Spending time outdoors is one of life’s great joys. Whether you’re relaxing with a morning coffee or hosting a backyard barbecue, having functional and comfortable outdoor furniture makes all the difference. One excellent option that offers both storage and seating is the weatherproof storage bench.
Weatherproof storage benches are a fantastic addition to any deck, patio or garden space. Not only do they provide extra seating when you need it, they allow you to organize and stow away cushions, gardening tools, outdoor toys and anything else you need to keep protected from the elements.
When you’re ready to buy an outdoor storage bench, there are a few key factors to consider so you select the right one for your needs:
How Will You Use Your Weatherproof Storage Bench?
First, think about how you plan to use your bench. Will it be used mostly for seating with occasional storage? Or is your main concern having a place to organize and stow outdoor items?
For primary seating, look for sturdy benches around 6 feet long that have a contoured seat, supportive backrest and are made of comfortable, weather-resistant materials.
If storage is your top concern, focus on benches with large capacity, smart storage features like shelves, hooks and bins, and a flat, lift-up lid design. The most organizational storage bench may not always be the coziest for sitting.
Once you decide the bench’s primary purpose, you can zero in on the right size, design and features.
Key Materials for Weatherproof Outdoor Benches
Outdoor storage benches are constructed using materials that can withstand sun, rain and other elements. Here are some of the most common and durable options:
- Wood – Cedar, redwood, teak and pine are naturally weather-resistant woods ideal for outdoor furniture. Look for wood benches treated for rot/bug resistance. Needs periodic sealing/stain refresh.
- Plastic – Polyethylene and polypropylene are molded into storage benches in many colors. Affordable, very low maintenance, but can fade over time.
- Resin – Made from a PVC/plastic blend, resin won’t crack, peel or warp. More durable than plastic and offers wood-like look.
- Wicker – Hand-woven benches made from all-weather resin wicker fibers over aluminum frames. Attractive, comfortable and low maintenance.
- Metal – Cast aluminum, galvanized and stainless steel benches withstand all environments. Sturdy and stylish, but can be hot in direct sun.
- Concrete – Pre-cast concrete benches are ultra sturdy and weatherproof. Available in many stylish designs, but very heavy.
Choose the Optimal Size
When selecting your outdoor storage bench, be sure to measure the space where you plan to place it. Leave ample clearance for walking around the bench and opening the lid fully.
For maximum seating, a 6 foot bench can fit 3 adults comfortably. A 4 foot bench easily seats 2. Remember to allow extra length if you’d like room to stretch out!
The standard bench depths are around 18 to 24 inches. Make sure to measure any overhangs above where the bench will sit.
For substantial storage capacity, look for benches at least 48 inches long or longer if space allows. Even better if you can find one with multiple shelves or cubbies.
Complement Your Style with the Right Outdoor Bench Design
Another consideration is how well the storage bench matches your outdoor decor. Options range from ultra-modern designs to classic and rustic styles.
- Contemporary – For a clean modern look, choose benches with square arms, straight lines and sleek or bold colors like white, black or bright primary hues.
- Classic – Traditional wood benches with rounded corners, carved details, slat-style backs and neutral wood tones evoke timeless style.
- Rustic – Rough-hewn wood benches in weathered finishes, eco-friendly materials and distressed details have cozy vintage charm.
- Wicker – Hand-woven wicker fiber over metal frames provides an elegant, natural look in gardens or on sun porches.
- Mosaic – For Mediterranean flair, look for colorful mosaic tile inlays on concrete benches.
No matter your personal style, there are so many options to create a fashionable, functional focal point.
Helpful Additional Features
Today’s weatherproof benches offer clever features that add function and convenience. Here are some useful additions to look for:
- Backrest – Having a comfortable backrest makes a big difference for seating. Look for contoured back designs.
- Hinged lid – Hinged lids make accessing stored items easy. Some have hydraulic lifts for effortless opening.
- Shelf organizers – Interior shelving, racks and bins keep everything neatly organized.
- Locking mechanism – Hasps and padlock loops allow you to secure the contents.
- Built-in planters – Benches with planter boxes incorporated into the sides are dual purpose.
- Sunshade – For very hot climates, some benches have an overhanging shade cover.
- Pull-out tray – A handy frontal slide-out shelf provides easy access.
Top 5 Weatherproof Benches
Now that you know what to look for in an outdoor storage bench, here are five of the best options in different styles and price ranges:
1. Keter Eden 70 Gallon Storage Bench
- Features: Huge 70 gallon capacity, hydraulic pistons for easy opening, decorative wood-like texture
- Material: Maintenance-free polypropylene resin
- Dimensions: 61″L x 28″D x 23.5″H
The Eden storage bench from Keter is built to handle the elements while providing ample, organized storage. Two interior shelves and tool hooks keep everything handy. The slightly contoured seat provides decent comfort for two adults.
Pros: Massive storage capacity, weather resistant, opens easily, 10 year warranty
Cons: Plastic look, sits low to the ground
Price: $$ This huge bench offers excellent value.
2. Panama Jack Island Breeze Slatted Storage Bench
- Features: Slatted backrest, vintage charm, metal hardware resist rust
- Material: Eco-friendly shorea wood
- Dimensions: 51″L x 24″D x 36″H
This slatted acacia wood bench has plenty of well-organized storage while the slat-style back and armrests make for comfy seating. The understated design suits any style.
