The best garden furniture for lounging, dining and entertaining

These garden furniture sets will make you want to stay outside forever...

Best garden furniture: garden furniture set on a patio

by Jade Moscrop |

With summer and heatwaves well underway, many of us are thinking about spending as much time in the garden as possible, which may mean that a little garden makeover is in order.

Once you've tackled the plants, repainted your fences and pressure-washed your patio, you'll no doubt be looking for something to relax, entertain or dine on, which is where our pick of the best garden furniture comes in.

Related: The best patio heaters for your garden

Featuring tables for families and couples, plus sofas and swings for cosy evenings, it's time to get inspired and splash out on the perfect garden furniture for you.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about garden furniture, plus what to look for when choosing your new set.

Whatever your vibe – be it relaxed, rustic or modern, here are our recommendations.

Best garden furniture UK

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How do I choose garden furniture?

There are a few things you should bear in mind before falling in love with a garden furniture set.

• First off, think about the space you have to play with. You don't want a huge rattan sofa set that will take up your entire patio space if you also plan to have a BBQ, potted plants or dining table in the same area.

• Consider what you spend most of your time doing outdoors. Do you usually dine al fresco? Have friends round for a cuppa? It's wise to prioritise what you spend your money on based on what you'll get the most use out of.

• If you live in a part of the UK where it rains a lot, it's worth investing in all-weather furniture that doesn't need to be stored away during the wetter months of the year. Similarly, if you don't have much storage space in your shed or garage, the all-weather garden furniture will be more suitable.

• Finally, set yourself a budget. Some garden furniture sets are very affordable, but they might not last as long as some of the more expensive options. However, if a cheaper set works for your budget, you can take good care of it to help it last.

Related: Attractive wheelie bin storage for your garden

Garden bench
©Photo: Unsplash

There are plenty of fun and stylish garden furniture trends for 2022, but here are a few of our favourites.

• Hanging egg chairs – these are big for 2022, and are versatile as they can be hung outdoors or indoors.

• Solutions for small spaces – many people are looking for options that will suit whatever outdoor space they have at hand, including balconies and small patios.

• That holiday feeling – people are looking to create an oasis in their gardens, think hammocks, bright colours, hot tubs and daybeds.

• Eco-friendly – our impact on the environment has only become more apparent in recent years, which means shoppers are looking for sustainable options, like timber, bamboo and recycled materials.

What type of garden furniture is most durable?

How durable a garden furniture set is will depend on the material it's made of. Here are some of the most durable furniture options:

• Synthetic rattan

• Steel

• Wood

• Cast aluminium

• Cast iron

Related: Garden ideas on a budget UK

Rattan vs wicker garden furniture

What's the difference between wicker garden furniture and rattan garden furniture? While often used interchangeably, there is a difference.

Rattan is a material, whereas wicker is a style of weave. You might have come across a piece of furniture that features wicker rattan weave, which means that the material is rattan, but the style is woven.

Rattan is a strong fibrous plant, similar to bamboo, which reveals a versatile but hardy material that can be woven into a large variety of shapes. While it looks great and is sustainable, it can be damaged by sun and rain, so synthetic options are available to combat this.

You'll more than likely be familiar with wicker, as it's been used for thousands of years in making all sorts of furniture, such as chairs, boxes, picnic baskets and more.

Wicker garden furniture
©Photo: Unsplash

Can you leave rattan furniture outside?

Synthetic rattan furniture (made from moulded resin) is fine to be kept outdoors all year round, but we'd recommend covering it with a PVC cover or keeping it stored in your shed to protect it from the elements and make sure it lasts for years to come.

Natural rattan is strong and durable, but like wooden furniture sets, is susceptible to damage from the elements, so should be stored away during the wetter months or expertly covered to preserve its natural charm.

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