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Invest in the chairs that never go out of style.
Having comfortable seating for outdoor gatherings is non-negotiable. From cozy nights around the fire to afternoons spent grilling and sipping cocktails outdoors, Adirondack chairs are a classic backyard seating option. These lounge chairs feature tall backs, sloped seats, slatted panels, and wide armrests, but there are different versions to consider before purchasing, including ones with cup holders and rocking chair designs.
We tested 22 highly rated and recommended chairs, paying close attention to their comfort, adjustability, durability, ease of assembly, and more. After several months of sitting and storing, we determined the best Adirondack chairs for all kinds of outdoor gatherings, from poolside entertaining to patio lounging. Read on to learn more about our findings and advice from an interior designer on what pros look for in the best Adirondack chairs.
Best Overall: Highwood Hamilton Folding & Reclining Adirondack Chair
This chair offers three adjustability options, a comfortable and sturdy seat, and wide armrests.
It takes a bit of effort to adjust between heights.
From a nearly foolproof assembly to three adjustability options, this Adirondack chair was a clear choice for our best overall pick. We appreciated that the comfortable plastic feels smooth on bare skin and that the chair features nice cutouts on the armrests, ideal for larger-bodied individuals or for leaning to the side of your chair. There are no cup holders on the armrests, but luckily, they are flat and wide enough to set your favorite beverages down while relaxing.
When adjusting the chair between the three different heights, we found that it does require two hands — one to lift the back of the chair and one to position the supports into the notches on the base of the chair. During the cooler months of testing, it folded down without issue for easy storage.
Price at time of publish: $270
Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
Chair Weight: 34 pounds
Seat Width: 29.4 inches
Best Value: Yefu Plastic Adirondack Chair
This is a comfortable chair with adjustability that offers great value.
It does not fold down to store when not in use.
We love this under-$200 Adirondack chair that resembles wood but has a more affordable price due to its plastic lumber construction. The best part is that this patio chair can withstand outdoor elements even better than the real deal. It doesn’t fold down for compact storage, but it's tough enough to be left outside through the winter.
While the back is comfortable, the seat’s slope is pretty deep. This can be a good thing for those who want to be in a reclined position similar to a chaise lounge but might not be the best choice for older individuals with mobility issues, as it could be hard to get out of. During our support and durability tests, we found that the chair creaked when moving side to side or backward and that there was some noise when tipped over.
Price at time of publish: $150
Material: High-impact Polystyrene
Weight Capacity: 350 pounds
Chair Weight: 30 pounds
Seat Width: 36.6 inches
Best Modern: Polywood Modern Adirondack Chair
The modern design is unique and sleek.
Assembly was time-consuming and difficult.
Instead of the classic rounded top that most Adirondack chairs offer, this one has a flat top for a more modern aesthetic. The chair’s material is smooth to the touch, and despite there being no adjustability, we found it comfortable to relax in. When testing its ease of cleaning, we were able to remove sticky barbecue sauce and marshmallows from our s'mores with just a few wet paper towels and a dab of dish soap — no residue or stains were left behind.
The assembly process was more time-consuming than we anticipated. We turned to the brand’s website for video instructions, which ended up being helpful enough to assist with getting the job done. Not all manufacturers offer additional setup information, let alone an accompanying video, which is a definite plus if you’re stuck.
Price at time of publish: $249
Weight Capacity: 330 pounds
Chair Weight: 34 pounds
Seat Width: 29.25 inches
Best Plastic: RealComfort Charcoal Resin Plastic Adirondack Chair
Plastic is a much more affordable option than higher-quality materials.
The seat has a much smaller width and the chair has a lower weight capacity.
We love this plastic Adirondack chair that’s affordable, easy to transport, and stackable. It requires no assembly and is lightweight enough to move around your backyard as needed or to take along on camping trips. It doesn’t fold down or adjust in any way but since you can stack several on top of each other, you can easily store them in a garage or shed when not in use.
While testing the chairs outside our office, we were fans of the curved lumbar support, a great feature we found comfortable for most heights. Although it proved to be a sturdy chair in our durability test, the seat isn’t as wide as others, and it also has a lower weight capacity, which is not as inclusive as other options.
Price at time of publish: $30
Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
Chair Weight: 7.25 pounds
Seat Width: 19 inches
Best Teak: Grandin Road All-Natural Teak Adirondack Chair
The scalloped top and teak offer the charm of a classic Adirondack chair.
Teak requires more maintenance over time than other materials.
