Folding Chairs for All the Extra Seating You Need

Every seat at the table should be the best one.

White folding chairs lined up on lawn.
You probably won’t need this many chairs, but if you did, it would still be easy to set them up and put them away.Unsplash

Folding chairs are billed as one of the earliest types of furniture for seating, debuting way back in the 13th century BC in Mediterranean homes and beaches. These days, folding chairs come in many styles—basic, padded and upholstered, highback, armchair and reclining—but when choosing the type you want, you should keep a few non-negotiables in mind: They must be comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, portable, stackable and durable. A folding chair can offer excellent back support, but a falling one won’t do your behind any favors.

Cosco Vinyl Folding Chair, 4 Pack, Black
The seat and back are nicely padded, given the chair a bit of extra oomph, and the steel frame is available with an antique linen or black finish.CoscoProducts

Vinyl is a popular padding material in folding chairs because it’s inexpensive and easy to maintain. Leather ups the level of classy, while synthetic fibers like polyester are durable and user-friendly. Natural fabrics like cotton, linen, denim and canvas are kinder to sensitive skin, and they still look good.

AmazonBasics Folding Plastic Chair, 350-Pound Capacity, White, 6-Pack
Grip handles make them easy to carry around and the powder-coated finish resists corrosion.AmazonBasics

Folding chairs have a floor-to-seat height of about 17 to 19 inches on average, which means when your feet are level with the floor, there will be no pressure on your knee joints. A flat seat distributes the weight evenly between your upper and lower body, preventing extra pressure on the torso. If the backrest is titled back at 100 to 110 degrees, your spine will receive maximum support. Just remember, no slouching or hunching in your seat.

Flash Furniture HERCULES Series 650 lbs capacity Premium Plastic Folding Chair - White (10 Pack)
The seat and back are contoured and textured for added comfort, and drain holes in the seat stop rainwater from accumulating when they’re left outside. Available in eight different colors.Flash Furniture

These chairs fold in three different ways. The most common is a pivot at seat level, which can withstand a lot of sitting and folding. In some chairs, a metal plate and pin replace the pivot but perform the same folding function. They’re more delicate and therefore best for lighter kitchen and children’s chairs. If you’re seating people of widely varying heights, you can get chairs with detached pivots or pins, so that you can adjust the height of the seat.