Best garden furniture 2021: the 16 must-have outdoor designs

Discover this year's best garden furniture and transform your outdoor space with sunshine-ready sofas, alfresco dining sets and resort-worthy recliners

A concrete outdoor table with rope dining chair on decking
(Image credit: Barker & Stonehouse)

Looking for the best garden furniture? Our guide to the best outdoor designs of the year will ensure you can maximize your outdoor space and make the most of the good weather this summer.

From design-led outdoor dining sets to relaxation-ready outdoor sofas and resort-worthy sun loungers; we’ve sourced the best garden furniture to help you soak up the rays as soon as that sunshine hits. 

So whether you're hankering after a restful retreat in your backyard, embracing the season of outdoor entertaining, or simply looking to extend your living space out into the garden for the summer months, read on to discover the best outdoor furniture on the Livingetc radar.

And once you have your alfresco dining space sorted, don't forget to browse our guide to the best barbecues to make sure your outdoor grilling is done to perfection.

The best garden furniture of 2021 

A minimalist dark green slatted metal outdoor table and chairs

(Image credit: Hay)

1. Hay Palissade Rectangular Table

Embrace smart alfresco dining with this minimalist outdoor range

Size: H75 x W160 x D80cm
Materials: Powder-coated or galvanized steel
Colour options: Black, green, galvanised steel
Reasons to buy
+Timeless minimal design+Works well  in a classic or contemporary setting+Black, green or galvanised steel finishes available+Wide range of coordinating outdoor furniture+'See through' design works well in smaller spaces and doesn't block a vista
Reasons to avoid
-Metal can be hot (or cool) to the touch

Contemporary yet classic, the elegant simplicity of the Hay Palissade collection works effortlessly in a natural or urban setting, creating a timeless outdoor dining space.

Designed by French brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, the interplay of straight lines and fluid curves are formed from durable and weather-resistant powder-coated or hot galvanized steel, enabling the collection to endure the elements gracefully.

The linear ribbon design and curving silhouette of the rectangular outdoor dining table make it a great option for a smaller courtyard garden or outdoor area where you don’t want to block the vista with a solid form, and a wide range of coordinating outdoor furniture makes it easy to tailor an outdoor collection to suit your space and lifestyle.

A row of deckchairs with black metal frames and abstract printed fabric

(Image credit: Ferm Living)

2. Ferm Living Desert Lounge Chair

Laidback lounging with abstract print deckchairs

Size: H77.5 x W63 x D66cm
Materials: Powder coated steel frame; PET yarn seat
Colour options: Multiple
Reasons to buy
+Add contemporary art to the garden+Great choice of abstract patterns+100% PET yarn recycled from post-consumer waste plastic

Graphic black powder-coated tubular steel frames are offset by textural handwoven sling seats in Ferm Living’s contemporary Desert Lounge Chairs. 

The collection showcases the Nordic brand’s move towards a more sustainable product line, with removable seats woven from 100% PET yarn recycled from post-consumer waste plastic resulting in each chair repurposing the equivalent of 53 plastic bottles.

Taking their cue from desert sands, the eco-conscious loungers are available in several muted shades; from neutral cashmere-coloured weave to modern stripe and Ferm Living’s signature abstract geometrics. A great way to bring modern art into the garden.

A Japanese-style garden with a wooden outdoor sofa and armchair upholstered with grey cushions

(Image credit: Heal's)

3. Case Tanso Outdoor Sofa Armchair

Enjoy retreat-worthy Zen relaxation with this teak wood collection

Size: H85 x W286 x D94cm
Materials: Grade A teak wood
Colour options: Natural with grey upholstery
Reasons to buy
+Relaxed lounging+Versatility to use indoors or out+Hardwearing weather-resistant teak+Low profile seating is useful for zoning an outdoor area+Range of coordinating outdoor furniture
Reasons to avoid
-Yearly maintenance with wood preservative necessary unless you let it weather naturally-Limited colour options

Designed by David Irwin, a past winner of Homes & Gardens New Designer of the Year, the low-to-the-ground Tanso outdoor sofa armchairs and dining set epitomise relaxed outdoor lounging. 

