While many types of patio furniture, such as benches and table-and-chair sets, remain outdoors during warm weather, folding chairs are designed to be stored in a garage or shed when not in use. Typically lightweight and easy to use, folding chairs are simply pulled out when guests drop by, and they’re portable enough to toss in the car for jaunts to the beach, the park, the campsite, and other favorite leisure destinations.
Folks rely on folding chairs whenever extra seating is needed, but today’s models go the extra mile with weather-resistant materials and ergonomic designs for added comfort. So if you’re in the market for some new ones, read on to learn what factors and features to look for and find out why the following are considered among the best folding chairs available.
- BEST OVERALL: PORTAL Mesh Back Zero Gravity Recliner Chair
- RUNNER UP: Mossy Oak Heavy Duty Folding Camping Chairs
- BEST ROCKER: GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker Folding Rocking Chair
- BEST SET: Giantex Set of 4 Patio Folding Sling Chairs
- BEST CHAISE LOUNGE: GOLDSUN Folding Reclining Chaise Lounge Chair
- BEST ADIRONDACK: POLYWOOD AD503WH Classic Folding Adirondack Chair
- BEST CAMPING: PORTAL Compact Folding Portable Camping Chair
- BEST OVERSIZE: ALPHA CAMP Oversized Camping Folding Chair
- BEST FOR KIDS: Coleman Kids Quad Chair
- BEST WITH SUN SHADE: Quik Shade MAX Shade Chair
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Folding Chair
Unlike stationary chairs, folding chairs offer a degree of portability, depending on the type, folded size, and weight. A wide range of folding chairs are available in many designs, colors, and styles to suit individual users’ needs.
Whatever your preferred seated position, there’s probably a style of folding chair to suit, from conventional upright to zero-gravity chairs that recline to chaise loungers that adjust all the way down. More heavy-duty models are also available, such as Adirondack chairs made from sturdy wood or molded polypropylene and even rocking versions of upright folding chairs.
Folding chairs run the gamut in size, depending on the amount of weight they will hold and their intended use. Seat widths range from around 23 to 31 inches, while seat backs are about 30 to 40 inches high when in the upright position. Loungers and zero-gravity recliners top out approximately 72 to 74 inches in length, although a few oversize models may measure as long as 80 inches or more. Standard folding chair seat height is about 17 to 18 inches above the ground, except for Adirondack models, designed for the rear of the seat to slope as low as 10 to 13 inches, while the front part of the seat remains standard height.
Folding chairs designed for interior use, such as those that come with a folding card table, are often made from wood or metal and have padded seats. However, folding chairs meant for exterior use need to withstand damage from the elements. Exterior folding chairs often feature a powder-coated steel frame with a seat and back made from waterproof nylon weave or mesh. Molded polyethylene is another popular material, especially for chairs used around a pool, since it won’t rust or corrode. Some outdoor folding chairs may feature real wood, but it should be a species resistant to water damage, such as cedar, redwood, or teak.
A chair that isn’t comfortable is a chair that no one will sit in. When possible, sit in a folding chair before buying, and when shopping online, look for features that indicate comfort, such as a gently curved back and a seat made from solid materials such as wood or metal. As an alternative, opt for a fabric or mesh seat and back that will flex when supporting body weight; mesh also provides breathability to lessen that sticky feeling on a hot day. Padded cushions are another sign that the chair will be comfortable.
A child’s folding chair typically supports 75 to 120 pounds, depending on the chair’s size and quality, while adult folding chairs will support between 250 and 400 pounds. Oversize and extra-large-size chairs may support even heavier individuals.
Our Top Picks
To qualify as a top pick, a folding lawn chair should be durable, weather resistant, easy to open and close, and comfortable. The following models were chosen with various users in mind, but each is a standout in its class. Any of them could end up being the best folding chair on your porch or patio—or the one quickly claimed at the campsite.
With an oversized sitting area (29 inches wide) and a weight capacity of 350 pounds, the PORTAL is a top choice for a folding lawn chair. In true lounger style, the footrest lifts as the back reclines, and the user can “lock” the chair into a variety of positions with the loop locks located just below the armrests.
The chair seat is covered with heavy-duty waterproof fabric and padded for extra comfort and features breathable mesh fabric. In an upright position, the PORTAL chair measures 30 inches deep and is 44 inches high. When fully reclined, the chair reaches 72 inches in length, making it suitable for adults of average height.
The chair folds flat when not in use for easy storage and it weighs 27.5 pounds. A handy tray with a recessed drink holder attaches to the side for refreshments, a book, or a cellphone.
There’s no need to pay a premium for a quality folding chair. This affordable option from Mossy Oak provides comfortable seating and is designed to support up to 400 pounds. Featuring a steel frame and tough polyester fabric, the Mossy Oak is a great solution for adding seating quickly and easily.
A large beverage holder in the left armrest and a soft-side, four-can insulated beverage cooler attached beneath the right armrest make this a fun, sturdy, and comfortable folding chair for the patio, for sporting events, or for camping. When set up, the chair measures about 37 inches high and 24 inches wide. It weighs just 8.5 pounds and comes with a storage bag.
Leisure time outdoors becomes more relaxing when rocking in this chair from GCI Outdoor. This portable chair features patented spring-action rocking technology for a smooth, steady motion. It’s made of weather-resistant fabric, has padded armrests for comfort, and supports up to 250 pounds.
When open, the GCI measures 25 inches wide and stands 34.8 inches high. The 12.1 pound rocker also features a detachable beverage holder and includes a bag for easy storage.
