Garden Bench Buying Guide

If you want to invest in a quality garden bench, you’ve got to do it properly. Here are a few considerations, options and the questions you need to ask yourself to find your dream bench.

Style

Size

Sustainability

Accessories

Style

When it comes to choosing a garden bench, looks are important, but you should also consider how you’re going to use your seating space. The main styles of garden bench are listed below along with information about their benefits:

Straight

The Hoggman St James Straight Garden Bench

The classic wooden bench style, a straight bench looks good in any park or garden. Usually available in lots of sizes, these versatile garden benches are practical and appealing.

Curved

The Hoggman Bagshot Curved Teak Bench

There are two kinds of curved benches: the ‘banana bench’ style with a fully curved back and arms, or the more classic style with just a curved backrest. Curved benches produce an intimate feel, and have an organic beauty which is harmonious in gardens.

Lutyens

The Hoggman Highgrove Lutyens Bench

Named after the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, this unique garden bench design adds an elegant touch to gardens and parkland. Usually only available in smaller sizes.

Backless

The Hoggman Holyrood Backless Bench

Backless benches are a great choice for locations in the middle of the garden because they can be approached from any angle. They’re also versatile and useful for outdoor dining if you have a party.

Tree

The Hoggman Gatcombe Tree Bench

Tree benches are available in a wide range of sizes, to suit everything from junior saplings to ancient oaks. Turns beloved trees into sociable gathering points.

Storage

The Hoggman Birkhall Storage Bench

Storage benches are a great solution if you have a lot of garden clutter. Whether it’s kids’ toys or gardening paraphernalia, a storage bench gives you an easy-access storage solution.

Memorial

The Hoggman Windsor Memorial Bench

Many people prefer to choose thick-framed benches for use as memorial benches, so that their tribute can be as long-lasting as possible. But any bench can be engraved if you prefer another style.

Weaves & Ovals

The Hoggman Kensington Weave Back Bench

If you’re after something a bit different, you’ll find a wide range of garden benches with quirks that set them apart from the norm: from oval backs to weave patterns.

Companion Seats

Companion Seat

Companion seats provide an intimate seating spot for two people with a convenient fixed table area in the centre. Some models come with a hole in the table to accomodate a parasol.

Painted or natural?

The choice is yours! With good quality hardwood, the oiled finish offers just as much if not more protection from the elements as a coat of coloured paint, so you don’t need to worry about the maintenance benefits. Just choose whatever you think will look best. All of our wooden benches are suitable for painting, so you can always customise an unpainted bench at a later stage.

Size

Garden benches are typically sold by capacity, with everything from two to five seaters readily available. These are some of the questions you may want to consider before plumping on your size bench:

  • Will the bench be used mostly by adults or children?
  • How much space do you have in your chosen bench location?
  • Would your space benefit more from one long bench or several smaller benches?
  • Will you want to store the bench in winter? If so, a smaller bench may be preferable for the lifting.
  • Will the bench be in a busy communal area? Or in a secluded spot where you want to encourage quiet reflection? 

Approximate Lengths

2 Seater 1.2m

3 Seater

1.5m
4 Seater 1.8m
5 Seater 2.1m

Wood Type

At Garden Benches Direct, we only sell benches made from quality timber that will stand the test of time with minimal maintenance. Teak is the best of the best, with rich natural oils that will protect the bench all year around regardless of damp weather. However, there are lots of other types of hardwood used for making outdoor furniture.

Teak benches are more expensive than other hardwoods but they have superior longevity and require least maintenance. The table below compares teak to two other popular hardwoods used within our range: roble and acacia.

Teak

Teak Timber

Roble

Robel Timber

Acacia

Acacia Timber

Colour

Light-brown

Light-brown to golden tones

Multi-toned from light, to amber, to dark brown stripes

Grain Aesthetic

Straight, tight grain

Straight, tight grain, narrowly interlocked

Attractive swirling and wavy patterns

Durability

25 years +

20 – 25 years

10 years

Hardness & Density

Very hard and dense

Harder and denser than teak

Variable, can be harder than teak but is generally less dense

Waterproofing

Highest water resistance, requires no treatment

High water resistance

Water resistant

Rot & Pest Resistance

Best resistance to rot and decay due to high silica content, good resistance against pests

Mould and insect resistant

Mould and insect resistant but requires more regular care

Maintenance

Little to no maintenance

Annual maintenance

Annual or twice annual maintenance

Sustainability

Whenever you buy any piece of wooden furniture, it’s important to make sure you choose products which are built from sustainably sourced wood. By supporting sustainably sourced wood, you contribute to:

  • Preventing unsustainable logging
  • Protecting habitat and biodiversity
  • Safeguarding working conditions of loggers
  • Protecting livelihoods of local communities
  • Keeping the timber trade legal on a local and national level

But how do you know where your bench has come from? These days, most sellers of wooden furniture have their wood products accredited by one of the following accreditation schemes: 

SVLK

FSC

Trees4Trees

PEFC

SVLK FSC Trees4Trees PEFC

All of our teak benches are made from SVLK accredited wood. SVLK is Indonesia’s sustainable timber accreditation scheme. Indonesian suppliers must gain SVLK certification if they are to sell timber products in the EU or UK. Indonesia was the first country in the world to implement a scheme like this, to comply with the FLEGT regulations passed in 2005 in the EU. At Garden Benches Direct we choose our trees with care and replace them as we go. In addition to the SVLK guarantee of sustainable logging, our partnership with Tree Appeal means that every time you buy a Hoggman teak bench, we plant a native tree in the UK. This helps to offset the damage done by deforestation in other parts of the world and contributes to the healthy regeneration of our own UK ecosystem. All of our hardwood benches come from FSC certified sources which undergo rigorous checks and audit processes to ensure that the timber used is legally sourced.

Accessories

Although not essential, garden bench accessories can be used to provide additional comfort, keep your bench secure, and help to prolong the longevity of your bench. We stock a range of accessories, from seat cushions to ground anchor kits. 

Garden Bench Cushions Available in forest green or pebble grey, bench cushions add an additional layer of comfort to your garden seat - handy if you're spending long periods of time outside. 
Garden Bench Covers Covering your bench is the best way to prevent the timber from being damaged by weather, warping and spitting. Our garden bench covers are made from a durable and foldable fabric, perfect for use throughout the winter months.
Ground Anchor Kits Perfect for permanent positioning, ground anchors are a great way to secure your garden bench to the floor. We stock anchor kits for soft and hard surfaces, so you can rest assured in the knowledge your garden seat will stay secure.
Premium Teak Oil Spray Teak only requires an annual sealing to ensure it's looking its finest. To retain the fresh appearance of fresh teak, we supply premium teak oil in a handy spray can for easy application.

Garden Benches Direct are committed to providing the best quality garden benches for your garden. If you're still unsure which of our benches is right for you, or if you'd simply like to talk through your options, our friendly sales team are only ever a phone call away.