Last updated: August 4, 2021

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A garden bench is a must in most gardens. It offers comfort and enhances the value of your own property. In our garden bench guide, we present all the important background information on the subject.

We also answer frequently asked questions, explain the purchase criteria and show you the best garden benches. In this way, you can find the ideal garden bench for your garden with our guide.




Summary

  • A garden bench is not only a practical and comfortable seating option, it is also a chic accessory in your own garden. Thanks to the different sizes, there is a place for it in almost every garden.
  • The most common types of garden bench are made of wood, metal and plastic. However, there are also some made of rattan or stone. So you have many options to choose from.
  • For a beautiful ambience, the place of the garden bench is especially important. So think about where you want to put it and then you can choose the right one.

The Best Garden Bench: Our Choices

Garden benches: buying and evaluation criteria

In the following, we would like to explain the criteria you can use to compare garden benches. This will help you find the right garden bench for you.

These are:

We would now like to explain these factors to you in detail. This will make your decision easier.

Dimensions

The size of the garden bench depends on how much space you have in your garden and how many people you want to sit on it.

Under the number of seats you can imagine the following dimensions:

  • 2-seater: approx. 120 cm wide
  • 3-seater: approx. 150 cm wide
  • 4-seater: approx. 180 cm wide

For a lot of space in the garden, there are also XL or XXL garden benches. These are on average 200 cm to 240 cm wide.

Apart from the width, the height of the legs also plays a role. People with long legs should opt for slightly higher legs.

How deep or high your garden bench should be depends on your personal preference. If you want a table in front of the bench, it is important to match the sizes of the two. So when buying, also look for furniture in the vicinity of the garden bench, if available.

Seating comfort

The seating comfort of a garden bench depends on the shape and material of the bench. Especially if the garden bench is used a lot and frequently, comfort should not be neglected.

Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, which we will explain in the course of this guide. As a rule, wood is the most comfortable material. However, almost every garden bench can be made comfortable with additional cushions.

A backrest is also important for seating comfort. Make sure that the backrest is not too straight and rigid. The wrong backrest can cause back pain.

When buying, look for an ergonomic shape of the backrest and, if possible, test whether it is compatible with your back and you can sit on it for a long time.

Weather resistance

Since a garden bench is usually constantly outside in the garden, it is constantly exposed to the weather. UV rays and heat in summer can be just as damaging to the material as snow and cold in winter.

To ensure that you can leave your garden bench outside all year round without worrying, it should be weatherproof. If necessary, you can also cover your garden bench with a special tarpaulin. Weather resistance is also partly dependent on the material.

Garden benches made of more sensitive materials, such as certain types of wood, should be placed inside during the winter. That way you can enjoy your garden bench for a long time.

Material

The material of the garden bench is a very important factor when deciding what to buy. In the frequently asked questions and answers, we present the different materials with their advantages and disadvantages in detail.

In order to be able to decide on a material, you should be clear about the following points in advance:

  • Space in the garden
  • Stability
  • Comfort
  • Easy care
  • already existing garden furniture

If you think about it, you can decide on a certain material relatively easily. While wooden benches are usually more comfortable than those made of stone, stone benches are much more stable. However, stone benches are usually more expensive. Each material has its advantages.

An important point is also the appearance. If you already have garden furniture or are planning to buy some, the appearance may play a role for you. Which materials go together is, of course, a matter of taste.

Load capacity

A garden bench should be suitable for the weight of the user. The stability of the entire garden bench, as well as its load-bearing capacity, should be taken into account.

Each material has a different stability, but the quality of the workmanship also contributes to this. For garden benches made of wood, the wood thickness must be taken into account. This is given in millimetres and is different for each type of wood.

The quality of the additional parts of the garden bench should also be high. So also pay attention to little things when buying, such as high-quality screws.

Most garden benches made of stone and metal are very stable. With wood, it all depends on the workmanship and type of wood. Plastic garden benches are usually more unstable.

Garden benches: frequently asked questions and answers

In the following, we answer some questions that most people interested in a garden bench ask.

Who is a garden bench suitable for?

A garden bench is suitable for anyone with room for such a seat. It does not necessarily have to be a huge garden. Even a small front garden or patio can be enhanced with a garden bench. Many garden benches also fit on the balcony or terrace.

Garden benches look very nice and are also extremely practical.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors and like to relax or work there, a garden bench is ideal for you. The large selection of garden benches in different materials allows you to find the right one for you and your existing garden furniture.

With extra cushions, the garden bench is even more comfortable and you can sit or even lie on it for a very long time.

What types of garden benches are there?

There are five types of garden benches, which are essentially differentiated by their materials. These are wood, stone, metal, plastic and polyrattan. In the following table we explain the types with all their advantages and disadvantages.

Material Advantages Disadvantages
Wood natural raw material, many choices due to different types of wood, robust, often already processed when purchased (weatherproof), appears harmonious and natural, comfortable costly to maintain due to e.g. new varnish, can be sensitive, can be very expensive, weatherproofness can vary
Stone high load-bearing capacity possible, very weather-resistant, robust and stable heavy, expensive, hard without extra padding, moss formation possible
Metal appears high-quality and noble, very stable, weather-resistant, easy to care for, filigree patterns are possible can quickly become cold or hot depending on the temperature, can form rust (rather rare), rather uncomfortable without extra padding
Plastic light, inexpensive, easy to clean, stackable, weatherproof colour can fade in the sun, can become warm in the sun, unstable, can look cheap, not scratch-resistant
Polyrattan easy to care for, robust, stable, weather-resistant expensive, can become warm if dark in colour

Which garden bench is right for you depends, of course, on your taste and the circumstances.

