Colorful POLYWOOD Adirondack Chairs

The Complete Guide to Buying an Adirondack Chair

Originally Published on September 23, 2022. Last Updated on October 17, 2023.

Since its invention in the early 1900s by Thomas Lee, the Adirondack chair has been a feature on patios, decks, and porches around the world. Originally known as the Westport chair, the modern Adirondack chair’s heritage can be traced back to 1938, when Irving Wolpin designed the contoured back and seat that makes this chair so comfortable to use.

When it comes to choosing the best Adirondack chair, you have a wealth of options. In this comprehensive Adirondack chair buyer’s guide, we’ll walk you through all the different areas so you can make the right choice.

Jump to Section

Step 1: Is the Adirondack Chair the Right Chair for You?
Step 2: Choose the Right Materials
Step 3: Choose the Right Height
Step 4: Choose the Right Style
Step 5: Choose the Right Color
Step 6: Accessorize

What’s the Difference Between Muskoka and Adirondack Chairs?

The traditional Adirondack chair features a deeply sloped seat and flat, reclined backrest. The Muskoka chair differs in that it has a curved backrest and a more upright seat. Both offer wide armrests for relaxing or resting a drink.

Thomas Lee invented the Adirondack chair in 1904 in Westport, New York. The Muskoka chair is its Canadian cousin, and the most widespread origin theory is that northerners who vacationed in Canada loved Adirondack chairs so much that they toted them along on their travels. One popular summertime destination was the Muskoka region of Ontario, Canada, where families would relax on Adirondacks outside their cottages. The chair became so popular that an updated design was made and renamed after Muskoka, colloquially called the “Hamptons of the North.”

Step 1: Is the Adirondack Chair the Right Chair for You?

The Adirondack chair is a reclined chair with a backward sloping seat and back that sits close to the ground. It’s designed to relax back into, with good support for your back and bottom. It also has wide arms, giving you a good spot to grip to get out of the chair.

white adirondack chair near lake
Classic Oversized Curveback Adirondack

Adirondack Form and Function: Points to Consider

  • Due to their reclined nature, Adirondack chairs are meant for relaxing and dozing.
  • Adirondack chairs are close to the ground, so people with back or leg problems may have issues getting down that far.
  • Ideally, you should pair an Adirondack chair with an ottoman or footstool for good leg support.
  • Getting out of an Adirondack chair isn’t as easy as getting out of a regular chair.
  • The deeply reclined shape makes your lap an ideal resting place for pets or small children.
  • The wide arms are great for balancing drinks or small plates.
  • Adirondack chairs often feature contoured seats and backs for better support.
  • Adirondack chairs can also be paired with cushions and headrest pillows for extra comfort.

Step 2: Choose the Right Materials for Your Adirondack Chair

Adirondack chairs are available in a variety of materials: teak, aluminum, HDPE lumber, and injection-molded plastic are all available. When it comes to choosing the right 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 the material to look after? Shop for maintenance-free Adirondack chairs when possible. 
  • Appearance: how will the material look over time? 
  • Design Aesthetic: how does the design of the piece fit with your outdoor space?
  • Comfort: how comfortable and luxurious is the material?
  • Weight: how easy is it to move the Adirondack chair around, and how resilient is it to weather?
  • Price: how much value for money will you get from the chair?

Teak as a Material for Adirondack Chairs

Teak is one of the best woods for outdoor furniture, and is better than other woods like pine, oak, bamboo, or wicker: these other woods do not weather well and require lots of maintenance.

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’s only available in one color: teak.
  • It is difficult to maintain and needs to be regularly rubbed down and treated to avoid “silver patina.”
  • Teak is one of the pricier options when it comes to outside furniture.

Aluminum as a Material for Adirondack Chairs

Although not as popular as some other choices, you can get Adirondack chairs made of aluminum. It’s a lightweight, durable metal, but may not have the comfort and appearance you desire.

Aluminum: Points to Consider

  • Aluminum is tough, resilient, and easy to maintain.
  • It can be left outside all year round, with no ill effects.
  • It is highly durable and completely resistant to water and rust.
  • Lightweight construction means it can be vulnerable to gusts of wind.
  • Aluminum only comes in one color, and may not look as good as some other materials.
  • Aluminum furniture isn’t as comfortable as some other options.
  • It tends to be inexpensive.

