Originally Published on July 5, 2020. Last Updated on July 19, 2023.
Whether you’re looking to host a fun game night or an outdoor movie night, it’s important to ensure your patio furniture is comfortable for you and your guests. Otherwise, it’ll be a pain in the butt — literally! — to sit through hours of entertainment and socializing. Below we’ll take a look at the different types of comfortable patio furniture and materials, as well as go over some tips on how to pick the right pieces for your space.
What Types of Outdoor Furniture are the Most Comfortable?
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.
The Adirondack chair has been around since the early 1900s and continues to be a timeless staple for patios, decks, and other outdoor spaces. It’s a deeply reclined chair that sits low to the ground and features a backward sloping seat, a tall slatted back, and wide armrests. All these design features make Adirondack chairs the epitome of leisure and relaxation. Imagine kicking back in these chairs with your pet sitting on your lap as you gaze out in the glistening ocean.
Adirondack chairs tend to be more comfortable than regular lawn chairs due to their contoured design, so you get much better support for your back and bottom. For good leg support, pair your chair with an ottoman or footrest. You can also add cushions and pillows to your chair for extra comfort.
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 are one of the most comfortable outdoor furniture pieces because of the gentle, back-and-forth motion they provide. The soothing motion offers excellent rest and stress relief, which is why parents use rocking chairs to lull their babies to sleep. But you don’t need to be a new mom or dad to have a rocking chair. Anyone can enjoy the peaceful sensation of rocking back and forth while watching the world go by from a patio or porch.
Rocking chairs come in a variety of seating depths, back angles, and heights. If possible, test several styles out to see which one best suits your needs. Also, be careful if you have pets or small children. Feet, paws, and tails can get caught under rocking chairs.
Benches, Swings & Gliders
If you’re looking to share a peaceful moment with your sweetheart or family member, an outdoor bench, swing, or glider makes a perfect seating arrangement. Here’s a quick rundown of each piece of furniture:
Benches — They can be built for two or three and come with backs or no backs. For optimal comfort, stick with benches with slightly tilted backs to ensure your whole body is supported.
Swings — Swings often have a slight tilt to them, so you don’t need to stay completely upright. Plus, the gentle sway of the swing helps boost your relaxation, making it a nice place to nap. Make sure you have a ceiling, beam, or freestanding frame to hang your swing.
Gliders — If you can’t install a swing, a glider makes an excellent alternative. They can sway back and forth, just like a swing. Add some pillows and cushions to add some more comfort to your glider.
When you want to bring the comfort and coziness of an indoor living room on your patio, deep seating outdoor furniture is your best option. Whether it’s chairs, sofas, or ottomans, deep seating furniture is upholstered for optimal comfort and support. You can enjoy hours on your patio sharing stories with friends and family as you kick back in your cushioned chair or sofa without worrying about aches or pains.
The cushions are built with performance fabric designed to resist stains, fading, and water. Many outdoor cushions are also made with soft polyester fill that’s durable and soft to the touch.
A chaise lounge is an elongated chair with an angled back that provides support for your entire body. Chaise lounges almost always come with an adjustable back, so you can find the perfect angle that maximizes your comfort. You can also add cushions and pillows to your chair to increase coziness. While you often see chaise lounges by the pool, they can be great additions to your patio or deck if you have space. You can enjoy a good book, soak up the sun, or relax after a hard day of work.
What Outdoor Furniture Materials are the Most Comfortable?
If comfort is your top priority, cushions are essential, and the outdoor fabric material used to make the cushions plays a big role in the comfort level. Here are some of your options when searching for the right cushions:
- Cotton Canvas: Cotton canvas is a plain-woven fabric that provides a good balance of affordability and comfort. But if not treated before use, it’s prone to mildew and fading.
- Duck Cloth: Duck cloth is similar to cotton canvas, but it has a tighter weave, which makes the texture smoother. However, it’s more difficult to paint and customize compared to cotton canvas.
- Textilene: Textilene is woven polyester with PVC coating that’s often used to make sling seating. While it’s incredibly durable against the elements, Textilene does have a more plastic feel, making it less comfortable than more natural fabrics.
- Olefin Fiber: Olefin fiber is a durable, synthetic material used for both cushion inserts and coverings. However, it tends to be stiffer than other fabrics.
- Vinyl: While vinyl is easy to clean and sturdy, it becomes hot to the touch when left out in the sun, making it less than ideal choice during the summer.
- Solution-Dyed Acrylic: Solution-dyed acrylic is a highly breathable fabric that’s often considered the gold standard for outdoor cushions and pillows. It’s incredibly durable and remains soft to the touch during all seasons.
Tips for Shopping Comfortable Patio Furniture
- Substance Over Style — Just because a piece of furniture complements your patio doesn’t mean it’s going to be comfortable. Always do a sit test before making a purchase.
- Consider Your Location — Keep your location’s climate in mind when shopping for furniture. For example, if you live in a hotter climate, metals like aluminum will absorb heat, which can make it too hot for you to sit.
- Measure Your Space — Consider how much patio space you have. You don’t want to get a cozy glider that doesn’t fit well on your patio.
- Avoid Pieces Made of 100% Metal or Wood — Without any cushions, these materials can irritate your joints and spine.
The Bottom Line
Comfort is personal, so we can’t say that one piece of furniture is more comfortable than the other. However, if you’re focused on comfort, look for slightly tilted designs since these are easier on the back. Cushions and pillows also boost support tremendously. When possible, always test any outdoor patio furniture you’re interested in to ensure it’ll provide a lot of comfort and enjoyment for many years to come.
What do you think is the most comfortable piece of patio furniture? Let us know in the comments below!