Products at a glance
This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.
With spring on it’s way, now is the best time to think about sprucing up your patio or garden with an excellent garden sofa so you can lounge in the sun in total comfort.
We’ve searched a range of garden furniture stores to source a variety of garden sofas that will help transform your outdoor life.
While the focus is on outdoor sofas, you’d be amazed at the incarnations they’re currently available in: from garden sofa beds, to sofa dining sets, to rotating lounging pods (yes, really).
While of course we’ve covered off the traditional styles most popular in the garden sofa arena, we’ve also thrown in a few more off-piste options that will take outdoor lounging to a heretofore unknown decadent realm.
Best garden sofas UK at a glance:
- Best compact sofa set for a small garden: Palma Compact Set Kettler, £1699
- Best for entertaining: Alexandria 4 Seater Grey Rattan Garden Corner Sofa Set, £360
- Best for versatility: Oxborough Day Bed, £1099
- Best for lounging and dining: Kettler Palma 7-Seater Mini Dining Set, £2149
- Best corner sofa for those who hate rattan: Elements 7-Seater Slatted Wood Corner Sofa Set, £799
- Best for high-end al fresco chilling: Farmer's Cottage Rotating Sphere 8-Seater Garden Pod, £10799
- Best for couples: Costway Outdoor Sofa Bed, £268
- Best for classy comfort: John Lewis & Partners Chunky Weave 5-Seater Garden Corner Sofa Set, £1599
- Best for a sociable garden: Ithaca Garden Sofa Set, Grey, £1599
What’s the best garden sofa for me?
Outdoor sofas come in a surprising variety of shapes and configurations.
The most popular material is rattan, since it is known to be very weather resistant and less likely to rot after a couple years use. However, quite a few manufacturers also provide sofas with frames made out of weather-resistant wood like acacia and teak.
Outdoor sofas can accommodate up to 12 people at a time and are the perfect solution for entertaining guests comfort. Most outdoor sofas are of the corner variety so they will fit very nicely along the edges of patios and verandas. Some models also come with a coffee-style table.
Perhaps the most decadent type outdoor furniture is the day bed. As the name suggests, day beds allow you to relax outdoors on a flat cushioned surface that makes outdoor snoozing a breeze.
However, day beds are not the most practical since they usually take up a lot of space and you can’t use them for entertaining – unless your guests don’t mind snuggling up. Your best bet in this instance is a day bed than can be transformed into a sofa, like the Oxborough Day Bed and Costway Outdoor Sofa Bed we review below.
Finally, if you prefer to entertain around a table but would also like the option to be able to relax on a sofa or bed-like structure when not serving guests, your best bet is a padded rattan dining combo like the Kettler Palma below.
When the guests have gone, simply move the table a bit further away, remove the sofa pillows and stretch out on the sofa pad. You’ll be off to sleep before you can count one, two, thr…
Our favourite garden sofas
KEY SPECS Type: Compact sofa set: one sofa, two side chairs, one storage box, one casual dining table and 2 footstools; Material:Aluminium square tube frame with 5mm half round wicker; Seats: ; Colours: Oyster
High grade rattan; stylish, clever use of space; waterproof
Seat cushions must be bought in at night
Oh, you clever thing. This stylish sofa set is ideal for casual al fresco dining, super comfy, and makes ingenuous use of space, particularly if you’re pressed for it.
It’s modular design means it can be set up as a traditional sofa lay out or more bijou corner style.
The table is ideal for casual dining - serve a buffet BBQ, or just enjoy drinks and charcuterie - or an outdoor family round of scrabble, say.
Robust and waterproof save for the cushions, which handily fit into the storage box when not in use - and the chairs tuck neatly into the back of the sofa when it’s idle, too - out of sight and mind.
A superb find.
KEY SPECS Type: Corner sofa; Material: Rattan effect plastic; Seats: 4; Full width: 211cm; Colours: Dark grey
Great price; Comfortable; Weatherproof; Includes table
There’s a lot of plastic; Cushions should be stored when not in use
Comprised of two upright sofa seats and a 1.4-metre chaise longue-style lounger, this is a great-value four-seater sofa set for outdoor relaxation.