Inspired by the refined simplicity of Japanese furniture, the collection fuses robust and weather-resistant grade A teak wood with a level of craftsmanship that makes the range as suitable for indoor use as outdoor.

Available in a low-slung 3-seater sofa, armchair, table, and contemporary garden bench, this understated yet refined garden collection will bring Zen-like calm to your outside space. 

A wooden outdoor chair with reclining backrest and footstool

(Image credit: Skagerak)

4. Skagerak Between Lines Deckchair

A modern garden chair that will only get better with time

Size: H90 x W61.5 x D93.5cm
Materials: FSC-certified teak wood
Colour options: Natural
Reasons to buy
+A modern interpretation of the classic Adirondack chair+FSC-certified wood+Hardwearing weather-resistant teak wood
Reasons to avoid
-Yearly maintenance with wood preservative necessary unless you let it weather naturally

A modern interpretation of the classic Adirondack chair, just add some cushions to this clean-lined Scandinavian lounge chair and you have the perfect spot for your morning cup of coffee.  

Designed to be passed from generation to generation, Skagerak's Between The Lines deckchair is crafted from FSC-certified teak sourced from sustainably managed forestry plantations. 

Protected from the elements by the high natural oil content of teak wood, you can let this contemporary outdoor chair weather to a beautiful silver-grey over time or apply furniture oil to maintain the golden-honey colouring.

A round pink concrete outdoor table with black rope chairs

(Image credit: MDF Italia)

5. MDF Italia Rock Outdoor Round Table

A colourful centrepiece for a wow-factor outdoor dining space

Size: Ø 140 x H73cm
Materials: Concrete and steel
Colour options: Pink, green
Reasons to buy
+Statement design+Versatility to use indoors or out
Reasons to avoid
-Limited colour options-An investment

Terracotta stone chips are used to colour the new outdoor version of Jean-Marie Massaud’s iconic Rock table. 

The mottled terrazzo-effect surface adds further subtlety to this carefully balanced design that plays with all kinds of juxtapositions; contrasting delicacy and solidity, heavy and light, raw materials and refined finishes.

Pairing with the Massaud-designed Neil Twist outdoor chairs offers a further interplay of contrasting surfaces. High tensile strength, UV-resistant coloured cord is woven in geometric pattern around tubular metal chair frames that themselves appear entangled like steel thread. 

For the best garden furniture for entertaining, we don't think it gets better than this wow-factor outdoor dining space.

An outdoor sofa with cream upholstery and black metal frame

(Image credit: The Conran Shop)

6. Fold Outdoor 3-Seater Sofa with Arms

Sit back and relax on this outdoor sofa with a range of upholstery options

Size: H72 x W264 x D97cm
Materials: Powder-coated stainless steel tubular frame; selection of cushion fabrics
Colour options: Multiple
Reasons to buy
+Comfortable cushioned seating+Multiple upholstery options+Quick-drying fabric+Low profile seating is useful for zoning an outdoor area+Range of coordinating outdoor furniture
Reasons to avoid
-An investment

Designed for The Conran Shop by award winning British industrial designer Samuel Wilkinson, the Fold outdoor sofa wraps a powder-coated black tubular steel frame in a cocoon of easily-removable fold-over cushioning.

Available in twelve quick-drying upholstery options, including wish-you-were-here Bora Bora woven in Spain and the nautically-striped Strange Loves crafted in Italy, the Fold sofa is the ideal spot to get comfortable outdoors. 

A red metal garden table and bench seats against a colourful outdoor backdrop

(Image credit: Heal's)

7. Eos Outdoor Rectangular Table

Add contemporary colour with this modern garden collection

Materials: Powder-coated aluminium
Size: Table: H73 x W162.5 x D78cm
Colour options: Black, white, rust
Reasons to buy
+A great way to add contemporary colour to the garden+Rust-resistant aluminium+Wide range of coordinating outdoor furniture
Reasons to avoid
-Metal can be hot (or cool) to the touch

Awarded the Furniture Maker's Design Guild Mark, the minimalist Eos collection from Case Furniture includes a variety of complementary outdoor furniture, including dining and armchairs, bench seats, sun loungers, tables and stools. 

