Garden & Lawn

Top 7 Best Potting Benches – Wood vs metal and our top picks

Last updated on October 15th, 2021

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Whether you’re getting started with your very first greenhouse or an expert gardener looking for the best planting bench, an accomplished gardener with a large garden to tend to or a modern gardener with a balcony full of potted plants, a proper potting bench will make garden planting and maintenance much easier. Better still, a potting bench can be a stylish addition to your garden furniture. It can double up as a drink or buffet table at garden parties. 

In this post, we review the best potting benches available on the market. They range from simple designs to large and intricate pieces of multi-purpose furniture. We’ve listed models of varying price ranges, so even if you are on a tight budget, rest assured there is something for you. You will also find a buyer’s guide complete with everything you need to consider when choosing a potting bench. 

But before we get to the detailed reviews and buyer’s guide, check out the winner of our “Best Pick” below. This is the Habau 695 Garden Table With its Beautiful Zinc-Plated Working Surface. This wooden table with galvanised surfaces is arguably one of the best quality benches on the market. Many buyers love it for the fact that the materials are fully weatherproof, allowing it to be left outside, whilst the surface is incredibly easy to clean. It does lack a soil tray but it does have a shelf underneath so you can keep a large bag of compost at arms reach.

BEST PICK

Habau 695 Garden Table with Zinc-Plated Working Surface
The Habau Garden Table is one of the best quality potting benches available on the market. It has a large worktop that measures 100cm x 55cm that makes it more than adequate for use with large-sized plants and pots. An easy to assemble potting bench so it won't be long before you are able to get potting up your plants.

RUNNER UP

VidaXL Solid Acacia Wood and Zinc Potting Bench
The VidaXL Solid Acacia Wood and Zinc Potting Bench are made of solid acacia wood that has been treated with a light coat of oil for extra protection. Solid acacia wood is durable and will last you for years as long as you follow through with maintenance, which ideally means a coat of oil every year. This potting bench is large so you will have adequate room to do your work and it is finished with a galvanised top and also features two storage shelves.

7 of the best potting benches are:

  1. Habau 695 Garden Table with Zinc-Plated Working Surface – BEST PICK
  2. VidaXL Solid Acacia Wood and Zinc Potting Bench – RUNNER UP
  3. Christow Wooden Potting Table – BEST BUDGET PICK
  4. Christow Wooden Potting Bench
  5. HomeZone Garden Mile Wooden Potting Bench
  6. Panacea Products Potting Bench with Soil Reservoir
  7. Parasene Potting Bench

BEST BUDGET PICK

Christow Wooden Potting Table
A more affordable option, this table is perfectly designed for gardening. With a smooth worktop, two storage shelves, a drawer, wheels and a removable potting tray, it has all the convenient features you want in a potting table. Easy to put together as well and looks great.

Top 7 Best Potting Benches

1. Habau 695 Garden Table with Zinc-Plated Working Surface

BEST PICK

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Habau 695 Garden Table with Zinc-Plated Working Surface

The Habau 695 Garden Table with its Zinc-Plated Working Surface is an excellent and beautiful addition to any garden, thanks to its striking design and finish. The top is made of a galvanised metal that is incredibly easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth and will not rust. You can wash it as well with a garden hose if the dirt is stubborn. 

The worktop measures 100cm x 55cm and that should be enough space for potting plants. This garden table can also be used for barbecue parties, particularly for preparation utensils and holding large bowls. As a matter of fact, there is also a lower slatted shelf where you can store further items. It just sits in place so you can remove it if it is something that you do not need. A metal grid at the back of the table also allows smaller garden tools to be hung on metal hooks, not to mention that the top is heat-resistant if you want to rest a portable BBQ on it. 

The build quality of this potting table is exceptional. You can leave the table exposed to elements all year round and still be fine. The galvanised shelves only need a wiping over after the winter and the lower shelf is useful for sheltering plants from the worst of the winter weather as well as the frost if you keep it in a greenhouse.

Even though the instructions are in German, this table is still easy to put together when you follow the diagrams and utilising the supplied mounting hardware. It also has an 80cm working height, so it should be the correct height for standing and working at, which should be about right for most gardeners. 

