This Inexpensive Outdoor Patio Furniture is All Under $300, But Looks So Much More Expensive

These patio furniture finds might fool your friends into thinking you’ve entered a new tax bracket, but they're all surprisingly budget-friendly

inexpensive outdoor patio furniture
(Image credit: Target / Amazon)

Navigating how much to spend on outdoor patio furniture can be a little tricky. On one hand, we want durable pieces that can withstand the elements without needing frequent replacement. Yet, given that most of our time is spent indoors, except for those lucky enough to live in sunny locales like southern California, outdoor living opportunities are often limited to a few months. This makes us lean towards splurging on indoor furniture, where we know it will get more use. Still, style remains a personal priority — indoors, outdoors, and everything in between. As someone who refuses to compromise on quality, it’s a tall order indeed.

The solution seems simple: find the best outdoor furniture brands at the lowest cost possible. But even then, is checking all the boxes really feasible? It all comes down to identifying well-designed outdoor furniture pieces that offer the best value for your money — and that's where I come in.

Putting my eye for modern design and luxury to the test, I scoured the internet for the best inexpensive outdoor patio furniture. I was discerning: while I haven't tested any of them personally, I read hundreds of reviews and did all my homework.

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When shopping budget-friendly finds, try your best not to be swayed too much my appearances (hard as it may be). ‘Quality outdoor furniture really boils down to materials,’ says President of Coastal Luxury Outdoors, Rafi Friedman. ‘Options like injection-molded plastic chairs or folding camp chairs are going to be much cheaper than other options, but you'll be getting what you pay for in terms of durability.’

So, what to pick? Rafi admits that sought-after outdoor materials like wicker are hard to come by on a budget without turning to the secondhand market. But don’t underestimate the longevity of their budget alternatives. For example, 'If you want something that will look and feel higher-quality, molded plastic that's made to look like wicker, especially if it comes with quality upholstery, is a good choice.' And if you're ever skeptical, read product reviews to gauge how well any given material has held up for others.

Outdoor Chairs

Outdoor Tables

Outdoor Sofas

What style of outdoor furniture looks expensive?

Brad Holley, design director at Pure Design, offers an unexpected yet crucial insight into high-end looking outdoor furniture: ‘It used to be that the 'Modern' style was relegated to a very small, niche portion of furniture shoppers,’ he explains. ‘In my opinion, as the modern style has taken hold and become more common and ubiquitous, I have a suspicion that many people see modern furniture/style and associate it with luxury and elegance. And if my suspicion is correct, it would mean that the simple act of acquiring modern pieces might give the illusion of luxury or high-brow discernment.’

I do believe he’s onto something — traditional, ornate styles are tough to pull off on a budget (hence the absence of Versailles-style decors nowadays). Conversely, modern outdoor furniture is inherently streamlined, making it easier to achieve quality within a reasonable price range. With fewer materials needed for each piece, we can prioritize quality over quantity.

How can I make inexpensive outdoor patio furniture look more high-end?

According to Brad, the first rule to elevate even the most affordable outdoor patio furniture is by integrating side pieces and accessories. ‘Bring in some objects that contrast and complement,’ advises the design director. For example, if you bought a budget-friendly sofa, consider replacing the adjacent tables ‘with something completely different’ — like ‘a geometric concrete side table or something with some quirk, color, or personality.’ Just like the unexpected red theory, adding something surprising significantly enhances the overall look.

From there, it's all about the details. Incorporate outdoor throw pillows in complementary color palettes for a more cohesive, designer look, and don’t overlook an area rug — any area rug will do. These elements help define the space, transforming a loose collection of outdoor furniture into a curated outdoor living room. According to Brad, even small additions like fake plants and succulents can infuse a significant amount of personality, character, and charm, quickly enhancing the ambiance of an outdoor space. ‘Anything you can do to add life, vibrancy, and an interior sensibility will go a long way in making your outdoor space feel much more expensive and luxurious than it actually is.’

And remember: sometimes it’s best to stick to the basics. Particularly if you want to avoid purchasing additional outdoor furniture, you can still elevate your pieces by taking good care of them, says Rafi. ‘The most important thing here is keeping them out of the sun as much as possible; sunlight will fade your furniture and weaken it over time,’ he notes. ‘Store your outdoor furniture in a shed or garage, or perhaps under a tarp when it's not in use, and it will last much longer.’

Pair your budget-friendly finds with a piece from this selection of the best patio furniture — a perfect high-low mix.

Style Editor

Formerly covering fashion at L’Officiel USA, style maven Julia Demer brings her love of design to Livingetc’s world of interiors. As the title’s Style Editor, Julia's work reflects a sharp eye for detail and an innate passion for aesthetics. Her journey began with a strong foundation in design, honing her craft at renowned establishments like The Row and even establishing her own eponymous fashion brand. Julia’s design background is evident in the way she thoughtfully curates shopping edits, always maintaining a focus on emerging trends while preserving timeless sensibilities. For Julia, fashion and interiors go hand in hand, reflecting her lifelong commitment to perfecting the art of style.