Outdoor living has become increasingly popular over the past few years. More and more people are looking to extend their living space to the great outdoors. From small city balconies to sprawling backyard patios, creating an outdoor oasis has never been so desirable. But if you’re limited on space, you may think that enjoying full-sized patio seating isn’t possible. This is where collapsible patio side tables can save the day!
These versatile outdoor furniture pieces have experienced a surge in popularity thanks to their space-saving talents. When folded up, they reduce to a slim profile that can be tucked away against a wall or underneath existing furniture. But with just a quick unfold, they provide all the ample tabletop space you need for patio dining and entertaining.
Collapsible side tables offer a number of bonuses compared to permanent patio table options:
- They’re a budget-friendly solution that still offers style and functionality.
- The ability to fold up and put away helps keep small patios, porches and balconies clutter-free.
- Portable and lightweight designs mean they can be brought out anytime extra seating is needed.
- Weather-resistant materials allow them to withstand outdoor exposure while stashed or in use.
If you want to maximize every inch of your compact outdoor living area, bringing the flexibility of collapsible side tables into the mix is a smart idea. Keep reading to discover the top-rated models on the market and learn what to consider when selecting the right fit for your space.
The Best Collapsible Patio Side Tables for Small Outdoor Spaces
If you’re ready to invest in collapsible outdoor furniture, start your search with these top-rated folding patio side table picks:
1. Keter Rio 3 Pc All-Weather Outdoor Patio Table & Chair Set
One of the most popular collapsible patio dining sets is the Keter Rio 3-Piece Patio Table and Chair Set. This hassle-free arrangement comes with two folding chairs made from resin rattan in an espresso brown tone. The matching side table features the same weather-resistant polyethylene resin construction that won’t succumb to rust, peeling or fading.
With its contemporary wicker styling and smooth steel frames, this set is right at home in any modern outdoor space. The table includes built-in conveniences like two cup holders and a deep middle shelf for stashing snacks, books or gardening supplies. Rounded corners and smooth edges make this a family-friendly furnishing as well.
When it’s time to clear the deck or patio, everything folds up neatly. The manufacturer claims you can have this 27.5-inch square table and two chairs packed up in under 60 seconds thanks to the smooth folding mechanism and included clips. The folded dimensions are also slim enough to tuck away into storage or slide under existing furniture when not in use.
If you want both style and substance from your collapsible patio table, the enduring popularity of this Keter bistro set speaks for itself. It earns high marks for quality construction, durable materials and hassle-free performance.
- Table Top Dimensions: 27.5″ L x 27.5″ W
- Weight Capacity: 265 lbs
- Product Dimensions: 27.5 x 19.5 x 33.5 inches
- Customer rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
2. Christopher Knight Home San Tropez Folding Side Table
For a dash of breezy elegance on your patio, the Christopher Knight Home San Tropez Folding Side Table brings visual appeal to small outdoor spaces. Its acacia wood-inspired tabletop is finished in a rich espresso tone, handsomely offset by the antiqued metal base.
The powder coated steel frame offers lasting resistance against rust, chips and general wear and tear. A side handle makes it easy to carry this 17-pound table the storage area or desired spot on the patio. Simply flip the handle upwards and the table smoothly folds down for compact storage.
With a 40-inch wide tabletop when fully extended, the San Tropez provides ample mealtime and cocktail space for two. An lower shelf also offers a spot to hold plates and serving trays when entertaining.
This collapsible table earns rave reviews for its high-end style that still comes in at a budget-friendly price point. The stability and durability make it function more like permanent patio furniture. When it’s time to stow everything away, the folding design keeps your porch or balcony clear.
- Weight Capacity: 50 lbs
- Folded Dimensions: 20″L x 20″W x 3.25″H
- Open Dimensions: 40″L x 20″W x 28″H
- Middle Shelf Clearance: 14″
- Customer rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars
3. IKEA Applaro Table
For a basic, affordable folding table, IKEA’s Applaro Table fits the bill nicely. The steel frame has a weather-resistant powder coating to stand up to the elements. A wipe clean tabletop comes in durable gray polypropylene or beige ABS plastic finishes.
