While you have lots of options when buying an outdoor lounge chair, the Adirondack chair—immediately recognizable by its wide, wooden slats and sloping back—is an iconic outdoor furniture piece that has symbolized summer relaxation since 1903. The Adirondack chair can also become part of your personalized outdoor decor. "Adding pretty pillows and even custom cushions can enhance Adirondack chairs and make them even more comfy," Andi Morse, founder and principal designer of Morse Design, says. "Painting them a subtle or bright color is another way to bring some personality to them."
But which ones are the best? To determine this, we purchased 24 Adirondack chairs from various manufacturers and tested them in our Lab in Des Moines, Iowa. We carefully noted how easy they were to put together, sit in, and clean, and how comfortable they were to get in and get out of.
Then, we tested their limits: slamming them with medicine balls to assess durability; dousing them with a garden hose to see how well they repelled moisture; and smearing them with barbecue sauce and melted marshmallows to check how easy we could clean off outdoor cookout goop. Finally, each tester evaluated their product for its setup, comfort, support, adjustability, durability, and design. After testing these chairs, we sent them home with volunteers who used them in their outdoor living spaces for a month.
Our favorite Adirondack chair, the Highwood Hamilton Made in the USA Adirondack Chair, is available in several color finishes, has three adjustable reclining positions, and is easy to assemble and maintain over time.
Here are the best Adirondack chairs, as tested by The Spruce.
Best Overall: Highwood Hamilton Made in the USA Adirondack Chair
Three reclining positions
Fairly easy to clean
Difficult to switch between positions
The Highwood Hamilton Made in the USA Adirondack Chair is our top pick because it's made of high-quality poly lumber that resembles wood but is water repellent and can last for many years outdoors.
The imitation wood not only adds to the chair’s appearance but is also practical. First, you'll find no splinters; we liked that it felt comfortable against bare skin. Also, while wooden chairs can absorb water, soaking the chair with a hose simply caused water to bead up. We also found it was easy to clean up barbecue sauce; the melted marshmallows required a bit of scrubbing with a wet paper towel and dish soap, but eventually came off. While this chair doesn’t have any additional features, such as a cup holder, you could confidently set a beverage on its flat, wide arms. "The cutouts of the arms were a nice touch for comfort and style," our Lab tester offered. The cutouts also make the chair comfortable for larger bodies and for parents cuddling small kids.
The adjustable back has three reclining positions, which appealed to our tester. But she noted that changing the position of the chair’s back requires two hands and can still be quite difficult to accomplish. Our at-home tester also noted this chair does seem narrower than other Adirondack chairs she has purchased, but added it was still comfortable to sit in and get out of. She also said she has left this chair outside for the entire month that she's had it and it has not suffered any damage from weather and the elements.
Assembly in our lab took over 10 minutes, but we had no problem, thanks to threaded inserts for the bolts and separate pieces. We also like that although the chair’s durable material doesn't require storage, the piece can easily be folded flat to store during colder months.
All this does come at a price. But overall, we believe this chair’s intuitive design, comfortable and durable frame, and easy-to-clean surface make it a great investment piece for several seasons of comfortable outdoor living.
Best Budget: RealComfort Charcoal Resin Plastic Adirondack Chair
Comfortable lumbar support
Easy to clean
May not be best for tall people
No folding option for storage
If you’re looking for the aesthetics of an Adirondack chair but balk at spending a lot on a wooden or heavy-duty version, consider the RealComfort Charcoal Resin Plastic Adirondack Chair. Our home tester said she appreciated this chair's design, even though it may not have all the bells and whistles of more expensive options. This chair has also held up well on her outdoor patio against blistering heat and intense thunderstorms.
"Not only does it look nice, it’s actually enticed me to use my patio more," our tester said. "I can sit outside and read for a couple hours in total comfort, with a cold drink resting on the wide arm and my dog lying underneath the chair."
It’s lightweight enough to be moved to different areas of your home and yard, but its durable plastic withstood a hit from two 15-pound medicine balls. Our tester, who is 5 feet, 6 inches tall, noted she fit in it comfortably, especially with the added lumbar support (but it may not be as comfortable for taller individuals).
Aside from this chair’s durable resin frame, we also like that its armrests are parallel to the ground, so you can easily use them as drink rests without worrying about spillage. Although this chair doesn’t fold up, it could easily stack on top of others of the same style. Our home tester said she appreciated this chair's design, even though it may not have all the bells and whistles of more expensive options. This chair has also held up well on her outdoor patio against blistering heat and intense thunderstorms.
While the RealComfort Charcoal Resin Plastic Adirondack Chair may not be the best chair of its kind, it fulfills its purpose while being comfortable and affordable.
