Gardeners, Step Up Your Game (And Save Your Knees) With These Raised Garden Beds

raised garden beds with flowers and plants
13 Best Raised Garden Beds, According to ReviewsPhoto by Cathy Scola - Getty Images


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Gardeners know there's nothing better than planting summer flowers, harvesting herbs from the soil, and growing vegetables all spring and summer long. While some gardeners may prefer to get on their knees to fertilize, prune, and harvest their bounty, others are more into the idea of raised garden beds. Not only do elevated garden beds make things easier on your body and help those with mobility issues, they can also yield just as great (if not better!) results.

“Raised bed gardens solve a lot of problems for the home gardener,” says Pam Farley, garden blogger at Brown Thumb Mama and author of The First Time Gardener: Container Food Gardening. “They give you complete control, which is great if your yard has poor soil, and they allow you to place them wherever you want.”

If you're looking for a new raised garden bed or are trying one out for the first time, you've come to the right place. We scoured the internet, consulted gardening experts, and combed through thousands of tester reviews to find the best raised garden beds for your space, no matter if your garden is small or large. To make things easier, we evaluated the materials used — wood, plastic, stone, or metal — inexpensive and more luxe options, and raised beds with higher legs (especially ideal for seniors!), and only included picks on this list that stood out to customers for their durability, size, ease of assembly, and depth for new plant growth.

Ready to get planting? Check out our list of bestselling and top-recommended raised garden beds from Home Depot, Amazon, Lowe's, and more.

Urban Bloomer Self-Watering Raised Garden Bed

Don't want to bend over? This bed is ideal for preventing achy backs or knees. It's also easily accessible for those with limited mobility. In our test, it was ridiculously easy to assemble with no tools needed. We were up and gardening in less than 10 minutes. A tray fits nicely in the top for starting seedlings.

We love the self-watering feature, and the water fill tube is easy to read and access for filling. If you have a rainy spell, there's also a manual drainage tap for emptying the reservoir so plants won't get water-logged.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079SQRL46?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C10070.g.43949428%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Urban Bloomer Self-Watering Raised Garden Bed </p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$103.04</p><span class="copyright">Keter</span>

Self-Watering Raised Bed Planter

This small planter is surprisingly sturdy and practical. In our test, it survived four growing seasons and is still going strong. It accommodates up to four decent-sized plants such as tomatoes or eggplants.

We love the self-watering feature, which is perfect for plants that benefit from steady moisture levels, such as bush cucumbers or peppers. This planter does a good job at an excellent price point. Plus, it comes in fun colors to coordinate with your house or outdoor furniture.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.homedepot.com%2Fp%2FCITY-PICKERS-24-5-in-x-20-5-in-Patio-Raised-Garden-Bed-Grow-Box-Kit-with-Watering-System-and-Casters-in-Terra-Cotta-2340D%2F202563845&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.womansday.com%2Fhome%2Fg43949428%2Fbest-raised-garden-beds%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Self-Watering Raised Bed Planter</p><p>homedepot.com</p><p>$31.98</p><span class="copyright">City Pickers</span>

Demeter Corrugated Metal Raised Bed

This corrugated metal raised bed is easy to assemble and has a nice, clean, modern feel. It has an open bottom, so roots can grow into the soil below the container.

In our test, it lasted for four years in harsh winter conditions before beginning to rust. It's also available in a slightly larger rectangular version.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071J7WX23?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C10070.g.43949428%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Demeter Corrugated Metal Raised Bed</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$79.95</p><span class="copyright">Gardener's Supply</span>

12-in-1 Galvanized Raised Bed

Not sure how to make the best use of your space? This modular galvanized metal raised bed allows you to set up the planter in 12 different ways. You can create several different square or rectangular configurations.

In our test, we found the rubber bumpers on the top edges a real plus so you don't knock into sharp edges while you're planting, watering or harvesting. Assembly is simple. The bed is attractive with a sturdy feel and plenty of room for growing full-sized veggies.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.burpee.com%2F12-in-1-galvanized-raised-bed-prod600122.html&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.womansday.com%2Fhome%2Fg43949428%2Fbest-raised-garden-beds%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>12-in-1 Galvanized Raised Bed</p><p>burpee.com</p><p>$199.95</p><span class="copyright">Burpee</span>

Soft-Sided Container

These soft-sided pots come in a variety of sizes, with strap or shop cut handles. The breathable fabric has excellent drainage and is easy to fold and store at season's end.

