Patio Dining Sets Buying Guide

From dining alfresco to hosting the hottest party of the summer, your patio needs a dining table to accommodate your friends and family.

Dining outside, or “alfresco” if you’re fancy, is one of our favorite summer activities. Having an outdoor dining table gives you a place to enjoy a solo breakfast before work, sit down for dinner with your spouse, or host guests for the big family barbecue. Dining tables are the perfect centerpiece to an outdoor entertaining space, giving people a place to eat, mingle, or just relax. Investing in a dining set is a one-stop solution for all of your patio dining needs. Sets include a dining table and matching dining chairs to give your space a cohesive look while providing all the benefits of an outdoor dining space.

But what kind of dining set is best for your patio?

Patio dining sets come in a variety of sizes, shapes, styles, colors, and materials, with each having a different functionality depending on what you are looking for. Large dining sets are best for hosting guests, while small sets like bistro sets are best if you have limited space, like on a balcony. Different patio furniture materials have different pros and cons depending on the weather in your area. Some dining sets have a modern look, while others can be more traditional in styling.

In short, there are a lot of things to consider before you can find your perfect dining table.


How much outdoor space do you have to work with? An average dining set can comfortably seat four to eight people, but they can go as small as a one-person table, and some can seat nine or more! The right set for you will depend on how much space you have to work with, and how many people you will need to seat at any given time.

If you don’t have much room, consider a bistro set. Bistro sets are small tables accompanied by one to four chairs. Bistro sets fit well on small balconies, or on patios without much space. Although you won’t be able to host a large dinner party with a bistro set, they are perfect for solo meals or if you typically cook for a small amount of people.

If you have a large space to work with, your choice of dining set will depend on how many people you will need to seat at any given time. If you don’t often host guests for dinner, you may want to opt for an average size table that seats four people comfortably. That way you can allot more room on your patio for other furniture, like a lounge set or chaise lounge for relaxing. If you like to host get togethers and want to make sure your guests have plenty of room to sit and eat, you may want to opt for a large patio table that seats six or more.


The material of your patio dining set is very important and will largely depend on the weather in your area, as well as your desired look. Patio furniture materials include aluminum, cast aluminum, wrought iron, stainless and galvanized steel, wicker and rattan, recycled plastic, natural wood, and teak. Each patio furniture material has specific features that are either helpful or harmful depending on the climate in your area. You will need to consider the weather, aesthetic, and care of each type of outdoor material before you can choose what will work best for you.

For example, aluminum patio dining sets are lightweight, durable, and resistant to change in low temperatures. Wrought iron dining sets are sturdy and hold up well in windy conditions. Teak dining sets are naturally resistant to mold, rot, and insects, so they work well in wet climates. It is important to research the benefits and considerations for each type of material before committing to one that may not work in your space. To learn more about patio furniture materials and figure out which would work best for you, visit our Outdoor Materials Buying Guide.

One thing to remember is that all patio furniture benefits from patio covers. Patio covers are manufactured to protect your furniture from the elements, so you will have a long-lasting set that stays beautiful and functional for years to come.


Aside from having varying levels of strength and durability, the different patio furniture materials also create varying looks and styles. This is important to consider when you are choosing your patio dining set. Do you want your patio to have a modern look, or are you partial to a more traditional aesthetic? What is your preferred design style? Your outdoor patio should be an extension of your home, so you don’t need to skimp on design just because it’s the outdoors!

A material like natural wood looks very different from something like wrought iron. Be sure to look up design inspiration so you have an idea what look you like best! If you need ideas, check out PatioLiving on Pinterest!