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What are the Different Types of Plastic Chair?

By Gregory Hanson
Updated May 16, 2024
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Chairs made out of plastic are ubiquitous in the modern world and are available in a great many different varieties. The durability and low cost of plastic make it an excellent material for use in outdoor chairs. These same characteristics make the plastic chair a common option for temporary or portable indoor seating. Additionally the versatility and durability of plastic make it the material of choice for accent chairs and office chairs.

The simplest variety of plastic chair designed for outside use is the plastic lawn chair, which is made entirely of plastic. These chairs, which are inexpensive, relatively sturdy, and highly resistant to the elements, are a common sight outside of bars and on suburban decks. Many other traditional varieties of outdoor seating can be purchased in plastic instead of wood, metal, or fabric. An Adirondack chair made of plastic might not look quite as rustic as one made from wood but is much better able to resist the effects of moisture.

The aluminum chair was long the mainstay of temporary and portable seating, but the plastic chair has come close to taking over those markets. Plastic folding chairs are roughly equivalent to aluminum folding chairs in terms of strength, but the plastic chairs can more easily accommodate a bit of padding. A plastic chair is also often less expensive than one made of aluminum and will typically be slightly lighter.

Many schools and offices use hard, molded plastic chairs as seating for students, employees, and guests. With a durable plastic frame and sturdy metal legs, these chairs are inexpensive, easy to move, and equally easy to stack. A slightly modified version of this sort of plastic chair, which adds an inexpensive composite wood writing surface, is common in university classrooms, and makes frequent appearances elsewhere. Most office workers spend their days sitting in task chairs, constructed primarily of plastic, with a few bits of fabric and metal for comfort and strength.

Not all plastic furniture is focused solely on utility and cost, however. Plastic is a quintessentially modern material, and many designers, particularly many 20th century designers, choose to work with plastic for aesthetic reasons. A plastic chair designed by such an artist might be a simple tulip accent chair or a more elaborate creation. Plastic's capacity to be shaped into any form that a designer might wish has led to the creation of plastic chairs whose forms are sleek, modern, and elegant.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Heavanet — On May 14, 2014

If you can't find the color you want when you are shopping around for plastic chairs, you don't have to give up and settle for white or green. There are spray paints available today that bond to plastic. This type of paint comes in almost any color you can think of, and it is affordable and easy to use.

You can paint new plastic chairs in any color available, or you can update old plastic chairs with plastic spray paint to make them look like new again. Once you buy your paint, all you need to do is find a good place outside to paint your plastic chairs. Allow them to dry for several days before using them. Just like that, you will have plastic chairs in your favorite color.

By Talentryto — On May 13, 2014

The best types of outdoor chairs are made of plastic. Since they are waterproof and stand up after years of being exposed to the elements, outdoor plastic chairs are affordable and durable. They also come in many different colors to match your home's exterior.

Plastic chairs do not have to look cheap or plain either. Though these types of chairs use to come in only a few styles, today there are many varieties available. Whether you want single chairs with fancy slats, lounging chairs, or even garden benches, you will be able to find what you need in plastic.

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