Best Potting Benches

Updated November 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 all opinions about the products are our own. 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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Pros
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How we decided

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

30 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 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 potting benches

If you've got the gardening bug, you'll know how much time is spent sowing seeds, potting seedlings, and repotting plants as they grow. A potting bench gives you a dedicated space to do this, with all the tools and equipment you need at hand.

To find a potting bench that works for you, the first thing to consider is height. You don't want to be stooping down or reaching up uncomfortably. Picking the best material (wood, vinyl, or metal) to suit your tastes and requirements is a big factor, too. You might also want to consider the size of the workbench, if it has any built-in shelves or storage spaces, and how much assembly time it requires.

To learn more, check out our shopping guide, which has all the information you’ll need to choose the best potting bench for your needs. If you’re ready to buy, consider one of our recommended models.

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Potting benches can be completely freestanding or you can position them up against a wall for added stability.

Key considerations

Materials

Wooden potting benches are the most traditional choice. While they do weather over time, a quality wooden potting bench will last many years. Some people love the look of silvery weathered wood, whereas others don't, so this is a personal choice. Of course, you can paint or stain them, if you prefer. The main downside is that there are a large number of flimsy wooden potting benches on the market, and the most sturdy and durable can be expensive.

Vinyl potting benches are often made to look like painted wood, so they don't have to appear cheap or plasticky. In fact, vinyl potting benches are often far from cheap and highly sought after, since they can stay out in all kinds of weather without fading, cracking, rotting, or rusting. However, wooden options are more sustainable than vinyl, as they'll eventually degrade, whereas vinyl models will be hanging around in a landfill for up to a thousand years after you throw them away.

Metal potting benches are lightweight yet durable. They don't rot or fade, but they can rust, so they're generally either galvanized or powder-coated to prevent this. Metal potting benches aren't always the most attractive option, but they are practical.

Size

You need enough room to work, so check the size of the worktop first to be certain it’s large enough to fit your needs. If you only ever pot a handful of plants at a time, you can opt for a more compact model. But if you do a large amount of potting in one go, an extra-large surface will make the process far easier. It's also worth considering the height of your chosen potting table.

The majority of models stand 36 inches tall, which is the same as a standard kitchen counter. If you're taller or shorter than average, you might not find this a comfortable height to work at. You'll need to shop around, but you can find a small number of potting benches that are slightly taller or shorter than 36 inches or that are height adjustable. 

Ease of assembly

If you order a potting bench online, it will almost certainly arrive flat packed, but some models are far easier to assemble than others. Those with drawers and cupboards tend to be slightly more difficult to assemble, as you'll need to construct the drawers and hang the cupboard doors.

If you're looking for a potting bench that's as easy to assemble as possible, you can find a handful of models that can be put together without tools and tend to be straightforward. Otherwise, check what tools are required for assembly. Some come with Allen keys for assembly, but some require a drill or a screwdriver.

Features

Hooks

Some potting tables feature a row of hooks, which look a little bit like coat hooks on which you can hang your tools. Others have a trellis up the back, which is perfect for hanging double-sided metal hooks for holding tools (some potting benches even include these types of hooks). Whichever option you go for, we'd highly recommend that your potting bench has some method for hanging tools, as it's much easier to keep track of them, and they'll always be in reach when you need them.

Drawers

A drawer is handy for storing those items that you may not want to hang and that could get lost or damaged if left out, such as knitting needles or chopsticks for creating holes to plant seeds, gardening gloves, and twine.

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For your safety
A potting bench gives you a dedicated space to store your small tools, so they're less likely to go missing or be left somewhere they could cause injury to kids or pets.
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Extra shelves

All potting benches have their main work surface, but many also feature extra shelves for storage. Shelves under the workbench are great for storing bags of compost to fill your pots, but you can also use them to hold items such as large pots or watering cans. Some potting benches also feature a shallow shelf a couple of feet above the work area, which is designed for holding empty pots that you're waiting to fill.

Casters

Some potting benches have sturdy casters on the bottom of their legs, which makes them easier to move around but also slightly less stable, even when locked in a stationary position. Casters also add a few inches to the height of the table, which may be good or bad, depending on how tall you are.

Potting bench prices

At the lower end of the price spectrum, you'll find basic potting benches for between $70 and $90. These are usually either made from lightweight wood or metal. They aren't the sturdiest options, but they're fine for occasional use. Mid-range potting benches cost $90 to $150. There are some excellent choices in this price range, including vinyl and heavy-duty metal options. If you want a high-end potting bench, such as a super-sturdy wooden option, expect to pay $150 to $200.

"At the lower end of the price spectrum, you'll find basic potting benches for between $70 and $90. These are usually either made from lightweight wood or metal. They aren't the sturdiest options, but they're fine for occasional use. Mid-range potting benches cost $90 to $150. There are some excellent choices in this price range, including vinyl and heavy-duty metal options. If you want a high-end potting bench, such as a super-sturdy wooden option, expect to pay $150 to $200."
STAFF
BestReviews

Tips

  • Think about whether you need a cupboard in your potting bench. Only a handful of potting benches feature cupboards, but they're great for keeping items dry and avoiding damage by the elements.
  • Check the weight of your chosen potting table. Too heavy and it will be extremely difficult to move once assembled. Too light and it might not be particularly stable and could be blown over by the wind.
  • Don't overlook folding options. While they're not hugely common, you can find some foldable potting benches, which are great if you lack space or only need your potting bench occasionally.
  • Consider where you'll position your potting bench. Think about positioning your new potting table close to a hose, so you can easily clean it down and water newly potted plants.
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Some potting tables feature a bag or compartment for waste, such as trimmings, which helps keep your space neater during big potting sessions.

FAQ

Q. Can I keep my potting bench outside all year round?
A.
Potting benches are generally designed for year-round use. That said, they will last longer stored in a shed or garage during the coldest, wettest months, particularly if you have harsh winters.

Q. What should I keep on my potting bench?
A.
This is really up to you and what tools you use most, but common items found on a potting bench include pots and planters, compost, trowels, mini forks, twine, gardening gloves, plant markers, and scissors or pruning shears.

Q. Do all gardeners need a potting bench?
A.
You can garden without a potting bench, but they do make certain tasks much easier, and we'd highly recommend one, especially if you grow lots of plants from seeds.

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