The Complete Guide to Buying a Chaise Lounge

Originally Published on December 7, 2017. Last Updated on August 8, 2023.

From poolside hangs to movie marathons, the chaise lounge does leisure time like no other. It’s designed with an angled (often adjustable) back and a seat large enough to stretch out your legs. Loosely translating to “long chair” in French, this seating style gained popularity during the Victorian era. And today, it remains one of the most elegant and stylish ways to relax. If you’re looking for the perfect one for your outdoor space, let the below information help guide you.

Jump to Section
Is a Chaise Lounge the Right Chair for You?
Determine How Much Room You Have
Choose the Right Materials
Choose the Right Chaise Lounge Style
Choose the Right Chaise Color
Accessorize Your Lounge Area

Step 1: Is a Chaise Lounge the Right Chair for You?

POLYWOOD Nautical Outdoor Chaise with Arms in White
Featured: Nautical Chaise with Arms in White

If you prefer outdoor furniture to be comfortable with some multifunction, you’re in the right place. Chaises, the ones with that aforementioned adjustable backrest, are highly versatile: You can socialize upright, read at a recline, and nap fully flat. They come in a range of designs that could include armrests, wheels, or cushions. Here are some things to think about when deciding that chaises are a good fit for you.

Points to Consider 

  • Chaises sit close to the ground, which may be challenging for those with mobility issues.
  • Look for armrests if you want extra support and an easier time getting into and out of your chaise.
  • If you want a softer seat, add cushions or lumbar pillows.
  • Since they are bigger than standard lounge chairs, you’ll need extra space to accommodate.

Step 2: Determine How Much Room You Have

Now it’s time to think about if your patio, deck, or poolside can accommodate your new chaise. There should be enough room that you can walk freely around it—or between them if you decide to purchase multiple. The adjustable backrest also needs clearance to function properly. As such, we recommend leaving two to three feet of free space on all sides.

Average Outdoor Chaise Lounge Dimensions

Graphic: How big is a chaise lounge?

Step 3: Choose the Right Materials

Chaise lounges are available in a wide variety of materials: Softwoods like pine, hardwoods like oak and teak, wicker, HDPE lumber, and aluminum are all available. When it comes to choosing the right chaise lounge materials, you’ll want to take several factors into account:

Durability: How well will the material last when it’s left outside?
Maintenance: How easy is it to keep clean?
Appearance: How will the material look over time?
Design: Does it work well with the current style of your outdoor space?
Comfort: Is the seating designed with cushions?
Weight: How easy is it to move the furniture, and can it withstand strong wind gusts?
Price: How much value (i.e., frequency and years of use) will you get from your chaise?

Pine and Other Softwoods as a Material for Chaise Lounges

Although teak is more popular, some chaise lounges are made of pine or other softwoods. Softwoods are abundant and inexpensive, but are not great choices for outdoor chaise lounges, as they don’t tend to weather very well.

Softwoods: Points to Consider

  • Softwood isn’t very resilient or durable, it is easily scratched or dented, which can impact the appearance of your chaise lounges.
  • Softwood must be varnished and protected if it is going to stay outside—even then, the elements can quickly impact how good the chaise lounges looks.
  • Softwood chaise lounges will typically need to be restained or revarnished on a semi-regular basis.
  • Softwood is an inexpensive choice when it comes to outdoor furniture.

Oak and Other Hardwoods as a Material for Chaise Lounges

Hardwoods are generally a better choice than softwoods for a well-crafted, lasting chaise lounge, but they are not without issues. Like softwoods, they need to be regularly maintained to look their best.

Hardwoods: Points to Consider

  • Hardwoods are quite resilient and durable, and it is difficult to scratch, dent, or damage them.
  • Hardwood must be varnished and protected if it is going to stay outside.
  • Hardwood chaise lounges will typically need to be restained or revarnished on a semi-regular basis.
  • Hardwood chaise lounges are more resilient to the elements and gusts of wind.
  • Hardwood is a moderately expensive choice as a material for chaise lounges.

Teak as a Material for Chaise Lounges

Teak is a popular choice for outdoor furniture as it fares better when exposed to weather compared to other woods like pine, oak, bamboo, or wicker.

Teak: Points to Consider

  • Teak is durable and resilient, as it produces its own oil—it’s a hardwood, so it isn’t easy to dent or scratch.
  • It’s completely resistant to wind, water, and rust and can stay outside all year round.
  • It somewhat difficult to maintain and needs to be regularly treated to avoid “silver patina.”
  • Teak is one of the pricier options when it comes to outdoor furniture.

