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26 Different Types of Deck Chairs

Chairs on backyard deck

The ancient Egyptians and Romans — even the early man of the Bronze Age — may have used the earliest prototype of the folding chair. In 1860, folding chairs known as steamer chairs were introduced and used in ocean liners.

They were weather-resistant, foldable, and were designed to be used on ships where they became a fixture on decks. Hence, the name. Titanic, for example, had 600 deck chairs for its passengers. Only six have been recovered and sold at auctions for thousands of pounds.

A. Types

1. Patio Dining

Wooden patio dining chair with a white cushion.Source: Hayneedle

If you are going to be eating at a table while on you are on your patio, you will want to make sure that you have patio dining chairs. These chairs are small enough that you can pull up close to the dining table and still be comfortable while you are eating. They often come in a set with an outdoor dining table, but if you want a unique look for your patio then you can mix and match various chairs to achieve a bohemian style that generally looks great outside. Make sure that your chairs are comfortable, as you will likely be in them for a while. You can do this by opting for patio dining chairs that have cushions so your guests can stay and enjoy the meal for as long as they want.

2. Outdoor Lounge

Wooden outdoor chaise lounge in a deep brown tone.Source: Wayfair

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There’s nothing quite as relaxing as lounging out in the sun. To really stretch out and enjoy the afternoon you will need to make sure that you have lounge chairs. These come in a variety of styles and have many different features that you can choose from, but the basic design of the chair is the same. It is a very long chair to accommodate your entire body and is generally adjustable so that you can either sit up and have a conversation or read with another person or fully recline it so that you are completely lying down. This makes it easy to take a nap on your deck on a beautiful summer day.

3. Outdoor Club

Outdoor club chairs with thick and soft cushions.Source: Wayfair

Outdoor club chairs are incredibly comfortable and the most similar to indoor chairs that you can buy for your deck. They are generally well padded so that you can settle in for a long afternoon or evening on your deck without getting stiff or uncomfortable. Make sure that the cushions are rated to stand up to the hot UV rays of the sun so that they don’t bleach, and consider features on your club chair like a swivel so that you can still enjoy some motion while you are sitting in the chair. These chairs are great for entertaining, and although they are larger than other chair options, they deserve a place on your deck.

4. Teardrop

Teardrop-shaped, wooden lounge chair.Source: Wayfair

This style of deck chair is generally tucked away in the corner of the deck because they are typically very large and tend to take up more space than other types of deck chairs. With that being said, they create a very cozy and private space for someone to enjoy time outside on the deck. They are ideal for reading and spending a little time by yourself, but it is entirely possible to be social in these chairs as long as you move them near the people that you are with.

5. Patio Rocking Chairs and Gliders

Black, wooden rocking chair with a smooth finish.Source: Home Depot

Rocking chairs and gliders have long been popular for sitting on a deck. Many people enjoy the little bit of movement that you get when you sit in a rocking chair, and this can help to combat some of the stifling heat that you may get in the middle of the summer. While you may not want all of your deck chairs to be rocking chairs, it’s nice for people to have a choice when they come and spend time on your deck.

6. Adirondack Chairs

Handmade wooden adirondack chairs.Source: Etsy

This popular chair was originally only made out of wood but recently has been available in different man-made materials and colors. It has a very recognizable style and appearance and generally has very wide arms and a seat that reclines backward very close to the ground. They usually have very high backs that offer plenty of support to the person using the chair and look especially inviting. Since they are available in all price ranges, it’s generally very easy to find an Adirondack chair that will fit with your budget. Make sure that you look for a chair that has a quality finish if it is made out of wood, as you do not want to have worry about your chair being damaged by the elements. Plastic Adirondack chairs are very low-maintenance and able to stand up to most weather changes without any problems.

7. Patio Bar Stool

Dark brown, wooden patio stool.Source: Home Depot

If you are lucky enough to be able to have a bar on your deck then you will need some stools to go along with it or else your friends and family members won’t be able to easily see and access the top of your bar. Bar stools have a higher seat than other types of deck chairs, making them ideal for this purpose. When choosing a bar stool you have to think about whether or not you want it to have a back. Bar stools without backs appear sleeker in design, but they do not offer the comfortable support that bar stools with backs have and can be tricky to sit on for a long period of time.

8. Hammock Chair

Blue hammock chair with a hardwood frame.Source: Wayfair

If you are looking for the most comfortable seat when you are sitting on your deck, choose a hammock chair. These deck chairs are unique in that they have to be hung, so if you do not have an overhang of your roof then you will be unable to use this chair easily. Once it is hung, the hammock chair offers comfort and movement to the person using the chair. This allows the person sitting in the chair to gently rock if they want to, which can be a great relaxing way to spend the afternoon.

