The Best Raised Garden Beds for Your Backyard

Best Choice Products' Raised Garden Bed Is Our Favorite

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The Spruce / Amelia Manley

Raised garden beds offer a dedicated area to grow your plants and can provide better drainage, self-watering features, storage for tools, and protection from pests. Depending on the height, some can eliminate the need to bend or kneel to work in the garden.

Plants that require loose, nutrient-dense soil thrive in raised-bed growing conditions, points out McKenzy Winkler, a master gardener and herb farmer based in Pennsylvania. "This includes vegetables like garlic, onions, carrots, and potatoes—anything with a tap root," she says.

While researching the best raised garden beds, we evaluated products based on their size, material, assembly requirements, and sturdiness, in addition to special features. Our best overall pick, the Best Choice Products Raised Garden Bed, is a spacious, solid, and sturdy unit that brings your growing space to a comfortable standing height.

Here are the best raised garden beds.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Best Choice Products Raised Garden Bed

4.8
Best Choice Products 48x24x30in Raised Garden Bed

Amazon

What We Like
  • Attractive, rustic design

  • Ample gardening space

  • Includes a bed liner

  • Water-resistant and durable

What We Don't Like
  • Can be very heavy when filled

  • Lacks wheels for portability

Offering 5 cubic feet of gardening space, the Best Choice Products Raised Garden Bed is our top choice. Sturdy and durable, it provides plenty of room for plants and vegetables without taking up too much outdoor space. The stand's three holes along the bottom help keep the soil fresh and prevent plants from becoming waterlogged. Standing 39 inches tall, the stand is about waist height for the average adult, minimizing the need to bend down or kneel to reach the plants. The elevated design is also helpful for deterring pests and rodents from invading your garden.

Assembling this raised garden bed is straightforward and fairly painless. You should be able to connect the boards easily via dovetail slots, though a mallet might come in handy if you encounter any resistance. The company also provides eight screws and pre-drilled holes you can use to fasten the pieces together for added stability. Plus, the package includes a liner separating the wood from the potting soil, which improves the planter's longevity.

Though the cedar wood is untreated, it seems to hold up well over time—we found very few reports of warping or sagging. We also appreciate that it is available in two other sizes: a smaller version, measuring 34 x 18 x 30 inches, and a larger bed that measures 72 x 24 x 30 inches. Finally, this sturdy garden bed can support up to 200 pounds but lacks wheels and is hard to move once filled, so keep that in mind when considering placement.

Dimensions: 48 x 24 x 39 inches︱Material: Cedar wood︱Assembly Required: Yes

Best Budget: Emsco Group City Pickers Raised Bed Grow Box

Emsco Group City Pickers Raised Bed Grow Box

Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy to move

  • Self-watering system

  • Aeration screen improves oxygen flow

  • Compact size

What We Don't Like
  • Only holds a few plants

  • Shallow planting box

Due to its compact size, the City Pickers Raised Bed Grow Box is ideal for growing a couple of vegetables or a handful of herbs. Measuring 24 x 9.75 x 7.5 inches, this planter is perfect for patios, apartments, fire escapes, and other urban areas with limited space. Despite its budget price tag, it offers a slew of convenient features. The unit sits on four swivel casters, so it’s incredibly easy to move around. The self-watering system allows it to wick moisture from the 2-gallon water reservoir and release excess water via overflow holes, preventing overwatering. Plants are positioned above an aeration screen, which encourages oxygen flow for faster growth.

The City Pickers planting box is only about 9 inches deep, which is rather shallow, especially if your plants require ample water and root space. However, the tub's mulch cover reduces evaporation and prevents the soil from drying out. Minimal assembly is required—all you do is attach the wheels and insert the fill tube and screen. Even though the City Pickers planting box is one of the least costly options on the market, this small garden bed exceeds expectations with its thoughtful and functional design.

