Somewhere between a large cloche and a small greenhouse, coldframes are protective enclosures which provide invaluable protection for seeds, cuttings and tender plants, especially during cold months. Often simple boxes with clear sides and lids, they're useful garden accessories that can make a gardener's early spring and autumn much more active for growing. They're ideal for propagating plants, either from seed or cuttings but also provide a halfway house between the windowsill or greenhouse, and the colder temperatures outside in the garden and are therefore essential for hardening off tender young plants. In late spring and summer they're useful for providing extra warmth for tender crops such as tomatoes, peppers, chillies and aubergines and will encourage quicker ripening and larger crops, while in the autumn and winter they protect cuttings, young plants and alpines from the colder, harsher weather and wet. Coldframes can be set up on any surface, including grass, concrete or gravel and they're easy to move around, so you can choose their spot depending on what's inside - shade for raising cuttings and sunnier for vegetables.


They're made from a number of different materials, which it's worth bearing in mind before you buy. Coldframes with glass panes are often the most expensive and fragile, as there's always the risk of breakage if care isn't taken, while polycarbonate panes are cheaper than glass and last longer but don't allow in as much light. Coldframes with wooden frames are strong and sturdy and tend to provide warmer, more regular temperatures, but the frame will need maintenance to prolong its life. Aluminium coldframes are increasingly popular and light and long-lasting, but may be expensive. Remember that lighter frames may be easy to move around the garden but may need pegging down to prevent them being blown away by the wind.

However, f you're looking to grow taller plants or have issues bending or kneeling down then a mini-greenhouse rather than a cloche, may be what you need. Usually with loose plastic covers these are useful for growing larger plants or if you have limited floor space, as they're often upright with shelves for growing on more than one level.

Whether you’re looking for something compact and stylish or to tuck up against a wall, you’ll find just what you need in our pick of garden coldframes and mini greenhouses, below.

Whether you’re looking to insulate your cold frame as you would a greenhouse, or even just add a splash of colour, if you can’t see a coldframe that suits all your needs, browse our DIY section for instructions on how to make your own.
You might also find our guide to the best potting benches helpful, as well as our round up of the best secateurs if you’re planning to propagate your plants.

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The best garden coldframes and mini-greenhouses

Simplicity Toughened Glass Mini Coldframe

Available from Twowests (£155)

Simplicity Toughened Glass Mini Cold Frame - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Simplicity Mini Cold Frame

This neat, cold frame would work well in the corner of a patio and doesn't take up too much room. The two safety glass windows can slide out completely or lift into preset positions to suit different stages of growth or weather conditions.

Measurements: D64 x H53cm

Price: from £145.99

  • Buy Simplicity Mini Cold Frame at Twowests

Large Pressure Treated Wooden Cold Frame

Available from Cherry Lane (£109), Amazon (£124.78)

Large Pressure Treated Wooden Cold Frame - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Large Pressure Treated Wooden Cold Frame

Made from pressure treated FSC certified timber, this wooden cold frame has been built to last. Two individual lids each feature a single pane of transparent acrylic and can be propped open separately to allow ventilation. A long, good sized cold frame, this would sit well in larger gardens or on allotments.

Measurements: W167 x D50 x H37.5cm

Price: £109

  • Buy Large Pressure Treated Wooden Cold Frame at Cherry Lane

Rowlinson Hardwood Cold Frame

Available from One Garden (£129.99), Shed (£134), Robert Dyas (£134.99)

Rowlinson Hardwood Cold Frame - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Rowlinson Hardwood Cold Frame

Rowlinson's hardwood cold frame features twin-walled polycarbonate glazing and has two storage shelves, offering extra room for young plants to thrive. Access, care and ventilation are provided through the front opening door or the lid, which can also be propped open. It's guaranteed for one year.

Measurements: H80 x W60 x D61cm

Price: £154.99

Halls Aluminium Cold Frame

Available from Halls (£139.99)

Halls Aluminium Cold Frame - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Halls Aluminium Cold Frame

If you’re looking for a cold frame with a little more height, this model with its apex sliding roof is a good option. The four roof lids provide easy access from every angle and they’re glazed with panes of toughened safety glass. The frame itself is made from aluminium and steel and guaranteed for 10 years.

Measurements: H62 x W86 x D129cm

Price: £159.00

  • Buy Halls Aluminium Cold Frame at Halls

VidaLX Firwood Cold Frame

Available from VidaXL (£77.99)

VidaXL Firwood Cold Frame - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
VidaXL Firwood Cold Frame

VidaXL's simple, wooden cold frame offers a wide, easily accessible nurturing space. Tanalised wood gives improved weatherproofing and a single, dual window lid provides easy access to your plants. It's guaranteed for a year.

Measurements: H41 x W56 x D109cm

Price: £77.99

  • Buy VidaXL Firwood Cold Frame from VidaXL

Victorian grow house - rectangular

Available from Waitrose (£214.99), Crocus (£214.99)

2048-1365-gw-Best Cold Frame-Victorian Grow House

A feature of this cold frame that we particularly enjoy is that its sides, tray, lid and base are all separate components, and may be adjusted to the user’s needs, whether it’s providing bonus ventilation via removing the lid, converting the cold frame from standing to ground-level by removing the legs, or simply removing the walls and using this cold frame as a handy garden shelf. It’s a small detail, but one that makes the Victorian Grow House frame far more versatile than the average cold frame!

