Which outdoor bench is best?
A bench outside your home is not only an attractive piece of furniture. Strategically placed on your porch or patio, it extends an invitation to sit and talk, or to quietly enjoy nature after a busy day.
Outdoor benches come in a variety of designs, materials and sizes. They are an extension of your home and personality. For its attractive woven design and sturdy aluminum construction, the best outdoor bench is the Alcott Hill Clifford Garden Bench.
What to know before you buy an outdoor bench
How much room do you have?
Most benches are designed for wide-open spaces like patios or yards, but if you are placing a bench in a sunroom or on your patio, you may have space limitations.
Two-person benches are usually 40 to 53 inches wide, but smaller benches are available down to 20 inches wide. They will sit back 16 to 25 inches deep and rise 17 to 34 inches high.
When measuring tighter spaces, allow for elbow room, since many people like to use the armrests built into benches.
Which material is best for your bench?
There are three main types of material for outdoor benches.
- Wooden benches are made from softwoods such as pine or cedar, or from hardwoods like acacia or teak. Finished wood means the bench is protected from rain and wind.
- Metal benches are strong and attractive, but can be prone to rust. Cast aluminum benches are popular because they are the most resistant to corrosion. Steel benches usually include a powder coating for moisture protection.
- Resin benches are made from different plastic materials that are easy to clean and come in a wide range of colors and patterns.
Will visitors use your bench?
Some benches are for decorative purposes only. But if you plan to use your bench for sit-downs with neighbors or friends, review the manufacturer’s weight limit. Depending on their size, design and material, some benches can hold 300 to 550 pounds. Others may only hold one adult comfortably and safely.
What to look for in a quality outdoor bench
Cushions add a splash of color with added comfort. Polyester cushions stand up to weather and are fade-resistant. Cushions that can be secured to the bench are best so they don’t fall on the ground.
Some three-seat benches convert the middle seat to a pop-up table when it’s lifted. It can be used for food and drinks and provides versatility when entertaining guests or sitting down with a partner.
Many resin benches are built with the seat resting on top of a large storage bin. The seat can be lifted, serving as a lid for securing outdoor equipment that needs easy access.
While most wooden and resin benches have neutral colors, metal benches can be finished in black with colored specks, or antique bronze or copper for a nostalgic look. A powder coating is important for protecting against rain and snow.
To secure a bench in place, you can purchase an anchor kit or look for a bench with holes in the feet through which anchors are positioned.
How much you can expect to spend on an outdoor bench
Outdoor benches run $35-$200. Simple wooden benches cost less than $70, with metal and resin benches priced between $70-$100. Between $100-$200 are many cast-aluminum benches and those with intricate designs, as well as gliders and pop-up table styles.
Outdoor bench FAQ
What is a glider?
A. Gliders are usually smaller, to fit porches and tight spaces. The bench sits on ball-bearing glides that let the seat move back and forth with an in-and-out motion that requires less room than a swinging- or rocking-style bench.
What if my metal bench is starting to rust?
A. Once you see a rust spot on your metal bench, lightly sand the spot and use touch-up paint that is rust-resistant. When you see oxidation areas on aluminum benches, clean it with equal parts white vinegar and water.
What is the best outdoor bench to buy?
Top outdoor bench
What you need to know: This stylish bench with a traditional look has a sturdy construction and is an ideal accent to a patio or sunroom.
What you’ll love: Made from cast aluminum, it supports the weight of two adults. Weighing 32 pounds, it’s simple to assemble and easy to move around your home and yard.
What you should consider: It is more expensive than many other outdoor benches.
Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair
Top outdoor bench for the money
What you need to know: This affordable resin bench comes with a large storage area under the seat.
What you’ll love: It’s 54 inches wide and sits just under 3 feet off the ground. The seat serves as a hinged lid for a 50-gallon storage area that can hold tools, sporting goods or swim toys. It can be assembled in five minutes without any tools.
What you should consider: The bench performs best if protected from rain and snow.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This attractive bench is designed for the elements and has the word “WELCOME” built into the seat back design.
What you’ll love: Constructed of steel tubing with a cast aluminum back, this sturdy bench supports up to 550 pounds. It has a powder-coated paint finish that prevents chipping and peeling. The ivy leaf design fits most outdoor design motifs.
What you should consider: The assembly instructions can be challenging to follow.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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