Dimensions: 24 x 9.75 x 7.5 inches︱Material: Plastic︱Assembly Required: Yes

Best Splurge: Vegepod Raised Garden Bed

Vegepod Raised Garden Bed

Amazon

What We Like
  • Includes a protective cover

  • Self-watering system

  • Creates a microclimate

  • Built-in mist sprayer

What We Don't Like
  • Quite expensive

  • Stand or trolley sold separately

  • Drains poorly

The Vegepod Raised Garden Bed has some standout features that justify its steep price tag, including a protective cover. In addition to protecting plants from bugs, pests, and animals, the cover also blocks harsh sunlight and creates the ideal microclimate. This raised garden bed also is equipped with a self-watering system, which uses a wicking technique to draw the water upward and keep the soil moist. One drawback is the few tiny drain holes, so water doesn’t drain well. (Additionally, the perforated cover doesn’t stop water from seeping in. To prevent the garden bed from becoming saturated when it rains, you could drill a few additional drain holes or keep it under a covered patio.)

Another great feature of the Vegepod is the built-in sprayer, which can connect to a garden hose and evenly water all the plants. A stand or trolley, sold separately, brings the Vegepod to waist height, so you can comfortably water your plants without having to bend down. Compared with other models, the assembly process is notably more complicated. No tools are required, but you need to align and bolt together over a dozen pieces. Since the instructions are lacking, putting it together likely involves some trial and error. Despite a few flaws, the Vegepod is still a solid, high-end choice for enhancing your gardening experience. It comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large, so you can choose the bed that best suits your needs.

Dimensions: 15.5 x 60 x 13 inches︱Materials: Polypropylene, iron, and plastic︱Assembly Required: Yes

Best Steel: Sunnydaze Raised Metal Garden Bed Kit

Sunnydaze Raised Metal Garden Bed Kit

Amazon

What We Like
  • Extremely durable construction

  • Highly resists rust and corrosion

  • Can withstand harsh weather

  • Generously sized growing space

What We Don't Like
  • Assembly is a bit time-consuming

  • Need to bend or kneel to use

  • Water may drain out the sides

The Sunnydaze Raised Metal Garden Bed is an extremely durable planter that's built to last. Made of strong galvanized steel, it's more durable than its wood and plastic counterparts and can withstand the harshest weather, making it an ideal choice for anyone living in an extreme climate. Assembly is straightforward but a bit time-consuming due to the sheer number of fasteners.

Measuring 40 inches across with a 16-inch depth, the Sunnydaze is ideal for growing an assortment of vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs. It’s also deep enough to grow vining plants such as pumpkins, watermelons, and squash. This bed is open on the bottom, so water drains freely into the ground. You may notice some water draining out the sides where the metal pieces meet the supports. To prevent that, try repacking the soil in those areas. In case you’re not completely satisfied, this product is backed by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Dimensions: 36 x 40 x 16 inches︱Material: Steel︱Assembly Required: Yes

Best Kit: Land Guard Galvanized Raised Garden Bed Kit

Land Guard Galvanized Raised Garden Bed Kit

Amazon

What We Like
  • Thick, durable galvanized metal

  • Large growing area

  • Open base for optimal drainage

  • Available in three sizes and five colors

What We Don't Like
  • Somewhat lengthy assembly

  • Need to bend or kneel

The Land Guard Raised Garden Bed Kit may not win awards for aesthetics, but it is one of the most durable options. Made of galvanized metal sheets, this bed highly resists rust, corrosion, and water pressure. Because it’s thicker than most other rectangular elevated garden beds, it is extremely solid and sturdy. This unit is fairly easy to assemble, but the process is a bit time-consuming due to the number of nuts and bolts.

This raised garden bed has an open base, which effectively protects plant roots by preventing excess water from accumulating. Measuring 48 inches across and 12 inches deep, it's suitable for growing deep-rooted plants such as watermelons, pumpkins, and squash. There's plenty of room to grow larger crops of vegetables or multiple vining plants. You can order it in two larger sizes—6 x 3 x 1 feet or 8 x 4 x 1 feet (both options consist of two pieces)—as well as five colors: silver, gray, green, brown, and blue.