Opt for classic black or white, or add colour to even the most dismal of days with our favourite, the rust red option. 

Made from rust-resistant aluminium the set can be left outside whatever the weather making for stress-free, year-round enjoyment, and the lightweight material also makes it easy to move seating to the sunniest location.

A sun lounger with rear wheels and grey fabric cushioning

(Image credit: Conic Cane)

8. Cane-line Conic Sun Lounger

A super comfortable resort-worthy sun lounger

Size: H40-83 x W78 x L220cm
Materials: Aluminium frame, SoftTouch fabric cushions
Colour options: Dark or light grey
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight aluminium and roller wheels for easy manoeuvre+Comfortable quick-dry cushions+Gas spring for easy reclining+Rust-resistant aluminium
Reasons to avoid
-An investment

We’re all craving a good dose of poolside relaxation, but if international travel isn't on the cards this summer, we’ll be aiming to bring the resort to us with Cane-line’s luxury Conic sunlounger. 

Quick-dry upholstered cushions and a simple gas spring reclining mechanism enable you to lay back in comfort the minute the sun makes an appearance, whilst a lightweight powder-coated aluminium frame and rear wheels make for easy manoeuvring; perfect for following the rays around the poolside. 

Find more ways to recline in style in our guide to the best sun loungers

A colourful rattan chair and striped deckchair in green and purple

(Image credit: Ames)

9. Ames Caribe & Maraca Armchair

Add tropical vibes with these eco-friendly garden chairs

Size: H72 x W62.5 x D65.7cm
Materials: Recycled plastic threads; thermolacquered galvanised steel
Colour options: Multiple
Reasons to buy
+Contemporary colour+Eco-friendly recycled materials+Fairtrade initiative+Supports indigenous craftsmanship

Inspired by the creative exuberance of South America, the high-backed Caribe armchair is woven by hand in Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast using the traditional ‘momposino’ technique to braid threads of brightly-coloured recycled plastic. 

The similarly happiness-inducing Maraca lounge chair benefits from the traditional skills of the indigenous Zenús women from Columbian Bolivar. Hand-dyed with seeds, leaves, nuts and roots that are fixed with salt and natural starch to create the vibrant colours, the chair's cotton sling-back seats are adapted from the women's traditionally woven hammocks.

Bright, beautiful and breathing new life into traditional craftsmanship, the collection will uplift even the dullest of days.

Three black and white wire mesh garden chairs in a courtyard

(Image credit: Menu)

10. Menu WM String Chair

The ultimate in versatile decor; use these dining chairs indoors or out

Size: H80.5 x L52 x D47.5cm
Materials: Epoxy lacquered steel
Colour options: White, black
Reasons to buy
+Contemporary design+Versatility to use indoors or out+'See through' design works well in smaller spaces and doesn't block a vista
Reasons to avoid
-Metal can be hot (or cool) to the touch-Cushions available seperately

For versatile and contemporary dining seating Menu's WM String chairs make a great addition indoors or out. 

The 'string' design backrest is especially useful for adding seating to a smaller courtyard garden or balcony space, with the partially see-through form creating a greater sense of space and allowing you to still enjoy a planted border or rooftop view without your seating blocking the vista.

Opt for the high-seated dining chair or low-to-the ground armchair depending on if you're eating or lounging. 

A contemporary metal garden table and outdoor bench seats in a soft pink colour

(Image credit: Jennifer Newman)

11. Jennifer Newman Trestle Outside Table and Bench Seats

Great for large numbers; a spacious trestle table and bench seat

Size: H75 x L240 x W76cm
Materials: Aluminium with polyester powder-coating
Colour options: Multiple
Reasons to buy
+Spacious dining for up to 12 guests+Great range of colour options+Coordinate with the indoor furniture range for a seamless extension outdoors+Rust-resistant aluminium
Reasons to avoid
-Metal can be hot (or cool) to the touch

Also makers of one of the most stylish picnic tables we've come across - the A-Frame Bench - Jennifer Newman Studio's latest outdoor launch includes the spacious eight or twelve-seater Trestle table and bench seats.

