If you’re looking for ways to add more seating to your outdoor living space, a picnic table is a classic choice. While evaluating different products, we looked at factors such as materials, seating capacity, weight capacity, style, and design features. “The first step when choosing a picnic table is to decide if you want a style with connected benches, or benches that you can move about freely,” recommends Kevin Lenhart, Design Director at Yardzen.
Our top pick is the Dura-Trel Traditional Picnic Table, which comes in two sizes you can choose from to fit your needs—6 and 8 feet long—and is crafted from UV-protected vinyl, which requires very little maintenance.
Here are the best picnic tables for every backyard budget.
Best Overall: Dura-Trel Traditional Picnic Table
Durable, low-maintenance construction
Who else recommends it? USA Today and Bob Vila both picked the Dura-Trel Traditional Picnic Table.
What do buyers say? 80+ Walmart reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
With a classic design that can seat up to six people, The Dura-Trel Traditional Picnic Table is our top pick. We love that it's made from a durable vinyl that requires little maintenance, making it easier to maintain than a traditional wood option. The table has a white finish and comes in two different lengths—6 or 8 feet—and it features a slatted top with attached benches.
This picnic table is crafted from UV-protected PVC vinyl, and it won’t develop mold or mildew, even if it’s left out year-round. It doesn’t require any sanding or staining, either, and when it needs to be cleaned, you can simply take a garden hose to it. Plus, the brand even backs the product with a 20-year limited warranty!
The one downside of this product is that assembly can be quite cumbersome. The brand says it will likely take two to three hours with two people, and you’re definitely going to need power tools if you want the task to get done quickly. However, considering that the table is reasonably priced, we think a few hours of labor is worth the trade-off for a well-made piece of furniture that will last for years.
Best Budget: Stansport Heavy-Duty Picnic Table and Bench Set
Lightweight and portable
Table and benches can be used separately
Legs rust if wet
If you’re looking for a picnic table that can be brought out when you need extra seating, the Stansport Heavy-Duty Picnic Table and Bench Set is a budget-friendly choice. It’s not the most attractive set, so you may not want it to be a permanent fixture in your yard, but the good news is that it can easily be folded down and stored when you don't need it. Plus, its lightweight design and separate benches make it a top choice for camping, tailgating, and other events where you need to travel light.
This three-piece set is crafted from high-density polyethylene with steel legs and supports, and with both benches, you can seat up to four people. The table can be slightly bulky to move around, but everything can be set up (and broken down) quickly and easily. Just don’t leave this set outside in inclement weather, as the metal legs are prone to rusting if they get wet.
Best Splurge: Global Industrial Rectangular Picnic Table
Built-in umbrella hole
Doesn’t heat up in the sun
You can seat a crowd at the Global Industrial Rectangular Picnic Table, which is a whopping 96 inches long. This oversized table is made from durable powder-coated metal, and it has a protective coating that keeps the surface at a comfortable temperature to the touch, even in direct sunlight. The picnic table has attached benches, as well as a built-in umbrella hole in the center, and it comes in a variety of colors to match your backyard decor.
The edges of the table and benches are all rounded so you don't have to worry about bumping into sharp corners, and it even has mounting tabs that allow you to anchor it into the ground for added stability. The materials will resist fading and mold, even if it’s left outside in inclement weather, and it is backed by the brand’s seven-year limited warranty. You will need to put this picnic table together upon arrival, and while it is quite pricey, it’s a well-built option that provides ample seating for your next backyard party.
Best for Kids: Crate & Kids Modern Kids Picnic Table
Cute modern design
Made from sustainable wood
Sun exposure can fade finish
Your children will have a blast hanging out at the Crate & Kids Modern Kids Picnic Table, which has an adorable contemporary design. Instead of a classic rectangular shape, this child-sized table has a unique triangular form with three built-in benches for little ones. It’s made from sustainably sourced acacia wood, and it’s finished with a pretty gray stain.
