How to shop for outdoor furniture sets: A buyer's guide

A comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you find the perfect outdoor furniture set for your patio…

A buyer's guide is a comprehensive resource that provides information and guidance to potential buyers on a particular product. It aims to help consumers make an informed purchase decision by offering insights, tips, and considerations relevant to the purchase.

In the context of Outdoor Furniture, this buyer's guide will include information on different types of furniture, materials, styles, and sizes. We want to share our expert advice on how to measure your patio space, tips on how to assemble, to maintain, and highlight the key decision-making criteria that we think you need to consider before you buy.

Of course, we want you to purchase from us, however, this article aims to empower you, ensuring you have the knowledge and tools necessary to get the best outdoor furniture set for you and your outdoor space. Before making a significant purchase, we want this guide to be a valuable part of your research process. It's like having a helpful companion guiding you through the maze that is garden furniture.

We have done a number of these types of articles in the past, so here we want to try and create a step-by-step process from researching the types of products and materials, how to get sets that fit both the space and how you like to use it, how you can make such a purchase, and what to do when it is delivered.

This is our simple 10-step buying process. The key decision-making criteria you need to purchase the right outdoor furniture set:

  1. Lifestyle
    How do you like to spend time in our outdoor space?

  2. Style
    Do you prefer a classical, modern, industrial, or rustic style/look?

  3. Type
    Do you prefer a dining-style set or a garden sofa with coffee table?

  4. Material
    What is your preference and what fits best in your outdoor space?

  5. Space
    How much free space is there to put the furniture and what patio surface do you have?

  6. Size
    What are the dimensions of the furniture and how many seats do you require?

  7. Budget
    How much do you want to spend on a new set?

  8. Shopping
    Do you want to purchase in a store or online?

  9. Setup
    How do you assemble and set up on your patio?

  10. Aftercare
    How much maintenance are you prepared to do and what aftercare is needed?

We will now look at each of the above steps in detail and share our insights, tips, and the things you need to consider to get the right garden furniture set for your outdoor space and how you and your family like to use it.

1. Lifestyle

“Someone's way of living; the things that a person or particular group of people usually do.”

We all use our outdoor spaces in a variety of ways, and the best pieces or sets of furniture should always align with how you like to use them. Choosing a set that is designed for the activities you like to do in your garden will make you more likely to spend time outside. Yes, we want the furniture to look great and bring a little style to our garden, but it is also important that they are fit for purpose.

Some of the most popular ways we like to use our patios and gardens were discussed in our recent How to buy patio furniture for how you like to use your garden article and they include:

  1. Relaxation
    Our outdoor spaces provide us with the perfect setting to relax and unwind. Whether that’s a little me time with a good book or a few friends over for coffee and a natter, when the sun shines there’s no better place to kick back.

  2. Entertainment
    Patios are easily transformed into the perfect spot to entertain friends and family. From hosting barbecues to al-fresco dinner parties, we love a garden get-together.

  3. Gardening
    For those with a green thumb, our outdoor spaces become an extension of our love for plants and gardening.

  4. Exercise
    Outdoor spaces are the perfect place to keep active. Whether it's a garden gym or a spot of yoga on the patio, our gardens are a great place to keep fit.

  5. Socialising
    Outdoor spaces are ideal for spending some quality time with friends and family. From casual conversations to lively gatherings around the fireplace, they are the perfect relaxed spot to make time for loved ones.

  6. Playing
    Families with small children or pets will often use their patios as an outdoor play area. It can be a place for kids to play with garden toys or a pet-friendly space where dogs and cats can relax or play.

  7. Sunbathing
    Our outside spaces can provide us (weather permitting) with the perfect place to kick back, relax and get some much-needed Vitamin D. Just don’t forget the suncream!

  8. Hobbies
    If you have a specific hobby then the garden can be a great place to set up your patio. It could be a creative space for arts and crafts, painting, or other hobbies but it is a great place to inspire creativity.

Look for outdoor furniture sets that fit with your lifestyle and how you like to use the space. The right set will play a key role in the overall appearance and functionality of your garden and, most importantly, get us outside using it as a living space when the sun is shining. Here are some more examples of how you can choose specific types of furniture set to fit with how you like to spend time in your garden:

  1. Do you like to relax in your garden?
    If you like to just chill, then choose furniture that is comfortable for lounging such as hammocks, loungers, garden sofas, and swing seats. You may also want to consider purchasing accessories such as a canopy or fire pit so you can stay comfortable.

