The 8 Best Folding Chairs of 2021

Comfortable seats that can easily be stowed away

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Anyone who's ever run out of chairs while hosting guests knows how crucial it is to have a few extras on hand. The folding variety is ideal because they're typically lightweight, compact, and easy to store. "Folding chairs don't have to be the standard metal version we know all too well," says Decorist designer Ashley Mecham. "There are many different options out there that are aesthetically pleasing and still give you an easy way to accommodate extra guests."

Folding chairs are also great for large events like weddings and graduation parties, as well as hanging out at the beach, barbecuing at the park, and camping. But the right type for your on-the-go excursion might not be the kind you want for your home or a special occasion.

When shopping around, be sure to consider how you'll be using the chair. Take note of the size, weight, and material, too, as these factors will affect how you store a chair and whether it's suitable for outdoor use. Not sure where to start? We found standout options for every occasion and budget.

Here, the best folding chairs currently on the market.

Our Top Picks
Sturdy and stylish, these classic folding chairs are a great choice. They're ideal for events or special occasions.
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A simple, sleek design and unbeatable price make these folding chairs a must-have.
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Way more comfortable than a blanket on the ground, these chairs even have a cooler built in to keep your drinks chilled.
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These chairs are made from thermoplastic and have a sturdy steel frame. They're both durable and lightweight enough to transport.
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With a chic wood frame, cushiony seat and vinyl upholstery, this chair is stylish and versatile enough to be used as a desk chair.
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This chair is a folding chair and rocking chair all in one. It's also portable and weather resistant so you can use it outdoors.
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Made with a breathable mesh and featuring a low-profile design, this chair is ideal for relaxing at the beach and it will keep you cool.
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This chair has a built-in sun canopy with UV protection, so you can can relax outside without worrying about the sun.
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Best Overall: Emma + Oliver Resin Folding Chair

Emma + Oliver Resin Folding Chair

Dimensions: 17.5 x 18 x 30.75 inches | Material: Polypropylene resin | Weight: 36 lbs | Weight Capacity: 1000 lbs

What We Like
  • Durable construction

  • High weight capacity

  • Indoor/outdoor design

What We Don't Like
  • Not sold individually

When it comes to folding chairs, Emma + Oliver is hard to beat. Made of weatherproof thermoplastic resin with padded vinyl seats, this exceedingly durable and easy-to-clean set can be used both indoors and outside. Each chair weighs just 9 pounds and boasts an almost unheard-of 1,000-pound capacity.

Not only do they fold up flat, but they can also be stacked. These folding chairs come in sets of two or four in your choice of chic black, rich mahogany brown, or a simple white finish. They come fully assembled, and thanks to the thermoplastic construction, you'll never need to repaint them either.

Expert Buying Tip

"There are many different variables to consider when purchasing folding chairs, such as if it will be used outdoors or indoors, weight capacity, and style." — Ashley Mecham, Decorist designer

Best Budget: Flash Furniture Hercules Series Double Braced Metal Folding Chair

Flash Furniture Hercules Series Double Braced Metal Folding Chair

Dimensions: 18 x 18 x 30.5 inches | Material: Steel | Weight: 8 lbs | Weight Capacity: 300 lbs

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Lightweight

  • Sold individually and in sets

What We Don't Like
  • Relatively short seat

When you think of metal folding chairs, you probably imagine a somewhat drab design—but Flash Furniture's Hercules Series is a horse of a different color. Available in cherry red, dove gray, sophisticated beige, or glossy black, these wallet-friendly chairs are sleek and presentable.

They're made of 18-gauge steel with riveted components and double-braced legs for ultimate support and durability. Each chair is just 8 pounds and can support up to 225 pounds of weight.

Best for Sports: Coleman Oversized Quad Chair

Coleman Oversized Quad Chair

Dimensions: 24 x 18.1 inches | Material: Polyester, steel | Weight: 8 lbs | Weight Capacity: 325 lbs

What We Like
  • Reasonably priced

  • Built-in cooler

  • Comes with carrying bag

What We Don't Like
  • No head/neck support

You'll be glad to have a Coleman Cooler Quad with you on your next camping trip. This portable folding chair has a heavy-duty steel frame, plus a cushioned seat and backrest with weather-resistant polyester upholstery.

The roomy seat measures 24 inches wide and 18 inches from the ground and can support up to 325 pounds of weight. As its name suggests, the Cooler Quad has a built-in chiller for up to four cans, plus side pockets and a mesh cup holder.

Best Plastic: Inbox Zero Premium Plastic Folding Chair

Inbox Zero Premium Plastic Folding Chair

Dimensions: 17.5 x 18 x 31.5 inches | Material: Steel, thermoplastic | Weight: 7 lbs | Weight Capacity: 650 lbs

What We Like
  • Indoor/outdoor design

  • Lightweight

  • High weight capacity

What We Don't Like
  • Not sold individually

Made of durable thermoplastic with 18-gauge steel frames, these folding chairs from Inbox Zero are long-lasting and suitable for indoor or outdoor use. They weigh only 7 pounds each and can support up to 650 pounds of weight.

Non-marring caps on the legs help protect your floors from scuffs and scratches. You can buy these chairs in sets of two or ten and choose from black, brown, or white.

