Sofa dining sets for long lunches and relaxed evenings

Dine comfy with friends and family this summer with an on-trend sofa dining set.

Sofa dining set

by Jill Morgan |

The trend for relaxed dining is sweeping into our gardens just in time for summer, and we couldn’t love it any more! Rather than a formal dining table and chair set, we’re seeing lots of products combining the comfort and laidback vibes of an outdoor sofa dining sets with a table.

From a chilled Sunday brunch to a barbie supper with friends, these versatile sets make al fresco meals a far more relaxed and enjoyable affair.

Sofa dining set buyers' guide

Find your dream set

These lounge dining sets range from fixed and modular corner sofas to more traditional two- and three-seater sofas, so you can find the best layout to make the most of your available space. ‘L’ shape or corner sofas are the most popular design this season. They’re great for squeezing in loads of friends or for lazing around and putting your feet up. Styled to push back close to a wall and tuck into a corner (although make sure you leave enough space for recliners), they’ll make the most of compact patio space.

Read next: Garden furniture covers to protect your tables and chairs

If you want a more flexible arrangement then a sofa with two armchairs might suit you better. Many sofa dining sets come with co-ordinating benches and individual stools too, which are perfect for accommodating extra guests.

What are high-low tables?

Some sofa dining sets feature a high-low table, where you can adjust the height from a low-level coffee table to a more formal dining height. They’re a real bonus if you only have room in your garden for one sofa set and you want to use your new settee for everyday lounging as well as al fresco eating.

These nifty tables work in one of two ways. The most popular designs must be lifted up and out of their base and moved to one side before being reslotted in at the higher level. It’s pretty basic and requires two people, but it only takes a few seconds and there’s no built-in tech to go wrong. It can be tricky if the table is already laid with drinks and nibbles though! To be stable, this type of table tends to be block shaped, so it’s not always the most elegant option.

Some tables have gas-lift risers and these effortlessly glide from coffee to dining height at the push or twist of a lever. There’s no need to remove items from the surface, enlist the help of a friend or even get up from your seat, as the simple gas-filled struts do all the work for you.

Table profiles and styling are usually slimmer too, enabling a much wider choice of materials including aluminium, but they do cost more than the simple lift-and-shift variety.

What material is best?

Designed to be left outside in most weathers, these outdoor sofa dining sets come in a range of materials. The hot favourites this season include trusty all-weather rattan, smooth aluminium teamed with tactile synthetic rope or rich wood, along with fully upholstered designs. Each have their own distinct characteristics and charm, but they also have differing lifespans and maintenance needs.

All-weather rattan products vary in quality, cost and performance and this is usually down to the manufacturing processes used. For a long-lasting product, look for seating with a rigid steel or aluminium frame with minimal joints and screws. Look also for mono-extrusion processes where the dye is present throughout the entire rattan strand, rather than just the coating, making any scratches much less visible. It’s easy to keep all-weather rattan dirt-free with a soft bristle brush and non-foaming cleaner.

Aluminium designs tend to be slender with clean lines. Light to move – ideal if you like a change of scene – the surface is smooth and can be powder-coated for extra toughness, often in matt black or other eye-catching colours. Thanks to its contemporary good looks it is often paired with tactile details such as panels of woven synthetic rope or hardwoods such as responsibly sourced teak, which contain natural waterproofing oils and need little upkeep.

Fully tailored fabric sofas are this season’s outdoor A-listers. Thanks to advances in fabric technology, water- and stain-repellent fabrics have come down in cost and improved in performance. UV-stable and soft to the touch, they can be left out in sudden downpours and are pretty quick to air-dry. Look for solution-dyed acrylic products for a super hardwearing fabric, and check product details to see how easy they are to clean – some materials can even be jet washed and refinished with a home clean kit to keep them in tip-top condition.

What about the cushions?

Although most sofas are designed to be left outside in all seasons, cushions can differ so do check the small print. Some must be brought inside at the slightest glimpse of a shower but we’re seeing more and more that can be left in place in all but the heaviest rain. Often referred to as all-weather or shower-resistant cushions, these relatively new products have fibre-filled inners that allow any water to drain straight through. They’re more expensive than traditional seat pads but well worth it.

Neutral shades such as stone, dove grey, and charcoal are all on-trend this season. Most are UV fade-resistant, machine washable, and quick to dry, but do check if you want your cushions to look just as gorgeous next summer.

Shop the best sofa dining sets

Habitat Malta 6 Seater Steel Corner Dining Set

Habitat Malta 6 Seater Steel Corner Dining Set
©Argos

Transform your garden into an elegant, on-trend sanctuary with the beautiful Habitat Malta 6 Seater Steel Corner Dining Set. This comfy number has a textured cord finish, a smoked glass tabletop, and removable legs for easy storage. It comes with the 10 fashionable beige cushions included.

