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With sunshine being a rarity in our British gardens – even in the height of summer – it makes sense to enjoy every last second of it! A comfy sun lounger can make a sunny day feel like a bit of a holiday in a quiet corner of your garden. But how can you choose the best one?
Are you on the lookout for a reclining chair to read in or a lounger that lets you lie flat for a sunny snooze? And what's the best material to plump for? There are a range of different sizes, brands and price points to consider too. To help with your search, we’ve narrowed down a selection of the best sun loungers, including recommendations from the Mumsnet forums.
Here are the best sun loungers to buy in 2021.
1. Best overall sun lounger: Lafuma reclining chair
"Look at Lafuma – they are French. I've ordered a recliner this year ready for summer but have previously had foldable deckchairs from them that are excellent quality."
"Was going to say Lafuma too. They are amazingly comfy. Check the length when ordering though, if you’re tall – probably worth paying for the larger ones for taller folk."
This Lafuma reclining chair rated well with Mumsnetters for combining comfort with practicality. The hard-wearing polyester fabric is designed to withstand everything the great outdoors can throw at it, while it also comes with an adjustable and removable headrest cushion, foot pads, footrest, and friction locks.
This chair is the first on our list to use a ‘zero gravity’ design to let you recline to exactly 127 degrees, to align your whole body and fully support your lumbar region – reducing tension and improving circulation in your legs. It’s a good choice if you don’t have loads of space too – it folds away really neatly once you’ve finished relaxing.
- Size: 114 × 87 × 68cm
- Weight: 6.6kg
- Material: Steel frame, with Batyline polyester fabric
2. Best budget sun lounger: Homebase Reclining Metal Sun Lounger
"I bought several zero gravity recliners from Homebase. They are chairs but recline back and the leg bit at the front goes up. They are very comfortable and I am really pleased. They fold up so easy to store away and I like the fact that they both recline in the back and front making them super comfy. My dad sits in them and he’s 17 stone so no problem with taking weight."
This reclining chair from Homebase boasts a lot of the same features as our best overall choice, the Lafuma, but comes in at almost half the price – making it a hit on the Mumsnet forums.
The reclining design balances your body weight to give even support, including on your back. It features Textilene mesh fabric to keep you cool on even the warmest summer day, and it also has a locking system on the arm rest to let you choose your favourite position. This is another good choice if you want to pack the chair away when not in use – it neatly folds away for storage.
- Size: 51 × 61 × 200cm
- Weight: Supports 110kg
- Material: Steel / Textilene fabric
3. Best wooden sun lounger: Charles Bentley FSC Acacia Wooden Sun Lounger
If you’re looking for something a little bit more substantial than a foldaway chair, this wooden Charles Bentley sun lounger is a great choice.
The lounger has wheels so you can get it in just the right spot to follow the sun in your garden and with three reclining levels and a handy pull-out tray for your drinks, books and snacks, you might never want to get off it! Made from FSC-approved acacia wood, it’s attractive too – but a couple of things to note: you’ll want to buy some cushions separately, and the manufacturer recommends that you cover it out of season, to keep it in tip top condition for the next year.
- Size: 199 × 70 × 31-89cm.
- Material: Wood
4. Best rattan sun lounger: Allibert by Keter Daytona Sun Lounger
This versatile rattan-style sun lounger comes with cushions included, and four different reclining settings – so whether you’re reading your book, having a drink, or even a well-earned snooze you should feel in the lap of luxury!
It’s probably one of the most low fuss choices on our list too. The rattan-wicker plastic is durable, weather proof and fade free – so you can leave it out all-year round, safe in the knowledge it’s covered by a three-year guarantee.
- Size: 65 × 195 × 22cm
- Weight: 11kg
- Material: Rattan
5. Best zero gravity sun lounger: GardenKraft Louis Moon Chairs Rocking Sun Lounger
The futuristic design of this GardenKraft chair has a Zero Gravity feature to let you lie back with your feet well above the ground and gently rock you to give a floaty relaxing feeling. It ticks boxes for practicality too with ultra-tough weatherproof materials that allow it to be left outside in all weather conditions, or you can fold it flat if you want to pack it away for storage.
- Size: 152 × 77 × 89 cm
- Weight: 9kg
- Material: Metal, fabric
6. Best reclining sun lounger: Resol Marina 4 Position Canvas Sun Loungers Pack of 2
"I’ve got these. Look brand new after 4 years and comfortable to sit or lie down on."