B. Material

1. Metal

Silver and black metal side chair.Source: Houzz

Metal deck chairs are a great choice because they can stand up to all types of weather without becoming damaged or looking older. When you choose metal chairs you can rest easy that they won’t fade or splinter the way that other types of deck chairs will. Of course, you do have to be careful when using metal chairs because they will get very hot when they are left in the direct sun, and this can make them uncomfortable to sit on. A good way to deal with this problem is either to leave them under an overhang of your roof or to make sure that all of your chairs have cushions.

2. Wood

Wooden lounge chair with a natural tone.Source: Houzz

Wood is very popular for deck chairs because it has a classic look. With so many different types of wood chairs available, you can easily find one that will match with the rest of the décor for your deck and will be something that you can take care of. The main problem with wood is that you have to make sure that it is protected from the hot sun and the elements or it will easily be damaged. You can do this by ensuring that it is painted or has a quality stain on the piece to help keep it looking its best. A benefit of wood is that if you change the décor on your deck, you can easily update your furniture with new paint if you desire.

3. Wicker

Marigold, bohemian-style, heart-shaped wicker chair.Source: Etsy

For a long time, wicker was very popular for deck furniture, including chairs, but it has fallen out of favor in recent years since there have been so many advances in man-made materials. While wicker has a very classic look that most people enjoy, it doesn’t stand up to the weather and extended use the way that other materials do. This can cause you to have to purchase new deck chairs fairly often to ensure that they look their best. If you really love the look of wicker you can have it on your deck, but you need to protect it from harsh rain and weather conditions to keep it in good condition.

4. Plastic

Six plastic chairs in rainbow colors.Source: Hayneedle

While once thought of as not the best material for deck furniture or chairs, plastic has come a very long way and now is a great choice for any homeowner who wants reliable and heavy-duty deck chairs that are built to last for a very long time. Because plastic deck chairs are available in any color you want, it’s easy to find ones that you’ll love. Additionally, plastic is strong enough to stand up to bad weather and temperature swings, won’t crack in the sun and doesn’t get as hot to the touch as metal deck chairs. When choosing plastic, make sure that it is high-quality so you don’t have to worry about it fading.

5. Mesh

Reclining lounge chairs made up of blue mesh.Source: Wayfair

Mesh is important if you are going to be reclining in your deck chair as you want to make sure that your body is supported by your chair and also that the material has a little give so that you aren’t uncomfortable. If you want a reclining chair that offers a combination of support and movement, opt for a mesh. Unlike chairs that are made out of solid wood, plastic, or metal, chairs that have a mesh element tend to be much more comfortable for a longer period of time and will conform to the shape of your body.

C. Features

1. Swivel

Beige, swivel chair with an aluminium frame.Source: Home Depot

It’s great to be able to remain part of the conversation even when you are in a large group, and one of the best ways to do that is in a chair that swivels. This will allow you to turn your chair in multiple directions so that you make sure that you are always a part of the conversation. In addition, when you buy a chair that swivels, you won’t have to worry about the setup of the other chairs on your deck, as it can go anywhere, fit into any space that you need it to, and still allow the person sitting in it to turn to others while they are speaking.

2. Folding

White, folding deck chair with cushions.Source: Home Depot

Unless you have a massive deck with plenty of storage you will likely want to be able to remove your chairs from your deck when they aren’t in use and store them out of the way. The best way to make sure that your chairs don’t take up too much room when you are going to be storing them is to buy deck chairs that fold. This will allow you to fold up your chairs, ensuring that they don’t take up a lot of space, and store them out of the way. Then, when you need more seating on your deck, you can easily pull your chairs out and set them up.

3. Wheels Included

Black, wooden chaise lounge with wheels.Source: Wayfair

While you won’t always want to have your deck chairs mobile at all times, some larger chairs like lounges can be very heavy and difficult to move on your own. Having the option of making them mobile will make it a lot easier to rearrange the chairs on your deck by yourself. If you are going to leave your chairs in one location at all times then you won’t rely on the wheels and may not even want to put them on your chairs. If you need to be able to move your chairs easily from time to time then wheels are important as they will prevent you from dragging your chairs and scratching your deck.

4. Adjustable

Adjustable lounge chair with green and white stripes.Source: Hayneedle

There’s no reason why you should be uncomfortable when you are sitting on your deck, and when you opt for deck chairs that are adjustable you will have complete control over the way you sit. Some users may find that it is more comfortable to sit straight up, while others will want to lean back a little bit. Look for a deck chair that is easily adjustable so that even the elderly or younger children can do this by themselves. This will prevent injuries or prevent an adult from having to adjust the chair for a child every time someone wants to change their position.

