Outdoor armchair buying guide

Outdoor armchair buying guide

Sylvie, Ecrivain & journaliste brico/déco, Essonne

Guide written by:

Sylvie, Ecrivain & journaliste brico/déco, Essonne

276 guides

Perfect for lazing about in the garden, outdoor armchairs come in all forms: sun loungers, rocking chairs, hanging chairs, folding chairs... the list goes on. You also have a wide choice of colours and materials to select based on style and user requirements. Read on to find the right outdoor armchair for you!

Important features

  • Style
  • Materials
  • Accessories
  • Care
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Choosing an outdoor armchair based on use


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If you want to relax by the pool or lay back and sunbathe, a sun lounger will be your best bet. A practical option, some models even feature wheels, making them easy to move around. You can also go for a reclining outdoor armchair. These allow you to go from an upright position to a reclined position with just one quick move of the armrests.

Great for reading or relaxing in an upright position, hanging garden armchairs allow you to sway gently back and forth. These models can be hung from a branch or a specially designed stand.
Currently very popular, hanging chairs generally come in an egg shape to form a cocoon around you. Another possibility: an outdoor rocking chair. These chairs are big favourites for terraces or balconies.

If you want to enjoy lunch or a glass of wine around the table, choose a classic outdoor armchair with comfortable armrests. Folding models offer easy storage and can be moved around anywhere. Or you can pick a stackable chair to save even more space.

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Reclining outdoor armchair

Outdoor armchair materials

Outdoor armchairs come in a wide range of materials, each with their own set of advantages in terms of style and comfort, as well as their own care requirements.

Wooden outdoor armchairs


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Boasting a natural look, wooden armchairs are a classic choice. They come in a range of difference wood species. Choose between European wood (pine, oak, locust, etc.) and exotic woods (teak, itauba, eucalyptus, etc.), which are naturally rot-proof.
All woods differ in terms of their resistance to moisture, insects and fungi. All types of wood should be treated regularly using a product designed specifically for the species: for example, wax, oil, varnish, brightener, etc.

If you want the look of wood without having to deal with the upkeep, go for a composite wood chair. Made from wood fibres and plastic, this material is rot-proof and will not split or splinter.

Resin outdoor armchairs


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Resin is a plastic material (polypropylene, polyethylene) used to make rot-proof and weather-resistant outdoor chairs. These chairs come in a range of colours and are also lightweight.

Injection moulded resinoutdoor armchairs take the appearance of classic plastic chairs and are very affordable.

Woven resin, also known as poly rattan or synthetic rattan, recreates the look of braided rattan, but these models are more expensive. Both types of resin chairs must be UV-treated or they will lose colour over time.

Steel outdoor armchairs


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For a more modern look, go for a stainless steel outdoor armchair. While this material is water- and UV-resistant, its weight makes it difficult to move around. As it tends to overheat in the sun, it's also best to cover it with a cushion or padding.

Outdoor armchairs made from powder-coated steel have been treated with resin to stand up to rust and UV rays.
As the slightest scratch can affect their protective coating, some have been treated with a coating technique called hot dip galvanisation to increase their resistance.

Aluminium outdoor armchairs


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Aluminium garden chairs are highly resistant to various weather conditions (rain, heat, frost, etc.) and corrosion. Solid but lightweight, these chairs can be moved around easily. However, just like steel models, they do tend to heat up in the sun.

Wrought iron outdoor armchairs


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These outdoor armchairs offer romantic, country-style charm. The wrought iron can even be distressed for an aged look. Solid and heavy, wrought iron gets hot in the sun and must be treated regularly to stand up to rust.

Textilene garden armchairs


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Textilene is a woven fabric made from a polyester fibre blend. As such, it is both weather and UV-resistant. Used to form the seat and backrest of outdoor armchairs, textilene can be combine with a wooden, steel or aluminium frame.
It is very comfortable and breathable What's more, it is easy to clean using just a little soapy water.

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Cushion or padding

Outdoor armchair accessories

Stands for hanging outdoor armchairs


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Stands designed for hanging outdoor armchairs can be purchased separately. Solid but simple structures, these stands can be made from wood, aluminium or steel.

Cushions and padding


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As outdoor armchairs are designed primarily for relaxation, the seat must be comfortable. If the seat is not made of textilene, you can add on a seat pad, cushion or a long pad for sun loungers.
Choose a water- and oil-repellent material
and if the cover can be removed, even better!

Footrests


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Some outdoor armchairs feature footrests which offer greater comfort and are usually removable.

Protective covers


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If you are unable to store your chair indoors over the winter, invest in a protective cover that is both strong and waterproof.

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Protective cover
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Guide written by:

Sylvie, Ecrivain & journaliste brico/déco, Essonne, 276 guides

Sylvie, Ecrivain & journaliste brico/déco, Essonne

Après avoir travaillé au service de presse de France 2 et de la Cinq, j’ai choisi de laisser parler ma plume en m’orientant vers le journalisme et l’édition. Aussi éclectique dans mes goûts que dans mes écrits, passionnée de décoration et de bricolage comme d’histoire et de sciences, j’écris depuis plus de vingt ans sur ces thématiques. À mon actif : des ouvrages didactiques, romans et nouvelles, et de très nombreux articles brico déco regorgeant de conseils et d’astuces, expérimentés dans la vieille maison que je rénove peu à peu.

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