Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Garden chairs allow you to sit comfortably outdoors. Sitting in the sun with the family, barbecuing with friends, moving work outside when the weather is nice - all this is possible with the right garden furniture set. Garden chairs come in a wide variety of materials, colours and styles. The design also varies greatly: from foldable to stackable to chairs with a reclining function, everything is available.

You can therefore give free rein to your creativity when designing your garden, balcony or roof terrace. However, due to the large selection, the search for the right garden chairs is often difficult. To help you find the right garden chair for you, we have listed various product recommendations and buying criteria in this guide, as well as answering relevant questions.




The most important facts in brief

  • Garden chairs are available in different materials. The most popular are wood, metal, plastic and polyrattan.
  • Garden chairs come in different designs. There are folding and stackable chairs as well as garden chairs and deck chairs. The decision for one of these four types depends mainly on the space on your terrace, the space in your storage room for the winter and your personal comfort preferences.
  • Garden chairs are usually very easy to care for. You just need to make sure that you clean or treat them with special products at least once a year, if necessary, to ensure their longevity. In winter, you should store them indoors or cover them with a tarpaulin.

The Best Garden Chair: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for garden chairs

To help you decide on the right garden chair, we have listed the most important buying and evaluation criteria below. They should help you to compare the different models with each other. The criteria are as follows:

We will then go into more detail about each criterion and explain them to you. In this way, you can form a basis for deciding which garden chair is right for you.

Material

Garden chairs are available in many different materials. The most popular are metal, wood, plastic and polyrattan. Each of these variants has certain characteristics that you should consider before buying. Metal garden chairs, for example, are very robust and weather-resistant. They do not require much maintenance if they have been properly sealed.

In the garden, however, they look less natural and more cool. Wooden garden chairs, on the other hand, blend better into the garden because of their natural character. However, they require more care, for example with the help of varnish or oil. If this is done conscientiously, however, they are very weatherproof and long-lasting. Plastic chairs are the cheapest of the garden chairs.

They are also light, easy to clean and usually stackable or foldable. However, they are sometimes not very stable and can fade or tear in sunlight if the quality is poor. Garden chairs made of polyrattan are very popular because they are robust and easy to care for. In addition, they look natural and yet modern at the same time due to their weave pattern. However, they are sometimes quite heavy and expensive.

Weather resistance

Since your garden chair will be outdoors most of the year, it is important to make sure that it is as weather-resistant as possible when buying it. Weather resistance depends primarily on the material. Garden chairs made of plastic, aluminium, stainless steel or teak are particularly weatherproof with regard to moisture.

However, you should always sufficiently impregnate metal chairs. The same applies to wood: with the right care and protection, wooden chairs are also very weather-resistant. UV radiation also plays a major role. Plastic chairs in particular can suffer from UV radiation and fade. Garden chairs made of polyrattan, on the other hand, are very insensitive to UV radiation.

Resilience

Before you buy a garden chair, you should also consider how much weight it has to withstand. Most garden chairs can withstand a weight of 100 kilograms. However, if you or someone in your family or circle of friends exceeds this weight, you should buy a model with a higher load capacity. There are garden chairs that can support up to 300 kilograms.

Seating comfort

Another important point to consider when buying a garden chair is seating comfort. After all, you will spend a lot of time on your garden chair and ideally it should not be uncomfortable. Of course, the most important thing is the seat. It should be at least 40 centimetres wide to ensure optimal comfort.

Depending on the material, you should upholster it with cushions: especially wood, plastic and polyrattan become uncomfortable to sit on after a while without cushions. The backrest is also crucial for seating comfort. It should not be too steep, but also not too far back. Of course, adjustable garden chairs are ideal.

These can be adapted to any situation, whether it is eating upright at the table or relaxing in a reclined position. However, there are also differences in the length of the backrest. There are both high-back chairs and models with shorter backrests. If you prefer to be able to lean on your upper back while sitting, you should choose a high-back chair.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about garden chairs answered in detail

Perhaps you still have some unanswered questions about garden chairs at this point. You will certainly find the answers in the following paragraphs. We answer the most frequently asked questions about garden chairs:

Who is a garden chair suitable for?

A garden chair is of course primarily suitable for garden owners who want to set up a seating area in their garden. But roof terraces, balconies and any other outdoor places where a seating area is to be set up can also be wonderfully equipped with garden chairs.

What types of garden chairs are there?

Garden chairs can be roughly divided into four types: Stacking chairs, folding chairs, garden chairs and deck chairs. In the following table, we have listed their respective advantages and disadvantages to give you some orientation about the different types of garden chairs:

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Stacking chair Stackable, space-saving, stable Not adjustable, not easy to transport
Folding chair Folding and adjustable, space-saving, easy to transport Unstable, seat pad needed
Garden chair Stable, large seat, high comfort Static, takes up a lot of space
Lounger Seating and lounging function in one Takes up a lot of space, expensive, not the same comfort as that of a sun lounger

As you can see, each type of garden chair has its own characteristics. It all depends on what your needs and wishes are for your garden. Based on this, you can find the right garden chair for you.

How do I care for my garden chair properly?

Garden chairs require different levels of care depending on the material. In general, however, they do not require a lot of care. To find out how to care for and clean your garden chair, you should first and foremost follow the manufacturer's instructions. Wooden chairs require regular care. You should impregnate them with wood oil at least once a year. This will ensure that they are not damaged by environmental influences and will last for a long time.

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To ensure that your wooden chairs last for a long time, you should care for them regularly to protect them from wind and weather. (Image source: Deborah Lehmann / Unsplash)

Plastic chairs are very easy to care for. It is sufficient to clean them with microfibre cloths, water with soap or scouring powder. You can also rub them with a car polish. This makes them shine beautifully and increases their weather resistance.

Garden chairs made of metal and polyrattan do not need much care either. You can clean them with a mild detergent solution. Stainless steel chairs should be cleaned at least once a year with a special stainless steel cleaner to prevent rust. If the chairs are sufficiently sealed, they do not need any special care beyond that.

How do I winterise my garden chair?

Although most garden chairs are very weather resistant, it is better to protect them from frost and cold in winter. If you have the possibility to store your furniture indoors, this is of course the best solution. However, you should make sure that the room is dry, cool and well ventilated. Strong temperature fluctuations are particularly damaging to wooden furniture and mould can develop without ventilation.

If you don't have the option of bringing your garden chairs indoors for the winter, you can also winterproof them outdoors. To do this, you need a protective cover. Cover your garden furniture with it and fasten the tarpaulin so that it cannot fly away or slip. Make sure that the cover is not airtight so that moisture can escape and mould can be prevented.

Conclusion

Garden chairs ensure a comfortable stay outdoors. Depending on the design, they invite you to sit or lie down in the greenery. They are available in different materials, which also determine their weather resistance, resilience and stability. However, garden chairs are mainly distinguished by their construction, which provides information about their possible uses and storage options.

The choice of the right garden chair depends above all on your personal preferences in terms of seating comfort, adjustment options and appearance. But also your space capacities on the terrace and in the storage room for the winter as well as your willingness to maintain the chair play a role. If you are aware of these points, you will find the right garden chair for you.

Image source: Robin Wersich/ Unsplash

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