The best sun loungers for a relaxing summer sunbath

For many of us, our gardens are a place of relaxation, and nothing slows the mind quite like sunbathing on a lounge chair.

The lounge chair was invented in 1855 by John Cham, who designed a fabric-backed folding chair. They were commonly used on cruise ship decks, hence the name “lounge chair”.

Lounge chairs evoke a certain childhood memory – reminiscent of days spent in the sun, splashing in the sea and then drying off on a lounge chair while sipping an ice cream cone. They enhance our outdoor experience, whether on the beach or in the back garden.

Regardless of the size of your garden, sun loungers are suitable for everything from large terraces to small balconies. They provide easy extra seating for visitors and fold neatly for storage in colder weather. With a wide range of designs to choose from (and even the option to create your own), it’s worth considering adding a lounge chair to your garden décor to complement existing furniture.

We tested a range of lounge chairs to see how easy they are to assemble, how they look in the garden and how sturdy they feel in use. From luxurious to sea-inspired, we have in our roundup a lounge chair to suit your outdoor space.

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Faro deckchair

The white society

While it might not be possible to jet off to a beach in Barbados right now, this intricately woven lounge chair will bring a tropical island vibe to your garden.

The premium nature of this lounger means that the materials are of high quality and carefully selected. Crafted from Indian Sheesham wood, the frame combines rugged practicality and luxurious aesthetics in one. The handwoven sling feels artisanal and the braided cotton seat doesn’t squeak in the heat.

With three different height settings, there’s ample opportunity to sit down with a cool glass of wine and a good book, or kick back for an afternoon snooze.

Bamboo lounge chair

Rockett St George

With a bamboo frame and canvas sling, this sturdy lounge chair is versatile and will fit into any garden, patio or balcony. The natural materials give this chair a simple and rustic look that will not detract from planted areas in the garden.

The four different lying positions allow you to sit upright or completely sunbathe. We recommend ironing the canvas seat before attaching it to eliminate wrinkles. Use this chair all summer long and bring it inside during the colder months.

If you prefer color in your garden, add a bright cushion to the seat for ultimate comfort. Invite friends to a summer garden party, hand them a drink and watch them sink into this chair and relax.

Lounge chair with fringes

Helmsman & Helmsman

This elegant lounge chair has a chic little addition of fun fringes along the sling foot and header. Featuring timeless French Riviera-inspired black and cream stripes and a cushion headrest, this lounge chair is the pinnacle of lounge luxury.

It has a solid frame made from treated hardwood and the sling is made from water and UV resistant cotton canvas. The deck chair can be folded for easy transport to the beach or stored away in winter. Whether on the beach or in the back garden, this lounge chair can be combined with a matching parasol or canopy with fringes.

Sip on a cold beverage, then adjust the chair’s recline angles for a summer of siestas.

Adirondack chair

From home

Although this wooden chair doesn’t have a traditional fabric sling, it has all the reminiscences of a lounge chair shape with its sloping backrest. This chair required two people to assemble as the wooden parts were heavy, but once built this chair felt solid enough to be a long-term addition to the garden.

The natural acacia hardwood has a beautiful lustrous sheen which should be maintained with teak oil to prevent weathering. The high back is comfortable and supportive and offers a solid alternative to a fabric lounge chair. It is particularly suitable for those who find it difficult to get in and out of a low deck chair.

This chair complements any existing rattan or wooden furniture and gives you an extra seat for visiting guests. We can see it sitting well next to a fireplace or fire pit and providing a relaxing spot in your garden or balcony on summer nights.

Skagerak Between The Lines lounge chair

Skagerak

Designed by Danish designer Stine Weigelt, this stylish low wooden deck chair displays all the hallmarks of contemporary Scandinavian craftsmanship.

Clean panels of FSC-certified teak are brought together in this contemporary outdoor chair that would be at home on an elegant patio surrounded by foliage and evergreens. Inspired by traditional American Adirondack lounge chairs, this piece of outdoor furniture is a talking point in its own right.

The materials have been carefully chosen for their sustainability, and it has the style features that will stand the test of time. Add the matching footstool to complete the set.

Orient Extreme Beach Lounger – Coral Reef Print

amara

The coral reef print on this lounge chair was bolder than we initially thought and despite its neutral tones it was eye catching. Upon unboxing, we were impressed with the solid hardwood frame and 4-position recliner.

The seat is both decorative and sturdy, comfortably seating an adult and a small child. We wondered how the neutral fabric would hold up to the unpredictable British weather (and sticky fingers), but we tested a small corner of the fabric with water and it was quickly wiped clean.

Perfect for sunbathing on holiday by the sea or in your back garden. We can see this lounge chair positioned comfortably alongside the matching beanbag and cushions from the same collection.

cream organic linen fabric with shells, seaweed and starfish from Cornwall – cobalt on off-white

Cream Cornwall

Having trouble finding a lounge chair design that fits your style? Here is an alternative option for creative types. This beautiful linen fabric from Cream Cornwall is easy to make into a lounge chair cover. Buy the wooden deck chair frame separately, then use this fabric to create your very own version.

Choose this fabric’s cobalt shell, seaweed and starfish design or another strong linen fabric that catches your eye. Simply cut the fabric, hem the sides and loop the wooden poles at the head and foot of your lounge chair.

For a fun finishing touch, add fringe or pompom trim at the base of the sling and make a headrest out of the rest of your fabric. An easy way to personalize a lounge chair and make it your own, and perfect for sitting by the sea or relaxing in your own garden.

Cheals Pink Alfred Wise Lounge Chair

Cheals

Adorned with delicate floral artwork, this botanical lounge chair is part of a collection dedicated to the renowned RHS Artist-in-Residence Alfred Wise (1908-1985). This lounge chair honors the extensive work Alfred did while working at RHS Wisley in Surrey and showcases his vibrant watercolor painting of pink dahlias.

Guaranteed to draw compliments from your guests, this eye-catching lounge chair will act as a focal point in the garden. Looking at the sling we were impressed with the color clarity of the image and how well it transferred to the fabric.

The frame is made from FSC beech hardwood, and at 22mm x 47mm this chair feels more solid than other sling loungers we’ve tested.

Fruits and Birds double deck chair

Zena and Rose

With room for two, this patterned double lounge chair makes an impression as soon as you unpack it. The large canvas sling features original artwork by London-based surface pattern design studio Zena & Rose. With this design, founder Joanna Sanderson was inspired by the Arts and Crafts style of William Morris.

With a width of 98 cm, this deck chair works well in a corner of the garden near foliage to create a cozy sunbathing corner. The frame is made from FSC-certified beech wood and feels strong enough for two people. We can see that both children and adults enjoy the size and size of this lounge chair, and it goes well with other colorful outdoor furniture.

Verdict

It’s close. That Alfred Wise lounge chair offers both design credentials and practicality. Nor the From House Adirondack chair offers a study and versatile alternative to a fabric seat for all ages. Both will blend seamlessly into any garden and make for a relaxing summer, but due to their longevity, the By Home option takes the crowning glory.

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