Last updated on July 13th, 2023
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Over the years, I have had several outdoor recliners (and still have), and I’ve talked a lot about my zero gravity chairs and sun loungers in my two separate articles. In general, with outdoor recliners, you get what you pay for, or at least that is what I have found. I’m a sucker for a deal and have several recliners, but I’ve got to admit when it comes to recliners, you definitely get what you pay for.
The main issue I seem to find is that the frames quickly start to become loose, they start opening when I try to carry them from the garage to the garden and they quickly start to rust. Not only that, but they’re also not all that comfortable to sit or lie in.
So, I finally bit the bullet and decided to spend some money and buy myself what I hoped would be one of the best outdoor recliners. I’ve been using my LAFUMA Relax Rt2 Outdoor Recliner, as pictured above, for a while now, and although it wasn’t cheap (I paid about £85), you can certainly pay more for recliners, but let me tell you, no other recliner I have used is as well built or as comfortable. It’s a shame that it’s difficult to tell from pictures online the quality and build differences between the different recliners.
This is also a true zero gravity chair, so it tilts to 127°, which means that my legs are slightly higher than my heart, which I’m told, is good for blood circulation and resting. To be honest, I think I can feel the difference when I use it vs some of the other models I have.
I come from a large family who likes to have a BBQ on the weekend, and I recently used it as an excuse to test my new Char-Broil Advantage Series 345S Gas BBQ. What a grill that thing is! Plus I love to take my garden hammock to my mum’s, although the kids use it way more than the adults. Anyway’ I’m getting a little off-topic; back to the recliners.
Why not consider an egg chair? Check out our top recommended garden egg chairs in this review
6 Best Outdoor Recliners for Relaxing in Comfort
1. LAFUMA Relax Rt2 Outdoor Recliner
So, where do I start? My dad has always said you get what you pay for. He is the type of person who spends the extra few pounds and invests in products that will last him for years to come. Not the cheaper alternatives that will only last you a season, he would say. He would definitely approve of this LAFUMA Relax Rt2 Recliner. It might not be made in the UK and is made in France, however, they are our neighbours across the channel and the French are known for their quality products.
The first thing I noticed was how well-made this thing was. The manufacturing quality is excellent, and when compared to those cheaper loungers at big box stores such as B&Q, you notice the difference straight away, you simply can’t compare.
That brings me to my next point, for the price I paid for one of these Lafuma R2 Recliners, you could buy two cheaper alternatives as a set, including my Runner-up set of 2 VOUNOT Zero Gravity Chairs. That being said, quality-wise, nothing else I have seen except for the Lafuma Relaxe MOBILIER Recliner is a fair comparison, and that is just a premium, even more, expensive model.
Let me first talk specs, the frame is made from 20mm powder-coated steel tubing. This is finished off really nicely, and they are available in a few colours. I have the brown one which is called Chataigne, which translates to chestnut. There are some plastic parts, the armrest for example, but they are good quality plastics.
The actual fabric is made from Texplast fabric which then connects to the frame with the lacing system. There is also a nice (also removable) sliding head pillow made from the same Texplast fabric which then connects to the frame with a lace system.
The frame and the fabric are UV resistant, resist tearing, are easy to clean and are fast drying.
Something else that I like about this recliner is that you adjust the position of the recliner to any angle up to 127°. This is what you call anti-gravity and your legs are slightly positioned above your heart. This position is proven to be the best position for relaxing, which I can confirm but also for blood circulation.
To position the recliner (unlike most other recliners where you have set positions that click into place) you use the two levers under the ergonomic armrests by rotating them outwards to lock them into position. If you move them in the down or inwards position, they unlock. This means you can set it at any angle you like because there are no set positions you must use.
The only other thing I haven’t mentioned yet is opening up the chair, it’s not like any other recliner I have used. Usually, they just fall open, which is not great when I’m carrying one recliner in each hand. With this Lafuma Rt2, they stay closed until you need them to open. It’s a little tricky at first, but you have to position one hand on the backrest and the other on the armrest and push them apart firmly until it’s fully open. Then you can set it in any position you want when you sit on it. There’s definitely a knack for opening it.