Wicker as a Material for Chaise Lounges

Wicker is sometimes used as a material in chaise lounges today. Although wicker can be a good material for an indoor chaise lounge, it doesn’t really have the durability for outside use.

Wicker: Points to Consider

  • Wicker is not very resilient, it can be easily damaged, especially if you use the chaise lounge a lot.
  • When used outside, wicker can lose its appearance quickly, as it is not weather-resistant.
  • Wicker is very light and vulnerable to wind gusts.
  • The way wicker is woven means that dirt can get into the gaps, spoiling the appearance of the chaise lounges.
  • Wicker is not easy to maintain.

Aluminum as a Material for Chaise Lounges

A popular choice, chaise lounges are often available in aluminum. It’s a lightweight, durable metal.

Aluminum: Points to Consider

  • Aluminum is tough, resilient, and easy to maintain.
  • Your chaise lounge can be left outside all year round.
  • It is highly durable and highly resistant to water and rust.
  • Lightweight construction means it can be vulnerable to gusts of wind.

High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Lumber as a Material for Chaise Lounges

HDPE is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for solid, high-quality, durable outdoor furniture. Its resilience against the elements makes it the perfect material for outdoor chaise lounges.

HDPE Lumber: Points to Consider

  • It is easy to maintain, needing just a soft-bristle brush and a simple solution of water and mild dish soap.
  • HDPE is sturdy and resistant to wind so your chaise lounge can stay outside all year round.
  • HDPE is supremely durable and completely resistant to wind, water, and rust.
  • HDPE is infinitely recyclable and is often made from recycled milk jugs.
  • HDPE lumber is available in a wide variety of colors.
  • High-quality HDPE lumber should last for decades—but its price reflects that.

Step 4: Choose the Right Chaise Lounge Style

Once you have a clear idea of your ideal chaise size and material, you can narrow down what styles you should be shopping for. This should be determined by your personal preferences and the current aesthetic of your home’s exterior.

Classic:  Time-honored designs with soft lines and elevated details.

POLYWOOD Signature Outdoor Chaise with Wheels POLYWOOD Long Island Outdoor Chaise Country Living by POLYWOOD Outdoor Chaise with Arms

Transitional: Streamlined silhouettes that still feel timeless.

POLYWOOD Nautical Outdoor Chaise Coastal Outdoor Chaise with Wheels POLYWOOD Captain Outdoor Chaise with Arms

Click to Read the POLYWOOD Chaise Lounge Comparison Guide

Step 5: Choose the Right Chaise Color

White/Sand: Light and bright, these are easygoing choices that feel at home in traditional and modern settings alike. 

Grey/Black: Sleek, chic, and confident, grey and black are versatile hues that are easy to design around.

Teak/Mahogany: Down-to-earth browns blend in beautifully with their natural surroundings. 

Green: One of the more energetic earth tones, this lush shade closely resembles the color of pine needles.

Vibrant tones: To show off your playful side, try a statement shade (think lemony yellow, crimson red, lime green, citrusy orange, or turquoise).

Classic Finish — Traditional Colors
Classic Finish — Vibrant Colors
Classic Finish — Select Availability
Vintage Finish — Traditional Colors

Step 6: Accessorize Your Lounge Area

You’ve chosen the perfect chaise lounge, but perhaps you’re ready to take it a step further with accessories. Cushions, pillows, umbrellas, and side tables are small details that can transform your outdoor space into resort-worthy oasis.

All of our outdoor accessories are designed with all-weather materials specifically engineered to withstand the elements. They’re UV- and fade-resistant to look great year after year. They also repel water quickly to dry out fast after passing rainstorms. And less maintenance equals more time to bask in the sun and relax in your new chaise lounge.

Shop POLYWOOD Outdoor Chaise Lounges

4 thoughts on “The Complete Guide to Buying a Chaise Lounge

  1. I was thinking to buy a chaise lounge and try to get some guidance about this. Now I got your blog. You provide enough information regarding this. Thank you so much for helping me. It will really help me.

    1. Hi, N-Ann!

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We’ll be sure to let our team know and have this updated.

      Have a great day!

  2. How about a chaise that the seating area is chair height for those needing that to get in, and particularly for getting out.

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