A bench is a piece of furniture, on which several people may sit at the same time. Benches are typically made of wood, but may also be made of metal, stone, or
synthetic materials. Many benches have arm and back rests; some have no back rest and can be sat on from either side. In public areas, benches are often donated by persons or associations, which
may then be indicated on it, e.g. by a small plaque.
Often benches are simply named for the place they are used, regardless of whether this implies a specific design.
Park benches are set as seating places within public parks, and vary on the amount of people
they can seat.
- Garden benches are similar to public park benches, but are longer and offer more sitting places.
- Picnic tables, or catering buffet tables have long benches as well as a table. These tables may have table legs which are collapsible, in order to expedite transport and storage.
- Scenic benches are situated to provide a comfortable means of enjoying the contemplation of a beautiful landscape, a busy street scene, or perhaps a specific event.
The process of benchification is also associated with benches, as it is the process of an object turning into a bench.
Various types of benches are specifically designed for and/or named after specific uses, such as:
- church pews inside places of worship are equipped with an additional kneeling bench.
- a bench seat is a traditional seat installed in automobiles, featuring a continuous pad running the full width of the cabin.
- a punishment bench is used to have a punishee lie (and often be tied) down on for the administration of a corporal punishment, after which it may be specifically named,
e.g. caning bench
- a bench (weight training) is used for fitness exercises, such as the bench press which is named after its use of a bench
- a communion bench is not used as a seat
- a piano bench offers usually one person seating and is height adjustable.
- a spanking bench, such as a caning bench, is specifically designed for a spankee to lie upon, possibly strapped down, while submitting to paining of the posterior
- Swing seats are independently movable, suspended benches, used for play or as a relaxing porch swing.
- a courting bench (or kissing bench, or tête-à-tête): a two-seater with the seats pointing in opposite directions, thus almost facing each other.
- a friendship bench in a school playground is where a child can go when they want someone to talk to.
- the bench in a courtroom, behind which the judge is seated.