9 best deck chairs

Kick back this summer in a relaxing recliner

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The Independent Online

Nothing says British summertime more than a relaxing spell in a deckchair with a good book or glass of Pimms. So named for their use on cruise ships or ocean liners, our love for deckchairs hasn’t waned since John Thomas Moore patented the idea of an adjustable folding chair in Macclesfield, 1887. From stately hardwood options that complement your garden furniture, to light-weight steel framed chairs for beach trips and picnics, our selection covers the traditional and the innovative. Think about maintenance and durability while choosing, as well as adjustability and comfort.

1. House by John Lewis Scandi beach chair: £15, John Lewis

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For a modern take on the classic folding deck chair, John Lewis offers this good-value steel-framed version which comes in a range of bright colours ideal for the beach or park. It’s much lighter than traditional wood, making it easily portable. There’s also a carry handle on the back of the chair.

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2. Panama deck chair: £49, Debenhams

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Debenhams’ Panama deck chair is a solid piece that will age well. Made from sustainably-sourced acacia wood with a natural oil finish, it’s low maintenance and can be left outdoors all year round. This elegant deck-chair comes with a high price tag, but is a good investment if you love time in the garden. It comes with a warranty of one year.

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3. Wooden deck chair: £29.99, Alfresia

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Alfresia’s deck chair updates the classic design for modern use. Its softwood construction means it weighs just 3kg and is easy to take to the beach or garden parties. Its polyester fabric seat isn’t the most luxurious but does for the odd outdoor occasion. The chair has four different back positions, giving a degree of flexibility. The wood frame will need maintenance to keep looking fresh.

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4. Brommö lounger: £40, Ikea

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Part deck chair, part lounger, the elastic back and seat on this design from Ikea offer even more comfort than the classic fabric sling. If your style is contemporary, this is a great minimal take on the wooden deckchair, which still folds for ease of use. If you plan on keeping it outdoors, you’ll need to stain it regularly to keep it looking its best. 

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5. Bahama reclining chair: £89, Made In Design

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The Bahama foldable chair is made for days lounging by the water. The steel frame keeps it lightweight and easy to move around for catching the sun. Steel also lends itself to a range of vivid colours, which contrast with the textile sling across the many combinations this chair is available in. There’s only one, practically horizontal, seating position, so be prepared to relax!

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6. Southsea Deckhairs Wideboy chair: £128, Houseology

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The romantics among us will love this idea: a classic striped deckchair that’s made for two. Cosy up on the vibrant showerproof seat, or use the extra space to yourself with some added cushions for comfort. The hardwood frame has been stained with teak oil, and the sling is printed cotton. The blue and white stripes have us nostalgic for trips to the British seaside. 

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7. MAUI deckchair: £40 (frame only), Habitat

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Habitat’s MAUI deckchair looks fairly standard, for a decent price. But the clever thing about it, is its interchangeable slings, which can be purchased separately to the solid oak frame. If you like to mix up your style every now and then, the slings are just £10 and the range goes from neutral tones to vibrant tropicals. 

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8. Wooden deck chair: £29.78, Homebase 

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Another budget option for your garden is Homebase’s wooden deckchair, which comes with a wider-than-average polyester sling and a sustainably-sourced eucalyptus wood frame. The colours are fresh and contemporary in coral, aqua and grey. This one needs self-assembly, but the task is fairly straightforward. It should also be brought indoors when not in use.

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9. SPLIT chair: £69.99, Maisons du Monde

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Maisons du Monde’s tres chic version of the deckchair has a metal frame and a toned-down colour range of charcoal grey, taupe and white. The attached head pillow and sling are made from textilene, a polyester mesh that’s durable and resistant to fading. A cross between a sun lounger and a deckchair this foldable design has five settings. At 9kg it’s probably best at home in the garden than one to take on beach trips.

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Verdict

The Panama deckchair represents the quintessential British summertime staple, and there’s a reasonable pricetag for its attention to durability. Better yet, it’s a cinch to maintain and comes fully assembled. If your idea of a deckchair is less snoozes in the garden, and more something to throw in the car for beach trips – then John Lewis’ bright steel-framed Scandi beach chair is your winner.

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