Handmade Adirondack chairs are beautiful, durable, and extremely versatile. You can use them as lounge chairs, outdoor dining sets, or benches. Moreover, you can paint the chairs to match your decor.

Of course, their sophisticated appearance cannot go unnoticed. It makes Adirondack chairs the perfect solution whenever you want to relax and unwind.

So, the big question is – which wood makes the best Adirondack chairs? If your options are unlimited, which wood species should you choose for your next Adirondack chair project? Let’s find out.

What’s the Best Wood for Adirondack Chairs?

Teak is the best wood for Adirondack chairs. It is a very durable wood that withstands outdoor weather with ease. Moreover, teak’s natural oils make it resistant to insects and other pests.

Teakwood is beautiful, with a gorgeous light to dark brown color and a straight, occasionally wavy or interlocked, grain pattern.

What’s Adirondack Chair?

An Adirondack chair is an outdoor lounge chair first discovered in the Adirondack mountains in northern Upstate New York.

The backrest comprises five to seven vertical wooden boards of varying heights that form a curve at the top. Meanwhile, the seat is a large wood board that slants backward, extending behind the backrest, forming the seat’s rear legs.

The front legs connect to the front edge of the “seat,” then rise several inches above, connecting to the armrests at 90 degrees. The armrests are flat wood planks.

The chair’s design makes it the perfect choice for lounging and vacations. Indeed, today, it’s the definition of peace and simplicity.

Adirondack Chairs Pros and Cons

Adirondack chairs are special for many reasons, though they also come with many drawbacks that you want to keep in mind.

PROS

  • Stylish and beautiful
  • Relaxing and comfortable
  • Most units are very durable
  • They are highly versatile

CONS

  • The chairs are relatively expensive
  • Adirondack chair plans are complex

Factors to Consider When Choosing Wood for Wooden Adirondack Chairs

The best material for making Adirondack chairs is wood. Other common materials are aluminum, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) lumber, and injection-molded plastic. However, none comes close to wood.

Wooden Adirondack chairs are durable, beautiful, and highly valuable. Above all, wood is recyclable, reusable, and overall, environmentally friendly.

However, not all wood types make great Adirondack chairs. To make the best Adrindorack chairs, you need to find wood with the following qualities;

1. Durability and strength

Adirondack chairs take a lot of beating. First, owners love them a lot and therefore spend a lot of time on them. Additionally, many people love to move their Adirondack chairs from one place to the next as the seasons.

Therefore, you need extremely strong lumber that can take significant abuse.

2. Weather resistance

As outdoor furniture, Adirondack chairs must be extremely resistant to outdoor elements. Otherwise, you’ll replace it within months rather than years.

Therefore, it’s critical to find weather-resistant wood with high dimensional stability. Additionally, consider wood types with high rot resistance.

3. Insect resistance

All outdoor furniture must be insect and pest resistant to live long, which applies to Adirondack chairs. You must take steps to prevent the chairs from aphids, termites, caterpillars, wood borers, etc. Selecting naturally insect-resistant wood can help.

4. Workability

Many Adirondack chairs require curving and maneuvering. Therefore, you should consider strong but highly workable wood types that allow you to saw, cut, and carve easily. Of course, you also want wood that’s easy to nail, screw, and finish.

5. Aesthetics

It’s impossible to overlook aesthetics when shopping for wood for Adirondack chairs, given that the chairs are primarily for relaxation and leisure.

So, you must keep in mind the color of the wood, grain pattern, and how you intend to finish the chair. But, more importantly, you want an Adirondack chair that compliments your lifestyle and reinforces your decor.

6. Ease of maintenance

The best Adirondack chairs are easy to clean and maintain. For instance, you need to thoroughly clean it before bringing it in for the winter season.

Additionally, you need to periodically paint, stain, or oil it to prolong its life. So, you should choose wood that’s easy to care for and maintain.

Best Wood for Adirondack Chair Reviews

The following are eleven wood types that meet most of the required qualities. Feel free to research further, though.

1. Western red cedar wood

All Things Cedar Muskoka Cedar Adirondack Chair
15 Reviews
All Things Cedar Muskoka Cedar Adirondack Chair
  • Rot Resistant Untreated Western Red Cedar
  • Sanded Finish
  • Contoured Seat with Thick Arm Paddles
  • Ergonomic Back Support and Rear Stabilizer Struts
  • 32w x 36d x 38h ( unassembled kit )

Cedar is a beautiful pinkish or reddish-brown to chocolate-brown softwood that grows naturally on the east and west coasts of the US. It’s highly dimensionally stable lumber with a unique texture and color.