  2. Do you like to entertain in your garden?
    If you like to get friends over, then choose furniture that is easy to rearrange so that you can create different seating configurations for different types of garden gatherings. You can pair sofa sets with dining sets to create the perfect place for food and drinks. Arrange seating to encourage conversation and pair it with outdoor lighting to keep the party going when the sun sets.

  3. Do you like gardening?
    If you’re putting in all the hard work to create a beautiful garden then you need the right furniture to sit back and admire it. Position garden benches to work as a focal point in your design or a place to sit back and take in the view. Set up a potting bench with seating so you have the perfect spot for potting up, repotting, and starting your seeds.

  4. Do you like to exercise in your garden?
    You could argue that if you like to exercise in your garden then you don’t need a place to sit. Our advice would be to make the space multifunctional. Opt for furniture that is made from lightweight materials such as aluminium and resin that's easy to move. Keep the space flexible so you can use it to work out and offer somewhere to sit down and relax after.

  5. Do you like socialising in your garden?
    Garden benches, tables and sofas are all great for socialising with friends and family but the key is to pick comfortable pieces that are inviting, weather-resistant and easy to keep clean. Pair seating with cushions, shade and outdoor accessories to bring the inside to your outside space.

  6. Do your kids or pets like to play in your garden?
    Choose furniture that is safe and durable for children to use. You may also want to consider purchasing a play set or swing set for your children to enjoy.

  7. Do you like sunbathing in your garden?
    If you want to catch a few rays then your best options are outdoor daybeds, loungers, hammocks, and lounge chairs. Look for sets with a focus on comfort and remember to pair them with a parasol and side table to pop your drinks and sunscreen.

  8. Do you like to do your hobby in the garden?
    Many types of furniture can be used to do a variety of hobbies in your garden. Two of the most popular choices are a garden bench with a side table or an outdoor dining table set, which are both great places to sit for activities such as reading, writing, knitting, painting, etc.

No matter how you like to spend your time in your garden, there is a furniture set that can help you make the most of your space. By choosing furniture that offers a combination of good form and function, you can create a space that is stylish, inviting and comfortable to use. We looked at this subject in depth in our recent How to buy patio furniture for how you like to use your garden article.

2. Style

“A distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles according to which something is designed.

Style is one of those interchangeable words that we use to describe several different things. We are guilty of that on this blog. For this guide when we talk about the style of furniture, we are referring to the look or design theme - is it classical or contemporary?

Generally, we have a pretty good idea for the furniture style we like but they will vary widely from person to person. Some of us have a clear and well-defined sense of the style we like, whether it be traditional or modern, and that will often be reflected in our homes and gardens and our homes. Others might not have a strong inclination toward a particular style and might be more open to exploring different options. Creating a “look” if you will.

Factors such as personal taste, lifestyle, cultural influences, and the overall design of your outdoor living space can also play a significant role in shaping these preferences. For example, if you purchase a traditional farmhouse, then a rustic style of furniture might be a better fit. That is why it always pays to do some research and find a style and configuration that best resonates with you.

Look in home and garden design magazines, websites, showrooms, and home decor stores to find inspiration and explore the options available to you. As a starting point, we have compiled the following list of popular styles in the UK. This list is not definitive and there is often crossover but it will give you a clear idea of the variety of patio furniture styles to suit different tastes and design preferences:

  1. Classical
    Traditional and timeless, classically styled outdoor furniture will feature intricate details, curved lines, and ornate designs. Materials like wrought iron or cast aluminium are commonly available in a classical style.

  2. Contemporary
    Clean lines, minimalistic designs, innovation, and a focus on functionality characterise contemporary outdoor furniture sets. Popular materials including stainless steel and resin plastic are popular choices for this modern style.

  3. Rustic
    Inspired by nature, rustic outdoor furniture will often feature weather timbers or a distressed metal finish such as our antique bronze. Think farmhouse chic, porch-style chairs, classical benches, and wooden tables if you want to create this style.

  4. Coastal
    Coastal outdoor furniture will often incorporate light colours and a pale-washed finish in materials such as wicker or weathered timber. Think beachside living with striped deckchair patterns and marine-inspired accessories to complete the look.

