Best Lounge Chairs of 2018

With a lounge chair, you can sunbathe, read, or take an afternoon snooze in comfort. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best lounge chair to make the most of your summer afternoons.

Sit Back and Relax: Your Guide to the Best Lounge Chairs

Who doesn't love sitting out on the deck or patio while enjoying the warm summer weather? But the only drawback to buying a lounge chair is there are so many options on the market that finding the perfect chair for you can be a challenge. If you're feeling overwhelmed, BestReviews can help.

At BestReviews, we do the product research for you, so you don't have to read endless online reviews to make sense of your choices. Instead, our recommendations and handy shopping guides focus on the top products and key facts, so you can make the most educated shopping decisions. And to ensure that what we have to say is always unbiased, we never accept promotional products.

Ready to purchase a few lounge chairs? Scroll up for BestReviews' three favorites. For everything you need to know about lounge chairs before you buy, you've come to the right place.

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Shop Stackable Chairs to Save Space

Some plastic and aluminum lounge chairs are stackable, which makes them easy to store in the garage or shed when you're not using them.

What Makes a Chair a Lounge Chair?

A lounge chair is a long chair with a high back. The elongated design means you can prop your feet up and stretch out your legs. The back of a lounge chair is usually adjustable, which allows you to keep the chair upright for sitting, or you can lower it to lie down. Most lounge chairs have a range of positions between upright and flat.

Many are designed for outdoor use, which means they are weather-resistant, though there are indoor lounge chairs as well. Outdoor lounge chairs are typically placed on a deck, porch, patio, or by a pool for sunbathing. You can also place them directly on your lawn because they usually have stable feet that can rest on uneven grass. A sunroom or screened-in porch is an ideal location for indoor lounge chairs.

If you're worried about your lounge chairs holding up to inclement weather, consider purchasing protective covers.

Durability Test: Lounge Chair Materials

When it comes to lounge chair materials, you can choose from plastic, aluminum, wood, PVC, steel, wicker/rattan, or wrought iron. Some lounge chairs are frames covered with cushions, while others are entirely one material.

Plastic Lounge Chairs

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Easy to clean
  • Budget-friendly
  • Appearance can be lacking
  • Can crack easily and don't hold up to high winds

Aluminum Lounge Chairs

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Rust- and fade-resistant
  • Usually come in a wide range of colors
  • Can get hot in the sun

Wood Lounge Chairs

  • Very sturdy and durable
  • Attractive appearance
  • Can be pricey
  • Not weather-resistant; require significant upkeep

PVC Lounge Chairs

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Very budget-friendly
  • Available in a range of colors
  • Not as durable as other materials
  • Prone to fading and cracking

Wicker/Rattan Lounge Chairs

  • Lightweight and easy to move
  • Comfortable
  • Attractive appearance
  • Prone to fading
  • Not as long-lasting as other materials
  • Need to be brought indoors for particularly cold or wet months

Steel Lounge Chairs

  • Extremely durable
  • Very sturdy
  • Modern look
  • Can be pricey
  • Very heavy and difficult to move
  • Get hot in the sun
  • Prone to rusting

Wrought-Iron Lounge Chairs

  • Extremely durable
  • Attractive appearance
  • Available in a range of styles
  • Can be pricey
  • Heavy and difficult to move
  • Prone to rusting and corrosion
  • Not as comfortable as other materials

Wood lounge chairs are usually made of teak, pine, cedar, or cypress. Cedar and teak are the best options because they are rot- and insect-resistant.

Extra Comfort: What to Consider When Buying Lounge Chairs

Size
Because they allow you to fully stretch out, lounge chairs are fairly large pieces of furniture. In general, they typically range from 70 to 80 inches in length, 25 to 28 inches in width, and 25 to 40 inches in height. Measure the spot where you plan to place your lounge chairs before you buy.

Adjustability
Some lounge chairs have fixed backs that only allow you to sit upright. However, most lounge chairs have adjustable backs that allow you to sit up or fully recline. Some offer just two positions, while others offer up to five. The more positions that a lounge chair offers, the greater control you'll have when reclining.

