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Outdoor dining sets are engineered to be rugged, but that doesn't mean they have to sacrifice on style. Case in point: Hampton Bay's West Park 6-Piece Outdoor Dining Set which comes complete with a sofa, loveseat, ottoman, and dining table—all for $1,110.
Each piece is outfitted with a rust-free aluminum frame that can stand up to all types of weather, and don't you worry about the pretty cream cushions—they're covered in fade-resistant polyester slipcovers which can be removed and washed as necessary. Of course, the cushions offer more than just good looks—they're nearly 8 inches thick, offering the utmost comfort as well. To finish things off, the six-seater table features a modern polywood top that matches the arms of of the sofa, ottomans, and chairs.
To say reviewers are pleased would be an understatement. Many note that the set is simple to assemble, super comfortable, and looks far more expensive than it is. If you're looking for a set that'll garner compliments from every guest, this is it.
Patio dining sets are often no small purchase. If you're looking for something that can seat four or more people, most options will start in the $500 range. If that's just out of the question, that doesn't mean you're left empty handed, though—check out the Askholmen Four-Piece Table and Chair Set from IKEA.
The $130 set is constructed from durable, sustainably sourced acacia and you can choose from two wood finishes and an assortment of cushion colors. The 45 x 34.75 x 30-inch table can fit four adults comfortably and if you want to stow the set in a garage or shed once you're done, every piece folds up flat.
Though wicker is a longtime staple in outdoor furniture, natural wicker (usually woven from rattan, reed, willow or bamboo) is not particularly weather resistant and can become mildewed, faded and worn fairly quickly. So, if you like the wicker look, try a dining set made of resin or all-weather wicker, a man-made material that’s highly weather resistant and durable. Just like natural wicker, this material can be woven in many different styles, from traditional to modern, giving the style and comfort of wicker furniture without the upkeep.
The Wade Logan Castelli 9-Piece Sunbrella Dining Set pairs hand-woven, commercial grade resin wicker with cushions covered in Sunbrella performance fabric, a UV- and fade-resistant material ideal for outdoor use. With eight chairs and a sizable 29 x 43 x 83-inch table, it offers ample space for friends and family. Plus, with 12 cushion colors to choose from, you can really cusstomize the set to your liking.
"It provides more than enough space for eight people with enough room for food in the middle. We used a traditional place setting with dinner plates, cups, and silverware and had no issues. Better yet, no one bumped elbows—even on the long sides where three people were seated side by side."—Stacey L. Nash, Product Tester
Best with Benches: Laurel Foundry Modern Farmhouse Petronella 3 Piece Teak Dining Set: backyard furniture
There’s a reason families love sitting at picnic tables in the park: those long, narrow benches are a flexible-seating secret because they can accommodate quite a few people for a cozy, casual meal. A bench can easily seat four of five squirming children, but won’t seem empty with just two sitting upon it, and can take up way less space than four or five adult-size chairs (that are probably too big for the kids anyway). Benches are also a good space-saving option since they aren’t typically as deep as chairs and don’t have backs to worry about.
This bench dining set, from Laurel Foundry Modern Farmhouse, is an elevated take on the picnic table with wooden seats and a metal, x-frame trestle base that looks right at home in industrial, modern, and rustic spaces.
"The combination of rust-resistant coating on the iron base and water-resistant teak oil finish on the hardwood gives the table a feel that’s almost too nice for outdoor use, even though it can clearly handle it...We’ve had this table set outside all summer and it’s not showing any signs of wear or tear."—Kaitlyn Wylde, Product Tester
If your outdoor space is limited or you're working with a balcony, as opposed to an actual backyard, Hashtag Home's Auden 3-Piece Bistro Set will definitely come in handy. The table is large enough to accommodate a few dishes if you're looking to dine al fresco, but at the same time, its small 24.x 29.25-inch frame can fit most anywhere.
If you're looking for a low-maintenance set, this one is just that. All three pieces feature slats which allow rain to run through them, rather than pool, so you won't have to deal with mold or mildew. The chairs also stack, so they're easy to store in a garage or shed when not in use. The Hashtag Home set is available in four fun colors: green, matte yellow, matte blue, and teal.
Bar-height dining sets, where the table and chairs are elevated above the typical dining set, are an increasingly popular option, and for good reason: they work for both intimate dinners and entertaining. With the elevated height, it’s comfortable to stand at the table in addition to sitting, so friendly groups can squeeze in for a conversation.
Mercury Row's Belton five-piece set features a durable powder-coated steel frame that's covered in hand-woven all-weather resin wicker. The seats are backless, but offer footrests for added comfort, and they easily tuck under the table if you’re tight on storage space when you’re not using the table.
If you like to entertain larger groups or often have other families over for dinner, a nine-piece dining set is a great option. Amazonia's Arizona set includes eight chairs and a table that's available in round, oval, square, and rectangle configurations.
This table is made from eucalyptus, a wood that’s gained popularity as a less-expensive alternative to teak with many of the same qualities: it’s a fast-growing tree (meaning it can be sustainably produced) that’s quite hard and naturally higher in oil, making it very weather-resistant. The style is classic and casual in a rich brown stain that’s just as home beachside as it is on a suburban porch.
Though cast iron has long been popular in outdoor spaces, in recent years, cast aluminum has taken its place for people looking for new metal furniture. Why? Because cast aluminum is just as durable, lighter weight, and less expensive then cast iron.
This five-piece set from GDF Studio melds the best of new and old. With its curved arms and legs and latticework pattern, the design nods to more ornate, traditional cast iron styles and would fit in perfectly on a patio alongside old cast iron pieces.
Size Finding the right-sized pieces to fit your space is probably the biggest challenge when selecting patio furniture. You want your set to be roomy enough to be comfortable for your family and friends, but not so big that it overwhelms your space. Make sure to measure carefully, incorporating enough room for people to back chairs out and walk around.
Style Patio furniture comes in a variety of styles, from sleek and modern to homey and rustic and everything in between. Patio furniture should complement your home’s style and any existing outdoor furniture and landscaping, but if you plan to use it frequently and not just look at it, make sure it’s comfortable and functional.
Material A patio set's material needs to be compatible with its surrounding space and climate. If your patio furniture will live in an enclosed location or will have plenty of shelter, you may not have to be as selective as you would if your furniture will be in the direct path of the sun, rain, and other elements.