Best Splurge: Pottery Barn Teak Adirondack Lounge Chair
Spills easily wiped with wet cloth
Easy to assemble
Not completely waterproof
While this chair is certainly a splurge, we loved how stable it felt and how comfortable it was to sit in! "Yes, this chair is a pretty addition to my back deck!" enthused our home tester. "It is the first chair I look forward to sitting in outside as I watch my puppy play or enjoy a cold beverage on my deck!
This Adirondack chair is made from FSC-certified teak, which means the wood meets strict environmental and economic standards established by the Forest Stewardship Council. So you can not only enjoy the comfort of this chair, but also feel good about how it was created.
We found that this was the easiest Adirondack chair to clean: Both the melted marshmallows and the barbecue sauce easily wiped off with a wet rag. While it mostly repelled water when we soaked it with a hose, it did soak up some water, so we’d recommend letting these chairs dry for a few hours after any rain or dewy mornings. Also, being left outside for a month in what turned out to be a hot, dry summer has caused the chair to develop a patina; our home tester said she plans on purchasing a protectant for it.
Assembly was easy but required studying the graphic provided in the instructions (you have to build the chair as if you were looking at the front of the chair, rather than sitting in it). But the parts, such as the wooden pegs provided to fill in the screw holes, were manageable. Our at-home tester said she does not recommend picking this chair up by the arms, as they feel easily breakable, and she has only carried it from the bottom when she's needed to move it.
Overall, we deem this Adirondack chair a worthy investment, especially if you’re looking for a handsome piece for your deck or patio.
Best Design: YEFU Adirondack Chair Plastic Weather Resistant
High-quality look and feel
Priced less than similar options
Bends and creaks on impact
If you’re looking for durable design and easy construction in an Adirondack chair, then check out the YEFU Adirondack Chair. This chair is made out of a high-impact polystyrene that resembles wood but can withstand the elements without fading. "It is not the cheapest option on the market," our tester acknowleged, "But it has a nice look and seems like it would hold up well for multiple summers."
We found the chair’s recline comfortable, and enjoyed the option of reclining further or sitting more upright. Somewhat unsettlingly, the chair creaked when leaning side to side or backwards. The chair back also bent slightly and tipped over during our durability test.
The online product listing notes that this chair only takes 15 minutes to assemble, but it took a single tester 29 minutes; 15 might have been doable with additional help to hold the heavier pieces. While this Adirondack chair is still expensive, we appreciate that it’s priced less than similarly designed chairs.
After adding this chair to her back deck, our home tester said she and and her husband both prefer to sit in this chair opposed to the other seating they have. She added that it looked great on her deck surrounded by potted plants and an outdoor rug. We recommend this chair for anyone who is in the market for a reliably designed Adirondack chair that’s durable and available in numerous color options.
Best Modern: POLYWOOD Modern Adirondack Chair
Easy to clean
While many folks love the traditional aesthetics of Adirondack chairs, often, the furniture piece doesn't blend into every style of outdoor decor. The POLYWOOD Modern Adirondack Chair is a great choice for anyone looking for a modern take on the classic chair design in a variety of colors. We found it pretty comfortable to sit in because of the angle of its back; our tester also noted that the resin material felt pleasantly smooth against bare legs.
The modern-style chair easily passed our ordeals: It didn’t move or crack when we slammed it with two 15-pound medicine balls, and the barbecue sauce and melted marshmallows wiped off relatively easily with a wet cloth. Our home tester said this chair has also held up beautifully on her deck against rain, wind, and bird droppings. She also loves how easily this chair wipes off and how she can sit on it after a rainstorm without getting her clothes wet.
Despite all of this chair's accolades, we wish it were easier to put together; the provided instructions weren’t clear, and we had to consult the manufacturer’s website, where detailed videos helped with assembly. Once we put it together, however, we found this Adirondack chair a great option for anyone looking for a modern and durable version of this classic outdoor chair.
Best Wood: Grandin Road All-Natural Teak Adirondack Chair
Comfortable height off ground
Lacked essential tools for assembly
For traditionalists, the Grandin Road All-Natural Teak Adirondack Chair is a great wooden option—especially so for individuals who cannot squat too low. That’s because this chair is higher off the ground than other Adirondack chairs we tested. We found it to have a sturdy build and design, thanks not only to its taller frame but also wide teak planks. We also noted that the arms are at a comfortable height, and wide enough to hold a drink or a small plate.
The manufacturer terms this chair “all-weather resistant,” but teak wood does patina to a silver color over time. If you prefer that it not fade, consider staining or sealing the wood and possibly sanding it regularly to maintain a fresh finish. After using this chair for a month in her backyard, our home tester loved this chair so much that she purchased a second one for her partner to sit outside with her. She also said it has faired several rain storms with no issues and without a sealant on it.
