10 best garden tables for the perfect outdoor set-up this summer

Ali Howard
·6-min read
This summer, our outside space – whether that’s a sprawling lawn, postage-stamp patio, or bijou balcony – seems more precious than ever (The Inependent/iStock)
This summer, our outside space – whether that’s a sprawling lawn, postage-stamp patio, or bijou balcony – seems more precious than ever (The Inependent/iStock)

The idea that the garden can become an extension of our living spaces is not new, we’ve been successfully blurring the boundaries between inside and out for years. But this summer, our outside space – whether that’s a sprawling lawn, postage-stamp patio, or bijou balcony – seems more precious than ever.

Outdoor tables are not just for dining. We’ve found some innovative designs that, excitingly, bring a different functionality to our outdoors: think low-down coffee tables, nifty side tables, and even elevated table sets complete with matching bar stools that bring the pub to the patio. Garden furniture has evolved.

When choosing your table, think about materials: most outdoor designs boast weatherproof properties but that doesn’t necessarily give you free rein to leave yours out in the elements. It’s always worth paying a little extra for a cover, or finding the space to store your outdoor furniture away in the winter months.

We put our top ten garden tables to the test, looking for the best mix of style, durability, functionality and affordability.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.​

Ikea sjalland light grey, light brown outdoor table: £155, Ikea

Sleek, chic, and with a distinctive Scandinavian juxtaposition between natural and man-made materials, there’s a lot to love about this elegant outdoor dining table – not least its affordable price tag. Crafted from beautifully warm eucalyptus hardwood and rust-proof aluminium, it made a clean-lined and contemporary addition to our patio space. Expect some simple, easy to follow self-assembly.

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Made swara garden coffee table, natural rattan and glass: £149, Made

Low down and laid back, we love Made’s take on the traditional rattan outdoor table. This one looks perfect within a cosy L-shaped garden sofa set-up. Glass-topped, the table is ideal for morning coffee and casual evening drinks on the patio alike. The two-tone furniture piece is crafted from natural rattan, and with its upturned basket shaping, it’s reliably sturdy, too. Bring the table inside when it rains.

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Dunelm china mosaic 2 seat bistro set: £129, Dunelm

Unlike some metal bistro sets, this one won’t blow away in the wind. Heavy duty despite its delicate silhouette, the set, consisting of a round table and pair of foldable chairs, offers a timeless elegance to any garden space – but especially smaller ones. We loved the way the pretty cement mosaic tabletop is echoed in the chair backs. All that’s left is finding the perfect suntrap spot for it.

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My Furniture bellange coffee table: £99.99, My Furniture

This versatile indoor/outdoor coffee table boasts a tray-like top complete with handles, allowing you to move the whole unit from living room to patio. With its retro-inspired hairpin legs, it is, of course, light enough to do this with ease. Crafted from reclaimed wood, it’s eco-conscious in makeup and perfectly industrial in design. We can see this one getting a lot of use this summer.

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Garden Trading camley bar table set: £800, Garden Trading

This unusually lofty table set has been designed to recreate the high-end bar experience at home. In rich slatted teak with clean-lined steel frames, it more than does the job. The weatherproof set comprises a tall table and six bar stools, which can be neatly tucked underneath. Arriving fully assembled, we loved that we could bring the bar to our patio space in an instant. Raise a glass knowing it’s crafted from sustainably sourced wood.

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Maisons du Monde guinguette metal folding garden table: £32.50, Maisons du Monde

Whether used as a nifty side table, or with matching chairs to create a smart bistro set, this folding garden table makes for a cheery colour splash in the garden. Ideal for smaller patio spaces or balconies, this diminutive metal table comes in an array of summery shades. Simple, stylish and affordable.

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Moda gas fire pit dining table, six seat rectangle: From £1,395, Moda

The ultimate in cosy luxury, outdoor tables with integrated fire pits are becoming increasingly popular. This classic rectangular rattan number features a user-friendly gas-fueled central fire, which is protected by 8mm of toughened safety glass, while the table itself comes in a range of natural earthy weaves. This is an investment piece for your patio space and it’s perfect to huddle around with friends and family when the sun goes down. Build up your patio set-up with Moda’s matching armchairs.

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Danetti Rio six seater white garden table with ice bucket: £449, Danetti

Designed for long leisurely evenings in the garden, this striking cross-legged trestle-style table features its very own inset ice bucket, meaning fewer trips to the kitchen and more time spent sitting, supping and chatting. Made from powder-coated aluminium, and with a frosted glass top, it is a chic, clean and contemporary addition to the patio. The central bucket can be easily removed for cleaning and replaced with an inconspicuous cover that sits flush with the tabletop.

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Escapology Positano outdoor round bistro table, terrazzo top: £549, Escapology

There’s nothing we don’t love about this stylish bistro table that brings a slice of modern Mediterranean glamour to the garden. Escapology’s offering plays to the terrazzo and faded metallics trends – both of which are seeing a welcome move outside this summer. The heavily patterned tabletop is a generous 90cm in diameter, allowing up to four sitters, while the sturdy wireframe pedestal is elegantly tapered, giving us that all-important knee space.

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Alexander Rose acacia Old England grey painted table, 2m: £382.30, Hayes Garden World

Hefty and industrial, this is an outdoor dining table that means business. It’s crafted from responsibly sourced acacia wood and offers fuss free contemporary shaping that looks the part either with matching benches or colourful garden chairs for a pleasing contrast. Pop a parasol in the pre-drilled hole in the centre. At two metres in length, it easily sits up to eight diners, but you can really spread out in style with two armchair style garden seats at either side. Its polyurethane painted finish, in an attractive aged silver grey, is reliably wipe clean, too.

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The verdict: Garden tables

Ikea’s sjalland outdoor table got our vote for its sleek, contemporary design and its striking mix of materials. It has the ability to instantly elevate any patio space and at just £155, it’s an affordable furniture piece that looks much more expensive than it is.

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