Combined with the chaise longue section, the Alexandria measures 2.11 metres in width and is constructed out of a rattan-effect woven plastic of sorts for outdoor durability.
Its rectangular two-seat module, meanwhile, can be positioned in a left or right configuration for added convenience. It also comes with a low glass-topped table (D45 x W45 x H31cm) for your G&T, olives and bowl of San Nicasio crisps.
The Alexandria’s grey-coloured cushions provide great outdoor comfort and they’re weather, and to some degree, bird dropping resistant, too, though we would advise storing them in the dry during inclement weather and especially over winter.
If you’re a little strapped for cash but are desperate to get out of the house and into the sunshine, then this excellent-value three-piece four-seater will do the trick and do it nicely.
KEY SPECS: Type: 3-seater sofa-cum-chaise; Material: Rattan effect; Seats: 3; Full width: 211cm; Colours: Dark grey
Super versatile; Transforms from sofa to bed; Good quality materials; Comfortable
Cushions should be stored
Is it a day bed? Is is a sofa? The Oxborough is a clever piece of outdoor cosiness because it transforms from a double day bed (151cm in length and 201cm in width) into a 201cm x 86cm sofa in a thrice.
Since it comprises three pieces (sofa and two-piece ottoman), you simply remove a shelf in the larger ottoman section, reposition its cushion pad and slide the whole thing under the right-hand side of the sofa.
This leaves a spare square section which can stay in place to form a chaise on one side or removed entirely to serve as a separate stool. Simple.
There’s no literature regarding the grey fabric used but while it’s clearly showerproof, we wouldn’t leave it out in a rain storm. The sofa and ottoman’s UV-protected weave is of excellent quality and weather resistant, too.
Although this is ostensibly a three-seater package, it would arguably be more comfortable for two. Either way, this is an attractive chaise that is both extremely versatile and undeniably comfortable for seeing out long days in the sunshine.
KEY SPECS Type: Dining set; Material: Rattan wicker; Seats: 7; Full width: 200cm and 120cm; Colours: Grey and stone
Keep outside all year round; Comfortable cushions; Perfect for dining and lounging
Not cheap; Cushions should be stored away; Will take up a fair amount of space
The only thing better than a corner sofa is a corner sofa dining set.
Whether you’re relaxing with your feet up during the day or have the extended family round for a barbecue in the evening, this day-to-evening seven-seat rattan-effect corner set will ensure sunbathing times and meal times are well and truly sorted.
Available in both whitewash/grey taupe and oyster/stone, this stylish weatherproof dining set is part of a wider range of Palma furniture that includes larger dining sets, armchairs, sofas, foot stools and loungers.
Granted, Kettler products aren’t cheap but they’re well built and hardy enough to survive outdoor life without falling apart at the seams.
That said, it’s always advisable to remove seat cushions and cover outdoor furniture during the winter months because even the best materials will struggle against months of rain and snow.
KEY SPECS Type: Corner sofa; Material: Plywood and aluminium; Seats: 7; Sofa with Left Arm: H 66cm x W 179cm x D 69cm Corner Sofa: H 66cm x W 179cm x D 69cm Colours: Natural/grey
It’s not rattan; It’s comfy; Comes with side shelves and table
Self assembly required
If you’d rather avoid decking out your patio or garden in rattan furniture, here’s a simple but effective seven-seater sofa on a wooden frame with square powder-coated aluminium legs.
The Elements is surprisingly comfy and stylishly minimalist in design, and the really good thing about it is that the sofa’s extensions on either side serve as side tables for holding drinks – a much better solution than placing glasses on a wobbly outdoor floor where they’ll either be kicked over or swamped by insects?
For added bonus this sofa set also ships with a coffee table.
This model is a good option for modern terraces and patios and an excellent choice for use on an invariably damp lawn, since there is plenty of height between the seating area and the grass below.
Also, the legs are cast from rust-free aluminium. Decent price, too.
