Best Patio Bistro Sets

Updated October 2019
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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.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
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175 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

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.

Buying guide for best patio bistro sets

Last Updated October 2019

If you have a patio or deck in your yard, you might as well enjoy it to its full potential. With a patio bistro set, you can enjoy al fresco meals or a relaxing couple of hours with a book or beverage. Based on the tables and chairs found outside French bistros, a patio bistro set consists of a single table and a pair of chairs, all designed for outdoor use.

There's plenty to consider when choosing a patio bistro set. First off, you need to decide whether you want a tall table and upright chairs for dining or a low table and more relaxed chairs for lounging in the garden.

You'll also need to pick a material for your bistro set, settle on a design you like, and consider features such as color, cushion options, and foldability. Read on for our complete guide to patio bistro sets, or check out our top picks for some inspiration.

Foldable patio bistro sets are great for camping trips if you want to dine in style.

Key considerations

Material

It's important to choose a bistro set material that works for you. There are many material options out there, but these are some of the most popular choices.

  • Metal: Bistro sets can be made from various types of metal, but cast aluminum and cast iron are two common choices. Both are extremely sturdy, but aluminum is lighter and therefore easier to move around. Metal bistro sets should have a powder coating or other surface treatment to help avoid corrosion from rust.

  • Wood: Wooden bistro sets tend to be inexpensive and have a classic appearance. Some people like wood because it's a natural material and will biodegrade over time, once you're done with it. The problem with wood is that it isn't water resistant and can warp at extreme temperatures. However, a wooden set is fine as long as you cover it or bring it inside when it's wet.

  • Plastic: If you want an inexpensive option, consider a plastic patio bistro set. You'll sometimes find them made in the style of intricate cast iron sets. While the low price is attractive, plastic isn't the sturdiest option and is so light that it could blow over in strong winds.

  • Rattan: Rattan is a natural material much like wicker, which can be woven into furniture. However, outdoor "rattan" bistro sets are often made from PE rattan, which is a weatherproof synthetic alternative to true rattan.

Table and chair types

Patio bistro sets tend to either feature tall upright chairs or low, slightly reclined chairs. The former are ideal for dining when paired with a standard height table. The latter are great for a more relaxed set with a low side table, which works better for drinks and snacks rather than dining. You can also sometimes find more adventurous chair types, such as rocking chairs or swivel chairs, to take your backyard relaxation to the next level.

Design

Consider the style and design of any bistro set you're thinking of buying, and compare it to the existing appearance of your garden. For instance, a classic metal bistro table with intricate swirls and patterns would go perfectly in a traditional cottage-style garden. A clean-lined contemporary bistro set would look better in a modern, minimalist patio area.

DID YOU KNOW?

Most bistro set chairs are static, but a handful can swivel or rock.

Features

Cushions: Some patio bistro sets have cushioned chairs. These add an extra level of comfort that you won't find on a bare wood or metal chair. However, some people find cushions inconvenient, as they must be taken inside in wet weather.

Foldability: You can find foldable bistro sets, which are great for anyone with limited storage space, as you can easily pack them away when you don't need them.

Lower table shelf: On some patio bistro tables, there's a lower shelf beneath the tabletop. This is excellent for stashing small items, such as a book or a pair of sunglasses.

Colors: The majority of bistro sets are fairly muted in color — brown, black, gray, tan, and cream are all popular options. However, you can also find some sets with bolder color choices.

Patio bistro set prices

You can find patio bistro sets at various price points, so there's something out there to suit most budgets.

Basic patio bistro sets cost between $75 and $150. These sets tend to be made from metal or wood with a fairly simple design.

Mid-range bistro sets are priced from $150 to $300. You can find a wide range of options in this price range, from ornate metal sets to comfy rattan options with cushions.

High-end bistro sets usually cost $300 to $600. Bistro sets in this price range tend to be extremely comfortable and have some notable options, such as rocking chairs.

EXPERT TIP

If your patio area is made from individual bricks, or if you'll be placing your bistro set on a wooden deck, choose a set with wide table and chair legs that won't catch in the small gaps between bricks or planks of wood.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

While we don’t recommend leaving them out in extremely wet weather, the cushions on your bistro set may be water repellant. If not, you can spray them with a water-resistant coating yourself.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Choose a patio bistro set that's easy to clean if it's likely to become messy. Tables with intricate cutouts or woven rattan construction are great for average use, but if you expect them to get messy (for instance, if children will be eating at them), a smoother surface that's easier to clean is preferable.

  • Consider the overall comfort of your chosen patio bistro set. Seats with cushions will be more comfortable than bare metal seats, which is great if you plan to spend hours relaxing on them. However, if you simply want to eat at your bistro set, bare metal is fine.

  • Find out the dimensions of your chosen table. Tables in bistro sets tend to be fairly compact, but some are smaller than others. Make sure your chosen set has a table large enough for two people to comfortably dine.

  • Think about how regularly you'll use your bistro set. If you spend hours a day relaxing on your patio, it's worth splurging on a high-end set.

Other products we considered

Beyond our five favorite patio bistro sets, there are some other excellent options on the market. We like the Christopher Knight Home Angeles Outdoor Metal Bistro Set, which has that classic French bistro appearance. It's made from sturdy cast aluminum and features an ice bucket in the center, which can be covered or removed. The Giantex 3 Piece Bistro Set is an affordable option consisting of two folding chairs and a compact table at dining height. It might not be the fanciest option, but it's surprisingly durable and easy to store during the winter. We also like the Great Deal Furniture Kate Outdoor Iron Bistro Set. It’s a simple, contemporary option that stands out due to its strong iron construction, clean lines, and bold teal hue. Another fantastic choice is the Best Choice Products 3-Piece Outdoor Wicker Patio Bistro Set. It’s pricey, but the huge, comfortable swivel rocking chairs make it an appealing option.

Some patio bistro sets have luxurious extras, such as built-in ice buckets for chilling wine.

FAQ

Q. Can I leave my bistro set outdoors all year long?

A. Some patio bistro sets can stay outdoors year-round, such as powder-coated metal or PE rattan options. But patio sets that are more prone to rotting or warping, such as wood sets, are better taken indoors or otherwise protected during the coldest, wettest months. That said, even patio bistro sets that are advertised as being able to stay out all year will last longer if you drape them with outdoor furniture covers during periods of adverse weather.

Q. Can you buy bistro sets that seat more than two?

A. A bistro set is a particular type of outdoor furniture set featuring a small table and two chairs. If an outdoor furniture set seats more than two people, it isn’t classified as a bistro set. If you often have more than two people sitting outside, you may be able to buy a couple of extra chairs, or you might prefer a larger outdoor furniture set.

Q. Will I need to assemble my patio bistro set?

A. You can occasionally find bistro sets that arrive fully assembled, but the majority require some assembly. Generally, there's only a small amount of work required, such as attaching the chair and table legs. Check whether you will need any tools for assembly before you buy.

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Rich
    Rich
    Writer

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