High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Lumber as a Material for Adirondack Chairs

HDPE is a synthetic resin for building solid, high-quality, durable outdoor furniture. Its cost is offset by the luxury, comfort, and resilience it provides.

HDPE Lumber: Points to Consider

  • It is easy to maintain, needing just a soft-bristle brush and clean, soapy water.
  • HDPE is sturdy and resistant to wind. It can stay outside all year-round.
  • HDPE is highly durable and completely resistant to wind, water, and rust.
  • Comfortable, stylish, and luxurious with a high-quality, strong, and sturdy construction.
  • HDPE is infinitely recyclable and is often made from recycled milk jugs.
  • HDPE lumber is available in a wide variety of colors.
  • HDPE lumber is manufactured to last a lifetime and its price reflects that.

Injection Molded Plastic as a Material for Adirondack Chairs

Plastic is an inexpensive option for outdoor furniture, but it isn’t comfortable or luxurious. For temporary outdoor furniture or spare chairs for when guests come over, it can be a good option.

Injection Molded Plastic: Points to Consider

  • Easy to maintain, needing just a damp cloth and dish soap. It can stay outside all year-round.
  • Because it’s very lightweight, it is vulnerable to wind gusts and often unstable when sat in: often breaking within a year of purchasing.
  • Resistant to water and rust.
  • Available in a wide variety of colors.
  • It can lose its appearance quickly and will fade and take on stains and weathering quite easily.
  • It is not stylish or luxurious. It is also the most mass-produced outdoor furniture, so craftsmanship is non-existent.
  • Inexpensive, definitely the cheapest option for outdoor furniture.

Step 3: Choose the Right Height and Size for Your Adirondack Chair

Once you’ve decided on the right materials, you will want to think about the size, height, and spacing of your Adirondack chairs.

Adirondack Chair Dimensions and Sizes

Most Adirondack chairs will stand between around 36 to 42 inches tall, 30 to 34 inches wide, and 35 to 38 inches deep. Depending on the material, they could weigh anywhere between 15 and 45 pounds.

tan adirondack chair on pool patio
Classic Folding Adirondack

We recommend placing Adirondack chairs at least two to three feet apart. You will also want to have three to four feet of space in front of an Adirondack chair to make it easy to get into and out of. A patio or porch around 10 feet square can comfortably hold three to four Adirondack chairs.

Adirondack Chair Heights

To find the most comfortable Adirondack chair for you,  you will want to pay close attention to the height of an Adirondack chair: shorter people will want lower seat heights to make getting into and out of the chair easier, while taller people may want a taller seat height.

Our range of POLYWOOD Adirondack chairs features seat heights between 14 and 16 inches. We even have a kid’s Adirondack with a 12-inch seat height that’s perfect for small children.

If you’re around 5’ to 5’5”, we recommend a small Adirondack chair with a 14-inch seat height. People between 5’6” and 5’10” will be most comfortable with a 15-inch seat height, while taller people will probably want 16 inches.

Step 4: Choose the Right Style of Adirondack Chair

Although the basic design of the Adirondack chair is straightforward and hasn’t changed from the classic design in the 1930s, modern twists on the chair add lots of flair to that style. Here at POLYWOOD, we’ve been refining and adding some flourish to our own take on the Adirondack, to create styles suitable for any outside space.

The Crest Chair The Wave Chair Right The Wave Chair Left The Ocean Chair
Long Island Adirondack Classic Adirondack Chair Classic Folding Adirondack Chair Classic Oversized Adirondack
Vineyard Adirondack Chair Vineyard Curveback Adirondack Chair Nautical Adirondack Chair Nautical Curveback Adirondack Chair
Modern Adirondack Chair Modern Curveback Adirondack Chair Westport Adirondack Modern Folding Adirondack
Palm Coast Adirondack Palm Coast Folding Adirondack Palm Coast Ultimate Adirondack with Hideaway Ottoman Quattro Folding Adirondack
South Beach Adirondack South Beach Folding Adirondack Chair Grant Park Traditional Curveback Adirondack Chair Seashell Adirondack

The Wave Collection: Adirondack chairs that pay homage to our beautiful oceans. When all four chairs are lined up in a row you can see the depiction of a cresting wave.