Pros

  • Made of hardwood with a galvanised top for durability. 
  • Can be left outdoors throughout different seasons as it can withstand the elements. 
  • Multi-functional table that can also be used for BBQing events.
  • Good working height – 80cm between the floor and the worktop. 
  • Includes a lower slatted shelf for storing gardening essentials. 
  • Has a metal mesh behind the worktop for hanging smaller items.

Our recommendation

All things considered, the Habau 695 Garden Table is well-built and should offer many years of service. A solid multi-functional garden table that is definitely worth the extra investment for its quality alone. This is our favourite model, it does lack a compost reservoir that would be a handy feature, however, this would mean less working space which some people may prefer. After much debate, we decided that this model deserved to be our ‘Best pick’ as the build quality is excellent whilst still being affordable.

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2. VidaXL Solid Acacia Wood and Zinc Potting Bench

RUNNER UP

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vidaXL Solid Acacia Wood and Zinc Potting Bench with 2 Shelves Flower Staging

Introducing the VidaXL Solid Acacia Wood and Zinc Potting Bench that has a simple structure, but what it lacks in style it certainly makes up for it with durability. The potting bench is made out of solid acacia wood which is not only durable but also has a great feel to it.

Measuring 76cm long by 37cm wide and 92 cm tall, this model comes with two shelves that can be used for different purposes, be it storing tools or potting on seedlings or potting up shrubs.

The potting bench weighs 14kgs providing stability when holding large pots of plants. It requires maintenance occasionally to ensure that the structure retains its strength.

This means an application of protective oil is a must so we recommend doing this every year to keep it looking new. This potting bench is simple to assemble and in a matter of minutes, it is ready to use.

Pros

  • Stable high quality wood potting bench with galvanised zinc top.
  • Made of solid acacia wood which is a durable hardwood perfect for moist environments.
  • Easy to assemble and it requires little maintenance.
  • Comes with two shelves to provide ample working space.

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3. Christow Wooden Potting Table

BEST BUDGET PICK

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CHRISTOW Wooden Potting Table With Wheels Drawer Compost Tray FSC Certified H120cm x W90cm x D42cm

The Christow Wooden Potting Table is perfect for potting plants and flowers for your garden. It comes flat-packed with all fixings and instructions included for an easy home assembly. The assembled table measures 120cm H x 90cm W x 42cm D, which is quite compact for patios, decking and gardens of all shapes and sizes. The flat-top offers a stable surface for potting plants, the feature we really like is the removable potting tray to contain compost and reduce wastage as you can always empty the excess soil back into your compost bag. 

If you need enough storage for pots, seeds, feed, compost, twine, watering can and other essentials, this potting bench has more than enough space for those. There is a narrow upper shelf, a slatted lower shelf under the worktop and a drawer with an easy-to-open metal handle. 

A practical feature of this potting bench is the two wheels integrated on one end. They come in handy when you want to move the potting bench to a new location in the garden or greenhouse, such as times when you need to move away from the sun to a shadier spot. Simply lift the other end with sturdy legs push or pull the bench to the desired spot. 

Thanks to the smooth worktop the Christow Potting Table is a breeze to clean and maintain. Just sweep off the dirt with a brush and dustpan and deposit it in your compost bin. Better still, the raised back and sides effectively contain compost when you are potting and any loose compost collects in the removable tray. 

Pros

  • Easy self-assembly with all fixings and instructions included. 
  • Designed with two shelves and a drawer for essentials. 
  • Comes with two wheels for easy mobility. 
  • Includes a removable potting tray that helps minimise waste.  
  • Easy to clean and maintain.
  • Very affordable, offer excellent value for money. 

Our recommendation

Overall, the Christow Wooden Potting Table offers everything that you need to care for your garden. The table is user-friendly and comes in exchange for a decent price. You will struggle to find a cheaper model than this whilst not compromising on the quality or features. Not quite as well made as our ‘Best Pick’, however, it’s nearly half the price.

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4. Christow Wooden Potting Bench

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CHRISTOW Wooden Potting Table With 5 Hooks 2 Shelves FSC Certified H89cm x W76.5cm x D37cm

Yet another model from Christow, this Wooden Potting Bench is a smaller version of the model above which explains the slightly more affordable price. Even with its slightly compact dimensions of 89cm H x 76.5cm W x 37cm D, the worktop has enough space for potting plants and even carrying several pots stacked together.

