The best garden dining sets

Choose the best outdoor dining table and chairs for your garden

Dobbies Alps 6 seater garden set best garden rattan dining set
Dobbies Alps 6 seater garden set with parasol
(Image credit: Dobbies Garden Centres)

With the prospect of a glorious British summer ahead, now is a great time to review your garden, and create a garden dining space that will ensure you make the most of the warmer months. Purchasing the right garden furniture is a must, but with so many styles and materials to choose from, where do you start? We've picked the garden dining sets that will cover every garden size and design, from sturdy, traditional-looking ensembles to clever, slimline solution for small urban gardens. 

When you've picked the outdoor dining set that suits your garden best, head to our sourcebook of garden retailers for all your garden shopping needs.

What are the best garden dining sets?

Which garden furniture is best will always be specific to your needs and the design of your garden, but we think that it's hard to beat the simple, one-piece design of the Oslo Dining Set from Cox & Cox. It looks like a traditional picnic table, but with a sleek contemporary edge, and will easily accommodate the whole family. 

How to buy the best garden dining set

The first thing to consider when choosing garden dining sets is the size of the space you have to work with. A large solid wood dining table and chairs may be a dream purchase, but they will overwhelm a small garden or patio area and provide little room for manoeuvre. So make sure you are realistic about the size of the table and chairs you choose and check all the measurements carefully.

Outdoor furniture comes in many sizes and layouts. There are also versions that fold away for easy storage and flexibility.

If wooden garden dining sets are on your wishlist, there are plenty of designs to choose from. Always check to see if the product is made from wood sourced responsibly and from forests certified to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Hardwood products are pretty hardwearing, but make sure you clean them thoroughly after the summer and treat with a wood oil or preservative. Softwoods are more fragile and need a bit of TLC, so treat them on a regular basis.

Metal outdoor dining sets have a more contemporary feel, are great value for money, and their lightweight structure means they are easier to move around and store away. They are also simpler to maintain, being wipe-clean, ready for the next use.

For the ultimate in style and comfort, rattan or wicker garden dining sets are a wonderful investment, and the natural material is a great way to blur the boundaries between a garden room or conservatory and the garden itself.

If your heart is set on one particular material, we have the best wooden garden furniture, the best metal garden furniture, and the best rattan garden furniture in our buyer's guide. 

Cox & Cox Oslo dining set is the best garden set for family picnics

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

1. Oslo Dining Set

Sleek and simple one-piece that looks like a picnic table

Specifications
Best for: traditional outdoor dining:
Material: aluminium:
Size: L180 x W172 x H76cm:
Reasons to buy
+Perfect for every garden
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

Made from aluminium with a soft grey powder coated finish, this simple, one-piece dining set has the look of a traditional style picnic table. Perfect for family dining, this set has a simple, sleek design with slatted finishes to the benches and table.

Shop more garden dining sets at Cox & Cox

Chilson table and bench set is the best outdoor dining set for industrial chic

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

2. CHILSON TABLE AND BENCH SET

Stylish and industrial for outdoor or indoor use

Specifications
Best for: industrial chic in your garden :
Material: cement and acacia wood:
Size: H75 x W240 x D100cm:
Reasons to buy
+Sturdy and stylish
Reasons to avoid
-Might not suit more traditional gardens

Durable and contemporary-looking, the Chilson set from Garden Trading is perfect for adding a touch of industrial chic outdoors or indoors. The Cement Fibre top is fully weatherproof, and the benches make for a convivial alternative to traditional seating. The set also comes with a stool.

Shop more garden dining sets at Garden Trading

John Lewis Festoon Outdoor Line Lights Clear ú60, Brighton Bistro Outdoor Table and Chair Set Palm £79

(Image credit: John Lewis)

3. Brighton Bistro Set

A minimalist table and chair set for smaller gardens, patios and balconies

Specifications
Best for: Smaller areas
Material: Steel
Size: HDia Table: 60x71 HWD Chairs: 80x41x46cm
Reasons to buy
+ Strong and durable  + Comes in a choice of colours
Reasons to avoid
- Chairs uncomfortable without cushions 

Those who don’t have room for a full dining set in their garden may prefer this Metal Bistro Set which is minimalist in design and is small enough to fit on a patio or even a balcony. The steel  frame is weighty and durable, meaning it will hold up well all year round, but be sure to preserve it by covering it over when not in use. You may wish to add cushions to the chairs for extra comfort, or leave them as they are for a streamlined look.

Shop more garden bistro sets at John Lewis

Made.com Catania outdoor set is the best outdoor dining set for comfort

(Image credit: Made.com)

4. Catania Garden Corner Dining Set

The best set for al fresco dining in comfort

Specifications
Best for: a covered patio or deck :
Material: Powder coated Iron:
Size: H70 x W90 x L147cm (table):
Reasons to buy
+Comfortable and stylish
Reasons to avoid
-Needs to be covered in wet weather

The Catania is nothing short of luxurious, providing plenty of room for lounging as well as dining, and including sumptuous detachable padding. The sofa comes in a two- or three-seater size, which makes the set suitable for smaller or larger outdoor spaces. 

Shop more garden dining sets at Made.com

Swann garden table and chairs is the best affordable outdoor dining set

(Image credit: Maisons du Monde)

5. Swann garden table + 4 chairs

Best budget outdoor dining set

Specifications
Best for: small spaces and smaller budgets:
Material: resin, polyester:
Size: H74 x W107 x D107:
Reasons to buy
+affordable, compact
Reasons to avoid
-will feel a bit snug for some

The Swann set is clever and will add comfort to even the smallest outdoor dining areas. We love the square table design (quite rare in outdoor dining sets), and the comfy cushions that are easy to clean. This set may not have the reassuring weight of some other sets on our list, but it's affordable and very good-looking. 

Shop more outdoor furniture at Maisons du Monde

Dobbies Alps 6 seater set with parasol is the best rattan outdoor garden dining set

(Image credit: Dobbies)

6. Alps 6 Seat Dining Set with Soleil Parasol

The best rattan outdoor dining set

Specifications
Best for: small spaces and smaller budgets:
Material: Weave with aluminium frame:
Size: H74.5 x W135 x D135cm :
Reasons to buy
+creating shade or protection from rain
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

This lovely 6-seater from Dobbies has everything a dining set needs to have to be suitable for the variations in weather typical of the British summer. It's made from a sturdy weave and includes removable, UV-  and water-resistant cushions, and a safety glass tabletop.