With their clean, distinctive lines and oh-so-comfy design, the best garden armchairs are set to transform your time spent outside this spring and summer. There are all sorts of fabulously modern interpretations to choose from to level up your garden furniture.
We're expecting there to be a big swing towards low-line, laid-back seating this year, and their sloping angles make them incredibly comfortable. As well as adding effortless living room style to your outside space, these low-slung lounge chairs will fast become the go-to spot in your garden for a morning coffee, watching nature as the sun goes down, or a sneaky snooze.
Lounge chairs can cost from £40 up to £1,000 plus, so it’s worth knowing what you’re paying for so you can spend smart. The choice of materials and how well they perform outside are usually reflected in the product’s price tag. There’s also the quality of production and finishing to take into account, which will impact how long your purchase is likely to last.
Best garden armchairs at a glance
• Best accent piece garden armchair: Swoon Franklin Garden Armchair – View on John Lewis
• Best boho chic garden armchair: Mal Acacia Outdoor Garden Chair – View on Wayfair
• Best minimalist garden armchair: Vivenne Garden Chair – View on Wayfair
So, decide whether you want a striking chair that looks good for a couple of seasons or a design classic to cherish and enjoy for years to come before you start shopping. For more guidance on how to choose the best garden chair to lounge in, scroll to the FAQs at the end of this article. Sit back, relax and enjoy... watching the birds come in and out or listening to nature has never been easier.
Best garden armchairs
Best accent piece garden armchair
A take on mid-century modern meets Scandinavian, this Swoon Franklin Garden Armchair is definitely
- Made from sustainable Acacia wood
- Elegance and quality
- Weather-resistant cushion
- A bit heavy
Best boho chic garden armchair
We love this Mal Acacia Outdoor Garden Chair for its natural, open-weave webbing, making it a
- Made with quality, natural materials
Best minimalist garden armchair
Get Acapulco beach house vibes with this Vivenne Garden Chair, featuring a loose rattan weave
- Strong tubular steel frame
- Sturdy yet lightweight
- No reviews available
Best buy solid wood garden armchair
This classic garden chair is sturdy, durable and stylish. Made with solid Acacia to last, it's
- Quality wood
- Wide armrests
- Classic design
- Difficult to get out of for those who are less mobile
Best rattan garden rocking chair
Also available in mixed grey, this garden rocking chair is a great option for any modern garden
- Strong and durable frame
- Year-round use
- No reviews available
Best glider armchair
Laze the day away in this COSTWAY Garden Glider Armchair. This ergonomic leisure chair, with
- Gentle swing function
- Easy to assemble
- Robust steel frame
- A little low
Best laid-back lounger
A wonderful way to relax and unwind in a spacious and comfortable garden lounger. This stylish
- Weather resistant
- Needs bringing inside in rougher weather
Best on-trend garden armchair
The inviting chunky woven texture of this Tatta Modern Outdoor Chair Woven Textilene makes it a
- Luxury, high-end look
- Optional swivel base
- Easy to clean
- Robust frame
- Cushions could benefit from being higher-spec
Best garden armchair for weather resistance
Polyresin garden furniture has transformed the durability and weather resistance of outdoor tables
- Weather resistant
- Low maintenance
- Great for a small garden
- On the smaller side
FAQs: Best garden armchair
What is a garden lounge chair?
The inspiration for this surge of stylishly sloping lounge chairs can be traced directly back to an innovative early 20th-century American design. Widely referred to as the Adirondack chair, it was designed in 1903 by Thomas Lee so his family could comfortably settle down outside and soak up the wild and rugged surroundings of the Adirondack Mountains in New York.
Far roomier and more supportive than the then-standard, small, Victorian, cast-iron designs and, crucially, with a sloping seat that made for a more relaxed experience, the wooden Adirondack quickly became popular.
Best of all, the sloping angles mean you don’t need cushions to be comfy and rain runs quickly through the open-weave designs, making them a great choice for showery spring days as well as the summer to come.
With a few key changes, including an arched back and rounded front edge, the Adirondack is still adored today, and there are plenty of classic all-wood designs on the market if you want to bring an iconic edge to your patio.
There are models that stick closely to the classic design, but are made of different materials, designs that have retained nothing but the angles of the iconic original, and garden armchairs that showcase every stage of evolution in-between! Some have moved just a little way towards more sinuous, easy-on-the-eye curves, while others have ditched the armrests altogether and opted for the sleekest, most minimal of lines.
What are modern garden lounge chairs?
As the design has been reinterpreted, a whole host of different features and adjustments have been added to tailor these low-slung armchairs to suit our modern needs.
Some models - such as hairpin style garden furniture - have nifty folding and lightweight steel frames, to enable you to move the seating with ease, and there are stackable products for simple storage too. There are designs with no armrests at all and those with wide arms for ultimate relaxation, and some come with handy notches to hold your wine glass.
What material should my chair be?
All-wood designs are still popular, and you can find slatted timber designs in everything from smooth-grained teak and pale birch to warm, honey-toned acacia. There are durable faux-wood designs in shades of turquoise, slate blue, and terracotta, which are perfect for adding a dash of colour outdoors.
Wood is also being used as a frame around which synthetic polypropylene rope is wound to create chairs with a chic, linear look and a timeless, easy-to-live-with vibe. They’re very comfy too, as these rope-strung sections cleverly yield to support each individual user in pure bliss.
Synthetic or all-weather rattan outdoor furniture is always a good choice because of its easy-care good looks. There are lots of lovely open-weave polypropylene designs in pale natural shades, but we’re seeing an emerging trend for darker rattan shades.
Other tantalising options include hardwearing Textilene, which is a crisp, non-stretch fabric perfect for simple sling-style chairs, smooth powdered-coated aluminium in a range of cheery shades, and recycled polypropylene that is moulded into seamless ergonomic forms.
What to look out for when buying a garden armchair
Many slatted timber chairs require metal fixings, so check that they are rustproof and made from stainless steel or are galvanised. Where screws are countersunk into timber, the heads should be filled, ideally with wooden plugs, and sanded smooth for a smart, water-resistant finish.
Natural softwoods are prone to absorbing water, so they will need regular maintenance if they’re to last a full lifespan. If you’re not likely to bother re-treating the wood, then it’s worth spending a little more on hardwoods such as teak or iroko, which contain natural waterproofing oils and need little care to keep them looking good.
If you’re choosing armchairs made from all-weather rattan, look for those that have been through mono-extrusion processes, where the dye is present throughout the entire strand, rather than just the coating, so any scuffs won’t show. And opt for a rigid steel or aluminium frame with minimal joints and screws.
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Jill Morgan writes regularly for Modern Gardens, and loves everything to do with gardens, plants and outdoor living. Her long thin, town garden is the setting for many family and creative projects from bird feeding and veggie growing to den building and mini-pond dipping.