- High-quality zero gravity lounger with a powder-coated strong 20mm steel tubed frame.
- Fully waterproof and UV resistant.
- The chair seat and padded headrest are made from Batyline fabric.
- The chair seat is attached to the frame by elastic lacing.
- Zero gravity position of 127° which is better for relaxing and your blood circulation.
- Folds compactly for easy storage.
- The maximum weight capacity is 140kg.
- Wide range of colour choices.
- 5-year guarantee for peace of mind.
- Doesn’t come with cushions except for the headrest.
If you are looking for a good quality outdoor recliner and don’t mind spending a little more, then I don’t think you can go wrong with this Lafuma Relax Rt2 Recliner. It’s well made, comfortable to use, easy to use once you figured it out, and I’m sure will last many years. It does come with a 5 year guarantee after all, and on top of this Lafuma has been going a long time and are renowned for its quality furniture.
I’ve been really happy with mine, the other loungers I have simply don’t compare, but it was a little pricier. However, I think it’s worth paying extra for the peace of mind of having quality garden furniture brings. To me, this is what I will be buying again in future when I need more recliners.
2. VOUNOT Zero Gravity Chair – Set of 2
The set of 2 VOUNOT Zero Gravity Chairs lets you and a friend or family member relax together in comfort on your patio. This set of recliners comes in a choice of three colours that fit with most garden and patio decors. Choose from grey, black, and fairly bright blue. First things first, the manufacturing quality comes nowhere near that of Lafuma. However, at almost half the price, they offer excellent value for money for a good set of comfortable recliners.
The fabric used is textoline, not a bad fabric but personally, I prefer the Texplast fabric. It is very similar and is a woven fabric in which polyester fibres are covered in PVC. This enables the fabric to withstand bad weather and harmful UV rays. It also lets the fabric (and your skin that’s in contact with it) breathe. For cleaning, all you have to do is to wipe down the chairs with a damp and soapy cloth or sponge.
The metal frame holds the chair seat with elastic lacing that’s easy to do up and undo if you need to take this recliner apart.
You have a choice of reclining positions from the usual upright all the way back to a reclined angle of 127°, which is the true zero gravity position. This is the medically approved zero gravity position that astronauts are put in when they’re on their way out of the Earth’s atmosphere. It’s proven to be a good angle to lie back in to fully relax.
A big plus with these chairs is the (included) adjustable and removable drinks table for each chair, and no, my best pick doesn’t come with these. This has a space for a can or a glass, plus a slot to put your mobile phone. There’s also enough room to put a book for those who enjoy reading while relaxing.
The maximum weight you can have on each chair is 120kg. This is a bit lighter than on some of the other recliners in this review but nothing to worry about.
- Set of two reclining loungers.
- Reclines from upright to 127° (zero gravity).
- The chair seat is made from textoline mesh.
- The padded head cushion is adjustable and removable.
- The seat cushion is attached to the metal frame by elastic lacing.
- The maximum weight load is 120kg.
- An adjustable and removable drink holder is included with each chair.
- Folds flat for easy storage and transportation.
- Available in three colours.
- Locks don’t always hold well.
- Quality could be better, there is a potential for rust.
With two chairs in the set, the VOUNOT Zero Gravity Chairs take the worry out of buying matching reclining garden loungers. Choose your relaxation position from sitting upright all the way back to 127°, that’s the famous zero gravity. The removable headrest is adjustable and you can slide it down for lumbar support if your back is troubling you.
The VOUNOT Zero Gravity Chairs take my Runner-up position in my review of outdoor recliners because they are pretty good and offer excellent value for money.
3. Lafuma Relaxe Mobilier Recliner
MY PREMIUM PICK
The Lafuma Relaxe MOBILIER Recliner is a premium recliner that combines style with comfort. It has many premium features for relaxing in your garden, and the quality and comfort of these are really hard to beat. However, it does come with a more expensive price tag than the other models in my review.