Cushions
For added comfort, many lounge chairs are cushioned, so you don't have to sit directly on the hard frame. Some lounge chairs feature attached cushions that can't be removed for washing, while others have removable cushions that you can easily clean—or swap out for new cushions if you want to change the look of your lounge chairs.

Make sure that any cushions or other fabrics on your lounge chairs are weather-resistant, so they won't be damaged by the sun or rain. Some common materials used for outdoor lounge chair cushions include cotton canvas, duck cloth, polypropylene, and vinyl. Lounge chair cushions are usually filled with some type of foam to make them as comfortable as possible.

Wheels/Casters
If you want to be able to move your lounge chairs around easily, look for chairs with wheels or casters. This is a particularly important feature for chairs made of heavier materials like steel or wrought iron, which are very difficult to lift.

Color
Lounge chairs are available in a wide array of colors, ranging from neutrals like black, tan, and cream to brights like red, yellow, and blue. Some have patterned cushions, such as striped designs. Consider the color scheme in the area where you plan to place your lounge chairs, and choose a complementary shade to coordinate with the rest of your decor.

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Lounge Chairs Come in an Array of Materials to Suit Your Specific Needs

Wicker or rattan is an ideal material for lounge chairs that looks great both outdoors and indoors.

How Much Do Quality Lounge Chairs Cost?

Lounge chair prices vary widely based on the material, but you'll usually spend between $30 and $500.

  • PVC lounge chairs typically range from $30 to $75.
  • Plastic lounge chairs typically range from $50 to $200.
  • Aluminum lounge chairs typically range from $75 to $300.
  • Steel lounge chairs typically range from $85 to $400.
  • Wood lounge chairs typically range from $110 to $400.
  • Wicker or rattan lounge chairs typically range from $135 to $375.
  • Wrought-iron lounge chairs typically range from $145 to $500.

If you're concerned about making eco-friendly purchases for your home, you can find plastic lounge chairs that are made from recycled materials.

Maintenance Tips for Your Lounge Chairs

  • When you're washing plastic lounge chairs, use an antimildew cleaner for the cleanest surfaces.
  • PVC lounge chairs are usually the easiest to clean. Wipe them down with soapy water, and rinse thoroughly to remove any dirt.
  • Protect the surface of aluminum lounge chairs with mineral oil or car wax.
  • Wicker or rattan lounge chairs should be dusted periodically to keep them clean.
  • You can customize the look of wood lounge chairs by painting them. Be sure to use an outdoor paint with UV protection to keep the paint from fading.
If you like the look of wood lounge chairs but not the upkeep, consider aluminum chairs with a woodgrain finish.

FAQ

Q. How long do lounge chairs last?
A. The lifespan of lounge chairs depends on their material and how well they are maintained. Plastic and PVC lounge chairs tend to wear out the fastest. Aluminum lounge chairs last a bit longer, while wicker, rattan, and wood chairs often last for a decade or more if not left outdoors during the winter. Steel and wrought-iron lounge chairs usually have the longest lifespan, often lasting 20 years or more.

Q. Which lounge chairs work best for a beach house?
A. If you live near the ocean, where there is salt in the air and the humidity is high, it's important to choose lounge chairs that aren't prone to rust. Aluminum lounge chairs are usually your best bet if you prefer a metal look, though plastic, PVC, wood, wicker, and rattan lounge chairs work as well.

Q. Which lounge chairs get hot in direct sunlight?
A. Metal lounge chairs get hot when exposed to the sun. Aluminum warms up in the heat, but it cools quickly once you move it out of the sun. Steel and wrought-iron lounge chairs, on the other hand, stay hot for quite some time, even after the sun goes down. It's best to place cushions on these chairs, so they can be used comfortably in the sun.

If you live in a windy area, wrought-iron or steel lounge chairs are the best bet because their weight will keep them from blowing away.

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