Whether for the garden, beach or park, the classic British deckchair provides your outdoor style with a touch of nostalgia too.
For wooden deckchairs, look for hardwood frames that can last well outdoors, won’t collapse on you, and a comfortable sling in which you can while away a few hours.
Oak and teak are the more premium species, with tropical woods usually at the cheaper end.
Metal frames are lighter, often have a more contemporary look, but can get hot in the sun and feel hard to lean against.
Few deckchairs fare well if left outdoors in all weathers – even if the manufacturer claims otherwise. It’s best to cover or store yours away when not in use to keep it looking its best.
Read the manufacturer’s advice on how to treat your chair, and check both fabric and frame for resistance to UV, stains and humidity.
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Split metal steamer chair: £76, Maisons du Monde
Dimensions: H85cm x W60cm x D104cm
A modern folding chair with added comfort in the form of a head pillow. The metal frame is coloured to match the sling (in red, white, blue or brown) which gives the whole chair a smart look. The canvas seat is coated with plastic to improve weather-resistance, and (more like a sun lounger) there are five positions to set the seat to.
Garden Trading rocking deckchair in blue stripe: £85, Garden Trading
Dimensions: H86cm x W56cm x D90cm
Get a deckchair that rocks for ultimate relaxation. This one has a seat that allows gentle movement, and also helps with getting in and out. It’s made of wood with a removable cotton sling that you can machine wash to keep looking fresh. The traditional stripes are inspired by the beach and come in four different colours. Store indoors in wet and cold weather.
French Connection acacia macrame deckchair: £147, French Connection
Dimensions: H94cm x W88cm x D64cm
Macrame is key to the boho interior style you see all over Pinterest and Instagram. The knotted, textured and fringed fabrics are often used as wall pieces and hanging planters, so a bigger piece like this deckchair from French Connection makes a real statement. The detail on the soft cotton sling is done beautifully, kept unfussy in a single off-white colour. The mango wood frame folds like most deckchairs, but you’ll want to keep this chair on full display as often as you can.
Habitat Maui solid oak deckchair: £45, eBay
Dimensions: H125cm x W62.5cm x D75cm
Habitat’s simple deckchair is made of solid oak with an oiled finish, a more robust wood with a lighter appearance than tropical species like acacia or mango. It adjusts to three settings and is lower to the ground than other deckchairs, which makes for a relaxed experience but may not suit if you have limited mobility. There’s a good variety of slings to personalise your chair, and you can attach a slatted oak footstool (£50) for added comfort.
Emu Bahama deckchair: £92.43, Connox
Dimensions: H95cm x W68cm x D108cm
The sling and steel frame of the Bahama deckchair come in nine eye-popping colour combinations, including: peach, mint, raspberry and scarlet red. It’s a great choice for contemporary gardens. Emu is an Italian outdoor furniture specialist that uses its own textile woven from PVC thread – its UV-resistant and tested to endure changes in temperature and humidity.
John Lewis & Partners deckchair frame and palm-leaf sling: £36 (frame) and £9 (sling), John Lewis & Partners
Dimensions: H73.5cm x W60cm x D100cm
You buy the frame separately to the sling for this classic deckchair, meaning you can customise with your own fabric, or update it with another design in future. The frame is sustainably sourced eucalyptus, a cheaper alternative to teak. The seat frame is a little short; most heads rest on the top bar when lying back which makes it a little uncomfortable.
Wheatfield deckchair: £120, The National Gallery
The National Gallery’s range of arty deckchairs would make a great gift for a culture lover. Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, and Monet’s Waterlilies are two of the more famous paintings that feature on the polyester slings. Made from sailcloth, these are strong, durable and keep colours looking bright. The chair itself has a standard foldable wood frame, treated for the outdoors with an oiled finish. There are 15 prints to choose from, all drawn from the National Gallery collection.
Southsea deckchairs Fistral chair: £63, Southsea deckchairs
Dimensions: H55.5cm x W43.2cm x 76cm
One for adventurers, this compact low chair comes in two parts that slot together – handy for chucking in the back of the car for days at the beach, in the park, or at festivals. Southsea’s chairs have robust hardwood frames with a beautiful teak oil finish. You won’t want to spend hours on its slatted seat, but the striped backrest is comfortable enough.
Ikea Brommo outdoor lounger: £39, Ikea
Dimensions: H89cm x W48cm x D92cm
The strung back and seat of this wooden deckchair give it a unique twist. The black polypropylene ropes are securely attached to the stained acacia frame (so you don’t have to worry about falling through). Both give a good level of support, although a flexible design like this might slacken over time. The chair is lightweight and folds away easily. It’s fairly easy to maintain too – a regular restain of the frame will keep it looking smart.
Ethimo Elle deckchair: from £391, Houseology
Dimensions: H88cm x W62cm x D100cm
Teak is the wood that’s best suited to outdoors. When taken care of properly, it can last 70 years, turning a rugged silver-grey over time. This folding chair is expensive but makes a good investment in the long term, with a strong teak and metal frame. It has five seating positions and a padded headrest for extra comfort. Upgrade to weather-resistant Ethitex fabric for £39.
The verdict: Deckchairs
The stylish Split chair from Maisons du Monde is a modern version of the classic folding deckchair. It improves on comfort compared to the original, with a matching headrest and a back that adjusts to five different settings. A metal, rather than wood, frame keeps it light and easier to maintain.
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