Pros: Generous storage space, comfortable backrest, stylish look, sustainably harvested wood
Cons: Requires annual sealing, doesn’t open fully with backrest
Price: $$$ A high-quality wood bench for the price.
3. Oxford Garden 4 ft. Shorea Wood Storage Bench
- Features: Contoured seat, charming details, built-in planters
- Material: Richly stained shorea wood
- Dimensions: 52”L x 25”D x 18″H
Handsome and versatile, this solid wood bench features bowed arms, a contoured seat and backrest for comfort. Dual lift-out planter boxes add convenient garden storage.
Pros: Lovely detailed design, comfortable, smooth opening lid mechanism
Cons: Requires yearly sealing/stain refresh, lower weight capacity
Price: $$$ A stylish wood bench with great aesthetic appeal.
4. Walker Edison Wicker Patio Storage Bench
- Features: Thick padded seat cushion, concealed lower shelf, all-weather resin wicker
- Material: Steel frame, poly rattan wicker
- Dimensions: 48”L x 20”D x 18”H
With its rolled arms, earthy natural finish and plush seat cushion, this resin wicker bench adds laidback style to patios and decks. The lift-top interior fits pillows, gardening items and more.
Pros: Weather resistant and low maintenance, comfortable padded seating, fits with any decor
Cons: Lower weight capacity, padded seat needs covering in rain
Price: $$ A budget-friendly wicker bench that still looks high-end.
5. Outdoor Interiors Eucalyptus Storage Bench
- Features: Slatted backrest, pull-out side tray, eucalyptus is naturally bug-resistant
- Material: Solid eucalyptus wood
- Dimensions: 46”L x 20”D x 34”H
This simple yet handsome eucalyptus bench has an understated modern style that works anywhere. The pull-out tray provides easy access storage, while the slatted back is angled for comfort.
Pros: Straightforward contemporary design, easy to assemble, slotted backrest
Cons: Seat comfort just average, lid doesn’t lock
Price: $$$ A sleek, eco-friendly wood bench for a fair price.
Key Tips for Choosing the Best Weatherproof Bench
To recap, focus on the following criteria when selecting an outdoor storage bench:
- Primary function – prioritize comfortable seating or maximum storage
- Size – choose appropriate dimensions for your space
- Material – consider weather-resistance, durability and maintenance
- Style – opt for a design that complements your outdoor aesthetic
- Added features – decide which options are useful like lid type, organizers, planters etc
- Placement – account for sun exposure, rainfall coverage and accessibility
- Budget – weigh value, cost and long-term durability
Take measurements, read reviews and envision how the bench will be used to make the ideal pick. An outdoor storage bench is built to handle years of use, so it’s worth investing in quality.
Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Storage Benches
What is the best material for outdoor storage benches?
The most durable and weather-resistant bench materials are woods like cedar and teak, poly-resin composites, wicker with aluminum frames, resin, and metal like aluminum, stainless steel or cast iron. Hardwoods need yearly sealing.
How much weight can a storage bench hold?
It varies by size and material, but average benches hold 250 to 500 lbs. Heavy duty options can hold up to 1000 lbs. Check manufacturer weight limits before overloading.
What is the ideal size for an outdoor bench?
For solely two adults, an optimal bench size is 48″ to 60″ long x 24″ deep. For ample storage, choose a bench at least 4 feet long, better if 5 feet or longer. Measure your space first.
Should I get one with a backrest or backless?
Backless benches maximize storage capacity. But for comfort, a backrest really helps provide lumbar support for longer sitting. Look for contoured, slatted or curved backs.
Are plastic benches as durable as wood or metal?
High quality plastic and resin benches are extremely weather resistant, but may fade and discolor over time. Overall, wood or metal will outlast plastic for decades.
How can I protect a wood bench from weathering?
Choose naturally weather resistant woods like cedar and teak. Seal or stain wooden benches annually. Store cushions when wet. Add waterproof outdoor fabric bench cushions for easy maintenance.
What is the best way to organize the storage space?
Look for interior shelving, racks, hooks and bins built in. You can also add removable storage boxes. Use bins for loose items, shelves for flat storage.
How much assembly is required for storage benches?
Many higher priced wood or metal benches ship fully assembled. For most, expect 15-60 minutes of easy assembly with basic tools like screwdrivers. Read reviews for tips on more complex benches.
Can a storage bench be used year-round?
Yes, look for models rated for year-round outdoor use. Resin, polyethylene, wood and metal benches are fine in cold weather as long as contents don’t freeze. Add waterproof seat cushions in winter.
How can I secure the contents of my storage bench?
Look for benches with locking lid latches or padlock loops. You can add your own padlock. Make sure any cushions, bins and interior organizers are also secured inside.
Get Ready for Backyard Lounging with Weatherproof Benches
Spending summer evenings on a balcony or having al fresco dinners on the patio is so much more enjoyable when you have comfortable, convenient outdoor furniture.
Hopefully these tips have helped shed light on the varied options available when choosing weatherproof storage benches for your exterior space. Always measure carefully and read reviews to ensure you select durable materials that provide adequate seating, organization and style.
With the right bench, you’ll have years of enjoyment ambling in the garden, hosting neighbors or just reading with your morning tea. And you’ll have peace of mind knowing your outdoor items are protected from the elements when stored inside.
Give your patio, deck or yard a stylish focal point while keeping essentials at hand but out of sight. A weatherproof storage bench is a wise investment in organization and comfort.