Best garden furniture 2020: top buys for your garden, whatever the weather

The best garden furniture will make you stay outdoors longer – and entertain guests in style

Best garden furniture: Argos Home Eve Folding 2 Seater Metal Bistro Set
(Image credit: Argos)

The best garden furniture is worth buying at any time of year. From compact patio sets to sun loungers, garden furniture makes being outside more comfortable – and, if it's weather resistant, you can simply leave your garden furniture out when it starts  raining.

We've trawled the web to bring you the best designed pieces from a range of garden furniture makers, think Made.com, Argos Home and many more favourites. We have looked for options that are robust, eye-catching, and durable – and value for money. Be it a metal, wood or rattan finish that will best complement your garden space, we have all the options.

Scroll on to see our top picks, and if you're not sure what to look out for, we have comprehensive buying advice at the end of this article. 

Then, when you are after more garden bargains, head to our garden furniture sales page.

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Calamus Rattan Garden Bench

(Image credit: La Redoute)
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Calamus Rattan Garden Bench

(Image credit: La Redoute)

1. Calamus Rattan Garden Bench

The best rattan garden bench

Specifications
Best for: Indoor and outdoor
Dimensions: H77 x W164 x D84cm
Colour: Natural rattan
Weather resistant: No
Reasons to buy
+Great design+Can be paired with other pieces from the same range
Reasons to avoid
-Not weather resistant 

The Calamus bench from La Redoute is beautiful and can be mixed and matched with other pieces from the same collection.

Exquisite design

There's no other design quite like this one for rattan garden benches: the hand woven chevron design creates a relaxed, airy effect that will look amazing against a whitewashed wall. The whole sofa is lightweight, which is handy for moving it indoors.

Not weather resistant 

This bench has to be kept dry, so store this sofa in a conservatory or even your living room in the winter.

  • Buy the Calamus garden bench 

Garden furniture sale: dining set from Argos

(Image credit: Argos )

2. Argos Home Trenton 6 Seater Patio Set

Best garden dining set: from al fresco breakfast to dinner in total comfort

Specifications
Best for: Luxury garden seating
Material: Galvanised steel frame, foam and polyester cushions, FSC certified wood
Size: Table: H74.5, W90, L150cm, Chair: H68, W57, D59.5cm
Care instructions: Take cushions inside during wet weather
Reasons to buy
+Ideal for group dining+Smart contemporary design
Reasons to avoid
-Needs a larger space because of the benches -Cushions not waterproof

The spacious Trenton lounge set will make al fresco dining for the whole family a breeze.

Comfortable chairs and benches

The set comes with two chairs and roomy benches – plenty of seating for six people, and all of it padded, which makes the set very comfortable.

Versatile design

The set is made from a durable steel frame that looks right on trend; the minimalist seating is a must-have if you want your garden to look contemporary.

Easy storage during winter

Although this set is durable and should withstand a shower of two (the frame not the cushions), it is best to store it away in winter, which is easy thanks to removable legs.  

  • Buy the Argos Home Trenton 6 Seater Patio Set
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Argos Home Eve Folding 2 Seater Metal Bistro Set

(Image credit: Argos)
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Argos Home Eve Folding 2 Seater Metal Bistro Set

(Image credit: Argos Home)

3. Argos Home Eve Folding 2 Seater Metal Bistro Set

Best garden bistro set: great for small gardens

Specifications
Best for: Smaller areas
Material: Steel
Size: Table diameter: 60cm., Chairs: H80 x W41 x D46cm
Care instructions: Cover when not in use
Reasons to buy
+Strong and durable  +Affordable+Perfect for small gardens and balconies
Reasons to avoid
-Chairs uncomfortable without cushions 

This hardworking little bistro set will make al fresco breakfasts a dream come true on even the smallest patio. It's made in two attractive colours, sage green and grey, so you can choose one that complements you garden best.

Durable design

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. 

Easily accessorised

You may wish to add cushions to the chairs for extra comfort, or leave them as they are for a streamlined look.

Take a look at our pick of the best garden dining sets

Please note that while this bistro set is technically in stock at Argos, you'll need to see whether it's available in your area by typing in your poscode. 

  • Buy the Argos Home Eve Folding 2 Seater Metal Bistro Set 

Kettler Palma 4 Seater Garden Cube Table and Chairs Set

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

4. Kettler Palma 4 Seater Garden Cube Table and Chairs Set

Best patio set: perfect for breakfasts and dining

Specifications
Best for: Garden parties
Material: 5mm half round rattan
Size: Footstool: H39.5 x W38 x D38cm, Overall: H68 x W79.5 x D79.5cm
Care instructions: Cover when not in use
Reasons to buy
+Clever, compact design+Looks modern  
Reasons to avoid
-Weathers easily if left out all year-Not cheap

Need a garden patio set for a small garden? The beautiful Palma set is up to the task.