  5. Industrial
    Utilitarian and stylish, industrial outdoor furniture often features metal frames and minimalistic designs. It can give a modern, urban vibe to your outdoor space.

  6. Bohemian
    Anything goes with boho-chic but the key to this look is to pick outdoor furniture that embraces its free-spirited eclectic look. Mix and match colourful cushions, outdoor textiles, and various materials for a laid-back feel.

  7. Mediterranean
    Inspired by the Mediterranean, this style incorporates mosaic tiles, and warm, earthy colours. Think about terracotta planters, wrought iron tables, and colourful tiles to create your sun terrace.

  8. Mid-Century Modern
    Drawing inspiration from the mid-20th century, this timeless style features sleek lines, and geometric shapes, and will often incorporate popular materials of the time such as aluminium metal and injection moulded plastics. It's a timeless and sophisticated look that never goes out of style.

Our recent How to choose the right style of patio furniture article explores these popular styles and more in greater detail and looks at how you can achieve different looks with our collection, while our Latest luxury outdoor furniture styles article looks at the trends that will be hot for summer 2024.

2. Type

“A particular group of things that share similar characteristics and form a smaller division of a larger set.”

Often what you will find is that within each style or look, there will be a host of different types or configurations of furniture sets. For example, there will be classical dining tables and sofa sets. Once you have a general idea of how you like to spend time outside and the look or style you want to go for, you can start thinking about the different types of outdoor furniture sets and which one will fit and look best.

Outdoor furniture sets come in a host of different set types and configurations to suit different needs and preferences. Here are some of the best-selling types of outdoor furniture sets on sale in the UK:

  1. Dining
    Dining-style sets will generally include a table with matching chairs. They are great for outdoor meals and entertaining friends and family.

  2. Lounge
    Lounge sets are designed more for a more relaxed setting and will generally include a sofa, single seats, or sectionals paired with low coffee tables. They create a comfortable space for casual conversations and lounging.

  3. Bistro
    Perfect for smaller spaces, bistro sets will typically consist of a compact round table and two matching chairs. They are ideal for intimate outdoor dining.

  4. Coffee
    Similar to lounge sets, conversation sets focus on creating a cosy atmosphere for talking and relaxation. They will usually include a mix of sofa-style seating, garden chairs or benches and a coffee-style table.

  5. Bar
    Bar sets will include bar-height tables and stools and will provide a more casual and elevated spot for outdoor drinks and socialising.

  6. Swing
    Swing sets include hanging chairs, sofas, egg chairs or swings to bring a playful and relaxing element to your outdoor space.

  7. Modular
    Modular or sectional sets allow you to arrange and rearrange the furniture components to fit your space and preferences. They often feature large comfortable sofa-style seating and offer flexibility in design/layout.

  8. Daybed
    Daybeds provide a luxurious and comfortable spot for outdoor snoozing or reading. Some daybed sets come with a canopy for added shade.

  9. Picnic
    Ideal for casual outdoor dining, picnic sets often include a table and bench seating. They're perfect for family gatherings or picnics in your backyard.

  10. Bench
    A garden bench is a great way to create an intimate seating area or focal point in your garden. In lighter materials, they can also be picked up and moved to create extra seating when entertaining guests.

  11. Lounger
    A lounger is perfect if you simply want to sit back, relax and enjoy the sunshine. Again, like a bench those on lighter materials can easily be picked up and moved into the sun or some shade.

Choosing the right style and type of outdoor furniture set for your garden involves considering various factors to ensure it suits your needs and complements your space. The next step in the process once you have an idea of the general style and the type of set is to assess which material you like and what is best suited for you and your garden. 

3. Material

“A physical substance that things can be made from.”

When looking at what outdoor materials are best, we don’t think there is a right or wrong answer. They all have pros and cons. It is a case of weighing them up and it often comes down more to what you like and what level of maintenance you are prepared to take on. Often what one person sees as a pro (say heavyweight) another will see as a con to those who want to be able to move it.

Quality is always crucial though. You get good wood and metal and you get inferior quality wood and metal. It pays to invest in pieces that will stand up to the elements and the test of time. When we started Lazy Susan, we looked at several different materials, however, we opted for cast aluminium as we felt it was best suited to the UK climate. It gives us the best combination of style, and durability in a low-maintenance material.