Wood is a very popular material for garden benches, as it looks very why and harmonious. A distinction must also be made between the different types of wood. These are:

  • Teak
  • Oak
  • Acacia
  • Douglas fir
  • Beech
  • Spruce

Stone benches fit very nicely into a more robust environment. They also definitely look good next to a small pond. Stone garden benches can be left outside all year round and require little maintenance. However, they cannot be moved easily because they are very heavy.

There are many metal benches with ornamentation, benches made of other materials are rather plain.

Metal benches are very modern and elegant. There are many variations with filigree scrollwork, which is not so easy with other materials.

Due to the coating, high-quality garden benches do not usually rust. In winter, it can be useful to store them in the house or garden shed.

Plastic garden benches are very practical because they are light and stackable. They can therefore be moved around very easily. Often, plastic benches do not look very high-quality, but that is a matter of taste.

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Wooden benches are a real classic and look very warm and harmonious in the garden. They fit into almost every garden.
(Image source: Carol Saliba / Unsplash)

Polyrattan is an industrially produced variant of natural rattan. The benches are available in different weaves and look very chic.

How much does a garden bench cost?

The cost of a garden bench varies depending on the material and quality. The price can also vary due to the accessories of a garden bench.

There are also garden benches for the smaller purse. Plastic garden benches in particular are comparatively inexpensive.

The price of wooden garden benches can vary greatly. This is due to the different types of wood. There are very inexpensive models here, but also very expensive ones.

Material Price
Wood 50 to 800 €
Plastic 20 to 200 €
Metal 80 to 250 €

When it comes to wooden benches, there are some high quality ones for around 120 €.

What are the alternatives to a garden bench?

A garden bench is not for everyone. If you're looking for something fancier or simply different from a garden bench for your property, we present a few alternatives.

Alternative Details
Hollywood swing A Hollywood swing is a gentle swing for usually several people. They are available with and without a roof. They are usually upholstered.
Garden chair Garden chairs come in the same materials as garden benches. They are often available as a set, which makes them match each other nicely. Some chairs are foldable and thus quickly stowable.
Sun lounger With a sun lounger or garden lounger you can really relax in the garden. They are often upholstered. They are also available with a folding sun canopy.
Hammock A hammock can be nicely hung up in the garden for ultimate comfort. You can sit on it less, but lie on it in a very relaxed way. They are available with their own stands or for hanging between two trees.
Lounge furniture Lounge furniture is suitable for particularly large gardens or terraces. They come in different sizes and sets that usually match each other.

As you can see, you have many different options for your garden or balcony. You have to decide for yourself how much space you have and how much space the piece of furniture should take up.

For a very large garden or terrace, lounge furniture may be the right choice. For a smaller balcony, garden chairs with a matching table might look more harmonious. It all depends on your personal preference and possibilities.

How do I protect a garden bench?

The protection of the garden bench depends on the chosen material.

With wooden benches, it can make sense to oil the bench. This will protect it from rapid decay and it will last for a long time. It is recommended to oil the garden bench about two to three times a year.

The maintenance oil can be applied with a brush, for example. Afterwards, it is recommended to let the bench dry in the shade for a few hours.

Coloured oils also protect the bench from UV light.

It is possible to provide additional protection for garden benches by using weather protection products. Some garden benches are already weatherproof, here the additional treatment is optional. The agent means that water simply bounces off the bench.

Gartenbank-02

Although most garden benches are weatherproof, it can't hurt to move the bench inside in winter.
(Image source: saeed mhmdi / Unsplash)

To be on the safe side, you can put your bench, no matter what material, inside the house or garden shed during the winter. Here it is protected from frost and water damage. As a rule, stone benches do not have to and cannot be brought inside.

How do I clean and care for a garden bench?

Cleaning and care varies depending on the material of the garden bench.

Wooden benches can be cleaned with a gentle brush, sponge or cloth and a little natural soapy water. So that no soap remains on the wood, you should then rub it with a dry cloth. Microfibre cloths should be avoided for wood, as they can remove the oil.

There are special cleaning agents for metal benches, but a simple mild soap solution can also remove dirt. Do not use hard brushes and the like, as they can damage the metal. Dry the metal garden bench carefully with a soft cloth after cleaning.

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To keep your garden bench looking good for a long time, you should clean and maintain it regularly. A mild soapy water solution and a soft sponge are suitable for most materials.
(Image source: Anton / Unsplash)

Since plastic benches are very sensitive, regular thorough cleaning is recommended. Stubborn dirt can be removed with household remedies such as vinegar, baking soda or washing-up liquid in combination with water.

Special plastic cleaners and polishes are available in shops. This will keep your plastic furniture looking like new.

Conclusion

A garden bench is a real eye-catcher in many places. It does not necessarily have to be in the garden, a courtyard, balcony or terrace can also be beautified by a garden bench. In addition to its harmonious appearance, it is also very practical and comfortable.

Thanks to the many different materials available, you can find the ideal garden bench for you. Since there are garden benches in pretty much every price range, there is something for everyone. You can't really go wrong with a garden bench.

Image source: iperl/ 123rf

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