This Lafuma Relaxe has a frame constructed of galvanised steel tubing. The steel has protective paint on it for UV resistance. The frame won’t fade or be damaged by the harmful rays of the sun.
The rest of the recliner is a thick, padded polypropylene cushion for your ultimate comfort. The cushion’s fabric is permeable, breathable and UV and water-resistant. Don’t worry about leaving the cushions out in a light drizzle. There’s also an adjustable and removable padded headrest to support your neck if you take a nap. This recliner comes in taupe or coral blue, both fairly neutral colours to match your garden décor.
The recliner is ergonomically designed for maximum support. You can choose how far you want to lie back because there are no pre-set angles. The armrests are of foam and resin and provide both support and comfort when sitting upright. For the ultimate in relaxation use the “zero gravity” position. This is the same position that astronauts sit in for take-off. The recliner tilts to 127°, placing your legs slightly above your heart. This helps your blood circulation and lets you properly rest.
To change the position of this Lafuma Relaxe Recliner just place your feet on the bar and push backwards. Then lock in the position by using the two levers under the armrest.
This lounger holds up to 140kg of people. If you expect more weight than that on your lounger, buy the XL model. This model is also better for taller people over 6ft too. A cup holder is available for an extra cost which may be worth considering.
- Recliner for one person is a premium model with a multitude of features.
- The frame is made of galvanised steel tubing and is covered with UV-resistant paint for long service.
- The seat, back, footrest and headrest are of triple-layer proprietary air comfort padding so you won’t want to move.
- The ergonomic armrests are of resin and foam and are at the right height to lean against.
- Multi-positioning reclining lets you choose whichever angle you want to lay back to.
- The “Zero Gravity” position puts you in the same ultra-comfortable position as astronauts in a space capsule.
- Folds up fairly flat for easy transport and storage.
- Dimensions when open are 107cm (height) by 163cm (length) and 70cm (width).
- Fairly expensive.
The Lafuma Relaxe MOBILIER Recliner looks good as well as provides you with maximum comfort, especially if you lay on it in the zero gravity position. The well-padded cushion covers the entire frame and has a removable headrest. The polypropylene cushion is breathable and resistant to UV rays and water.
This is my best premium pick for Outdoor Recliners. I like the Lafuma Relaxe MOBILIER Recliner for its premium features, its comfy cushion and the ability to lie back, however you want to. It’s also by far the best choice if you suffer from back pain as it’s been designed with this in mind too.
If you’re looking for a high-end garden recliner with maximum comfort, the Lafuma Relaxe MOBILIER Recliner is definitely worth considering.
Looking for something that doubles as a garden furniture set – Check out the best garden day beds
Read next: Best sun loungers
Read next: Best garden deck chairs for relaxing
4. VonHaus Set of 2 Heavy Duty Textoline Zero Gravity Chairs with Canopy
The VonHaus Set of 2 Heavy Duty Textoline Zero Gravity Chairs with Canopy has two features that many other outdoor recliners do not. Along with these, this durable recliner is designed for your comfort and convenience.
This zero gravity recliner is designed for a single person but you receive two chairs in the set. When you consider you get two chairs, it makes it an inexpensive set. The frame is made of powder-coated alloy steel that’s weather-resistant and long-lasting. The seating is of classic grey textoline fabric. This fabric is hard-wearing and easy to clean and maintain.
To tilt back in this recliner simply lean back to one of the two pre-set positions that feels right. A lever under the armrest lets you lock the recliner in place so you don’t suddenly fly up or thump down. The adjustable and removable headrest lets your neck relax without strain but you can also move it down as lumber support. The maximum weight that this recliner can tolerate is 110kg for you, your pets, your kids and anyone that may need to relax.
Two extra features set the VonHaus Set of 2 Heavy Duty Textoline Zero Gravity Chairs with Canopy apart from other recliners. A drinks holder comes with each chair which is a very simple but excellent idea. The holder attaches to the back of the recliner below the armrests, meaning you can’t accidentally bump your drink off it.
The second feature is to protect you from the sun – a canopy fits at the top of the recliner. This sun protection is adjustable so the top part of your body will always be in the shade. You can also remove it on days with little sun or just push it back behind the headrest.