Here are the pros and cons of the most popular outdoor furniture materials on sale in the UK:

  1. Aluminium
    Pros: Durable, Lightweight, Rust-Resistant, Low Maintenance, Design Flexibility.
    Cons: Temperature Sensitive

  2. Iron
    Pros: Durable, Classic Aesthetic, Heavy and Stable.
    Cons: Susceptible To Rust, Heavy, Expensive, Temperature Sensitive, High Maintenance.

  3. Steel
    Pros: Sturdy, Affordable, Modern Style.
    Cons: Prone To Rust, High Maintenance, Heavy Weight.

  4. Teak
    Pros: Highly Durable, Resistant To Rot, Resistant To Rot Pests, Naturally Weather-Resistant, Gets Better With Age, Heavy Weight.
    Cons: Expensive, High Maintenance.

  5. Cedar
    Pros: Resistant To Decay, Resistant To Pests, Lightweight, Attractive Grain.
    Cons: High Maintenance, Patina.

  6. Eucalyptus
    Pros: Affordable, Resistant To Decay, Resistant To Pests, Sustainably Sourced.
    Cons: High Maintenance, Durability.

  7. Natural Rattan
    Pros: Lightweight, Comfortable.
    Cons: High Maintenance, Indoor Use Only.

  8. Synthetic Rattan
    Pros: Durable, Low Maintenance, Lightweight, Cost-Effective.
    Cons: Heat Retention, Limited Repairability, Environmental Impact, Susceptibility To Fading.

  9. Plastic Resin
    Pros: Affordable, Lightweight, Easy To Maintain, Water-Resistant
    Cons: Fading, Durability, Can Become Brittle, Limited Design Options.

  10. Mesh
    Pros: Quick-Drying, Breathable, Resistant To Fading, Resistant To Fading To Mould & Mildew.
    Cons: Uncomfortable, Limited Designs.

When choosing the right outdoor furniture for your outdoor space, weigh up the pros and cons. Consider your local climate, the amount of maintenance you're willing to do, and your personal style preferences. Mixing materials can also create an eclectic and interesting outdoor space. We took a deep dive into the pros and cons to evaluate what is best in Which outdoor furniture material is best for the UK? and looked at the popular metals on sale in the UK in our Will metal outdoor furniture rust article.

4. Space

“An empty area that is available to be used.”

Once you’ve established style, type and materials it is time to start shopping around and seeing what size set will best fit in your outdoor space. To make the right choice you need to assess that space to see what will fit.

Floor Plan with Chair and Working Space for our Frances

Start by measuring the area where you want the furniture to go to ensure a good fit. Measuring your patio accurately is crucial to ensure that the new furniture fits comfortably, the space still flows and functions and it all looks proportionate in terms of scale. Our step-by-step guide to measuring is as follows:

  1. Measure the overall dimensions
    Measure the length and width of the free space on your patio to get the overall dimensions you can work with.

  2. Consider walkways, doorways and steps
    Make a note of any steps, doorways and walkways or paths, measure the dimensions of these areas to ensure that there is enough space for comfortable movement around the furniture when it is in place. Be sure to measure the distance from patio edges to any doors or windows to check if there is enough clearance to open them fully without obstruction.

  3. Observe any obstructions
    Note the presence of any large items such as trees, planters, or architectural features. Measure the distance between these elements and the patio edges.

  4. Account for working space
    Allow for proper clearance around the furniture for comfortable seating areas, and leave enough space behind chairs for people to move comfortably. At Lazy Susan we call this working space and it is shown in the illustration above for our Round 6-seater Frances Table.

  5. If you're planning a dining area
    Measure the space required for the garden table and chairs to ensure there is space for people to pull out chairs and move around the table. We recommend a working space of around 50 - 70 cm around our tables for the chairs and an additional 50 - 70 cm on top of that to give you the room to pull chairs out and move around safely and comfortably (as shown above).

  6. If you're planning a lounge-style area
    Measure the space needed for the sofas, chairs, and a side or coffee table. Consider creating conversational groupings leaving enough space between furniture pieces to provide ample leg room and to prevent the space from feeling cramped.

  7. Consider shade and sunlight throughout the day
    If you have specific areas where you prefer shade or sunlight, factor this into your furniture placement. This might influence or necessitate the addition of items like parasols or sun awnings.

