

Perfect for entertaining or just plain old relaxing, this set includes a large L-shaped corner sofa, a glass-topped edgeless table with padded feet and removable legs for storage, as well as three padded stools.

With enough space to sprawl, this set is sure to see your family through many a summer evening in the garden.

It’s easy to wipe clean too using a damp cloth, but accompanying seat cushions should be stored indoors when not in use.

Price: £350

What Mumsnet users say

“Sometimes I can't be arsed to get the cushions out but my outdoor sofa from Argos is still comfy enough. With the cushions on it it's fab and lovely in the sun to sit on.”

Buy now from Argos

9. Best budget garden furniture: IKEA Själland Bench

9. Best budget garden furniture: IKEA Själland Bench

For garden furniture with a minimalist aesthetic, it doesn't get much better than IKEA.

We love the Själland Bench for its functionality and price tag, and its made from weather-resistant, long-lasting aluminium, which IKEA says boasts naturally built-in rust protection.

While it only seats two to three people, this piece is sturdy but lightweight and will fit seamlessly into most (if not all) outdoor spaces.

If you're after a larger set, you can purchase IKEA's Själland bench, chairs and table as part of a bundle (£345).

Price: £80

What Mumsnet users say

“We've got IKEA Själland table, benches and chairs. It requires no maintenance or covering. I just give it a wash in the spring with some soapy water and it looks as good as new. It's about three years old and I can't see how it would wear!”

Buy now from IKEA

10. Best wooden garden furniture: Geraldo Six-Seater Dining Set with Cushions

10. Best wooden garden furniture: Geraldo Six-Seater Dining Set with Cushions

Mumsnet users often recommend Wayfair for garden furniture and this six-seater wooden set showcases some of the best the brand has to offer.

The vibe is family brunches and barbecues at the height of summer. Baps, ketchup, rounders… you know the drill.

It's made from high-quality eucalyptus wood, so it should last, and the chairs can be folded for easy storage. Each seat also comes with padded cushions so you can enjoy your outdoor space in maximum comfort.

Price: £280

What Mumsnet users say

“I love Wayfair. Covers many budgets and a far bigger choice than most furniture shops.”

Buy now from Wayfair

Related: The best hot tubs to buy

Which garden furniture is best?

In terms of quality and style, we'd recommend IKEA's Sollerön rattan sofa as our number one choice for families.

For those with less outdoor space, we also love Royal Garden's Metal Bistro Set – a piece clearly built to last.

What type of outdoor furniture is the most durable?

For durability in all weather conditions, aluminium or wood are the best materials for outdoor furniture.

Aluminium is the most popular material used for garden furniture and is very affordable, whereas wood is more elegant but requires some maintenance, including painting and varnishing, every two years.

Other durable options include wicker, rattan, stainless steel and wrought iron.

Read next: Best garden parasols to buy

What's the difference between rattan and wicker?

The main difference between rattan and wicker is that rattan is a material in itself while wicker furniture is made using a combination of materials, including rattan.

Wicker can best be described as an ancient technique or weave, while rattan is a close relative of the palm tree and therefore a type of vine.

Best garden furniture accessories

No garden furniture set is complete without those all-important accessories. Here are our top recommendations:

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Read next: Best mattress toppers as tested by parents

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