As soon as the cool winter months are over, the need to spend time outside and enjoy the first warm rays of sunshine increases. The right garden furniture, such as a garden chair, is ideal for this. With back and armrests, they are designed to relax and offer the highest possible seating comfort.
With our garden chair guide, we give you detailed information about what you should look for when buying. We have compared a large number of garden chairs and show you the highlights of our research in our guide. We also answer the important questions and help you find the perfect garden chair for you.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Garden Chair: Our Choices
- 4 Garden chairs: buying and evaluation criteria
- 5 Garden chairs: frequently asked questions and answers
- 6 Conclusion
- Garden chairs offer you a special comfort for relaxing in the garden, on the balcony or the terrace.
- Since garden chairs are sometimes exposed to strong weather conditions, their resistance to wetness, cold and sunlight is one of the most important purchase criteria.
- They are available in a variety of shapes, colours and materials to suit your individual needs.
The Best Garden Chair: Our Choices
Garden chairs: buying and evaluation criteria
Garden chairs are available in a variety of different designs. So that you know what to look for when buying a garden chair, in addition to the design criteria, we will discuss the most important features of outdoor furniture in this section.
The following criteria determine the quality and comfort of your garden chair:
We summarise for you what lies behind the purchase and evaluation criteria and how you can recognise and take them into account during your product search.
Placed outside of sheltered living areas, a garden chair is completely exposed to the elements. It affects the longevity of your garden furniture and the time required to maintain it. For this reason, high weather resistance can be a decisive purchase criterion for you.
Sunlight, wetness and cold contribute to the stress on furniture caused by weathering. They attack the materials and thus promote undesirable consequences, such as premature fading of textiles, rust or roughened wooden surfaces.
Consequently, the choice of material for a garden chair is primarily decisive for its weather resistance. Furthermore, weather damage can be prevented by care and protective measures.
If the garden chair has to be repositioned in extreme weather conditions, for reasons of space or on other occasions, the weight is decisive. With a low weight, excessive strain and stress can be avoided.
Similar to weather resistance, the material also determines the weight of the furniture. In addition, castors under the chair are conceivable to reduce the amount of force required.
It is important to pay attention to the dimensions of the garden chair when adapting it to your own requirements and the available space. Another criterion for the seat can be that it is suitable as a complement to existing furniture. Here, for example, the design and the height of a nearby table are decisive.
Finally, an important function of the garden chair can be that it has an appropriate height so that it is easy to sit down or stand up.
Beyond the pure functionality of the garden chair, other extra functions and a well thought-out design can influence the comfort.
These can include additions such as a footrest, a particularly high or adjustable backrest, as well as castors for effortless repositioning.
The ease of care also influences the comfort of the chair. For example, easily removable textiles and simple washing instructions can save a lot of time.
Plastic or rare woods are often used in the manufacture of garden furniture. Both are not at all environmentally friendly and do not pose a health risk, or only under certain conditions.
In order to avoid chemicals that are harmful to health and the environment, such as plasticisers, it is worthwhile to avoid plastic materials or to avoid them as far as possible. Besides the obvious use of plastic, the material is often used as a wood imitation or for coating wood and in upholstery.
When buying a wooden garden chair, FSC certifications can again be a helpful guide to avoiding environmental damage. This is because only a few garden furniture items meet minimum ecological and social standards. Manufacturers sometimes disguise this by creating their own eco-labels.
FSC certification also prevents overexploitation, preserves valuable habitats for endangered animals and promotes sustainable forest management.
Garden chairs: frequently asked questions and answers
In the following section, we answer the most important questions about garden chairs.
What is a garden chair?
It is characterised by back and armrests and is often softly upholstered. The seat height is usually low, while the seat is designed to be deep.
This favours a particularly comfortable sitting position and a possibility to let oneself fall, similar to a sofa.
What types of garden chairs are there?
We present all the important advantages and disadvantages of the materials below.
Wooden garden chairs
Wood is a material that has a warm aura and is primarily used for classic furniture design. Due to its natural colouring and grain, the untreated surface of wood is ideal for a wild garden or as a contrast to modern patio design.
Due to their high weather resistance, tropical woods such as teak are often used for garden furniture. Acacia wood, mostly from south-eastern Europe or the USA, or eucalyptus wood from Australia are also common. These woods also have a high resistance to fungi and insects.
Given the easily permeable surface of wood, it is advisable to maintain the material regularly and to keep it away from heavy moisture. While it can be similarly resistant as steel, it can be preserved in this way for longer and looks inviting in the long term.
When buying a wooden garden chair, always look for FSC certification.
This prevents environmentally harmful overexploitation, preserves valuable habitats for endangered animals and promotes sustainable forest management.
Metal garden chairs
Metal garden furniture has a restrained and simple design. They can be made of aluminium, wrought iron or steel. Depending on the material processing, the surface can be weather and rust resistant in the long term.
In most cases, outdoor furniture made of metal is combined with plastic materials or wood. Incorporated into the backrest and seat, they promote a comfortable sitting position and reduce the overall surface area of the conductive material - a useful detail on particularly hot days.