  8. Account for plant growth
    If you have potted plants or plan to add greenery, consider the potential growth of plants and how they might impact the space in time.

  9. Mock up the furniture set on your patio
    Before making a purchase mock up this space to see how it all fits, flows and functions. You can do this by creating a scale drawing on graph paper, using a patio and garden design app, cutting out furniture templates in cardboard, or marking up the dimensions on your patio with outdoor chalk to test movement and clearance.

5. Size

"How large or small something or someone is.”

Once you have the measurements of the free space in your outdoor area, you need to carefully check the dimensions of the furniture before purchasing to ensure that when in situ the space still functions and flows.

Frances Table Dimensions

For our collection, you will find these for every set in our shop with illustrations (as shown above for our Frances set). This is important for several reasons:

  1. Fit The Space
    Furniture that is too large for a patio or outdoor area will make the space feel cramped and uncomfortable. On the flip side, furniture that is too small can look out of place, making the space feel empty and unfinished.

  2. Traffic Flow
    The dimensions of the furniture set can impact traffic flow on a patio, so you must check that there is enough room for people to move around safely and comfortably without obstacles or congestion.

  3. Functionality
    As we have already discussed, different types of furniture serve different functions. By checking dimensions it will help you to ensure that a sofa, table, or any other type of set will function as intended and meet your specific patio needs.

  4. Access Clearance
    Before purchasing large furniture sets, it is also important to consider how they will be delivered and moved onto your patio. Check dimensions to make sure the furniture can pass through doorways, hallways, etc and to the spot you want to put them. All our furniture is supplied ready to assemble so even large tables will be shipped to you with the legs off the tabletop.

  5. Proportion
    The size of the furniture set will also play a major role in the overall design of your outdoor space. Ensuring that the set is proportionate to the size of the space will help to maintain a balanced and visually appealing look.

  6. Scale
    If you're coordinating your furniture set on a patio with other large items, then you also need to check the dimensions to help maintain a harmonious scale. This will ensure that the space flows, and the items all work together to give you a cohesive look and feel.

  7. Comfort
    Dimensions are also essential for comfort. The depth, height, and width of seating areas should be suitable for the intended use, providing a comfortable and ergonomic experience. Make sure there is plenty of leg and elbow room with space for people to move around and use the set.

  8. Winter Storage 
    If you plan to store your furniture in bad weather, then you need to check if it will fit in the intended space. Alternatively, you can purchase covers to fit the shape and size of the furniture.

  9. Spatial Planning
    Knowing the dimensions of the furniture will allow you to plan the layout of your outdoor space more effectively. It helps you allocate space for each piece, preventing overcrowding or underutilisation of the patio area.

  10. Preventing Returns
    Checking dimensions before purchase can help you avoid the inconvenience and cost of returning furniture that doesn't fit on your patio.

In summary, checking the dimensions of furniture is a practical and necessary step in the furniture-buying process. It ensures that the pieces not only fit physically within the space but also contribute to a functional, comfortable, and visually appealing outdoor space. If you need any further advice on dimensions and size, then our How to choose the right size garden table set article is packed with practical advice on how to measure your patio, how to calculate how many chairs will fit and the importance of good scale and proportion.

6. Budget

“The amount of money you have available to spend.”

We would always advise that you start the buying process with a budget in mind. It is easy to get carried away and overspend but keeping a budget in mind will help narrow down your options. Setting a budget for new outdoor furniture will help you to make informed and financially responsible purchases and these are the simple steps we recommend to help you establish a realistic budget:

  1. Assess
    Take a close look at your overall financial situation. Consider your income, savings, and any other ongoing financial commitments.

  2. Prioritise 
    Weigh up your needs versus your wants and identify the essential furniture pieces you need versus the ones you want. Focus on the must-haves first and allocate a larger portion of your budget to that set.

  3. Research
    Shop around online and in-store to get an idea of the price range for the furniture you're interested in. This will help you set a budget that aligns with your expectations.

  4. Quality
    Quality often comes with a price. While it's tempting to go for the lowest cost, investing in well-made outdoor furniture will always save you money in the long run by avoiding frequent maintenance or even replacement.

  5. Add On's
    Account for any additional costs such as delivery fees or additional accessories such as cushions or parasols that you might want to complement your furniture. We offer many of these items at a discount when purchased with a set.

