The Best Retro Lawn Chairs of 2022
If there's one thing you'll never hear us complain about, it's the strides outdoor furniture has made toward becoming as indoors-like as possible. We'll always love a good patio sofa and the buttery soft outdoor cushions that sit atop it. But there's something about those throwback metal and webbed lawn chairs that make them a close second in terms of coziness: nostalgia.
Fredric Arnold might not be a name that rings a bell for most Southerners, yet you would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't recognize the inventor's most memorable creation. It was 1956 when Arnold first patented his aluminum folding seat—aka the lawn chair—and it didn't take long for its appeal to grow. If you meandered down any suburban side street in the early sixties, you'd find a couple clinking cocktail glasses on their front lawn, perched in Arnold originals. (In its prime, his company churned out around 14,000 of them a day.) It wasn't until the casual-furniture market usurped the practical but not plush folding seat that these picnic staples got relegated to the garage.
But if you understand the genius of the webbed chair as a smart, resourceful, and—yes—stylish specimen, you might rethink its placement. After World War II, a surplus of aluminum (used for aircraft) prompted many creatives, including Arnold, to find new uses for the lightweight metal. With the postwar housing boom leaving many Americans with yard space to spare, Arnold decided to fashion a comfy, portable seat for alfresco hangouts. And it wasn't just utilitarian; it was also sleek, paying homage to the early modernist movement (as did its all-metal cousin). While it may not have the panache of an Eames lounger, the lawn chair has something better: status as the sidekick for your best summer memories.
Portable, affordable, and compact, lawn chairs are practical for toting to your friend's backyard while also offering a larger dose of personality than your average camping chair. We don't have plans of stashing these nostalgic gems away anytime soon. Want to bring vintage style into your back—or front—yard? Here are eight options to shop right now.
Best Overall: Novogratz Poolside Roberta Rocking
Best Budget: Lawn Chair USA Folding Aluminum Webbing Chair
Best for a Pop of Color: Crosley Ridgeland Metal Outdoor Lounge Chair
Best Design: Heather Dutton Aurora Sling Chair
Best for Socializing: Griffith 3-Piece Outdoor Set
Best Packable: Telescope Casual Folding Beach Chair
Best Indoor-Outdoor: Flash Furniture Patio Arm Chair
Best for Lounging: Serena & Lilly Lawn Chaise