Your‌ ‌Guide‌ ‌To‌ ‌Choosing‌ ‌An‌ ‌Outdoor‌ ‌Bench‌

The right outdoor bench can be the centerpiece of your garden. However, with so much choice it’s confusing trying to choose the right one. There are various material types, sizes, online shops, styles, and colors.

In this blog post, we will help you make sense of it all so you can choose what outdoor benches will meet your preferences. This guide will save you time and simplify the buying process. You’ll end up with the garden furniture that ticks all the boxes gives you the sitting experience you’re after.

How to choose the best outdoor furniture store

Start by selecting an online shop that enables you to get the best furniture for your needs. With hundreds of online stores, you are spoilt for choice. Here are the top factors to consider when looking for a suitable online retailer.

  • Product descriptions

Read the detailed and accurate product descriptions to make a good buying decision. Websites that offer a clean user interface with understandable bullet points are ideal. Use technical specifications to figure out the size and materials used.

Don’t forget to read the warranty information to determine what damage types are included. Finally, longer warranty lengths are ideal for your peace of mind. 

  • Price

Look for online stores that offer a fair price without sacrificing quality. Websites remain competitive by offering good prices, so you shouldn’t have to look hard for a good deal. Furthermore, shop around for discounts and promotions to make the most of a limited budget.

  • User interface

It’s a chore trying to navigate on a website that has a poor user interface. Modern sites should use up-to-date methods to create user-friendly shopping experiences. Don’t settle for a bad experience with so many online options.

  • Choice

More choice enables you to pick out a garden bench that allows you to be satisfied with the purchase. It’s especially true if you’re after a product with specific features. For example, let’s say you want to buy a green wooden bench that’s no longer than 2 meters in length. Large online shops will offer the options so you get the best bench for your needs.

You’ll notice that the product description page might have a drop-down menu where you can customize. For instance, you can modify the color and size of the bench. Making product changes can also alter the price.

Bench materials to consider

The bench material has a huge impact on functionality and durability. Each one comes with its pros and cons so choose one based on your preferences. You need to think about various factors such as material cost and how the climate affects durability. The most popular material types are metal and wood, but we will also mention a few alternatives.

Wood

Wood is a classic garden bench choice that looks visually pleasing in most environments. You’ll see wooden benches used in public parks and homeowner gardens around the country. It’s important to check the grain so it’s consistent. Otherwise, there might be weaknesses that could fracture.

Look at the screws holding the wooden benches together. You want them to be zinc-plated or stainless steel. They are good choices for outdoor areas because they don’t rust or are negatively affected by the weather. Furthermore, the three best materials are:

1. Teak

Teak is great for outdoor furniture because it takes a long time to wear down from weathering effects. It doesn’t shrink or expand from moisture. Therefore, the original structure is retained.

Teak is commonly used to construct boats and it originates from tropical trees. Therefore, it’s expensive compared to the average wood used to manufacture furniture. However, it’s a perfect choice if you want solid durability and low maintenance.

2. Pine

Pine is a renewable material that’s easy to work with. Therefore, it’s cheaper than Teak and provides a lot of the same advantages for outdoor furniture. It’s resistant to rot and decay so you don’t have to worry about the bench falling apart shortly after purchase. The bench also provides an aesthetically pleasing natural design.

3. European Oak

This wood is a classic that woodworkers love to use for crafting beautiful garden furniture. It’s a durable choice that provides a golden brown color. Oak furniture is a nice addition to any garden or outdoor area. Also, it’s hardwood, so it won’t dent easily to physical impact.

Metal

Metal benches are also a good choice for durability. The material can withstand physical knocks and weathering effects better than wood. However, it depends on the type of metal used.

Most metal furniture is not as comfortable as the wooden version. Therefore, you may have to invest in bench cushions and other accessories to improve comfort. Read onwards for the metals types you should know about when buying.

1. Ornate iron

During the Victorian Age, ornate iron was very popular. The intricate designs and curlicues are a big part of the design philosophy with regards to this metal type. You’ll see this metal used on public park benches and other outdoor features. It adds a lot of character and charm to a garden area, so consider getting an ornate iron bench for your next purchase.

2. Extruded aluminum

Extruded aluminum is one of the lighter versions, so you can move it around with less effort. It’s a good choice if you constantly want to move your bench around the garden, or in and out of the storage unit. However, the lower weight comes at a cost of lower durability compared with cast aluminum. Also, the extruded version has the illusion of feeling lower quality because it’s lighter.

3. Cast aluminum

This version is the most durable and heaviest. Therefore, you need to consider the overall bench weight and if it will be a hassle to move around. Buyers that don’t plan on moving their bench much after purchase don’t have to worry. Cast metal benches also come with intricate designs that add character to an outdoor space. Check the various designs for yourself to see if something stands out.

