Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

31 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
96 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best outdoor folding tables

Last Updated April 2020

An outdoor folding table is one of the most practical purchases you can make. From the backyard to the ball field, there’s no shortage of uses. Once you buy one, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it. 

Unlike their indoor counterparts, outdoor folding tables are made from durable materials that can handle the elements. They collapse compactly enough for easy storage and transport and unfold large enough to seat several adults. They’re the perfect size for serving up plates at a tailgate party, cooking dinner on a camping stove, or displaying your handiwork at a craft show. 

It seems that everyone is selling folding tables these days, from discount retailers to established brands. But not all tables are the same quality. You need a dependable table that can stand up to downpours, wind gusts, scuffs, and spills. Keep reading to learn more about your options and find the best table for your budget. Check out our top picks, too.

If you need your table to hold a lot of weight, skip models that fold in the center. They aren’t as strong near the hinge and require more careful weight distribution.

Key considerations

Shape

Outdoor folding tables come in all shapes and sizes. The most versatile tables are usually square or rectangular. The long, flat plane makes it easy to display wares, serve food, or belly up to a meal without leaning or reaching into others’ personal space. They’re also simpler to pack and store. 

A few outdoor folding tables are round. These tables are good for gatherings where you want to squeeze in another chair or place setting. They are, however, more challenging to transport and store. 

Size

Outdoor folding tables come in different lengths and widths. Most are 4 or 6 feet long. 

4 feet long: This size outdoor table may be more practical if you plan to use it for portable events like craft shows, camping, or other on-the-go uses. It folds down smaller and is easier to handle than a longer table. For dining, it fits four to six adults.

6 feet long: If you’ll primarily use your table for flexible outdoor dining, it might be best to opt for the longer length. This size outdoor table comfortably seats six to eight adults.

Height: Some tables adjust in height, an option that may come in handy on occasion. However, the most stable tables are about 30 inches tall. Tables much taller than that can be wobbly. 

Weight limit

A weight limit is more applicable to chairs than tables, but if you’ll be displaying items at a craft fair or trade show, make sure the total weight is in the acceptable range and evenly distributed. Tables that fold in the center often hold less weight, or require more careful weight distribution, than tables that fold in at the legs. 

Materials

The materials used to make folding tables can make a difference in durability.

Tabletop: The tops of most folding tables are made of tough materials like molded resin, fiberboard, and bamboo. Note that a textured tabletop is better at hiding stains and scratches than one that’s smooth. And it’s a fantastic choice for everything but for use as an art table. The uneven texture will show up in clay and images drawn using crayons, pencil, marker, or paint.

  • Resin is a synthetic material that’s lightweight yet sturdy. It’s also highly waterproof. Look for an outdoor table with a pretreated tabletop intended for outdoor use to prevent scratches, stains, and UV damage. 

  • Fiberboard is a material made of compressed wood fibers. Fiberboard that’s been treated or sealed can withstand a bit of moisture, but it’s best to dry this material thoroughly if it gets wet. Fiberboard can be relatively heavy.  

  • Bamboo tabletops are attractive and highly durable. Properly treated, bamboo can resist scratching, staining, and UV damage. Bamboo is a grass, so it stands up to water better than other woody materials, but it should still be dried thoroughly if it gets wet.  
     

Frame/legs: Most tables have a frames and legs made of either powder-coated steel or aluminum. Tables with locking legs can help prevent tips and spills. And snap-in channels can keep the legs from accidentally unfolding when you’re carrying the table.

  • Powder-coated steel has been treated to counteract some of the metal’s pitfalls. Powder-coated legs and frames have been covered in a protective layer made from ground resin and pigment particles. This treatment helps prevent chipping and rust. 

  • Aluminum is a metal that’s reasonably hard and moderately strong. It doesn’t rust, it’s less expensive than steel, and it’s also lighter and easier to carry. 

If your outdoor table doesn’t come with a bench, make sure you have enough portable seating available.

Features

Seating

Some outdoor folding tables come with coordinated seating. Many have benches made from matching materials. If you’ll be using your table for children, or adults for short periods, benches are invaluable. But their lack of back support could be problematic for older adults, and even for younger people sitting for extended periods. 

A few folding tables integrate their seating and table into a single foldable unit. This option is helpful if you consistently use it as a picnic table, but it limits your flexibility if you want to use it for display or serving purposes. This type of folding table may also be harder to store or pack in a vehicle. More practical designs stow the benches in the table for transport and storage. 