- Single person recliner with several extra features including a drink holder.
- Two recliners in the set for matching seats in your garden.
- The frame is of alloy steel that’s strong and wears well.
- The seating component is of close-weave textoline fabric in classic grey.
- The drinks holder is large enough to hold a phone and a beverage.
- The canopy overhead provides shade to the upper part of your body.
- The locking mechanism is under each armrest for easy access.
- The head pillow is detachable and adjustable for your comfort.
- The maximum capacity is 110kg of people and stuff.
- Dimensions (open) are: 77cm (height), 165cm (length) and 67cm (wide).
- Doesn’t come with cushions, except for the headrest.
The VonHaus Set of 2 Heavy Duty Textoline Zero Gravity Chairs with Canopy has some features that many other outdoor recliners don’t have. A drinks holder/shelf keeps your beverage of choice and your phone or a book safely within reach. The canopy over the seat of the recliner keeps you in the shade. The canopy is adjustable and both it and the drinks holder are removable.
We like the VonHaus Set of 2 Heavy Duty Textoline Zero Gravity Chairs with Canopy for the strength and low maintenance of the seating fabric and the extra features.
If your idea of relaxing is to be with a friend, in the shade and sipping a cold drink, this could be the best garden recliner for you. Really good quality and has an excellent price point too.
Read next: Best garden hammocks
5. Songmics Folding Garden Chairs
The Songmics Folding Garden Chair is what its name says – a folding garden chair that reclines. This chair is a good alternative to a sun lounger type recliner if you need a chair for sitting around an outdoor dining table. These chairs have just a back and a seat – there’s no footrest section. However, this chair is significantly lighter than full outdoor recliners at only 3.3kg.
The frame of this garden furniture piece is of grey powder-coated aluminium. This makes the reclining chair strong, lightweight, rust-proof, weather-resistant and easy to maintain. The seat and back are of a synthetic fibre fabric that’s breathable so you don’t get hot and sticky. This item comes without a headrest or any other form of cushion, so you do have to supply your own if you like some extra padding.
The back of the chair reclines into eight positions. Although the positions are pre-set, this is more choice than many full-length recliners offer. The top of the back of the chair is slightly curved to follow the line of your neck and head for extra comfort.
This is a good choice of reclining chair if you don’t have much storage space for your outdoor furniture or if you live in a flat. It’s lightweight and folds up compactly to only 13cm thick. Dimensions are: 106cm (height), 70cm (depth) and 56cm (width).
- A garden chair that reclines into eight positions gives a wide choice of laid-back positions.
- Ideal for seating around an outdoor dining table.
- The frame is of powder-coated aluminium that’s strong and lightweight.
- Synthetic fibre fabric makes up the seat and the back of the recliner.
- The back of the chair, at the top, is curved to not stress your neck.
- Foldable into a compact form only 13cm deep to suit small storage spaces.
- The maximum weight capacity is 150kg, which is heavier than some full-length recliners.
- Dimensions are: 106cm (height), 70cm (depth) and 56cm (width).
- No footrest – just a seat and back
- No cushions at all.
The Songmics Folding Garden Chair is an upright chair with a selection of eight reclining positions so it has plenty of positions for you to be able to find a comfortable position. As a chair without a footrest, you can use it as a dining chair around your outdoor table. The powder-coated aluminium chairs are light to move and compact to store.
I like the Songmics Garden Chair because they’re inexpensive, strong and lightweight.
If you have limited outdoor space or storage space, or need outdoor dining chairs that you can move to the lawn, this Songmics garden chair set may be your choice.
Read next: Best zero gravity chairs
6. ART TO REAL Garden Reclining Chair with Beige Cushions
If you want to sit in your garden in a more conventional way, the ART TO REAL Garden Reclining Chair with Beige Cushions delivers both formality and comfort. This reclining armchair fits into your garden or patio and is attractive enough for indoor use as well.
