With summer right around the corner, everyone’s looking for the best beach chairs to support them through a season of beach days. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a season-long sun-worshiper, the right seat can make all the difference in your seaside experience. When choosing a beach chair, portability, comfort, and style all come into play. Chairs should be easy to carry and set up, provide a comfortable base for a day of lounging, and be aesthetic enough to reflect personal taste. Beyond the basics, consider cup holders, footrests, pillows, built-in umbrellas, cooler pouches, and more.
This comprehensive guide includes top-rated chairs from trusted brands, as well as some under-the-radar picks that are sure to impress.
The Best Beach Chairs: At a Glance
What the Experts Say
There are four guiding principles that New York-based interior designer Julia Leibowitz keeps in mind when shopping for her beach seat: the chair needs to look chic, must have arms (she feels strongly that chairs without arms are useless), it must be relatively easy to transport, and the fabric can’t dip so low that your butt is in the sand. “Comfort is key, but you don’t have to sacrifice style to get the ideal beach experience. The aesthetic sets the tone for the day.”
Sophie Rosenberg, an avid beach-goer, takes a different approach, “Beach days are the one place for me where style takes a backseat to practicality and comfort. As long as my beach chair is easy to transport and comfortable to sit in for long periods of time, I’m happy to leave fashion at home and just focus on soaking up the sun.” She adds that in terms of bonus features and accessories, a reclining ability is essential for relaxation and a cup holder for happy-hour sips is not a must, but a big plus.
Tommy Bahama Wavy Marlin Deluxe Backpack Beach Chair
Tommy Bahama’s backpack chairs have become ubiquitous on beaches worldwide thanks to their exceptional comfort, convenience, and durability. This tried and true design features an adjustable pillow, five-position recline, and padded armrests for ultimate relaxation. The back of the chair also includes an insulated cooler pouch—a feature more beach chairs should include (because nobody likes a warm beer). And when it’s time to go, it folds up into a backpack with padded straps for easy transport. This may not be the most stylish chair on the market, but there’s a certain appeal in embracing the dad-on-vacation look, and once you’re comfortably soaking up the sun, style will be the last thing on your mind.
Ostrich Deluxe 3N1 Chair
For those looking for a more luxurious beach experience, Ostrich’s best-selling Deluxe 3N1 chair is bursting with lavish accessories. The wrapped padded seat has a lumbar pillow for extra support, a detachable footrest, and a spacious cupholder—because it’s not a true vacation until you have your feet up and a drink in your hand. This chair even includes a patented face cavity with arm holes—think massage chair—that allows for a prone state that is perfect for tanning, reading, or doom scrolling on TikTok (no judgment).
Schoolhouse Folding Outdoor Chair
This playful take on a nostalgic classic is crafted from comfortable, durable, and fade-resistant webbing that will hold up to the elements and is sure to last you for years to come. This design also folds up for easy storage and transport, so you’ll always have the best seat in the house (or on the beach, in this case).
L.L. Bean Beach Lounger
If you prefer to spend your beach days up close and personal with the sand but need an upgrade from an unsupportive towel, this L.L. Bean Beach Lounger might be for you. No more awkward elbow propping while reading—this lounger features an adjustable reclining backrest, padded seat, armrests, and an elongated footrest, all while positioning you directly on top of the sand.
LowTides Dune High Beach Chair
Born from a plan to reduce ocean plastic pollution, the LowTides Dune High Beach Chairs are engineered with 100% recycled ocean-bound plastics. These lightweight aluminum chairs feature adjustable seat backs and a comfortable, ergonomic design that can support up to 300 pounds. The chairs also come in an array of colors and patterns and include a cup holder, bottle opener, and cellphone pocket. So sit back, relax, and save the planet while you’re at it.
Helinox Chair One
If your journey to the beach includes navigation by bike or a series of buses and trains, the Helinox Chair One might be your best bet. Weighing in at just over two pounds, this featherlight and compressible chair collapses to a packed length of only 13.5 inches, making it easy to throw into a backpack or tote bag. But don’t confuse lightweight with flimsy: this chair will comfortably support up to 320 pounds. For those who need a taller and wider profile or more weight capacity, the brand also offers a range of high-back and extra-roomy chairs.
STRONGBACK Low Gravity 3.0 Beach Chair
Nothing ruins a relaxing beach day like back pain, and beach chairs are notorious for their lack of lumbar support. Enter the StrongBack Low Gravity 3.0 Beach Chair. With its award-winning ergonomic design, this chair better aligns body posture, easing tension and providing maximum comfort. Bonus features include a backpack-style carry bag, cup holder, and extra-wide feet that won’t sink into the sand.
Business & Pleasure The Tommy Chair
With its timeless yet practical design, Business and Pleasure’s The Tommy Chair brings a touch of luxury to any beachfront excursion. The chair is available in a range of colors to suit any taste, and its foldable design and backpack straps make it easy to transport and store. Buyer beware that while the wood and canvas are treated for weather resistance, this chair won’t hold up to the elements as well as ones made with an aluminum base and polyester fabric.
SUNFLOW’s The Beach Bundle
This beach bundle first gained fame on Shark Tank and has continued to impress shoppers with its comfortable design (users have compared it to sitting in a hammock) and array of useful accessories. The UP50+ sun shade will protect from 98% of the sun’s rays when you need a bit of a reprieve, the collapsible drink holder is big enough for almost any drink size (Yeti Tumblers included), the dry bag will keep your phone and valuables safe, and the towel conveniently attaches to the back of the chair to stay put while you lounge. What more could one need?
Frequently Asked Questions About Beach Chairs
What materials should I look for in a beach chair?
Both steel and aluminum are rust-resistant and will last longer than plastic or wooden chairs. As for the seat, polyester or an alternative synthetic fabric will be the most fade-resistant and easiest to spot clean when necessary.
How do I keep beach chairs from rusting?
Saltwater and sand can be incredibly corrosive so it’s normal for a beach chair to tarnish over time. To avoid corrosion or oxidation as much as possible, try to keep your chairs dry and wipe them down as soon as you get home.
How should I store beach chairs in the off-season?
Depending on the kind of beach chairs you have, and the storage space you have accessible, chairs can be stacked, leaned, or hung up on wall racks or storage pegs. Just be sure to cover them with an outdoor furniture cover or tarp to protect them from the elements.