How to Shop for the Most Comfortable Outdoor Furniture

Originally Published on July 5, 2020. Last Updated on May 6, 2024.

Relaxing outdoor furniture is a key component in designing exceptional backyard settings. However, comfort is a subjective concept. From shopping to styling, everyone’s journey to discovering the most comfortable patio furniture is different. 

Browse our shopping guide to learn how to find furniture that fits your idea of comfort. We’ll cover material selections, examine seating styles and ergonomic designs, offer shopping tips, and discuss other relevant topics. So cozy up and keep reading.


Know Your Needs
Explore Seating Styles
Select the Right Materials
Choose a Cushion Fabric
Delve Into Ergonomic Design
Do Your Research
Consider Accessories

Know Your Needs

Available space, your lifestyle, and other factors impact the type of furnishings you’ll buy. Ponder the considerations below and let them guide you to the best patio furniture for your family.

  • Aesthetic: Because outdoor furniture can (and should) look as good as it feels.
  • Existing architecture: Select pieces that complement your home’s exterior and decorative elements.
  • Utility: Look for furniture that fits your family’s outdoor lifestyle.
  • Available space: Measure your setting to ensure you have ample room to spare for new additions.
  • Accessibility: If you have mobility concerns, seek furniture that accommodates you.
  • Climate: A patio furniture set that can brave inclement weather season after season will give you peace of mind, which enhances comfort.
  • Low maintenance: Save yourself from future work and stress by shopping for products that don’t need constant upkeep.

Explore Seating Styles

There are many types of comfortable outdoor furniture, including Adirondack chairs, rocking chairs, deep seating, benches, and chaise lounges. Consider these choices when shopping for comfy furnishings.

Adirondack Chairs

POLYWOOD Modern Adirondack Chair in Slate Grey
Featured: Modern Adirondack Chair in Slate Grey

This outdoor lounge chair is a timeless staple for patios, decks, and other spaces. The reclined design sits lower to the ground and features a backward sloping seat, slatted back, and wide armrests. These features make Adirondacks the model of leisure and relaxation.

Since Adirondack chairs are close to the ground, people with leg and back issues may have trouble getting down that low and getting out of the chair. Consider these factors if you have those issues.

Rocking Chairs

POLYWOOD Presidential Rocking Chair and South Beach 26” Counter Side Table in Teak
Featured: Presidential Rocking Chair and South Beach 26” Counter Side Table in Teak

Rockers are comfortable outdoor furniture options because of the gentle, back-and-forth motion they provide. The swaying is soothing, which is why parents use them to lull their babies to sleep. Plus, rockers are reported to have health benefits. 

  • Results from a 2019 study revealed that the chair’s back-and-forth motion can positively impact deep sleep and memory.
  • According to a 2017 scholarly article, John F. Kennedy’s doctor recommended using a rocking chair to help relieve his chronic back pain. He had over a dozen rockers, including one that traveled with him on Air Force One.

Remember that rocking chairs perform poorly on uneven or soft surfaces like cobblestone, brick, or sand. They need hard, flat floors so they can sway with ease. Also, be careful if you have pets or small children. Feet, paws, and tails can get caught under the moving runners.

Benches, Swings & Gliders

POLYWOOD Vineyard Daybed Swing in Black/Grey Mist
Featured: Vineyard Daybed Swing in Black/Grey Mist

If you want to share a peaceful moment with a loved one, an outdoor bench, swing, or glider makes a perfect seating arrangement. Here’s a quick rundown of these patio furniture pieces.

Benches: They can be built for two or three and come with or without backrests. For optimal comfort, stick with benches with slightly tilted backs to ensure full-body support.

Swings: Swings often have a slight tilt to them, so you don’t sit completely upright. Plus, the gentle sway of the swing helps boost your relaxation. Ensure you have a sturdy ceiling beam or freestanding frame to hang your swing.

Gliders: A glider makes an excellent alternative if you can’t install a swing. They move like a swing but on a fixed base instead of suspended from ropes or chains.

Deep Seating

Anthony Carrino on the POLYWOOD EDGE Modular Left Arm Chair and Modular Armless Chair in White/Grey Mist
Featured: EDGE Modular Left Arm Chair and Modular Armless Chair in White/Grey Mist

When you want to bring the comfort and coziness of an indoor living room to your patio, deep seating furniture is your best option. Whether it’s outdoor sofas, chairs, or sectionals, deep seating furniture is upholstered for optimal comfort and support.

Deep seating is larger, so you’ll need ample room to house it. If you don’t have the space, simply go for lounge chairs, and add foam cushions. POLYWOOD deep seating outdoor cushions are sewn with performance fabric designed to resist stains, fading, and water. The filling is a polyester fiber that’s dense, resilient, and moisture-resistant.

Chaise Lounges

POLYQOOD Nautical 3-Piece Chaise Set in Slate Grey and 9' Tilt Market Umbrella & Base in Black/Cast Ash
Featured: Nautical 3-Piece Chaise Set in Slate Grey and 9′ Tilt Market Umbrella & Base in Black/Cast Ash

A chaise lounge is an elongated chair with an angled back that supports your entire body. Chaises almost always come with an adjustable back, so you can find the perfect angle to maximize your comfort. You can also add outdoor cushions and pillows to your chair to increase coziness.

