The Best Beach Chairs Are Super-Stylish and a Cinch to Carry
Our top pick is less than 3 pounds.
Updated Sep 17, 2018 1:32 PM
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Picture this: Gentle waves crash in the distance, the sun feels like a warm embrace, and you have a cold beverage in your hand as you take it all in. But actually, now the sand is starting to feel a bit hot on the back of your legs, and your beach towel keeps blowing up in the wind, refusing to stay in place. If only you had a chair.
The best beach chairs aren’t just comfortable, they also look cool—a few of our favorite finds come in splashy color palettes that will rival your swimsuit—and they’re easy to transport from boardwalk to shoreline. Whether your plans involve lounging in the sun (with plenty of sunscreen, of course) or joining a picnic with friends, the right seat is light enough to tuck under your arm and will let you focus on having fun. Just lie back and soak up the envy of your neighbors.
- Best overall: Sunnylife Peachy Pink Beach Chair
- Best value: Sun Squad 5-Position Beach Sand Chair
- Best pattern: Sunday Supply Co. Golden Sands Beach Chair
- Best high-back: MoMA Design Store Spaghetti Beach Chair
- Best rattan: Urban Outfitters Tatami Beach Chair
- Best collapsible: Helinox Lightweight Beach Chair
- Best frameless: Sunnylife Beach Chair
- Best wood: Terrain Portable Teak Lounge Chair
- Best retro: Lawn Chair USA Webbed Low-Back Beach Chair
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Size: Although beach chairs can vary in size, they tend to skew shorter than your average lawn chair. A low profile, synonymous with salty seas, is actually designed to stand sturdy on uneven sandy shores. The classic, compact style—Sunday Supply Co.’s brand manager, Georgia Loneragan, notes the ideal folded dimensions should tally 24 inches long, 20 inches wide, and 7 inches tall—typically situates the sitter just a foot above the ground to fully stretch out and catch maximum rays.
Portability: Beyond zeroing in on lighter weights (our top pick is less than 3 pounds!), search for details such as backpack straps, fabric or foam handles to grip onto, and collapsibility to either stuff into a shoulder bag or tuck under your elbow—you’ll want to free your hands for other beach-going goodies like a cooler to keep drinks close and cold.
Design: Whether you’re chilling out next to the Pacific Ocean or lounging at a lake, you’ll want a chair that will last longer than one summer. That means prioritizing materials that won’t fade from long hours in the sun or discolor from salt water (look out for UV- and weather-resistant fabrics), especially if you’re looking to stand out in a crowd of tropical florals with a pretty pastel or modern graphic. And for those who prefer to air-dry rather than reach for a towel, opt for a rust-resistant aluminum or wood frame that won’t tarnish or buckle with age.
Additional features: The finer details—multiple recline positions to fully unwind and pockets as a catchall for your phone, snacks, and more—can mean the difference between a few hours of R&R and daylong comfort.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Sunnylife Peachy Pink Beach Chair
Don’t let the size of this little chair fool you—although it weighs just under 3 pounds, it can hold more than 300. Channel the shores of Sydney with Sunnylife, an Australian brand renowned for its range of summer accessories. This no-fuss design offers a trendy punch of pink crafted out of recycled polyester with matching (quick-drying) padded armrests. A back pocket promises to house everything from your latest reading materials to your cat-eye sunglasses. And if you have a long walk ahead of you to public-beach access across rocky dunes, rest assured the adjustable carry strap is perfect to sling across any shoulder. With all these features packed into a slim silhouette, it will be hard not to buy a few more.
Best Value: Sun Squad 5-Position Beach Sand Chair
Whether your vacation plans include digging into a 400-page novel or a messy chicken salad sandwich, five different recline positions promise to give your back a much-needed break (including a midday nap) all for just $30. Weather-resistant fabric in zesty lime or eye-catching Schiaparelli pink will bring a shock of color to any outing, no matter if it’s in the grass, sand, or gravel. And consider completing your seaside set with the matching Sun Squad umbrella to take on high tide in high style.
Best Pattern: Sunday Supply Co. Golden Sands Beach Chair
Stand out amid the palm trees and Margaritaville-inspired parrots with a modern take on animal print with this pattern-perfect cushioned chair. Sunday Supply Co.’s signature spot, Golden Sands, pairs warm, earthy tones on a matte white, powder-coated aluminum frame. And don’t worry over the white—the foam pad (perfect for sensitive beach bums) is removable, with a machine washable slip that’s no match for spilled ketchup.