The worktop features a hard-wearing, galvanised metal that is a nice touch and it is also positioned at waist height for comfortable working. One thing we like about the galvanised worktop is that it is sleek and smooth, making it easy to clean. All you need is to sweep off dirt with a brush and collect it with a dustpan for emptying into your compost bin

There are two slatted shelves beneath the worktop where you can put your garden products, chemicals, bags of compost and other items. Also featured are 5 side hooks to hang hand tools such as trowels and other small garden tools. 

The feet are covered by galvanised metal to protect the table from ground damp, making it perfect to use in a greenhouse or patio. The wood itself has been pressure-treated for it to last longer.

Pros

  • Made of pressure-treated wood with a galvanised metal surface and feet for longevity. 
  • Has two storage shelves and 5 hanging hooks for hand tools. 
  • Sleek and smooth worktop that is easy to clean. 
  • Comes with all the fixings and instructions for easy self-assembly.
  • Compact design that is perfect for small spaces.  

Our recommendation

Anyone looking for the best bench for the greenhouse will be happy with the quality of this potting bench and it also comes at a very affordable price too.

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5. HomeZone Garden Mile Garden Potting Bench

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HomeZone Garden Mile® Wooden Garden Potting Bench Outdoor Plant Work Bench Station Greenhouse Flower Table Tool Storage Shelf Ideal Gardeners Gift

The cheapest model on our list, this HomeZone Garden Mile Potting Bench is ideal for when space is limited or for infrequent use. Looking at the size, it falls between the largest and the smallest models with dimensions of H90 x W70 x D41cm. The table is still enough to help you stay organised when potting plants and flowers. You can keep tools, soil and pots within arms reach, helping you to reduce spreading a mess over a large area, making it a must-have for gardening enthusiasts.

Portable and versatile, this model can be stationed in a greenhouse, patio, decking and virtually anywhere else in the garden. The potting bench is beautifully made from natural Firwood that has been sourced from FSC Certified forests and should last for several years to come. Giving the wood a decent treatment on an annual basis will also maximise durability.

The galvanised worktop should be able to withstand the elements and easy to clean as well. The design includes a slatted shelf beneath the worktop for storing your watering can, plant pots, grow trays and other items.

Pros

  • Portable potting bench, allowing you to move it around the garden with ease. 
  • Made from high-quality pressure treated Firwood.
  • Has a galvanised worktop that is weatherproof and durable.  
  • Includes a storage shelf for your gardening essentials.
  • Very affordable.

Our recommendation

Comparing the price versus features, you get what you pay for; a basic model without deluxe additions but at a superb price. We aren’t really sure how they manage to sell it so cheap, it is certainly worth more, but this makes good news for us gardeners.

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6. Panacea Products Potting Bench

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Panacea Products Potting Bench with Soil Reservoir, Bronze

Featuring powder-coated steel construction, the Panacea Products Potting Bench with Soil Reservoir will perfectly resist all weather conditions for countless years to come. You will also find it a breeze to clean and maintain. Assembly is quick and simple without needing to use any tools and it measures 36W x 17D x 55.5H inches when fully built. Most importantly, this potting table has a clever folding design that lets you fold it flat and get it out of the way. This is only one of a few potting benches that can actually fold down and the only model that made it onto our review that can be folded down.

This model is perfect for smaller spaces when you don’t need a potting bench all the time. Although you can leave it outside, we recommend still getting a cover for it, maybe something like a bbq cover. Integral to this potting bench is a soil reservoir for easy and neat plant potting. You will also love the decorative scrollwork on the back and sides too which give it a little bit of style. 

The workspace is large enough and there is plenty of storage space underneath for supplies, pots and tools. When it comes to capacity, the reservoir holds a maximum of 6.8 kg, the worktop holds up to 18kg and the bottom shelf can accommodate up to 40kg of material. There’s also a square grid with four hanging hooks for suspending hand tools.

Pros

  • No tool assembly. 
  • Comes with a storage shelf and four hanging hooks. 
  • Easy to store off-season thanks to a foldable design. 
  • Includes a large soil reservoir for neat potting.

Our recommendation

If you fancy a metal potting bench, this one is worth considering, although it’s quite expensive it does looks the part.

