Comparing a garden storage bench with an outdoor plastic storage shed for price and usability

It’s amazing how much stuff we accumulate in the garden over time. What starts off as the essentials like spade, rake, and lawnmower, soon escalates into having a garden shed or garage overflowing with all kinds of things.

What happens when the shed is full? Do you leave things leaning against walls or lying on the lawn you’ve lovingly cared for? What will you do with the kids’ bikes at night, and what about a place to keep the new garden furniture or sun loungers when winter rolls around?

If you’re looking for some extra space to help store your garden tools and accessories, and you don’t want t build a bigger garden shed, or even an extra small shed, your best options are to buy a storage bench or plastic storage shed.

Both of these products can be a great help in keeping the garden looking tidy, and protecting your belongings from the elements, but which is right for you? Today, we will compare these two to try to help you answer that question.

Here’s an extra bonus tip for you – if you need help moving your stuff into your new storage shed or bench, you can always get the pets to help. Just check out this little fellah- 😂

Storage benches and plastic storage sheds compared for price

Because storage benches are the smaller of the two products, they are inevitably cheaper, overall. Still, the price range is fairly wide for these storage devices and much depends on their size and what materials they are made from.

A plastic storage bench that is big enough for two people to sit on top of it, and has been styled to look like a classic garden bench with arms and a backrest, can be bought for around 150 pounds, but smaller, simpler, versions are available for much less. Wooden storage benches can vary in price depending on the quality of the wood used and the workmanship.

Plastic storage sheds come in all kinds of sizes, and are made from a range of different plastics, and this affects the price as you would expect. For a storage shed that can fit 2-3 kids’ bikes in and not much else, but built solidly from thick and strong plastic, will probably set you back around 200 pounds, while a larger unit that can house those bikes plus your strimmer, leaf blower, and plenty of planters and other things, can cost more than double that.

There are some smaller plastic storage sheds (around 250 litres worth of space) that you can buy for around the 50 pound mark, but they resemble garden benches so much that it’s a bit of a grey area, and one I’ll avoid for the sake of clarity.

If you have the time on your hands, and the skills and tools, you can always have a crack at building your own storage shed or bench, and there are plenty of videos like this one to show you how-

Storage benches and plastic storage sheds compared for usability

It goes without saying that both of these products are very handy things to own, and can certainly help keep clutter from building up in the garden, but there are other factors to consider for each.

Let’s start with storage benches. Like Ottomans, they are a mix of a seat and a storage area, and so their size is always going to be limited, in height at least. You can’t exactly invite someone to sit down on top of a size foot high bench now, can you? This limits the amount of storage space beneath the bench, and also limits the types of items that can be kept in there to things like cushions, and folded shade sails.

When it comes to variety in size plastic storage sheds are the winner, and it is possible to buy one that can fit multiple large tools inside like petrol lawnmowers, pole hedge trimmers, strimmers, and more. There are also smaller versions available that are the height of a bench, but as they are not designed to be sat on, they would probably end up bending or becoming damaged if used that way.

Basically, it comes down to what you want more: an extra storage area large enough to keep a good selection of things in, or a nice seat that can also be used for keeping blankets and smaller items underneath, as you can see in this twitter post-

Which has better security?

If we are comparing plastic storage sheds with plastic storage benches, then I would have to say they offer about the same level of security as long as they are made from strong polypropylene, and have bolts or latches that can be secured with a good padlock.

Some storage benches are made from metal, and it should be quite obvious that these would be harder to break into than anything made of plastic; no matter if it’s a shed or bench. Again though, the main thing is that it is possible to lock the product up to make it harder for would-be thieves.

If you really want good security, I would suggest buying a metal shed and fitting it with a good shed alarm and maybe install a security camera that is facing it, rather than going for any plastic storage box.

Here’s a helpful video that gives tips on how to make any garden shed more secure, so check it out-

Assembly and durability compared

I feel like I’m repeating myself here a little, but the answer to this depends on the materials used in the construction of the box or bench.

Plastic products are usually the easiest to assemble, and often just click into place without the need to drill pilot holes and such. Plastic is very hard-wearing too, especially when left outdoors, and will not be affected by the rain like wood or metal, although very cold temperatures can affect some types of plastic in a bad way.

Wooden and metal benches will need to be looked after with stains and paint if left outside to stop things like rust, rot, and insects nesting and feeding on them, but they will be sturdier than plastic versions, and if it’s something like a storage bench, that will have people sitting on it and banging their legs and things into it often, it might be a good idea to opt for those materials.

As we were saying, insects often like to make nests in storage sheds and bences, so it’s a good idea to check them often and keep them clean-

Storage sheds compared to storage benches for looks

I have to say that, in my opinion at least, a storage bench is always going to look better than plastic storage sheds and often have been spray-painted to resemble wood even if made from plastic. Obviously, the wooden versions of storage benches are great for giving you a traditional feel, as are metal ones.

Plastic storage sheds tend to look more modern, but that’s not a bad thing, and there are plenty of gardens out there where they will fit right in. However, if you have a quaint-looking garden with things like cast iron furniture or water fountains, and lots of other rustic features, a plastic storage shed might look a little out of place, and you’d be better off with something like this-

That’s all we have time for today, but we feel we’ve covered the most important things for you. Until next time, goodbye everyone.

About Terry Smith

I’m Terry Smith from, a professional landscape designer, hobbyist gardener, and barbecue fanatic with 20 years experience building and restoring. So as you go through my site you'll watch me document some of the professional garden installs I make as well as the major projects I take on at home. While sharing those experiences and guiding you, I'll be recommending some great tools I use to enable this along the way so you can really buy in confidence. Always feel free to pop me a message:

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