In tests, the sturdy handles held up when a full bag was dragged from one side of the yard to the other. They're ideal for crops, such as potatoes, because you can just dump the entire bag out when it's time to harvest.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008X0M5KC?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C10070.g.43949428%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Soft-Sided Container</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$18.95</p><span class="copyright">Smart Pots</span>

Reusable Fabric Raised Garden Bed

If you want to grow a ton of vegetables, this raised bed garden is the answer! There's zero assembly; just unfold it and fill with potting soil. The sturdy handles allow you to move it as needed (though it's better to find your spot and stick with it because it becomes quite heavy).

The breathable fabric is beneficial for building healthy roots. In tests, we were able to fit three large tomato plants with plenty of air circulation and space for growth.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08N43FTNH?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C10070.g.43949428%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Reusable Fabric Raised Garden Bed</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$19.99</p><span class="copyright">Back to the Roots</span>

Powder-Coated Metal Raised Garden Bed Planter

If you're looking for a metal raised garden bed, this one is a good size for a budget price. The powder-coated galvanized metal needs no tools for assembly, but it's a wee bit dicey to assemble (the instructions aren't great), so take your time and enlist a friend to help.

While it feels a little flimsy before dirt is added, it holds up once filled. As raised beds go, this one is handsome enough that you won't feel like you have to hide it behind your shed.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KPNMF12?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C10070.g.43949428%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Powder-Coated Metal Raised Garden Bed Planter </p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$60.99</p><span class="copyright">Greenes Fence</span>

Vertical Garden Planter

Tight on space? This vertical planter gives you plenty of room to grow greens, herbs, strawberries, and vegetables such as cherry tomato plants, and flowers with its upright, space-saving design.

It has five tiers of planters with six pockets on each tier. It also has a 2-gallon self-watering reservoir, so you won't have to worry about plants drying out. In tests, the planter has lasted for more than five years.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076MGPFL9?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C10070.g.43949428%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Vertical Garden Planter </p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$158.97</p>

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Vertical Garden Planter

amazon.com

$158.97

Cedar Raised Garden Bed

If you prefer wood over other materials, this rough-cut cedar bed is an option. Cedar is naturally pest- and rot-resistant, so it will last longer than other woods such as pine. This bed also isn't glued together or treated with any chemicals, so you can feel comfortable growing edibles in it.

The bed is easy to assemble by sliding the individual boards into the corner posts. No tools are needed. The open bottom design gives your plants plenty of space to spread their roots.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BGTI1J6?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C10070.g.43949428%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Cedar Raised Garden Bed</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$91.99</p><span class="copyright">Greenes Fence</span>

Elevated Raised Garden Bed on Wheels

What's better than an elevated raised bed so you don't have to bend over? An elevated raised bed garden on wheels so you can move it anywhere on your patio or deck!

This raised bed is reasonably-priced and ideal for eliminating the need to kneel or crouch, so it's great for people with limited mobility. It's also self-watering.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lowes.com%2Fpd%2F--%2F5001726811&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.womansday.com%2Fhome%2Fg43949428%2Fbest-raised-garden-beds%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Elevated Raised Garden Bed on Wheels</p><p>lowes.com</p><p>$86.98</p><span class="copyright">Lowe's</span>

Natural Cedar Raised Bed Planter

Made from 100% FSC-certified cedar wood, this raised bed garden is the perfect size for balconies or small decks. The v-shaped container allows you to grow deep-rooted crops, maximizing space for root growth.

At only 24 inches tall, it's not an accessible height for everyone, but it's great for compact spaces or to introduce kids to growing their own veggies or flowers.

Once assembled, it feels sturdy and substantial. But be aware that it's not the easiest to put together, so enlist a friend's help.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wayfair.com%2F--%2Fpdp%2Fvegtrug--vegtrug-kids-natural-fsc-100%2525--vtkidn0460-usa-l349-ulpc1010.html&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.womansday.com%2Fhome%2Fg43949428%2Fbest-raised-garden-beds%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Natural Cedar Raised Bed Planter</p><p>wayfair.com</p><p>$129.99</p><span class="copyright">VegTrug</span>

Vinyl Planter With Trellis

This vinyl planter includes an integrated trellis. You can grow vining plants to provide a privacy screen on your patio, or you can keep tomatoes from tumbling onto the ground.