  6. Be Realistic
    Determine the maximum amount you are willing to spend on your furniture. Be realistic and choose a figure that aligns with your financial goals and what type of set you want.

  7. Be Flexible
    While it's essential to have a budget, leave a bit of flexibility for unexpected finds or opportunities. This way, you can take advantage of a good deal without compromising your finances.

  8. Finance
    If you're planning a larger purchase then explore financing options such as instalment plans or zero-interest financing that will allow you to spread the cost over time.

  9. Review
    Periodically revisit your budget as you start shopping to reevaluate and adjust as you gain more insight. If you find that prices are higher or lower than expected then adjust accordingly.

Remember, a budget is a tool to guide your spending, not a restriction. It should help you make an informed choice and ensure you don’t overspend.

7. Shopping

“The activity of buying things from shops.”

Once you have researched, established what type of set you want to buy and set yourself a budget, the actual shopping process can begin. Of course, this will vary depending on where you buy but there are basic steps that you will typically go through when acquiring a new set of outdoor furniture. We are an online business, that is what we know best and what we will focus on here:

  1. Read Reviews
    Trustpilot reviews for example are a valuable resource when making a purchasing decision as they allow our customers to share their experiences without censorship, providing a platform for unbiased and unfiltered reviews. It will give you insights into the experiences of other customers, see comments on the quality of products and services, and give you an idea of the overall reliability and reputation of a company.

  2. Shop Around
    Shopping around before making a purchase allows you the opportunity to compare prices, find the best deal, and discover seasonal sales, discounts, or promotional offers. Outdoor furniture comes in a host of different materials so by shopping around you can explore the variations and choose the one that best fits your needs. Taking the time to shop around will also reduce the likelihood of making an impulse buy and getting a set that is right for you and your space.

  3. Warranty
    Always check the warranty and returns policy before you buy. The warranty will assure you of the product's quality and durability. Online shopping comes with risk, as you can't physically inspect the product before it arrives. A warranty and returns policy reduces the risk by offering a safety net if the product doesn't meet your expectations or has defects. We offer a 3-Year Guarantee with a 14-day money-back guarantee for faulty products and if you are not satisfied with your purchase you can contact us up to 14 days from your original purchase to return it.

Before making an online purchase, it is essential to review the warranty and returns policy to understand your rights and options. This information will help you understand the process and ensure a smooth shopping experience. If you have any questions concerning our products, deliveries or warranty please don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Service.

8. Set Up

“The arrangement of things that allows something to happen or the process that prepares this arrangement.”

Once your furniture arrives the fun can start. We use several trusted delivery partners to get your order to you as smoothly and quickly as possible. You will find all the information you need to know about each of our partners and how to track your order here. Once delivered, it is time to carefully unpack and set up your furniture. As a general guide to help you set up your new patio furniture, the steps we recommend are as follows:

  1. Read Instructions
    Before assembling anything, carefully read the manufacturer's instructions provided with your patio furniture. This will provide specific guidance and ensure that you follow the recommended steps.

  2. Right Location
    Decide on the best location for your patio furniture. Consider factors such as sun exposure, shade, and proximity to amenities like a grill or outdoor dining area.

  3. Organise Components
    Lay out all the parts and hardware, organizing them by type. Check that you have all the necessary components before starting.

  4. Right Tools
    Gather the tools recommended in the instructions. This may include screwdrivers, wrenches, or Allen wrenches. Using the correct tools will make the assembly process smoother.

  5. Assembly
    Begin assembling your furniture following the step-by-step instructions provided. Ensure that you follow the order of steps, as deviating from the sequence may cause issues later in the process.

  6. Get Help
    Some patio furniture pieces can be heavy or awkward to handle alone. If the instructions recommend having more than one person for assembly, enlist help to make the process safer and more efficient.

  7. Arrange
    If your patio furniture includes cushions or pillows, arrange them according to your desired configuration. Fluff and adjust cushions for comfort.

  8. Accessories
    Place any accessories, such as outdoor rugs, side tables, or decorative items, around your patio furniture to enhance the overall look and functionality of the space.

  9. Stabilise
    Ensure that all parts are securely fastened and that the furniture is stable. Make any necessary adjustments to level the furniture on an even surface.

  10. Check
    Check that all components are aligned correctly, especially for furniture with moving parts like adjustable recliners or folding features.

