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Hanging outside during the summer months is immediately elevated when outdoor furniture is introduced. From umbrellas that cool us down during the day to cozy fire pits that warm us up at night, outdoor decor can transform your backyard into a dreamy summer seating area.
While there are a variety of outdoor seating options, pool lounge chairs are widely regarded as the key to a comfortable outdoor space. The right chair serves as a comfortable place to chat with friends and family, dry off from the pool, and relax in the summer sun.
We consulted the experts for advice on what to look for in the perfect pool lounge chair, complete with 12 of our favorites.
Meet the experts
At Living Cozy, we work closely with leading names across the industry to bring you the best home goods, furniture, and design recommendations. In this article, you’ll find advice from the following experts:
The Inside’s Cabana Chair is a folding lounge chair that can be easily stored inside. Danielle Walish says that the foldable chairs “are perfect for the pool or beach, and fold easily for storage and transportation.” Additionally, Walish says that the best part about the chairs is that they ship in about seven days.
With a teak wood frame and washable outdoor fabric, The Sun Lounger is both durable and comfortable. The chair has a built-in side table for poolside beverages and includes five different recline positions.
“We love that our teak Sun Lounger with foam cushions is made with fade-proof Sunbrella fabric, has wheels for portability, and has a built-in side table that slides out on either side,” says Mike Fretto, co-founder of Neighbor.
Neighbor offers free shipping, a 45-day trial of the product, and a full warranty. Additionally, swatches of the six different colors of fabric can be ordered in advance.
Available as a single chair, 2-seater, or 3-seater, the Sorrento is the perfect patio lounge chair and maximizes comfort with linear proportions. According to Karen Rohr, “the Sorrento is an excellent option for a more modern, clean, and sleek chair. It’s also at a reasonable price and the metal frames make for a more durable chair for any weather.”
The modern Colby Outdoor Chaise Lounge Chair is known for its versatility and comfort. The lounge chair offers five different recline positions, raised armrests, and has a thick back cushion for additional support.
The chair is just one in the expansive Colby Collection– a set that is known to prioritize comfort when it comes to the outdoor seating experience. The Colby Collection includes a bistro set, sofa set, sectional and ottoman.
The clean design of the Skiff Outdoor Sun Lounger attracts those partial to furniture with a minimalist design. The lounger is made from rust-resistant aluminum and Batyline mesh, materials that that require minimal maintenance. The chair is UV resistant to prevent discoloration on sunny outdoor days, and offers five recline positions.
The 100% teak Jack Outdoor Adjustable Lounge Chair brings quality poolside. Teak is naturally weather-resistant and brings an element of luxury to this chaise. Wheels make for easy transport in and around the pool, while an adjustable backrest lets pool goers sit up, lie down, or anything in between.
Additional cushions can be purchased for a luxurious back and headrest.
Nap flat or read upright in the Idle Sun Lounger by CB2. Known to “bring color to outdoor seating,” the lounger is “modern, colorful, and little to no maintenance,” according to Ariel Richardson. This lounger is available in Cobalt Blue, Black and White.
The chair has five recline positions and is easy to clean with just a mild soap and water. A lounge-specific cover is sold separately for extra protection from the elements.
Made from rattan, the Hampton Double Chaise captures the aesthetic of wicker while remaining sun, heat, and water-resistant. “This aluminum and all-weather wicker piece will stand up to weather without falling apart,” says Richardson. “This is a very casual and cozy patio chaise lounge chair that allows you to cozy up with your BFF and catch up on all the latest gossip.
100% polypropylene cushions filled with polyurethane foam and polyester fibers.
Made with Polywood lumber, a proprietary blend made from sustainable materials including landfill-bound and ocean-bound plastics, the Nautical Chaise lounger is known for its durability. With weather resistance and color-stay technology, the chaise is low maintenance and stands up to all conditions. Lucy Small loves the Nautical Chaise for its durability, as “it’s an outdoor lounger that can withstand any weather.”
