Vinyl frame gives it an edge in longevity over wood counterparts. Can easily double as a patio buffet table.
Assembly can be complex due to insufficient instructions.
It's a perfect size for balconies or decks. Included trimmings bag is removable and keeps things tidy.
The trimmings bag can be a challenge to attach securely.
No tools are required to put it together. The raised beds provide an astonishing 14 square feet of gardening space.
Can be unstable until soil is added.
Features a lower shelf below the main workstation and a small upper shelf above it, plus a drawer for storing tools. Easy to assemble.
Not as sturdy as high-end benches.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.