Best Picnic Benches

Best picnic bench 2020

Picnic Benches have come on a long way since the traditional wooden pub bench with attached seating was the only bench we could buy.

You can now dine out (or chill out) at round picnic tables, spacesaver picnic benches and even folding picnic benches with integral chairs. Here are my recommendations of the best picnic tables on the market in 2020 for each category.

If you want to make an informed choice check out our comprehensive buyers guide and FAQS below.

I recommend these picnic benches as the UK’s best garden picnic benches based on their:

  • Design
  • Build quality
  • Durability 
  • Cost

Top Wooden Garden Picnic Bench

These are my four top picks for garden picnic benches in wood.  They include benches of differing types, quality and price. Our top pick of the QUADRUM Picnic Table Set was picked for being the best for these features :

  • Design – Space saver or fixed bench sets 
  • Build quality – From untreated wood or pressure treated
  • Durability – Will it last over 5 years?
  • Cost – Is it value for money?

Best Round Picnic Table

These are four of the top round picnic tables for 2020 and are chosen for the following features.  After through reviews I felt that the BRACKENSTYLE premium Round Table Bench offered the greatest value for money (i guess you get what you pay for!):

  • Design – All fixed seating round benches
  • Build quality – Pre stained or pressure treated
  • Durability – Will it last over 5 years?
  • Cost – Is it value for money?

2020 Best Folding Picnic Bench

These are 2020´s best fold up picnic benches and are chosen for the following features:

  • Design – Does it fold easily & quickly
  • Build quality – Can it be assembled easily, pre treated wood etc
  • Durability – Will it last at least 2 years normal use?
  • Cost – Is it value for money?

Four Best Metal Picnic Benches

These are the top metal picnic tables and benches and are chosen for the following features:

  • Design – Integral metal picnic benches & picnic table sets reviewed
  • Build quality – Including wood elements, plasticised metal etc
  • Durability – Will it withstand heavy use?
  • Cost – Value for money vs quality

Best Extra Large 8ft Picnic Bench

These are 2020´s top extra large picnic and party benches and are chosen for the following features:

  • Design – Fixed benches & space saver picnic table sets reviewed
  • Build quality – all heavy duty, pressure treated sets
  • Durability – Will they withstand 5 plus years outside use
  • Cost – Are you getting value for money picnic set?

Best Kids Picnic Bench

These are 2020´s best kids picnic benches and are chosen for the following features:

  • Design – Fixed seating picnic benches and adaptable kids bench sets reviewed
  • Build quality – Pre treated & coloured & metal picnic sets reviewed
  • Durability – Can they withstand the elements & kids missue!
  • Cost – Will they fit a growing child from 18 months to 7 years?

Have you used any of these Picnic Benches or Garden Furniture sets? Then please leave your review in the comments box below. Is your favourite Picnic Furniture Set not on the list? Be sure to let me know in the comments below so I can review it.

Buyers guide to the best Picnic Benches & Tables for Gardens

There are literally thousands of picnic bench and table sets for sales in 2020.  Everything from the traditional pub bench to space saving table sets and even convertible picnic benches!  So how do you cut through the noise to find the best picnic bench? I always review all our picnic products on a few set criteria.  For the best outdoor dining furniture I considered each piece of garden furniture against the following standards (or benchmarks if you will!): 

  • Design
  • Build quality
  • Durability 
  • Cost

Design of the Picnic Bench or Table Set

There are a huge range of designs and styles of garden picnic tables on the market today. From the traditional rectangular table to round styles and now the more popular spacesaver garden table sets.  

The most common style of picnic benches come with attached seats (pub style). This means its a sturdy picnic table and benches set, whilst this style is perfect for commercial use as chairs don’t get moved around that’s also an issue for these sets I think.   I don’t know about you but i like to be able to pull my seat under the table, and your pub bench wont allow this!

I prefer the bench styles with separate benches, they are far more versatile as you can move them to suit your needs.  And they can be moved out to fit in wheelchairs, high chairs or little people in buggies.   

Personally I think the best picnic bench type is the SpaceSaver style, where you have benches that tuck under the table.  This allows you to have maximum seating in a small space and they are easier to cover or store in winter. 

Also you need to consider how many people you will want to seat for outdoor dining.  Picnic sets are normally sold by in 4ft, 6ft or 8ft or by number of settings – 4,6 or 8 people seated.  One great tip I have for those with only a small space for a table is GO ROUND, it’s easier to move around and round!

Build Quality

Whether you buy metal or wooden garden picnic furniture you are going to want to be well built and heavy.  You don’t want a table that tips when someone comes to sit down or blows around the garden when storms hit. 

If buying the best wooden garden picnic tables look for ones made with pressure treated timber so they can withstand years of being outside.  Having them made from heavy timber or weighted metal can also make for a sturdy, non tipping design.

If you are going to buy the cheaper Stained pine picnic tables you will need to treat them each year to help them last.  No matter what the cost of the bench we always cover ours with a waterproof cover over winter to protect it (the snow in scotland can ruin them!).

Finally a word from the wise…and a kid of more girlie/mummy tip I guess!  Avoid splinters or snagging your clothes by choosing a smoothed wood bench.  If you are buying a cheap pine picnic bench take time to sand and treat it with a preservative (and save your tights and cardigans from snags!).

Durability

Durability is how long will your outdoor picnic set actually last. As you can see from each section I don’t test them all to last the same time frame.  With the larger heavy duty picnic benches I want to buy one that will last five years plus or heavy use.   

With our camping gear like folding picnic table sets I have to be realistic that getting two or three camping seasons from them would mean they had been value for money.

Ultimately as with everything you get what you pay for so if you want to buy something to really last then be prepared to spend well.

Cost (value for money)

You can pay from around £100 upwards for any wooden or metal picnic bench or table set.  With folding sets and kids garden bench sets you could be paying from£50 -however remember all the time you get what you pay for there!

I would say when considering value for money if you are tied on a choice of two our overall decider is DOES IT HAVE A PARASOL HOLE in the picnic bench! Yes sun safety is our tie breaker…whats your? 

Frequently Asked Questions

Most frequent questions and answers

Whats the difference between a picnic bench & picnic table and chairs ?

Benches or normally meaning the traditional pub garden picnic bench with fixed seating to the table.  Picnic Tables refers to sets with a separate table and chairs or benches.

How many people can you seat on an 8ft picnic bench ?

I subscribe to the theory of 1 ft per person when buying garden benches or picnic tables.  I want arm and bum room! 

So at an 8ft picnic table we seat 10 – yes i can count, 4 on each side and one person on each end!

Whats the best wood for a picnic table or bench ?

Pine benches can be cheap and if treated right can last for a long time.  Treating them right means a yearly sanding and varnish, and rot treatment. 

Not wanting to spend time sanding and treating your wood table then look for a pressure treated wooden picnic bench.  

The best wood for functionality is cedar wood with its natural rot and bug resistance, nice aroma and warp resistance.  However nothing will beat a queen redwood picnic set for beauty.

Do you recommend the convertible bench to picnic tables?

Yes i recommend and love them especially the LIFETIME convertible picnic bench to table.  We have two of these in our garden to drag together to make a table should we need it!

These are a brilliant idea if you need the occasional extra seating, or like us have limited space but want it all!

As with everything I recommend just be sure to buy quality, check the warranty on any garden picnic furniture and measure where it is going!