We’ve evaluated all the new summer collections to round up the best outdoor furniture buys and top designs for your garden on the market right now.
Why do we feel these are the ‘best’ outdoor furniture buys and worth investing in? First and foremost, we look for designs that are durable and built to stand the test of time, because good outdoor furniture is an investment purchase and you want it to last. Secondly, we’ve picked pieces from the best outdoor furniture brands we’ve shopped with for years and have spent our own cash with, because we know they sell great quality pieces for good value.
When buying the best outdoor furniture, Heal’s (opens in new tab) buying director, Sabina Miller advises, “Treat outdoor furniture with the same consideration as you would an indoor piece.” This mindset is important when looking to create an on-trend outdoor living room.
“It’s also crucial to look out for weatherproof materials, firm cushioning and durable fabrics that will maintain their high level of quality and style for years to come, whilst also withstanding the often unpredictable weather.”
Our edit of the best outdoor furniture 2022
This set is ideal for those with limited outdoor space who want the corner sofa lounge element for hosting sociable garden parties but also want a dining area too as this adjustable table caters for both. When the 5-seater sofa and stool set is being used for lounging, the table can be lowered to coffee table height, then when the table is needed for hosting and dining, the table can be adjusted to be the optimum height for serving food. This multifunctional design quality is the very reason that we deem this set to be the best outdoor furniture buy for compact living.
The frame of each piece is a powder-coated aluminum which is rust and weather-proof, and the rattan exterior is UV stabilized and fade-proof so it can withstand weather, strong sunlight and temperature changes. Unlike cheaper alternatives, it will not crack or fade. These qualities mean the complete set be left outside all year long, excluding the cushions.
The padded seat and stool cushions have removable showerproof cushions, but they can also be machine washed, making this an ultra-practical buy.
The first thing that makes us want these Lois armchairs is the stunning shade of sage green – one of the hottest paint color trend in interiors right now.
But the second desirable element is the comfort level because I can personally attest that these woven chairs are super comfortable, despite not looking so, having sat for hours in this very design. The synthetic wicker woven seat is suspended from a neat metal aluminum frame, which creates an effortlessly comfortable and cocooning seat that is hard to prise yourself away from once you’ve sat in one.
With the combination of the powdered matte sage green finish and linear form, these Lois armchairs welcome a contemporary look to dress in outdoor spaces.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be beside an amazing swimming pool to enjoy reclining on a chaise sun lounger, it just makes it way more fun when you are. A garden lounger is great for anyone that wants to sit back and relax in style. Particularly this curvaceous design, exclusive to Crate & Barrel, that looks as stylish as it does comfortable.
We love the sculpted silhouette and clean-lined aesthetic of the rattan base, which is made from all-weather resin wicker for durability against the elements. The contemporary flow of the design instantly makes you want to recline and when you do, you’ll feel the weight alleviated from every pressure point in your body – unlike most loungers that feel very unforgiving with flat, straight line designs.
As if the curved shape alone is not enough to draw you in, the chaise is enhanced further by the addition of well-proportioned cushions and a supportive headrest.
This charming wicker sofa is the best in quintessential British style, so much so that it has RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) branding. Made by furniture experts Kettler, the traditional wicker-style sofa features sumptuously deep cushions to ensure maximum comfort. The generous cushioning sits on a hearty aluminum frame which is then wrapped in a 3mm hand-woven synthetic wicker – it’s this that gives the design its classic cottage garden appeal.
To accompany the two-seater sofa the Harlow Carr range features armchairs and a coffee table in matching hand-woven, weather-resistant synthetic wicker to complete the look. This sofa is suitable for use in the garden or conservatory if you wish to leave it indoors for part of the year.
The hanging egg chair is the most in-demand outdoor furniture piece to buy right now and has been a huge fixture in garden trends for some years. The design is ideal to create a spa-like sanctuary, a place to sit back and relax while gently swinging with a feeling of weightlessness in your own backyard oasis.
This B&Q design is one of the most reasonably priced offerings in the hanging chair market, but it’s also one of the best in contemporary design. It features a warm wicker-look round chair furnished with black seat and back cushions, all suspended from a sleek black, powder-coated steel frame.