KEY SPECS Type: Garden pod; Material: Spruce and stainless steel; Seats: 8; Full width: 240cm; Colours: Natural
It revolves 360˚; Seats eight in comfort; Can be turned into a bedroom
Very, very pricy; Requires professional installation
Why have a standard summer house built in the garden when you can lounge outdoors, undercover in a high-tech rotating space pod?
Constructed from laminated spruce timber and stainless steel, and with an interior 2.4 metres wide and about two metres tall, this stunning lounge pod is the last word in garden luxury.
The Farmer’s Cottage comes with a circular waterproof vinyl bench pad with room for up to eight guests, plus a centre table that can be lowered so you can add a centre cushion pad to turn it into a bed for proper daytime or night-time relaxation (interior lighting is an option for those who wish to chill under moonlight).
However, the very best thing about this – albeit massively expensive – pod is that it slowly revolves 360˚, so no matter which way the sun is shining or the wind is blowing, you’ll always be in the comfort zone. Haughty but nice.
KEY SPECS Type: Two-seater sofa-cum-bed; Material: Acacia; Seats: 2; Full width: 142cm; Colours: Cream, grey, red, turquoise
Versatile design; Transforms into a bed; No rattan in sight; Choice of cushion colours
The sofa frame would benefit from a cover
Constructed out of weather-resistant acacia wood, this 3-in-one two-seater sofa’s ends can be lowered on either side to form a fully flat bed or a chaise longue to while away the summer hours with a favourite book.
Available in four colours – cream, red, dark grey and very loud turquoise – the Costway comes with a soft and spongy single foldable seat pad and two plump cushions, all covered in weather-resistant polyester for outdoor durability. That said, we would advise storing the covers when not in use and perhaps buy a cheap cover for the well-constructed bench-like frame so the wood isn’t tarnished too quickly.
If you’re trying to avoid rattan at all costs, then this keenly-priced all-wood loveseat could be right up your garden path.
KEY SPECS Type: 5-seater corner sofa set; Material: 100% weatherproof PE rattan, polyethylene, polyester; Seats: 5; Full width: 190cm; Colours: Dark grey
Classic looks; High grade rattan; Cloud-like comfort
Seat covers must be stored when not in use
Love to entertain? This generously sized sofa is for you
The Ithaca is made using rounded premium-grade poly-rattan that’s been treated, the modern design ideal in a large, spartan outdoor space, or equally at home in a lush garden.
The shower-resistant seat pads and cushions are stupendously comfy for long days in the summer sunshine, though they will need to be gathered up at the end of the day for overnight storage.
This sofa will comfortably seat three to four guests while you and your partner lounge in the two accompanying chairs.
KEY SPECS Type: 5-seater corner sofa set; Material: Aluminium and rope; Seats: 5; Full width: 220cm; Colours: Dark grey
Excellent quality; Attractive rope design; Supremely comfortable
Cushions are only shower proof
If you’re in the market for a high-quality five-seater sofa that screams style, step right this way.
Designed in-house by John Lewis Partners, the Chunky Weave sofa comprises a lightweight aluminium frame and yards of exceedingly attractive heavy-duty roping that gives the sofa a unique look while adding extra rigidity for long-term durability.
The squidgy seat pads and nine scatter cushions, meanwhile, are covered in shower resistant polyester which you’re advised to store in the dry when not in use.
With its full width of 2.2 metres, this sofa is the last word in classy outdoor comfort.
Build quality is exemplary throughout, the seats are soft and supportive and it’s surprisingly light given its size. Compliment this sofa set with the Chunky Weave Round Garden Coffee Table and you’ll be the envy of the neighbourhood.
If you’re after a particularly versatile garden sofa option, we’d recommend the Costway Outdoor Sofa Bed, which will allow languid lounging and afternoons sat up enjoying a good book.
For more garden furniture inspiration, read our guides to the best garden furniture, where we review everything from garden swing chairs to dining sets, deck chairs to sun loungers.
For expert reviews on camping gear, exercise kit, homewares and more, check out our recommended section.