Park Benches: Choosing The Right One

Outdoor Seating Has To Be Comfortable, Trendy And Also Durable. Find Out How To Choose Right Park Benches?

Aug 05, 2015
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An outdoor bench is a category of furniture that offers a place to sit and relax outdoors. These benches are ideal for both public park areas and personal garden areas. You can sit on them, rest, enjoy scenes, read newspaper or watch your kids playing.

Outdoor seating not only has to be comfortable and trendy but also durable and should be easy to maintain.


Before choosing Park Benches consider these factors to make it a right choice :

  1. Style - Traditional to Contemporary park benches.
  2. Seating Capacity - 2 seater to Group Seater.
  3. Materials - wood, metal, stone, or synthetic outdoor park benches.
  4. Innovative Features - solar powered park benches, folding, rotating benches.
  5. Mounting Options - Fixed park benches to portable benches.
  6. Climate considerable benches - Outdoor benches for hot and cold places.
  7. Places where to use - commercial or personal?
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1. Style - Traditional to Contemporary Park Benches

Traditional benches are suited to heritage parks and traditional gardens. They are mostly made out of seasoned wood with cast iron ends or carved stone. Even recycled plastic benches are available in wooden finishes. Traditional benches are usually :

  • Sturdy
  • Functional
  • Traditional  and
  • Ornated

These traditional outdoor benches create irresistible temptation to stop, sit and enjoy the surroundings.

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Contemporary benches are modern looking, minimalist and futuristic. Some more features include :

  • Mostly made from pretreated wood, stone, concrete, laser cut stainless steel, fiber and unlimited new innovative materials.
  • Sleek and linear
  • Clean lines and smooth surfaces
  • Sophisticated with fresh look and feel
  • Minimalistic

So when choosing a park bench, consider the style of environment you wish to use the park bench in. For example in a rural setting a wood park bench would look good where as a more contemporary style outdoor bench would be more suited to a modern environment.

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2. Seating Capacity - 2 Seater to Group Seater

Park benches length can be customised as per the requirement, however most common bench sizes easily available in the market are :

  • 4- 5 ft for 2-3 persons

  • 6-8 ft for 3-4 persons

Before finalizing size of the bench for garden, park, commercial places, residential neighbourhood and house backyards calculate the number of seating's required. Unnecessarily using lengthy benches will be waste of space and money when no one would use them.

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3. Materials - Wood, Metal, Stone, or Synthetic Outdoor Park Benches

Benches based on durability and maintenance patterns are available in different materials : 

  • Aluminium outdoor benches are lightweight, corrosion-free, portable and economic.

  • Concrete park benches are heavy, permanent, very durable and suitable for any climate.

  • Fiberglass park benches are versatile, comes in a variety of designs, finishes and colors. These benches do not corrode or rust and require very less maintenance.

  • Powder-coated steel benches are anti-corrosive and are available in a variety of colors and designs.

  • Recycled plastic benches have low maintenance and are appropriate for any environment, well suited for typically-corrosive salty climatic conditions. Recycled plastic benches also contribute to LEED certification.

  • Thermoplastic Park benches are environment friendly, graffiti resistant and easily repairable.

  • Wooden benches need high maintenance. They need to be regularly treated with an insect repellent or coated with polyurethane or similar coating to maximize the life of the material.

  • Wrought iron outdoor benches are handmade rustic garden furniture, substantial and of solid built with beautiful designs, shaped and welded in metal and last for decades.

The kind of material used in benches directly affects the cost of bench. So before choosing the material types of outdoor bench, calculate your budget and maintenance patterns.

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4. Innovative Features - Solar Powered Park Benches, Folding, Rotating Benches

Now-days benches in the market are available in attractive, innovative, designer and special features.

Some innovative park benches include features like :

  • Roof or a trellis above bench

  • Flip up seat or rotating benches

  • Trays or cup holders for benches

  • Moisture-resistant cushions in different colours as an accessory of the bench.

  • Solar powered benches

  • Planter benches: with planters at either end

  • Garden bench arbors: with sides and a roof latticed to encourage climbing plants and flowers to grow over the top.

  • Tree Benches: circular or semi-circular benches that wraparound the base of tree trunk.

These innovative features are costly and require regular maintenance of bench. So before choosing the park bench for your garden find out whether these features are really needed, will they be used and does it fit in your budget?

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5. Mounting Options - Fixed Park Benches to Portable Benches

Available in three mounting options :

  • In Ground outdoor bench: where bench is permanently installed.

  • Surface mount benches: where semi-permanent bench can be bolted to the surface and removed to relocate.

  • Portable garden bench: are mobile and can be easily relocated.
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6. Climate Considerable Benches - Outdoor Benches for Hot and Cold Places

Besides various other factors, selection of a park bench also involves consideration of the prevailing climatic conditions of the area in which the bench is to be fixed :

  • Choose wooden bench in hot places as these don't get warm very soon in comparison to metal, fiber or stone.

  • Don't choose wrought iron park benches in areas which receive heavy rainfall as they tend to rust and need to be repainted periodically. On the other hand, benches made from steel, fiber PVC are good for such places.

  • Concrete, wood and aluminum are best materials for public areas as they are durable.

  • Cushioned benches will not be good option for dusty or windy outdoors.

Outdoor furniture needs to be double checked before finalizing for weather proofing, since climate is one of the dominant factor in deciding the life of the bench. So choose it wisely.

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7. Places Where to Use - Commercial or Personal?

Benches can be used in different outdoor functional places such as :

  • Commercial-Bus stops, Shopping arcades, etc.

  • Home Garden

  • Parks

  • Residential Neighbourhood

  • Streets

  • Kids play areas

For personal use of outdoor furniture consider following points :

  • Choose a durable exterior wood

  • Choose smart colours

  • Consider storage

  • Easy to care

  • Light weight

  • Don't compromise in aesthetics

To Conclude -

While choosing the outdoor furniture for a park the above discussion will definitely contribute in narrowing down the options available. Since these outdoor furniture benches are exposed to damaging elements and rough use; always consider prime factors like strength, durability, maintenance and cost.

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it. There is nothing like relaxing on these park benches and enjoying outdoors. Don’t miss it!

Vandana WK
Vandana WK

I am an architect by profession. I completed my Master in Construction Management from Pune. With hands on work experience on various projects in reputed interior design firms, I wish to put my design ideas into words on this platform of sharing articles. I have created a fresh perspective to help the readers tackle a project, and embrace... | more articles from Vandana

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