I love reading. Seriously, I could spend the entire summer outside turning the pages of a good book. I’m not sure about you, but I know I like to be comfortable when I read. That’s why I’ve been on the hunt for the best outdoor reading chair – so here’s a few of my favourite picks for you to check out too.
Best Outdoor Reading Chair
When looking for the best outdoor reading chair I wanted a few features. First, it had to be comfortable. No sad little fold up chairs or unpadded loungers. Not when I’m trying to relax and enjoy a good book!
Second, I want my outdoor reading chair to be durable and weatherproof. We live in a climate with a lot of varied weather so it’s important that it can survive heat, cold, rain, and maybe even snow. Humidity resistance is also important.
Durability and sturdiness also comes into account. I don’t want to feel like my chair is going to break while I’m shifting positions. I also don’t want it to fall apart after one summer.
Finally, I wanted something that would look great in my backyard. Can’t have an ugly outdoor reading chair!
What Makes a Good Reading Chair
The rules of buying an outdoor reading chair are pretty much the same as buying one for inside. At least when it comes to how comfortable you’re going to be reading.
Usually when you’re reading you stay in one spot for a long period of time. That means your chair has to be comfortable! A good reading chair should be padded. It’s also important for you to have a place to rest your head – so make sure you don’t pick a chair with a back that’s too low.
How do you like to sit in the chair? Are you a curl up person? Do you like to put your feet up on an ottoman? Personally, I love reading in a chaise. I like to have my feet either under me or straight out and that kind of chair is perfect. A comfy armchair with a footrest works too, though.
These are a must have in a reading chair. Without somewhere to rest your arm while you hold up your book or eReader your arms are going to get tired. That means less time reading! Or at least a less relaxing read. Bonus points for comfy arm rests.
Patio Watcher Oversized Zero Gravity Chair
Starting with the modern classic here – the zero gravity chair. They’re not the prettiest addition to your backyard but they fold up easily for storage. Or take it along with you to the beach or campsite to get a change of scenery while you read outdoors.
What I love about these chairs is that they’re quite comfortable despite the lack of padding. You can sit up, lounge with your feet out, or lay the chair flat and lay down to get comfortable. Plus it has armchairs that are positioned at a good height.
- Plenty of room in the chair for larger bodies
- Locks in place
- Comes pre assembled
- Not super stylish
- Cushion isn’t padded
- May not be long enough for taller people when reclined
Nicholas Outdoor Papasan Swivel Chair with Water Resistant Cushion
They don’t have armrests but since these chairs are insanely popular right now I just had to include one on my list. Besides, the egg shape and oversized cushion actually do make it possible to get comfy reading and find support for your arms.
The cushion is non porous which means it works great outside and resists stains if you spill a drink. It’s not completely waterproof, though, so you can’t submerge it and shouldn’t leave it out in the rain.
- Trendy and stylish
- Cushion is removable
- Cushion is not waterproof (but is water resistant)
- No armrests
- Not the best choice for larger/heavier people
Summon Wicker Rattan Outdoor Patio Sunbrella Right Arm Chaise
This chaise can be used on its own or as part of a modular couch system. Either way it makes a great reading chair because you can stretch out and get comfortable. I love the stylish look and the comfortable cushion.
The biggest downside is that the arm rest is only on one side, so keep that in mind if you like to put both arms up.
- Comfortable to lay down on
- Sturdy and well made
- Can be added on to if you’d prefer a couch
- Only one arm rest
- Cushion could slide off
- Cushions could stay wet if not brought in before a storm
Patio Sense Deluxe Coconino Wicker Chair
You can’t beat a wicker chair when it comes to relaxing (and reading) in the backyard or on your patio. Naturally weatherproof because water falls through the holes, this chair is super durable and low maintenance.
I love the high back on it for reading and the cushion makes it extra comfortable for extended sitting. The wide armrests are comfortable for resting your arms while you read, too.
- Sturdy and comfortable
- Water doesn’t saturate the cushions
- Stylish with a classic design
- Assembly required
- Cushions are thin
- Light coloured cushions are prone to staining
KOMOREBI Hammock Chair
Hammock chairs don’t exactly meet my criteria for the best outdoor reading chair but they’re still worth mentioning because of how surprisingly comfortable they can be. This one even has a pocket where you can keep your book!
There’s no arm rests so you might feel tired holding a heavy book in this thing but for comfortable lounging and reading it’s perfect. There really isn’t anything like a hammock or swing chair!
- Rod is thick and sturdy to support the chair
- Very comfortable to sit in
- Supports your head and neck (conforms to the body)
- Doesn’t include hardware
- Included pillows aren’t very comfortable
- Hard to get in and out of for those with mobility issues
Folding Adirondack Chair
You just can’t go wrong with an Adirondack chair. They’re popular for a reason – designed perfect to keep you comfortable and withstand anything the summer can throw their way.
With a high back and oversized armrests, you’ll be comfortable relaxing (and reading) in this chair for hours. There’s even a drink holder! After spending time in Adirondack style chairs personally I can honestly say they’re surprisingly comfortable despite the lack of cushions.
- Classic multipurpose chair
- Resists the elements including sun and rain
- Foldable, high back, armrests, and a cup holder
- No padding
- Assembly required
- Actual chair colour doesn’t match the product pictures
What is the Best Outdoor Reading Chair?
All of these chairs are different enough that you could easily use any of them as your next outdoor reading chair. Although I really like having chairs that fit my backyard aesthetic, comfort and practicality is way more important. Especially when it comes to outdoor reading chairs. I take reading seriously!
For that reason my pick for the best outdoor reading chair is the Zero Gravity chair. It really is an incredible purchase.
Reading outside happens in so many places besides your backyard. Or at least it could if you had the right chair. The Zero Gravity chair folds up easily and can be transported to the park, beach, or your friend’s backyard without any fuss.
I love how comfortable it is despite not having any bulky cushions. That means that it doesn’t stay wet for long even when left in the rain (although it’s easy enough to bring in when you’re done with it) and you don’t have to worry about spills.
The different positions are enough to make everyone happy. If you prefer a standard chair, it does it, but also reclines and lays flat too. When upright your head and neck are supported which reduces strain.
This chair’s armrests are comfortable enough to help support your book, but they’re also wide enough apart that you don’t need to worry about fitting into the chair. Heavier or larger framed people will fit, too.
One downside is the chair length – your feet might reach the end in certain positions. A small cushion at the end can make you more comfortable, but depending on your preferences a chair and footrest might work better.
Final Thoughts on the Best Outdoor Reading Chair
When you’re choosing a new reading chair don’t forget to think about other ways you might want to use the chair too. Some of these chairs are also great for lounging in, others are perfect next to a pool or fire pit.
It’s also important to read the size and limits of the chairs before you buy. Some chairs are on the smaller side, others have higher weight limits. If mobility is an issue, stay away from non-standard chairs like the papasan or hammock chair.
Adirondack chairs are also tough for some folks to get out of but the version on this list are a little bit less reclined, and therefore not as tough to pull up out of.
Whatever you choose, get out there, soak up the sunshine, and enjoy your book!