The cocoon-like shape makes this design a cozy addition by night, to snuggle inside with your best blanket. For an added coziness why not dress the frame with ambient fairy lights to add an extra stylish touch. If you’re after a more classic egg chair design, however, head to Aldi for its iconic egg chair which is continually re-stocked.
Outdoor dining tables don’t get any better than this casual-yet-refined design at West Elm, which comfortably seats up to 6. The sleek dining table is a bestseller, and it’s easy to see why with its contemporary concrete top, paired organically with a weathered wooden frame to produce an ultra-stylish design that matches current kitchen trends and would suit any modern outdoor space.
For practicality, the top is constructed from glass fiber reinforced concrete, which means it’s lighter to maneuver than solid concrete but it’s just as durable and aesthetically pleasing. The concrete sits upon solid mahogany and eucalyptus wooden legs, made with FSC-certified wood from responsibly managed forests.
While there’s no denying this sofa is expensive, this design is a true investment piece that is undeniably worth it. Influenced by the simplicity of Japandi-inspired furniture, David Irwin designed this magnificent sofa for world-renowned furniture brand Case, to cater to the outdoor living room aesthetic and it certainly does the job of evoking a sense of indoor sophistication.
It’s crafted using high-quality teak which is one of the strongest and most durable materials for outdoor furniture – one that requires little maintenance and will be resistant to all weathers. While we state the made to order as an ‘against’ buying argument, we purely say that if you are in need of a quick fix and simply cannot wait – because this sofa is worth waiting for.
With the ever-popular interior design trend for blurring the lines between indoor and out, we feel these Swara dining chairs are interchangeable, meaning they’ll add value to any living space. While they are designed for outdoor use they would feel suitably at home surrounding an indoor table.
Made from a synthetic poly rattan material, essentially a similar look but cheaper version of real rattan, these chairs are made to withstand the elements – because poly rattan is actually more durable than rattan due to the fact that water and other liquids can’t get into the fiber. Despite these properties, the manufacturer still recommends covering them up when not in use for peace of mind.
The natural-look woven and black chairs are a versatile addition to any indoor or outdoor dining table whether the accompanying table is wood or poly rattan.
A bistro table and chairs set is a classic choice for balconies and small patios, because designs are compact enough to not take up too much space, and foldable so they can be stored away when not in use. While the chairs simply fold down, the table does require a screw to be removed in order to store it away. This is inconvenient if you want a quick and easy folding table, but on the plus side, it does mean the lightweight table is sturdier than your average bistro table thanks to the extra measure of being secured by a bolt.
While bistro sets in vibrant colors are the most ‘on-trend’ in recent years, there’s something about the simplicity of IKEA’s Tarno set that we love; a simple yet sophisticated mix of acacia hardwood slats and black powder-coated steel frames. Because the set is sold without cushions, this is where you can choose to add inject some color with bright and comfortable cushions.
If you like the idea of a solitary egg chair but aren’t keen on the element of movement then consider a static pod chair. Hailing the same style of design as the popular hanging egg chair, the standing pod chair is a statement design that will command attention in any outdoor plot.
Our favorite of the standalone designs is this San Marino chair in black by Dunelm. The on-trend black frame complements the garden trend for dark paint colors seen on deckings and fences, meaning the chair seamlessly blends into the backyard surroundings. Meanwhile, the inviting wrap-around style of the contrasting beige cushions provides a cocooning effect where the cushions envelop you from all sides.
Comfort and style aside, the sturdy metal base and synthetic wicker-effect pod structure are weatherproof, making the chair highly durable for outdoor living.
Modular sofas can be positioned to suit your individual outdoor space, either together as a corner sofa or as standalone sofas. Because the modern design doesn’t have definitive ends, you can also move it around to feature either a right-hand or left-hand chaise, depending on your needs. We love the flexibility within this design, giving us the freedom to change things up as and when the mood takes us.