Built-in handles make this table a cinch to carry, even when loaded up with food and drinks. When folded, it condenses into a compact 15-inch wide profile for fuss-free storage. At just 15 pounds, most customers find this table easy enough to manage on their own.
Reviewers say the Applaro Table serves all the practicality you need from outdoor side furniture. The no-frills design is perfect for small patios and balconies that need extra seating space. Folding it away frees up valuable room when al fresco dining or get-togethers wrap up.
- Size: L35 1/4″ x D23 5/8″ x H28 3/4″
- Weight: 15 lbs
- Weight Capacity: 110 lbs
- Customer rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
4. Costway 3-Piece Metal Folding Bistro Set
This three-piece Costway bistro set provides a classic cafe aesthetic for small patios and balconies. The mosaic texture on the steel tabletop resembles tiled bistro tops found across Europe. A matching pair of curved back chairs feature breathable mesh seats for comfort.
The antique bronze powder coating on the steel frames add durability against rust and everyday wear and tear. When it’s time to put the set away, the chairs hook onto the table’s legs. An included carrying case with handles simplifies transporting this lightweight 31-pound unit.
If you want to create a cozy French-inspired nook for morning coffee, afternoon tea or evening wine, this folding bistro set fits the scene perfectly. Just open the table to reveal a 30-inch diameter mosaic top ready for dining. The overall visual appeal and quality make this set a customer favorite.
- Tabletop Size: 30” in diameter
- Chair Dimensions: 16″(L) x 17″(W) x 33.5″(H)
- Weight Capacity: 2 chairs – 225 lbs each; table – 55 lbs
- Customer rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
5. Best Choice Products Foldout Wood Patio Table
The rich faux-wood tabletop and matching lower shelf on this Best Choice Products model earn high marks for visual appeal. Unfolding this piece reveals attractive wood-look surfaces ready for serving and entertaining. But the materials are completely weather-resistant to handle the outdoor elements.
A powder coated steel frame and crisscross supports provide lasting stability when holding food, drinks and tableware. The side latch mechanism allows quick folding and unfolding in seconds. Built-in handles and wheels offer hassle-free mobility for storing this 30-pound table away until needed.
Reviewers say this folding table exceeds expectations, with smooth opening and closing action that feels solid once unfolded. The warm woodsy look mixes beautifully with most patio décor as well. It’s an ideal blend of beauty, convenience and functionality.
- Dimensions: 32″(L) x 32″(W) x 25.5″(H)
- Folded Dimensions: 32″ (L) X 32″(W) X 5″(H)
- Weight: approx. 30 lbs.
- Weight Capacity: 50 lbs.
- Customer rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
Choosing the Best Collapsible Table for Your Patio
With so many folding table designs available, it can get overwhelming trying to decide which model best suits your space and lifestyle needs. Keep these key considerations in mind while evaluating your options:
Measure Your Space
First, assess the footprint of your patio or balcony to determine size limitations. Make sure any collapsed table can squeeze into storage spots when folded. And confirm the open span accommodates the tabletop with enough room for people to sit around it comfortably.
Consider Your Seating Needs
How many people do you need to seat at one time? Two-person bistro tables take up minimal room. Larger square or rectangular tabletops in the 32 to 40-inch range provide ample seating for 4 to 6. Scale up or down based on your regular guest numbers.
Assess Durability Needs
Collapsible tables won’t offer the total stability and durability of a permanent outdoor table. But materials like powder coated aluminum or steel, along with plastic/poly lumber tabletops, hold up better than basic wicker models. Choose wisely if leaving a table outside full-time.
Compare Frame Designs
Seek out collapsible tables with crisscross leg supports and secure locking features when open. These extras reinforce stability so the table won’t wobble uncomfortably when people lean on it.
Check Weight Capacity
Don’t overload a table that’s built for lighter everyday use if you plan to host large outdoor feasts. Most support 100 to 250 pounds, but double check capacity before use.
Consider Portability Perks
Built-in wheels and carrying handles make moving a table to and from storage a painless process. Lighter-weight designs are also easier to manage than heavy steel models.
Evaluate Convenience Add-Ons
From cup holders to lower shelves for storage, convenient built-ins tailor a table to your needs. Just avoid overloading weight since excessive gear can compromise the frame over time.