Best for Desk: Stakmore A-Frame Wood Folding Chair

Stakmore A-Frame Wood Folding Chair

Dimensions: 18.75 x 22 x 31 inches | Material: Solid wood, vinyl, foam | Weight: 13.1 lbs | Weight Capacity: 300 lbs

What We Like
  • Hardwood frame

  • No assembly required

  • Five-year warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Mecham is a big fan of Stakmore's A-Frame Wood Folding Chair, and we can see why. It boasts a super-sturdy premium hardwood frame with a steel folding mechanism and a comfy foam-filled seat with a vinyl cover.

You'll get a set of two chairs, each just over 13 pounds with a sizable seat and a 300-pound weight capacity. The sophisticated appearance and versatile design make this folding chair a perfect choice for desks, conference rooms, and card tables.

Best Rocking: GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker Portable Folding Rocking Chair

GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker Portable Folding Rocking Chair

Dimensions: 25 x 24 x 34.8 inches | Material: Steel, mesh | Weight: 12 lbs | Weight Capacity: 250 lbs

What We Like
  • Spring-action rocking mechanism

  • Easy to fold

  • Lifetime warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Relatively heavy

If you're partial to rocking chairs, check out the GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker. Featuring a powder-coated steel frame and nylon-coated feet, it weighs just over 12 pounds and has a 250-pound capacity. The seat, padded armrests, and built-in drink holder are made of a weather-resistant fabric.

A patented spring-action mechanism offers smooth rocking on various outdoor terrains, and the brand's Eazy-Fold Technology makes for effortless folding and unfolding. This portable rocking chair also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Best for Beach: Nice C Low Beach Folding Chair

Nice C Low Beach Folding Chair

Dimensions: 23 x 23 x 23 inches | Material: Steel, nylon | Weight: 6.2 lbs | Weight Capacity: 300 lbs

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Durable design

  • Comes with carrying bag

What We Don't Like
  • Fabric prone to tearing

Heading to the sands? You might consider packing a Nice C Beach Folding Chair. You can buy it individually or in a set of two, each weighing just over 6 pounds with its own carrying bag.

Thanks to a heavy-duty steel frame and sink-resistant leg caps, this low-profile folding chair can support up to 300 pounds of weight. The breathable seat and cup holder are made of industrial-grade polyester mesh to keep you cool and comfy as you watch the waves.

Best Canopy: SwimWays Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair

SwimWays Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair

Dimensions: 37 x 24 x 58 inches | Material: Steel, polyester | Weight: 11.24 lbs | Weight Capacity: 250 lbs

What We Like
  • Built-in canopy

  • UPF 50+ protection

  • Carrying strap

What We Don't Like
  • Only one color option

  • Relatively heavy

You can never have too much sun protection when hanging out at the beach, lake, park, or soccer field. That's why we love the Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair from SwimWays. The patented canopy boasts a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) of 50 to safeguard you from the sun's rays.

You can pull it down and lock it when you need cover and draw it back when you want to go shade-free. What's more, the canopy doubles as a carrying case and has a built-in shoulder strap for maximum portability. At 12 pounds, the Kelsyus is on the heavier side, but it can support up to 250 pounds of weight.

Final Verdict

The best option overall is the Emma + Oliver Resin Folding Chair (view at Amazon), which weighs just 9 pounds and has a 1,000-pound capacity. This durable thermoplastic chair stands out for its all-weather design, easy-to-clean seats, and attractive, versatile appearance. For something a little more wallet-friendly, we recommend the Flash Furniture Hercules Series Metal Folding Chair (view at Walmart).

What to Look for in a Folding Chair

Use

"The biggest factor when purchasing folding chairs is deciding where you'll be mainly using it," Mecham tells The Spruce. "Factoring in your style and your home's style will help you navigate what look you want to go with when it comes to folding chairs. There are plenty of different options that will allow you to add in additional seating while blending in with your home's aesthetic."

Are you looking for a matching set for a special occasion, or do you need extra seats for a garden party, game night, or barbecue? Alternatively, you might be in the market for a fold-up beach or camping chair. In any case, the intended use will partially determine the style and material.

Material

To support the folding mechanism, the frames are typically made of stainless steel or thermoplastic resin, both of which can withstand year-round weather conditions. Some folding chairs also have fabric upholstery (such as weather-resistant polyester), woven wicker seats, or padded seats with vinyl covers.

"If you want to use folding chairs in outdoor settings, indoor folding chairs would not hold up very long, so make sure the material is rated for outdoor use," says Mecham. "If your region requires additional weather protection, features like water resistance or insect resistance are important to check for."

Size

Size is also an important consideration, so be sure to check the overall dimensions for both the folded and unfolded positions. This will help you figure out how many folding chairs you can fit in your space and how much room you need to store them.

The average dining chair is about 17 inches wide and 17 inches deep with a seat height of roughly 19 inches. Folding chairs are often a little smaller than average, though you'll also find options with wider or deeper seats.

Weight

When shopping around for folding chairs, there are two weights you should look for: the product weight and the weight capacity. Most options are between 6 and 13 pounds. If you're bringing a folding chair on the go, a lighter option may be best.

"Checking the weight capacity on folding chairs is also important—making sure it's durable and can stand up to repeated use for years to come," says Mecham. The capacity of most chairs is between 225 to 300 pounds, but you'll also find some that support up to 1,000 pounds.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Theresa Holland is a seasoned content creator with a background in lifestyle and home design. For this roundup, Theresa interviewed Decorist designer Ashley Mecham and looked at dozens of folding chairs from a broad range of brands and retailers. Before making her selections, she reviewed various types, combed through reviews, researched critical features, and considered the key specs, portability, and usages of each product.

Theresa has been writing for The Spruce since 2019, where she covers furniture, recreation, entertaining, and outdoor living.

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