With so most of us working at the table nowadays, our chairs have to be…
Best Folding Chair Black Friday 2021 and Cyber Monday Deals
How exactly we picked and tested
Photo: Sarah Kobos
Any folding chair provides you with extra seating that’s simple to store, but few are durable and comfortable enough to use for prolonged intervals. After considering a large number of chairs and reading their reviews, we narrowed our search to chairs using the next criteria:
Comfort: Folding chairs are notoriously uncomfortable, so we searched, most of all, for chairs that appeared as if they’d be tolerable to take a seat on for a decent period of time. Materials and design (including seat decoration) both play a role in how comfortable a chair is. We’d hook preference for wider chairs with flexible, forgiving backs and good ventilation.
Materials and durability: We considered chairs created from wood, steel, and plastic but overall recommended those created from polypropylene or any other flexible plastic, which we found to be more comfortable to sit in. Though it may seem to be that steel and hard plastics will be stronger, the polypropylene chairs we’ve been using for a long time have held up equally well.
Size: We considered chairs in a variety of sizes, but we recommended the ones that folded compactly. Some contenders with thick plastic seats used an excessive amount of space when folded (not suitable for an item which will be in storage most of the time).
Price and quantity: We looked for chairs that, ideally, were sold individually and cost about $30 or less. Most chairs we tested met this criteria, however, many were sold only in two- or four-packs.
With these guidelines at heart, we considered chairs sold in the home Depot, Amazon, Target, and IKEA that had reviews that are positive. Over the past 3 years, we’ve looked at a lot more than 15 chairs and tested the most notable six contenders. Our tests included repeatedly opening and closing the chairs, sitting on each one for one hour at the same time, and generally trying to scuff them up.
In 2019, we retested, attracting our top pick, the HDX Black Plastic Seat Foldable Folding Chair (formerly called the MityLite FlexLite) along with five new options: the Hercules and Trade Series Folding Chair, the Lifetime Black Plastic Seat Outdoor Safe Folding Chair, the HDX Earth Tan Plastic Seat Outdoor Safe Folding Chair, and the Cosco Vinyl chair.
Our pick: HDX Black Plastic Seat Foldable Folding Chair
Photo: Sarah Kobos
The HDX Black Plastic Seat Foldable Folding Chair may be the preferred folding chair we’ve ever really tried. We think a lot of people will be happy using it all night at the same time, and we also think it’s suitable for parties or family gatherings. A broad seat and a back with a lttle bit of give (that allows for a few bounce) set the HDX in addition to the competition. The tall, 9-inch backrest provides a good amount of support. As the seat and back are constructed of a plastic mesh (the chair’s frame itself is steel), you don’t need to worry about searing your thighs or sticking with the chair with a sweaty back if you’re using it in the summertime heat.
Regardless of the extra width, each chair folds up right into a super-slim 4¾ inches, and even though the specs list a weight of 11 pounds, our chair weighed in at 7½ pounds on an at-home scale. Consequently, these chairs are simple to move and store.
The flexible plastic HDX chair is among the preferred models we’ve found. Video: Sarah Kobos
At $20 to $30 per chair, the HDX folding chair is a lot more than twice the cost of the least expensive models we tried, but we think it’s worth the investment, particularly if you reside in a tiny home and don’t have sufficient storage for bulkier chairs. This chair also offers a 10-year warranty, which is greater than those for some other chairs we found, which had one-year warranties or none at all.
Special projects editor Ganda Suthivarakom uses HDX chairs in her home for dinner-party overflow, and they’ve organized beautifully for quite some time, without scuffing her soft bamboo floors or making screeching noises, like cafeteria-grade metal folding chairs do. One Wirecutter colleague has already established a set since 2016 that she uses only at holidays and for the rare large gathering. She said they’ve “organized great. Guests always comment how surprisingly comfortable they are.” We also used these chairs as backup seating for our NEW YORK office for days gone by four years. They’ve organized well, and our workers have always found them comfortable.
The HDX chair’s flexible, mesh material encourages ventilation and really helps to prevent a sweaty seat. Photo: Sarah Kobos
Flaws but not dealbreakers
This might not be considered a chair you wish to get for daily use. The few one-star reviews complain about the seating material tearing or breaking. And given how flexible the seat is, we don’t recommend sitting on one if you want to reach a higher place, as this reviewer did. However, inside our experience with them-in any office and at home-we’ve never really had a chair break.
Budget pick: IKEA Nisse Folding Chair
Photo: Sarah Kobos
IKEA Nisse Folding Chair
A compact option
This chair includes a surprisingly comfortable seat, given its smaller size, and it gets the thinnest profile we found. A handle over the top makes the Nisse simple to carry and hang.
At 15 bucks a chair, the IKEA Nisse Folding Chair is an amazingly good value for a straightforward seat that gets the work done. It’s smaller and lighter compared to the HDX-only 3 inches deep when folded and significantly less than 8 pounds. With a broad handle cutout that runs along the most notable of the trunk support, the Nisse is simple to pick up and maneuver around or hang. It’s 1 of 2 chairs we tried-and the only person we recommend-that includes a handle. We also appreciate that, just like the HDX, the Nisse comes by the chair (instead of in two- or four-packs) and will come in three colors (black, dark blue-lilac, and white).
Although the Nisse’s seat isn’t as roomy as the HDX’s, it’s still remarkably comfortable. The plastic doesn’t have the same amount of flex, nonetheless it feels softer compared to the steel-and-padding or solid plastic seats on other chairs we tested. And the angle of the Nisse’s back is neither too upright nor too steep