Plastic

Choosing a plastic bench is a viable option if you have a small budget. Most plastic outdoor furniture is molded in a single go and pre-assembled. Therefore, you can expect the construction to be consistent because there are no joints to mold or forge together.

They are lightweight, which is perfect for homeowners that want to move the bench around frequently. The lack of sophisticated visual aesthetics is a downside of plastic benches. Wooden and metal options come with designs that are no match for plastic options.

Accessories worth buying

You may want to buy accessories to help you get the most out of your bench. Most online stores offer bench accessories, so you can get what you need in one purchase. These are not essentials but will come in handy.

  • Cushions

Cushions are an excellent way to add comfort to a bench that feels hard to sit on. They can be used as a buffer for the bottom, back, or both. You can also mix up the visual aesthetics of a bench using designs. However, they are unlikely to improve the look of your bench. The natural wood and unique metal bench designs have a lot to offer.

Furthermore, when using cushions you will need to put them away after use constantly. That’s because they will get wet when it rains. Also, they can quickly get dirty from dust or if birds are perched on a branch above.

  • Outdoor coffee table

You can invest in a coffee table that you can use for storing a book or food items. Ideally, the table will match the size and visual aesthetics of the bench. Some outdoor glider benches come with a table or offer the option to buy a matching one.   

  • Furniture cleaner

Consider investing in a heavy-duty furniture cleaner to help you maintain your bench. Check the product description to figure out what material type they are designed to clean. Some cleaners are perfect for plastic benches, while others are best for metal ones.

How to choose a weatherproof outdoor bench

Durability is an important consideration when selecting outdoor furniture. That’s because outdoors there is a higher number of things that could potentially cause damage. Weathering effects are one of the most destructive forces on outdoor furniture. However, you can reduce the negative effects by considering a few things.

  • Warranty information

Check the product description to figure out the length and nature of the warranty deal. For example, some manufacturers may offer lifetime protection against weathering effects. This is a strong indicator that the furniture has received the correct weatherproof finishes.

Manufacturers that trust the quality of their workmanship will not hesitate to offer a long-term warranty deal. Also, check to see what type of damage is covered. Ideally, weathering damage is included in the warranty agreement.

  • Material and design

Material plays a big part when looking for a weatherproof bench. When choosing wood you need to select a type that’s naturally resistant to mold and other weather-based damage. For example, teak and pine are good wood examples that offer long-term protection from moisture.

Metal benches made from cast iron or aluminum usually have a finish that protects them from rust. However, the surface can peel off, which exposes a layer underneath that’s more prone to weathering effects. Therefore, you’ll need to reapply a finish to keep your bench protected.

  • Storage and covers

You can increase the lifespan of your garden bench by reducing the amount of time that it’s outdoors or exposed to weathering effects. For example, you can invest in covers that keep your bench protected from rain. They are inexpensive and can also be used to protect other garden furniture. 

When you aren’t using the bench for long periods consider storing it in a garden shed or garage. It helps avoid weathering damage if your bench has weaknesses. For example, some benches have screws that rust from long-term weather exposure.  

Bench maintenance

Keeping your bench clean and a welcoming spot to sit in the garden requires maintenance. The amount of maintenance required depends on the bench you have chosen. Make an effort to clean regularly to avoid a big build up of dirt.Therefore, you need to choose a model that’s a good match for the effort you’re willing to give.

  • Design

The bench design impacts the number of places where dirt buildup is possible. Designs with fewer corners and crevices are easier to clean. Therefore, choose a simple unit if you don’t want to spend extra time removing dirt from hard-to-reach places. 

  • Weight and size

Light benches are easier to transport to the storage unit. For example, a heavy cast iron bench will be heavier than plastic ones when moving to the storage unit and back.

The size determines the amount of surface area you have to clean. More and bigger benches mean more maintenance work. Therefore, don’t buy more than you are willing to clean regularly.

  • Cleaning supplies

Check to see if the store will throw in a few cleaning supplies with the bench. You may need to negotiate the deal or ask if they can give you a discount. Buying extras with the bench saves you the hassle of searching for them once the outdoor furniture becomes dirty.

Top 7 Outdoor Bench Buying Factors

Selecting the optimal bench is ideal for those looking to enjoy the outdoors comfortably. Multiple factors are considered when choosing a bench. This includes the style, color, price, material, size, weight, and comfort. It may seem like a difficult task at first because of the many variables, but you’ll have a much better understanding after reading this section.

1. Budget

The quality of the bench depends on how much you’re willing to spend. Premium benches use higher-tier wood and metal to deliver a top product. They might be more comfortable and offer better durability.  