The minimalist design, with a simple Japandi style appeal, feels like a piece of living room furniture that has been moved to the terrace – a key garden trend right now. While it boasts all the comfort and style of an indoor sofa, we can assure you this garden sofa is made to be in the elements, however, with a powder-coated frame and shower-resistant upholstery.
While it is a four-seater design, we feel it’s a bit of a snug fit. If you want to lounge in absolute comfort, we’d say three is more of a realistic fit for optimum comfort levels.
There’s something very enticing about the added benefit of movement when it comes to outdoor furniture, like the soothing motion of being rocked. And while hammocks are the ultimate holiday choice, they aren’t always practical for everyday use in our own backyards, which is why we love the idea of a rocking chair instead.
For a contemporary take on a traditional wooden rocking chair design the Acapulco rocker, designed by Amanda Holden, is made from a simple steel frame coated in a vibrant splash of orange while the main seat is constructed using a modern synthetic woven wicker material. The design doesn’t have cushions because the woven structure is surprisingly springy and cushion-like, a quality you can’t perhaps appreciate until you’ve had the pleasure of sitting on a chair of this material ( and it is a pleasure, we can assure you).
As we touched on, hammocks always make us think of holidays, where we imagine ourselves lazing on a string and fabric design tied between two palm trees. And while that’s okay for the island life, it’s simply not practical for most people’s gardens where you need more support if you’re climbing in and out constantly. Not to mention the fact that your plot might not even have trees, let alone suitable ones for securing a hammock. That’s why we love this free-standing design by Cox & Cox because it makes lounging in a hammock possible for all outdoor spaces that have space for the frame.
The luxury quilted seat, featuring double-stitched seams, provides comfortable cushioning to fully support the body as you recline. The upholstered sling is suspended and supported by a lightweight powder-coated steel frame, that can take a weight up to 150kg. The fabric is breathable and shower-proof, but note that it cannot be machine washed, only spot cleaned by hand.
An outdoor coffee table is the perfect accessory to create the feel of an outdoor living room. The presence of a coffee table outside not only anchors the space to make it feel structured as a central focus on which to base your furniture layout around, but it is highly practical as a surface to place an ice-cold pitcher filled with summer refreshments, along with glasses to serve. Surround it with an outdoor rug and sofa and the look is complete.
This Christopher Knight Home acacia wood coffee table is simple yet stylish with its slatted top design that would perfectly complement a set of Adirondack chairs on either side. The sturdy design features a solid frame to ensure maximum stability and the weather-resistant material means it is the ideal accompaniment for outdoor living.
What material is best for outdoor furniture?
Choosing the best outdoor furniture is about more than just aesthetics, because the material is key to longevity and suitability to living outdoors. Outdoor furniture is often a costly investment so it’s important to consider the right materials, to ensure your new furniture is built to last.
“With a rust-resistant treatment, powder-coated aluminium frames are protected from corrosion and provides defence against chipping and scratching, ensuring that the high-quality of the finish will last all year round, and for years to come,” advises Sabina.
“If you’re looking for a more natural aesthetic, teak is a great option. A tight wood grain makes it one of the strongest and most durable materials for outdoor furniture, while natural oils repel insects, acid and moisture, meaning it requires little maintenance and will be resistant to all weathers.”
Is rattan or wood better for outdoor furniture?
Is rattan or wood better for outdoor furniture? It’s an age-old debate. We asked Heal’s buyer Sabina to offer her expert advice to settle the debate.
“Both rattan and wood carry a naturally timeless and versatile aesthetic, but the longevity, quality and suitability for individual outdoor spaces will vary depending on the investment made –in terms of both effort and cost,” Sabina explains.
“We suggest investing in a hardwood, such as teak. Highly durable characteristics and self-producing natural oils ensure its finish is maintained over many years, while its coloring fades to a beautiful silvery grey. On the other hand, softwoods like pine and cedar can start to look worn out if left untreated and will lose their structural integrity when exposed to moisture, meaning they need to be stored away outside of summer.
“Natural rattan is also prone to weather damage, but synthetic designs can offer a highly durable and low-maintenance option. However, a poorly woven construction can impact the longevity of the structure, and its lightweight design means it could be damaged in windy conditions.”