Because of its three-sided design, you don’t have to worry about this table tipping over if someone sits on the edge, and its 23-inch height is small enough for most toddlers and young children. When it gets dirty, the table can be cleaned with a damp cloth, but the brand says you should avoid leaving it in the sun for extended periods of time, which can cause the finish to fade.
Best Folding: Cosco Outdoor Living 6 ft. Folding Picnic Table
Folds flat for storage
High weight capacity
Grooves in tabletop are hard to clean
The Cosco Outdoor Living Picnic Table is easy to store in the off-season thanks to its convenient folding design. When you don’t need it, the table folds into a flat 72 x 57-inch form, allowing it to be tucked away in a shed or basement. This inexpensive picnic table is made from a steel frame and UV-resistant resin tabletop, and it can comfortably seat up to eight people at a time.
It might not be the most aesthetically pleasing piece of furniture ever, but this picnic table still has a lot to offer. There’s an umbrella hole in the center of the tabletop, and the material is splinter-free and stain-resistant. The benches have a high weight capacity of 800 pounds each, but the one downside is that dirt and debris can be trapped in the grooves on the tabletop, making it trickier to clean.
Best Wood: Style Selections Brown 72-Inch Southern Yellow Pine Picnic Table
Solid pine construction
Pressure treated legs
Can be painted or stained
Some quality issues with the wood
The Style Selections Rectangle Picnic Table is a classic option made from yellow pine wood. It’s 72 inches long with attached benches, and it can fit around six people comfortably. All the components of the table are pre-cut and -drilled, making it easy to assemble, and because the wood is unfinished, you can customize the appearance with paint or stain.
The legs of this picnic table are made from pressure-treated lumber that will provide protection against rot, mold, and bugs, while the non-treated top is safe for food. If you plan to leave this picnic table outside all year-round, you’ll want to put some type of protective layer on the top to prevent moisture from soaking in. While it’s a great value for a solid wood picnic table, some buyers do report issues with the quality of the wood, noting that it arrives split or warped.
Best Large: Orren Ellis Bima Rectangular 8-Person Picnic Table
Stylish contemporary design
Seats up to eight
Lightweight for its size
There will be plenty of seating for the whole family at the Orren Ellis Bima Picnic Table, which has a sleek contemporary design. It’s crafted from powder-coated aluminum with a white finish, and it features a crisscross base and attached seats. The 79-inch table can seat up to eight people at a time, and despite its oversized form, it’s surprisingly lightweight and can easily be moved around your yard.
This contemporary picnic table will make an attractive addition to any outdoor living space, and its durable powder-coated finish is easy to clean. The material is rust-resistant, so it can be left outdoors without worry, and while it is pricey, we think the table’s large capacity and sleek appearance make it worth the splurge.
Best Round: Leisure Season Round 8-Person Picnic Table
Solid wood construction
Seats up to eight people
Built-in umbrella hole
May require additional finishing
Instead of a traditional rectangular shape, the Leisure Season Picnic Table is an 82-inch circle with four attached benches. It’s crafted from solid cedar wood, which is naturally moisture- and insect-resistant, and it has a beautiful red-toned finish that will be an attractive addition to your patio space. The table can comfortably accommodate up to eight people—two on each bench—and it has an impressive total weight capacity of 1,500 pounds.
Because there are a lot of pieces, this picnic table can take quite a while to put together, and it’s easier to assemble with multiple people. It has a built-in umbrella hole that accommodates 1.5-inch poles, allowing you to shade the table on hot summer days, and while the cedar finish is technically weather-resistant, you may need to add an additional coat of waterproofing or sealer to ensure its longevity.
Best Design: Walker Edison Outdoor Wood Dining Set
Attractive chevron pattern
Multiple finishes available
Solid wood construction
Requires regular maintenance
The Walker Edison Outdoor Wood Dining Set doesn’t have the traditional attached benches of a picnic table—instead, it comes with two detached benches that give you more movement. The three-piece set is made from solid acacia wood, which is known for its water resistance, and it comes in a variety of finishes to match any decor. While closed, the table is able to seat up to six people, but it also has an expandable drop-leaf that increases its capacity to eight people.