The planter comes with a 20-year warranty against cracking, warping or yellowing, so it should provide lasting enjoyment to you on your deck, patio or in your yard.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.homedepot.com%2Fp%2FVITA-Huron-36-in-x-48-in-White-Vinyl-Planter-with-Trellis-VA68235%2F301448714&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.womansday.com%2Fhome%2Fg43949428%2Fbest-raised-garden-beds%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Vinyl Planter With Trellis</p><p>homedepot.com</p><p>$146.01</p><span class="copyright">Vita</span>

Makenna Steel Elevated Planter

If you're looking for an elevated metal raised bed planter, this one holds plenty of soil for most flower or vegetable crops. A powder-coated finish gives it a handsome appearance, while the polypropylene liner with drainage holes is included.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wayfair.com%2F--%2Fpdp%2Frosalind-wheeler--makenna-steel-elevated-planter-x112842189-l349-w001731078.html&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.womansday.com%2Fhome%2Fg43949428%2Fbest-raised-garden-beds%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Makenna Steel Elevated Planter</p><p>wayfair.com</p><p>$175.99</p><span class="copyright">Rosalind Wheeler</span>

What to look for when shopping for raised garden beds

✔️ Materials: Most raised beds are made from wood such as cedar, fir, or pine; metal; plastic; vinyl; or fabric.

✔️ Drainage: If the raised bed has a bottom, make sure it has drainage holes; roots need oxygen to survive, and you’ll drown plants if there’s nowhere for excess water to go.

✔️ Self-watering feature: Some planters have a reservoir you can fill which allows the plants to take up the amount of water they need when they need it. This is great for plants that benefit from steady moisture, such as peppers. You also will be able to water less frequently, which is great in the heat or if you're going away for the weekend.

✔️ Elevated design: Raised beds on legs prevent your having to bend over, which saves your knees and back. It’s also ideal for those with mobility issues.

✔️ Wheels: If you’ll be placing your raised bed on a deck or patio, it’s convenient to have wheels so you can move it out of the way or push it around to maximize the hours of sun exposure it receives. For example, if part of the deck becomes shaded at certain times of day, you can wheel the container into full sun.

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FAQ

  • What can you grow in a raised bed?
    Just about anything! You can grow flowers, vegetables, or herbs in raised beds. Just be aware that you need to match the plant to the bed: For example, greens such as spinach and Swiss chard don’t need super-deep beds, while large vines, such as tomatoes, need a much deeper bed to accommodate their growth.

  • How big should a raised garden bed be?
    “It depends on what you’re growing,” says Farley. “A minimum of 6 to 8 inches deep is fine for shallow-rooted vegetables such as lettuce. But you’ll want a bed that’s at least a foot to 18 inches deep for tomatoes, squash, or root vegetables. Length depends on how much space you have, but they typically range from 4 feet to 10 feet long. When it comes to dimensions, make sure you can reach all the way across the bed, or at least halfway if the bed will be accessible from all sides. “You don’t want to have to stand in the bed to reach plants because you don’t want to compact the soil,” says Farley. A bed that’s 3 to 4 feet wide is most practical.

  • What is the best material for a raised garden bed?
    Raised garden beds come in a variety of materials. The most common are wood, usually cedar or fir, which offer natural pest and rot resistance; metal, which is durable and heats up fast, which may be beneficial if you have a short growing season; and plastic or vinyl, which is long-lasting, typically less expensive than wood, and low-maintenance.
    If you decide to DIY and build one yourself, be aware that if you upcycle pallets or use a less-expensive wood such as pine, you’ll probably only get one to two seasons out of it.
    Fabric grow bags have become increasingly popular in recent years. You can use these on any surface, including in the yard or on the patio, deck or driveway. “They’re not the prettiest product, but they’re lightweight and are easy to fold up and put away at the end of the season,” says Farley. The porous fabric also permits good drainage and “air pruning,” allowing roots to expand and branch off instead of spiraling around inside as they do when root-bound in plastic containers.

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How we chose the best raised garden beds

Arricca SanSone is an experienced home gardener with more than 15 years of growing ornamentals, trees, shrubs, and vegetables ranging from cabbages to watermelon. She trialed many of these containers in her own garden, as well as combed through thousands of reviews of real gardeners.

Pam Farley is a garden blogger at Brownthumbmama.com and author of The First Time Gardener: Container Food Gardening, who also has gardened with several of these products.

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