Hanover Lavallette Black Steel Five-Piece Outdoor Dining Set
Credit: homedepot.com

The 6 Best Patio Dining Sets for Outdoor Entertaining

Our favorite is the Frontgate Cafe five-piece set with curved-back chairs.
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One of the best ways to make your backyard feel more comfortable is by investing in high-quality outdoor furniture. And if you want a place to eat, drink, and hang out with your friends and family outside, then a patio dining set is a great investment. 

To find the best patio dining sets, we thoroughly researched the category and considered factors like style, material, size, and maintenance. We also looked at added features, like umbrella holes and cushions, when making this list. These factors affect whether you keep your outdoor furniture for a year or a decade, so we took them all into account when coming up with our recommendations. For expert insight, we spoke to Kathy Kuo, an interior designer with more than 20 years of experience and the CEO of Kathy Kuo Home.

Our top choice is the Frontgate Cafe Five-Piece Dining Set, which comes with curved-back chairs and a round table that seats four people. It's made of exceptionally durable materials, like powder-coated aluminum and resin wicker, that can survive in most climates. It's also easy to clean and comes in three neutral colors.

Learn more about the best patio dining sets below, and keep reading for tips on how to choose a set that's best for your needs.  

Our Top Picks

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Frontgate Cafe Five-Piece Curved-Back Chairs and Table Set
Credit: Frontgate.com

Best Overall Patio Dining Set: Frontgate Cafe Five-Piece Curved-Back Chairs and Table Set

View at Frontgate ($1,298)

Who it's for: People who want a wicker patio dining set that's durable and easy to clean.
Who it isn't for: People who don't want to have to buy seat cushions separately.

Made of powder-coated aluminum and resin wicker, this patio dining set from Frontgate can survive outside all four seasons. Instead of using natural wicker (which doesn't hold up well outside for very long), this patio set uses resin wicker—a durable plastic alternative that's waterproof, non-toxic, and antimicrobial, so it prevents fungus and mildew growth. The set comes with four chairs that have curved backs and convenient armrests, and we love that they stack on top of each other when not in use. The round table folds up for easy storage and has a 2-inch hole for an umbrella, but keep in mind that you'll have to provide your own. Cushions aren't included in the set either, but you can purchase them separately from Frontgate. 

The five-piece set is available in three neutral colors, including bronze, light brown, and white, so it's extremely versatile for meals on the patio, parties in the backyard, and many other types of outdoor gatherings. The brand recommends keeping the furniture away from chlorine and saltwater, but you can simply rinse it with a hose every week if it's near the pool or an ocean. It's also worth noting that the patio set comes with a generous warranty: 10 years on the frame and two years on the wicker. Plus, Frontgate offers free shipping on its outdoor dining sets. 

Product Details: 

  • Material: Resin wicker 
  • Seats: Four
  • Assembly Required: No
Style Sections Three-Piece Bistro Set
Credit: Lowes.com

Best Budget Patio Dining Set: Style Sections Three-Piece Bistro Set

View at Lowe’s ($236)

Who it's for: People who need a budget-friendly dining set for a small patio.
Who it isn't for: People with large families who need a table that fits more than two people.

This bistro-style set from Lowe's is ideal for solo dwellers and couples that don't entertain. Since it's much more affordable than the other options on this list, the small patio dining set is also great for people who can't afford to splurge on a larger set with more seats. The outdoor table and chairs can be purchased individually, so you have the option to buy additional seats if needed. Unlike your average bistro table, which tends to be big enough for drinks and light snacks, this dining table has enough space for two place settings. Plus, its neutral color and simple design mean it'll fit in with a variety of patio furniture styles.

The Style Selections Three-Piece Bistro Set is made of powder-coated steel, which is a strong metal that was treated so it doesn't feel super hot when exposed to high heat and excessive sunlight. This Lowe's outdoor dining set will work on a balcony as well as a backyard. One downside is that the patio chairs don't come with any padding, so the metal might feel uncomfortable if you're sitting for long periods—but you can always purchase seat cushions separately for added comfort.

