Whether you’re blessed by warm weather year-round, or you squeeze in as much outdoor time as possible during those precious summer months, a well-designed outdoor space can transform your backyard or balcony into the ultimate sanctuary. For an instant square footage addition, think about your outdoor area (no matter the size) as an extension of your indoors. And for starters, selecting your patio chairs is a perfect first step when it comes to outdoor furniture. There’s no better way to tan, entertain with family and friends or just destress with a morning cup of coffee than sitting outside with the fresh breeze. No matter the occasion, it’s essential for your outdoor chairs to be comfy, weather-resistant and chic.
We’ve put together our own guide to the best patio chairs to give your outdoor space a stylish, comfortable, functional and affordable refresh.
The cabana chair or beach sling chair is an excellent choice because it’s foldable, lightweight
(only 10 pounds!) and timeless. Oh, and incredibly chic. The removable sling coupled with its weightlessness allows you to completely reinvent your outdoor patio for any occasion. No need to opt for just one vibe! This also offers peace of mind because you can buy very affordable replacement slings without having to buy an entirely new chair if it suffers wear and tear from extensive use.
The best part about the cabana chair is that you aren’t restricted to just enjoying it on your patio. This classic resort-style chair is perfect for lounging in any outdoor space and for stowing away in a small space during the off-season. Its thin frame, weightlessness and portability allows you to take it to the beach, park and pretty much any location that’s ideal for lounging.
Outdoor Dining Chair
A set of dining chairs are the perfect addition to your patio if you’re planning on enjoying the beautiful weather by hosting barbeques and other outdoor dining events. Opting for cast aluminum dining chairs is your best option because the high-quality frame will resist corrosion and rust. A few approaches to organizing your patio with dining chairs is incorporating a dining set or mismatching dining chairs with a complementary dining table. Due to the space required for a set (plus a table), dining sets are best for medium-to-large patios, so you may want to opt for a bistro set (more on that below!).
All-weather wicker patio furniture, also known as resin wicker, is durable, moisture-resistant (no thanks, mildew) and UV-resistant. Wicker is a method of weaving that resembles a basket weave, and the synthetic resin material is manufactured to resemble natural rattan. All-weather wicker patio chairs are available in all sizes, models and even as full patio set. The weave pattern creates a classic vibe with modern durability and is often applied to an aluminum frame to create lightweight patio chairs.
The Adirondack chair is perfect for nestling near a fire pit or simply enjoying a chilled drink on the patio. The chair’s wide base allows you to comfortably recline, and the armrests are wide enough to set drinks and snack (s’mores, anyone?). Unlike some of the other patio chair options, the base of the chair is very low to the ground, so keep that in mind if you are have long legs or back problems. An outdoor pillow can add some extra comfort and a burst of color or pattern.
The Adirondack chair is available in plastic or natural wood (such as teak). If you want to animate your outdoor living space with some color, as well as minimize upkeep, we suggest leading towards the plastic (specifically, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic) chair, as they are available in a variety of vibrant colors that work nicely with the chair’s country-chic design. The plastic also requires less maintenance than other materials because you can wash the entire chair with soap and water without worrying about chipping or fading. This chair is available in a variety of sizes, and are typically foldable and stackable for easy storage.
The chaise lounge chair is an ideal selection for outdoor seating due to its adjustable back and comfortable cushioned or mesh seat supported by a featherlight aluminum frame. A chaise lounger typically includes the option to add seat cushions depending on your outdoor space. Pro tip: if your patio is poolside, consider mesh seating so you aren’t burdened with wet and soggy cushions. Chaise lounges are best reserved for larger patios because of their longer frame and rectilinear shape. Opting for a set ensures balance and cohesion in your patio area.
Bistro chairs which are typically available in stainless steel, bamboo and teak, and are the perfect addition to small patios. Placing a set of bistro chairs accompanied by a bistro table is a great way of creating an intimate outdoor space that still provides a space for casual dining. Because of their more compact size, bistro chairs require a smaller footprint than most patio furniture, and are often lightweight and stackable. One tip for sun-soaked patios: if you opt for steel-frame bistro chairs, be sure to store them in a shady area to prevent your seat from turning scorching hot.
The hanging hammock chair is a playful way of making maximum relaxation part of your patio vibe. Pairing your outdoor hammock chair with a side table is a wonderful way of creating a bohemian atmosphere, perfect for watching the clouds, reading or taking a mid-afternoon snooze. While this all sounds dreamy, the hammock chair requires an anchoring point such as a tree branch or support beam to hang from, which could make it tricky to add on a whim unless you have the right outdoor setup. The alternative is to add a hammock base, which is often bulky and takes up a significant amount of patio space.
Adding a loveseat to your patio is the perfect way to add coziness and comfort to your outdoor living space, especially if square footage is top-of-mind. Loveseats offer two seats (or one, if you like to sprawl out), and are a great smaller cousin to the larger outdoor sofa. Outdoor loveseats are available in a wide range of styles and materials, ranging from steel framed with cushions to a more natural rattan or teak wood. We love that the loveseat, when paired with a coffee table, truly feels like an extension of your indoor living area. The living room-style set-up feels cozy, inviting and functional.
The rocking chair, or rocker, makes for an excellent outdoor patio addition to enjoy those long summer nights. Its nostalgic and soothing energy add a rustic vibe to your patio. The rocking chair can work on any sized patio because it’s great solo or as a pair next to a small side table. And if space is an issue, some rocking chairs can even fold to be stored when not in season. In fact, though they often evoke images of a parent rocking a child to sleep, rocking chairs were originally invented for outdoor use in gardens.
A glider’s wide base and inclined back allow you to stay cozy while getting proper back support. Although they may seem similar to a rocker, their movement is slightly different – a glider stays on its base while it gently sways you back and forth. This movement is fit for an outdoor patio space because there’s no need to clear space behind the chair, and it can be placed on a slightly uneven or bumpy surface.
While many of these other chairs offer a reclining position, an outdoor recliner offers different positions for you to choose from for maximum comfort. Outdoor recliners are available in a variety of different styles, from the more minimalist mesh on an aluminum frame to the more traditional cushioned recliner. If you have a small patio, we suggest selecting a thinner frame, as these can also be folded and stowed away when not in use.
Outdoor sectionals are great for large, open patios where maximum lounging or plentiful seating is your goal. Sectionals create a cozy and intimate outdoor environment, and they’re perfect for entertaining and casual get-togethers. Sectionals are available in various shapes and sizes, whether you’re looking for a sectional with a traditional chaise to pair with an outdoor coffee table, or a curved sectional to fit snugly around a fire pit or chiminea.
Outdoor folding chairs can fit many of the chair styles listed about, as they place an emphasis on easy storage and minimal square footage. From the lightweight yet stylish cabana chair, to the rustic, mountain-home-inspired Adirondack chair, incorporating a few folding chairs are an easy way to breathe new life into your patio space or pull together an outdoor entertaining venue in a pinch.
By Ivana Maldonado