However, the western red cedar particularly stands out. It’s a very strong wood with a compressive strength of 4560 psi and a bending strength of 7500 psi.

These qualities allow it to massive amounts of weight without losing shape. What truly sets it apart, though, is its high weather resistance.

Western red cedar produces natural oils that repel moisture and liquids, making the wood highly rot and decay-resistant. Additionally, natural cedar oils make cedarwood resistant to warping and bending.

What We Liked Most

  • Red cedar fades gradually
  • It requires high maintenance

What Could Be Improved

  • Relatively expensive compared to smaller kits
  • 8 carving knives may be overwhelming for beginners



2. Teak

Cambridge Casual Arie Adirondack Chair, Natural Teak
34 Reviews
Cambridge Casual Arie Adirondack Chair, Natural Teak
  • [WEATHER RESISTANT] Crafted of weather-defying Indonesian solid teak wood.
  • [COMFORTABLE] Sublimely contoured and ergonomic design to support body.
  • [SPACIOUS SEAT] Wide seating space for more lounging comfort.
  • [COLOR VARIANT] Available in natural teak and weathered gray color to accentuate your outdoor area. Weathered gray color is a crafted, multistep finish.
  • [EASY ASSEMBLY] Assembly required with easy-to-follow instruction (guideline included in the box). It takes no time from unboxing until the product is ready to use.

Teak is another excellent wood for making Adirondack chairs. First off, unlike cedar, teak is softwood. Therefore, it’s much more durable.

The tight wood grain contributes significantly to its durability. Indeed, the wood pieces can last a lifetime with good maintenance.

Additionally, teak is highly water-resistant. It produces natural oils that repel water and moisture. As a result, teakwood doesn’t rot easily, even without pressure treatment.

The water and moisture-resistance qualities also make streak the perfect wood for outdoor furniture. It is also resistant to termites and acid.

Above all, teak is naturally beautiful and easy to maintain. It comes in the coveted rich golden-brown color that readily adds to indoor and outdoor decor. The straight grain pattern and varying textures also add to the aesthetics.

What We Liked Most

  • Teakwood is naturally beautiful
  • It’s strong and durable
  • Highly resistant to weather elements
  • Resistant to termites and insects

What Could Be Improved

  • Teakwood is expensive
  • It’s not widely available



3. Mahogany

POLYWOOD Vineyard Adirondack Chair, Mahogany
206 Reviews
POLYWOOD Vineyard Adirondack Chair, Mahogany
  • POLYWOOD lumber is a proprietary material which includes landfill-bound and ocean-bound plastics
  • Weatherproof and withstands a range of environmental stressors, including hot sun and cold winters
  • Minimal maintenance required: cleans easily with soap, water, and a soft-bristle brush
  • Assembles easily with clear instructions and marine-grade quality hardware
  • 20-year residential and 3-year commercial warranty; Made in the USA

Many people love lightweight Adridorack chairs for portability. A lightweight chair is easier to move from one place to the next as you chase the sun.

However, if you’re looking for a heavier wood type for heavy Adirondack chairs, you should consider mahogany. Mahogany is a very heavy hardwood that’s both strong and durable.

Although it’s only rated 1070 lbf on the Janka scale, it boasts exceptional bending and compressive strength. It doesn’t chip easily and can hold massive loads without cracking under pressure.

It is also highly resistant to moisture, rotting, and insects. Finally, mahogany also has a luxurious reddish-brown hue with a beautiful grain pattern. Strangely, it’s highly workable and takes paint and polish exceptionally.

What We Liked Most

  • Mahogany is a beautiful wood
  • It’s very hard and durable
  • Highly workable and finishes well
  • Moisture and rot-resistant