The armchair’s frame is of powder-coated aluminium alloy which lends to its light weight. The frame is covered with resin that looks like wicker to give the look of lounge furniture, perfect if you have other rattan furniture.
The resin is UV-resistant for 3,000 hours. That’s a lot of relaxing-in-the-garden sessions. UV protection also prevents the resin from cracking and fading. The two soft sponge cushions are covered with easily removable (zips) cushion covers. It’s no trouble to take them off and wash them. The cushion covers are UV and water-resistant so you don’t have to run out and bring them in at the first sign of rain.
This ART TO REAL garden armchair has three reclining positions. Apart from the most upright position, the footrest is in use when you lean back. However, the footrest is a smaller size than the ones found on full-length recliners. The maximum weight capacity of this chair is 150kg, which is heavier than the other recliners in this review.
- Reclining outdoor armchair that’s easy to assemble.
- The frame is constructed of resin wicker over powder-coated aluminium alloy for long life and all-weather resistance.
- Holds 150kg of weight safely and comfortably.
- Soft sponge cushions have zippered cushion covers that are easy to remove and clean.
- Three adjustable reclining positions, with two that include the footrest.
- Dimensions are 56cm (height to top of armrest), unknown (length) and 56cm wide.
- No headrest.
The ART TO REAL Garden Reclining Chair with Beige Cushions brings a touch of formality to any garden, patio or conservatory. Its wicker-look resin surface is resistant to many elements, while the cushions are UV- and water-resistant. The aluminium frame under the resin is lightweight so you can easily move this reclining chair from the patio to your lawn.
I like the ART TO REAL Garden Reclining Chair with Beige Cushions for its look of “indoor” furniture and for its all-weather resistance.
If you have a formal garden with plenty of other resin furniture or want to add a conventional but comfortable element to your patio, take a long look at the ART TO REAL Garden Reclining Chair with Beige Cushions.
Buyer’s Guide for Outdoor Recliners
Outdoor patio furniture is usually as good looking as indoor furniture, but it also has to stand up to the weather and the environment, not to mention bugs and other pests. It’s important that you choose your outdoor recliner carefully and knowledgeably so that it suits your needs for a long time.
Here are the features to be aware of and some of the choices you have for them.
Styles and colours
From contemporary minimalist charm to laid-back oversized comfort, outdoor recliners come in a wide variety of styles to suit any garden decor. Your choice of recliner style and colour may be constrained by your existing garden furniture. The materials of the recliner frame influence the shape of the recliner (angular, curvy, etc.) as well as the colours they are available. And, of course, the recliner’s seat provides the largest area of colour.
As well as style and colour, choose your outdoor garden recliner to reflect how you want to use it. Here are some features of a recliner’s style to take into consideration.
Number of people
Will you be the only one relaxing on the recliner at any time? Or perhaps you want a partner, your family or your pet to join you. If you anticipate that you’ll have company on the recliner, consider buying a double-size one.
Size of people
Look for the maximum weight that each recliner can handle. Regular single loungers usually take about 140kg of people. Look for an extra-size lounger if you need more weight capacity than this or if you’re tall.
Most patio recliners stay where they are – sitting up or reclining. However, rocking loungers are great if you want to add some gentle back-and-forth swaying to your relaxing experience. Unfortunately, none of the models in our review has this feature.
If you sometimes feel too stressed to relax easily, consider a zero-gravity garden recliner. This is a lounger that adjusts to raise your legs and feet and gently supports your back in a neutral position. This mimics the position that astronauts are in as they ascend beyond Earth’s gravity. Laying back on your recliner like this makes you feel lighter, though weightless might be a stretch.
If you like sitting quite upright when relaxing, consider a chair recliner. This is basically a chair that reclines for additional resting positions. Some of these look like armchairs and may not have foot support. If you really like to lay back, consider a traditional sun lounger with a back, seat and foot section.
Comfort should also be part of the style. Check if the recliner has just a mesh back and seat or whether it comes with cushions. Mesh recliners let the rain run off easily but cushions, especially padded ones, let you lie there for hours. Also, think about whether you would like a headrest cushion to support your neck; some can even be moved down as lumber support.
