The best garden furniture for enjoying spring and summer

From dining alfresco to taking a nap in the sun, we’ve picked out some of the best bits of outdoor furniture to kit out your garden ready for summer

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We’re already partway into the year and summer couldn’t come sooner, which is why we want to help you get prepared for those ever-so-rare Indian summer days that Britain gets to enjoy every now and again. Whatever the size of your garden, there is a range of funky furniture available that you can customise your outdoor space with, from patio tables and chairs to luxury sun loungers and BBQs that will allow you to extend your home into the garden and enjoy the best of the British summer. 

You’ll need to take into consideration the size of your garden before choosing what furniture is right for you. Large wooden furniture will be heavy and hard to move, so once it’s in position, it’s unlikely you’ll want to be moving it around again. You’ll also need to consider its maintenance and what you will do with it in the winter months. Using a preserve on the wood each year will be necessary to keep it looking good, and you may wish to purchase a garden cover to keep it dry on those frequent rainy days. 

If you think your garden will be overwhelmed with large pieces of furniture, then smaller, lightweight pieces such as a metal patio table and chairs look far daintier and can be easily stored away in the winter, too. Metal is easy to wipe clean and tends to go with any style of cushion you like, which means you can change them whenever suits you. 

Whether you’re looking for something for summer garden parties or for furniture you can enjoy all year round, our list of the best garden furniture should help you feel inspired when kitting out your garden this year. 

Copa Garden hanging chair, bright green geometric design rattan with grey base

1. Copa Garden hanging chair

A funky seat for soaking up the sun

Specifications
Best for: Reading in the sun
Material: Rattan, metal, fabric
Size: HWD 185x100x103cm
Care instructions: Store pillows indoors
Reasons to buy
+ Bright and vibrant  + No installation required  
Reasons to avoid
- Only one seat 

If you’re looking for something bright and vibrant to liven up your garden, then this hanging chair is certainly something different. The unique design is a standalone unit, so there is no installation required, and it is completely weatherproof which means you can leave it out all year round ( apart from the cushions which should be stored indoors). This only comes as one individual chair, so if you’ve got a big household you may find you’re all fighting to sit in this cool swinging contraption, but smaller households can also benefit from this chair as it would fit nicely on a smaller patio area, too.  

Ravello Lounge Set: two seats, bench, and table in light grey eucalyptus wood

2. Ravello Lounge Set

A luxury garden table set for drinking alfresco

Specifications
Best for: Luxury garden seating
Material: Eucalyptus wood
Size: LWH Table: 120x60x40cm, Chairs: 68x75x78cm, Bench: 142x75x78cm
Care instructions: Cover during bad weather
Reasons to buy
+ Ideal for big family gardens + Contemporary style 
Reasons to avoid
- Requires maintenance  

This luxury garden table and chairs set would be suitable for bigger gardens who intend to dine or enjoy drinks outside during the summer. The set comes with two chairs and a bench, allowing seating for up to 4 or 5 people, with a coffee table which is perfect for entertaining around. The set is made from eucalyptus wood which looks modern and stylish but will need to be preserved and covered over during the winter to ensure it doesn’t weather. The set can be placed on grass, decking or patio and the cushions are waterproof should they ever get caught in the rain.  

Elegant Metal Bistro Set, table and two chairs with elegant iron scrollwork

3. Elegant Metal Bistro Set

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

Specifications
Best for: Smaller areas
Material: Iron
Size: HDia Table: 72x72 HWD Chairs: 93x38x50cm
Care instructions: Cover when not in use
Reasons to buy
+ Strong and durable  + French-inspired design 
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 inspired by French design and is small enough to fit on a patio or even a balcony. The iron 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 rustic feel.  

Giardino Large Glass Dining Table Cube Set: dark brown rattan with ecru umbrella

4. Giardino Large Glass Dining Table Cube Set

Dine alfresco with this large dining table set

Specifications
Best for: Dining alfresco
Material: Rattan, metal, glass
Size: HWD 74x182x120cm
Care instructions: Suitable all year round
Reasons to buy
+ Umbrella for shade + Chairs store away neatly  
Reasons to avoid
- Takes up a lot of room 

If summer parties and BBQs are your thing, then this large dining table set is bound to get a lot of use. It has a large glass-top table with 6 chairs and 4 stools which allows for a large party to easily dine alfresco. The table also features an umbrella which allows for shade during the day. This dining set is made from rattan which is durable and suitable for keeping outside all year round, all you need to do is store the umbrella and cushions away when not in use. This set is quite large, so smaller gardens may be swamped by it, however the chairs and stools do tuck away neatly to save space when it’s not being used.  

La Hacienda Colorado Medium Chiminea, three-footed design in black steel

5. La Hacienda Colorado Medium Chiminea

Make the most of your garden even when it’s not scorching

Specifications
Best for: Warming up
Material: Steel
Size: HD 125x45cm
Care instructions: Cover when not in use
Reasons to buy
+ Keeps you warm in the evenings + Looks modern  
Reasons to avoid
- Weathers easily  

As soon as the sun goes down even in the height of summer, the temperature can drop very low but it’s such a shame to go indoors. However, with this chiminea you can keep the party going after the sun goes down as you burn wooden logs to create your very own fire.  It is said to give off plenty of heat and looks really funky when in use, just be sure to cover it over or store inside when not in use and the steel outer weathers and rusts very easily.  

John Lewis 6 Burner gas barbecue in silver

6. John Lewis 6 Burner Deluxe Gas BBQ with Side Burner

The ultimate family BBQ for summer lunches

Specifications
Best for: Cooking outdoors
Material: Stainless steel
Size: HWD 118x157x60cm
Care instructions: Store away when not in use
Reasons to buy
+ 6 burner gas BBQ + Includes griddle and pizza stone 
Reasons to avoid
- Tricky to clean 

BBQs in the summer are a favourite pastime in Britain, so as soon as the weather allows, this large 6-burner gas BBQ can cook for 8 to 10 people, and we’re not just talking your standard burgers and hot dogs. This device features a griddle and pizza stone as well so you can dine alfresco for breakfast, lunch and dinner if you wanted to, although admittedly it can be a little tricky to clean. Users love its efficient design with several hooks for utensils, a space for condiments and a bottle opener on the side. It has lockable castors so you can be sure your food won’t go running off down the garden slope and this also makes it easy to manoeuvre in and out of storage.  

Suntime Monte Carlo Rocking Sunlounger in dark grey

7. Suntime Monte Carlo Rocking Sunlounger

A classic and comfy sun lounger for soaking up the rays

Specifications
Best for: Sun bathing
Material: Steel
Size: HWD 74x67x154cm
Care instructions: Suitable all year round
Reasons to buy
+ Curved design for comfort + Durable material  
Reasons to avoid
- The lack of sun may reduce its use  

Summer days are best spent lounging around, and this rocking sunlounger from John Lewis has proven popular among customers for its curved, ergonomic design. It’s durable steel frame means it can be left outdoors all year round, the only downside is you may not get many days in the year you can use it due to the unpredictable weather. The lounger features a head cushion and arm rests for extra comfort when napping outdoors. 

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