What is the best outdoor furniture for small spaces? Our shopping editor curates the perfect finds for bijou backyards

These are the outdoor furniture purchases to buy for backyards that are small on space, but big on personality

A small rooftop with outdoor furniture
(Image credit: Julian Wass. Landscape Design: Julie Farris, XS Space Interior Design)
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When it comes to outdoor furniture for small spaces, it's a matter of thinking tactically. You might not be able to afford the luxury of long L-shape sofas and a grand outdoor dining area, but with some clever purchases, you can make the most of your backyard and have it primed and ready for summer socializing. 

From smaller, more compact seating areas that can transform an unloved corner, to space-saving tables with an extendable mechanism, to foldaway dining chairs that keeps your space flexible, I've scoured the internet to find the best outdoor furniture pieces for those smaller spaces. 

Best outdoor small sofa

Best space-saving outdoor table

Best folding dining chairs

What outdoor patio furniture is easy to maintain?

Material is one of the most important things when it comes to selecting outdoor patio furniture. Get the furniture material right and it will no doubt have longevity. 

'Aluminum or powder coated steel furniture is the most durable and easiest to maintain,' says Oonagh Ryan, principal and founder of ORA landscape architects firm. 'It just requiring a hose-down every so often.'

Resin wicker is another material that is super easy to maintain. It gives you that boho look and feel of real wicker, but as soon as it requires a clean it can just get washed down with a garden hose, just be sure to remove your cushions before spraying with water. 

On the other hand, wood is a material that requires constant maintenance, so much so that homeowners are being put off purchasing wood outdoor furniture. It will need oiling, cleaning and covering up when not in use. Look out for composite wood materials that look as good as real wood does. Similarly, while steel or wrought iron are heavy duty, durable and weighty, which can have its benefits in the backyard, these materials can rust quickly, especially if left out in rain.

What fabric holds up best outdoors?

Most types of outdoor fabrics on the market will be mold-resistant acrylic or olefin. Naturally resistant to moisture, they fare better than more natural materials. 

Olefin, sometimes referred to as polypropylene fiber is seriously durable and easy to clean so a great choice for a busy family focused backyard. Standard polyester is washable, tough and versatile. It is resistant to stretching and mold and can be created in a whole range of colors and patterns to go with whatever color scheme you have in your outside space.

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.