The unique shape of the egg chair draws in many for its cozy, yet weather-resistant design. “Wicker is always suitable for outdoor seating,” says Karen Rohr. “This one brings a natural touch and looks so cozy and inviting that it’s perfect for the pool or balconies.”
The Sunset Teak Lounge Chair is all about angles– the exaggerated seat of the chair creates a Midcentury visual appeal in addition to creating a natural lean backwards. “These chairs are such a good option,” says Karen Rohr. “The frame is good quality, and the style is unique. It’s perfect for those looking for a more clean and modern aesthetic.”
The Maya Sofa delivers on weather-resistant outdoor fabric. “I love the nice deep seats on the Maya Sofa,” says Ariel Richardson. “There are lots of different finish options to match your taste, and it’s waterproof and fade resistant. This is a versatile piece that is easy to separate for smaller seating areas or create a larger sectional.”
If you’re looking for fabric outdoor furniture, the Maya Sofa brings the soft texture that we love about indoor furniture outside, without the worry about damage from the elements.
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What Should You Look for in a Pool Lounge Chair?
While searching for the pool lounge chair that fits your needs, make sure to keep the comfort of both your family and guests in mind.
“If you plan on spending long hours in the chair, make sure it's large enough to be comfortable and has plenty of support for your back and legs.”
“Think about the size and shape of the chair,” recommends Karen Rohr. “If you plan on spending long hours in the chair, make sure it's large enough to be comfortable and has plenty of support for your back and legs.” Rohr also suggests considering the height of the chair, as some people prefer chairs that are low to the ground, while others prefer chairs higher off the ground.
Unlike indoor pieces, outdoor furniture tend to be moved around frequently– whether it's at the end of the summer season, or around the backyard. To accommodate frequent movement, Ariel Richardson recommends looking for modular pieces that are easy to move and reconfigure, as “you never know if your space will change when you buy a new grill, or install an outdoor kitchen.” Many brands build wheels into one end of the chair, a feature to keep in mind if you envision moving your furniture around frequently.
Additionally, keep in mind that some chairs switch between upright and lying-down positioning. If that’s a feature that you care about, we recommend seeking out chairs with this capability.
Similar to other pieces of furniture, pool lounge chairs can vary widely in cost. Karen Rohr recommends taking into account your budget, as “outdoor lounge chairs can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, so it’s essential to set a realistic budget before you start shopping.”
While looking at inspirational outdoor lounge setups online, it can be easy to get drawn in by aesthetics and forget about all-season durability. Lucy Small recommends seeking out an all-weather setup, and advises avoiding cotton, linen, and other fabrics known to grow mold or mildew when it rains. For protection from the elements, Small suggests considering a chair made from waterproof materials, or with easy-to-replace fabric.
Small also recommends considering the frame material, as “chairs made from natural materials such as wood or resin wicker will require more maintenance than those made from synthetic materials like plastic or aluminum."
What Materials You Should Consider for Outdoor Pool Chairs
There are a variety of materials that make for excellent outdoor pool chairs– but it all depends on what you’re looking for. For those in search of a pool chair that is durable and low maintenance, Lucy Small recommends polyresins, such as Polywood. However, for those leaning towards wood (and therefore prepared to take on the associated maintenance), Small recommends Teak.
Karen Rohr advises considering your budget before selecting a material. On the less expensive side is aluminum, as it’s lightweight and doesn’t rust. Plastic is another affordable option, but according to Rohr, it can break down over time in direct sunlight.
Corey Lee suggests a material that provides ample amount of airflow. “Open wicker weaves and mesh sling fabrics dry quickly and severely cut down on maintenance,” says Lee.
Once you’ve selected your material, Ariel Richardson recommends purchasing optional covers for it, if that’s an option, to help the furniture last longer. “All outdoor furniture will wear and tear quicker than indoor furniture, so the covers really help protect your investment,” says Richardson.
Sasha Weilbaker is a freelance writer with bylines in Thrillist, Business Insider, and The Vegetarian Times. She's particularly interested in the intersection of sustainability and materials. In the wild, she can be found cycling around New England, scouting coffee shops, or obsessing over new podcasts.
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