Looking for the best outdoor furniture? In this guide, we’ve collated the livingetc team’s favorite outdoor furniture brands to help you to track down design-led outdoor dining sets, relaxation-ready outdoor sofas, and resort-worthy sun loungers that will transform your outdoor space into a destination area; whether you’re working with a sprawling backyard or urban balcony.
We’ve rounded up timeless Scandinavian outdoor design, luxe European wicker outdoor furniture, and designer brands made right here in America, collating the names you’ll want to know, and where to shop them.
So if you’re hankering to create a restful alfresco retreat, getting ready to embrace the season of outdoor entertaining, or simply looking to extend your living space out onto the patio, just read on to discover the best patio furniture on the livingetc team radar.
And, of course, once you have your outdoor living space sorted, just jump to our best grills guide to make sure your outdoor kitchen set-up is just as attention-grabbing!
Best outdoor furniture brands for a design-led backyard
The livingetc edit of some of the best outdoor furniture brands for creating a modern backyard or design-led patio space.
Determined to break the pattern that sees the average American spend 90% of their day indoors, Outer are on a mission to get people outside, and they’re starting by ensuring we can all sit comfortably; and more eco-consciously. The brand’s contemporary PE-wicker outdoor sofa collection is currently made from 30% recycled materials and is 100% recyclable, repurposing 100 ocean plastic bottles with every chair, whilst its aluminum and teak ranges are built to withstand the elements, offering longevity of design to keep products out of landfill.
Editor’s pick: Teak Outdoor Loveseat with Armchairs
Danish design house Cane-line combine timeless craftsmanship and materials with modern design to create their diverse outdoor furniture collections. Think contemporary wicker outdoor lounge sets, sleek and durable aluminum outdoor dining table and chairs, and teak wood outdoor sofas and loungers. We love the Nest collection which lends a sculptural quality to the patio with its curvaceous lines.
Editor’s pick: Cane-line Nest 2-Seater Outdoor Sofa
3. Serena & Lily
If you’re dreaming of a coastal look, whether you’re within earshot of the ocean or not, then Serena & Lily is our first port of call for light and neutral beachy vibes combined with timeless grandeur and sea-spray resistant materials. Elegant wicker lounge and bistro sets, tailored outdoor upholstered sofas and swivel chairs, and statement dining tables deliver understated luxe with a laidback attitude.
Editor’s pick: Seabrook Outdoor Swivel Chair
Scandinavian design house HAY’s Palissade outdoor collection has become something of a modern classic, with the distinctive curved linear metal frames of its bench seat, dining table, and range of outdoor chairs working perfectly in large-scale public spaces as well as intimate private spaces. The collection is ideal for patios where you don’t want to block a view of the planting or wish to enhance feelings of spaciousness with its airy design.
Editor’s pick: Palissade Outdoor Dining Table and Bench Set
5. McGee and Co.
Never failing to nail the perfect balance between classic and contemporary, McGee and Co.’s outdoor furniture has the same timeless appeal as its indoor collection, hitting just the right notes to achieve modern heirloom status. There are pared back teak chairs and chaise, and wicker lounge sets with just the right amount of simple detail to elevate your backyard set-up.
Editor’s pick: Elowyn Outdoor chair
Modern design at some very competitive price points makes Article a great place to head if you’re looking for contemporary outdoor furniture that factors in affordability. As well as statement outdoor lounge chairs, the brand has plenty of modern and minimal corner sectionals and sleek outdoor dining sets on offer.
Editor’s pick: Calova Lounge Chair
Made in the USA, Loll’s outdoor furniture not only looks good but is crafted from post-consumer recycled plastic – mostly from milk jugs – which has helped the brand repurpose and keep more than 100 million items if waste out of landfills since its founding. The brand’s streamlined and minimalist outdoor seating has earned eco-friendly Cradle to Cradle certification for its circular design principles, with materials able to be recycled at the end of a product’s lifespan and reused again and again and again; win-win all round.
Editor’s pick: Adirondack Lounge Chair
Another worthy contender if you’re looking for modern outdoor furniture that won’t break the bank, Castlery is always hot on the latest design trends, producing design-led indoor and outdoor furniture that’s perfect if you’re on a budget. There are contemporary lounge sets and spacious outdoor dining sets on offer, with more to come as the season unfolds.
Editor’s pick: Sorrento Dining Table and Six Chairs
If you’re looking for luxe outdoor furniture to transform your outside space into a relaxation or entertaining zone worthy of a five-star retreat, then Arhaus has plenty of wow-factor outdoor designs to choose from. Think super spacious and contemporary sectional sofas and soiree-ready dining sets, all crafted from durable hardwoods or rust-resistant aluminum that will weather the elements as well as the brand’s timeless designs weather the trends.