Their weight varies greatly, which is why if you specifically want a low weight, you should pay attention to the manufacturer's specifications.
Garden chairs made of rattan
Rattan is traditionally made from the so-called rattan palm, i.e. palms of the genus Calamus or the subfamily Calamoideae. It is woven into a dense fabric and usually finished in natural brown-beige tones.
When used properly, the densely woven material is very hard-wearing. However, its irregular structure, sometimes interwoven with intricate weaving patterns, makes it difficult to clean.
A decisive advantage of the material is its lightness.
Accordingly, it is ideal if you are looking for a natural alternative to solid wooden garden furniture.
Garden chairs made of polyrattan
Polyrattan has the same visual advantages of natural rattan, but is often cheaper to buy and can be more weather-resistant.
The disadvantages of polyrattan are the plasticisers it contains and harmful vapours, which are particularly promoted by strong sunlight.
What does a garden chair cost?
The following table gives you an idea of how prices can vary depending on the manufacturer within the types of garden chairs mentioned.
|Garden chairs made of wood||60 to 250 euros|
|Garden chairs made of metal||50 to 200 euros|
|Garden chairs made of rattan||100 to 150 euros|
|Garden chairs made of polyrattan||50 to 200 euros|
What are the alternatives to a garden chair?
Therefore, we list possible alternatives to a garden chair below:
|garden chair||A garden chair is space-saving, often foldable and thus easy to store as well as to place. It is available in a variety of colours and materials. In this way, it is highly adaptable in terms of price and design.|
|Hammock||A hammock is ideal for relaxing and getting some holiday feeling. It can be folded effortlessly and reattached at any time as needed.|
|Hammock chair||A hammock chair is suitable for a special eye-catcher. A special feature of this piece of furniture is that it usually has a light roofing and thus serves as a source of shade.|
Which garden chair is suitable for senior citizens?
We have summarised below what you should look for when buying a garden chair for seniors:
- High seat: To be able to get up from the comfortable furniture without any problems, a high seat is useful. It should be at about the same height as your knees. The rule is: the higher, the better. This also makes sitting down easier.
- Low weight: Especially if you live alone, it is a relief if the outdoor chair can be lifted and moved easily. Aluminium can be the right choice of material here, or integrated castors.
- Upholstered cushion: An upholstered cushion increases seating comfort, especially when spending longer periods of time on the garden furniture. To ensure long-lasting comfort, the cushion should be of high quality. The material should therefore not give way quickly and at the same time be adaptable.
- Ease of use: If extra functions such as an adjustable backrest are available, ease of use is essential. This is best checked by independent testing or by asking the manufacturer.
The choice of particularly comfortable and user-friendly garden furniture is increasing. In some cases, however, a simple design in combination with small additions can be sufficient. Here, an additional footrest, a sunshade for hot days or an external construction as an aid for standing up can be helpful.
How do I care for a garden chair?
Covers can help prevent damage and signs of age on the furniture.
- Cover: A cover encloses the entire piece of furniture and protects it from strong weather conditions such as rain, snow and sunlight. This prevents rust, splintering wood and faded surfaces.
- Overlays: Anoverlay, such as extra padding from a cushion, serves as protection during use. It can protect against scratches, light rain and reduce exposure to sunlight.
- Rust protection: Rust protection applies equally to metal and wooden furniture, albeit to a different extent. While one piece of furniture should be protected over its entire surface, the other is only affected by small areas such as screws. Paint or spray products are available in specialist shops.
Particularly effective protection is offered by rooms such as a garden shed, but also a covered terrace. The garden chair can be stored here when it is not in use.
In addition to preventive measures, it is advisable to adopt a maintenance routine for garden furniture. It can be used to prevent damage or to repair it, the latter applies especially to wooden surfaces.
- Cleaning: In most cases, outdoor furniture can be cleaned of superficial dirt deposits with a brush and a little water. However, depending on the material and the severity of the dirt, a light solution of curd soap may be useful.
- Wood care: Wood requires special attention. Natural wood surfaces treated with beeswax or linseed oil not only give the furniture a new shine, they also protect it from the weather and revive the colour and grain of the wood. Roughened surfaces can be sanded down.
- Rust protection: You can use paint or spray products for this purpose. Smaller areas can be painted with a brush. It is important that rusty areas are removed in advance with a wire brush, a single-handed angle grinder or a rotary tool with a grinding attachment.
Even though maintenance may seem tedious, it is worth it. Well-maintained garden furniture lasts longer and thus saves a lot of money that would have to be spent on a new purchase.
If you are looking for a garden chair, there is a good chance that you will find the ideal model for you at a good price-performance ratio. The choice is only limited if you have a small outdoor area or furniture that is suitable for older people.
The material of the garden chair has a significant influence on both the design and the handling of the piece of furniture. It determines the weight, resistance and sustainability of the chair. Regular care of your garden furniture is always advisable. In most cases, simple household remedies are sufficient for this, especially if you have a practised care routine.
Image source: Białasiewicz/ 123rf