However, you don’t need to spend a fortune to receive a superb sitting experience. You can save money by choosing a simplistic design and cheaper materials. The drawback is the bench may not last as long as higher-priced options. Therefore, it can be more expensive to go cheaper because you’ll need to buy a replacement sooner rather than later.

Although going with a cheaper option may seem appealing in the long run, a premium product is favored. Spending extra money on the bench will result in longevity, prolonged comfort, and a premium feel.

2. Style

The style you decide to go with should be factored in when buying. Your garden will have its own design, so you should pick a bench that will complement the surroundings. Benches come in various forms, which makes it easier to select the best option for you.

The angle of the bench matters a lot because this determines how laid back or forward you’ll be. Having a slight incline improves comfort compared to 90-degree benches. Also, if you have children around you can opt for a bench with rounded edges rather than sharp ones.

3. Color

Selecting the right color is crucial when acquiring a bench. You’ll see it every time you step outdoors, so it should be appealing to look at. Premium shops offer colors in multiple variations. Therefore, you’ll have a wide range of options to match the décor of your garden.

  • Dark Colors

Going with a darker shade of bench will contrast nicely with the outdoors without being overpowering. The bench will not take attention from other aspects of your garden while still stating its mark.

  • Light Colors

If you want the bench to stand out, then going for a lighter color variation is ideal. The bench will be noticeable and complement the surroundings. However, make sure you pick a color that goes with the outdoor area so that it doesn’t draw all the attention. 

4. Material

Is your goal to select a durable, waterproof, and rot-resistant bench? Then choosing the right material is one of the top buying factors. However, units with higher quality will cost more, so you need to consider the added price and the benefits. 

For example, Ipe and Redwood have outstanding durability, which means they’ll last decades. Waterproof wood eliminates the need for protective coatings, so less maintenance is required. Also, they are rot-proof, so you don’t have to worry about maintaining them other than the occasional wash.

Furthermore, you can opt for an outdoor metal bench that comes with its benefits. Metal benches are a brilliant choice over wooden benches if you need longevity. It will last more than 50-years.

Cast aluminum is a heavy and durable material that can be shaped for extraordinary designs. If you want a Victorian style, then ornate iron is a strong and durable metal. 

5. Size

Most benches have enough space for two people. Therefore, your options are limited. That being said, there are some aspects to look into when thinking about size. 

  • Seat Length

Before purchasing a bench, make sure you are happy with the seat length. Most benches will have space for two people. Therefore, if you’re looking to seat three people or more, then consider a longer unit.   

  • Armrest

When sitting at the corner of the bench, a comfortable armrest is essential. Wide arm rests mean you can set your arm in a comfortable position without strain after long periods. Furthermore, if the armrest is wide enough, you can place your smartphone, drink, or book.

  • Backrest

A suitable backrest is a significant aspect of a bench. If it’s not comfortable, then it will ruin the experience. Make sure the backrest is the right height for maximum comfort.

6. Weight

Weight shouldn’t impact your decision if you plan to leave the bench in the same spot. Metal benches are heavy but highly durable. So leaving them in the same spot is ideal. However, if you plan to move the bench frequently, then consider getting a wooden bench. They are light, stylish, and long-lasting but most of all light-weight.

7. Comfort

When choosing a bench, comfort should play a significant role. The shape of the seat and backrest should complement each other to bring a satisfactory experience. Furthermore, you can purchase bench cushions, which you can place on top or use as a backrest. However, the drawback is that you must take them off every day because rain or mist will make them wet.

How to save money on benches?

It’s possible to save money when buying outdoor garden furniture if you know where to look and how to choose. Start by looking for an online shop that offers a wide selection so you aren’t stuck with premium models. You can also compare the prices of similar furniture by having several tabs open at the same time.

You can also choose a cheaper material that’s sustainable. For example, some wood types are exotic and cost more to manufacture. They might add a unique visual look, but no other advantages. Avoid these and opt for a cheaper wood to save money.

When buying multiple benches at the same time look for discounts and promotions. Some online stores might offer a bulk discount rate that allows you to save money on big orders. Finally, you can buy during the holidays or Black Friday, since that’s when online stores offer a lot of sales.  

Final thoughts

Selecting the best outdoor bench is a fun and rewarding process. The furniture increases the time you spend in the garden as it will give you somewhere to sit and relax. Choosing a bench is a rewarding process with so many customization possibilities.

If you’ve been thinking of adding a practical sitting area in your garden, then look no further than a metal or wooden bench. They are durable and offer unique styles that will add character to any outdoor space. What are you waiting for? Start browsing today for your next garden bench to enjoy the ultimate garden sitting experience.