12 best garden benches – our pick of the most stylish and practical designs

We've tracked down the best garden benches on the market – from classic wooden garden benches to contemporary loveseats and practical outdoor storage benches – here's what to shop

Best garden benches of the year
(Image credit: Future)

Adding one of this year's best garden benches to your outside space is a surefire way to maximise your use of your garden – offering space to sit back and watch the changing of the seasons throughout the year.

As such, we've trawled the stores to curate this Ideal Home edit, sourcing the best wooden garden benches, the most practical outdoor storage benches, and contemporary two and three-seater benches that will create a stylish focal point in the garden. There are investment pieces from John Lewis & Partners, Garden Trading, and Barker and Stonehouse, as well as affordable options from Argos, Habitat, and Amazon.

We've also included a mix of materials in our edit, from super durable and weather-resistant teak wood to more affordable eucalyptus wood benches and low-maintenance PE-rattan and powder-coated steel options. You'll find a breakdown of the pros and cons of each material at the bottom of this page.

Want more great outdoor buys? Make sure to check out our guide to the best garden furniture of the year. Otherwise, read on to find the best garden bench for your outside space.

Best garden benches

Why you can trust Ideal Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best garden bench materials

Wooden garden benches are a classic choice for a reason, with hardwoods like teak resisting the elements to look good for decades to come. Slow-growing teak will be one of the most expensive timber options on the market though, so if your budget won't stretch this far then look for faster-growing and more affordable hardwoods like acacia or eucalyptus. These aren't quite as dense and moisture-resistant as teak, but contain similar natural oils which deter outdoor rotting and weathering. To prolong timber's outdoor lifespan, just keep the wood-topped up with a yearly coat of a wood preservative.

Garden Trading's Chastleton teak garden bench on a wood porch

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Metal garden benches come in two main materials; aluminium and powder-coated steel. Aluminium is the most weather-resistant, rust-resistant, and low-maintenance metal option, but (unless you can snap up a bargain on our garden furniture deals page) will also be the more expensive option. Steel is less durable outdoors, but a powder-coated finish helps to offset its corrosive nature, forming a barrier between the metal and the elements. Powder-coated steel will generally be the most affordable metal option, but you'll need to take a little more care to keep it covered or protected from the worst of the weather and to avoid chips and knocks which may damage the powder-coating and allow rusting to set in. Metal can also get very hot in the sun and cold to the touch in winter, although nothing a few outdoor cushions can't solve and compared to wood, the ability to wipe off any moisture from a metal garden bench immediately after a downpour is a bonus.

Garden Trading Richmond black metal outdoor bench

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Rattan garden benches are most likely to actually be made from 'PE-rattan' or polyurethane rattan, which, as a plastic, makes for low-maintenance, moisture-resistant, and practical outdoor options, albeit not necessarily the most environmentally-friendly choice. The durability of a rattan garden bench is mainly down to the metal used as the structural frame, with aluminium proving the most robust, and powder-coated steel the more affordable yet slightly less durable option.

Habitat grey rattan-effect garden bench on a paved patio with a black and white geometric rug

(Image credit: Habitat)

And, whatever it's made out of, a garden storage bench seat is a great multifunctional option for a smaller garden as it offers space to hide away gardening tools and equipment whilst also delivering useful seating. For more tips on styling a compact outdoor space make sure to visit our small garden ideas.

How we chose the products in this round-up

To find the best garden benches for this list we visited some of the most popular outdoor stores, dived into the specifications to sort the wheat from the chaff, grilled the Ideal Home team for their expert knowledge, asked friends and family for their top-rated products, and took into account third party opinions via online reviews. Click here to find out more about how we review products on Ideal Home.

Amy Lockwood
Ecommerce Editor

After studying Print Design at Winchester School of Art, Amy spent multiple years working in the interior industry, including styling and visual merchandising for many well-known brands. She’s now Ecommerce Editor at Ideal Home, offering expert advice on the best products for decorating your home and ensuring it functions smoothly. That includes sourcing stylish yet affordable furniture – from the best sofa beds for combining style, comfort, and function, to the best artificial Christmas trees for a stress-free festive season – helping our readers to find the best mattress for their sleep style, and testing top-rated dehumidifiers and air purifiers to narrow down the best-in-class.