What Is The Best Material For Outdoor Adirondack Chairs?


Choosing outdoor furniture can be a headache sometimes. You want to ensure that you’re buying the most durable and strongest furniture to stand the test of time.

Nobody wants to spend their hard-earned money on outdoor furniture if it only lasts a couple of years.

What Is The Best Material For Outdoor Adirondack Chairs

In doing so, you’ll undoubtedly be looking for the strongest and best materials that are used in the creation of the furniture, and when it comes to Adirondack chairs – this is no exception. 

As a result, you’ll be faced with a multitude of questions and probably be lost when trying to find out what the best materials are. Luckily, we’ve got the answers.

HDPE lumber is usually the best material option for Adirondack chairs, but there’s lots more to it than that.

This guide will show you some of the best materials for outdoor Adirondack chairs, along with some other handy tips that you might need to know.

Read on for more. 

What Are Adirondack Chairs?

The Adirondack chair is a type of outdoor chair with wide armrests that is designed for outdoor lounging.

It gets its name from the Adirondack mountains near New York, but Canadians might know it by a different name of Muskoka. 

The design is very reminiscent of classic American furniture and many people opt for them when deciding to rest and recuperate outdoors. 

What Are Some Things To Consider When Looking For Adirondack Chairs?

There are lots of things, along with the materials, that you should consider when you’re thinking of purchasing an Adirondack chair. 

Here’s just a few of those points:

Purpose 

Generally, Adirondack chairs are built for comfort and relaxation.

As a result, they are usually made to be very close to the ground – so if you have lower back issues or struggle to get up from low chairs, you need to think carefully before buying. 

Features And Pairings 

If you’re looking to relax outside for a long time, the chances are you’ll need to rehydrate. Many Adirondack chairs are designed with drink holders in the arms or nearby. 

Aside from this though, you may wish to purchase yourself a small table that pairs well with the colour scheme and design.

Speaking of pairing, it’s also advised to get yourself an Ottoman or other footrest for maximum leg support.

Environment 

You should always be mindful of your environment when you’re looking at bringing home one of these chairs.

Consider what is nearby, who lives on the property and what weather the chair might have to deal with. 

Selecting The Right Materials 

Selecting The Right Materials 

Of course, the biggest thing you’ll be considering and concerned about is what type of materials are used in the construction of your chair. 

These chairs are available in a multitude of different materials. There’s teak, HDPE lumber, aluminum and even injection moulded plastic. 

However, when selecting your chosen material, you’ll need to think about the following points:

  • Durability – this is crucial. How long will the chair last? Can it handle the environment outdoors?
  • Appearance – how will the chair fare over time? Will the look or colours fade? 
  • Maintenance – does the chair need lots of care and attention? 
  • Design and fit – does the chair fit in with the overall look of your yard or where it will be placed?
  • Weight – is it lightweight? Can you move it around easily? Will it blow away with the wind?
  • Comfort – can you relax on this chair? Is it fit for you? 
  • Price – is the chair outrageously priced? Will it last long enough to justify the price?

Once you’ve recognized that these points must be considered, you’ll now need to look at each of these materials in more detail and make a more informed decision. 

Teak 

Teak is a type of wood material that is commonly used for outdoor furniture. It goes very well design-wise and tends to handle most weather conditions much better than woods such as pine, oak or bamboo. 

Additionally, teak usually does not require as much maintenance as those types of wood. Even with all of this though, it still is not perfect. 

Main Points To Think About When Choosing Teak 

Here’s the things you need to know about teak before you finalize your choice:

  • It’s strong and durable. 
  • Produces its own oil and almost refinishes itself 
  • Difficult to scratch due to being a hardwood 
  • Resistant to rust, water and heavy winds 
  • Has to be looked after to avoid a condition known as “silver patinaOpens in a new tab.
  • Only one colour is available 
  • Often an expensive material to choose 

Aluminum 

Aluminum is a lightweight metal that can be used for furniture and other household items.

It’s normally very durable but it is not the most popular choice due to its lack of comfort and slightly less-desired design. 

Main Points To Think About When Choosing Aluminum 

Before you decide to jump in and choose aluminum as your Adirondack chair material, here’s some of the main points you should consider:

  • It’s easily maintained 
  • It’s strong, durable and tough 
  • Mostly weather resistant 
  • Resistant to rust 
  • Can be vulnerable to strong winds due to its lightweight 
  • Usually a cheap option 
  • It tends to lack comfort when compared with other materials 

HDPE Lumber 

HDPE Lumber 

HDPE (or high-density polyethylene lumber) is a type of synthetic resin and this is usually the material chosen when constructing solid outdoor furnitureOpens in a new tab..

The furniture products made using HDPEOpens in a new tab. tend to be of high quality .

Not only this, but the material usually creates furniture that is comfortable, durable and as a result – luxurious. 

