Best metal garden chairs that look good and last

Decorative and functional leisure seating that will delight and 'ore'.

Best metal garden chairs

by Natalie Knowles |
Updated on

We can all relate to having a favourite chair, but there's a reason why metal garden chairs are this season's hot seat. The industrial aesthetic of steel furniture, developed in the post-war Mid-Century modern era, just had a 21st Century update. From folding and stackable chairs to dining sets and sun loungers, metal garden furniture has undergone some ergonomic refinement that makes metal seating a lot more comfortable.

Metal garden chairs may never be as comfy as an armchair in the garden, but there are benefits to choosing metal when you go al fresco.

Best metal garden chairs at a glance

• Best designer metal garden chair: 1966 Outdoor Lounge Chair in White - View offer on Mohd
• Best aluminium garden chair: Emma - View offer on Lazy Susan Furniture
• Best stackable metal chairs: PHIVILLA Metal Garden Chairs Outdoor Patio Stackable Chairs for Dining Set 2 Pack Black - View offer on Amazon UK

Firstly, it's an all-weather material; unlike wood or wicker, metal is resilient. And metal doesn't have to mean heavy either. Lightweight furniture - made of steel tubing - first appeared in the late 19th Century as hospital furniture and seats in cars and aircraft. Not to mention, the Bauhaus aesthetic of simple and functional design is epitomised by the sleek forms of steel tubing chairs. Marcel Breuer's Wassily Kandinsky chair is an example of metal furniture being mass-produced as a durable and comfortable seat for the home.

Metal garden chairs create interesting and photogenic shapes that contrast with lush leafy foliage. They're bang on garden trends, especially if you opt for hairpin-style furniture. But if all that metal feels a bit stark, you can simply soften the look with cushions to reflect your taste and comfort. Also, if your taste isn't quite for Scandinavian functionalism - fear not - we've found some dreamy continental, floral and industrial options too. And if a more traditional style is your thing, then pull up a chair and relax as we take the weight off looking for your new place to perch.

Best metal garden chairs

Best for maneuvering around the garden

What's not to like? This set of two stackable Oblice Metal Garden Chairs are designed entirely from metal to be
light, durable and easy to move around the garden. This chair has simple yet elegant lines with the armrests leading smoothly into the legs.

Customer review: "Just what I expected. Really pleased."


  • Great quality
  • Stackable
  • Lightweight


  • Only available in one colour

Best designer metal garden chair

1966 Outdoor Lounge Chair in White
Price: £1,446.61

We have to begin with a piece of design history. Knoll is an iconic chair manufacturer that's been creating relevant seating solutions since 1938. What's special about Richard Schultz's 1966 collection? This set of outdoor furniture was designed specifically for Florence Knoll's coastal Florida property. It needed to be durable and resistant to the effects of salty ocean air. The price reflects that you're getting to own a piece of what is regarded as the first modern outdoor furniture collection.


  • Epitome of mid-century style
  • Historical significance


  • Designer price

Best stackable metal chairs

These attractive aluminium garden chairs feature a broad back for comfort. A sturdy mid-price option that is undeniably going to stand the test of time. Opt for the simple look of bare black metal or add a colourful cushion. The slatted seat and modern yet classical back add a decorative touch to your patio. Whether you're having a barbecue or relaxing with your favourite drink, the armrests offer understated support and the chunky chair dimensions give you plenty of room to be comfortable.

Customer review: "The instructions were easy to follow. The chairs are very comfortable and sturdy. They are stackable and light to carry. An excellent purchase. I ordered 2 extra chairs as the table can fit 8 round. Very happy with and price."


  • Lightweight frame
  • Four back designs to choose from
  • Stackable


  • Some found it could have been better quality

Best aluminium garden chair

This lightweight Emma metal garden chair is only 6.15kg. Featuring a wide curved back and armrests, it's a comfortable and elegant garden chair for al fresco dining.

Customer review: "Great furniture delivered earlier than expected. Love the idea of no maintenance aluminium. Has made the garden even more appealing."