  11. Test Movement
    If your furniture has moving parts (e.g., reclining chairs or folding tables), test these features to ensure they function smoothly.

  12. Clean
    Give your new patio furniture a quick wipe-down to remove any dust or debris from the assembly process. Once cleaned, you're ready to enjoy your outdoor space!

By carefully following the manufacturer's instructions and taking the time to set up your patio furniture properly, you'll create a comfortable and inviting outdoor space to relax and entertain. Our Advantages of Ready-To-Assemble (RTA) outdoor furniture post looks at why we supply this way and has a full step-by-step guide on how to build our garden tables and chairs.

9. Aftercare

“Support or advice offered to a customer following the purchase of a product or service.”

Caring for and maintaining outdoor furniture is essential to keep it looking good, protect it from the elements and ensure it lasts for many summers to come. Here are some general tips that apply to all popular types of outdoor furniture sets:

  1. Clean
    Regularly remove dirt and debris such as leaves and dust from your furniture. Use a soft bristle broom or a handheld vacuum cleaner if dry to clean in between tight corners, gaps, decorative elements, etc.

  2. Wash
    Occasionally wash as applicable with a mild soap solution and a soft brush or sponge to clean the surfaces. For metal or plastic furniture, a mixture of mild washing-up liquid or car shampoo and warm water is all you need but for wood, you should use a gentle specialist wood cleaner.

  3. Protect
    Our metal furniture is designed to stay outside all year round but you can keep it clean and ready to use with furniture covers. With other materials, it will also protect them from rain, snow, and direct sunlight and prevent fading and damage caused by harsh weather conditions. If possible, store your outdoor furniture or move to a sheltered part of the garden during severe weather conditions such as high winds.

  4. Finish
    If you have wooden furniture then our advice is to apply a sealant or protective finish to prevent moisture penetration and protect against the elements. For our metal furniture you can apply a light coat of car was to give it a nice lustre and help rain bead off.

  5. Inspect
    Periodically inspect your furniture for any signs of damage or wear. Replace or repair any damaged parts promptly to prevent further deterioration. If you find a stone chip or scratch in the painted finish of our range then you can apply our Touch Up Paint.

  6. Fabric
    If you have any outdoor fabrics such as cushions and parasols, then always store them when not in use. Our fabrics are waterproof but they should not be left outside. Keep them clean and make sure they are dry before storing them in a dry place during the off-season. You can also apply a little extra protection such as Scotchgard™ Sun & Water Shield.

  7. Adjust
    Periodically check and re-tighten all bolts or screws to ensure that the furniture remains stable and secure.

We would always advise that you avoid using any harsh cleaning solutions or scourers to remove dirt. Stick to mild soaps and gentle cleaning solutions with a soft sponge or cloth and warm water. Never use a pressure washer regardless of the material too as you could damage or even strip the finish on your furniture.

Always follow the care and maintenance instructions provided by the manufacturer as the different materials will often require specific care and maintenance. For a detailed guide on how to clean different materials, our How to clean your outdoor furniture article shares some great tips, whilst our How to get your aluminium outdoor furniture ready for summer 2024 has 10 easy-to-follow steps.

Assess your outdoor space and do your research before you buy

“The systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources to establish facts and reach new conclusions.”

Research is your friend when it comes to buying a new outdoor furniture set. It will ensure that you get a set that fits (in terms of size and style) and functions (in terms of its weather resistance and how you like to use and move around the space). By knowing your options you can make an informed and satisfactory purchase. At the end of the day though, the best outdoor furniture set is the set that will get you outside to spend quality time on your patio.

Determine the purpose of your garden furniture and look for sets that fit with how you enjoy spending time outside in the summer. Are you looking for a dining set or a lounge chair set, or maybe you have the space to combine both? Understanding your needs will guide your research and when you measure you can see what will fit.
Think about the local climate and the level of exposure in your garden. If you get a lot of rain or your garden is open to gusts of wind, then you want furniture that can withstand these conditions. Explore different outdoor furniture materials, weigh up their pros and cons and consider factors like durability, the level of maintenance, and how well they complement the styling of your home and garden.

If you are shopping online, use all the tools at your disposal. Look for customer reviews as this will provide valuable insight into the durability, comfort, and overall satisfaction with that company and their product range. You can compare prices across different retailers or online platforms. Just keep in mind that higher-quality materials and craftsmanship will come with a higher price tag but it will save you time and money in the long run. Also keep an eye out for seasonal sales, promotions, or clearance events. You might find the perfect piece at a more affordable price in the off-season.