Set includes: 3-seater and 2-seater sofa configured as a corner unit, 2 smart stools, table, fabric cushions

Seats: 6 people

Matara 7 Seater Corner Garden Sofa Set

Matara 7 Seater Corner Garden Sofa Set
©Homebase

With plenty of space for entertaining guests, this gorgeous L-shaped sofa dining set is perfect for popping into a corner of your patio. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use with the contemporary, weather-resistant rattan effect and steel frame, it's easy to maintain and clean.

Set includes: L-shaped sofa, 2 cushioned footstools, table, cushions

Seats: 7 people

Dorset Compact Corner Lounge Set with Rising Table

Dorset Compact Corner Lounge Set with Rising Table
©Furniture Village

Compact and cube-shaped, this comfy corner sofa in all-weather rattan simply slides together when not in use to maximise your space. The rising table is great for all occasions; raise to dine or lower to lounge. In an attractive white-wash finish, it's strong, comfy, durable, and has a relaxed modern style with gently curved arms.

Set includes: Corner sofa, 2 stools, glass-topped rising table, showerproof cushions

Seats: 7 people

Aruba Corner Dining Set With Firepit

Aruba Corner Dining Set With Firepit
©Cox and Cox

This gas-powered fire table will keep guests warm long into the night, as well as adding ambience to al fresco meals. The aluminium anti-rust frames and weatherproof chair seats and backs make it easy to look after too.

Set includes: Corner sofa, 2 stools, fire table, cushions

Seats: 7 people

This sofa dining set is currently OOS, but you can find a great alternative Aruba here.

Hartman Dubai Rectangular Corner Casual Dining Bench Set

Hartman Dubai Rectangular Corner Casual Dining Bench Set
©Inside Out Living

This rope-strung aluminium sofa is lightweight, great for any repositioning, while the Tuscan ceramic glass-topped table is reassuringly robust. Well-suited to most modern gardens, it provides, style, durability, and comfort with the cushions made from Hartman’s Weatherready® technology to survive light showers and flash downpours.

Set includes: 2 seat dining bench, lounge chair, right corner sofa, rectangular dining table, Weatherready® slate cushions

Seats: 8 people

Corner Rattan Sofa Set for Outdoors with Dining Table

Corner Rattan Sofa Set for Outdoors with Dining Table
©ManoMano

Designed to withstand wet weather without issue, this steel framed sofa set is made from stylish grey PE rattan and makes an affordable choice for al fresco dining. With space to sit six people, the whole family can sit comfortably to dinner with the plush, padded back and seat cushions.

Set includes: L-shaped sofa, table, padded back and seat cushions

Seats: 6 people

Helsinki Corner Dining Set

Helsinki Corner Dining Set
©Next

This striking black rattan rope effect set with aluminium frame and wood effect legs wouldn’t look out of place indoors and its showerproof seats and back cushions make it super comfy. Available in black, light grey, and natural rattan, the corner sofa can be left or right-handed and the table comes with a stylish stone effect top.

Set includes: Corner sofa, 2 stools, dining table, showerproof cushions

Seats: 8 people

Enna Reclining Left Corner Dining Set with Rising Table & 3 Footstools

Enna Reclining Left Corner Dining Set with Rising Table & 3 Footstools
©Oakworld

Each backrest of this aluminium frame design can slide back to a 45° angle so you can lounge post-lunch in comfort. Currently available in white, it's not just the seats that are adjustable - the table is adjustable too. The perfect bridge between relaxing with friends and family in the garden as well as dining al fresco, this two-in-one sofa dining set ticks all the boxes.

Set includes: 2 seater sofa, 3 seater sofa, bench, footstool, height adjustable casual dining table

Seats: 8-9 people

Tokyo Modular Sofas, Footstools and Cushions, and Tokyo Casual Dining Table

Tokyo Modular Sofas, Footstools and Cushions, and Tokyo Casual Dining Table
©Dobbies

Stress-free settee

Tokyo Modular Sofas, Footstools and Cushions, and Tokyo Casual Dining Table

View offer

Made from 100% recyclable polyethylene rope on durable aluminium frame and wooden base, this streamlined set consists of a corner sofa, two footstool, and a fixed height wooden table with handy storage (available for £450).

Made from 100% recyclable polyethylene rope on durable aluminium frame and wooden base, this streamlined set consists of a corner sofa, two footstool, and a fixed height wooden table with handy storage (available for £450).

Set includes: Corner sofa, 2 footstools, cushions, and table at additional cost

Seats: 6 people

The Tokyo sofa dining set is currently OOS

Maze Outdoor Fabric Pulse Square Corner Dining Set With Rising Table

Maze Outdoor Fabric Pulse Square Corner Dining Set With Rising Table
©Maze Living

Enjoy true luxe living with this corner sofa, stools, and rising table. The high-performance outdoor fabric and quick-drying foam cushions mean that they can be left outside year-round and cleaned with a simple jetwash. Available with fabric cushions in colours Lead Chine, Flanelle, Charcoal, and Taupe.

Set includes: 3 seater left hand sofa, 2 seater right hand sofa, 2 benches, spray stone rising table, free winter cover

Seats: 9 people

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Modern Gardens magazine

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