A park bench might just seem like a place to sit down, but there’s something actually kind of special about a park bench. From impromptu workouts and architecture drawings to clandestine briefcase handoffs (at least in the movies), a lot can happen on a park bench. And while every day can’t be spent on a park bench, you can at least bring some of the calming, thought-provoking benefits of a park bench home with you. All you need to do is invest in a quality outdoor bench.
An outdoor bench is great if you have a spacious backyard or well-groomed front lawn, but you don’t need to have all that for an outdoor bench. If all you have is a balcony or a small patch of grass in front of your apartment, an outdoor bench can make that space feel actually inviting. Even if you don’t get to use it every day, an outdoor bench can also enliven your outdoor space aesthetically.
Paired with a table, an outdoor bench can be a great option for an outdoor dining setup. The best benches for dining tables are backless, so you can more easily step into the seat without moving the table or bench. For actually getting comfortable with a book and a cup of coffee, you might want one of the options with a backrest. Plus, there are options on this list that are great if you just need a bench to sit down on while you take off muddy boots or smelly sneakers.
We’ve rounded up some of the best outdoor benches for your porch, patio or front lawn, including high-quality wood options and economical metal benches. These are the outdoor benches to buy right now.
1. Christopher Knight Home Carlisle Outdoor Bench
If you’re looking for an outdoor bench with a contemporary look, Christopher Knight has plenty of stylish (and affordable) options to include in your outdoor space. This option has a simple acacia wood top with sturdy metal legs, which is great for a modern yet slightly industrial look. Some assembly is required, but it’s designed to be easy.
2. Design Within Reach Bauhaus Bench
The clean lines and curved shape of this Design Within Reach bench nod to the Bauhaus design movement, making this a great option for any lovers of modern design. It’s made from powder-coated steel, and the bench has small perforations on the seat and back that allow for ventilation. This bench comes in either black or white.
3. Backyard Discovery Wooden Picnic Bench
BEST FARMHOUSE BENCH
This bench from Backyard Discovery has a more rustic, farmhouse look, while still remaining modern. It’s made from solid hardwood and is easy to assemble. It’s a good option for a front porch if you’re looking for somewhere to take your shoes off. It’s also a good option for an outdoor dining setup.
4. Best Choice Products Steel Bench
BEST CLASSIC BENCH
This steel bench has a classic look, resembling something you might see in a public park or in a garden. The open backrest has a floral filigree pattern and the seat is slatted, allowing water to flow through when it rains. The bench has armrests on either end.
5. Keter Eden Bench
BEST STORAGE BENCH
An outdoor bench can be inviting and functional. The seat of this bench from Keter doubles as a storage box. You can use it for gardening tools, outdoor kids’ toys, or whatever else you can think of. Plus, a lock helps keep your stored items secure. It’s made from plastic with a wood-like finish.
6. Christopher Knight Home Esme Wood Bench
BEST MODERN BENCH
Another stylish option from Cristopher Knight is this sleek wood bench. It’s made from durable acacia wood, while the slatted design allows air and moisture to pass through. This bench is great as part of an outdoor dining set, or simply on its own.
7. Trent Austin Design Guyapi Garden Bench
BEST INDUSTRIAL BENCH
This garden bench from Trent Austin Design looks like something you’d find on the outdoor patio of a hip brewery. The bench is made from sturdy and water-resistant acacia. It has sturdy iron hairpin legs and an iron back and armrest, giving it an industrial-inspired look.
8. Millwood Pines Fina Wooden Planter Bench
BEST 2-IN-1 BENCH
Millwood Pines’ bench has a great two-in-one design. There are two planters on either end of the bench, while the middle offers a place to sit down and relax or kick your shoes off. The bench is made from solid meranti hardwood, and it’s designed to be water-resistant for year-round use.
9. Design Within Reach Hello Bench
BEST SPACE-SAVING BENCH
If you want an entryway bench that makes the most of a small space, the Hello bench from Design Within Reach is a great option. It’s 29″ wide, making it substantially smaller than most of the benches on this list. It maximizes the small space it occupies, though — the bench has three cubbies for shoes, outdoor blankets and other items, plus two slots on the side that are ideal for umbrellas. It comes in a wide range of colors.