Outdoor Folding Chairs Are the Secret to a Better Small Backyard — And These 12 Are So Stylish Too

If you still think outdoor folding chairs aren't chic, then allow me to introduce you to these swoon-worthy seats

folding outdoor chairs
(Image credit: Wayfair; Rove Concepts; Raymour & Flanigan; Article; Amazon)

There’s a notion that outdoor folding chairs are tacky. To that, I say you just haven’t met the right ones. When done right, outdoor folding chairs are arguably your most useful and versatile piece of outdoor furniture — not to mention the least hassle (Ever tried to store an outdoor couch? Exactly).

These chairs, even from the best outdoor furniture brands, definitely deliver in terms of bang for your buck. As interior designer Nina Lichtenstein explains, ‘Outdoor folding chairs provide a blend of practicality, style, and versatility that is hard to beat. With modern designs and high-quality materials, they can be a chic addition to any outdoor space, while their ease of storage and portability make them an excellent choice for anyone looking to maximize their outdoor living area.’

I’ve spent hours sifting through all the duds because, let’s be honest, there are still a lot of less-than-attractive outdoor folding chairs out there. I'm incredibly picky, so rest assured that this selection includes only the most swoon-worthy seats.

‘Opting for an outdoor folding chair over traditional varieties can be a game-changer for your outdoor living experience,’ says Nina — and I'm going to prove why. Informed by real reviews, expert insights, and, of course, my seasoned eye for style (I shop for a living), here’s why outdoor folding chairs might just be your best backyard upgrade yet.

Outdoor Folding Chairs

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What are the Advantages of Outdoor Folding Chairs?

According to interior designer Nina Lichtenstein, ‘the most obvious benefit of outdoor folding chairs is their portability. Unlike bulky, stationary chairs, folding chairs can be easily transported, making them perfect for picnics, camping trips, beach outings, or simply moving around your yard.’

They also offer greater versatility in seating arrangements compared to traditional chairs. ‘If you’re hosting a larger gathering, you can quickly bring out extra seating without cluttering your space permanently. Once the event is over, they can be folded and put away, maintaining the aesthetic and functionality of your outdoor area,’ explains Nina.

Additionally, outdoor folding chairs fold flat, ‘which makes them incredibly easy to store.’ This is especially beneficial for those with limited storage space, adds the designer. 

Where Should I Store Outdoor Folding Chairs?

‘One of the standout features of outdoor folding chairs is their ease of storage,’ raves interior designer Nina Lichtenstein. ‘When not in use, these chairs can be folded down to a fraction of their size,’ significantly expanding your storage options. ‘They can be stacked in a corner, placed in a storage shed, or hung on garage walls,’ she explains. ‘Their compact nature also makes them easy to transport in car trunks for impromptu outings.’

How Should I Care for Outdoor Folding Chairs?

Outdoor folding chairs, like all outdoor furniture, benefit immensely from regular cleaning. According to Nina, wooden chairs should be cleaned with a mild soap and water solution, while ‘metal chairs can be wiped down with a damp cloth.’ For fabric seats, she recommends using a gentle brush and soapy water.

Nina also advises protecting your outdoor folding chairs from the elements. Although many (including all the ones in this edit) are weather-resistant by design, ‘it’s always a good idea to store them in a dry place during extreme weather conditions.’ She adds, ‘using chair covers can provide an extra layer of protection against rain, snow, and UV rays.’

For longevity, a little maintenance goes a long way. ‘Wooden chairs may need occasional sanding and re-oiling to maintain their finish,’ Nina explains. ‘Metal parts should be checked for rust and treated promptly to prevent deterioration,’ while ‘fabric parts should be inspected for tears or wear and replaced as needed.’

Style Editor

Formerly covering fashion at L’Officiel USA, style maven Julia Demer brings her love of design to Livingetc’s world of interiors. As the title’s Style Editor, Julia's work reflects a sharp eye for detail and an innate passion for aesthetics. Her journey began with a strong foundation in design, honing her craft at renowned establishments like The Row and even establishing her own eponymous fashion brand. Julia’s design background is evident in the way she thoughtfully curates shopping edits, always maintaining a focus on emerging trends while preserving timeless sensibilities. For Julia, fashion and interiors go hand in hand, reflecting her lifelong commitment to perfecting the art of style.