When “the more, the merrier!” is your motto, consider this set of four patio chairs with classic style. These sling chairs feature fabric that flexes, giving users the feeling of sitting in a hammock, and the material is fade- and wear-resistant. Giantex’s comfortable, attractive chairs have durable metal frames and can hold up to 250 pounds while weighing in at just under 9 pounds each. They’re a good choice when seating extra guests around the fire pit or outdoor dining table.
When open, the chairs measure 36.6 inches high and 26.8 inches wide. The bottoms of each leg have anti-slip caps to keep the chairs from moving and to protect the metal legs from concrete surfaces.
Kick back on this GOLDSUN chaise lounge chair, which features an ergonomic seat for extra comfortable support. This lounger has a powder-coated aluminum frame that resists rust and corrosion and a breathable seat and back made from durable, waterproof, UV-resistant fabric that wicks away sweat.
The back of the lounger adjusts in seven positions, from upright to reclining in a horizontal position for tanning or a quick catnap. The chair is 20.5 inches wide, 44.5 inches in length, and the seat back is 27.6 inches long, making the lounger about 72 inches long when fully reclined. The GOLDSUN weighs just 13.67 pounds, making it simple to move, yet it safely supports up to 350 pounds.
Those looking for classic Adirondack style in a folding chair need look no further than this option from POLYWOOD. This attractive, smooth-to-the-touch product is made from recycled plastic to withstand the elements—it won’t splinter, crack, or peel. It’s an eco-friendly option for environmentally conscious buyers, and it will support 400 pounds of weight.
POLYWOOD’s Adirondack chair comes in bright white (though other color options may be available) and measures 35.75 inches long with a 29-inch seat width. The seat back is 35.75 inches high. It weighs 37 pounds, folds flat for storage and transport, and cleanup is as simple as wiping with a damp rag.
Gather ’round the campfire, grab a plate of grub, and settle in on this compact folding chair from PORTAL. With its sturdy steel frame and durable polyester canvas fabric seat, this chair is well suited for camping trips or sitting around a backyard fire pit. The chair includes a nifty fold-out table that features a recessed drink holder and a flat surface for food, a book, or a cellphone.
The chair weighs just 10.75 pounds, yet it holds up to 225 pounds. It measures 31.49 inches tall and 31.5 inches wide (including the 10-inch fold-out table). The seat is 21.5 inches wide and 13.3 inches deep. The table folds down for storage, collapsing in the middle, and the sides fold together.
Sit with confidence on this oversized ALPHA CAMP folding chair, which offers a broader seat and can comfortably support up to 450 pounds. The chair features a reinforced alloy steel frame and a padded seat and back made from weather-resistant oxford fabric. The ALPHA CAMP chair also features fabric-covered armrests, a recessed drink holder, a cooler bag, and a handy side pocket for stowing a phone, flashlight, or other small items.
This spacious folding chair measures 39.37 inches tall, 25.2 inches from front to back, and an ample 37.40 inches in seat width, offering plenty of sitting room for extra comfort. Even with the extra steel in the reinforced frame, this kingsize chair weighs only 13.22 pounds and folds nearly flat for storage and transportation.
Little ones may enjoy the outdoors even more with this Coleman chair, and grown-ups will feel secure knowing that this model has a locking steel frame for safety and durability. The seat, back, and arms are covered in 600D polyester (heavy-duty waterproof fabric) and the chair boasts a fun glow-in-the-dark design.
This pint-size folding chair weighs just 3.66 pounds, safely holds up to 160 pounds, and has a 24-inch-wide seat. Seat height is only 10.2 inches off the ground, making it well suited for smaller children that might find it challenging to get onto the seat of an adult-size chair.
Those who want to enjoy the sun and surf without risking a sunburn might consider the Quik Shade MAX Shade Chair. This folding chair features a durable, powder-coated steel frame with an attached sunshade that blocks sun rays. The seating areas are made of water-resistant, heavy-duty 600D fabric to stand up to the outdoors, and there’s a recessed drink holder in the armrest.
The chair has a 22.5-inch-wide seat, and the shade canopy folds backward if the user wants to catch a few rays. It weighs just 10 pounds and collapses into a cylindrical shape that slips easily into its included carry and storage bag.
FAQs About Folding Chairs
Folding chairs are a staple in many backyards for seating family members or extra guests. If you want a bit more info about buying and using the best folding chair, check out the answers to these common questions.
Q. What is the most comfortable folding chair?
Folding chairs that support both the upper body and the lower extremities are the most comfortable. These include the Portal Zero Gravity Recliner that comes in as our Best Overall pick and the GOLDSUN Chaise Lounge Chair, a top pick for folding lounge chairs.
Q. What are the dimensions of a folding chair?
The most common seat width for a folding chair ranges from 25 to 31 inches, while length and height vary depending on the type of chair, from about 30 to 40 inches in back height when sitting upright to as much as 80 inches for a folding chaise lounge chair stretched out in a lounging position.
Q. How much weight can a folding chair hold?
The average folding chair will hold up to 250 pounds, while some of the beefier models can hold up to 450 pounds, or more.
Q. How do I keep my folding chairs from sinking in my lawn?
Plastic chair feet are available that feature wide bases to stop chair legs from penetrating the soft ground. Alternatively, positioning the chair’s feet on something flat and stable, such as concrete pavers, is a smart solution.
Q. How do you store folding chairs?
The best way to store folding chairs is to place them upright against a garage or shed wall in their folded position. If wall space allows, consider hanging the chair on a hook to keep it up off the floor.