Best Patio Dining Sets

Updated September 2020
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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.Read more 
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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.

22 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
385 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 patio dining sets

Last Updated September 2020

Does dining al fresco appeal to you? It’s not something only to be experienced at your favorite restaurant with outdoor seating. When you own a patio dining set, you can enjoy countless meals and gatherings in the comfort of your own backyard.

Patio dining sets are designed to let you dine in comfort surrounded by friends and family. Whether you’re looking for a small four-top for intimate gatherings or a large oblong table to accommodate a party, there is a patio dining set for you. If you’re short on space, no worries: there are patio dining sets that feature expandable tables and stackable chairs for those who need them.

We invite you to read our comprehensive buying guide on patio dining sets to learn more. In this guide, we explore furniture styles and popular materials as well as tips to help you narrow your choices and dine in style.

If you are buying a new home, tell your moving company that you have outdoor furniture that also needs to be moved. In some cases, they’ll disassemble it to fit in the truck. In other cases, the truck may be large enough to accommodate it as is.

Key considerations

Number of pieces

The term “patio dining set” may refer to a small, two-seat bistro set, a full-length table with seats for 12 people, and everything in between. Determining the number of pieces you need is of utmost importance, as it can make or break your outdoor dining experience. A set with too few pieces will make guests uncomfortable as they crowd around the table. A set that’s too large may be wasteful, as you could end up with unused pieces that gobble up storage space.

Materials

Perhaps the most difficult task in choosing a patio dining set is selecting a material type. Metal and aluminum are popular, especially those with weatherproof powder coatings that combat rust, water, and UV damage. They have a tendency to heat up in direct sunlight, which is why they’re often sold with cushions. However, as cushions don’t offer full coverage, it’s not unusual for people to throw a beach towel over the seats when the sun shines exceptionally hot.

Solid wood is another popular material choice, as it blends well with outdoor décor as well as flora and fauna. These sets require considerable upkeep. You may need to apply oil to the wood, refinish it, or treat it with pest control products to keep wood-boring insects away.

EXPERT TIP

Ready to clean your patio dining set? Note that a pressure washer can actually damage the furniture. Use a regular garden hose or clean each piece individually with gentle soap and water instead.


Staff  | BestReviews

All about seating

Comfort

Seating comfort should be integral to your choice. Some patio dining sets make chairs more comfortable by way of cushions as well as swivel or tilt mechanisms. You can also find sets with oversized chairs to accommodate larger individuals.

Seat back height

You’ll want to make sure the height of the seat back suits you. Low-back chairs have contemporary curb appeal but can be uncomfortable, as they provide subpar support. High-back chairs are popular, though some people dislike the larger footprint.

Seat covering

You’ll find patio dining set seats with various surface materials including PVC mesh, polyresin, plastic, wicker, wood, and synthetic blends. Chairs that don’t have cushions are often covered with PVC mesh or woven polyresin, both of which are easy to clean.

Everything about tables

The table is the focal point of your patio dining set, so of course you want a design that pleases your eye and complements your décor. Functionality also matters.

Shape

The number of seats you need may dictate the shape of the table. Smaller sets with four seats tend to be round or square. Larger sets that accommodate six or more people tend to be oblong or rectangular. You can also find oversized round and square tables that seat six or more people.

Quality

A well-made patio table is wobble-free with a stable base or legs. Proper assembly with appropriate tightening of pieces alleviates wobbling in most sets. Low-quality tables are notorious for being unbalanced due to ill-fitting pieces.

EXPERT TIP

If you love a certain patio dining set but the cushions don’t match your décor, consider buying it anyway. For a modest price, you could make or buy new cushions for a customized fashion upgrade.


Staff  | BestReviews

Height

When you purchase a patio dining set, you already know that the chairs and table complement each other in terms of height. In other words, guests will have ample legroom between their seat and the bottom of the table. Note that some patio dining sets are adjustable for table height, but these tend to cost significantly more than standard.

Popular styles of patio dining sets

Traditional patio dining sets resemble those for indoor dining, as they’re comparable in height and size. There are other popular subcategories of patio dining sets as well.

Bistro sets

A bistro set consists of a small table, often referred to as a two-top, and a pair of chairs. Some bistro set tables are so small that they only have room to hold a couple mugs or glasses. Others are large enough to accommodate two place settings. The seats in a bistro set may be simple folding chairs, ornate wrought-iron works of art, or something in between.

Bar-height sets

Bar-height sets have grown in popularity. They can lend a tiki bar feel to your patio without all the tiki bar décor. These designs tend to be tall and heavy.

Chairs in a bar-height set are tall enough that guests needn’t bend down to sit in them. This makes them popular among those who have mobility issues. The chairs also have footrests, which can be used to help you off and on your seat.

Bench sets

A bench-style patio dining set is ideal if you want a flexible seating capacity. Rather than chairs, these sets have long picnic table benches, which means you can fit a few adults and several kids at once. Bench patio sets are often appreciated by families, but they’re somewhat less popular for entertaining due to their informal design.

EXPERT TIP

Some patio dining sets look gorgeous in the sunroom — especially those made with wicker or wrought iron.


Staff  | BestReviews

Patio dining set prices

Patio dining sets range widely in price. They can be as affordable as $150 and as pricey as $3,000 or more. As is the case with indoor furniture, you get what you pay for with patio dining sets, so bear in mind that you’re making a long-term investment.

Inexpensive: Patio dining sets priced between $150 and $650 include basic metal or aluminum sets that sometimes come with cushions. Quality can be hit-or-miss, as some sets in this category are made with ill-fitting components.

Mid-range: Mid-range patio dining sets cost between $650 and $1,800. These sets are well-made and durable enough to last for years. In addition to metal and aluminum, you’ll find some solid wood sets in this range.

Expensive: High-end patio dining sets cost between $1,800 and $3,000, sometimes more. You’ll find incredibly well-made sets in this range, some of which are handcrafted of solid wood. There are also some less-stellar sets in this range that have been manufactured by designer brands.

Tips

  • Consider hybrid seating. Some patio dining sets feature a combination of regular chairs and picnic benches. This variety gives you flexibility when it comes to seating capacity.
  • Invest in weatherproof cushions. A worthwhile upgrade to your patio dining set is weatherproof cushions. Unlike cushions made of cotton or other absorbent materials, these repel water and dry quickly.
  • Shrink wrap your patio dining set in the off-season. If you don’t have the room to store your patio dining set in a garage or shed, you can hire a professional to shrink wrap the set in its place.
If you want to upgrade your patio furniture set but it’s not in your budget, consider replacing a few seats with matching swivel chairs or rockers instead.

FAQ

Q. Do patio dining sets come with umbrellas?
A.
Deluxe patio dining sets often do, but many consumers purchase an umbrella and stand separately. Note that not all patio tables are equipped with an umbrella hole, so if you’re dreaming of a table with an umbrella, keep an eye out for this key feature.
 

Q. Do patio dining sets come with additional pieces?
A.
The only standard pieces in a patio dining set are the table and chairs. With that said, patio dining sets are often part of outdoor living collections, which means there are additional pieces you could buy separately. Some consumers invest in additional seating or coordinating side tables.


Q. What do I need to know before assembling my patio dining set?
A.
The first thing you should do is retrieve the instructions and hardware from the package. Provided you have all pieces, including nuts and bolts, you can proceed. While you could assemble your set with regular hand tools, power tools will speed up the process considerably. If you don’t have tools, or if assembly isn’t a job you’re keen on, consider budgeting for a professional hire.

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