With the right patio set, you can transform a so-so backyard (or patch of grass or balcony) into an outdoor oasis where you can host barbecues and drinks with friends, dine alfresco with family, or take a break from staring at the same four walls every day. To make it easier to find a grouping of tables and chairs you’ll get the most out of, we’ve narrowed down the best expert-recommended options for a range of environments, including small terraces, backyard decks, and poolside patios.
Best overall patio set | Best less-expensive overall patio set | Best aluminum patio set | Best steel patio set | Best less-expensive steel patio set | Best patio set for balconies | Best teak-alternative patio set
What we’re looking for
Material: The most common materials for patio sets are aluminum, polyethylene resin, and wood because of their durable, weather-resistant, and easy-to-wash qualities. When it comes to deciding which is best for you, the conditions your furniture has to endure should be an important determining factor. Heavy rainfall can make wood sets inconvenient if you want to dine outdoors after a summer shower, while faux wicker wipes down quickly and won’t have a damp feeling when you sit on it. For milder climates, storing your set seasonally won’t be an issue; however, if you experience harsh winters, this will require lugging furniture. If the idea of carrying a wooden dining table (and chairs) sounds unpleasant, you may want to choose a lightweight aluminum set.
Ease of assembly: If your attitude toward furniture assembly falls in the “not happening” category, aluminum furniture typically arrives with minimal building required. But if you’re more willing to DIY, Devin Shaffer, lead sales designer at Decorilla, recommends checking out the instructions prior to placing your order. Interior designer Charlie Hellstern also has pre-purchase advice to avoid assembly snafus: Ask for the package dimensions beforehand to ensure they can fit in the elevator, up the stairs, or through doorways.
Assortment: The beauty of ordering a set is avoiding à la carte furniture selection, but with so many different combinations out there, it can sometimes feel like apples and oranges. That’s why the best approach is to identify the most common uses for your space and prioritize utility. For example, if you have several children, you may opt for a set with a space-saving bench rather than individual chairs.
Price: As a general rule, longevity corresponds with price. If you’re going to upgrade your set in a few years, go for one of the more affordable options. But if you plan to enjoy it for many summers, it may be wise to spring for a more expensive (and longer-lasting) collection. For the options below, we denoted the recommendations as $ (under $500), $$ ($500–$1000), or $$$ (over $1,000).
Best overall patio set
Faux wicker | Assembly kit included, 30-minute estimated build time | Love seat, two armchairs, coffee table | $$$
Shaffer says he’s impressed with the quality and price of this four-piece seating group, which includes a coffee table, a love seat, two armchairs, and foam cushions. It’s made from materials that “last a lifetime,” including faux wicker, which is oil-, water-, chemical-, and abrasion-resistant and one of the few elements tough enough to withstand being left outdoors during the off-season months. If you opt to leave the seating group out year-round, Shaffer suggests storing the cushions (available in beige or white) inside and protecting the set with covers. Another perk of faux wicker is extremely easy cleaning: Shaffer recommends a power wash every month or two.
Best less expensive overall patio set
Powder-coated aluminum | Assembly required | One bench, two chairs, dining table | $$
For a more wallet-friendly standard set, Hellstern recommends this rust-proof aluminum collection that doesn’t sacrifice design for value. This set is a smart choice if you expect a lot of wear and tear because powder-coated aluminum is “almost indestructible,” according to Kim Rotondo, proprietor of Eisenhower Consignment. Several clever design elements also make this a strategic buy for those who want a mix of seating with the option to add more later. The table is accompanied by a bench and two chairs, and can accommodate two more (there are additional configurations with chairs only or a smaller table). Unlike other chairs with arm rests, these are also stackable, which helps save space in storage.
Hellstern says the set’s contrasting colors are both visually appealing and practical because the aluminum is a lighter color (and will therefore stay cooler) on the table and chair edges that will touch bare limbs. She recommends adding cushions to the bench, which can make up (somewhat) for the discomfort of not being able to lean back.