Sturdy and weatherproof 

The hand-woven wicker is tough the weather resistant, making this set suitable for leaving outdoors all year round.

Clever, compact design

The chairs slide easily under the table, forming a cube when not in use. Even though it's big enough for four people, this set won't take up too much room.

Wood effect tabletop

The wood effect tabletop is sturdy and durable, and creates a slightly rustic look that will look great in most gardens. 

  • Buy the Kettler Palma 6 Seater Garden Mini Corner Table and Chairs Set

Lafuma Mobilier Recliner

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. Lafuma Mobilier Recliner

Best sun lounger: a sturdy and strong recliner that won’t wear easily

Specifications
Best for: Lounging
Size: 87 x 68 x 114 cm
Material: Texplast (polyester + polymer)
Care instructions: Weather resistant
Reasons to buy
+UV resistant material +Zero gravity
Reasons to avoid
-Pricy

If you’re out in the garden at every chance you get, then the is a great design to have. The frame and fabric are UV-resistant, anti-fungal and tear resistant, so you can expect this lounger to last very well. It’s fully adjustable with a removable headrest and it is also easy to maintain and wipe clean. Users say it is reasonably lightweight so it can also be taken on days out to the beach and it is said to be smooth and easy to collapse and recline at your leisure.  

  • Buy Lafuma Mobilier Recliner
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Swara Garden set of 2 Garden Dining Chairs

(Image credit: Made.com)
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Swara Garden set of 2 Garden Dining Chairs

(Image credit: Made,com)

6. Swara Garden set of 2 Garden Dining Chairs

Best garden chairs: update your garden look with these striking rattan chairs

Specifications
Best for: Easy stackable seating
Size: H87 x W49 x D63cm
Material: Synthetic rattan
Care instructions: Bring indoors during wet weather
Reasons to buy
+Comfortable and stylish+Stackable
Reasons to avoid
-Not weatherproof

The Swara garden chairs will add a distinctive look to your garden – and they're stackable for easy storage.

Contemporary design

These chairs are unlike any other design and will instantly elevate your garden design scheme. They can be paired with a coffee table, sofa, and dining table from the same range.

Two colours to choose from

Pick the natural version for a laid-back look, or the black colour for a more striking effect.

What to watch for

These aren't completely waterproof, even though they're made from a synthetic weave. Cover them or bring indoors when it's raining. 

Browse more chairs in our buyer's guide to the best garden chairs

  • Buy the Swara Garden set of 2 Garden Dining Chairs

How to choose garden furniture

Where to start when choosing the right furniture for your garden? It's vital to first work out how you use your garden – do you enjoy hosting parties (lots of seating needed), or prefer to relax in privacy? Are you a sun worshipper, in which case a lounge chair is essential, or a consummate cook (think large and sturdy garden dining table or dining set)? 

When choosing your garden furniture, our advice is to pick items that are durable and well built, without sacrificing comfort and style. Size matters, too: if your furniture is too small, you won’t want to spend much time using it; too large, and your garden will feel compromised.

Read on for comprehensive coverage of all these factors in choosing your garden furniture – and inspiring examples, too.

Choosing the right garden furniture material

Choosing the right material is essential, too. There are four main choices: wood; rattan; metal; and man-made materials. If you have a shed or conservatory, you needn’t worry about your furniture getting wet or damaged. If not, you will need to choose garden furniture that can withstand the elements. 

How to choose wooden garden furniture

Wooden garden furniture is a classic, natural choice that will complement most gardens. Rustic or modern, light or dark – there are lots of options. If your garden has decking, choose a wood type and colour for your furniture to harmonise with it, which doesn’t mean you need an exact match, just enough similarity to avoid clashing colours and textures. 

For outdoor use, go with a tough hardwood that can be left in the garden year-round. Teak, an ever-popular choice for garden furniture, is exceptionally durable thanks to its very high oil content. Almost completely rain-proof, it rarely rots, dents or warps, so makes for a good investment. Keep it in good condition with an annual coating of sealer. 

Other good, tough timber garden furniture options include oak, eucalyptus and acacia. They are all hardwoods that can hold their own against the weather, although they are not quite as hardy as teak, so will benefit from oiling once a year. 

The downside of wooden furniture? Some larger pieces can be heavy; this means they won't get tipped over in the wind, but they won't be easy to move around the garden regularly either.

Choose the best wooden outdoor furniture with the help of our guide.

