Image Source: AmazonPatio table and chair sets come in a variety of sizes, shapes, styles, colors, and materials, and each has a different functionality depending on your needs. While large dining sets are best for hosting a number of guests, small outdoor bistro sets are perfect for limited spaces, and we’ll focus specifically on those today.
Small outdoor bistro sets are usually light and compact enough to nicely accommodate the needs of city dwellers or those with limited outdoor space. Dining or just relaxing outside can also transport you to another place. While it may not exactly match alfresco dining on a hotel balcony in Mikonos, it sure comes close.
When it comes to choosing an outdoor bistro set, aesthetics, function, and comfort are certainly big factors to consider. Your available space and where you will place it should also be part of the decision mix. But for furniture that will be outside 24/7 for most of the year, the materials the outdoor bistro set are made of are of #1 importance. Today, let’s take a deeper look at those materials and which will work best for you, your available space, and budget. Then, we’ll share our reviews of some of the better outside bistro sets we found.
There’s a reason why cast iron is the material of choice for those looking for a high-end outdoor bistro set. You just can’t beat its durability and long-lasting ability to repel any type of weather conditions. Tables and chairs made from cast iron can hold a lot of weight and its sturdy, heavy construction ensures that it’s not going anywhere, even in the strongest winds, although that weight also keeps it from being easily portable. Cast iron outdoor bistro sets can skew towards the expensive side, but in this case, you really do get what you pay for. Other than cost and movability, there are few downsides to buying a cast iron outdoor bistro set. Be aware that cast iron can rust easily, but that’s something a good rust repellent can prevent.
Thanks to its durability, versatility, light weight, and attractive price point, synthetic resin is a material option worth considering. While not quite as strong as cast iron but a few notches above the cast aluminum we’ll talk about next, we like how light and movable synthetic resin can be. This makes it perfect for people who like to mix up the arrangements every so often. It’s strong enough to take on the weather and we like how it does not rust or corrode, even in high humidity. Aesthetically, the faux wicker and rattan design give a classic look that never goes out of style. Other than the risk of being blown over in heavy winds, there’s a lot to recommend in outdoor bistro sets made from synthetic resin materials.
Lower-priced but no less reliable, cast aluminum are easily movable thanks to their relatively light weight, although they often need to be weighted down in windy locales. While not as structurally solid as cast iron models, aluminum is still tough and durable under varying weather conditions. Best, unlike cast iron, cast aluminum will not rust! If you’re looking for an affordable outdoor bistro set that sturdy and light, then cast aluminum will easily fit the bill.
While steel materials offer strong durability and weight capacity at relatively low price points, it will rust … that’s a given. So when considering steel outdoor bistro sets, you’ll need to ask yourself if you’re up for the constant maintenance and upkeep it demands. If you are, you’ll still get a reliable, heavy duty bistro set with a high weight capacity that’s also aesthetically pleasing. Cost wise, steel is a more affordable option than cast iron, but it can still run a little more than synthetic resin models.
While outdoor bistro sets made from wood materials may not be as structurally solid as some of the other materials we’ve mentioned, we like wood for how easily customizable it can be. A little stain or paint can help you make a creative statement with your outdoor bistro set that will also dramatically boost your backyard’s aesthetic appeal. Wood, however, is not the most weather-resistant of materials, so expect some upkeep. You might want to consider applying a water-resistant coating if you’re planning on keeping them outside for most of the year.
Top Outdoor Bistro Sets
An outdoor bistro set that captures the cool, retro vibe of the swingin’ 60s, the PatioPost Acapulco 3-Piece Outdoor Bistro Set will look great by the pool, underneath a shady tree, or on a condo balcony. Comfort was no problem as we sunk deep into the oval high-back design and the firm handwoven, weather-resistant plastic ropes. To call the comfy chairs “nap inducing” would be an understatement. The powder-coated steel frame gave the table and chairs a sturdy durability we felt we can depend on. While assembly was tricky, once we got it together we appreciated the light weight that makes moving the set around simple. Still, if aesthetics are the biggest selling points for this outdoor bistro set, it scores big points for being so fun and quirky. Even better, it’s available in color choices of blue (pictured), red, and yellow. If you’re looking to express your creative self with something completely different, the moderately-priced PatioPost Acapulco 3-Piece Outdoor Bistro Set is for you.
