If you grow plants from seed, keep a container garden, or need to repot your thriving houseplants, a potting bench will save your back, store your supplies, and help you stay organized. Many designs on the market sport sink basins, multiple shelves, hooks, and even wheels.
We searched for the best potting benches available online, and we evaluated each model on its ease of assembly, durability, and value.
Sol 72 Outdoor Ailani Fir Potting Bench
Stainless steel sink
Multiple shelves for storage
Heavy weight capacity
The Sol 72 Outdoor Ailani Fir Potting Bench is our best overall pick because it's constructed from high-quality weather-resistant materials and has plenty of storage options for organizing garden tools. Fir is a great wood for potting benches because it's very resistant to wear from extreme weather conditions. We also appreciate the removable stainless steel sink basin on this potting bench because it's also resistant to rust and corrosion. You could even place a cutting board on the sink basin for a larger workspace. However, at 46 inches wide and 13.1 inches deep, this potting bench offers plenty of workspace for trimming blooms, repotting bulbs, or bottom watering plants in the sink.
This bench includes several organizational features to keep tools and plants organized. Hang your tools on the three hooks, display freshly potted plants on the top shelf, and safely store seed packets in the drawer. The bottom two shelves offer even more storage possibilities to place covered bins or extra pots and soil. You can pot even your heaviest plants on this bench thanks to the 220-pound weight capacity on the top workspace. The middle and bottom shelves also have impressive weight capacities at 50 and 110 pounds, respectively. While we trust the construction of this potting bench, we are slightly concerned about how lightweight it is. At just 40 pounds, we think this potting bench could be toppled over by strong winds when not loaded down with pots and tools. If you live in an area that experiences frequent high winds or extreme weather, we recommend securing this bench to a fence or alternative foundation to prevent accidents.
Price at time of publish: $217
Dimensions: 47.9 x 46 x 15.3 inches | Material: Fir wood, stainless steel
CANOPIA by PALRAM 2-Tier Durable Plastic Bench
Perforated surface for drainage and airflow
Could crack over time
If you're on a budget, the CANOPIA by PALRAM 2-Tier Durable Plastic Bench is a great alternative to a full-size potting bench. While the working surface area is smaller than other products in our roundup, this bench is the perfect no-frills option for gardeners seeking extra storage for their plants. Whether you store potting soil and other necessities on this bench or use it solely to re-pot and display your plant collection, it's versatile enough to serve multiple needs.
While this design is weather-resistant, we recommend keeping it out of direct sunlight and away from the rain to ensure it lasts several years. This bench also requires no assembly, which is a huge relief considering most wooden benches require a bit of work to set up. While this bench isn't the most attractive design in our roundup, we appreciate its simple construction and affordable price point.
Price at time of publish: $100
Dimensions: 33.4 x 31.4 x 15.7 inches | Material: Polypropylene
Pottery Barn Abbott Potting Station
High weight capacity
Great for smaller spaces
Small work area
Pottery Barn's Abbott Potting Station is constructed of solid acacia wood and features a cement potting surface and two shelves. The cement top is sure to withstand chips and scratches from trowels and other tools compared to standard wood tops. This bench is 36 inches tall with a 30 x 21-inch surface area, which is smaller than other potting benches, but we think this model would be particularly great for a smaller garden area. We also appreciate that you can purchase multiple benches and place them together for a larger work area.
This potting bench has a surprising 150-pound weight limit, making it a great way also to display your large blooms that don't need as much direct sunlight exposure. This bench is also easy to keep clean with frequent dusting and should not stain from water exposure like wooden benches. While we recognize this potting bench is quite the splurge compared to other models, we're big fans of the minimalist design and durable materials. If aesthetics and space-saving are high on your priority list, you can't go wrong with this pick.
Price at time of publish: $599
Dimensions: 36 x 30 x 21 inches | Material: Acacia wood and cement top
Best Choice Products Outdoor Garden Potting Bench
Can close tabletop to protect any in-progress work
Large work area
Lacks covered storage
This fir wood potting bench from Best Choice Products is perfect if you often step away from your work and want to keep it covered. It's just over 55 inches tall with a 39.5 x 18-inch surface that opens to extend your workspace and reveal a food-grade dry sink. The sink can be used to separate root balls, mix fertilizer, or bottom water young plantings. We wish this bench had a drawer or cabinet to keep soil and seed packets protected from the elements. However, it does have alternative storage options that would stay protected under a covered patio or back porch.
With a two-tier upper ledge, a shelf on the bottom, and hooks on the front legs, you have plenty of options for displaying freshly potted plants, hanging tools, and organizing other supplies. Just like our best overall pick, this potting bench is surprisingly lightweight, so it would benefit from being secured to something to prevent it from tipping over. All in all, we think this bench is great for avid gardeners looking for a covered sink and an expansive work area.
Price at time of publish: $140
Dimensions: 55.25 x 39.5 x 18 inches | Material: Fir wood
AmeriHome Multi-Use Potting Table/Work Bench
Set taller than standard table
This multi-use bench by AmeriHome can be pulled out when you need a potting bench, workshop station, or an extra serving surface for a barbecue. It's made of heavy-duty galvanized steel, which stands up to rust and corrosion year-round. Measuring 45.5 inches high with a 42.5 x 24-inch table and a small shelf up top, we appreciate the straightforward, minimalist design. The tabletop is also 32 inches high, making it more comfortable to stand in front of compared to standard tables that only measure 27 inches high.