  • Elegant
  • Lightweight
  • Well reviewed


  • Not specified if the chairs are stackable

Best for low maintenance

For a sturdy option that still has elegant details, try these garden armchairs from KETTLER. Made of wrought iron, they've been specially developed for outdoor conditions with an enhanced Thermoguard+ coating to prevent rusting. And you know they mean business as the range comes with a five-year anti-rust guarantee. Paired with the mesh backrest has decorative leaf detailing, this is a classic choice that'll take pride of place in your garden for years to come.

Customer review: "We bought 4 of these chairs some years ago and left outside as recommended uncovered over the winters. No rust. This year we added 2 more chairs. They look good and are extremely comfortable. We have the matching tables too, round and rectangular. No rust."


  • Classic yet decorative design
  • Durable and hard-wearing
  • Renowned brand


  • Heavy

Best vintage-style metal chairs

For lovers of the countryside, this charming pair of floral folding chairs will bring cottage-core to any garden. With delightful flowers and butterfly details, this set will make you want to invite the neighbours over for tea and scones. Because they are white, you can expect to see some weathering or corrosion over time if the chairs are left outside.

Customer review: "Really pleased with these chairs, they look great. Not newly painted look more slightly distressed but in the garden they work well. Need cushions for comfort, but that's to be expected. Look stylish, good price and quite easy to move as well."


  • Fully assembled
  • Sturdy


  • Not suitable to stay outdoors in bad weather

Best Mediterranean style metal chairs

You may not be going on a Roman holiday this year, but you can still do as the Romans do and let this folding chair and table set make you feel like you're in the Med. The black metal frame perfectly complements the hand-crafted mosaic. And the good news is that you don't need to own a villa to enjoy this compact dining set. In short, it's a super affordable garden table and chairs that's going to be enjoyed summer after summer.

Customer review: "Ideal for a small patio, sitting outside with a glass of wine or cup of coffee with a friend. Looks great. I did notice a couple of cracks in the mosaic on the table after a frost. My neighbour reported a similar problem she had where all the mosaic eventually loosened and fell off. So I'm keeping my lovely bistro set indoors for the winter."


  • Beautiful hand-crafted mosaic design
  • Reasonable price


  • Some of the reviews comment that their table arrived with cracks in the mosaic
  • Not suitable for all weathers


How do I look after my metal garden furniture?

Firstly, know what type of metal your furniture is. For example, untreated iron will rust and corrode, whereas powder-coated steel will be weather-resistant. Aluminium is an excellent option for garden furniture because it's lightweight and requires no maintenance.

According to the British Ironwork Centre, when you receive your new furniture it's a good idea to paint it with a protective paint, such as Hammerite. Also, a spray of clear waterproof lacquer, such as Rust-Oleum, can help combat air pollution's effects. Joints are the weak points, so pay close attention to any bolts or screws that are rusting.

Finally, during winter months, it's best to store metal garden furniture indoors if you want to preserve it. Alternatively, a waterproof cover is a good investment if you're tight on storage space and want to protect your furniture from bird soiling as well as water damage.

What do I need to know about the metal that's used to make garden furniture?

Wrought iron

This is a malleable form of iron that is worked with tools. Wrought is actually an archaic word for 'worked' so the literal meaning is worked iron. Because this process is done by hand, you get a hammered finish and is mostly associated with traditional metal furniture. It requires regular maintenance and will patina over time.


Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon that is stronger and more durable as a result of the smelting and oxidisation process. It's the strongest metal used in furniture making, but it's also heavier and more expensive. Untreated steel can be susceptible to rust.


Aluminium is a unique metal that's non-magnetic and widely used in everyday items. It's the ideal material for outdoor furniture because it's lightweight, sturdy and won't corrode. Aluminium is a lot lighter than steel or iron because it's a less dense material. When cleaning aluminium garden furniture, use warm water, mild detergent and a soft cloth.

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Natalie Knowles is a Homes & Garden Product Writer for Modern Gardens, specialising in garden trends. When she's not flexing her mow-how, Natalie is a successful artist and illustrator.

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