Classic Adirondack Chairs: a design that hews closely to the original 1904 design that was later refined into the comfortable, contoured Adirondack in the 1930s.

Modern Adirondack Chairs: Modern chairs with straight backs for contemporary outdoor spaces.

Shellback Adirondack Chairs: a sleek style with a delicately rounded back and curved armrests.

Some of these designs also fold flat, making them easy to store if you’re short on space.

Shop Folding Adirondack Chairs
Shop Folding Adirondack Chairs

Step 5: Choose the Right Color of Adirondack Chair

If you’re buying a teak or aluminum Adirondack chair, you’re likely to be limited in your choice of colors and finishes. If you’re going for injection-molded plastic, or even better, HDPE lumber, you will have plenty of choices.

Obviously, our favorite material is HDPE lumber: it’s manufactured to last a lifetime, stays looking great, is completely weather-resistant and durable, takes just moments to maintain, and genuine POLYWOOD lumber comes in a wide variety of colors:

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

These Adirondack materials are available in a wide variety of tones and colors. From beautiful grays, browns, greens, and other earth tones to vibrant hues of red, yellow, blue, and more that add some real visual distinction.

You can stay with a modern look by choosing black or white, or bring in a sense of the natural with brown or green.

Quattro 3-Piece Adirondack Set

Step 6: Accessorize Your Adirondack Chair

Finally, you will want to accessorize your Adirondack chair with the perfect additions. We recommend an ottoman or footstool for your legs so you can sink back and rest. Cushions and headrest pillows are also a great option, adding some padding to an already comfortable piece of furniture.

Classic Oversized Adirondack Chairs | Round 18″ Side Table

You can even add accent tables to create a complete set of beautiful furniture.

The Bottom Line

71 thoughts on “The Complete Guide to Buying an Adirondack Chair

  1. wow I like your ideas on accessorizing the chair. The side table and the footstool matching the chair as shown in that photo really give a complete look. I would love to have that complete set in my patio for relaxing during he evenings and the weekends. Very useful advice on how to choose the materials too.

  2. Wonderful information! So many choices – and for such a long lasting product it is important to choose the best for me. Is there a showroom in the Greenville SC area where I could sit in the different Adirondack styles to decide which I prefer?

  3. We are looking for curved back Adirondack chairs with a 15″ seat height. Can you provide a list of models meeting those criteria?

  4. We have 4 chairs, Pacific blue, tangerine, Aruba, and lime. What color conversation table would you suggest?

    1. Hi Liliana,
      With regards to Adirondack chairs, we either have our Curveback Adirondack chairs with a seat height of 16″, which will make it easier to get in and out of. I have included a link to our Curveback models here – We also have our Adirondack-style dining chairs – – which offer the style of an Adirondack chair with the sitting experience of a dining chair.

      Thank you for asking such a great question!

  5. Outdoor seating, including dining chairs, benches, Adirondack chairs and gliders should be provided to give employees a place to sit and enjoy their break or relax during a meeting. Like outdoor tables, most outdoor seating options are made of treated wood, metal or plastic, allowing them to resist damage commonly caused by the elements like rain and sun damage.

  6. One concern I have is the slope of the seat. Chair with less of a slope are easier to get out of. Also, the height o the chair can be problematic for the same reason. I would be interested in info on chairs that have less of a slope and higher off the ground. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Dick! Thank you for reaching out. If you are interested in adirondack chairs that have a higher seat height and that have less of a pitch to the seat, I would highly suggest our curvedback adirondack chairs. These chairs will provide you with an increased seat height of 16″ and will have less of a slope to the seat, which will make it easier to get in and out of. I have included the link to our curveback models below.

      Nautical Curveback Chair:
      Modern Curveback Chair:
      Vineyard Curveback Chair:

      Thank you for reaching out!