What sets this wooden picnic set apart from the rest is the attractive chevron pattern on the benches. Instead of straight slats, the tops of the benches are covered in an eye-catching V-shaped design, adding a touch of style to any space. Just keep in mind that the table will need to be oiled every few months to maintain its original condition.
We recommend the Dura-Trel Traditional Picnic Table for a traditional style that’s extremely low-maintenance. This vinyl table comes in two different sizes, and its white finish is UV resistant and extremely easy to clean. If you’re shopping on a budget, the Stansport Heavy-Duty Picnic Table and Bench Set comes with a folding table and two matching folding benches, and while it’s not the prettiest piece of furniture ever created, it’s easy to store and move around as needed.
What to Look for in a Picnic Table
“The classic picnic table has connected benches, but this style often has a large footprint and can be fairly heavy, so it only should be considered if you have a wide space for it and don’t plan to move it very often," said Kevin Lenhart, Design Director at Yardzen.
“Opt for a style with freestanding benches if you need to save space or want a more flexible seating arrangement,” he recommends. “You can often tuck the benches away when not in use, or move to accommodate extra seating like a high chair.”
Other style choices you may want to consider include the shape of the picnic table—rectangular and round are the two most popular choices—as well as if it has a hole to accommodate a patio umbrella.
You'll also want to consider the size of your picnic table—both in terms of its actual dimensions, as well as how many people it can seat. It's important to measure the area where you plan to put the table to ensure it will fit properly with enough clearance for people to sit down and stand up.
There are a variety of materials commonly used to make picnic tables, each of which has its own benefits and drawbacks. “For any table that’s going to be out in the open, I recommend investing in sturdy and durable material,” says Lenhart. “You want a table that will last you years vs. just a few seasons.”
- Wood: Picnic tables are traditionally made from wood, and there are many solid wood options available today. Wood is both attractive and durable, but it tends to be heavier than other materials and needs to be properly cared for, especially if you plan to leave it outside year-round. A wooden picnic table will need regular weatherproofing, otherwise it may begin to rot. Johnathan Brewer, The Spruce's Home Improvement Review board member notes, "Some picnic tables such as those made of wood will require maintenance. Purchasing a cover for the table will help protect it from the elements."
- Plastic/Resin/Composite: Many inexpensive picnic tables are made from some type of plastic or resin, and there are several benefits to this material. It’s typically lightweight and extremely easy to clean, and it isn’t as susceptible to mold and rot as wood. However, most plastic picnic tables are supported by a metal frame, which can rust if left out in the elements.
- Metal: “Treated metal, like powder-coated steel, is a good option for year-round exposure to extreme weather,” says Lenhart. However, metal benches aren’t the most comfortable and can get hot when it’s sitting in direct sunlight.
How do you clean a picnic table?
The best method for cleaning your picnic table will ultimately depend on what it’s made from. Plastic and vinyl picnic tables can often be washed down with a garden hose and scrub brush, but you’ll want to avoid abrasive cleaning tools on wooden tables, as they may scratch the surface.
How do you store a picnic table?
In the off-season, it’s a good idea to cover or move your picnic table. “Covering picnic tables when not in use can also go a long way to preserving their longevity,” says Lenhart. There are a variety of picnic table covers available to accommodate tables of different shapes and sizes, or, if you have a lightweight or folding picnic table, you can store it in a sheltered location, such as a garage, shed, or basement.
How do you weatherproof a picnic table?
“While many wood picnic tables are treated and generally meant to be outside, weatherproofing sealers can still degrade after a couple of years of exposure to sun and rain,” explains Lenhart. “I recommend resealing tables at least once every two years, if not more if you live in a very wet or cold climate.” To weatherproof a picnic table, you'll want to apply a waterproofing stain or sealer to the material.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce. While researching picnic tables, she spoke with Kevin Lenhart, Design Director at Yardzen, for insights on choosing the best option for your backyard. As she compared different products, she looked at factors like the material, size, style, and special features.