5. Vintage

Green and gray woven, vintage chair.Source: Etsy

Vintage chairs may not be ideal for use in everyday situations, but they can create a very interesting and pleasing vignette on your deck. Look for vintage chairs that are in colors that you use for the rest of your decorations and make sure that they are sturdy enough to be used from time to time, as it is inevitable that someone will want to sit in them. When you choose vintage chairs, you will love the fun and interesting colors that they come in, but you will need to make sure that the material is in good enough condition for the chair to be used so that nobody gets injured.

6. Stacking

Dark gray, stacking patio dining chair.Source: Hayneedle

Another great way to get your chairs out of the way and to clear out a little additional space on your deck when your chairs aren’t in use is to opt for ones that stack. These will generally take up a little more room than folding chairs, but since they are stored vertically they can be placed in a corner of your deck, storage building, or garage and won’t take up a lot of room. You also don’t have the worry of your stacked chairs slipping and all falling over as you do with folding chairs that are leaned up against the wall. Not all chairs can stack, so if you are worried about room make sure that they will stack easily and are light enough for you to lift.

7. Reclining

Blue, reclining chaise lounge with metal frames.Source: Wayfair

If you want to be able to lay completely flat in your deck chair then make sure that it fully reclines. This is different than being able to simply adjust your chair and to lean backward. Reclining deck chairs can be made perfectly flat so that you can take a nap out on the deck if you wish. These chairs come made from all types of materials, but for the ultimate comfort, you will want to choose a material that has some give and is soft enough for you to spend time on.

8. Set

A set of two beige, lounge chairs.Source: Hayneedle

There’s no faster way to decorate your deck and get the seating that you need than with a matching set of chairs. This will make your space look very cohesive and put together and it doesn’t require a lot of work on your part. While some people prefer mixing and matching their deck chairs to create an eclectic look if you are in a hurry or want something a little more modern in appearance then make sure that you opt for a set so that you don’t have to worry about how your pieces will work together.

9. Footrest

Wooden acacia chair with a foot rest.Source: Houzz

Not all deck chairs come with a footrest, but this is a great way to be able to lean back and fully relax. Chairs that have attached or detached footrests are great for offering you full body support while you take a nap or hold a long conversation, and are often more comfortable to sit in for a long period of time than chairs without a footrest since they will elevate your feet. If you are worried about space on your deck then make sure that the footrest isn’t attached, as you can move it out of the way when it isn’t needed.

10. Cushion

Swivel chair with soft, red cushion.Source: Hayneedle

Cushions do more than simply give you a softer place to sit when you are enjoying a deck chair – they can also protect your body from hot chairs that have been left out in the sun for a long period of time. While it is true that you can go to a store or order additional cushions online for your deck furniture, the problem with doing this is that the cushions don’t always fit the furniture the way that they are supposed to and may stick out or have gaps. To ensure that your cushions fit perfectly, opt for chairs that have cushions included. You also want to make sure that the cushions you buy are able to stand up to UV rays as you don’t want them to fade in the sun.

11. Wicker Style

White, hand-woven and stackable wicker chair.Source: Hayneedle

If you love the way that wicker furniture looks but don’t like how hard it is to care for and how quickly it can degrade, then choosing deck chairs that are designed to look like they are made out of wicker is a great idea. These pieces have the classic look that you love but are made of stronger materials that are made to last. Instead of worrying about your wicker furniture every time it rains or if the sun is particularly hot, when you opt for deck chairs in the wicker style you will enjoy the appearance of wicker with the strength and durability of man-made materials.

12. Solid Wood

Hardewood rocking chair in a natural tone.Source: Wayfair

Solid wood deck chairs are incredibly durable and sturdy and have been built to last. When you buy solid wood deck chairs you have to understand that you will need to provide more care for them than you would if you were buying deck chairs made out of plastic, but they will look stunning on your deck. They are very strong and won’t wobble when they are in use, which makes them ideal for children to climb in and out of as well.

13. UV Resistant

Dark brown bar stool whit a UV-resistant feature.Source: Wayfair

No matter how high-quality the material that your deck chair is made out of is, it will likely be negatively affected by the sun. Hot rays of the sun can, over time, actually damage your deck chairs. This can cause fading of plastic and fabric, make wood splinter, and will cause your chairs to break down faster than if they were kept out of the sun. If you do not have shade on your deck or simply don’t want to worry about the condition of your chairs, make sure to opt for ones that are UV resistant. This means that they will be able to stand up to the sun’s UV rays without becoming damaged.

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