Best High-Back: MoMA Design Store Spaghetti Beach Chair
Team Domino loves the Spaghetti chair, so we couldn’t go past this Italian classic reimagined in a seaside color palette and low-slung design with ocean waves in mind. The spongy PVC bands are not only where this seat gets its name but are the source of its extra-ergonomic comfort. And unlike some fabric loungers, where wet swimsuits can mean a soggy seat, salt water should roll right off the plastic backing. Boasting the most recline adjustments on this list (six total!), the rust-resistant aluminum frame also offers serious stability.
Best Rattan: Urban Outfitters Tatami Beach Chair
Bring boho vibes along wherever you go with this rattan floor chair, which is perfect for posting up by the edge of the pool to dip your toes in the water. The added headrest offers optimal comfort—just layer a cotton towel for extra cushion. And by folding it up flat, you won’t have to fret about this seat hogging all the room in the trunk of your car.
Best Collapsible: Helinox Lightweight Beach Chair
Although this extra-compact chair comes in three color options—a nautical-themed stripe and a black or light blue mesh that offers extra air for sweaty days—we love it the most for its premium packability. It’s collapsible and comes with a carry sack that doubles as a head pillow, but one happy customer spilled the ultimate secret: Once the accompanying bag is loaded up with the chair, it actually leaves just enough room for a beach towel (or two) to tag along.
Best Frameless: Sunnylife Beach Chair
Choose this frameless cushioned lounger to get as close to the ground as possible all while avoiding grains of sand in every nook and cranny. A foldable steel frame offers multiple positions, including a full recline perfect for those times when you just can’t seem to get comfortable laying out on a towel. Water-resistant polyester fabric is poised to take on ocean spray—but no matter where you’re headed, you can easily tow this chair along thanks to its built-in carry strap.
Best Wood: Terrain Portable Teak Lounge Chair
If you’re looking for an elevated upgrade from the common aluminum frame, seek out this nautical navy stripe stretched over teak slats to recline in style. A sanctuary from the sand, the two-piece, durable solid-wood frame is designed to pull apart into a smaller, portable size via a detachable shoulder strap. Stow your beach bag spillover in the back buttoned pocket for quick access to sunscreen or a can of seltzer if you decide to wander from base camp. Plus the umbrella canvas fabric is not only easy to clean but UV-, mold-, and water-resistant.
Best Retro: Lawn Chair USA Webbed Low-Back Beach Chair
Take a trip down memory lane with Lawn Chair USA’s present-day upgrade on the foldable lawn chair that’s guaranteed to be in your family for generations to come thanks to a rustproof aluminum frame. With sandy destinations in mind, the beach model sits particularly close to the ground compared to the classic or magnum options. But if you happen to need a bit of extra support, give the high-back beach chair a try instead—with more than 3,000 positive reviews on Amazon, you can’t go wrong with whichever version of this stackable seat you choose.
What color and pattern trends are on the rise for outdoor and beach accessories? “Neutral colors and prints have been a huge hit for us so far this summer,” explains Loneragan, listing Sunday Supply Co.’s best-sellers: Dunes, a simple, sandy neutral; Black Sands, a subdued leopard graphic; and Natural Instinct, a hand-drawn charcoal stripe.
Can I leave my beach chair outside when it’s raining, as I would patio furniture? You can, but try to avoid it. Most of these chairs are designed to withstand sea spray, sunscreen, sweat, and sun, but that doesn’t mean they’re indestructible. Ensure your chair is a part of the family vacation tradition for years to come by storing it indoors away from the elements, preferably in a bag or under a cover.
How do I clean my beach chair? Just as you wash sand off your toes after a day at the beach, you’ll want to remove any stubbornly sticky debris from your chair, whether that’s a couple of crumbs from lunch or clumps of matted sand from sitting too close to the waves. If you can’t simply brush things off, give your chair a quick rinse under water or spot-treat any stains.
How We Vetted These Products
Every product in a Domino guide meets these criteria:
- They blend form and function. We believe the best-designed products reflect your personal style and are a joy to use.
- They’re expert approved. In addition to our team of editors, we tap a range of designers, makers, renovators, and all-around knowledgeable people to share their intel.
- They’re endorsed by people who actually own them. We pay close attention to real reviews from both our creative community and third-party websites to know that they pass the test IRL.