Best outdoor furniture 2021: stylish backyard options

The best outdoor furniture to create a stylish backyard; from must-have patio dining sets to restful sectional sofas and relaxing garden chairs

A black and grey outdoor sofa on a contemporary patio
(Image credit: Target)

Looking for the best outdoor furniture? Styling up your backyard is the perfect way to embrace outdoor living whatever the season, and we think we've found the perfect pieces to transform your outside space into a relaxing retreat or party-ready entertaining space.

Whether you're looking for an outdoor sectional sofa for getting comfortable, a patio dining set for enjoying alfresco meals, or a poolside chaise lounger for soaking up the rays, we've found the best outdoor furniture of the season to save you the searching.

And if you want to create the ultimate backyard retreat, why not pair your new patio set with one of the best grills of the year to really embrace that laidback outdoor lifestyle?

Best outdoor furniture 2021

A grey outdoor lounge set and coffee table on a wide decked porch

(Image credit: Lark Manor)

1. Lark Manor Joliet 4 Piece Sofa Seating Group with Cushions

A contemporary lounge set for alfresco coffee dates

Material: Wood
Size : Chair: 15.7 x 19.7 x 16.5 inches; Table: 17.7 x 23.6' x 40.9 inches
Weight: 99 pounds
Seats : 4
Reasons to buy
+Modern appearance +Available in several versatile colors +Weather-resistant
Reasons to avoid
-Some woods warp and crack over time-Heavy 

The perfect place to sit back on the porch, at first glance this set has a relatively traditional look; however, the slanted backrest offers an unexpected contemporary edge meaning it works well with a variety of decor styles.

Comprised of a low-slung coffee table, loveseat, and two chairs, this set is designed for a group of four to connect over a coffee, cocktail, or great conversation. (Bonus points: It comes with its own cushions.) 

Though the manufacturer says this option has been treated with a weather-resistant finish, it's important to treat this set with care. Many wood species are known to warp and crack over the years, so it's in your best interest to store in a dry place and clean up any spills, stat.

A white and wooden picnic style dining table and bench seats

(Image credit: Wayfair )

2. Trent Austin Design Benedetta Rectangular Dining Set

A useful outdoor table and bench seats

Material : Wood
Size: 29.5 x 35 x 69 inches
Weight: 61 pounds
Seats : Up to 6
Reasons to buy
+Weather and water-resistant finish+Affordable+Minimalist design
Reasons to avoid
-Some woods can warp and crack over time 

Just because you're craving a dinner al fresco doesn't mean you have to shell out a small fortune for the best outdoor furniture. If you're looking for a dining set under $1,000, this option from Trent Austin Design is a sound choice. Think of this option as an elevated alternative to a picnic table. With a slat wood top and neutral color palette, this pared-back style will look good in just about every backyard.

It's also a set that's built to last. Though many wood species are known to warp can crack over the years, this one is finished with a water and weather-resistant coating, offering some extra protection.

At just under $600, this three-piece dining set is by no means cheap. However, when you think about how often you'll eat outside, it'll pay for itself in no time.

A wicker-effect sectional sofa with cream upholstery by a pool

(Image credit: Wayfair)

3. Three Posts Burruss Outdoor Reversible Patio Sectional

A versatile sectional sofa designed to fit your space

Material: Wicker, Rattan, and Metal
Size: 25.5 x 83.5 x 29 inches
Weight : 80 pounds
Seats : 3
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Comfortable +Stylish+Modular construction makes it easy to rearrange
Reasons to avoid
-Difficult to maintain

As this pick from Three Posts proves, it's possible to have a stylish lounging session in the great outdoors. Made with a coastal blend of wicker, rattan, and metal — not to mention water-resistant upholstery — this model offers a beautiful touch to your backyard.

But, perhaps the coolest thing about this set is its versatility. Technically, this option features three chairs and an ottoman, but you can mix and match it however you please. Three separate chairs? A sectional? A loveseat and a spare chair? The sky's the limit.

A red and black zero gravity chair against a wood-panelled wall

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Amazon Basics Outdoor Zero Gravity Lounge Folding Chair

A comfortable lounge chair to kick back and relax

Material: 35.4 x 43.3 x 25.6 inches
Size: Powder-coated steel and mesh
Weight : 16.46 pounds
Seats: 1
Reasons to buy
+Versatile weight capacity+Comfortable design+Affordable +Available in multiple colors+Portable

Looking for a cozy place to kick back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful sunshine? Consider adding AmazonBasics' Zero Gravity Lounge Chair to your e-cart. Simply sit down, and you'll quickly understand why this option has over 1,700 positive reviews on Amazon and a 4.6/5 rating on the site. 

Made with an ergonomic, zero gravity silhouette, this chair is specially designed to remove tension from your back, legs, and rear. There's also a padded headrest, which will come in handy for those mid-day naps by the pool. (Translation: It can instantly transform your backyard into a spa-like oasis.) A series of double bungees connects the weather-resistant Textilene fabric to the steel frame, making it ideal for anyone under 200 pounds. Speaking of the steel frame, the powder-coated finish will keep corrosion, fading, and scratching to a minimum. That way, you can enjoy your chair for many years to come. 

Another perk? This chair is portable, too. Thanks to its lightweight construction and folding design, you can bring this to the pool or park — or move it over to get optimal sunlight. And, if you want to maximize your lounge session, you can pick up a snap-on cup holder for an extra fee. 

A yellow metal bistro set on a garden terrace overlooking the ocean

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. Latitude Run Leen 3 Piece Bistro Set

A space-efficient folding bistro set that's perfect for small patios

Material: Powder-coated steel
Size : Table: 28 x 23.62 x 23.62 inches; Chairs: 32 x 19.5 x 23 inches
Weight: 48 pounds
Seats: 2
Reasons to buy
+Great for small spaces +Available in several colors +Powder-coating metal is rust-resistant+Affordable

Anyone who is craving tea for two will find a lot to love about Latitude Run's three-piece bistro set. Comprised of one table and two seats, this option will fit snugly on a petite patio. (And, if you want to free up some square footage, you can fold this set up and put it in storage.) It's also made of powder-coated steel, so it will hold up nicely against the elements. 

Of course, Latitude Run's set has a lot more to offer than practicality. Available in six fun colors — ranging from a sunny yellow to versatile black — it's just as eye-catching as it is efficient.  

A wooden outdoor bench by the side of a turqouise water feature

(Image credit: Target)

6. Christopher Knight Home Loja Acacia Wood Bench

A timeless wooden bench that goes with everything

Material: Teak wood
Size: 35.83 x 48.82 x 23.62 inches
Weight: 28.66 pounds
Seats: 2
Reasons to buy
+Long-lasting design +Versatile +Easy-to-clean+Weather and UV resistant

Oftentimes, the simplest backyard staples are the most difficult to shop for. If you're looking for a simple bench that can withstand time and trends, consider this one from Christopher Knight Home. Don't let its pared-back look fool you: This option is designed to deliver. Not only is the bench made of teak — which is one of the most weather-resistant wood species — but it also has a weather and UV-resistant finish. That way, you can sit with ease, knowing this bench will be around for a long time. 

A white plastic outdoor dining table and six chairs in front of a glass-walled interior

(Image credit: Amazon)

7. Mercury Row Melissus 6-Person 55" Long Dining Set

A modern outdoor dining set for contemporary backyards

Material: Plastic and Resin
Size: Chairs: 33 x 19 x 23 inches; Table: 29.5 x 55 x 31.5 inches
Weight: Chairs: 10 pounds each; Table: 34 pounds
Seats : 6
Reasons to buy
+Ample seating +Lightweight+Weather-resistant+Available in several versatile colors

Anyone who is craving a dinner party will find a lot to love about Mercury Row's spacious dining set. Designed to seat up to six guests, this pick is perfect for large decks and sprawling backyards. And, since this option has received the seal of approval from the strict European standards of CATAS, you can rest assured you're getting great quality.

Between the six versatile colorways and sleek silhouette, this set will give your outdoor space a modern edge. Best of all? It's made with a combination of metal and resin. Not only is this power duo easy to clean, but it can also hold its own against the elements.

