When designing an outdoor space be it a large or small patio, good seating is an absolute must. This is true whether you have a small patio or a large one, one that’s focused on lounging and conversation or used as an outdoor dining space. No matter the size or purpose, you’ll always need good seating.
But with so many options out there, how do you know where to begin when shopping for new patio chairs? When designing a patio, you want to consider the style of the space the same way you would with rooms inside your home. This can help you narrow in on specific patio chair styles and materials. You can then focus on finding patio chairs that reflect your design style while suiting the needs of your specific patio and finding chairs that can withstand the weather where you live.
Want to see what your options are when shopping for patio chairs? We’ve rounded up the most popular patio chair styles and materials to help you find the perfect furniture for your outdoor space!
Patio Chair Materials
Will your patio furniture be exposed to a lot of direct sunlight or heavy rain? Are you looking for chairs that will last a decade or just suit your space for a year or two? And what comfort level are you looking for? Considering these questions will help you land on which patio chair material is right for your style and needs.
Wooden Patio Chairs
A classic outdoor chair choice, wooden patio chairs are highly durable. With the variety of wood types, stains, and shapes, wooden patio chairs can suit a variety of styles, from rustic and traditional to contemporary and modern. Teak is one of the most popular wood choices for outdoor furniture since it has all-weather capabilities and can withstand harsh weather while continuing to look beautiful. Acacia, eucalyptus, cedar, and cypress are other popular wood choices. Some wooden patio chairs are designed to be comfortable on their own, but many come with back and seat cushions for optimal comfort.
Metal Patio Chairs
Metal patio chairs are a durable and sturdy choice. They’re typically made of aluminum and are powder-coated for durability. Aluminum is rust-resistant, which makes it a great choice if you live near saltwater, since that can corrode and oxidize other metals. This type of metal is also a fairly lightweight material, making metal patio chairs easy to move around. Steel is heavier and more resilient to high winds, but it does rust easily, so it’s important to choose stainless or galvanized steel for outdoor furniture. Overall, metal patio chairs are cost-effective, an ideal choice for someone looking for a modern or industrial vibe on a budget.
Rattan Patio Chairs
Rattan furniture is made of durable natural rattan fiber strips that are woven together, often in a wicker style. This material can fade in the sunlight and isn’t highly moisture-resistant, so this material works best on a covered patio. Otherwise, you can simply cover them or bring them inside when not in use outside. Rattan patio chairs are classic in appearance and versatile so can suit a wide range of styles—from classic and contemporary to boho and modern. However, some people find it uncomfortable to sit on woven materials, especially if it’s a looser weave. Because of that, rattan patio chairs are often accompanied by a cushion for comfort.
Wicker Patio Chairs vs Rattan Patio Chairs: What’s the difference?
Confused by the difference between wicker patio chairs and rattan patio chairs? We don’t blame you. Some people erroneously believe that these are different materials, while others think of them as two names for the same thing. But the truth is actually a bit more nuanced. While rattan is a natural material, wicker is actually a weaving method. Because of this, wicker furniture can be made out of rattan but it could also be made of synthetic materials. (Like plastic resin, which we mention below.) Plus, not all rattan furniture is woven in the wicker method. However, when rattan furniture is woven in a wicker method, pieces are often referred to as wicker rattan.
Plastic Patio Chairs
Plastic chairs (which include recycled plastic, resin, and polymer) are durable and affordable, and they come in just about every shape and color. This makes plastic patio chairs a popular choice for many households—especially those with kids. Plastic resin is often made to resemble natural materials like wicker rattan and wood. While plastic sourcing and quality differ, many plastic patio chairs on the market today are made of recycled materials and are highly durable, resisting fading in the sun. Recycled plastics and resins are resistant to moisture, stains, mildew, and insects—plus, they won’t peel, crack, or fade. Talk about a low-maintenance material!
Patio Chair Styles
Having a design style in mind when designing your outdoor patio can help you figure out which chair shape and style you want to use on your patio. Below are four trendy patio chair styles.
Patio Egg Chair
Egg chairs are an iconic piece of mid-century design. And in recent years, patio egg chairs, made of woven materials, have gained popularity. They’re comfortable and great for relaxing and reading. Plus, with the curved shape, you get both some privacy and sun protection! Some patio egg chairs are on legs, like the one above, while others are hanging designs.
One of the most popular types of outdoor chairs, lounge chairs are very comfortable and are a great choice for sitting back and conversing, lounging and reading, napping, or sunbathing. Most lounge chair styles have an adjustable back to allow for both sitting upright, lounging back, or laying down flat. This makes them popular chairs for pool decks! This is one of the patio chairs with the widest price range, going from affordable to high-end and luxurious.
Indoors or outdoors, rocking chairs are a true classic. A rocking chair is a great choice for comfortable and casual seating on a patio or porch. It’s a great chair choice if you enjoy sitting outside while you read!
Adirondack chairs have been a popular choice for outdoor spaces for decades. Whether they’re made of wood, plastic, or metal, the style of this chair is incredibly sturdy and long-lasting. This is a popular patio chair style due to its comfort and stylistic versatility. It’s an excellent choice for sitting around a fire, enjoying drinks on the deck, or relaxing poolside.
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