What's in This Guide?
- 1 Our Choice
- 2 Our Choice
- 3 Our Choice
- 4 Picking and testing
- 5 How to Pick a Patio Dining Set
- 6 Materials
- 7 Other Best Patio Furniture
- 8 Sources
Last Updated on September 14, 2021 by Sandra Allens
It is mainly the looks of best patio furniture that attracts buyers. In addition to taking that into account, there are a few other factors to consider before you make a purchase. Are you considering getting a set for your living room? Apartments have decks that are completely different from patios in large homes. Can you find a set that complements the exterior as well as the interior of your home? Could you provide some regular maintenance for your table to keep it looking nice? Whether our picks aren’t your style or aren’t available, our buyer’s guide covers all these topics and more. We will give you tips on how to choose the right patio set, no matter what kind of furniture you want. In our work, durability and design are of paramount importance.
Hundreds of reviews were gathered on patio dining sets under $800, a price range that is within reach of renters and first-time homeowners during a 30-hour research project. Five landscape designers and two furniture designers were interviewed. After assembling and using several tables and chairs, we recommend the IKEA PPplarö Table and Chairs as well as the Better Homes & Gardens Clayton Court 5-piece Patio Dining Set, both of which are highly affordable and can be used outdoors.
Editor’s note. Patio furniture is among the many categories impacted by shortages caused by the pandemic in June 2021. Currently, manufacturers are unable to keep up with seasonal demand due to a variety of supply-chain problems. After nationwide shortages ease, we will update this guide once a few more pieces of the best patio furniture become available and our tips for selecting the perfect dining set become available.
The *pplarö Table and Chairs Are from Ikea
This acacia best patio furniture set is an affordable option for people who prefer the feel and look of wood, but not the price tag. Moreover, it offers the most seating options out of all the options we found.
What we like about it:
- Real wood with plastic price. The *pplarö Table and 4 Armchairs was the best-looking and least expensive wood set we liked out of the 12 we looked at. Acacia wood is a more affordable alternative to teak, but it isn’t as durable.
- Large capacity. At this price, we could not find another table that seats 10 for this price.
- Seating choices are plentiful. Compared to the other outdoor dining sets we looked at, this one offered more seating options and coordinated pieces.
Not a deal breaker, but there are some flaws:
- A little bit winter-proof. We do not recommend leaving this table outside year round in wet or snowy climates; one of our editors found it lost its finish and warped in a year left outside. We have found this table to have worn well over the years at our LA testing site. Make sure it’s protected from the elements by buying a cover.
- Maintenance is required annually. The table may require yearly maintenance, depending on how much weather it has endured.
Steel is a great choice if you are looking for an eco-friendly best patio furniture set. Because it is powder-coated, it is likely to last longer than others in that price range, plus the table and chairs are larger and more comfortable than other sets this price range.
Our Favorite Reasons:
- Compared to fake iron sets, this one is more attractive. The Better Homes and Gardens Clayton Court 5-Piece Patio Dining Set is an excellent value compared with other outdoor dining sets at its price point.
- It has a lot of dining surfaces. This is the largest table in the set, with a diameter of 45 inches.
- Super-comfy chairs. Compared with the upright chairs that come with most patio sets, these chairs bounce with a mellow bounce that makes them more relaxing. Our testers loved them.
- The seats are cushioned. While the cushions may not be as sunproof as we would like, we think it’s extremely surprising that this price includes a set at all.
- The lowest maintenance possible. It is likely to be easier to maintain and will last longer than similar wood sets, because steel is such a low-maintenance material.
Not a deal breaker, but there are some flaws:
- Over 225 pounds are not recommended. Among Walmart.com reviewers weighing 250 pounds, Clayton Court chairs broke.
Unlike cheaper models, this umbrella is likely to last four times as long since it resists sun damage and wind damage. The finishes and colors vary.
Our favorite reasons:
- Exceptional construction. Unlike other umbrellas we have tested, the Treasure Garden Market Aluminum Push Button Tilt Umbrella is easier to handle because it has a crank lifting system and push-button tilting system. The umbrella has a cover and double vents, which make it more wind resistant.
- Excellent customization options. Both Sunbrella and O’Bravia fabrics are available. O’Bravia is less durable and more exposed to the sun than Sunbrella. Additionally, you have the option to choose from multiple pole finishes.
Not a deal breaker, but there are some flaws:
- Shipping takes time. Your choice of fabric and finish may require up to several weeks.
Our complete guide to patio umbrellas and stands includes several less expensive umbrellas as well as some sturdy umbrella stands.
- Having spent countless hours researching and putting them to the test, we’ve selected the best patio umbrellas and stands. Treasure Garden’s Market umbrella and Article’s Paima Umbrella Base both make the cut.
Picking and testing
Homeowners and renters usually want a dining set that’s sturdy, stylish, and reasonably priced. By following this guide, we successfully found sets for much less than $800. The outdoor dining sets below this price range are excellent, but you can go much further.
When Analyzing Sets, We Took Into Account the Following:
- Size. Tables were primarily selected for four people, but larger sizes could be considered if they fell within our $800 budget. Our standard is to select tables with at least a 40-inch width to allow for 4 place settings and condiments, within reasonable space.
- Comfortable seats. The chairs we chose all had good-size seats and in our testing, they felt strong and stable, not being too tight. A matching table and chairs were also taken into consideration. Landscape designer Russ Cletta told us that armless chairs sometimes do not fit under tables very well. No folding or bistro-style chairs were considered. To help you relax comfortably for a number of hours, we chose an armchair with four legs and a stable base.
- Materials that look and feel good. Considering the recommendations of our experts, we selected wooden, metal, and wicker sets. While searching for aesthetically pleasing sets, we considered a wide range of home styles. In addition to teak, we chose eucalyptus or acacia wood sets because they are resistant to rot and insects and are durable.
- Cushions. We considered the fabric options available for cushions when purchasing a set. The benefits of Sunbrella fabrics over polyester and other yarn-dyed fabrics include their ability to retain their colors better. Fabrics like Olefin, which are solution-dyed, are known for being durable and colorfast.
Several of the most affordable best patio furniture brands were visited to see what sets them apart from more expensive or investment-worthy stores such as Costco, Home Depot, IKEA, and Walmart. Overstock, Target, Teak Warehouse, Wayfair, and West Elm are just a few of the online stores that consistently offer sub-$800 options, such as Amazon, AllModern, Lowe’s, Orchard Supply Hardware, and Lowe’s Home Improvement.
Using the offerings in stores and researching online top patio dining sets for about 24 hours, we narrowed our list to include sets that are made from wood, aluminum, steel, and plastic resin, as well as those that have a history of positive reviews online.
At the start of our research, we found 33 sets of the best patio furniture with the best price, feature, and design balance. Online reviews and interviews with owners helped us reduce the list. In addition to Home Depot and IKEA visits, we observed shoppers’ reactions in stores at Home Depot and IKEA. In the first version of this guide, three sets were bought and assembled in Los Angeles in a backyard. An update in 2018 will have another set assembled in a backyard in Los Angeles. On both occasions, we examined the construction of screws and joints. As well as the aesthetics and comfort of the dining sets, they were compared over several weeks. The research on six additional patio dining sets was done in June 2021. We narrowed our alternatives to dining sets we could touch, examine, and return at big-box stores, and to those that were exchangeable or refundable because we couldn’t assemble them at home.
We test any set that becomes a pick long-term use in order to update this guide if any issues arise.
How to Pick a Patio Dining Set
Finding the best patio furniture set is more complicated than just looking at the product in the store or online. It is possible to return a set of tables and chairs if they are too big or their feet catch on the grooves of your deck. Follow the guidelines below to avoid buyer’s remorse and narrow your options.
Plan Your Outdoor Space
Analysis of the outdoor space where the patio dining set will be placed is the first step. A proportional arrangement can be created by thinking of an outdoor space as an interior room. When long rectangular tables are placed across square decks and balconies, they are not only uncomfortable, but they can also cause danger to adjacent gardens and patio structures as people move across the space. A small patio dining set may appear adrift if placed in a spacious setting. It may also distract from the sense of affectionate intimacy that a dining facility is intended to convey.
Our recommendation for anyone who is unsure about the spatial relationship of objects within a patio setting, especially those who do not have enough confidence to visualize them, is Lauren Dunec Hoang’s excellent photographic references detailed in How to Design a Patio Setting.
It will help to think of a space outside of the home like an interior space to determine how it should be arranged. Furniture and its dimensions can appear too large, too small, or just right depending on a variety of factors. In terms of dining tables, they can appear small or large based on how they are lit. A good rule of thumb for outdoor table placement is to place them at least 36 inches from buildings, trees, or other obstacles. Aside from taking measurements and taking an overhead picture, it can be helpful to save the overhead picture to your phone in order to reduce guesswork when doing comparison shopping. The best patio furniture dining set’s footprint can also be accurately predicted by using painter’s tape.
Study the Surface Area of Your Patio
To ensure your dining set is positioned properly, you must match the legs to the surface. In some cases, it is frustrating, and in others, it is dangerous. The wooden bench will make a horrible mess and will also catch between the decking boards and sink into the soft soil. The Mercury Row Nikoleta set of dining chairs performed well on concrete patios and wood decks, but the legs consistently caught between pavers of different sizes and patterns, resulting in awkward exits from the table. If the surface you intend to use isn’t uniform or flat, make sure the tables and chairs you use have wide feet and levelers.
Choose Your Seating Options
However, most people daydream about backyard barbeques and summer brunches with friends, despite the fact that patio sets are mostly used by two to four people. Besides being more comfortable for accommodating large groups often, bench-style patio sets are also more fun and ideal for hosting more intimate gatherings. In comparison with traditional chairs, a bench will add a lot of seating to a long table; guests might notice, however, that the chairs lack back support, but mix and match them on one side and combine them with chairs on the other. IKEA *pplarö wood-set picks can be purchased as a complete set, or benches can be purchased separately.
This is why we’re discussing outdoor lounges and conversation sets, which are subcategories of outdoor furniture. Many posh hotels use outdoor lounge sets to provide an area where guests can drink, eat, and converse for hours without being bothered by a table. If you enjoy informal entertaining, they are much more suitable for larger backyards. Acacia wood is used for most of these sets, and the cushions are water-resistant. The sets vary in price from $300 to $800.
Choose Your Style Carefully:
To Ensure the Style of Your Outdoor Space Matches the Set You Select, Here Are a Few Guidelines:
- Decorate your home outside. You can establish continuity between interior and exterior living spaces by considering the outdoors as an extension of your home. Find outdoor sets that are cohesively designed and will make the transition from indoor to outdoor as seamless as possible.
- Complimentary elements are important. If you use colors, shapes, and patterns from the outdoors, it will be easy to identify a theme. Colors from your adjacent architecture or landscape can create harmony.
- Material and surface contrasts. If you aren’t entirely sure about materials or proportions, don’t be afraid to veer off the beaten path. A hierarchy of furniture and setting is established through contrast. As an example, a metal dining set up combined with a wood deck is more intriguing than an entirely wood setup. As well, contrast in scale creates an intriguing dynamic. The wider and lower an outdoor sofa set is, the more intimate the setting and the easier it is to showcase the surrounding greenery.
- Simplify over complicate. When in doubt, opt for a simpler and less busy design. The more complex and ornamented the form, the more likely it is to break.
Considering placing outdoor furniture in an area where umbrellas will be used might lead you to look for sets with holes predrilled for umbrella attachment. It’s especially important if you prefer metal sets.
Before buying a table or chair, compare the heights. Meals were served closer to our short testers’ faces at chairs and tables in our test group. The distance from the plate to the mouth could be shorter if the food was delivered faster. Despite her understanding of the efficiency of shortening the distance, she preferred to sit higher and the table to be lower.
Many people are concerned with the aesthetics and style of their choice best patio furniture when they choose it for their homes, but they should consider how long the set will last as well as how well the piece will resist damage from the weather. Unlike wood, which requires annual maintenance to keep it looking its best, other materials don’t need this. A resin-wicker construction or a plastic-resin construction would be better options if you do not want to commit to regular maintenance of wood and metal.
All of the designers we consulted said that a well-made teak dining set can last for decades. Obviously, the set must be of the highest quality. Aaron Van Holland of the furniture design firm AHBE, in addition to Calvin Abe, mentioned the advantages of acacia’s abundance, including its affordability. Acacia or eucalyptus wood sets dominated the sub-$800 price category.
Wood is generally the most maintenance-intensive material used for outdoor furniture. Wood swells and shrinks in response to moisture. Maggie Lobl, an experienced landscape designer, said that heat also contributes to this. Wood left outdoors requires almost annual maintenance, according to landscape designer Russ Cletta.
Using a small hand brush will usually suffice to remove outdoor debris and crumbs from a wood table. A waterproof cover can keep the set dry when it rains or snows. Based on the degree of exposure, your table may require more or less frequent sanding and staining or oiling. Most hardwoods can also be left unfinished and weathered to a silvery gray color.
As wood rots, metal rusts and corrodes. Steel, cast aluminum, and stainless steel are popular materials for metal dining sets. Many of our research participants report that rust problems do not occur for the first few years of owning a new set because they are treated with rust-resistant coating. Chairs and tables tend to rust on the underside since moisture accumulates there or slowly evaporates.
For regular cleaning, you only need a mild soap solution, such as 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap per gallon of water. It is also possible to hose down furniture of this type. Steel wool or sandpaper can be used to remove rust spots in most cases. The rust spots can also be painted over if needed. The reviews for Rust-Oleum have been overwhelmingly positive. Our interviewees said they often use cast aluminum in their outdoor furniture designs. It is very easy to maintain since it is lightweight and strong. A cast aluminum option under $800 is rare.
As this modern solution to traditional wicker furniture has been incorporated into rooftop bars, beachfront resorts, and suburban backyards with smooth, basketlike surfaces, its popularity has grown immensely. Rather than referring to a material, the term “wicker” describes a weaving technique. During your grandmother’s time reeds, willow branches, bamboo, or bamboo horns were commonly used. Today, resin wicker is typically made by wrapping wire with paper or plastic instead of steel or aluminum. Choosing high-density polyethylene over PVC is the best choice. Simulated fibers are very strong and extremely resistant to staining and UV radiation, making them really appealing to the eye. They also maintain their shape very well, unlike real hair. Similarly, PVC alternatives won’t irritate your skin.
