You may already be familiar with chaise lounges: you may have used one of these popular seating options during your last trip to a community or resort pool. These are popular seating options because there are many benefits to using and owning an outdoor chaise lounge. Outdoor chaise lounges can help you relax, they can be the perfect place for a morning coffee or evening cocktail, and they are great for entertaining guests. But what exactly is a ‘chaise lounge’, and why does your backyard need one?
Continue reading below to find out how a chaise lounge can be an excellent option for your backyard!
Overview: What is an outdoor chaise lounge?
“Chaise” is the French word for chair, and chaise lounge (or also listed as “chaise longue”) translates to “long chair,” and the proper pronunciation is “shez long.” A chaise lounge is a long piece of furniture designed to support your whole body with your feet and legs propped up by the piece of furniture. Outdoor chaise lounges generally feature an adjustable back that may help you sit up or lay flat. Additionally, some chaise lounges may have armrests that provide additional support and comfort. This piece of furniture can either be made out of wood, metal, or plastic.
Key considerations for chaise lounges
To ensure you have the best possible experience with your outdoor chaise lounge and to know if a chaise lounge is right for your backyard, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
- Available Space: Chaise lounges are long pieces of furniture that are designed to support your whole body either in a seated or lying position. As such, these pieces tend to be about six feet long. So, you need to ensure that you have the proper space to place a chaise lounge before you buy one – or more!
- Sun: You need to consider how much sunlight the specific area for your chaise lounge will receive during different seasons. First, the amount of sunlight that area receives should match how you plan to use the chaise lounge (e.g., for tanning). Secondly, some materials used to make chaise lounges are better suited for constant sunlight. So, you should buy a chaise lounge made out of materials that can handle constant UV light (teak wood, HDPE / recycled plastics are great choices. See our Complete Outdoor Materials Buying Guide to learn more about different materials choices and their properties).
- Rain and Moisture: Another essential factor to keep in mind is the amount of moisture the area gets. You don’t want droplets of water or puddles pooling around your outdoor chaise lounge if it isn’t protected from rainfall! Moisture can cause cracks and deterioration on some types of wood as well as mold and mildew growth. If your chaise lounge has cushions, expect your cushions to absorb water if the chaise lounge is in direct rain. Some materials can withstand rain and moisture better than others. Again, see our Complete Outdoor Materials Buying Guide to learn more about the best rain and moisture resistant materials.
- Durability and Maintenance: Some materials used in chaise lounges will be more durable than other materials. For example, we rate teak wood, aluminum, stainless steel, and HDPE / recycled plastics as some of most durable materials for outdoor furniture meaning that they should better withstand the wear and tear of the outdoor elements. However, each material can require different maintenance depending on where you place your chaise lounge (e.g., under a covered patio or in direct sunlight). So, as you look for chaise lounges, take into account how much maintenance you plan to perform and where you plan to place your chaise lounge to help guide you in choosing the right option for you.
Materials for outdoor chaise lounges
There are a variety of materials that can be used to make an outdoor chaise lounge. Some of the most popular materials include wood, metal, and plastic. Let’s take a closer look at each material:
- Wood: Wood, especially hardwoods, is a popular choice for outdoor furniture because it’s durable and can withstand the elements. In addition, some woods don’t easily crack or deteriorate like some other materials. Teak wood is one of the most popular types of wood for outdoor furniture because it’s very durable and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.
- Metal: Metal is another popular choice for outdoor furniture because it’s also durable and can withstand the elements. Additionally, metal doesn’t absorb water like some wood, so you don’t need to worry about it swelling and causing damage like wood would. Some popular types of metal used for outdoor furniture include aluminum and stainless steel.
- Plastic: Plastic is a popular choice for outdoor furniture because it’s durable and can require little maintenance. And, plastic doesn’t absorb water like wood or other materials would which helps prevent mold growth. HDPE / recycled plastics are two types of plastic that we recommend for chaise lounges.
- Fabrics: If you are looking to have a chaise lounge with cushions, consider the different types of fabrics that can be used for cushions. We recommend Olefin or Sunbrella as these materials are highly weather-resistant.
We highly recommend that you review our Complete Outdoor Materials Buying Guide to learn about the different properties of outdoor materials and that you review our Ultimate Shopping Guide for Outdoor Furniture to review our recommended materials and other features of outdoor furniture.
Benefits of outdoor chaise lounges
Some of the many benefits of owning an outdoor chaise lounge include:
- Increased relaxation and comfort: Many people find that a chaise lounge is more comfortable than a traditional chair, and they can be perfect for taking a quick nap, reading a book, or getting a tan. Since chaise lounges can typically lay completely flat, this furniture option provides a unique relaxation spot for your backyard.
- Added functionality for your backyard: Chaise lounges can provide extra seating for guests, and some styles can even be converted into a bed. This type of functionality can’t be found with typical outdoor chairs.
- Perfect for entertaining guests: Chaise lounges are perfect for hosting outdoor gatherings since these furniture options can provide extra seating and act as an ideal conversation spot. This is especially true if the chaise lounge is next to a naturally shaded area or an umbrella.
Drawbacks of outdoor chaise lounges
While there are many benefits of owning an outdoor chaise lounge, a chaise lounge can also present a few drawbacks. For instance, some people find that chaise lounges are too large for their needs and may prefer to stick with a smaller chair or bench instead.
Chaise lounges can also be more challenging to move. It’s often easier to relocate a smaller, lighter chair or bench than it is to lug a chaise lounge across your property! If you’re having trouble moving a chaise lounge due to its size and weight, consider using two chairs instead of one chaise lounge for optimal versatility.
Another drawback of outdoor chaise lounges is that they are typically more expensive than traditional seating options. But these extra costs are well worth the investment if you want something versatile for your backyard!