Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Welcome to our big outdoor sofa test 2021. Here we present all the outdoor sofas we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best outdoor sofa for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy an outdoor sofa.




Summary

  • Outdoor sofas are a real eye-catcher in your garden. They enrich it and offer you comfortable seating.
  • You can choose between different materials: Metals such as aluminium, iron and stainless steel, teak, polyrattan and textile. Polyester and polyvinyl chloride are particularly suitable as seat cushions for outdoor use.
  • You can choose between an outdoor sofa as a whole and an outdoor sofa set consisting of individual parts.

The Best Outdoor Sofa: Our Choices

Guide: Questions to ask yourself before buying an outdoor sofa

Who is an outdoor sofa for?

You don't necessarily need a huge garden to have an outdoor sofa. Since outdoor sofas are available in different sizes, you can also put it on the balcony.

Especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors and are looking for a comfortable outdoor seating option, an outdoor sofa is quite something.

How much does an outdoor sofa cost?

The price of outdoor sofas can vary greatly depending on the type, size and quality. You can buy a set of 2 outdoor sofas for less than the price of a set. The price of a set of 2 is around 100 to 400 €, while a seating group is between 250 and 900 €.

Type Price per piece
Sets of 2 circa 100-400 €
Seating groups circa 250-900 €

Which material do I choose?

You can choose between the following three materials for outdoor sofas:

  • Metal
  • Teak
  • Polyrattan
  • Textile

The following metal outdoor sofas are available on the market: Aluminium, iron and stainless steel. Aluminium is ideal for outdoor use because it is weatherproof and corrosion-resistant, i.e. rust-free. In addition, aluminium is very easy to clean. With an appropriate powder coating, aluminium furniture remains visually beautiful in the long term.

Outdoor sofas made of iron need a high-quality powder coating to protect against rust. With this coating, the furniture is weather-resistant, durable and easy to care for. A big advantage is the stability of iron.

Outdoor sofas made of stainless steel are weather and rust resistant. Furthermore, they are durable and UV-resistant. Stainless steel is also easy to clean.

Teak comes from the teak tree, the so-called Indian oak. Due to its high content of oils and natural rubber, teak is considered resistant to worms and fungal attack. After a few years, teak loses a little colour and shine, but the quality remains.

The wood is considered to be very insensitive and can withstand all cleaning processes without any problems. If there are stains on the teak, you can remove them with soapy water. When the furniture is dry, you can rub it with Team Oil.

Caution: Repeated application of the teak oil can give the teak furniture a darker colour.

Polyrattan is a synthetic fibre made of polyethylene. Polyrattan furniture has the advantage that it is weatherproof, water-repellent, can withstand temperatures between -60 degrees to 70 degrees and is UV-resistant. Furthermore, it is neither chlorine nor salt water sensitive.

Outdoor sofas made of this material are robust and very resilient. Furthermore, you can leave them outside all year round. Polyrattan furniture does not require any special care. If a stain occurs, you can simply wipe it away with a damp cloth and some cleaning agent.

Sunbrella is an acrylic fabric, an innovative outdoor textile that can be left outside all year round, even in winter. The name Sunbrella is a combination of the words "sun" and "umbrella" and indicates that this material can withstand both sun and rain.

It is hard-wearing and can withstand all weather conditions. You also don't need an additional protective cover. Because the colour pigments are embedded in the fibres at the beginning of the production process, Sunbrella is also UV-resistant and lightfast.

Another advantage of the acrylic fabric is that it is easy to clean. If you accidentally spill something, you can easily clean the spot with a little warm water and soap. Due to the water- and dirt-repellent properties of this material, liquids run off directly and do not penetrate the fabric. Sunbrella is also mould-resistant, breathable and quick-drying.

Which fabric should I choose?

There are many fabrics for seat cushions on the market. You can choose between natural fibres and man-made fibres. Natural fibres include linen and cotton (of plant origin) as well as wool and silk (of animal origin). Man-made fibres include viscose and modal (of natural origin) as well as polyester, polyacrylic and polyvinyl chloride (of synthetic origin). You can also choose between leather or imitation leather, flat weave and velour.

Polyvinyl chloride and polyester are ideal for outdoor use. Polyvinyl chloride is a thermoplastic material. This cover fabric is perfect for a wet and humid environment as well as for outdoor use because the fabric is waterproof.

One disadvantage of the fabric is that it is neither breathable nor comfortable. Polyester belongs to the microfibre family. Polyester is produced by the so-called melt spinning process. In this process, heat creates a melt that is then pressed through the spinneret. Polyester is easy to care for, dirt-repellent and hard-wearing. A major disadvantage is that polyester is not breathable.

Natural fibres Man-made fibres
Linen Viscose
Cotton Modal
Wool Polyester
Silk Polyacrylic
Polyvinyl chloride

What are the alternatives to an outdoor sofa?

