There's nothing more joyful than sitting back in your garden to relax and enjoy the space you have created. Once your garden urns are filled with beautiful blooms and your outdoor sculptures and antiques are perfectly placed, it seems only right that you should have some comfortable seating to make the most of your surroundings.
Benches have been an outdoor furniture staple for centuries. Originally made from stone or wood, benches have been popular since the 18th century, when their use in public spaces became largely prominent.
Garden benches are much the same as those used in public areas, the key difference is that benches used in private gardens are usually longer and much more comfortable.
Traditional benches tend to follow the same structure with a backrest and arm rests on either side, but modern designs often vary depending on their intended use. Garden dining tables often come with matching benches that feature no backrest or armrests, others take different shapes than the classic angular structure.
What are garden benches made from?
Benches are usually made from wood or metal thanks to their strength and durability over time. Teak and oak are popular choices for wooden garden benches, whereas iron is the most common metal used, especially where antiques are concerned.
In some cases, both iron and wood are used to create a robust bench, with wooden slats forming a comfortable seat and the structural properties such as the legs, armrests and hardware are created using iron.
Not only does combining these materials make the bench incredibly hardwearing, but it also allows for more ornate decorations and designs to be used, a popular technique during the Victorian era.
Best Wooden Garden Benches
Kettler RHS Chelsea Garden Bench
Designed in the classic shape, this two-seater Chelsea garden bench from John Lewis is made from FSC-certified eucalyptus wood, so it's a wonderful option for anyone conscious of their environmental choices. A tailored cushion fit to the bench is also available for extra comfort.
Stylish yet timeless, the Cotswold Company's Baunton Bench is created using acacia wood with a weathered finish. The grey colour is a more neutral option than typical wood tones used, ideal for anyone opting for a minimalist vibe.
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This garden bench airs on the modern side, but it promises to age and weather beautifully over time, taking on a soft grey finish. Constructed by hand using reclaimed teak, this bench is incredibly durable, though it is recommended to add teak oil before use and repeating yearly.
Barlow Tyrie Lavenham Garden Bench
For something a bit bigger, this three-seater garden bench has a truly classic design. The wide arm rests and contoured seat add comfort, and the durable eucalyptus wood guarantees this bench will last for years to come.
Skagerak England Teak Bench
A classic park bench design, this teak bench from Amara comfortably seats up to three people. The light brown tone of the wood gives it a perfectly aged look.
3-Seater Garden Fence Bench
Looking for something more decorative? This garden fence bench, made from FSC-certified eucalyptus wood, features a diagonal slotted back design, complemented by the soft curves of the armrests.
Outdoor Folk Bench
Simple and charming, Cox & Cox's Folk bench is crafted from acacia wood and can be used indoors or outside. Featuring a spindle back, turned legs and a distressed paint finish, its a new piece that looks likes its been a part of your garden for years!
Best Metal Garden Benches
Bahula Decorative Iron Bench
Make a patio statement with this gorgeous iron bench from Nkuku. The strong iron frame features rust tones for a naturally aged look and the pretty laced detail on the back adds interest.
LG Outdoor Devon Bench and Cushion
This bench is a lovely option for your garden or conservatory. The frame is made from double powder-coated aluminium with a bronze finish, so it's sure to withstand adverse conditions and plenty of wear. Plus, the seat cushion makes this garden bench extra comfy!
Gallery Direct Duchess Outdoor Bench
Who says your garden bench can't be the focal point of your outdoor space? The eye-catching curved line design looks wonderful in this distressed grey finish, and promises a lovely natural patina overtime.
Stroud 2 Seater Garden Bench
For a pop of colour, this two seater garden bench comes in a subtle sage green, perfect for your outdoor space. Elegant yet durable, the metalwork features a fun heart-like design.
Teviston Steel Traditional Bench
Traditional in style with the intricate backrest design, this garden bench comes in a matte black finish, adding a contemporary feel. This one is made from steel and cast iron for durability and weather resistance.
Rustic Vine Garden Bench
This garden bench featured a more delicate, intricate design on the backrest with ornate vines, a lovely match for the scroll arms. The frame is made from sturdy iron with a slatted seat for comfort.
Grey Victorian Style Garden Bench
Love the Victorian benches but don't want to invest in one? This garden bench has been made in the style of Victorian ones, with the oval motif on the backrest typical of designs of the era.
Best Antique Garden Benches
English 19th Century Iron & Wood Garden Bench
Combining iron and wood, this antique 19th century garden bench has a simple wooden slatted seat with scroll detail iron legs. It's not in pristine condition, as you'd expect, but the wear is consistent with the bench's age.
Rare Victorian Bench
This is rare find! The design of this Victorian bench is distinct and intricate, the ornate ironwork features some rust from age, adding to the overall appearance. The teak slats are a new addition to the garden bench, so it's in perfect condition for use.
French Antique Garden Bench
Dating to 1900, this French antique garden bench is much simpler in design, constructed from hand painted solid fir wood with a blue-grey hue and held up on slightly more intricate cast iron feet.
19th Century Antique French Garden Bench
Beautifully aged and wonderfully intricate, this 19th century French garden bench has had some minor antique restorations to the iron frame. The wood is in useable condition, but you might want to add a few cushions for comfort.
Antique Victorian Green Wrought Iron Garden Bench
Just because it's made from iron doesn't mean it has to be plain. This striking green garden bench originates from the Victorian era and will look great in your outdoor space.
Italian Regency Wrought Iron Garden Bench Settee
How beautiful are the ornate details on this antique garden bench? The wrought iron bench is a regency piece from either Italy or Hollywood. The comfy seat pads (though not original) come with the bench, too.
Antique Garden Bench With Decorative Cast Iron Ends
Another classic Victorian garden bench, this one has cast iron bench ends and legs in a traditional scroll design with patina that has developed over time. The wood slatted seat is carefully curved for maximum comfort.
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