Designed with the intention to bring playful optimism to the outdoor space, the bright powder-coated colours and sociable seating set-up makes for mood-boosting alfresco dining, whilst the naturally rust-resistant aluminium materials ensure outdoor longevity.

A garden table made from a large tree trunk base and glass table top

(Image credit: OKA)

12. OKA Silverstein Tree Trunk Table

Admire the wonders of nature whilst you dine

Size: H78 x W240 x L130cm
Materials: Resin-sealed wood and toughened glass
Colour options: Natural
Reasons to buy
+Wow-factor centrepiece+Versatility to use indoors or out
Reasons to avoid
-An investment

Handmade from resin-sealed wood with a toughened glass tabletop, this statement dining table offers spacious seating for eight.

The oval design is perfect for creating a relaxed ambience and also works well in a compact space, allowing plenty of room for guests to wander around the seating area.

Pair with contemporary outdoor dining chairs and you've got yourself an alfresco dining set that's sure to be a talking point amongst guests, drawing diners outdoors into the evening air.

A reclining outdoor chair designed with black wooden slats

(Image credit: Houe)

13. Houe Click Reclining Chair

Get horizontal with this simple yet effective reclining chair

Size: H90 x W64 x L180cm
Materials: Bamboo, metal and plastic
Colour options: Black, green, sand
Reasons to buy
+Versatile sit and recline options
Reasons to avoid
-No cushioning

Epitomising the word laidback, Houe's Click reclining chair will get you from seated to horizontal with one gentle push backwards. 

Once reclined, the curved chair form elevates your legs to the optimal relaxation posture of just-above-heart-level, whilst bamboo armrests offer the perfect support for your book, or cocktail, holding arm. Bliss.

A white metal outdoor drinks trolley

(Image credit: Skagerak)

14. Skagerak Fuori Serving Trolley

Practise your outdoor mixology with this smart drinks trolley

Size: H76 x W75 x D48cm
Materials: Powder-coated aluminium and teak
Colour options: White, green
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight+Roller wheels make for easy manoeuvre+Versatility to use indoors or out+Weather-resistant teak wood +Rust-resistant aluminium
Reasons to avoid
-Limited colour options

Alfresco cocktail hour can now quite literally roll around quicker with the Fuori outdoor drinks trolley. 

Influenced by her Danish upbringing and Italian roots, designer Monique Consentino believes in aesthetics that combine core product functionality with sculptural sensibilities. 

The easily maneuverable outdoor drinks trolley showcases teak wood shelves and a powder-coated aluminium frame for enhanced weather-resistance, whilst smooth-running roller wheels ensure a zippy drinks service. 

A concrete outdoor table with a woven rope chair on dark grey decking

(Image credit: Barker & Stonehouse)

15. Barker & Stonehouse Geradis Campos Dining Table

Create impactful dining with this concrete outdoor table

Size: H76 x W100 x D100cm
Materials: Fibre reinforced concrete
Colour options: Concrete
Reasons to buy
+Contemporary outdoor dining
Reasons to avoid
-Hard edges aren't the most family friendly-Heavy

Pay homage to Brutalist architecture whilst you dine alfresco on the squared-concrete Geradis Campos table.

Available from Barker and Stonehouse in four sizes of concrete dining and coffee table, plus two concrete-formed bench seats, these weighty propositions will ground a contemporary garden planting scheme, contrasting rigid form against an organic backdrop. We particularly like the hard-edged minimalism of the Geradis table juxtaposed against frothy ferns or ever-shifting grasses. 

Complete the industrial outdoor look with Barker and Stonehouse's rope and aluminium-frame Duke dining armchairs.

A black metal garden table and chairs against a terracotta coloured wall

(Image credit: Heal's)

16. Heal's Petra Outdoor Dining Table

Recycled materials for sustainable outdoor dining

Size: H75 x W160 x D80cm
Materials: Recycled carbon fibres & ceramic table top
Colour options: Dark grey

Looking for the best garden furniture that also comes with eco-credentials? This could just be it.