Best aluminum patio set
Matte powder-coated aluminum | Minimal assembly | One bench, two chairs, dining table | $$$
Two of the experts we spoke with recommended this powder-coated aluminum set for its timeless design and excellent portability. It comes in five configurations (with an option for a smaller square table), and the chairs are shipped already assembled. Tyler Watamanuk, author of chair-centric newsletter Sitting Pretty, prefers the rectangular table with a bench and two chairs if you have the space for it. Hellstern notes that the bench is a great option for families with small children because it’s cost-effective (the set with four chairs is $175 more), takes up less space, and can accommodate more guests.
Thinking ahead to winter storage, Watamanuk says the set is lightweight but still durable. Cleaning is as easy as wiping down with a wet cloth — the slatted design prevents the surface from collecting rainwater (which is also convenient for spills). While aluminum doesn’t rust, it can be corroded by salt, so Watamanuk recommends using furniture covers if you have exposure to a seaside breeze.
[Editor’s Note: You can join the waitlist for Watamanuk’s favorite set or check out one of the smaller square sets priced from $1260, available to ship now.]
Best steel patio set
Powder-coated steel | Assembly Required | Two chairs, dining table | $$$
For those who fear aluminum may be too lightweight for blustery winds, consider this powder-coated steel set recommended by Hellstern, who’s a big fan of the designers behind it. Steel provides the durable and easy-to-clean qualities of aluminum, while also bringing an added weight (the table is 51 pounds to the Floyd’s 27). The set has a similar slatted design to the Floyd one above, but curved edges give it an elegant silhouette that feels more grown-up. You can purchase chairs individually (there’s also a version with arms).
Best (less expensive) steel patio set
Steel and wicker | Assembly required, tools provided | Two chairs, circular table | $
Amy Azzarito, author of The Elements of a Home: Curious Histories Behind Everyday Household Objects, From Pillows to Forks, recommends this affordable mixed-material bistro set of two chairs and a circular table. It’s not the heftiest (each piece is under 12 pounds), but that means it’s extra portable, a plus when it’s time for storage or moving. Another benefit: With flexible wicker cables stretched across a durable steel frame, the seats absorb minimal heat and reduce skin-to-chair contact (which is great for anyone wearing shorts). And if you have a boardwalk-style deck with gaps that furniture legs may get stuck in, Azzarito notes that these chairs’ Breuer-esque bases will solve that dilemma.
Best patio set for balconies
Steel | Assembly Required | Two chairs, high-top table | $
With more than 300 five-star ratings on Amazon, this steel conversation set is a great addition to a small deck or balcony (and a Strategist best seller). Swiveling chairs make it easy to get in and out of a tight space, and the high-top table has a smoked-glass surface one reviewer describes as a “classy look.” A second reviewer calls this set substantial, saying it’s “not cheaply made, where you are worried it’s going to blow over in the wind.” Since balconies can sometimes block sight lines, Hellstern notes that higher chairs like these 52-inch tall seats are ideal for taking in the view, but if you have young children or pets, make sure the chairs are positioned away from the railing.
Best teak alternative patio set
Acacia wood | Assembly required, tools included | Two chairs, circular table | $
Teak is the gold standard for outdoor wooden furniture, but a single chair can cost up to $1,000 (it’s also notorious for damaging harvesting practices). If you like the look of teak but prefer something more affordable and responsible, Rotondo recommends this three-piece bistro set with a finish that could pass for the real thing. While the treated acacia isn’t as sturdy or hardy as teak, it’s still durable and weather-resistant enough to place in direct sunlight on a balcony or poolside, with an expected lifetime of about five years. Bonus: The chairs come with water-resistant neutral cushions that will match almost any outdoor décor.
• Devin Shaffer, lead sales designer at Decorilla
• Kim Rotondo, proprietor of Eisenhower Consignment
• Charlie Hellstern, interior designer
• Tyler Watamanuk, author of chair-centric newsletter Sitting Pretty
• Amy Azzarito, author of The Elements of a Home: Curious Histories Behind Everyday Household Objects, From Pillows to Forks
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