Dimensions: 48 x 24 x 12 inches︱Material: Metal︱Assembly Required: Yes

Best for Herbs: VegTrug 8-Pocket Gray Herb Garden

VegTrug 8 Pocket Herb Garden

Walmart

What We Like
  • Easy to assemble

  • Sturdy and well-designed

  • Includes a removable divider and pre-formed liners

  • Features a lower shelf for storage

  • Elevated to standing height

What We Don't Like
  • Replacement liners are pricey

Divided into eight small compartments, this raised garden bed provides the perfect space for growing herbs. Standing 23 inches tall, this planter elevates the growing area to a comfortable standing height. Users shouldn't have to crouch down or strain their backs when tending their herbs. This unit is easy to assemble, which is another plus, but it requires a cordless drill or screwdriver. It also would be helpful to have two people on hand for a precision fit. At 17 pounds when empty, this unit is significantly lighter than other garden beds, making it much easier to move around.

For increased protection against the elements, this herb planter is made of weather-resistant cedar and treated with a preservative. The slotted upper shelf allows adequate drainage for herbs. Pre-formed cloth liners in each compartment contain the soil and allow water to seep through. (You can order replacement liners from the manufacturer, but they are on the pricey side.) The lower storage shelf is an excellent feature, allowing you to keep gardening tools and supplies within arm’s reach.

Dimensions: 31 x 31 x 23 inches︱Material: Cedar︱Assembly Required: Yes

Best Cart: FOYUEE Garden Bed On Wheels

FOYUEE Raised Planter Box with Legs Outdoor Elevated Garden Bed On Wheels for Vegetables Flower Herb Patio

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Has wheels for portability

  • Sits at around waist height

  • Features a lower shelf for storage

  • Durable steel construction

What We Don't Like
  • Water drains onto lower storage shelf

The FOYUEE Raised Planter Box offers ample growing space for an assortment of plants, vegetables, flowers, and herbs. At just over 31 inches tall, there’s no need to bend down to reach the plants. We love that you can move this planter around easily with the help of wheels on one side and a wide, comfortable handle on the other. Another convenient feature is the lower storage shelf, which can hold gardening tools and other supplies.

Made of galvanized steel with a rust-resistant coating, this unit is less prone to rotting than its wooden counterparts. And the dark steel frame gives it a more modern aesthetic. Helping to prevent overwatering, a drainage hole and line located in the middle of the cart allows excess water to escape. The only hitch is water drains directly onto the lower storage shelf, so avoid storing any items you don’t want to get wet. Assembly is fairly easy, with included hardware (but not the necessary pliers and screwdriver), but expect it to take longer than the manufacturer's 5-minute claim.

Dimensions: 37.4  x 31.5 x 15.7 inches︱Material: Galvanized steel and metal︱Assembly Required: Yes

Best Multi-Tiered: Yaheetech 3-Tier Raised Garden Bed

Yaheetech 3 Tier Raised Garden Bed

Amazon

What We Like
  • Three tiers for separate growing spaces

  • Versatile configuration

  • Solid and stable wood frame

  • Minimal maintenance required

What We Don't Like
  • Need to bend down or kneel to use

  • Requires a lot of soil to fill

Practical and versatile, the raised garden bed from Yaheetech features a simple, rustic three-tiered design, providing separate growing areas for various plants or planting methods. You can configure the tiers vertically or lay them out side by side horizontally, and the non-spliced side wood panels help prevent them from leaking. Since it’s open on the bottom, water drains freely into the ground. What’s more, the natural wood is sanded smooth to reduce the risk of splinters. All in all, it's designed to last for years with minimal maintenance.

The assembly seems incredibly easy and straightforward, with all the necessary hardware included. We recommend using a power drill rather than a screwdriver to save you a significant amount of time. The posts feature decorative end caps, which add a bit more style to the finished product. Note that this bed has taller sides: The second and third tiers are over 20 inches high. Therefore, you need more soil to fill it. You should be prepared to add anywhere from 15 to 20 bags of standard topsoil.

Dimensions: 47.24 x 22.0 x 33.9 inches︱Material: Wood︱Assembly Required: Yes

Best Self-Watering: Keter Easy Grow 31.7 Gallon Raised Garden Bed

Keter Easy Grow Patio Garden Flower Plant Planter Raised Elevated Garden Bed, Brown

Walmart

What We Like
  • Self-watering technology

  • Built-in water gauge

  • Leakproof drainage system

  • Can be used indoors or outdoors

What We Don't Like
  • Reports of damaged products upon delivery

The watering system and reservoir on Keter’s Easy Grow Raised Garden Bed ensure that your plants receive just the right amount of water. A built-in water gauge indicates when plants require extra moisture. When the gauge turns red, it allows excess water to drain. If it’s green, you have the go-ahead to water again. Made from polypropylene resin, this planter is durable enough to stand up to everyday outdoor use. However, thanks to its leakproof design, it’s also safe to use indoors. The drainage plug contains water within the planter until you decide to empty it.