Product Details:

  • Material: Steel
  • Seats: Two (with the option to buy more)
  • Assembly Required: No

RELATED: The 6 Best Places to Shop for Outdoor Rugs

Oval Eucalyptus Lira Seven-Piece Folding Outdoor Dining Set
Credit: worldmarket.com

Best Wood Patio Dining Set: Oval Eucalyptus Lira Seven-Piece Folding Outdoor Dining Set

View at World Market ($2,000)

Who it's for: People who want a wood table and chairs that fold for easy storage.
Who it isn't for: People who want a patio set that doesn't require any maintenance.

Wood patio furniture is very common, but people still tend to worry about it getting worn out or damaged by the weather over time. This outdoor wood dining set from World Market stands out because the chairs and table fold down and configure into their own storage cart. This makes it so much easier to keep your patio dining set safe during inclement weather. The included plastic cover provides an additional level of protection, and the wheels make it super easy to move the compact set inside or around the patio.

The patio set includes an oval table with an umbrella hole, six chairs, and six removable polyester cushions. We appreciate that it's made with eucalyptus, a strong wood that has natural water- and insect-repellent properties. As for cleaning, you should regularly wipe down the wood with a damp cloth. World Market also recommends applying its wood finish for outdoor furniture, which is sold separately, every few years depending on the climate you live in. Another thing to keep in mind is that the site doesn't offer free shipping on its furniture, so you'll have to pay a flat-rate delivery fee for your order. 

Product Details:

  • Materials: Eucalyptus wood and polyester cushion covers
  • Seats: Seven
  • Assembly Required: No
Red Barrel Studio Jobye Long Dining Set With Cushions
Credit: wayfair.com

Best Metal Patio Dining Set: Red Barrel Studio Jobye Long Dining Set With Cushions

View at Wayfair ($1,600)

Who it's for: People who want a dining set that requires little maintenance.
Who it isn't for: People who live in very windy climates.

If you don't want to deal with the extra maintenance that wood requires, then this metal dining set from Red Barrel Studio is a great option to consider. It comes with six chairs and six foam cushions that have covers made with olefin, a fabric that repels water and stains. The spacious table has a built-in umbrella hole and comes with a cap that allows you to cover it up when it's not being used. 

The patio dining set is made with aluminum, which is highly durable so that it won't rust or corrode. Plus, the material can withstand harsh weather while still being super easy to clean. Because aluminum is very lightweight compared to other metals, the only downside to this outdoor dining set is that it might not hold up well in strong winds. If you live in a climate that experiences heavy winds often, then you should make sure you at least have enough space indoors to store the chairs. The chairs are only 12 pounds each, so they're more likely to accidentally blow away than the 113-pound table.

Product Details:

  • Materials: Aluminum and olefin cushions
  • Seats: Six
  • Assembly Required: Yes
Hanover Lavallette Black Steel Five-Piece Outdoor Dining Set
Credit: homedepot.com

Best Patio Dining Set With Umbrella: Hanover Lavallette Black Steel Five-Piece Outdoor Dining Set

View at The Home Depot ($949)

Who it's for: People who want protection from the sun while sitting at their patio table.
Who it isn't for: People who already have an awning or covering on their patio.

Some outdoor dining sets have holes in the table so you can insert an umbrella, but not many actually come with their own umbrellas. The Hanover Lavallette Outdoor Dining Set is the only option on this list that does, so it's a great choice for people who want an all-in-one set that comes with a patio umbrella. We also appreciate that the table and chairs have other unique features, like a glass tabletop and removable cushions for both the seat and seatback. The extra cushions, which are made with olefin fabric, will make sitting in the chairs so much more comfortable. Plus, the seat cushions and the umbrella are color-coordinated and available in neutral gray and light teal options.