Feet

Outdoor folding tables have metal legs that can damage indoor floors or harbor mud and grime. Look for a table with metal or rubber feet to prevent scuffs and scrapes, especially if you want to use your table indoors from time to time. 

Edges

Outdoor parties are designed for fun, and sometimes fun can get rowdy. Tables with sharp, square edges can pose a safety risk. Young children may not notice they’re running toward a table, especially in the dark. Anyone could back into the table by accident. An outdoor folding table with rounded edges is a safer bet in most situations. 

Handle

A carrying handle makes it much easier to lift and move your outdoor folding table. 

FOR YOUR SAFETY

Watch out for pinched fingers and toes when opening and closing your folding table.

Accessories

Folding chairs: Cosco Folding Chairs 
Now that you have a folding table for your event, you need to make sure you have enough outdoor seating. These four highly portable, highly storable folding chairs are made from resin and powder-coated steel. The feet prevent the legs from getting packed with dirt and ensure your flooring stays safe 

Outdoor speakers: Polk Audio Atrium6 Outdoor Speakers 
Get the backyard party started with this set of weatherproof speakers. These little speakers fill almost any area with big sound, thanks to their baffle design. Thoughtfully considered mounting brackets let you set up the speakers horizontally or vertically. A combination of aluminum, stainless steel, and brass fixtures keeps the entire setup permanently rust-free. 

Outdoor folding table prices

Inexpensive: The lowest-priced outdoor folding tables cost between $40 and $60. Tables in this range likely measure about 4 feet long and are probably less sturdy with thinner legs than more expensive models. They are more portable, however, and usually outfitted with a carrying handle. The tops are likely fiberboard, and most of these tables don’t include seating. 

Mid-range: Heavier-duty tables range from $75 to $100. Tabletops may be constructed from fiberboard or resin and measure around 4 feet long. Legs may be aluminum or powder-coated steel. Many of these tables have a carrying handle and may come with portable seating.

Expensive: The best outdoor folding tables cost between $125 and $175, depending on length. These tables measure 4 to 6 feet long and have tops made from resin or bamboo. Legs are powder-coated steel or aluminum. These larger models should be outfitted with multiple carrying handles, and some may include benches. 

EXPERT TIP

If you plan to use your table to support a camping stove, make sure the tabletop material is heat resistant.


Alissa  | Child Care Professional

Tips

  • Wipe up spills immediately. Even stain-resistant tabletops can succumb to red wine or marinara sauce. Don’t wait until cleanup time. Wipe up spills as soon as you notice them.

  • Use a smooth-topped table for art projects. Are you using your outdoor folding table to occupy young children? Make sure they have a smooth surface to color on or the texturing may show through on their masterpiece.

  • Choose color and texture. White tabletops show more dirt than darker colors. Texturing can also help hide scratches and stains. 

Other products we considered

There are plenty of outdoor folding tables out there, and we found a couple more for you. We’re intrigued by the highly popular Cosco Signature Centerfold Table. When stored, it measures just 3 inches deep, but it unfolds to a full 6 feet long. It’s constructed from durable resin, and it comes in darker colors that hide stains and scratches.

If you’re looking for a table without a center hinge, check out the durable Lifetime 80160 Utility Table. Its solid, UV-resistant top can hold plenty of weight, and the height adjusts from 24 inches to 36 inches.

If you’re going to use your table at an outdoor market, double-check to make sure it will fit completely beneath your canopy.

FAQ

Q. How do I clean an outdoor folding table?
A. Any of the tables on our short list can be wiped with a damp cloth and dried with a soft towel. If you’d prefer something stronger, use a solution of water and white vinegar. Unlike harsh cleansers, it won’t leave any residue. Resin tables with powder-coated steel legs can be sprayed with a garden hose if they’re seriously dirty. Make sure the table is fully dry before storing. Never use an abrasive pad or wire brush on your folding table.
 

Q. How long can I leave my folding table outdoors? 
A. Just because something can be used outdoors doesn’t mean it should stay outdoors. Manufacturers use sealants, powder coating, UV protectants, and other techniques to help outdoor tables stand up to the elements. But some still have hinges, bolts, and screws that are less weather resistant and may corrode with extended exposure. Enjoy your special event, but bring your table inside when you’re done. 
 

Q. How long does it take to set up an outdoor folding table?
A. Most tables can be set up in a few minutes. If the table is small, you can probably set it up by yourself, but it’s usually best to have another person on hand. Most tables need to be turned on their side or upside down to lock the legs, so it might be best to open it up inside and then move it outdoors. If you have to set it up outside, put it on a blanket while you unlock the legs so the top doesn’t get dirty.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey