By Amy Lockwood
The best outdoor furniture will transform your backyard, extending your living space out onto the patio, terrace and beyond.
Whether you're looking to create a versatile outdoor entertaining space for socializing under the stars, a restful retreat for enjoying some much-needed downtime, or want to make the most of poolside lounging, sourcing the best patio furniture will enable your vision to come to life, and deliver the seating – and dining – solutions you need.
From timeless garden tables and chairs, to the most stylish chaise loungers and spacious sectional sofas, we've rounded up the key pieces to make shopping for the best outdoor furniture simple and easy.
So whether your outside space is formal or relaxed, contemporary or classic, coastal or urban, read on to find the best patio furniture for you.
- Inspired to get outside and dine al fresco? Our guide to the best grills will help you to entertain in style.
The best outdoor furniture 2021
1. RH GREYSTONE TEAK ARMCHAIR
A timeless dining armchair with coordinating furniture
Reasons to buy
This classic teak wood armchair forms part of the Greystone outdoor furniture collection designed by Ann Marie Vering.
Handcrafted from SVLK-certified teak wood, this highly durable and naturally moisture-resistant hardwood offers the ability to weather all types of elements, just as the timeless design will whether the trends – offering longevity in all senses of the word.
Inspired by the European Neoclassical style, the latticework backrest and elegantly tapered legs create a light and airy feel that lends effortless style to the garden, whilst gently sloping armrests offer support without encroaching on elbow room.
We think the understated style and hardworking materials deliver everything needed to make this chair a modern heirloom.
2. Serena & Lily Salt Creek Sofa
An all-weather rattan outdoor sofa with cushions
Reasons to buy
This elegant woven rattan design is perfect for adding decorative detail to the porch or veranda, however – thankfully – in order to ensure longevity, its craftmanship is anything but delicate.
A powder-coated aluminum frame ensures water and rust-resistance, whilst the all-weather (polyurethane) rattan upper is similarly robust, being impervious to moisture or mildew. The crisp white cushions are best brought indoors during more extreme weather, but soft performance fibers ensure they can withstand the odd shower.
Pair with the matching Salt Creek lounge chair and to create a conversational set, or add the coordinating chaise for poolside relaxation. To ensure the look is exactly what you're after, Serena & Lily also offer samples of the rattan weave so you can test it out before you buy – a brilliant idea.
3. Arhaus bourdeaux outdoor rectangle dining table
A large trestle table ideal for outdoor entertaining
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
For long summer days – and evenings – outdoors with family and friends, this spacious trestle dining table is perfect for entertaining.
Available in two size options – 84" or 96" width – the sturdy build and timeless design will create an understated centerpiece outside, with plenty of space for guests to enjoy al fresco dining or drinks.
Crafted from sustainably sourced reclaimed elmwood, with a hardwearing concrete composite table top, the robust design is made to weather the elements, with the classic yet contemporary style suitable to blend effortlessly into a wide range of outdoor spaces.
4. Skagerak Columbus Sun Bed
A classic teak chaise lounger
Reasons to buy
A classic chaise lounger crafted from sustainably sourced FSC certified teak wood, this simple yet well-made design is a must-have for outdoor relaxation.
An adjustable backrest helps you to find just the right angle for comfortable reclining, whilst the stylish black or white Suntexture fabric is designed to dry quickly and resist the elements.
Always a bonus for following the sun – the rear wheels add easy maneuverability.
5. Outer Wicker Outdoor Sofa
A versatile wicker sectional sofa
Reasons to buy
For outdoor seating that rivals comfort levels indoors, we think a sectional sofa is the way to go.
Modular patio seating offers a wealth of configuration options, allowing you to tailor-make a layout that best suits your space – whether that's via a compact loveseat or super expansive corner sectional. If you want to cater to more guests, just add more sections.
Outer has all sectional bases covered in its versatile outdoor designs. We love this all-weather wicker option crafted from 30% recycled 'poly-wicker' and a rust-resistant and lightweight aluminum-magnesium alloy frame.
The simple squared shape and neutral grey-toned colorway works well in a classic or contemporary space, but there is also a similarly well-designed and responsibly sourced FSC-certified teak sectional to choose from, or a contemporary powder-coated aluminum design.
6. MacKenzie-Childs Breezy Poppy Outdoor Wing Chair
A colorful wing chair to add statement style
Reasons to buy
This playful wingback chair adds a fun touch to an outside space, bringing eclectic color to a patio or terrace. Or you can team with some of our front porch ideas to create the perfect spot to watch the world go by.
The whimsical design sees bright pinks and greens interwoven into detailed geometric patterns with Sunbrella-upholstered cushions adding more vibrant pattern clashing color.
Pair with the matching coffee table, or for a compact alternative opt for the space-saving bistro chair and table to add personality to a smaller outside space.
7. RH LAUREL ALUMINUM LOUNGE CHAIR
A smart lounge chair collection
Reasons to buy
This graphic black lounge chair creates a smart contemporary look paired with contrasting white upholstery – but with 134 fabric options on offer, you can create a look that's bespoke to your backyard.
Low to the ground, with a gently tapered leg to lend a classical touch, the relaxed lounge chair is complemented by a wide range of coordinating furniture, from a simple chaise lounger to the spacious outdoor coffee table.
Or, if you prefer, opt for the same design in SVLK-certified teak wood for an organic look.