Grandin Road’s classic Adirondack chair is equally comfortable and stylish. Though there are no special features (like cup holders or wide armrests), we appreciated that it was at a pleasant height for sitting — not too low to the ground. A screwdriver is required for the simple assembly of this chair, which felt sturdy during our durability tests and was wiped clean with no issue.
Although teak is a popular material for Adirondack chairs, and the manufacturer claims this to be resistant to all weather, it will likely need to be stained, sealed, and possibly sanded to preserve the natural look. A silver patina and evidence of weathering may occur over time without maintenance. If your current patio decor includes linen tablecloths and rustic outdoor lanterns, we think this teak pick will look right at home.
Price at time of publish: $349
Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
Chair Weight: 22.5 pounds
Seat Width: 28.5 inches
Best Rocking: World Market Slatted Wood Adirondack Rocking Chair
These chairs are more affordably priced and come in three different finishes.
The food left a residue that was difficult to fully clean.
This pick combines the comfort of two of our favorite outdoor seats: an Adirondack chair and a rocking chair. Constructed of 100% acacia wood, it had an easy assembly and offered excellent support that makes you feel secure in your seat. During our tests, we found it functional for taller people but slightly awkward for shorter individuals, as they could not reach the ground while sitting back to rock back and forth.
When we threw a medicine ball at the chair to test its durability, it left a black scuff mark. Thankfully, a water soak helped remove the residue, and there was no discoloration after. The chair comes in three neutral colors, including white, brown, and gray, so you can choose one that matches your patio umbrella and patio table.
Price at time of publish: $180
Material: Acacia wood
Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
Chair Weight: 28.7 pounds
Seat Width: 20 inches
Best with Cup Holders: ECCB Outdoor Outer Banks Deluxe Oversized Poly Lumber Folding Adirondack Chair
The cup holders are retractable when not in use, and the chair is also foldable.
It’s difficult to fold due to its bulkiness.
This chair has not just one but two built-in cupholders, featuring one suitable for cups, canned beverages, and stemmed wine glasses and the other to hold your phone. You can swivel them under the armrest if you don’t want to use them. Aside from being the best Adirondack chair for enjoying drinks, the chair is aesthetically pleasing and withstands most weather elements thanks to its poly lumber construction with stainless steel hardware.
The setup would have been simple were it not for a deformed lag screw that slowed the assembly process. Once it was put together, the chair was comfortable to sit in thanks to its curved back and a breeze to clean both food and drink spills. Although it can fold for storage, we found it to be very heavy and a bit awkward since the chair is so sturdy.
Price at time of publish: $270
Material: Poly lumber
Weight Capacity: 350 pounds
Chair Weight: 39.5 pounds
Seat Width: 30.25 inches
We chose the Highwood Hamilton Made in the USA Adirondack Chair as our best overall pick because of its design, adjustability, comfort level, and overall value when considering its price. For a rocking option, we recommend the World Market Slatted Wood Adirondack Rocking Chair because of its all-weather performance and comfortability.
To determine the best Adirondack chairs on the market, we put them through real-life situations similar to what they would experience at home. Starting with the assembly process, each chair was rated on a scale of one to five, with five being the highest, based on how easy or difficult they were to assemble, according to the manufacturer’s directions.
After the chairs were built, we evaluated each product’s comfortability level on the same scale of one to five. Next, we checked how supportive and sturdy these chairs were by throwing a medicine ball at them, noting any damage caused by the impact. Since Adirondack chairs pair well with outdoor gatherings, we smeared barbecue sauce and melted marshmallows onto the chair and then let it dry before cleaning the mess.
We ranked them based on design, including the color, material, and additional perks like cup holders. We also considered adjustability, noting how easy or difficult it was to switch the chair into different positions if possible. Finally, we ranked them based on value by comparing the price against their performance to determine whether or not the chair was worth it. After the initial tests, the top choices were put through a six-month testing process to evaluate their comfort, quality, and durability over time and through real-life scenarios.
Factors to Consider
“Traditionally, Adirondack chairs were made out of wood, but more recently, companies like Polywood and Loll have started making them out of HDPE, which is recycled plastic that’s incredibly durable and weather resistant,” says Kaitlin McQuaide of McQuaide Co.
Plastic Adirondack chairs have the benefit of being lower maintenance, easier to clean, and durable enough to leave outside in all weather conditions but many still prefer the classic look of wood. Depending on which chair you go for, wood and plastic models can cost around the same and be equally durable and comfortable. It’s ultimately up to the consumer to decide what they value more between the different materials.