There are many alternatives to outdoor sofas.

One alternative is the simple garden bench. In contrast to an outdoor sofa, it does not offer as much space or as much seating comfort.

Another alternative to an outdoor sofa is a garden lounger. You can lie down on it and relax, just like on an outdoor sofa. With the right choice of cushion, you can turn the deck chair into a comfortable place.

A beach chair offers the third alternative. With this alternative, you can sit under cover when it rains. One difference to an outdoor sofa is that you cannot lie down, but only sit.

Alternatively, you can use a beanbag. This is very soft and comfortable. However, this is not good for older people, as it can be very difficult to get up from such a beanbag.

Decision: What types of outdoor sofas are there and which is the right one for you?

If you want to buy an outdoor sofa, there are two alternatives to choose from:

  • Outdoor sofa made of individual modules
  • Outdoor sofa as a whole

Depending on what you prefer and what you want to use the outdoor sofa for, a different type is suitable for you. In the following section, we would like to make the decision easier for you.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an outdoor sofa made of individual modules?

An outdoor sofa made of individual parts offers you a variety of options for placing your furniture. Furthermore, individual parts are easier to store and transport. One disadvantage is that they can slip a little more easily if they are placed on a slippery surface.

Advantages
  • Variety of placement options
  • Better storage options
  • Easy to transport
Disadvantages
  • Can slip more easily

What distinguishes an outdoor sofa as a whole and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

An outdoor sofa as a whole cannot slide around. On the other hand, such a large sofa is not easy to store or transport. In addition, it does not offer a variety of positioning options.

Advantages
  • Cannot slide in itself
Disadvantages
  • Poor stowability
  • No variety of placement options
  • Difficult to transport

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate outdoor sofas

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible outdoor sofas.

The criteria you can use to compare outdoor sofas with each other include:

Size

The size is an important criterion for buying an outdoor sofa. You should first measure how much space you have in your garden or how many people the outdoor sofa should be for. If it is only for one or two people, a set of 2 is perfectly adequate. However, if it is intended for a larger number of people, you should consider how many people it is ultimately suitable for before buying.

Material

As mentioned above, there are different materials such as aluminium, iron, stainless steel, teak, polyrattan and textile. Which material you find best is ultimately a matter of taste. You can read about the advantages and disadvantages of the individual materials above.

Fabric

The text above already explains the different fabrics available for upholstery. Polyester and polyvinyl chloride are the most suitable because of their properties.

Seating comfort

A very important chewing criterion is, of course, seating comfort. The volume weight is one of the quality features of seat cushions and indicates how many kilograms the foam of the seat cushion weighs per cubic metre. We recommend that you choose a higher volume weight over a lower one, as a higher volume weight promises less material fatigue.

The compression hardness is also an important factor in your purchase decision. As mentioned above, it indicates in kilopascals how much force you need to apply to compress the foam. If you want a firmly padded seat cushion that does not sink much when you sit down, you should go for a higher compression hardness.

It is best to test the cushions by sitting on them for a while before buying an outdoor sofa.

Possible combinations

Another purchase criterion could be the combination possibilities of your outdoor sofa. If you don't have an exact idea of the shape you want your outdoor sofa to take, we recommend that you buy an outdoor sofa set that consists of individual parts. This way you have the choice of how you want to place your sofa and can easily change it at any time. If you only want one sofa and you are sure that you do not want to vary it, you can go for an outdoor sofa as a whole.

Lightfastness

Another quality feature is light fastness, which indicates how resistant the colour is to daylight. Level 1 light fastness is very low and the fabric fades quickly. Level 8, on the other hand, has excellent light fastness.

So if you don't want the colour of your outdoor sofa upholstery to fade directly in the sun, you should go for a light fastness level 4-5 or higher.

Facts worth knowing about outdoor sofas

How do I care for and clean an outdoor sofa?

Metals such as aluminium, iron and stainless steel, teak, polyrattan and textile

Dirt on metal can easily be sprayed off with a garden hose or washed off with a mild soap solution and water.

Natural cleaning agents are recommended for cleaning teak furniture. You can also use a care oil that reinforces the resistance of the surface.

Polyrattan requires little maintenance. To clean your outdoor sofa, all you need is a brush or sponge, liquid soap and lukewarm water.

With the "Sunbrella" material, you can clean the dirt with warm water and soap. The material is water and dirt repellent, which means that liquids run off directly and do not penetrate the fabric.

How do I store an outdoor sofa?

To prolong the life of an outdoor sofa, we recommend that you store it in the garden shed or under a roof in winter. A protective cover is not necessary, as this can cause mould. This also protects it from frost.

Image source: Białasiewicz/ 123rf.com

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