The ease of maintaining resin wicker makes it popular. You can also use a hose if the job is difficult. Wash with a damp cloth, soapy or not. These pieces of furniture are commonly found on decks and patios. The use of outdoor sets should be protected from UV damage when not in use, as these damages are eventually going to cause degrading or brittle plastic resin.
The maintenance of plastic is still necessary in spite of the fact that it does not rust, warp, or rot. When cleaning plastic resin, a quick wipe with a general purpose cleaner and a hose-down is all that is needed after spills or a thorough clean-up. If your stain or mildew is particularly hard to remove, a baking soda paste can be used or a melamine foam sponge. By starting lightly, you will avoid abrasion. In addition to plastic resin becoming brittle with excessive UV exposure, resin wicker can also break over time. To prolong your set’s life, place it under a shade sail or umbrella.
Other Best Patio Furniture
Set of Two Outdoor Tables and Benches by Novogratz
Featuring powder-coated steel legs and easy-to-clean synthetic wood, this three-piece picnic bench set boasts a midcentury design. Up to four people can sit at the table, which is ideal for decks and large balconies. Hairpin legs are best placed on hard, level surfaces, rather than on natural or gravelly grounds. It also has a relatively limited number of reviews on the web, so until we get the chance to test it, we may not choose it.
A Set of 5 Steel Outdoor Dining Chairs by Hampton Bay
This set was supposed to be featured in the guide, but it disappeared after we completed the update, and it’s not visible in Home Depot’s online store this season. Powder-coated five-piece set with bench seating that is easy to clean, making it the best patio furniture dining set. With this set, eight adults can easily sit comfortably. Powder-coated steel plank tabletops have a thick, mocha-colored grain that is disconcerting, even from afar. The table tops do, however, require maintenance every year, unlike real wood, which can easily be wiped off.
In spite of our high expectations, we did not receive the six-chair and table set we had ordered from IKEA. As soon as we have seen it or have our hands on it, we’ll update this guide.
Outdoor Dining Set Maine by Modway
There have been reports of improperly attached or loosened slats, possibly as a result of poor-quality screws, though the overall strength and durability of this aluminum and plastic dining set is apparent. Nevertheless, the brown and gray set appears to cost more than $1,000; our budget doesn’t allow for this item.
A 7-piece rectangle outdoor dining set from Cambridge Nova
Aluminum sets with a nicer look at this price were hard to come by and were currently unavailable at this writing. Lightweight, with weather- and scratch-resistant finishes, it’s easier to move than other metal sets. As soon as the guide is updated, we’ll update this page.
Dining set for 5 from Arlington House Glenbrook
This dining set is comparable to our top steel pick, since it comes with a 42-inch table and springy chairs. We believe that Glenbrook is an excellent backup if our first choice is unavailable or goes up in price. Because they have a higher back, these chairs may also provide better support for necks and backs.
Five-Piece Dining Set from Mainstays Alexandra Square
Walmart has an inexpensive set that has cushions and looks decent. It comes with a 38-inch tabletop, but many new owners find it difficult to assemble, and others doubt that it will last.
Dining Collection for The Patio by Collier
combines a classic cane-back look with a steel frame for an attractive, timeless design while still fitting Target’s budget requirements. We are unfortunately out of stock and will not be able to restock.
RC Willey Pacific Coast Outdoor Wicker Dining Set – San Pico
The table in this set is round rather than square like the one in our favorite resin-wicker set, which has a 45-inch-diameter per side table. In addition, the cushioned version has a strong review.
Cliff 5-piece outdoor dining set by Christopher Knight Home
Its darker brown and gray shades distinguish it from the other resin wicker collections. Tables in other sets are often made from glass, but this best patio furniture one is made from wicker. There are no cushions on the sofa either.
- Aaron and Claribelle Van Holland, furniture designers, House Van Holland (M.F.E.O.), interview, April 8, 2018
- Calvin Abe, landscape architect, principal, AHBE, phone interview, February 4, 2017
- Andy Balderson, landscape designer, phone interview, February 5, 2017
- Russ Cletta, landscape designer, phone interview, February 8, 2017
- Maggie Lobl, landscape designer, phone interview, February 8, 2017
- Naomi Sanders, landscape designer, email interview, February 5, 2017
- Veronica Hoodless, sales associate, Fishbecks, Pasadena, California, interview, February 17, 2017
- Jesse Mezger, manager, Patioworld, Pasadena, California, interview, February 17, 2017
- Jesse Bawsel, manager, Armstrong Garden Centers, Pasadena, California, interview, February 17, 2017