Seek recommendations from friends, family, or social media. Personal experience will provide valuable insight. Before making an online purchase, familiarise yourself with the returns policy, and understand what your options are if the furniture is damaged or doesn't meet your expectations. A good warranty will provide you with peace of mind and indicates our confidence in our products.

For us, you want furniture that looks good but is comfortable to use. Never go for style over substance. Choose furniture that complements the style of your home and garden but focus on finding sets that are built for outdoor use. Quality outdoor furniture might have a higher upfront cost but it will save you money in the long run by avoiding the need to maintain or replace.

By taking the time to do your research and gather information, you'll be well-equipped to make a decision that aligns with your preferences, needs, and budget.

Shopping the Lazy Susan garden furniture collection

"The action or activity of buying goods from shops."

The Lazy Susan outdoor furniture collection

You will find a wide range of classically styled outdoor furniture sets in the Lazy Susan Shop. Designed to live at the heart of your garden, each hand-finished set is powder-coated to ensure a lasting and durable all-weather finish. We have a comprehensive range of 10-seater, 8-seater, 6-seater, 4-seater dining tables and 2-seater Bistro Sets to fit all patios, large or small.

Our sets can be complemented by a selection of coordinating garden benches, sun loungers, parasols, coffee tables and cushions, all of which blend classic and contemporary styles with all-day comfort. Our low-maintenance cast aluminium furniture is designed for UK gardens and you will find a host of discounts on a range of accessories when purchased with a full table set.

Here is a general overview of how you might purchase an outdoor table set from us:

  1. Visit
    Go to the Lazy Susan website. You can also find us by searching for "Lazy Susan Furniture" in your preferred search engine.

  2. Browse
    Once in our webshop, navigate to the section that includes the outdoor table sets you're interested in. Our collection is sub-divided into the following categories: 

    1. By Seating
      10+ Seater, 8-Seater, 6-Seater, Extendable Garden Tables, 4-Seater, 2-Seater, Bistros

    2. By Colour
      Antique Bronze, Grey, White

    3. Accessories
      Cushions, Garden Sun Loungers, Parasol & Parasol Base, Lazy Susans, Coffee Tables

  3. Select
    Browse through the various sizes, table shapes, colours and seating options and select the one that suits your preferences and needs. Each product has a product page with Price, Colour Options, Full Description, Specification, Dimensions, Assembly Instructions and Delivery Details.

  4. Create Your Perfect Set
    Before you add the set you want to the basket, there is an option to add a host of coordinating accessories to your basket at discounted prices. These savings are only available as a bundle deal with our table sets and they include the option to upgrade the chairs, discounted cushions, huge savings on parasols and bases, and a selection of accessories such as side tables, bistro sets and garden benches depending on the table set you are buying. 

  5. Add To Basket
    Select any optional gifts and then you can click the Add To Basket button, and the items will be added to your shopping cart.

  6. Review Your Cart
    Once you have added all the items you wish to purchase to your cart, review the contents. Ensure that you have the correct items, quantities, and colours selected.

  7. Checkout
    After reviewing your cart, proceed to the checkout. You may need to provide your shipping address and payment information at this stage. If you are a returning customer you can log in. If you are a new customer, complete the registration form. We looked in detail at safe online shopping in our recent How to safely shop online for new outdoor tables and chairs article if you need any further advice.

  8. Payment
    We accept various payment methods such as credit/debit cards and PayPal.

  9. Review Your Order
    Before confirming your purchase, review your order summary to make sure all the details are accurate. Check the shipping address, items ordered, and the total cost.

  10. Place Your Order
    Once you are satisfied with your order, confirm the purchase, and we will send you a confirmation email with the details of your order and order tracking details in due course.

Hopefully, this guide has covered all the information you need on different types of furniture, materials, styles, and sizes. If you have any further questions on how to measure your patio space, how to assemble, how to maintain, or how to purchase from our shop, then please don’t hesitate to call us on 01243 68 43 88 or send us an email at [email protected].

If you have any photos of your new Outdoor Furniture Set from Lazy Susan, we’d love to see a few for our Do Some Good charity campaign. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or Upload Here.

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