Best Types of Patio Furniture for Outdoor Entertaining

The Only Patio Furniture Buying Guide You Need

No back yard is complete without patio furniture for entertaining any crowd you have over, from children playing in the pool to a cocktail party. Whether you need a brand-new set with tables, chairs, and all the accessories or just want to add a few trendy pieces, there are many types of patio furniture you can choose for your home.

Before shopping, look outside to determine how much space you have for new furniture. Next, figure out what types of patio furniture you need. If you already have an outdoor dining set, maybe it's time to add a separate set for lounging and conversation. Not every back patio has a lot of space, but that doesn't mean you have to miss out on outdoor entertaining. You can simply buy patio furniture that is lightweight and easy to store when not in use.

Dinner or Drinks?

One of the most popular options when it comes to patio furniture is outdoor sectional seating. These larger pieces are like an L-shaped couch you'd have indoors, and they are the epitome of bringing the indoors out.

As dining al fresco is a pleasure when the weather is nice, you can purchase fully assembled patio furniture like bistro sets to create a space for weekend lunches, romantic dinners, or afternoon get-togethers. Or opt for a large dining room table that seats up to eight people so you and your friends can gather to munch on some smoky barbecue outside.

If sets aren't your style, not to worry—you have plenty of options when it comes to patio furniture. For example, you can pick a wooden table that's weather-proofed and add chairs or benches that you like.

Outdoor Dining SetSectional Sofa with TableCreate-Your-Own Set
Seating for 4-10Seating for 4-8Seating for as many as you need
Great for mealsGreat for drinks and conversationYou can mix and match pieces you like
DurableCushioned and comfortableYou choose the comfort level

Throw Some Shade—in a Good Way

One of the best ways to ensure you throw a good party outdoors is to include outdoor accessories that keep everyone comfortable. Add a couple of umbrellas to keep the sun out of everyone's eyes and help prevent sunburn or to keep a stray rain cloud from ruining a day outside. These patio furniture staples come in more options than you may realize.

A cantilever umbrella offers protection from the sun without getting in the way. There's no need to buy a separate stand for this piece because it provides coverage for your patio furniture and the pole is out of the way.

The benefit of a round umbrella with a solid base, though, is that you get full coverage of an area and little chance of a gust of wind blowing it over. If you're working with a smaller space, you don't have to forgo an umbrella; just choose a smaller frame. Umbrellas come in 5, 9, and 10-feet sizes, plus there's the half-umbrella option, which is an ideal choice for placing against a wall above a small bistro set.

Wicker or Wood? Both Come in Bright Colors

If you prefer an elegant, modern look, you're not left out of the patio furniture love out there. Adirondack chairs, wooden tables, and wicker all come in dark shades. Black, brown, or espresso patio furniture is a great look and pops on white concrete near a bright blue pool.

Wicker is both trendy and a classic choice overall for furniture for your patio. To follow the trend, buy wicker pieces with a big, open weave in bright colors, or stick to tighter weaves made with fine threads to maintain a classic look.

Classic types of furniture for your patio are, obviously, wooden. To make sure your outdoor sets never go out of style, choose pieces that are basic but well-built. These should last you through many years of outdoor entertaining and look great through the seasons.

Unexpected Guests? Be Prepared

When you have unexpected guests, how do you adapt? You could pull dining room chairs from inside and take them out or grab metal folding chairs from the garage. Both options are less than ideal, so be prepared for any extra guests by investing in some folding patio furniture. These stylish pieces are also durable, so they can handle the sun, rain, and wind. Designed to be kept in storage and pulled out when you need them, these types of patio furniture are smaller, so their footprint isn't as big as standard outdoor furniture, which means they're also good permanent fixtures for small patios.

Whether you're hosting a pool party, lunch al fresco, or dinner and drinks in your back yard, our all-weather patio furniture makes it easy to create a comfortable place to relax. Plus, you can find unique picks that cover the basics to the latest trends.