This table also has a 200-pound weight capacity, so it's strong enough to hold even your largest outdoor plant pots. Unlike the other picks on our list, this bench does not have additional storage features, which may not be ideal for every gardener. However, keeping this bench under a covered area could make it adequate for storing potting soil, seed packets, and tools on the top shelf. If a no-frills design is your priority, we think this multipurpose bench is a great, affordable option.
Price at time of publish: $100
Dimensions: 44 x 44 x 24 inches | Material: Galvanized steel
Best for Storage
West Elm Portside Garden Storage
Doubles as plant display
West Elm's Portside Garden Storage is a little taller than other benches and functions better as storage than as a workspace. This moisture-resistant shelving unit is made of solid eucalyptus wood and mahogany and is finished with a wire-brushing technique, giving it a rustic aesthetic. This storage bench has three shelves—each 27 inches wide and 17 inches deep—allowing for plenty of room to display plants of various heights. The top shelf has a taller clearance for larger plants, and five hooks can hold planting tools like a trowel or gloves.
We understand that this pick may not be for every gardener, as it does not offer a large workspace, and it is one of the more expensive options on our list. However, we think the sustainable and durable materials make it a worthy investment piece if you're looking for an alternative to a regular plant stand.
Price at time of publish: $549
Dimensions: 60.3 x 27 x 17 inches | Material: Eucalyptus and mahogany wood
Our best overall potting bench is the Sol 72 Outdoor Ailani Fir Potting Bench which has a stainless steel sink basin and a large working area to keep all your gardening tools organized. Its fir wood construction also makes it resistant to extreme weather. For a budget pick, we recommend the CANOPIA by PALRAM 2-Tier Durable Plastic Bench. This under $120 pick has perforated shelves for plant draining and can easily be hosed off for easy cleaning.
What to Look for in a Potting Bench
A good potting bench can serve multiple purposes, but its primary purpose is to provide a workspace and places for soil mixes, pots, and plants. You need a large flat working surface to accommodate the materials, and a dry sink or well for holding soil is a plus. If you are working with seed trays or large pots, look for a bench with extendable surfaces like hinged, fold-down shelving. Our best wooden pick, the Best Choice Products Outdoor Garden Potting Bench, has an extendable surface that reveals a food-grade plastic sink basin. It also has several additional shelves for plenty of in-reach storage.
Smaller shelves or hooks will keep your tools out of the way when you aren't using them. If you have a large garden or manage a greenhouse, you'll likely want something a bit larger. However, if you have just a few houseplants, raised beds, or self-watering planters, a smaller unit will probably suffice.
Since potting benches are typically placed outdoors, the material used to build them is crucial. Many options are made of weather-resistant woods, like fir, acacia, spruce, eucalyptus, or mahogany. You'll also find units constructed of water-resistant vinyl, resin, iron, or galvanized steel. Our best metal pick, the AmeriHome Multi-Use Potting Table, is made from galvanized steel, which can be left outdoors without worrying about rust or corrosion. It's also the most durable material available for potting benches; sharp potting tools won't dent or scratch it like wooden benches.
Many kinds of wood weather well, but you can extend the life of your wooden bench by adding a weather-resistant stain or finish every few years. Additionally, a lightweight bench can be moved indoors during months of inclement weather, or you can add a tarp or cover to protect your investment.
Aside from a work surface, most potting benches are designed with at least one additional shelf for storage. This may be enough space, but if you need a little extra storage, look for an option with multiple shelves and built-in hooks. Some also have drawers, bins, and other handy features for keeping all your gardening materials organized and within reach.
How high should a potting bench be?
Just like your kitchen countertops, manufactured potting benches come in standard sizes, generally 3 feet high. If you are tall, read descriptions carefully to find a bench with a higher work surface. When selecting a design, the overriding consideration is comfort. Your potting bench should relieve the need to do a lot of bending and lifting. Most gardeners prefer to stand while working with soil and plants; however, potting benches are available at different heights to accommodate a sitting position.
Where do you put a potting bench?
Place your potting bench in an easy-to-access location that's also relatively close to your gardens. You will be working with soil and plants, so an outdoor location, shed, or greenhouse is best unless you also want to use it as a decorative accent. Other considerations include proximity to running water and bulk supplies.
Can you keep a potting bench outside?
A potting bench constructed from weather-proofed materials can be kept outside. For additional protection, you can also use a tarp to cover your potting bench during inclement weather. Alternatively, it can be moved indoors.
A weather-resistant covering of some type during the cold season is a good idea, regardless of the material, as this will help preserve quality and extend the life of your bench.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland is a seasoned commerce writer specializing in home improvement, furniture, and outdoor goods. Holland is well-versed in weather-resistant materials and has a keen eye for high-quality gardening products. You can check out more of Holland's writing on MyDomaine and Byrdie. Emma Phelps, an Updates Writer for The Spruce, refreshed this roundup to offer additional shopping context for each of the products in this article.
Barbara Gillette provided additional research for this article. Gillette is a Master Gardener and herbalist who sows hundreds of seeds for her organic vegetable and herb gardens each year at her potting bench. Gillette works with honeybees and other pollinators to grow organic vegetables, herbs, fruit, and flowers on her 8-acre hobby farm.