|Unique retro design||Difficult to assemble|
4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Classic cosmopolitan elegance meets lightweight durability in the Best Choice Products Cast Aluminum 3-Piece Outdoor Bistro Set. Compact enough for small spaces yet eye-catching enough to be noticed anywhere, we found a lot to like in this outdoor bistro set. Aesthetically, we were struck by the sensual tulip design that looks just as great in a backyard as it would outside a Paris bistro. We also thought its copper finish jacked up the style appeal. Structurally, the cast aluminum materials give the set enough strength to support up to 220 pounds. We especially loved the chair and table leg levelers that kept everything from wobbling. Plus, we thought the table’s 1” patio umbrella hole gave the set an extra level of versatility and comfort. At a good price point, the Best Choice Products Cast Aluminum 3-Piece Outdoor Bistro Set offers European style and excellent durability.
|Unique tulip design||Chairs are not stackable|
|Easy to assemble|
4.0 out of 5.0 stars
We loved the light weight and easy portability of the compact yet comfy H&L Steel Folding Patio Bistro Set. Built from lightweight but sturdy thin-walled steel materials, and with a table and chairs that fold up when not is use, this is a light and compact outdoor bistro set that’s perfect for small patios, apartment decks or balconies, or limited backyard space. Both the tables and chairs can handle a lot of weight, and the weather-resistant wicker can easily tackle the elements. Speaking of wicker, we really liked the classic deep espresso finish of the wicker that give the H&L Steel Folding Patio Bistro Set a high-end yet understated style. On top of all of the other features, it comes at a terrific price point! A must for those whose limited budget matches their limited space.
|Good value for money||Paint flakes off in high heat|
|Portable & lightweight|
4.5 out of 5.0 stars
True to its name, the cool, modern design of the Keter Rio All-Weather Outdoor Patio Garden Conversation Set is bound to start conversations at your next backyard gathering. While we were thoroughly impressed with the excellent design of this set, we have to give props to its heavy-duty durability. Its wicker construction is light and weather-resistant, and a steel frame gives super-strong support and weight management. The entire set is compact enough to fit into smaller spaces and is light enough to easily move around. Still, despite its obvious structural strengths, it all comes down to the super-cool aesthetics of this model. In short, the Keter Rio All-Weather Outdoor Patio Garden Conversation Set is what happens when you marry heavy-duty durability and construction meets with cool minimalistic style.
|Easy assembly||Chairs are not stackable|
|2-year warranty||Low seat height|
4.5 out of 5.0 stars
We were very impressed with the design aesthetics and overall durability of the JUMMICO 4-Piece Outdoor Garden Patio Bistro Set. Notably, we thought the rectangular design of the table and the couch-style chair help set this outdoor bistro well apart from the others reviewed here. Let’s chat about that table. Roomy and spacious, it can handle the weight. Plus, its suction cup design provides more support and stability. Like the table, the tubular frames of the super-comfy chairs are made from sturdy powder-coated steel. The chair fabrics are made from advanced Textilene fabric that offers cooling comfort even in the hottest of days. Its light weight makes it extremely portable; load it all into your SUV or camper for a trip to the beach or campsite. Even better, the JUMMICO 4-Piece Outdoor Garden Patio Bistro Set comes at a sweet price point, making it an affordable option.
|Sturdy construction||Susceptible to rust|
|Easy to assemble|
4.8 out of 5.0 stars
We love the classic dark rattan style of the Incbruce 3-Piece Outdoor Patio Bistro Set. We found sitting on the comfy foam cushions of the high-backed chairs to be super-comfortable, and the rustproof steel frame with waterproof hand woven PE rattan wicker made everything feel sturdy and reliable. We also liked that the rattan is UV-resistant for extra durability and longevity. We also liked the compact design that made it perfect for smaller spaces. While assembly wasn’t as simple as we would have liked, that’s a small complaint. Overall, we found the Incbruce 3-Piece Outdoor Patio Bistro Set to be a great outdoor bistro set at an excellent price.
|Comfortable||Confusing assembly instructions|
|Sturdy||Difficult to assemble|
|Good for small spaces|
4.8 out of 5.0 stars
We flipped for the top-of-the-line elegance, comfort, and durability of the SUNCROWN Outdoor 3-Piece Rocking Bistro Set. As solidly built as an outdoor bistro set can get, this cast iron set is built to take on the elements! But let’s talk about the comfort levels of this wonderful set. The seat height of the chairs is perfect, and the cushions are not only super comfy, but their covering is water resistant and machine washable. Plus, the gentle rocking abilities had us falling into a snooze.While the tempered glass side table looks nimble, its strong frame and bottom support beam can support up to 200 pounds of weight. With its wicker finish and simple, understated design, the SUNCROWN Outdoor 3-Piece Rocking Bistro Set is as aesthetically pleasing as it is stylish and comfortable.
|Elegant design||No cushion ties|
|Low seat height||Confusing assembly instructions|
5.0 out of 5.0 stars