Of course, if your recliner comes without cushions, you can always buy them as accessories.
Make sure to look for materials that are easy to care for and low maintenance, both for the frame and in the seat.
A recliner frame comes in a wide selection of materials. Some of the most popular are:
- Resin Wicker
- Recycled Plastic
- Wrought Iron
- Powder-coated steel
Aluminium is the most popular and one of the lightest materials used. Each material has its own properties with regard to resistance to heat, rain, rust, mould and mildew. For example, aluminium loungers become hot in direct sunlight but cool down quickly, whereas steel loungers don’t become as hot but need longer to cool down.
Check the manufacturers’ claims about the durability and resistance of each material.
Seat, back, footrest
Your main choice here is between a mesh fabric generally made of polypropylene or a natural fabric such as cotton or canvas that has been coated with different kinds of resistance protection. Lounger seats made from mesh may not come with cushions, but you could add some of your own.
Comfort and convenience
Outdoor loungers should be both comfortable and convenient to use. Here are some things to look out for.
Most patio recliners have three or more adjustable reclining positions for you to relax in. If you want to use your lounger as a bed, check that it reclines fully to a horizontal position. Most loungers have pre-set angles/steps to tilt back to, but others let you go back as far as you want.
Staying out of the sun is advised when you’re relaxing on your lounger. A garden lounger with a canopy works well if you don’t have a patio umbrella to place your lounger beneath. Canopies generally shade your head and some of your upper body. Look for a canopy that’s easy to adjust when you’re in a laid-out position. One that’s removable lets you lay out on warm, cloudy days.
Are you a person who likes to lay on your back and your front to (safely) get a tan? If so, check that your lounger lets you do that. Some lounges even have a hole in the pillow at face level so you can breathe when on your front without having to turn your head to the side.
If you won’t be separated from your phone or a cold beverage when you’re relaxing, look for loungers that come with a side shelf or table. This attaches to one of the arms of the frame. If your lounger doesn’t come with this convenience, you can sometimes purchase them as an accessory.
We have talked about the comfort of a variety of reclining positions, but how about the convenience of where the lever to lock the angle of recline is situated? If the reclining angles are pre-set, you’ll just stop at the right place. If your lounger has multi-positioning, lean as far back as you want to go then lock in the levers when you’re in the right position.
Check that you can reach the reclining mechanism from wherever you’re positioned, even if you’re lying flat. It’s such a hassle if you have to get up to change the arrangement of the lounger.
You can always fold up your lounger and carry it to a new position when the sun changes. But wouldn’t it be convenient if you could just wheel it across the patio or the lawn? The more expensive heavier loungers may have wheels and you lock them when you’re settled into your new space.
You could leave your lounger out all year long, but for durability and good looks, consider storing it away somewhere or at least buy a cover to protect it over winter. If you don’t have much space, look for a lounger that folds flat, or almost flat. It also helps if it’s relatively lightweight. If you don’t have a shed or a garage to store the lounger in, check out our Best Outdoor Furniture Covers review.
If sitting upright in your garden on a chair is not relaxing enough for you, choose a garden lounger to lie on in comfort. Do you want padded cushions to lay on or will a mesh seat be enough? What about a canopy to protect you from burning in the sun? And does sprawling in a position of zero gravity (like an astronaut) sound enticing? The garden loungers in this review offer many combinations of features for your outdoor reclining pleasures.
My Best Pick of outdoor recliners is the Lafuma Relaxe MOBILIER Recliner. This is a premium model that delivers maximum comfort along with sturdiness and versatility, but it’s fairly expensive.
My Runner-up is the VOUNOT Zero Gravity Chair, Set of 2. Each of the matching loungers comes with its own adjustable and removable drink/phone platform.
Look around your patio and lawn and decide if you have enough garden furniture. Perhaps you need a dining table, a sofa for visitors, or even another lounger.
The Best Furniture Garden Sets and the Best Garden Swing Sets reviews cover more garden furniture. And if you need shelter from the sun when on your lounger, find information in the Best Garden Patio Umbrellas.
Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API