We Found the 10 Best Patio Chairs So You Can Sit Back and Relax
Set the stage for summer.
Published May 20, 2021 2:00 AM
All of our favorite outdoor activities—sharing homemade meals alfresco, storytelling around a roaring firepit, finally reading that novel that’s been sitting around for months—have something in common: They require a comfortable place to sit. Patio chairs might be a staple of every outdoor living space, but they shouldn’t be an afterthought. With temperatures rising and nature in bloom, it’s time to give your chairs the high-style attention they deserve. So take a seat, relax, and put your feet up. We’ve narrowed your search down to the 10 best options across a range of styles, materials, and price points—all backed by strong reviews by the people who have spent summers in them.
- Best overall: Article Svelti Dining Chair
- Best value: Room Essentials Metal Slat Stacking Patio Chair
- Best solid wood: West Elm Playa Outdoor Dining Chair
- Best modern design: Hay Palissade Side Chair
- Best cantilever: Crosley Furniture Brighton Retro Metal Chair
- Best foldable: Threshold French Cafe Folding Patio Bistro Chair
- Best removable cushion: CB2 Navene Dining Chair
- Best metal bistro: FDW Metal Dining Chair
- Best French bistro: Serena & Lily Outdoor Riviera Dining Chair
- Best director’s: Serena & Lily Director’s Chair
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Type: We’ve focused on the most common (and versatile) style, but there are more options beyond patio dining chairs. The low-slung Adirondack is suited to farmhouse-style yards (ideally with a vista); the deep-padded, wide-arm club chair is designed for maximum comfort; and the reclining chaise longue is the perfect poolside choice.
Material: When it comes to outdoor furniture, which material you choose is more important than ever because it will need to stand up to weather, moisture, and sun. Sara Khodja, product development lead at CB2, recommends chairs with stainless steel, aluminum, or powder-coated iron frames, but she adds that “properly treated natural materials, like teak and other woods, take a little more effort to maintain, but they too will stand the test of time and beautifully patina over the years.”
Storage: How you store your chairs will have a big impact on their longevity, both in look and functionality. Summer rains can warp wood and rust joints, and the glaring sun can fade almost any surface if given the chance. If you want to be as vigilant as possible, store your furniture under a cover or in a dry shed or garage when not in use. If you don’t have the space, think about adding furniture covers to your cart to shield your pieces from the brunt of the climate.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Article Svelti Dining Chair
With a refined, mid-century-inspired shape; durable material that stands up as well outside as it does inside; and a price point that won’t break the bank, this Article best-seller is our pick for best in show. An array of 10 colors, from moody sage to saturated poppy red, means you’ll have no trouble finding a nature-inspired hue to match your garden’s blooms.
Best Value: Room Essentials Metal Slat Stacking Patio Chair
Need to outfit your next barbecue on a budget? This stackable find is made with rust-resistant metal, praised in many of the 5-star reviews for its exceptional sturdiness. Meanwhile it also gets high marks for style thanks to its beachy slatted back and slender curving arms, all finished in an elegant matte white.
Best Solid Wood: West Elm Playa Outdoor Dining Chair
Best Modern Design: Hay Palissade Side Chair
Best Cantilever: Crosley Furniture Brighton Retro Metal Chair
Best Foldable: Threshold French Cafe Folding Patio Bistro Chair
Best Removable Cushion: CB2 Navene Dining Chair
Best Metal Bistro: FDW Metal Dining Chair
There’s a reason this iconic Tolix style has been an outdoor go-to for bars, cafés, and restaurants the world over since it was designed in France the early 1930s: It’s lightweight, super-durable, and easy to stack and store. A wide variety of colors is available, whether you go with the classic black and white or a bold fire-truck red.
Best French Bistro: Serena & Lily Outdoor Riviera Dining Chair
Best Director’s: Serena & Lily Director’s Chair
Pro Tips for Styling Patio Chairs
- Let your home’s architecture set the tone. “I pay homage to the architecture of the house,” says award-winning outdoor living designer Fernando Wong. He recommends selecting patio chairs that fit with the style of your home; that way, when you mix in an accent piece from a different era, it’s highlighted “almost as a sculpture.”
- Use color to stand out (or blend in). “I want everything to be eaten up by the greenery,” jokes Wong, who recommends powder-coated green chairs when you want to let the colors of your plants take center stage, and bright, contrasting shades (or white) when you want your furnishings to pack a punch.
How We Vetted These ProductsEvery 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.