The best garden sheds for outdoor storage

Short on space in your garage, need somewhere secure to store your tools, or after a refuge to make your home brew? Then you need a garden shed...

A garden shed decorated with flowers

by Stuart Adam |

The weather is finally picking up and if you want to spend more time in your garden this year, there will be some work to do after winter rendered your garden inaccessible (unless you like dampness and the flu).

Whether you're a fan of nurturing nature in your garden or like a well-tended lawn and trim hedges, you're certainly going to need a secure shed to store your gardening tools, your lawnmower and everything else that you can’t fit in your house or garage.

Sheds, for many people, were just little wooden huts hidden behind the compost heap at the bottom of the garden, but now there are so many options for materials, sizes and layouts that mean you can find a shed that really fits your needs. So if you're looking for a new shed for your garden or outside space in 2021, the team at What’s The Best has been researching the options.

All of these garden sheds have been hand-selected by What's The Best shopping experts. Our team has spent hours investigating and researching garden sheds, so you can choose the best one. Plus, we'd never recommend a product we don't believe in. Find out why you should trust us here.

Keter Manor Outdoor Plastic Garden Storage Shed

Best small plastic shed
Keter Manor Outdoor Plastic Garden Storage Shed
Amazon

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Keter is a well-known shed brand, which frequently shows up in Amazon's best-selling product lists. This plastic shed will store all of your garden tools, plus a BBQ and lawnmower while looking great. It features a wood-effect exterior so won't look out of place, and has built-in ventilation ducts to keep things fresh. It's great for smaller spaces, is easy to assemble and has a padlock hasp for optional added security. Some buyers had issues trying to put this together, while others had no problems, so make sure to read the reviews for their top tips.

Pros: Looks great, good ventilation, good for small spaces

Cons: Not as sturdy as a wooden shed, expensive

Size: 4 x 3 ft

Material: Fade-free, weather-resistant plastic

Review: "Positives, it's strong yet lightweight, looks very nice, maximises space and is well worth the price. The only negative is that it can be a little tricky to assemble, I had to drill pilot holes and it would have been much easier had they just been there in the first place. Either way, I'm very happy with this purchase and strongly recommend."

Pinelap Wooden Garden Shed

Best wooden shed
Pinelap Wooden Garden Shed
Amazon

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This wooden shed from Pinelap is of excellent quality and will look stunning in any garden. A classic shed, it's made from timber, so you know you can count on it for years to come. The package includes roof felt, fixings and instructions, and you can order it with or without windows. Top tip: Treat the wood with exterior wood paint to give it an even longer life.

Pros: Very pleasing on the eye, sturdy and well-made, easy to put together

Cons: Expensive, but you get what you pay for

Size: 8 x 6 ft

Material: Timber

Review: "Excellent shed, fantastic value for money, well constructed and easy to put up. Great company and would recommend anytime, in fact, already have."

Power Sheds Wooden Shed

Best premium wooden shed
Power Sheds Wooden Shed
Amazon

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Made from Scandinavian tongue and groove timber, this wooden shed from Power Sheds is expensive, but for a reason. The wood is sustainably sourced and the framing is heavy-duty, featuring corner bracing to withstand any storms the British weather throws its way. It also features galvanised rust-resistant iron and polyester roofing for a long-lasting finish.

Pros: Made from high-quality materials, easy to put together, looks fantastic

Cons: Very expensive, but a premium product

Size: 8 x 6 ft

Material: Timber

Review: "Great quality, easy to put up i'm very pleased. And its so much better than most other sheds that I have seen, well worth a little extra. Fast delivery, too."

Dunster House Wooden Garden Tool Shed

Best shed for gardeners
Dunster House Wooden Garden Tool Shed
Amazon

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If you only need a bit of extra space to store your tools and trinkets, this garden tool shed is for you. Discreet and great to look at, it comes with a shelf and tool rail so it's ready to go once built - plus, it's the perfect height for taller tools. The roof felt is included, and its foundations are protected with pressure-treated bearers, which come with a 10-year guarantee.

Pros: Easy to assemble, perfect for smaller gardens

Cons:

Size: 63 x 113 x 221 cm

Material: Timber

Review: "This is a smashing little shed. I put it together, with a bit of help from my partner in about an hour, then another hour kitting it out with the provided shelf (and a few others made from the packing timber provided). Simple to follow instructions and all the pieces were there. Be warned, there are lots of extra bits of ‘packing timber’, don’t think you have missed something (like I did). It’s made from good timber, I was impressed that the shelf was made from tongue and groove timber, most suppliers would make it from chipboard."