While you often see chaise lounges by the pool, they can be great additions if your outdoor space is large enough. Just remember that this long seat takes up more square footage than an Adirondack or rocker, so ensure you have sufficient room before committing to a purchase.

Dining Chairs

POLYWOOD Lakeside 7-Piece Farmhouse Dining Set in Teak
Featured: Lakeside 7-Piece Farmhouse Dining Set in Teak

Choosing a relaxing patio dining set gives you the chance to enhance every meal. When guests can sit comfortably in their outdoor dining chairs, conversations flow easier, and dinners last longer. 

When shopping for the right outdoor dining chair, keep these considerations in mind. 

  • Height: Taller family members may need counter or bar chairs to accommodate them. 
  • Seat size: Selecting dining chairs with enough depth and width provide ample room and support for hips and thighs.
  • Seat angle: Tilted seating encourages relaxation but can make standing difficult for those with knee, hip, or back issues.
  • Armrests: Dining chairs with arms provide extra comfort and support, while armless seats offer freedom of movement.

Select the Right Furniture Material

True comfort starts with a solid foundation, or frame in this case. Read over our list of pros and cons for popular outdoor patio furniture materials to discover your favorites.


Pro & Cons of Hardwood for Patio Furniture


Pro & Cons of Softwood for Patio Furniture


Pro & Cons of Wicker for Patio Furniture


Pro & Cons of Aluminum for Patio Furniture

High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

Pro & Cons of HDPE for Patio Furniture

Choose the Right Cushion Fabric

Cushions and pillows are relaxation essentials, and the fabric used to cover them significantly affects the comfort level. Browse these performance fabric options to see which one fits your preferences.

Pros & Cons of Solution-dyed Acrylic for Patio Cushions

Pros & Cons of Printed Acrylic or Polyester for Patio Cushions

Pros & Cons of Vinyl-Coated Synthetic Fiber Mesh for Patio Cushions & Upholstery

Pros & Cons of Olefin for Patio Cushions

Pros & Cons of Duck Cloth Canvas for Patio Accents

Pros & Cons of Cotton for Patio Accents

Delve Into Ergonomic Design

Colorful POLYWOOD Adirondack Chairs

Whether sinking into an outdoor sectional after a long day or settling into an Adirondack chair after a long workday, ergonomic design plays a big role in ensuring our well-being. We’ve explained ergonomic design below to help you in your quest for comfort.

Understanding Ergonomic Design

Ergonomic design focuses on crafting comfortable outdoor furniture that fits your body’s natural contours and movements. By aligning the spine, supporting key pressure points, and promoting healthy posture, ergonomic patio chairs reduce strain and enhance comfort.

Ergonomic Furniture Features

  • Lumbar support: Prevent lower back discomfort and fatigue with seats offering lumbar support.
  • Armrests: Having a place to rest your arms reduces shoulder and neck strain. 
  • Adjustable components: Reclining backs, hideaway ottomans, and adjustable seat heights let you customize your comfort level.

Seek Ergonomic Features That Meet Your Needs

Every body is unique, so choosing ergonomic features based on your personal needs is key to achieving optimal comfort. Think about your daily activities and the amount of time spent using various outdoor furniture pieces. 

  • If you work from home and spend most of your time behind a desk, prioritize lumbar support and an adjustable seat to keep your posture on point. 
  • Do Fridays mean movie nights at your house? Choose plush seating with lumbar pillows, so your family can stay comfortable through the film.

Do Your Research

Before buying anything, commit to a bit of legwork to ensure you’re getting the most comfortable, high-quality furniture for your home. 

Test Products

If the business you want to buy from has a storefront or its products are sold through retail partners, make an appointment to go see the furniture for yourself. Touch seat cushions to see if you like the texture, or shake coffee table frames to ensure they don’t wobble.

Order Samples

Click to Order POLYWOOD Fabric Samples

If you’re unable to view products in person, order material swatches. This gives you a chance to feel them, see how colors look throughout the day in your outdoor living space, and compare samples from various patio furniture brands.

Read Customer Reviews

You can learn a lot about a product and the company that manufactures it through the honest reviews of its patrons.

Ask Questions

If you can’t find the information you seek through reviews, samples, and testing, ask for it. Customer service departments are happy to help you, and they’ll give you the details on company return policies, warranties, furniture dimensions, and more.

Consider Accessories

POLYWOOD Nautical Curveback Adirondack 7-Piece Dining Set with Trestle Legs in Vintage White and 9' Tilt Market Umbrella & Base in Bronze/Spa
Featured: Nautical Curveback Adirondack 7-Piece Dining Set with Trestle Legs in Vintage White and 9′ Tilt Market Umbrella & Base in Bronze/Spa

Once you’ve found the best furniture for your needs, it’s time to elevate your comfort game with cushions, ottomans, and umbrellas. Our outdoor accessories are crafted to withstand harsh weather conditions year-round. With an array of pattern and color options to choose from, you’re bound to meet your match.

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