What to Consider When Choosing the Best Raised Garden Bed

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Raised Garden Bed

With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to decide on the right raised garden bed. Comparing some of the key features offered by most garden beds, such as materials, dimensions and assembly requirements, and considering your gardening goals, space and design options, can make wading options easier.


Traditionally, raised garden beds are made of rot-resistant wood such as cedar or fir. Today, loft beds are also made of stone, wicker, plastic and concrete. The material chosen will depend on personal preference.

However, for vegetable gardens, it is recommended to avoid pressure-treated wood as it can leach heavy metals into the soil. Fortunately, most raised beds that are easy to assemble tend to be made of food-safe, rot-resistant wood or plastic.


When it comes to loft bed length and width, consider space constraints. Length is limited by yard size and building materials. On the other hand, the width depends on how far the user can reach. Gardeners need to be able to reach the center of the bed from either side of the frame without having to step into the bed, which can compress the soil. For most people, the ideal width is 4 feet.

Most loft beds are between 6 and 12 inches high. The height of the bed can be as high as 36 inches or more. Raised beds with higher sides require more soil, but they are easier on the user's back because there is no need to bend down as far to reach the plants.

easy to assemble

Assembly is where raised garden bed kits trump DIY raised garden beds. Building one requires purchasing materials and cutting them to size. However, raised garden bed kits come with everything you need to put them together, and some can be ready in minutes. Depending on how much work is required, there is a kit to match almost any skill level.

Some raised garden beds don't require special tools to assemble -- they just slide and click together -- while others require the use of a cordless drill or screwdriver. Some take less than 15 minutes to complete, but some can take an hour or more.

special function

Raised garden beds can be equipped with multiple functions. Some have wheels for easy portability; others have built-in trellis, removable greenhouse covers, storage racks, legs to raise the bed, or built-in irrigation systems.

Another unique feature is stackability. Some raised garden beds can be stacked to provide more depth or different configurations. Regardless of the growing environment, there is a raised garden bed that will work in most situations.

Best Raised Garden Bed Options

Our top pick

The following models have passed our rigorous performance tests to earn a place in this lineup of the best raised garden beds. They must be durable enough to support the weight of the soil mix, and they must be designed so that the plants have both root space and adequate drainage. In most cases, each must also fulfill the seller's requirements.

While the raised beds below vary in size, material, and design, making some better suited to specific growing situations, each excelled in our testing and earned a spot among the best raised bed gardens available today.

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