The raised garden bed, which stands about 30 inches, eliminates the need to bend or crouch while gardening. Offering a 31.7-gallon growing space, the planter is spacious enough to accommodate an assortment of vegetables, herbs, and flowers. As an added bonus, the Keter Really Garden Bed is very easy to assemble, requiring only a screwdriver to attach the legs. This planter's classic rattan pattern pairs well with most outdoor patio furniture, and you can buy the product in dark brown or dark gray. We've seen some reports of products arriving damaged, so be sure to give yours a thorough inspection.

Dimensions: 44.9 x 19.4 x 29.8 inches︱Material: Plastic︱Assembly Required: Yes

Final Verdict

Our top pick, the Best Choice Products Raised Garden Bed, offers adequate drainage, sturdy weather-resistant construction, and ample growing space for a variety of plants. Though smaller, the City Pickers Patio Raised Garden Bed provides an affordable way to grow plants in limited spaces. Despite its low price, its impressive features include a self-watering system, mulch cover, and aeration screen.

What to Look for in a Raised Garden Bed

Height

Standard raised ground beds sit directly on the ground and are typically six to eight inches high. Because of their low height, users need to bend or crouch down when tending plants. Elevated raised garden beds offer a growing space at a more comfortable standing or sitting height. These beds have legs or are supported by a stand or trolley. To avoid straining your back while gardening, a raised garden bed is worth considering.

Materials

You can find raised garden beds in a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, metal, steel, and polyethylene. Choose a wood such as cedar or fir that is naturally weather-resistant to create a more traditional, rustic aesthetic. Plastic and polyethylene beds are often more modern or utilitarian in design. If you live in a harsh climate and durability is a top priority, a bed made of galvanized steel is a solid option.

Extra Features

Many raised garden beds have special features to enhance the gardening experience. If you aren’t committed to having a garden in an exact spot, look for a model with wheels. Storage drawers or shelves come in handy to hold trowels, bags of potting soil, and other tools and supplies. If you find your plants are getting too much sun, a removable cover can solve the problem. Multi-tiered raised garden beds allow you to arrange plants in various configurations, and you can stack some to increase the depth.

FAQ
  • What can you grow in a raised garden bed?

    The ideal growing conditions depend upon the depth of your raised garden bed. For compact herbs, plants, and flowers, the depth can be as little as six to eight inches. Deep-rooted plants, such as eggplant or watermelons, fare better in soil at least 12 to 18 inches deep. McKenzy Winkler, a master gardener and herb farmer based in Pennsylvania, provides the following advice: “Plants that require loose, nutrient-dense soil thrive in raised-bed growing conditions. This includes vegetables like garlic, onions, carrots, and potatoes—anything with a tap root.”

  • What type of soil is good for a raised garden bed?

    The type of soil you choose depends on the plants you intend to grow. Some soils are for an assortment of plants, while others are specially formulated for specific types of plants. A potting mix that gets its nutrients from a variety of sources, including peat, manure, compost, and fertilizer, provides the ideal nutrients for an assortment of plants. To cut down on the cost of soil, Winkler recommends layering big sticks in the bottom of the bed to fill up space.

  • Where can you place a raised garden bed?

    Since a raised bed doesn’t require any tilling, you can place one almost anywhere in your yard. That said, make sure your plants are getting the right amount of sunlight. “It's always preferred to arrange your beds facing a north-south direction,” Winkler says.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Sage McHugh, a lifestyle writer for The Spruce who specializes in the home and garden sector. To select the best raised garden beds, Sage considered dozens of products, carefully evaluating their size, material, assembly requirements, and special features. For expert insight, she interviewed McKenzy Winkler, a master gardener and herb farmer based in Pennsylvania. 

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Gardening Doesn’t Have to Give You Lower Back Pain. Cleveland Clinic.

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