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Tips & How-to's7 min read

How To Choose The Right Outdoor Dining Chairs

How To Choose The Right Outdoor Dining Chairs

With the spring season right around the corner, we know you’re ready to bring all of your favorite activities back outside. Finding the right outdoor dining chairs is the perfect way to complete your dining set and enjoy the warmer weather with all of your guests.

In this article, we discuss how to choose the chairs that are right for you based on space, materials, and so much more.

Choosing The Right Outdoor Dining Chairs

Account For Space

Before the search begins, it’s important to determine how much space you have available. If you already have an outdoor dining table placed and ready to go, then you’re off to a good start.

It’s easier to select chairs based on your table than the other way around. Your table will be the focal point of your dining set and will also indicate how many chairs you’ll need to comfortably fit your guests.

To prepare for your outdoor dining chair search, measure your space and have your ideal dining table selected. For optimal comfort, you’ll want each guest to have somewhere between 22 and 26 inches of eating space as well as an additional six inches between chairs.

Knowing which table you want will further benefit you by giving you a better idea of exactly how many chairs you’ll need, how tall or short they should be, and how to pair them with your table’s design.

Friends hanging out on outdoor dining chairs
Outer Aluminum Outdoor Armchair

Be sure to also consider how many people you’ll want to typically seat. Whether your forte is a family game night for three or inviting your friends over for Friday night dinner and drinks, knowing this number will help you avoid running out of space.

Consider an extendable outdoor dining set with table leaves. This lets you seat more guests at a moment’s notice, and you can just as easily decrease the table’s surface area for smaller gatherings.

Bonus points if your outdoor dining chairs are foldable for quick and easy storage.

Pick The Best Materials

Your chairs are only as durable as the material they’re made of. Choosing a weather-resistant option will ensure they’re ready to withstand rain and harsh sunlight as well as dirt, debris, and everyday stains.

Below are the most common materials for outdoor furniture and tips for choosing the one that brings out the best in your outdoor oasis.

Wood

You could spend weeks sifting through the different types of wood used for outdoor furniture. We’re here to save you the time and trouble.

If your space has an elegant and natural feel, then you’ll probably want a beautiful wooden design to match. The best wood is going to have natural properties that make it impervious to most weather conditions to stay effortlessly stylish.

That’s why we recommend teak. The natural oils of teak go beyond weather resistance to repelling pests like mosquitoes for an insect-free time outside.

Compared to all other woods, teak also has the highest decay resistance. This is why you may have heard of many home exteriors, yachts, and outdoor furniture being built with teak — it’s the go-to choice for luxurious, organic, and durable styles.

Metal

outdoor dining chairs
Outer Aluminum Outdoor Armchair

There are fewer metals to choose from compared to wood, but this doesn’t make the search process much easier.

From wrought iron to aluminum to galvanized steel, there are benefits and disadvantages to just about every option. For example, you may find a material that’s weather-resistant but weighs a ton or something that’s easy to move but starts to rust after just a few months.

For the best option designed to work with any outdoor space, choose aluminum. When aluminum is expertly crafted with best-in-class welds, it offers a lightweight, rust-proof, and temperature-resistant option that’s as sleek as it is sturdy.

Our aluminum options at Outer, like the Outdoor Armchair, are built to last and will never rust, decay, or loosen. All that’s left for you to think about is finding the perfect outdoor rug to pair it with.

We also recommend our new Director’s Chairs, which are made with a teak frame and feature natural-feeling Textilene fabric seats for superior comfort and style.

Wicker

Another common option that meets the outdoor-ready qualifications is All-Weather Wicker. If your backyard is balanced with charm, coziness, and garden greens, then wicker is an excellent choice.

Just be sure to avoid wicker designed for indoor use. This natural rattan wicker is beautifully crafted in its own right, but exposing it to the elements causes it to quickly deteriorate. For outdoor wicker, look for synthetic material such as High-Density Polyethylene.

Wiker outdoor dining chairs
Outer Wicker Outdoor Chair

The only downside to wicker is that it’s not the most comfortable material to sit on. But with the right cushion, there’s no need to worry.

An ideal cushion will offer the perfect amount of support and softness. At Outer, we use multi-layer memory foam with life-proof fabric to deliver premium comfort that’s easy to take care of and hard to leave!

Determine Height

Now that you’ve selected the right material, you’ll want to figure out the best height for your outdoor dining chairs. The quickest and easiest way to do this is by measuring the space between the bottom of your dining table and the ground.

If your table is a standard height (about 30 inches), then you’re likely looking at chairs that sit right around 18 inches tall. Counter-height tables are going to be closer to three feet tall and require barstool-style chairs for a comfortable fit.

At the end of the day, your chair should account for roughly 12 inches of space between the table and the chair for legroom, and a chair with arms should be able to easily slide beneath the table with no resistance.

Our Director’s Chairs feature ergonomic armrests that nest neatly beneath the tabletop.

Decide On Color

Color is one of the most important parts of designing your yard, and there’s no secret as to why — different colors create different moods. You want to design a space that’s calming and comfortable for your guests.

Bright and bold tones might reflect your favorite colors, but people tend to gravitate toward neutrals. These include black, gray, bronze, and natural materials like wood and wicker.

The biggest benefit of opting for neutral-colored outdoor dining chairs is that if you decide you want to throw in a few shades of your favorite bright yellow or cerulean blue, your dining set will coordinate perfectly every time.

Choose Sustainable Design

Top view of trees

Another great way to narrow down your search options is by asking whether the product you’re considering is sustainably made. Is it recyclable at the end of its long life? Is the company transparent about where its materials are sourced from?

At Outer, we don’t believe that your values should be sacrificed because you want something comfortable. That’s why we guarantee that each product we sell is responsibly made and sustainably sourced for a better future.

All of our teakwood, for example, is Forest Stewardship Council-certified. This certification ensures that our products come from responsibly managed plantations that provide environmental, social, and economic benefits.

Our aluminum also goes beyond its lightweight and durable features. It’s fully recyclable, and 1% of all aluminum revenue supports the environmental nonprofit Climate Neutral to decrease global carbon emissions.

Test Your Outdoor Dining Chairs

Wicker outdoor furniture set
Outer Wicker Outdoor Sofa with Armless Chairs - 5 Seat

Ordering something you love online might not give you the same satisfaction you hoped for once it arrives on your doorstep. But you should never have to keep a product that you’re not completely happy with.

With a risk-free at-home trial, you can order your chairs without the worry. At Outer, we carefully consider every design detail and ensure the quality construction of every single one of our products. So, if you’re not 100% satisfied with your purchase, we’ll take it back.

Is in-person shopping more your style? Request an in-person visit and come experience the quality and comfort of Outer at one of our 1,000+ Neighborhood Showrooms. Plus, you get to talk with a real Outer customer for honest reviews to give you total certainty before you buy.

Live Comfortably With Outer

outdoor dining chairs
Outer Teak Outdoor Armchair Conversation Set

To get the best outdoor dining chairs, be sure to keep necessary features in mind, like appropriate height and weather-resistant materials. Neutral colors are highly recommended, but it’s important to get whichever colors make you happiest in your outdoor environment.

The key design values to consider are comfort, innovation, durability, and sustainability with strong, sleek materials that are built to last. When you choose furniture from Outer, there’s no need to compromise.

Whether your taste veers more toward sleek and timeless aluminum or naturally functional and stylish teak, you’re sure to find an option that brings out the best in your backyard.

From our collection of Outdoor Coffee Tables to recent additions like our Black Wicker Outdoor Armless Chair and Fire Pit Table, all of our outdoor furniture is crafted with you in mind so you can live better, outside.