These stylish sun loungers really might remind you of sitting by the pool on holiday! They’re probably best for serious sunworshippers – unlike some of the flimsier folding chairs on the market, they’re made from robust poly-coated fibreglass, so they’re really sturdy.
They come in a pack of two, so you can catch a few rays side-by-wide with your other half, and they’re stackable, if you want to save a bit of space while they’re not in use.
- Size: 190 × 73 × 35cm
- Material: Moulded frame and canvas
7. Best sun lounger for camping: sogesfurniture Folding Camping Bed Sun Lounger
If you’re heading off for a camping adventure, this versatile folding camping bed could be a great choice. Not only will it let you get a good night’s sleep, but you can be the envy of your campmates during the day too by taking it outside to soak up a few rays.
At 190 × 67 cm when fully extended, it should be big enough for most people to sleep on, but it will also fold away to transport and weighs 6.9kg.
- Size: 190 × 67cm
- Weight: 6.9kg
- Material: Metal/ fabric
8. Best compact sun lounger: Argos Home Metal Foldable Sun Lounger Leopard Print
This excellent value folding sun lounger from Argos ticks lots of boxes, thanks to its five reclining positions, weather resistant fabric, fixed footrest and easy storage. What makes it stand out from the crowd though is the funky leopard print design, although if you think it’s a bit much there are plain options to choose from.
- Size: 24 × 53 × 186cm
- Weight: 3.85kg
- Material: Metal
9. Best lightweight sun lounger: Kinnard Reclining Sun Lounger
This lounger from Wayfair is a great option if space is tight or you want an extra lounger for guests – it’s one of the most compact to fold away on our list – it only takes up 71cm by 58cm when not in use. It’s made from water- and UV-resistant Oxford cloth, with an easily adjustable back rest, so you won’t have a care in the world when you’re stretched out in the garden.
- Size: 30 × 58 × 187cm
- Weight: 4.7kg
- Material: Steel frame, fabric material
10. Best luxury sun lounger: Centurion Supports MALDIVES Warm Grey Rattan Sun Lounger
Bring a bit of the Maldives to your garden with this luxuriously designed sun lounger from Centurion. It’s high-end looks are matched by a build quality to match – the contoured plastic resin frame wouldn’t look out of place in a five star hotel and the rattan effect plastic is really easy to look after. Even better, it arrives fully assembled, so there’s no need to mess about with a screwdriver before enjoying the sun!
- Size: 75.5cm x 199.5cm x 43.4cm
- Material: Resin frame, and rattan
How to buy the best sun lounger
There is no doubt that the most important thing to consider when choosing a sun lounger is how comfortable it is. Make sure you check the dimensions so you are fully supported when lying out, and then you can start to think about the different reclining settings that your new sun lounger offers.
Most loungers offer a few different settings to allow you to sit at different angles – great for reading a book, having a drink or having a snooze. The main choice you will have is whether you want more of a bed-style lounger, or a reclining chair. Each has its benefits, but if you’re tight on space, folding chairs are much easier to store away when not in use.
Another thing to consider is whether your new favourite bit of garden furniture comes with cushions, and padded head- or foot-rests. You can easily add a bit of a personal touch by choosing your own, if needed.
What's the best material for a sun lounger?
The most hard-wearing sun loungers are made with a moulded plastic frame – there are a couple on our list to choose from. You can usually leave these out all year round, safe in the knowledge that they will stand up to whatever the British weather chucks at them. Rattan effect chairs are similarly weather resistant, although a little bit flimsier, while you will want to pack away most metal framed chairs if you’re worried that the weather might turn.
Wooden framed sun loungers make a good claim for being the most attractive, but they can get damp, so need a bit more care to keep them in tip top condition.
What’s the best sun lounger to buy? (overall winner)
Based on the recommendations of real Mumsnetters on the forums, we think the Lafuma Reclining Chair is the best sun lounger to buy right now.
It’s sturdy and hard wearing, but most importantly incredibly comfortable. Its ergonomic zero gravity design keeps your legs up higher, to improve circulation whilst offering great lumbar support for your back too, and the adjustable headrest is a nice touch.
How we chose our recommendations
Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which sun loungers discerning Mumsnet users had bought. We compiled a list of loungers and reclining chairs they recommended, noting how effective they found them, and whether they were particularly good for any certain needs.
We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which sun loungers had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customers’ reviews said about them.
Having collated all that information, we picked the sun loungers we thought would make the best buys in several interest categories.
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