The outdoor dining set from The Home Depot is made with a powder-coated steel frame and a tempered-glass tabletop, which is much stronger than regular glass. Both of these materials are sturdy enough to hold up fine during regular changes of the season as well as inclement weather. Keep in mind that steel and tempered glass are both pretty heavy, so it might be challenging to move around this patio dining set by yourself.

Product Details:   

  • Material: Steel, tempered glass, and olefin fabric
  • Seats: Four
  • Assembly Required: Yes
Walker Edison Extendable Table and Bench Dining Set
Credit: amazon.com

Best Patio Dining Set With Benches: Walker Edison Extendable Table and Bench Dining Set

View at Amazon ($895)

Who it's for: People who are interested in a casual seating option for their outdoor dining table.
Who it isn't for: People who need back support while sitting down.

Instead of chairs, this patio dining set from Walker Edison comes with two benches that accommodate anywhere from six to eight people. It's great for casual lunches and dinners outside because the bench-style seating is reminiscent of summer camp and picnics. The table is extendable, so you can always make room for extra guests before your next backyard gathering. If you need protection from the sun, you'll appreciate that the table has an umbrella hole (but you'll need to purchase one separately). 

The outdoor dining set is available in multiple finishes (light brown, dark brown, and gray), so you can choose the color that best matches your existing patio furniture. We also like that the benches have a subtle chevron pattern. All the pieces are made of solid acacia wood, and the brand recommends applying teak oil every two to three months to keep it looking great. This dining set is also a great option if you plan on having young children over in the summer—the benches will be able to seat more kids than individual chairs would. But because the benches don't have backs, people who need more support while sitting down should choose a dining set that comes with chairs instead. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Acacia wood
  • Seats: Two benches (six to eight seats)
  • Assembly Required: Yes

Final Verdict

Overall, we recommend the Frontgate Cafe Five-Piece Dining Set With Curved-Back Chairs because it's made with durable materials and has a versatile yet stylish design. It comes in three neutral colors, and we love that the stackable chairs and folding table make it easy to store when not in use. 

How to Shop for Patio Dining Sets

Seats

When shopping for a patio dining set, one of the most important factors to consider is the number of seats. Small families and couples who occasionally have a guest or two over will likely find that four seats are enough, while anyone who lives alone and couples who rarely have people over should choose a two-seat option. Sets with six to nine seats (or more) are best for big families and people who frequently entertain. 

Kuo says that one of the biggest mistakes people make when purchasing patio dining sets is not measuring out their outdoor space beforehand. You'll want to make sure that your patio can accommodate a set with that many chairs and still have enough space for people to comfortably move around. While a large table and plenty of chairs may technically fit on your patio, you and your guests won't enjoy it as much if you feel cramped and need to squeeze through to get to your seat. Kuo suggests leaving at least 2 feet of space to walk around your patio dining set, and perhaps more if there are any swinging doors nearby. 

Material

Since patio dining sets stay outdoors, it's important to pick one made with materials that are durable enough for the climate you live in. "Treated metal, wicker, and wood are usually my go-to materials for outdoor furniture frames," says Kuo. All of those materials can hold up outdoors, but their performance can vary based on the weather. 

Metal is one of the most popular materials for patio tables and chairs, and we suggest specifically looking for options made with aluminum. That's because aluminum doesn't rust, corrode, or get hot to the touch the way that other metals do when exposed to high heat. It's also lighter in weight, so dining sets made with it are easier to move around. But because aluminum isn't as heavy as other types of metal, aluminum patio dining sets may not hold up as well when faced with high winds. If you live in an area that experiences this type of weather frequently, be prepared to regularly move your outdoor dining table set inside. You could also invest in a heavier steel set. Just keep in mind that steel will rust unless it's powder-coated.