Pick User-Friendly Performance
Seeking out a fuss-free table that opens, closes, folds and locks smoothly with minimal effort takes the hassle out of setup and takedown. Durably constructed tables with simple mechanics tend to hold up better over time as well.
Select a Style Statement
Choose a table finish that enhances your existing décor for a cohesive aesthetic. Teak-toned bamboo or faux-wood tables pair well with rattan furniture. Bold mosaic colors enliven modern spaces.
Compare Prices and Value
You’ll find very inexpensive portable plastic tables at the lowest end and handcrafted wooden models topping $500+ at the high end. Assess needs to strike the right balance between affordability and quality construction.
Don’t rely solely on product descriptions from retailers. Reading feedback from real customers provides insight on how collapsible tables perform over time. Seek models with consistent praise on folding mechanisms, stability, weather-resistance and ease of use.
Consider Warranty Coverage
Opt for tables that come with at least one year of warranty coverage. This provides peace of mind if any defects arise or something breaks with regular use down the road.
Choosing furniture suited to maximize every square foot of your patio or balcony can be a challenge. But portable, flexible collapsible tables create seating space when you need it without cluttering up your outdoor oasis 24/7.
By keeping size constraints, seating needs and your unique lifestyle in mind, you can select the perfect folding side table to meet your space. Just make sure it checks the boxes for stability, durability, weather-resistance and fuss-free use so you get lasting performance and value from your purchase.
With the right collapsible table in your outdoor arsenal, there’s no need to compromise on full-sized seating. You can enjoy elegant outdoor dining, leisurely afternoon cocktails and carefree conversation with friends and family. A temporary table keeps your space multifunctional without sacrificing comfort.
Frequently Asked Questions About Collapsible Outdoor Tables
Collapsible furniture comes with some unique considerations compared to permanent outdoor pieces. Here are answers to the most common questions about folding patio side tables:
How durable are collapsible patio tables?
Tables with powder-coated aluminum or steel frames hold up well outdoors, as do plastic/resin and poly lumber tabletops. Avoid tables with particleboard or MDF tops that deteriorate quickly outside.
What weight capacity do they handle?
Basic models support 100-200 pounds. But look for heavy-duty versions offering 225 pounds or more capacity if hosting larger gatherings.
How stable are they compared to permanent patio tables?
Well-made collapsible tables lock securely in place and feel wobble-free when open. But permanent tables with fixed legs anchored in the ground or concrete pads offer superior stability overall.
What maintenance do they require?
Wipe tabletops after each use to keep clean of spills, debris and environmental dust/grime. Periodically check for loose hardware or screws that need tightening on the frame.
Are assembly tools/skills needed?
Most fold right out of the box with no assembly required. A few models need partial assembly but include the necessary tools and hardware to simplify the process.
How compactly do they fold up for storage?
Folded dimensions vary by model but reduce to approximately 4 to 6 inches wide at minimum. This allows sliding under existing furniture or tucking against a wall.
Can they be left out year-round?
Only all-weather resin or steel models will hold up to full outdoor exposure. Wood-topped tables need seasonal storage.
How heavy are they to carry when folded?
Basic plastic/aluminum models weigh 15-20 pounds. Steel frames push 30+ pounds. Built-in wheels facilitate moving heavier tables.
What are the best features to look for?
Focus on weather-resistant construction, fold/unfold simplicity, strong but lightweight materials, wheeled mobility and integrated conveniences like lower shelves or cup holders.
What are the best places to buy them?
Mass retailers like Walmart and Target have selections online and in-store. Specialty retailers like Wayfair and Overstock have myriad options too. Shop July for peak summer sales.
Enjoy Outdoor Living Flexibility with a Collapsible Table
Small patios and balconies can still enjoy spacious seating with the right collapsible side table in their arsenal. These versatile, budget-friendly furniture pieces ensure you don’t have to sacrifice comfort or aesthetic by selecting permanent options too large for your space.
Just take stock of your needs, do some comparison shopping and choose a folding table aligned with your lifestyle and décor. With a compact yet adaptable design, rest assured your table can pull disappearing duties when not in use and pull up seats for guests when needed.