      1. Thank you for the info, but what is the height of the chair at the bottom of the “pitch”.
        In plain english, chair is a certain height, say 16.25″ at the front; what is the height at the bottom of the slope, where it touches the back.
        This slope affects one’s ability to get out of the chair for people who do not have a lot of strength.
        Buying chairs for one’s self is one thing; but if you live in a condo, it is difficult to control what is purchased in common areas. Would like information to present to board.
        Does this slope or pitch as you call it vary from chair to chair?

        1. Hi Dee,

          We completely understand that you need the furniture to work for a multitude of people and a variety of comfort levels.

          The slope or pitch can vary by chair. But each of the Curveback options that Lindsey mentioned are the same. The seats measures about 16″ from the ground at the front and about 12.875″ from the ground at the rear of the seat. Also, it might be helpful to know that angle from the seat to the backrest is roughly 103 degrees.

          Have a great day!

    1. Hi Carol! Great question. The adirondack chairs are tested for up to 400 lbs. Thank you for taking the time to ask!

  7. We are short size people family members

    What will be the best adirondack style styles chair that will be more comfortable for us ?

    Let me know


    1. Hi Jose! Thank you for reaching out to us! We would recommend our traditional style adirondack chairs because they will provide you with a lower seat height. I have included the links to some suggestions below.

      Modern Adirondack Chair:
      Vineyard Adirondack Chair:
      Nautical Adirondack Chair:

      We hope this helps!

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  9. I have a chair set that is connected by a table between the two chairs. Each chair has an extended footrest that folds up and recesses under the char when the footrest is slid into the closed position. The issue is that, the footrest when in place and fully extended has five inch legs which when used slants down at an angle that I find uncomfortable. I was wondering if I could order longer legs that will keep the footrest at more of a level position with the chair seat of the chair when extended.

    1. Hi Paul,

      We would love the opportunity to look into this for you! Our Customer Experience Team will be able to determine if we are able to help with adjustments to your current chair or look at options for a more comfortable solution. You many reach them at at your convenience and they will be happy to help!

      Have a wonderful day!

  10. Hi, average height is under 5 feet 7 inches, love look but want something easy to get out of that we can add cushions if you sell them…thnx

    1. Hello

      Excellent question. We have several styles to choose from in an Adirondack and a more casual style with a curved back which is very comfortable. Both these models are going to provide you options that are easier to get in and out of. I am sending two links as examples for you to see.

      Vineyard Curveback Adirondack Chair –
      Nautical Curveback Adirondack Dining Chair –

      Thank you

  11. Truth – every time your post shows up on Facebook I am sad. Why??? Too expensive for us and not in our budget. Your products are beautiful and each style and color brightens the outdoors for all who purchase them.

  12. It would be so nice if your drawing of chairs dimensions had the seat completely flat and dotted line shows the tilt in inches. So often it is all about the tilt that makes it exactly what you are looking for. Same with the back of the chair…show the chair back and a dotted line shows the completely straight back. It would make it so easy to give you as sense of the degree of tilt…for seat and chair back.

    1. Hi Julie,

      That’s a great idea, thanks for sharing!

      We’ll be sure to pass it along to our design and engineering teams to check into.

      Have a wonderful day!

  13. Hi, I live on Canada’s west coast, close to the border. There’s a local courier service who arranges for USA shipments to a destination just south of the border, and then brings the product across the border to a nearby Canadian airport. I can then collect the product at the airport, pay customs, sales tax, and the courier fee, and the product becomes mine. Is this doable?

    1. Hi Laurie,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      Yes, you could place your order and have it shipped to the courier’s location. Then they could handle the arrangements from there.

      Have a great day!

  14. Good afternoon, I am looking for a king Adirondack that will be most comfortable for me I am 6 foot three and roughly 255 pounds.My email address is

    1. Hi Mikel,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      One of our Curveback Adirondacks would be a great option for you. They have a higher seat height so it’s easier to get into and out, which is great no matter how tall you are. They also have a little more room in the seat and a taller backrest.

      You can see the following links to check each one and see what you think:

      Have a wonderful day!