Editor’s pick: Costa Outdoor Three Piece Sectional
10. Lulu and Georgia
Laidback luxe predominates at Lulu and Georgia, with plenty of swoon-worthy outdoor options to get your backyard kitted out for rest and relaxation or soiree-ready entertaining. Natural materials such as jute and teak are contrasted with sculptural aluminum to make for an outdoor living area of interesting contrasts.
Editor’s pick: Rosen Indoor Outdoor Sofa
How to choose the best outdoor furniture for your outside space
Choosing the best outdoor furniture for your backyard will largely come down to how you want to use your outside space; do you want to entertain large numbers of guests on your patio, create a family-friendly backyard, or create a peaceful space to relax and unwind amongst nature?
If you’re blessed with plenty of space to play with then you may want to create outdoor ‘rooms’ as you would with an interior, adding a patio table and chairs that are spacious enough to host the number of family and friends you would regularly entertain around a barbecue area in the ‘outdoor dining’ zone, and creating a more relaxed, informal seating area with a corner sectional, or lounge set as an ‘outdoor living room’.
If you prefer to gravitate towards the pool, then easily maneuvrable chaise loungers and quick-drying water-resistant fabrics will be paramount – our pool ideas page can give you some inspiration for luxury poolside styling.
If the backyard is the place you retreat to for some quiet rest and relaxation, consider a comfortable chaise lounger, take a cue from our porch decor ideas and invest in an Adirondack chair, or group a small number of outdoor chairs together to create a more intimate seating area.
And if space is at a premium then a small yet stylish bistro set will still allow you to dine under the stars when the weather is amenable.
What are the most durable outdoor furniture materials?
Once you’ve decided on the stye of patio furniture that will work best for your lifestyle, it’s time to consider materials. We’ve summarised some of the key factors to consider when shopping for the most durable investment below.
Whether you opt for a predominantly metal piece of outdoor furniture, or a wicker corner sectional or dining set for your patio, it’s likely that metal will be used to create the base structure of the furniture design. Therefore, it’s important to understand the differences in what’s available.
Although it’s usually much more expensive than the powder-coated steel alternatives, aluminum-framed outdoor furniture is by far the more durable metal option, and this extra outdoor durability can make it by far the better value investment long-term. This is because, unlike corrosive steel which relies on the powder-coating for protection, aluminum forms its own protective barrier, stopping moisture from penetrating its surface and making it a highly rust-resistant and weather-resistant metal.
For this reason, aluminum patio furniture can be left outside all year round making it a super low maintenance option as well (although manufacturers may still recommend sheltering it from the worst of the elements to prolong its lifespan even further).
An ever-popular patio option, wicker outdoor furniture offers a timeless look that blends with most garden styles. However, most modern ‘wicker’ or ‘rattan’ outdoor furniture is actually made of PE-rattan or polyrattan, a polyurethane plastic that offers the benefits of being lightweight, waterproof, weather-resistant, and low maintenance.
The key consideration in shopping for the best wicker outdoor furniture is the construction of the metal base frame that gives rattan furniture its support. As explained above, a powder-coated steel frame is likely to weather much faster than an aluminum frame, meaning steel-based wicker furniture is likely to need storing under shelter in inclement weather, whereas an aluminum-framed option is far lower maintenance and more durable, although is likely to come with a more hefty price tag as a result.
You’ll find wooden patio furniture made from many types of timber, but when shopping for the most durable wooden outdoor furniture, it’s hardwoods that you’ll want to look out for.
Teak is the hardwood most prized for its strength and durability outdoors. As well as offering an extremely dense grain that prevents moisture from penetrating, teak retains high levels of natural oils in its timber once cut, which further helps to prevent the wood from weathering. You can top up the wood with teak oil to offer even more weather resistance, although many allow the timber to weather over time to its signature soft silvery patina.
However, this dense grain is down to teak’s extremely slow-growing habit, and that slow growth, plus the difficulty of working with such a tough timber makes it one of the most expensive wooden options.
Like many kinds of wood, teak is also in danger of being harvested unsustainably. Reclaimed teak wood can be a more eco-friendly solution, or, as when buying any wood product, make sure to look for FSC-certification which should ensure the tree has been felled within a managed forest rather than contributing to damaging deforestation.
Cheaper and faster-growing alternatives that are now becoming very popular outdoor furniture choices are the hardwoods acacia and eucalyptus. These woods may be slightly less dense than teak but they are far-quicker growing, allowing them to be grown and managed to yield greater quantities of wood more sustainably – although again, it’s important to look for FSC accreditation. A little low-maintenance upkeep with a coat of wood preservative each year should ensure these hardwoods retain plenty of weather resistance.
If you’re looking for durability, then try to avoid outdoor furniture that is simply listed as a ‘wood’ or timber’ build, as it’s more likely these options are crafted from less weather-resistant softwoods.