8. SKAGERAK Atlantis Umbrella
A stylish patio umbrella for plenty of shade
Reasons to buy
Enjoy long and leisurely lunches outdoors with this patio umbrella from Danish design house Skagerak.
The spacious umbrella casts plenty of shade, whilst the handy double-pulley system takes the effort out of opening and closing the substantial canopy.
The classic combination of warm wood and cool white fabric will create a restful retreat from the blazing sun.
9. Horchow Avery Neoclassical Lounge Chair
An elegant daybed for relaxed lounging
Reasons to buy
The ultimate in decadent lounging, this decorative Neoclassical design will bring simple elegance to the garden.
The perfect place to curl up with a good book or enjoy some quality time for two, the black powder-coated iron frame is softened by comfortable white cushions that make for comfortable reclining.
For a cohesive look, pair with the coordinating single or double chaise, sofa, dining chairs or tall bar stools.
10. RH PARAISO SOFA
A wicker outdoor sofa offering classic simplicity
Reasons to buy
Always a contender for best outdoor furniture, wicker garden furniture works well in a range of outdoor settings, from urban roof gardens to a classical terrace.
In the Paraiso collection, the flat weave of the tonal 'all-weather' rattan and muted teak wood base create the perfect pairing.
Gently sloping arms and a low back imbues the Paraiso sofa with understated elegance, offering comfortable and laidback relaxation to any outdoor space.
Buying advice: how to choose the best outdoor furniture
Before you start shopping for the best outdoor furniture, it's a good idea to spend some time thinking about how you ideally – and realistically – want to use your outside space.
To help you make a wise investment, we've broken some key considerations make note of below.
Choose outdoor furniture that suits your lifestyle
It may sound obvious, but the best outdoor furniture for you will be furniture that suits your lifestyle. There's no point investing in a cute-and-compact bistro table and chairs if you regularly entertain large numbers for example.
In fact, if you do love entertaining then you might want to opt for a large trestle table that has room to accommodate plenty of guests or a spacious sectional sofa and armchairs that give everyone plenty of room to relax.
If the backyard is the place you retreat to for some quiet rest and relaxation, consider a comfortable chaise lounger, take a cue from our front porch ideas and invest in one of the best Adirondack chairs for some secluded seating, or group a small number of outdoor chairs together to create a more intimate seating area.
If you prefer to gravitate towards the pool, then easily maneuvrable chaise loungers and quick-drying water-resistant fabrics will be paramount – our pool ideas page can give you some inspiration for luxury poolside styling.
What's the most durable outdoor furniture?
When outdoor furniture shopping it's important not to get seduced by price or aesthetics alone. A bargain purchase can fast become far more expensive than it originally seemed – and a dream purchase lead to disappointment – if it doesn't weather more than one season. So it pays off in the long-term to do a little research before you buy.
To help decode the mysteries of long-lasting patio furniture, we asked the experts in our 'is outdoor furniture weatherproof?' feature. Their answers will help you to choose the best outdoor furniture materials for your environment – whether that's sun-baked, wet and windy, or a mixture of all the elements.
How to arrange outdoor furniture
You'll also want to consider size and scale before you start outdoor furniture shopping to make sure your chosen design fits comfortably within the space you have available.
If your backyard is on the smaller side, check measurements carefully to ensure your patio furniture doesn't overwhelm the area. Just like when choosing the best couch for a living room, you want to have plenty of space to walk around your seating. If necessary mark out the dimensions of your potential patio furniture with masking tape to get an idea of the scale.
This applies to larger backyards too. You don't want a seating area to feel lost within a larger space, so you need to choose furniture that works with the scale of its surroundings.
If you have a larger patio then outdoor furniture can also be a useful zoning tool. Consider what areas you want to create – maybe a dining space next to the outdoor grill, comfortable chaise loungers or corner sofas around the hot tub, or a group of seating positioned around a particularly impressive view of the garden.
Whatever size space you're working with, adding one of the best outdoor rugs underfoot will help to anchor your furniture, grounding your seating to create a dedicated relaxation or entertaining zone.
To create the ultimate backyard living space you'll also want to consider shade. As much as we might love the sun shining, you can get too much of a good thing. Some outdoor furniture comes with built-in parasol holders, but, if not, a freestanding patio or cantilever umbrella is a good shade solution. You'll find a selection of the top buys in our guide to the best patio umbrellas.
Where to find more outdoor furniture options
If you have a specific look in mind or need to fulfill some exact criteria, then you can find more stockists to browse in our guide to where to buy patio furniture, which includes the Homes & Gardens team's edit of the leading outdoor furniture retailers. Or, if you're primed for a sale bargain, then keep an eye on our patio furniture deals page which will alert you to the best brand discounts each season.
A background in art and design informs Amy’s love of colour, texture, and form, with a degree in Printed Textiles for Interiors at Winchester School of Art opening a gateway into the world of interior design and grounding her knowledge of the importance of decor, furnishings, and furniture in curating a well-considered space.
Amy’s own style is considered, contemporary and timeless, with a strong interest in contemporary craft and homewares that champion collaboration between traditional makers and innovative technologies. A belief that design - and all other aspects of our lives - must exist in balance with the natural world fuels her interest in exploring sustainable, circular, and regenerative design processes and underpins her passion for natural materials and responsible craftsmanship.
When she’s not writing about interior design or sourcing the latest homewares for Homes & Gardens’ readers, Amy is most often found deliberating over the perfect shade of white paint, digging through antique markets to unearth buried treasures, or printmaking in her home studio.
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