  15. Please

    71 years old, live alone and would really
    Like to Have one of these chairs Problem is I have no
    Idea which o e would work for
    Me I’m on the heavy side (242 lbs) I recently
    O w of these chairs
    At a local
    Store but not sure it was a true ardinrock.
    It was comfortable and because of the large wide arms it made it easier to get up

    Any advise Prices etc
    Please reply to;
    Thank You

    1. Hi Sharon,

      Thanks for reaching out to us!

      One of our Curveback Adirondacks would be a great option for you. They have a higher seat height so it’s easier to get into and out, which is great no matter how tall you are. They also have a little more room in the seat and a taller backrest.

      You can see the following links to check each one and see what you think:

      Have a wonderful day!

  16. Love the look of your chairs. Especially the waterfall front edge which is way more comfortable than the straight edge. However, I would like a folding chair for winter storage in the Northeast. But none of them have the waterfall front edge for comfort of the back of your legs. Can you tell me why you can’t get the waterfall edge in a folding chair? I see it on other brands so it can’t be because of the ability to fold. Is it possible to have it custom made?

    1. Hello Ellen,

      Thank you for your question!

      At this time, due to the way that we design and manufacture our Folding Adirondack Chairs, we do not currently have the option for a folding chair with a waterfall front seat I’m afraid. In addition, we do not custom-make our products either. We apologise for the inconvenience! However, a folding chair with a waterfall front seat may be something we could consider for the future, so we appreciate your feedback!

      Please know that if you do have the option to leave furniture outside, our POLYWOOD furniture is designed to be All-Weather and hold up in all climates, whether snowy or hot, so it is not a necessity to store our furniture over the winter.

      Thank you for reaching out!

  17. I need four good chairs for my new fire pit.
    What’s the least expensive Adirondack chair for my need?
    Don’t want to get crazy…..just comfortable for me and three friends….:-)

    1. Hello Bob,

      Thanks for reaching out! If you need to purchase hardware to reassemble your POLYWOOD furniture, please reach out to our Customer Experience Team via email at, and they will be more than happy to assist you.

      All the best!

  18. How do the HDPE chairs stand up to the intense heat and UV radiation of the American southwest? That’s a real concern in Las Vegas, Phoenix, or Tucson.

    1. Hello there!

      That is a great question! Yes, our furniture is designed to withstand all climates. POLYWOOD HDPE lumber is extruded with UV inhibitors and stabilizers which run continuously throughout the material and protect our lumber from harmful environmental degradation.

      I hope this is helpful. All the best!

    1. Hello Amber,

      The cost and lead time will vary for each product. If there is a specific SKU of Adirondack Chair that you are interested in, the product pages on will provide the information relating to the cost and lead time of each model/colour. You can find the different models of Adirondack Chairs via the link below:

      Thank you for reaching out!

  19. The best article,, When you’re on the road for work, school, travel, or other commitments, it’s tough. But when you walk into your new apartment and feel at home, it’s one of the best feelings. Corporate Rentals provides wholesale furniture on rent in Maryland, United States.

  20. You indicate that the shorter seat height is better for short people to get out of the chair but then recommend the curved back chairs with the 16” height seats for older people to get out of the chair best. Which is best?

    1. Hi Priscilla,

      We have different styles and sizes of Adirondack chairs to suit all of our customers with varying seat heights of 13.68″ – 16.25″. If you’re needing a chair that you can get in and out of easily, the curveback models are the way to go since the seat sits the highest at 16.25″.

      Thanks for asking!

      1. Hi Ashley! Which is the most narrow profile curveback style? I’m looking for a smaller model to fit more comfortably on my tiny urban condo balcony. Thanks!

        1. Hello Kathy,

          Thank you for your interest in our Curveback style of Adirondack chairs. All of this style will have the same width at 31.25″ and depth of 33.5″ so you can pick the style you like best.

          Best wishes,

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    1. Hi Donald! We offer our Nautical and Vineyard Rockers in a variety of colors, however, each individual rocker will only be 1 solid color. We hope this helps.

  22. Great guide on buying Adirondack chairs! I never knew there were so many options and features to consider. This will definitely help me make an informed decision for my outdoor space. Thanks for sharing!

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