10 Outdoor Garden Benches
To help you choose the right outdoor garden bench, consider these factors and products. Some of the latter are DIY-able.
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Buying an Outdoor Garden Bench
Too often, garden benches are viewed but not used. Giving some thought to how you want your garden bench to function before you buy will help you purchase the one that’s right for you and your space.
To help you choose your garden bench, consider these factors:
- Location: Pick a level spot with some shade and a pleasant view. Before you buy or build, make a mockup from scrap wood or cardboard and place it in several locations to see if it’s too big or out of place.
- Stability: Some benches feature feet you can fasten to prevent tipping in high wind. That’s nice, but you’ll also need to put down concrete or another sturdy base to screw it in. Some bench designs feature legs you can sink deep into the ground.
- Style: You may be overwhelmed by the number of choices out there. Make sure you can return the bench in case it doesn’t look right once you place it in your garden.
- Additional seating: This should be obvious, but if you’re planning to use your bench for additional seating at large outdoor gatherings, choose one that’s comfortable to sit on. Also consider a cushion if the bench is too hard, or the material it’s made from could damage clothing.
- Backrest or simple bench: For comfort and extended use, a backrest is essential. But for a decorative bench in a small space, a backrest can appear clunky. A low, simple bench is better for a small space.
- Seasonal storage: If you’re planning to store the bench in a protected area during the winter, make sure you have space for it.
The following list includes three lovely garden benches you can DIY and seven more you can purchase.
Timber Outdoor Garden Bench
This timber bench takes a few hours to build and another few hours to stain. You’ll need a drill/driver, circular saw and basic hand tools. However, you’ll get faster and better results with a router and a random orbit sander.
Comfortable Garden Bench
This handsome bench can be built with only biscuits and screws. You’ll find everything you need at a home center or lumberyard.
Choose knot-free lumber (if possible), screws and wood plugs, No. 20 wood biscuits and a special tool called a plate or biscuit joiner to cut the biscuit slots. You can buy a good-quality biscuit joiner for $100 to $170. You’ll also need some clamps, a table saw and a router fitted with a 1/4-inch round-over bit.
Garden Bench Made With Simple Dowel Joinery
This classic bench looks great in any garden setting. Although it may seem complicated, dowel joinery makes it doable and durable. Build this bench, and watch it become a favorite resting spot in your garden for many years to come.
Curved Metal Garden Bench
Metal benches, whether powder-coated steel, wrought iron are aluminum, are popular because they’re low on maintenance and high on creative detailing and designs. Note they’re not comfortable unless you add cushions. This curved backless, metal bench might fit nicely in a corner of your garden. There’s also a 48-inch straight design.
Garden Bench Splurge
Birds nested in the upright supports add a light touch to this heavy cast stone bench. Cast stone benches are typically the most expensive, but they offer timeless beauty other types cannot. Once you put these benches in place, they don’t move.
Classic Wood Garden Bench
Made of weather-resistant eucalyptus, this Lutyens garden bench features an arched back and scrolled arms. One Plow & Hearth reviewer writes she loves the way this bench folds up, and her husband assembled it with no problem.
Wood benches — generally teak, acacia, eucalyptus and hardwoods — are beautiful but require periodic sanding and refinishing. Wood won’t feel too hot in the scorching sun or too cold in winter, so it’s good for sitting. Wood absorbs moisture, so after a downpour they don’t wipe dry as easily as a metal bench.
Cast Aluminum Garden Bench
This aluminum outdoor garden bench offers lattice work for climbing vines as well as seating, side tables and hooks for hanging plants. The finish of brushed golden highlights catch the sun. The bench includes eight anchors to secure to the ground and prevent tipping.
Teak Garden Bench
This top-quality classic Veranda outdoor bench from Westminster Teak is available in four- and six-foot lengths. It looks great on its own or with a cushion. Westminster benches are made from teak harvested from sustainable plantations in Indonesia and carry a lifetime warranty.
Powder Coated Outdoor Garden Bench
The Ismenia metal outdoor bench offers a clean, classy look with a comfortable rear-sloping seat and gently curved arms. Its aluminum frame is powder-coated to protect it from the elements. A Wayfair.com reviewer noted it was easy to assemble.
Outdoor Garden Glider Bench
Polywood is recycled plastic, which is not the most environmentally friendly material. The tradeoff: There’s no chipped paint, rust or dents to contend with. This Polywood traditional outdoor garden glider bench is ideal for relaxing. The bench, which seats two adults, features a slatted seat and back and durable marine-grade hardware.