Two wicker-effect sun loungers with cream cushions

(Image credit: Wayfair)

8. Brayden Studio Putney Sun Lounger Set with Cushions and Table

Two rattan-effect pool-side chaise loungers

Material: Wicker, Rattan, and Steel
Size: 9 x 27.5 x 74.8 inches
Weight : 92 pounds
Seats: 2
Reasons to buy
+Stylish +Comfortable +Sustainably sourced+Adjustable back
Reasons to avoid
-Wicker and rattan might look worn over time

For a well-appointed hang by the pool, check out this lounger set from Brayden Studio. Not only do the two lounge chairs look good, but they also feature an adjustable back to help you stay comfortable. Plus, each chair comes with its own sleek cushions, so you can take sitting pretty to a whole new level.

And, if you're looking for somewhere to rest your beverage, you'll get a lot of use out of its accompanying side table. 

How to choose the best outdoor furniture

The first thing you'll want to consider when shopping for the best outdoor furniture is, of course, your outside space. You'll want to ensure your pieces will physically fit in your outdoor area — that six-person dining set will overpower a bite-sized balcony after all. 

But, just as important, is how you intend to use your backyard. Ready to throw an outdoor soiree? Comfortable and ample seating is the key to any party.  Excited for dinners al fresco? Opt for a dining table and chairs or space-efficient bistro set. Or, if you want to take advantage of the sun's rays, some lightweight lounge chairs will be perfect for scoring that great glow.

Of course, the great outdoors isn't all picture-perfect sunshine; humidity, harsh brightness, and the spontaneous rain shower are inevitable. If you're looking for outdoor furniture that you can leave out for most of the of its own — no matter what Mother Nature throws its way.

If you want to prioritize durability, hone in on items that are labeled "all-weather," "fade-resistant," or "UV-resistant." Like everything else in your home, these outdoor furniture pieces will eventually need to be replaced; however, you'll get some extra mileage out of styles that are designed with the great outdoors in mind.

The best outdoor furniture materials to choose from

So, how are you supposed to know best outdoor furniture materials to opt for? To help, we're sharing our favorites below.

Teak: Wood is a go-to material for your home décor, so why should the best outdoor furniture be any different? But, out of all the wood species available, teak is best suited for outdoor use. The magic lies in a naturally occurring oil, which can reportedly repel water as well as prevent warping and cracking. Thanks to its high oil content and low maintenance, teak is designed to last a long time. 

Metal: When it comes to your backyard, you really can't go wrong with metal. Not only does this industrial material look cool, but it's also incredibly durable, meaning it'll hold up nicely over time. That said, it's important to get a little picky about the type of metal you add to your e-cart. For a low-maintenance option, try aluminum. Unlike other metals, aluminum doesn't rust when exposed to water. And, unlike some wood species, it won't crack or warp when exposed to the elements.

On the hunt for sturdy outdoor furniture? Choose galvanized or stainless steel, since traditional steel is prone to corrosion. The zinc and chromium added to galvanized and stainless steel, respectively, creates an extra layer to keep unsightly rust at bay.

Synthetic Resin: As much as we love the look of coastal wicker and rattan, those woven wares can fade when exposed to too much sunlight. For a long-lasting alternative, opt for synthetic resin, which is typically made with nylon, polyethylene, and PVC. Not only is this manmade material lightweight and durable, but it can also be fashioned into a wicker-like weave. That way, you can have the look of your favorite material — minus the drawbacks. 

UV-Resistant Fabrics: Looking for some backyard-friendly cushions to make the best outdoor furniture? It doesn't get any better than Sunbrella. Don't let its pricey reputation fool you; the brand's textiles are known for being highly durable and easy to wash. Best of all, the fabrics are touted for being water, fade, and mildew-resistant. Beautiful textiles that require minimal upkeep? That seems like a win-win.

Kelsey Mulvey
Kelsey Mulvey

Kelsey Mulvey is a freelance journalist in San Francisco, who covers all-things design and lifestyle. Her work has been featured in publications Architectural Digest, ELLE Decor, and Apartment Therapy, among others.