21 best garden chairs – stylish outdoor seating

The best garden chairs on the Ideal Home team's radar – from timeless rattan chairs to affordable deckchairs, practical outdoor dining chairs, and much more

A selection of the best garden chairs featuring four colourful Acapulco-style outdoor seats
(Image credit: Homebase)

Looking for some new garden chairs to make the most of your outdoor space? Then you're in luck because the Ideal Home team has rounded up the best outdoor chairs on the market.

Whether you're looking for space-saving stackable outdoor dining chairs for alfresco entertaining or a comfortable outdoor armchair to relax in with a coffee, we've trawled the shops to find the most stylish, practical, and affordable options.

There are budget options from the likes of Homebase, B&Q, and Argos, and investment pieces from Marks & Spencer, John Lewis & Partners, and OKA, including timeless rattan garden chairs, contemporary Acapulco outdoor chairs, folding patio chairs, and much much more.

If you have a little more outdoor space to play with then make sure to check out our guide to the best garden furniture too, but, if it's outdoor seating that you're after, then these are the garden chairs you'll want to snap up early before they sell out.

The best garden chairs

Why you can trust Ideal Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Designer-look

Rattan garden chairs

Acapulco garden chairs

Reclining garden chairs

Garden egg chairs

Budget-friendly garden chairs

Adirondack garden chairs

How to choose an outdoor chair

One of the key things to consider when choosing an outdoor chair is the size of your garden or patio space. 

If you have a compact patio then space-saving options like stackable outdoor dining chairs or folding garden chairs will allow you to expand the seating when you have guests over, and enable you to clear the decks for maximum outdoor floor space when they're not in use.

If you're blessed with more space to play with then a comfortable rattan garden armchair could be right up your street, or you could create a focal point by opting for a garden egg chair or grouping some Adirondack chairs around one of the best fire pits on the market

Next up, there are materials to consider. The most affordable garden furniture tends to be made of either powder-coated steel or polypropylene. However, paying a little more could get you more durable garden furniture that works out better value in the long run. We've broken down the main types of materials to consider below.

Polypropylene or plastic garden chairs have the benefit of being relatively low-cost, lightweight, and low maintenance, although they will generally need storing under cover to protect from hard frosts, and may fade under prolonged exposure to the sun. Plastic chairs tend to come in a range of bright and cheerful colours and favour contemporary designs.

A set of colourful outdoor chairs around a garden dining table

(Image credit: La Redoute)

Affordable metal garden chairs tend to be made from powder-coated steel. Steel is highly corrosive when it comes into contact with water, so it's protected from the outdoor elements by way of powder-coating the surface with a protective paint barrier. This means steel-based outdoor furniture can be prone to having weak points at joints and fixings where moisture can penetrate and gradually form rust, and any chips in the paint surface will need repairing promptly to maintain durability. For this reason, it's generally recommended that steel-based garden furniture is stored under cover during inclement weather.

Aluminium-framed garden chairs are by far the more durable option, as the metal itself forms a barrier that prevents moisture from penetrating the surface. It may still be powder-coated, but this is purely for aesthetic reasons rather than protection. For this reason, aluminium garden furniture can be left outside all year round making it a super low-maintenance option. However, this does mean aluminium-based outdoor furniture tends to be by far the more expensive option. The added durability can make it the most cost-effective and better value investment long term though.

Rattan garden chairs offer a timeless look that blends with most garden styles. These days most modern 'rattan' garden furniture is made of PE-rattan or polyrattan, a polyurethane plastic that offers the benefits of being lightweight, waterproof, weather-resistant, and low maintenance. Make sure to also check what metal the chair's frame is made from. As explained above, the best rattan garden furniture will have an aluminium frame. Rattan furniture with a powder-coated steel frame is likely to weather much faster than aluminium-framed rattan garden furniture and will therefore need storing under cover to prolong its lifespan. Aluminium-framed rattan furniture will prove more of an initial investment but can be left outside without risk of rusting and is more durable longterm.

A set of two rattan garden chairs with a bistro table

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

How we compiled this guide

You'll find full details of the Ideal Home review process on our How We Test page.

To compile this edit of the best garden chairs we walked multiple miles around multiple outdoor furniture showrooms and sat down on the job to test out bestselling designs. We also did plenty of online research to round up the most stylish designs and dived into the specifications to check out materials and construction. We also took into account third-party opinions via online reviews.

Amy Lockwood
Content Editor

After studying Print Design at Winchester School of Art, Amy spent multiple years working in the interior industry as a copywriter, content creator, and product stylist. She’s now Content Editor at Ideal Home, offering expert advice on the best products for decorating your home and ensuring it functions smoothly. That includes sourcing stylish yet affordable furniture – from the best sofa beds for combining style, comfort, and function, to the best artificial Christmas trees for a stress-free festive season – helping our readers to find the best mattress for their sleep style, and testing top-rated dehumidifiers and air purifiers to narrow down the best-in-class.