Cocktails in the sunshine? An Alice in Wonderland-worthy tea party? As well as allowing you and your guests to enjoy some fresh air and a pleasant meal under the sun or the stars, a dining table will become the central element on your patio.

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Here's everything that you should consider in order to choose a patio dining table that doesn't look out of place and lets you sit all of your guests comfortably.

How to Choose the Right Size Patio Dining Table?

These tables come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The right one for you? It depends on two main factors:

How big is your patio? 

Don't make the mistake of choosing a large table that just about fits but won't actually leave you enough room to pull out the chairs properly! We recommend allowing at least three feet around each side of the table;

How many people do you want to sit? 

  • most tables go from 4 to 8
  • whether you need to fit 2 or 4 people, a round table is the best option for smaller patios, whereas a square one measuring around 40 inches on each side can fit them more comfortably;
  • a 56-inch long rectangular table works well for 6 guests (sitting one at each head of the table);
  • strive for 70 inches or longer if you're aiming for 8 people;
  • for larger options and as a general rule, make sure that each person has between 18 and 24 inches of space, and allow 6-12 between each place setting.

Don't forget that, if you think you could do with a few extra seats but not often enough to justify a huge table, you can always go for a smaller extendable model. That way you'll save yourself plenty of space when sharing it with the usual members of your household, but won't struggle to fit everyone else when you have a few more guests than usual!

Solid Wooden Patio Dining Table
Steel Square Patio Dining Table
Modern Style Wood And Iron Patio Dining Table
Round Metal Patio Dining Table
Round Rattan Patio Dining Table With Glass Top
Round Rattan Patio Dining Table With Curved Legs

What Are the Best Patio Dining Tables for Different Décor Styles?

Whether you already have some patio furniture or you're planning on buying some, it's good to aim for a cohesive look. You can either introduce the décor that you've already chosen for your living room or give your patio a different feel altogether. Either way, here are our recommendations to choose a patio dining table that matches the most popular décor styles:

  • Metal or painted wooden tables with a sleek design and a rectangular shape can complement most modern décors;
  • A long wooden table, either with benches or chairs, is essential for a rustic, cottage feel or a French-country style patio;
  • Light, natural wood is the best choice for a Scandinavian feel;
  • Monochrome wooden tables with very thin legs can create a minimalist look;
  • Wooden tables painted in white or light pastel tones to achieve a chipped, damaged or aged look can complement a shabby chic patio; harmonious legs are always a plus;
  • Your chairs, cushions and decorations will do a better job of creating a bohemian feel, but wooden tables---either colorful or with clear textures---with visible planks are a great starting point;
  • Coastal aesthetics will be beautifully complemented with table tops composed of long, connected boards. Alternatively, you can pair a round glass-topped table with a set of light-colored wicker chairs. 
  • Does the exterior of your house feature an exposed brick wall? Combining metal and wooden elements can add to the rawness of industrial décor: these tables usually have a wooden top with thin, symmetrical iron legs, and can even turn into benches that follow the same style.
Simple Elegant Rectangular Patio Dining Table
Stylish Modern Plastic Patio Dining Table For Two
Traditional Style Solid Wood Patio Dining Table
Stylish Retro Aluminum And Plastic Patio Dining Table
Simple Solid Wood Patio Dining Table
Aluminum And Manufactured Wood Patio Dining Table

What Are the Best Materials for a Patio Dining Table?

As you know by now, some materials work better than others with specific décor styles, but there are other practical considerations that shouldn't be overlooked. As for the weather-resistance side of things, it's very important if the table will be exposed to elements, but---wind aside---you can overlook them if your patio is under a roof:

  • Classic wooden tables do a great job at complementing the natural look of your garden, but keep in mind that they require some maintenance, such as an annual coat of oil or stain to protect it from the weather; if you skip regular maintenance, the problem of woodworm and warping may occur.
Slatted Top Extendable Wooden Patio Dining Table
Stylish Solid Wooden Patio Dining Table
Extendable Oval Patio Dining Table
Simple Eucalyptus Wood Patio Dining Table
Stylish Solid Wood Patio Dining Table
Simple Modern Wood Patio Dining Table
  • Metal tables are exceptionally durable, low maintenance and heavy, which makes them ideal in windy locations; however, don't forget that they can get very hot in the sun and that, while metals like cast aluminum are rust-resistant, some others---like iron---can rust if they aren't coated properly;
Cast Aluminum Patio Dining Table
Modern Style Aluminum Patio Table
Stylish Colorful Metal Patio Dining Table
Classic Cast Aluminum Patio Dining Table
Powdered Coated Steel Patio Dining Table
Circular Iron Patio Dining Table
  • Plastic tables make for effortless cleaning and frequent layout rearrangements, but they usually look fairly cheap and are more prone to risk of mildew;
Simple Round Plastic Table
Stylish Modern Plastic Patio Table
Simple Round Plastic Patio Dining Table
Simple Rectangular Plastic Patio Dining Table
Rectangular Plastic Patio Dining Table
  • Whether they're made of rattan, bamboo, or synthetic materials, wicker tables are sturdy yet light, which makes them easy to move around and achieve a relaxed but sophisticated look; however, they can also develop mildew, so it might be best to choose a wicker table with a glass panel on top (it will also make it easier to clean!).
Simple Rectangular Rattan Patio Table
Folding Wicker Patio Dining Table
Wicker Patio Dining Table With Glass Tabletop
Simple Rattan Dining Table With Glass Tabletop
Round Wicker Patio Dining Table
Round Rattan Patio Dining Table With Glass Tabletop

Quick Tips

Let's recap the most important points so that you can be sure to choose a patio dining table that you won't regret after a few months:

  • Check the size of your patio and make sure that there can be at least three feet around each side of the table;
  • As for the number of guests, each person should have between 18 and 24 inches of space while allowing 6-12 inches between each place setting;
  • Consider your existing furniture or the style that you're trying to recreate if you want your patio to look cohesive;
  • If your patio isn't covered, consider weather-resistant materials.