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7. Parasene Potting Bench

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Parasene Potting Bench

The Parasene Potting Bench is all metal and thus one of the sturdiest models available. The metal and sleek design are so easy to clean and the galvanised finish can withstand any weather for long-lasting durability. Assembly is quick and easy, and the bench stands steady with large potting loads on the worktop and the lower shelf. The worktop has a raised back to reduce wastage of materials and there is enough space for potting plants. If you are looking for a minimalist potting bench, this Parasene is the right deal. 

Unfortunately, it may not all be plain sailing, all the above is true, however, the way the holes line up could be better. You will notice from other reviews online that you often need to re-drill the odd hole to get everything lined up. This is easy enough if you have a drill and are fairly competent, however, if you don’t we would recommend looking at an alternative model, a shame really as it is brilliant once you finally put it together.

Pros

  • Sturdy metal construction that is easy to clean and extremely durable. 
  • Includes a storage shelf below the worktop. 
  • Highly resistant to weather decay.

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Potting Bench Buyer’s Guide

There are many factors to consider when shopping for a potting bench that will suit your needs. For the occasional gardener who only needs to re-pot a few plants every now and again, a minimalist potting bench will be more than adequate just like our ‘Best Pick’. However, if you get your hands dirty in the garden on almost a daily basis, you will want to be a bit choosy, and there are plenty of bells and whistles to make your selection easier. 

Design

If you need a potting bench for potting plants and storing soil, bucket, pots and hand tools, then consider a model with multiple racks and even a few drawers. Some even come with bars for hanging secateurs, pruning shears and other garden tools. Others feature lattice-style backs that allow you to hang S-hooks that you can use to hold your equipment. 

If you are short on space, you can grab a potting bench that folds flat when you are finished using them, allowing you to store them away neatly in your garden shed or garage. 

Some models also include wheels that make it a breeze to push them around when loaded with supplies. This can be huge if you intend to use your potting bench in the garden, particularly for transporting seeds, fertiliser and tools to wherever you need to use them. 

Construction material

Potting benches are usually made of wood, plastic or metal. Each material has a different level of quality and you just can’t pick the prettiest model and be satisfied. Many people prefer wood over other materials because of its natural aesthetics and how it blends in with their garden furniture.

If you buy a wooden model, make sure that the material is stained or treated so it can last for a long time outside, though your potting bench will most likely spend time in the shed when not in use. Even so, it has to contend with the cold winter and the heat of the summer and this can cause vulnerable materials to deteriorate. Galvanised metals and hard plastics such as uPVC and Polypropylene can also last longer and require little maintenance. Our two favourites are wooden and metal tables, plastic can become brittle and fade over time, timber can fade but you always have the option to give it a coat of wood preservative.

Working height

Potting benches have a height similar to the standard kitchen counter, 36 inches. There are a few models though that are adjustable in height and these are a good option if you are too tall or too short for a 36-inch model. Ideally, you can set the ideal height that suits you and avoid stooping or straining your back. You may also go for a potting bench with casters, which add an extra 5 inches to the height as well as make the bench easy to move. 

Surface area

This is totally up to you because you are the one who knows how much table space you need as well as how much space you have in your garden. If space isn’t a problem, there are many large potting benches available. An extending table is also a great option, especially if your need for space is intermittent. 

Potting bench maintenance

Probably the worst part of gardening is cleaning. Whilst metal and plastic potting benches are easy to clean with a garden hose, wooden models require are a bit more demanding because the dirt and dust tend to stick to the wood. Some models come with built-in sinks to ease the cleaning process. The sink gives you somewhere to sweep excess dirt and debris into, away from the working surface and most of them are usually detachable for easy emptying when needed.


Final Conclusion

A potting bench is an essential piece of kit for anyone who enjoys gardening and wants to make the job an even easier task. In fact, it is important for both users and aesthetic purposes. The potting benches we’ve reviewed in this post only scratch the surface of what is available on the market but we feel we have found 7 of the best models currently available.

Ideally, the best potting bench is one that meets your personal requirements. There are benches with multiple storage shelves and hooks, some fold flat for off-season storage and others are small enough for compact spaces.

We thought the Habau 695 Garden Table with Zinc-Plated Working Surface cuts across the needs of many and, therefore, is our top recommendation. The model is well-built, has a pretty large work surface and includes shelves and hanging hooks. The rest of the bunch are great too and well worth considering.


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Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

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