Putting this chair together can be a chore without a power drill and screwdriver, which our tester resorted to, out of her own tool box. Besides that, the Grandin Road All-Natural Teak Adirondack Chair wooden chair is a great choice for anyone wanting the traditional charm and original style of the Adirondack chair.
Best Portable: Christopher Knight Home Hanlee Acacia Wood Folding Adirondack Chair
Easy-to-clean painted surface
Comfortable seat depth
Folding and lightweight
Some pre-drilled holes missing
If you live where you have to store your deck and patio furniture in the off-season, consider the Christopher Knight Home Hanlee Acacia Wood Folding Adirondack Chair. It’s made from durable acacia wood; it’s foldable; and it’s lightweight enough to easily carry around. “The wood is not as heavy as it looks, and I don’t worry about it folding up inadvertently, which would be a concern for some folding chairs,” our home tester reported. She said she's been using this chair on her three-season porch and carries it indoors with no issue.
This chair also isn’t as deep as other Adirondack styles, which made it more comfortable to sit in; plus, because of its painted surface, we didn’t have to worry about splinters. Our home tester noted this chair felt deep to her (she is 5'5"), so she may add a cushion for more back support. But her husband sits very comfortably in it (he is 6'3"). We also were impressed that this chair didn’t stain from the barbecue sauce and melted marshmallows we spilled on it during lab testing.
This chair arrived with all its pieces well labeled once out of the box, but it did take some time to assemble; we recommend having additional help and a power drill available. Some pieces were missing pre-drilled holes, which also slowed down assembly, and portions of the instructions were difficult to understand. But once we assembled this chair, we had nothing but good things to say about it. It’s reasonably priced and well-made, and a good value for the money.
Best for Beverages: ECCB Outdoor Outer Banks Deluxe Oversized Poly Lumber Folding Adirondack Chair
Two cup holder styles
Available in 23 colors
Additional tools needed for assembly
One of the best ways to enjoy the comfort of an Adirondack chair is with a beverage in your hand. The Outer Banks Deluxe Adirondack Chair is a great choice for avid entertainers or anyone who wants a secure place to rest their drink when they’re not sipping on it. This chair has two retractable cup holders—one, designed for cans and cylindrical cups; and the other, meant for stemmed wine glasses. Both pull out from under the wide side arms. The cup holder contained our home tester's Tervis insulated cup, a bottle of water, or a can, but dhr noted, "It is a fairly shallow holder, so the rounded bottom edges of the water bottle could cause it to tip over.” You also can use the stemmed glass holder to support your smartphone for a hands-free, mobile television experience.
This chair is made from poly lumber, which is a high-grade recycled plastic material that’s waterproof and fadeproof. It’s also available in 23 colors, so you’re sure to find one that speaks to you, and it’s foldable, so you can easily store it during the off-season. Our at-home tester said this chair has improved her outdoor space and she loves using it while she's outside. She also has not noticed any wear or fading of the color over the month that she's had it.
As with several of the Adirondack chairs we tested, the major downside was assembly: Our tested chair arrived with a deformed lag screw, so additional work was required. Also, be sure to have screwdrivers or a power drill on hand. But past this, we loved the comfort of this chair, its thoughtful design with two (!) cup holders, and its easy-to-clean surface.
Our top pick for Adirondack chairs is the Highwood Hamilton Made in the USA Adirondack Chair. This chair is made from high-grade poly lumber and has three reclining positions for ultimate comfort outdoors. For a more affordable option, we recommend the RealComfort Charcoal Resin Plastic Adirondack Chair, which features built-in lumbar support and is lightweight for easy mobility throughout your lawn and home.
How We Tested the Adirondack Chairs
To recommend the best Adirondack chairs, we researched and purchased 24, from a variety of manufacturers and stores, and tested them on a hot, sunshiny day outdoors at The Lab in Des Moines, Iowa. First, we asked our testers to time the setup process, following the exact instructions provided by the manufacturer, and asked them to evaluate those instructions’ helpfulness and detail. Once the chair was built, we asked our testers to sit in them, evaluating each product’s comfort based on its recline abilities, any additional features, and general feel. We then checked the support of each chair by performing a tip test, which assessed how the chair moved and sounded when leaning in it from side to side and backwards.
Durability was as much a testing factor as comfort, occupying a significant proportion of our evaluation. First, we threw two 15-pound medicine balls at each chair and noted any marks or cracks after impact. Then, to see how well each chair resisted staining from predictable cookout crud, we microwaved a marshmallow to s’mores consistency, smeared it on a chair arm, and let the goop set for 10 minutes before attempting to wipe it off with a damp paper towel. We repeated the process with a tablespoon of barbecue sauce. For both, we rated the chair on how easy it was to clean and whether there was any residue or staining. Finally, we hosed the chair with water, allowed it to pool on its surface, and noted whether it beaded up or soaked into the material, and how easily we dried it off with a towel.