While Adirondack chairs can now be found in various materials and colors, they mostly share core design elements that made these popular chairs in the first place. A classic Adirondack chair is made of wood paneling, has a slightly rounded top, and reclined back. Today, you can find Adirondack chairs that fold, rock, stack, and even include helpful features like cup holders.
“A great thing about Adirondack chairs is there are so many riffs on the original design — you can choose a lower chair with minimal straight back slats for something more modern, or you can go with a higher more-curved back for something a bit more traditional,” says McQuaide. “The wide arms of an Adirondack already serve as plate or drink holders, so I like to keep it simple and choose a chair without too many additions. The HDPE chairs come in an array of colors, and I think this is a great way to bring in a pop of color to your outdoors.”
Assembly and Care
If you choose to have an Adirondack chair shipped to you, it will likely require light setup and assembly. Depending on the chair’s size and material, it could be a two-person job and will likely require basic tools.
A pressure washer makes quick work of giving your wood chair a deep clean once per year. If you don’t have one, you can use wood cleaner and a soft brush. For more regular maintenance, soapy water and a soft dishcloth will keep them clean.
Aside from cleaning, you may want to refinish your wood Adirondack chairs every few years. Depending on weather conditions, how you store your chairs, and how frequently they’re being cleaned, you may want to do this as often as one year or as far out as five years. Refinishing your wood Adirondack chairs will keep them looking fresh and new but isn’t necessary if you prefer a more weathered look.
Plastic Adirondack chairs require less maintenance since they don’t need the amount of upkeep that wood chairs do. A bit of soapy water and a rinse from the hose or a bucket gets the job done. Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaners all over, which may cause fading.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best material for Adirondack chairs?
Wood and plastic are commonly used to make Adirondack chairs, and each has its own positive and negative qualities. Wood chairs are typically more expensive and prone to damage by weather elements, while plastic chairs tend to be cheaper and tougher in all weather conditions, but they may crack or chip after many uses. Ultimately, it’s up to you to make the choice.
How do you store an Adirondack chair?
“No matter the material your chair is made of, I always recommend covering any outdoor furniture when not in use or during inclement weather,” says McQuaide. “Even though they are weatherproof, covering your furniture ensures it will last as long as possible and reduces how often they need to be cleaned.”
How long do Adirondack chairs last?
Ultimately, it depends on the material of your chair and how well it has been taken care of over time. “If taken care of, teak furniture can last up to 75 or more years and HDPE even longer! While teak requires a bit more maintenance (cleaning a few times a year and sanding down to return it to its original state), both materials will last for a very long time,” says McQuaide.
Other Adirondack Chairs We Tested
L.L. Bean All-Weather Classic Adirondack Chair ($329 at L.L. Bean)
This L.L. Bean chair is comfortable to sit in but required two sets of hands to assemble and a bit more elbow grease to remove spilled marshmallows from the plastic grooves.
Union Rustic Dewitt Acacia Outdoor Bench ($235 at Wayfair)
When scrubbing off spills from this Union Rustic two-seater bench there was some noticeable fading to the wood, which could be problematic over time.
Crate & Barrel Paso Natural Teak Adirondack Chair ($749 at Crate & Barrel)
Though it was sturdy and easy to assemble, we excluded this option from Crate & Barrel because it missed the mark in terms of comfort.
Highland Dunes Welshire Solid Wood Adirondack Chair ($117 at Wayfair)
This chair by Highland Dunes was one of the most affordable tested and features a sturdy design, but it was experiencing some loss of color in certain areas after a short period of time.
Serwall Folding Adirondack Chair ($210 at Amazon)
Although the end result was a comfortable and sturdy chair, this chair lost points after a nearly two-hour-long assembly process and messy cleanup during the marshmallow test.
What Didn’t Make the List
Of the various other Adirondack chairs we tested, there were both wood and plastic models from brands including West Elm, Polywood, and Christopher Knight that didn’t make the cut because of their strenuous assembly process. In addition to having inefficient instructions, other common issues with the lower-scoring Adirondack chairs included being uncomfortable, not feeling sturdy or supportive, and lacking distinctive design elements.
Jacqueline Weiss is a professional food writer with over five years of experience and a lifelong passion for working in the kitchen. Her writing has appeared in Eat This Not That, EatingWell, AllRecipes, Simply Recipes, and more. For this article, she used testing data and insights from Food & Wine staff to determine the best Adirondack chairs on the market. She also consulted with Kaitlin McQuaide of McQuaide Co. to find out what experts look for in Adirondack chairs.
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