A part of Heal's push towards more sustainable design, the Petra outdoor table is crafted from recycled steel with a natural ceramic tabletop that offers a heat resistant, non-porous and scratch-proof surface.

Pair with the dark grey recycled aluminium Petra outdoor armchairs for streamlined, ergonomic seating, or the minimalist Petra outdoor bench made from recycled carbon fibres sourced from the automotive industry. 

How to choose the best garden furniture

Just as your indoor furniture plays an important role in the look of your interior, choosing the right garden furniture for your outside space will help to set the tone of your terrace, patio or decking. So firstly it's important to think about how you plan to use your outdoor space.

How to create an outdoor lounge area

"If you’re looking to transform your garden into a relaxing retreat, opt for a luxurious lounge chair or sofa, so you can sit back, put your feet up and enjoy the great outdoors" advises Heal's furniture buyer Hannah Armstrong.

Just like indoors, you can play with the placement of your outdoor furniture to zone different areas of the garden. Having an outdoor lounge area close to the house will make it easier to spill out into the garden on days when the weather is good and makes for a practical family set-up, making it easier to keep an eye on the kids.

When planning your layout make sure to consider the views you'd most like to enjoy as you relax, and, if possible, angle your seating to face the best aspects of the garden.

You'll also want to ensure seating is both as comfortable - meaning cushions - and as weather-resistant as possible so that you're not rushing outside every five minutes to snatch in upholstery when the dark clouds loom. 

"To minimise upkeep while maximising comfort, look for furniture that comes with weatherproof upholstery" says Hannah, "waterproof and fade-proof acrylic fibers prevent mould and mildew, so can be kept outdoors with the lounger". 

How to plan an outdoor seating area

If long evenings enjoying alfresco meals with friends or family are high on your agenda then think about creating a wow-factor outdoor dining space that will draw guests outside. A large table is a must if you love entertaining, but an intimate bistro set for two can be just as enjoyable. 

"The pleasure of eating in the garden begins with walking up to a beautiful table and chairs. So create a spectacle that everybody will be excited to sit down and eat at" says LuxDeco's interior director Linda Holmes.

When choosing an outdoor dining set it's easy to be swayed by style, but as you're likely to be sitting outside for a couple of courses at least, don't underestimate the importance of comfort. A bench seat might be fine for a quick outdoor lunch, but as the evening draws on you and your guests are likely to appreciate a comfortable backrest. 

As Linda explains: "Nobody wants to enjoy an outdoor garden party in a seat that’s bad for posture... pay attention to things like back support, cushioning, whether you prefer armrests or not, and if the seat’s deep enough. This way, any soirées will be more likely to go on into the ever-brightening evenings with everybody completely content and at ease in their surroundings".

For Michelin-starred outdoor dining in your very own backyard, find the grill for you in our guide to the best barbecues of the year. 

Where to place garden chairs

If you have a garden that's large enough to have some hidden corners - or just some awkward spaces! - then outdoor seating can help you to make the most of them. 

Consider a garden bench in a secluded corner, a comfortable reclining chair in a spot that gets the morning sun, a bistro set in that narrow side return that gets the evening light, or a sun lounger in a place that's drenched in afternoon rays.

Adding seating in unexpected places will create interest in all parts of the garden and ensure you maximise every inch of outdoor space.

For more inspiration on how to plan your outside space make sure to check out our patio ideas page.

Amy Lockwood
Amy Lockwood

Amy’s eye for colour, form and composition was honed in the design studio, creating prints for the interiors industry whilst studying textile design at Winchester School of Art. Here she developed her knowledge of key design principles and gained a deeper understanding of how a space can influence our sense of wellbeing, the ways we respond to our environment, and what we deem to be of value.

Amy’s own style is considered, contemporary and timeless, with a strong interest in contemporary craft and homewares that champion collaboration between traditional makers and innovative technologies. A belief that design must exist in balance with the natural world fuels her interest in exploring sustainable, circular, and regenerative design processes and underpins her passion for natural materials and responsible craftsmanship.

When she’s not writing about interior design or sourcing the latest homewares for Livingetc, Amy is most often found deliberating over the perfect shade of white paint, adding to her ever-growing plant collection, or printmaking in her home studio.