If a chair featured adjustability, we noted the comfort of each option and the ease of switching between positions. To evaluate each chair’s design, we considered the material, color options, and additional features. Finally, we asked testers to note their chairs’ listed prices, and asked them to rate the chair’s value, and whether they’d recommend it to a friend or family member or purchase it themselves. After putting these chairs through the ringer in the lab, we sent them home with 10 volunteer testers, who used them in their outdoor living spaces for a month. These volunteers evaluated each chair based on its long-term durability, comfort, and practicality, and they considered how they'd store these chairs during colder months.
What to Look For in an Adirondack Chair
Adirondack chairs tend to be pretty sturdy. But some are more durable than others, so consider how involved you want to be in caring for it. Do you want an all-weather option that’s easy to clean, or would you prefer something a little fancier—even if it means more upkeep? Our best portable pick, the Christopher Knight Home Hanlee Acacia Wood Folding Adirondack Chair, performed well in both lab and home durability tests. Our at-home tester said she would likely leave the chair on her porch year-round.
Although traditionally made from wood, you can find Adirondack chairs made from thick, weather-resistant plastic, like many of the options in our roundup. “You can go for the heavy originals,” says Kristin Bartone, creative director and principal designer at Bartone Interiors. “Or there are many current models made from heavy-duty plastic that you’ll never have to refinish and [that] are super easy to clean with a garden hose.” Selecting an Adriondack chair based on its material is largely up to personal preference and desired maintenance level.
The classic Adirondack chair is crafted from wood paneling, and it boasts a chair back that’s slightly reclined and rounded along the top. You still can find Adirondack chairs fitting that traditional mold, but you also can find more contemporary options with sleeker, straighter lines. And you can snag Adirondack chairs in a range of different materials and in many colors.
Adirondack chairs tend to be large and hefty, with solid wood chairs generally heavier than their plastic counterparts. Weight is important only if you want to move your chair around, such as from your yard to your patio, or if you need to stow it indoors during indoor seasons. Also, remember to double-check the dimensions of an Adirondack chair before buying, and including the seat size and overall height and width.
What is the best material for Adirondack chairs?
Typically, Adirondack chairs are made from wood or plastic, and both materials have pros and cons. Wood is unlikely to chip, warp, or peel over time, but you might have to refinish it every few years to keep it in tip-top shape. Plastic tends to be more affordable and easier to clean, but it can chip, peel, or crack—meaning it might have a shorter lifespan. If you’d prefer a chair that lasts, with a little care and upkeep, opt for a wooden Adirondack chair. If you’d rather pay no attention to your Adirondack chair—and if you don't mind buying a new chair every few years—consider a plastic one.
How do you clean Adirondack chairs?
The cleaning process for an Adirondack chair tends to be pretty simple: Wash them with mild soap and water to keep them clean without hurting the integrity of the wood, says Andi Morse, of Morse Design. Keep in mind some Adirondack chairs require a little more upkeep, so be sure to read the care instructions before giving yours a scrub. Our at-home testers found it was easiest to clean these chairs off with a rag and water, but a garden hose could also be used on plastic chairs, like our budget pick, the RealComfort Charcoal Resin Plastic Adirondack Chair.
How do you store Adirondack chairs?
Many Adirondack chairs are designed to hold up in any weather, so you can leave them outside, rain or shine, without giving yours a second thought. But some aren’t. If yours isn’t, you might need to bring it inside during inclement weather, or you can leave it outside under a chair cover. Be sure to check the care instructions for the Adirondack chair you’re eyeing to find out whether it needs to be stored inside or underneath a cover. You can always snag your chair and your cover at the same time.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was updated by Emma Phelps, an Updates Writer for The Spruce, who compiled the current roundup based on exclusive results from tests we performed at The Spruce Lab in Des Moines, Iowa. Each of the selected Adirondack chairs in this tested roundup stand out for their construction, durability, design, and overall comfort.
For extra insight, Emma consulted two experts—Johnathan Brewer, a licensed general contractor and member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board, and Andi Morse, founder and principal designer of Morse Design. With decades of experience in construction and interior design, Brewer and Morse provided helpful advice on what to look for in Adirondack chairs and how to care for them over time.
Original reporting for this article was done by Deanna McCormack, a writer specializing in home, outdoor, and family products. Deanna reached out to Kristin Bartone, creative director, and principal designer at Bartone Interiors, to gain more insight on what to look for in Adirondack chairs.
What Is Spruce Approved?
Here at The Spruce we want to ensure we fully stand behind every product we recommend, and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut. We also pride ourselves on transparency and will always let you know if we received a product for free.