Rattan garden furniture and wicker

Rattan furniture is the ideal buy for recreating the relaxed look of a traditional country cottage garden (whether you live in the country or city). Lightweight, it's generally easy to shift around the garden – handy if you like to follow the sun with your lounger.

What's the difference between rattan and wicker? Rattan is a strong and durable natural material (made from a vine) that can stand up to the British weather; a tell-tale sign of high-quality rattan is that it should be consistent in texture and colour. You might find that the rattan you're considering is synthetic (see faux rattan below), which is where wicker comes in...

Wicker relates not to a separate material, but to a weaving style (think rattan furniture), and while it can be made from natural materials, such as bamboo, it is usually crafted from a sturdy, weather-proof synthetic, typically resin. That's that confusion cleared up, then.

Ready to choose a rattan garden set? Consult out guide to the best rattan garden furniture.

Metal garden furniture: aluminium, steel and wrought iron

Metal garden furniture is perhaps the most versatile of all materials for garden furniture. It can be traditional in style – think intricate wrought iron pieces – to modern and industrial. Metal integrates easily into every kind of garden, from country cottage to rooftop terrace, and can be powder-coated for a colour finish. 

Cast aluminium is strong, durable, does rust or flake if left out in wet weather, and is generally very low-maintenance. Despite being hardy, it is a very light material, making it portable – perfect if you like rearranging your garden furniture, or simply want to move into the shade when it gets too hot. There is a slight disadvantage to its light quality, however: if it’s windy, it is likely to blow over. Aluminium also absorbs heat, so chairs will be more comfortable topped with soft padding.

Take a look at our pick of the best metal garden furniture

Steel garden furniture, powder-coated to protect it from rust, is heavier than aluminium furniture, making it a more suitable material for garden benches or dining tables that will seldom be moved. If the coating begins to chip, it should be restored immediately or the furniture will rust. 

Find out how to revive metal garden furniture in our guide. 

Wrought iron has a traditional, intricate look especially suitable for a period property. Garden furniture made from wrought iron is heavy, which makes it more appropriate for benches or tables that will not be moved often. The heavy weight also makes it unsuitable for lawns, which it will sink into. Wrought iron can rust and will benefit from an anti-rust treatment, for example powder-coating. 

Metal garden furniture requires about as much maintenance as wooden pieces. A dry brushing followed by a wash with warm water and a mild detergent will keep it as good as new. If you make sure to take care of any chips in the coating, it can remain outside all year round, but, as with any other type of garden furniture, over-wintering in an outhouse or garage will increase its longevity. 

Plastic garden furniture: what to look for

Yes, plastic garden furniture can look great! Offering the durability and weatherproof qualities to rival that of its natural counterparts, plastic is light and extremely easy to clean, making it a great option if you have kids, for instance. Not all plastics are made equal; look for a hardy compound resin, or low density polyethylene, which is very durable.

How to choose a garden table

If you mainly spend your outdoors time doing gardening and only sit down to rest with a cup of tea, a small table, perhaps one that comes as part of a bistro set, may well do the trick. For lovers of al fresco dining, a more substantial option will be necessary. And if you plan on using your garden table for a variety of purposes, including doing computer work, choose something that will be easy to clean.

If you are choosing a table as part of creating an outdoor living space, take a look at our outdoor living space design ideas gallery. 

Consider the size of your deck or patio, too, to get a good fit. Your table choice needs to allow for at least a metre all round on top of the table's measurements so that chairs can be pulled comfortably and safely back. In a small garden, on a tight terrace or balcony, a round table will allow you to seat more people, yet will take up less space.

We have more small balcony ideas.

Choosing deck chairs and sun loungers

Have a balcony, a decking area – or, perhaps, even a pool – and love a bit of garden lounging, but don't want to invest in large pieces of furniture? You need decking furniture – more specifically, a deck chair. Choosing one will be dictated mainly by how much space you’ve got as they're quite deep when folded out, but if you have sufficient garden storage to fold your deck chairs away while you’re not using them, they're a brilliantly comfortable budget buy.

More to spend? Invest in a garden recliner chair. Make sure to try it out before you buy as not all shapes and configurations will suit everyone's posture. And, for ultimate comfort, buy deep cushions, too. Ensure they're water-resistant so that they can take a shower, and choose a foldable chair if both need to go away when summer ends. 

Storing garden furniture

Where will you put your furniture when the long summer days are over? While some materials can sit happily outdoors all year round, investing in covers extends the life of garden furniture and if you can store it in the garage, all the better – folding chairs have an advantage. Cushions must be brought in. To keep them fresh, check the instructions for cleaning them and make sure they’re completely dry before storing to avoid mildew.

More garden design ideas