Measurements: L70cm x W41cm x H51cm (with lid and excluding 16.5cm legs)

Price: £214.99

Buy the Victorian grow house - rectangular from Waitrose and Crocus

Timber Grozone Cold Frame

Available from Amazon (£49.99), Amazon (£56), B&Q (£69.95), Very (£89.99)

Timber Grozone Coldframe - BBC Gardeners' World
Timber Grozone Cold Frame

This ground-level cold frame box sits pretty amongst the flowerbeds. The timber frame is pressure treated to protect against rotting and the plastic panes are shatter-resistant for sturdiness and peace of mind. It also has adjustable height settings so you can fix it to a level that works for you.

Measurements: W100cm x D65cm x H40cm

Price: £59.99

  • Buy Timber Grozone Cold Frame from Amazon

VegTrug Small Wallhugger Greenhouse Frame & Multi Cover Set

Available from Amazon (£59.99), B&Q (£62.99), Marshalls Garden (£69), Simply Log Cabins (£72.99), Water Butts Direct (£74.86)

VegTrug Mini Cold Frame
VegTrug Small Wallhugger Greenhouse Frame and Multi Cover Set

This will transform your VegTrug into a mini greenhouse with a polythene cover that helps warm the soil in the spring and lets in plenty of light to encourage seedlings to thrive. It features windows on three sides, and there’s a micromesh layer to offer protection against birds and other pests.

Measurements: L99cm x W71cm x H90cm

Price: £69.99

  • Buy the VegTrug Small Wallhugger Greenhouse Frame & Multi Cover Set from Crocus and Robert Dyas

Urban Balcony Raised Bed and Hood

Available from Robert Dyas (£9.99), Crocus (£13.99)

Urban Cloche cover
Urban Balcony Raise Cloche Cover

Designed to fit the Urban Raised Bed this transparent cover enables balcony-growers to provide a bit of plant protection and get seedlings off to an early start, too. We particularly like that there are holes in the top, which means you can water without removing the hood.

Price: from £12.99

Timber Grozone Max

Available from Dunelm (£75), Amazon (£132.99), JD Williams (£159.99), Very (£169.99)

Timber Grozone Max - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Timber Grozone Max

For those who need more space, this large, multi-level cold frame has plenty of room to germinate seeds and shelter plants from the elements. The polycarbonate glazing is UV-stabilised and the wooden frame is made from FSC-certified timber. For easy access and ventilation across every shelf it has double front doors and a lift-up lid.

Measurements: W69cm x D49cm x H120cm

Price: £189.99

Palram 4 x 4ft Plant Inn Garden Bed Mini Greenhouse, Clear Polycarbonate

Available from Amazon (£315.99)

2048-1365-gw-Best Cold Frame-Palram Plant Inn

This raised cold frame offers robust protection, utility, and a five year manufacturer’s warranty. With a 72cm tall container in its raised base, this cold frame doubles up as an effective storage container, making it perfect for gardens with limited floor space. Polycarbonate sheets afford your plants significant protection, but are adjustable and transparent, so as to give them access to light and fresh air.

Measurements: ‎121 x 120 x 148 cm

Price: £315.99

Buy the Palram 4x 4ft Plant Inn from Amazon

Haxnicks Vigoroot Easy Table Garden | Self Watering Raised Bed Planter With Cover

Available from Keen Gardener (£47.99), Amazon (£56.09), Agriframes (£62.29)

2048-1365-gw-Best Cold Frame-Haxnicks Vigoroot Easy Table Garden Planter

Standing at just over 1m, and at 80cm wide, this thin, compact raised bed comes with a transparent plastic cover, which converts it into a cold frame. This hybrid construction gives this cold frame an all-year-round utility which makes it perfect for inner-city gardens with limited space.
This frame’s self-watering capabilities consist of a third trough between the two trays, from which capillary water conduits draw water into the soil. This frame’s ‘vigoroot’ material claims to encourage robust root growth through air-pruning roots and encouraging complex root system development.
For gardeners looking to cultivate smaller crops in conditions that don’t require heavy-duty protection, this cold frame is a stand-out pick.

Measurements: ‎80.01 x 33.02 x 115.01 cm

Price: £59.99

Buy the Haxnicks Vigoroot Easy Table Garden from Keen Gardener

Gro-Sure Visiroot Growhouse

Available from Amazon (£57.99), Trowell Garden Centre (£59.99)

2048-1365-gw-Best Cold Frame-Gro-Sure Visiroot Growhouse

Unseasonable heat in the UK can be troublesome for gardeners and lethal for young seedlings, but this new product from gro-sure employs a simple solution to ensure its cold frame provides cross-seasonal protection. It has a two-zip design, meaning it can be partially unzipped from the top and bottom to allow heat to escape from the top, and cold air to enter from below. This sturdy cold frame is made from recycled materials, and its distinctive appearance allows up to 50% more growing space than similarly-sized products.

Measurements: 60 x 90 x 41cm

Price: £69.99

Buy the Gro-Sure Visiroot Growhouse from Trowell Garden Centre


This Product Guide was last updated in April 2024. We apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.