WFX Utility Ascot Metal Garden Shed

Best budget metal shed
WFX Utility Ascot Metal Garden Shed

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If budget is your top priority, this metal shed from WFX Utility should do the job. It doesn't have the luxury feel of some of the more expensive options, but it's of good build quality and should last for many years. It can take a little while to put together, so recruit your family and get stuck in.

Pros: Affordable and spacious

Cons: Not as sturdy as some of the other options on the list, complicated instructions

Size: 7 x 4 ft

Material: Metal

Review: "Once erected/assembled, it looks good and is reasonably stable in construction. The only negative aspects are the fairly poor instructions that are not written in order of the needed assembly, and the subsequent 10 hours it took to build."

Lifetime Heavy Duty Plastic Shed Storage Box

Best shed box
Lifetime Heavy Duty Plastic Shed Storage Box
Amazon

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If a classic shed isn't what you're looking for right now, why not try a shed storage box? The heavy-duty plastic on this one is UV protected to keep it looking good, with weather-resistant steel hinges to boot and lockable doors. It'll happily fit in two dustbins or a couple of bikes so will be suitable for a range of uses.

Pros: Versatile, sturdy and long-lasting

Cons: Assembly can be difficult

Size: 191.1 x 108 x 132 cm (also available in other sizes)

Material: High density polyethylene

Review: "After being disappointed with a box I ordered from Argos, I pushed the boat out on the Lifetime 492-litre box and I have to say that's amazing. I was worried when other reviews said they needed power tools to build it but thought it looked worth the effort... and it is! The box is very rigid, sturdy and well made. The instructions are pretty simple and there's a QR code so you can view the installation videos online, too. The box panels slide in and are secured by screws so that part is easy... it's the lid that takes the installation time! Again this wasn't too fiddly and I didn't need a socket wrench to tighten the nuts, just the right sized screwdriver (you need a 10 and a 17 I believe). Well worth every penny and much better than other boxes out there!"

Should you get a wooden, metal or plastic shed?

Most of the sheds sold in the UK are made from wood, but metal and plastic are increasingly popular. Wooden sheds are the traditional choice, they do look more attractive than metal or plastic especially once they have aged and settled into the garden. You can also easily make additions to a wooden shed and paint it to your heart's content. Most wooden sheds are made from softwoods such as pine, so they aren’t as secure as other materials and will need annual maintenance. Make sure you buy one that’s made from FSC wood so it’s sustainable.

Metal sheds are perfect if low maintenance, weatherproofing, and security are important, but they aren’t particularly pretty. Plus, they get ridiculously hot in summer and you can get condensation in winter if there isn’t sufficient ventilation.

Plastic sheds don’t take much looking after at all and can clip together, making them simple to build and take down again if you want to change location. A plastic shed could last forever and that’s a good thing for saving money, but it's not so good if you're looking for a more sustainable option.

Read next: The best strimmers to keep your lawn at its best

How big a shed do you need?

Size matters, especially if you want to use your shed for more than a garden store. A 6ft x 4ft shed will swallow a couple of adult bicycles, a lawnmower, and garden tools, but it won’t give you any space to potter around with your seedlings.

If you have space in your garden and want to spend time in your shed, consider a 6ft x 8ft shed so you can get a potting/workbench in, store the gas BBQ and perhaps a chair to enjoy a bit of peace a quiet while you test your homemade sloe gin.

If space is tight in your garden, there are still plenty of options to choose from that will allow you to store your garden tools.

You should also consider whether you want to have a window in your shed or perhaps go no windows if security is important and add solar lights if you can’t easily get electricity into the shed.

What base to put your shed on?

To have a sturdy and secure shed, you need to make sure it is placed on a solid base. Traditionally, that meant digging foundations, laying sand and then putting down heavy concrete slabs. Not every gardener wants to put more concrete into their garden, especially if you want to blend your shed into its surroundings. Why not take a look at a more eco-friendly base, like a heavy-duty interlocking grid?

Simply find the best spot for your shed, lay a weed membrane sheet, put the grid into place and then fill the holes with pea gravel and build your shed on top. You can easily plant some succulents, grasses or herbs in some of the grid gaps to really make your shed look at home.

Now that you've decided to kit your outdoor space out with a shed, you'll need to buy some garden essentials to fill it with, like the best weed killer, giant outdoor games for the whole family or even a new kink-free hose pipe!

What to read next:

The best patio heater for your outdoor seating area

The best pressure washers for home use

The best fence paint to use in your garden

Stuart Adam is a contributor to What's The Best.

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