Wood is another classic choice for patio furniture because of its natural beauty, but note that it holds up best in temperate climates. Kuo prefers using teak, cypress, mahogany, and acacia for outdoor spaces. Teak is often considered the best type of wood for patio furniture because of its ability to withstand all types of weather. It requires little maintenance and is naturally resistant to rot and termites, but it's usually much more expensive than other types. If you're looking for something more affordable, acacia is typically less expensive but still rot- and water-resistant. The catch is that acacia doesn't do well in high heat. If you live in an environment that does experience high heat regularly, go with eucalyptus—it's similar to acacia in cost and quality, but it doesn't do well in icy conditions. If you get an outdoor dining set with either of these wood types, we suggest buying a cover to protect it or storing it inside when not in use. 

Wicker is another patio furniture material that's loved for its appearance. Like wood, wicker is a natural material that will react to outdoor temperatures. Natural wicker simply won't survive outside over time, so you should look for patio dining sets made with synthetic or resin wicker. This type of wicker is made of plastic, so it stays strong no matter what type of weather is thrown at it.  

Style

In addition to having weather-resistant properties, you also want your dining set to look good in your outdoor space. If you're not sure which dining set will look the best, Kuo suggests thinking about what your patio and overall home look like. "Consider the finish and material that already exist outdoors," she says. "Are the floors or walls in stone/wood? Make sure there's no overwhelming element or material that will clash with each other when picking furniture."

Wood, wicker, and metal are pretty neutral, so they look great in all spaces, especially among the greenery of the outdoors. But if you don't have a lot of leafy plants growing in your backyard, consider getting a colorful patio dining set that stands out among the more barren landscape.

Comfort

Patio furniture is built to withstand the elements of the outdoors, so it probably won't be as comfortable as the pieces in your living room. Most sets aren't made with any fabric, but some do come with chairs that have removable cushions and back pads for added comfort. 

It's also important to consider coverage and sun protection. Sitting outside on a hot day can quickly become uncomfortable if you're directly in the sun (especially if your seats are made of metal). The last thing you want while dining alfresco is to feel like your table and chairs are burning your skin. If your patio doesn't have an awning, consider choosing a dining set with an umbrella hole—some even take it a step further and come with an umbrella. 

Questions You Might Ask

Do you need cushions for patio dining chairs? 

If you're planning on using your patio table and chairs for short periods (like while eating a quick meal), then your guests will probably be fine without cushions on their chairs. However, if you're planning on entertaining often or sitting at your outdoor patio table for longer, we recommend looking for chairs that come with cushioning. You can also purchase patio chair cushions separately—many brands offer durable cushions that are compatible with a variety of chair types, and some sites (like Wayfair) even make custom outdoor cushions

"Though more comfortable, cushions do come with the added responsibility of storing them in a dry place with climate changes," Kuo says. So before you buy a patio dining set with cushions, make sure you have enough space indoors to store them while you wait for rough weather to pass through. 

How do you clean patio dining sets?

If you want your patio dining set to last multiple seasons, then it's important to regularly clean it. Since the type of maintenance your furniture needs can vary based on the material it's made of, you should always check the instructional manual before using any cleaning products. 

You can usually use mild soap and water to clean metal, faux wicker, and wood, but the latter requires an extra step: oiling. In addition to keeping wood hydrated, oil also helps wood maintain its color. Always check the manufacturer's recommendations to see if oiling is necessary. If the wood is finished with a seal, then there's no need to oil it because it won't be able to penetrate the seal anyways. The manufacturer might recommend a specific type of oil and tell you how often to apply it, but if not, twice a year is a good rule of thumb. For more tips, check out our guide on how to clean outdoor patio furniture

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Rachel Center, a product reviews home writer for Real Simple. She spent hours researching all the components that make patio dining sets great, ultimately choosing the products on this list based on materials, style, size, and ease of care. Rachel also received expert tips from Kathy Kuo, an interior designer with more than 20 years of experience and the CEO of Kathy Kuo Home.