The best places to buy patio furniture are often located online, where you can shop for furniture right from the comfort of your own easy chair. It can be fun to go virtual shopping by taking a leisurely Saturday or Sunday afternoon at the computer and exploring the many websites that feature a wide array of brand name furniture for outdoor use.

What's Your Pleasure?

You first need to decide a few things before shopping online in order to make your shopping excursion more pleasant than overwhelming. Determine what budget you have established for this purchase and remember that your goal is to find quality patio furnishings at a great price rather than settling for cheap patio furniture, which is definitely not the same thing. Once you've made the decision to invest in patio furniture, search for the best patio furniture you can afford so that you'll get more than one or two season's use out of it. Online retailers are offering such attractive deals on outdoor furnishings that you can often purchase brand new patio sets for less than the cost of used patio furniture purchased at a local yard sale.

Don't guess about the size of the area where you are placing the items you'll purchase because you don't want to be stuck with the expense of returning a chaise lounge or coffee table that turned out to be too big for the dedicated space. So get out that measuring tape and jot down the total square footage where the new furnishings will be positioned, in addition to taking such measurements as maximum width, height and length that the space allows. Don't forget that seeing a picture online may make a chair or table look much smaller or larger than it will actually be in your designated patio space.

Choose Your Style

The best places to buy patio furniture will feature more than one style. Some people know that they want bamboo or rattan for that casual, comfortable tropical feeling. Others can afford the look and feel of exotic wood, while others will opt for furnishings made using durable and easy to clean plastic that will last from year to year. Aluminum pieces are lightweight and easy to shift around if you enjoy changing the look of your outdoor living space every few weeks. Canvas construction adds a nostalgic look to the area, and furnishings using cushions often provide the most comfortable seating. So start your search in the style category that best suits your heart's desire. And if you don't know exactly which style suits you best, have fun considering the pros and cons of each style presented. Some websites and stores allow you to order patio furniture custom-made but realize that customer orders take time and if you don't plan well in advance, you may find yourself getting your order delivered just in time to coincide with the first snowfall.

Top Retailers Offer Best Choices

Big box home improvement stores usually offer websites you can visit and even order from in addition to having stores close to your area where you can see the products up close and in person. Some customers enjoy browsing online first and then visiting the store, while others see something they like in-store, then come home to check out a variety of websites to see which retailer offers the best deal on that particular patio item. Home Depot is one of the most popular home improvement store chains to sell patio furniture. Choices here range from wrought iron and aluminum to vinyl wicker which is weather proof and wooden pieces specially treated to resist the effects of weather and aging.

Competitor Lowe's is another well-respected home improvement chain of retail stores which also offers to sell to consumers via their online website. The customer can find patio furniture here that pretty much mirrors what Home Depot is offering and prices tend to be comparable. What usually makes the difference is the cost of shipping the item to your home. Don't forget to take shipping costs into account whether buying at the retail level or placing your order online. Check to make sure that the hammock, lounge chair or dining room table you are considering purchasing comes assembled because some outdoor pieces with a lower price tag usually require that you do the assembly work yourself.

Walmart is famous for its low prices and this applies as well to its selection of patio furniture, making this retailer among the best places to make outdoor furnishing purchases, both in-store as well as online. Walmart has so many stores, it is more than likely that a customer will have a retail operation close to their home. Target and KMart stores are two other retailers that offer patio furniture in the low to moderate price range, however most of their pieces must be assembled to some degree by the customer once they get the package home.

See In-Store, Buy Online

Very often a very popular piece of patio equipment will be sold out at the store level but still available online. So don't feel too disappointed if a floor model you saw in-store isn't available, because you may just be able to go to the store's website and find an available item there. For discontinued and last season's models, check out websites such as and, where smart retailers have been known to offer some really sweet deals on patio furnishings that they want to clear from their warehouse.

Read the Fine Print

Before you commit to making a purchase either online or in the store, ask about the return policy if you get the piece home and simply hate it. On sale items especially, all sales are usually final. Inquire about the seller's warranty against defects. If the manufacturer claims that a cushion is waterproof or a chair is weatherproof and experience proves the contrary to be true, are you entitled to a replacement piece or your money back? Will the store offer an additional discount for paying in cash rather than by credit card or can you establish credit with the seller in order to spread out your purchases over time? Have fun and take your time exploring all the best places to buy patio furniture because you want the hard-earned money you spend on furnishing your outdoor living space to get the most attractive and comfortable items possible.