Main Points To Think About When Choosing HDPE Lumber 

While it all sounds fantastic to choose HDPE lumber as an option, there are several points you must think about before diving in. Here’s some of the main considerations:

  • HDPE does not usually require much maintenance. A basic brush and wipe down every now and then will suffice
  • It’s very strong and almost entirely resistant to rust, water and strong winds 
  • Resultantly, it can be left outdoors 12 months of the year 
  • It’s a recyclable material, created from recycled materials 
  • A wide array of colours are available
  • It’s very comfortable and offers plenty of luxury and style 
  • Usually built to last, meaning it can be quite costly 

Injection Molded Plastic 

Plastic options are often selected by people when it comes to their outdoor furniture. Normally, this is down to the price which tends to be relatively low in the grand scheme of things. 

As a choice for right now, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with selecting plastic outdoor furniture, but it has to be stressed that it does not have longevity and the overall quality can be affected. 

Main Points To Think About When Choosing Injection Molded Plastic 

As with any of the choices of materials in this guide, there will be things you need to think about before making your final decision. Here’s what to think about:

  • Maintenance is very simple with plastic. Basic dish soap and a damp cloth can keep the furniture going 
  • Usually fine to leave this material outdoors for 12 months of the year 
  • The lightweight material means it can be blown away in strong winds 
  • Resistant to water and light winds 
  • The material is very unstable and can often snap, bend or break within two years 
  • The appearance very quickly loses its original look. Stains can appear and the colours can fade 
  • The designs tend to be basic. It’s unlikely you’ll find a plastic material that looks luxurious or fits in with the overall design of your yard 
  • Usually the cheapest option for a material 

What Is The Best Option?

The fact is, we can’t make the decision for you and it will ultimately come down to you. There’s all the factors that we’ve listed that you need to consider first before choosing your Adirondack chair’s material.

However, overall – HDPE lumber is by far the best choice.

It’s built to last with its durable design, it usually keeps its colour, it looks luxurious, it’s very comfortable and can stand most weather conditions all year round.

The thing is, being the best option means that it comes at a price. Therefore, it might be the best theoretical choice, but it might not be the best choice financially or practically for you. 

So, consider these following points:

Best Option For Price

Injection moulded plastic is normally the cheapest option, but that does not necessarily mean it is the best option for the price. 

In order to make the best choice, you’d have to shop around and look for deals with other materials. Arguably, plastic is better than aluminum – but it will depend on the overall construction of the Adirondack chair. 

Best Option For Appearance

HDPE lumber looks amazing, there’s no question about that. However, the material does not always fit in with the aesthetic look of some customers’ yards. As a result, it might be a better idea to choose teak. 

In reality, it will depend on how your yard looks if you’re using other teak furniture etc. 

Best Option For Comfort

Almost always HDPE will be the best option for comfort. Similar to traditional wood in feel but with the added durability and low maintenance of composite. There is something comforting about sitting on a solid built chair. Material included.

SOLID=COMFORT

This is often why moulded-injected plastic chairs don’t feel as comfortable. The chair flexes and moves under you when you sit down. Even if it doesn’t break it just doesn’t feel right.

Are There Different Styles Of Adirondack Chairs?

Are There Different Styles Of Adirondack Chairs?

Yes, absolutely. There’s so many different styles, but all of them will be low to the ground, so the point about getting up still matters.

Some of the popular chair styles are:

  • The wave collection 
  • The classic 
  • The modern 
  • The shellback collection 

Something that you should consider when looking at these styles is storage space. Some of these have the ability to fold and can easily be stored. As a result, you may be able to extend the life of your Adirondack chairs by storing them inside. 

Plus it makes it easier to move them off your deck for entertaining large groups. And then of course bring them back. Don’t want to miss your favourite chair.

Accessorizing And Styling 

Adirondack chairs look great on their own, but nothing beats a whole set of furniture.

When selecting your chosen material (remembering that HDPE has a multitude of colours), you may wish to also purchase some of the following:

  • Matching small table 
  • Headrest 
  • Footstool 
  • Modern/classic glassware for drinks 

Prolonging The Life Of Your Materials 

Whichever material you choose for your Adirondack chair, there are some steps you need to take in order to keep it going for as long as possible. These include the following:

Consider A Storage Space 

Ideally, your Adirondack chairs will be able to fold for easy storage, but if they do not – try to find suitable storage space. 

While most of these materials can last outdoorsOpens in a new tab. exposed to different weather conditions, over time they will show signs of wear and tear.

This also includes HDPE, because even though it is UV resistant – it can slightly fade its colour eventually.

Just like composite decking. Built to last but slight fading should be expected.  

Therefore, try to cover your Adirondack chairs and bring them in when they are not in use, especially during heavy storms and the winter months. 

Pay Attention To Maintenance 

Some of the materials we have listed here will have specific guidelines for maintenance. You need to read the instructions carefully and ensure that you are keeping up with the correct care guidelines. 

This will ensure a much longer life for your Adirondack chairs and reduce any need to buy a replacement in quick time. 

The Bottom Line 

Without a doubt, HDPE lumber is by far the best option when it comes to selecting a material for Adirondack chairs. This is due to its longevity, durability, appearance, low maintenance and comfort. 

However, it’s not always about these things for some customers. So, always consider what is best for you when deciding on materials, using some of the points we’ve given in this guide.

Good luck!

Ryan Nickel

A Red Seal carpenter, passionate about building decks to be enjoyed.

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