Camp seating to high design

The Best Outdoor Furniture for Your Patio, Balcony or Backyard


June 28, 2018 Home By Photo by Tait

Though often regarded as a summertime activity, enjoying the outdoor air in all its forms is not really all that seasonal; in most parts of the country, a patio, balcony or backyard is perfectly usable three seasons of the year. Which makes its status as patron furniture buying afterthought all the more confusing — why sit on tailgate chairs and using coolers for tables?

Of course, outdoor furniture is no doubt secondary to indoor furniture — don’t buy a weather-proof set of tables and chairs before getting a couch to sit on in your living room. But the level at which it’s disregarded isn’t equal to the amount of use a proper backyard can, and perhaps should receive.

In our survey of the best outdoor and patio furniture, we explore the high and low of a market that doesn’t get the respect it deserves — these 13 sets and collections run the complete price, prestige and style spectrum.

Ikea ÄPPLARÖ

As it does in virtually every corner of the good-looking, supremely affordable furniture market, Ikea rules. All pre-treated for weather resistance, there are over 60 products in this collection — high chairs, low chairs, bar stools, rolling storage, folding tables, folding chairs, multiple grills and more. Will you need to earmark an hour or two to put them all together? Sure, but the ÄPPLARÖ collection is the only one you could argue looks great and would cost you under $1,000 to fully outfit a deck in.

Costco Outdoor Dining Set

Costco’s space-efficient outdoor seating set is a glorious practice in maximum affordability. Every piece folds up to save space; it’s delivered in a single package and without required assembly; and it is also somehow just $500 for six chairs and a table. If you’re in need of something to get on your porch quickly, this is your move.

Nova 7-Piece Aluminum Set

Aluminum is one of, if the not the king of outdoor furniture materials due to an inherant rust-resistance, light-ish weight and good looks. It’s usually not very affordable, though, which is exactly where this set shines. Recommended as the best aluminum set by Wirecutter, you get six chairs and a full-size table to eat on for well under $1,000. The color is a plain dark grey, which works just as well with your choice of pillow cushion as it would sans-cushion. Put simply: if you’re set on a hassle-free patio setup and don’t want a four-digit bill, it’s the best choice on the internet.

CB2 Breton Collection

As breezy as it is affordable. CB2’s Breton outdoor seating collection, designed in Spain by Memelada Estudio, was made with the coast of France in mind. It’s whimsical, simple and tough. Keep an eye out for sales and discount codes — CB2 runs promotions regularly.

Article Calo Seating

The Calo line of seating from Article is reminiscent of your parents’ back porch growing up, but updated with a slightly trimmer shape, weather-proof everything and cushions that refuse to crush. The brand’s direct-to-consumer MO shaves off a few layers of middlemen in favor of shipping its wares directly to you at a lower price, and, in some cases, with no assembly required.

Snow Peak

Not every backyard or patio has to be completely stationary. Snow Peak is a Japanese outdoor brand with a fervent following of outdoorspeople who want products that go for the extra step, and its outdoor furniture collection is full of fold-up chairs, bamboo tables and collapsable benches, all just as ready for the trail as they are an apartment balcony or space-deficient backyards.

Yardbird Colby Loveseat Set

Yardbird is outdoor furniture gone fully direct-to-consumer — that means you won’t find it professionally arranged in a salesperson-infested showroom, but you will find higher quality materials for a price that’s more digestible. The Colby set is one of nine sets the brand is launching with this summer, and comes with a modular loveseat, two chars and a coffee table, all made of rust-resistant aluminum.

Rove Concepts Linea

Rove Concepts delivers on its promise of artisinal mid-century delivered to your door with every project it unveils, and the quiet, durable Linea line is no different. Where much of the outdoor furniture space is riddled with behemoth couches and dark colors, Linea is slim and quiet, with quality of life-improving details like teak wood armrests and UV-resistant cushions that propel it above competitors in its price range. Starting at just north of $200, the collection features a loveseat, a sofa, chairs, a side table, a coffee table and a dining table.

Hay Palissade

This set is Hay’s seminal outdoor collection — so much so the outdoor section of its site has only two sub-categories, “Palissade” and “Other.” The 13-piece collection was designed to put a fork in the way we use form to imply function. The site’s description puts it concisely: “they are strong without being bulky, elegant without being fragile.”

Restoration Hardware Balmain Collection

RH’s Balmain outdoor collection in teak wood is modern in its material use, construction and color, but it sports a very satisfying back curve that also happens to make for a much more enjoyable lounging experience. Every piece is handcrafted and ships a few weeks after purchasing.

Herman Miller Magis Outdoor Collection

What’s probably the most respected design outlet the world over, Herman Miller’s outdoor furniture is as charming and drool-worthy as anything else the legendary brand has come out with. The Magis collection was designed by Jasper Morrison, one of the most lauded designers in contemporary product design. Like much of Morrison’s work, every piece looks light, playful and comes in a variety of colors, but they are also sturdy and considered.

Tait Seam Collection

The colors are perfect. The materials are robust. The look is downright amazing. The Seam collection is a product of designer Sam Cornish and high-end Aussie furniture makers Tait, and riffs on the seam that joins fabrics together in clothes. Its clean lines and slight contours catch are meant to catch light and moderately change the color and feel of their space as the sun moves throughout the day.

Eos Collection

Named for the Greek goddess who literally brings light, the Eos collection is semi-obsessed with lightness. It’s lightweight, visually light and relatively easy on the wallet. Designer Matthew Hilton described the throughline of his work to Design Within Reach in four qualities: “Functional, stackable, it has to store easily and be a good price.”

Frontgate Palazzo Modular System

Every inch of this mafioso-adjacent beach vibe of a couch is weather-resistant and able to unhinge and rearrange at a moment’s notice. Buy in small pieces, buy every piece, it doesn’t matter — once set up, a nap-inducing gravity is applied to all within its sightline.

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