What Could Be Improved

  • Mahogany wood is expensive
  • It’s dense and very heavy



4. White oak

Shine Company Westport Adirondack Chair, Oak
11 Reviews
Shine Company Westport Adirondack Chair, Oak
  • LASTING BEAUTY AND DURABILITY - Our Westport II Adirondack Chair is the reimagined version of our original Westport Adirondack chair. These classic wooden chairs are made with natural beauty and durable structure. Crafted with genuine cedar wood that is known for its natural resistance to moisture, decay, and insect damage. Our proprietary HYDRO-TEX finish adds an extra layer of outdoor protection. Quality patio furniture that is made to enjoy!
  • ERGONOMIC COMFORT AND SUPPORT - Designed with ergonomic comfort and support, our Adirondack chair features contoured seat, high back support, and wide armrests. Enjoy your day by relaxing in these chairs while listening to music and spending time with friends and family.
  • QUICK AND EASY ASSEMBLY - Our Adirondack chairs are environmentally safe and easy to put together. Each unit is partially pre-assembled and comes with rust resistant hardware that allows quick installation in minutes. Product Dimension: 26.25"L x 35"W x 36"H. Seat Dimension: 13"L x 20"W x 20"H. Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
  • INDOOR OR OUTDOOR FURNITURE - Enhance your indoor or outdoor settings with this beautiful Adirondack chair. Completed with a textured finish that highlights the natural beauty of the wood and cleans effortlessly with soap and water. Our exclusive proprietary HYDRO-TEX finish strengthens resistance to water and UV damage, scratches, and peeling. Enjoy your life more comfortably with quality patio furniture.
  • SOPHISTICATION AND CHARM - Relax comfortably in your very own Adirondack Chair. Our patio furniture are known for its sophistication and charm. This iconic Westport II Adirondack Chair is the perfect addition to any front porch patios, decks, and backyards.

Oak is one of the most popular hardwoods in the US. It’s durable, extremely strong, and dense, with close grains. More importantly, it’s a native wood! So, it’s more readily available than mahogany, for example.

These qualities make it the go-to choice when shopping for premium woods. Among the many oak species, white oak often stands out.

It’s a tan brown wood, with the exact colors ranging from a dark brown hue to beige, depending on where the tree grows. A dainty texture with tight growth rings in the end grain is common.

White oak is one of the best woods for Adirondack chairs because it’s hard, strong, and beautiful. Moreover, it’s an American native with high demand.

What We Liked Most

  • Strong and very durable
  • A high collection value
  • Excellent staining qualities
  • It’s a gorgeous hardwood

What Could Be Improved

  • Rare white oak is expensive
  • It is hard, heavy, and difficult to work



5. Red oak

Shine Company 4659OA Marina II Hydro-TEX Finish, Oak Folding Adirondack Chair
38 Reviews
Shine Company 4659OA Marina II Hydro-TEX Finish, Oak Folding Adirondack Chair
  • LASTING BEAUTY AND DURABILITY - Our Marina II Folding Adirondack Chair is the reimagined version of our original Marina Adirondack Chair. These wooden chairs are made with natural beauty and durable structure. Crafted with genuine cedar wood that is known for its natural resistance to moisture, decay, and insect damage. Our proprietary HYDRO-TEX finish adds an extra layer of outdoor protection. Quality patio furniture that is made to enjoy!
  • ERGONOMIC COMFORT AND SUPPORT - Designed with ergonomic comfort and support, our Adirondack chair features contoured seat, high back support, and wide armrests. Enjoy your day relaxing in these chairs while listening to music and spending time with friends and family.
  • QUICK AND EASY ASSEMBLY - Practical foldable design that is easy to use and convenient for storage. Our Adirondack Folding Chairs are environmentally safe and easy to put together. Each unit is partially pre-assembled and comes with rust resistant hardware that allows quick installation in minutes. Product Dimension: 29.5"L x 28"W x 37"H. Seat Dimension: 20"L x 17.75"W x 15"H. Weight Capacity 250 LBS.
  • INDOOR OR OUTDOOR FURNITURE - Enhance your indoor or outdoor settings with this beautiful Adirondack chair. Completed with a textured finish that highlights the natural beauty of the wood and cleans effortlessly with soap and water. Our exclusive proprietary HYDRO-TEX finish strengthens resistance to water and UV damage, scratches, and peeling. Enjoy your life more comfortably with quality patio furniture.
  • SOPHISTICATION AND CHARM - Relax comfortably in your very own Adirondack Chair. Our patio furniture are known for its sophistication and charm. This iconic Marina II Adirondack Folding Chair is the perfect addition to any front porch patios, decks, and backyards.

Red oak is also native to the US. It grows in the eastern and central states and southeast and south-central Canada. The main difference between red oak and white oak is the color.

Strangely, red oak is darker than white oak. Red oak is redder. However, overall white oak is darker. A red oak Adirondack chair is, therefore, naturally beautiful.

However, more importantly, the chairs are very strong as red oak is about as strong as white oak. The only significant downside of red oak is that it doesn’t have a high natural dimensional stability.

Therefore, you must treat the wood and take good care of it to prolong its life. Otherwise, it’s another excellent choice for Adrindorack chairs.

What We Liked Most

  • It boasts natural beauty
  • It’s strong and durable
  • Less expensive than white oak
  • It’s highly available

What Could Be Improved

  • Not highly weather-resistant
  • Requires significant maintenance



6. Ipe

Ipe (pronounced e-pay) is a Brazilian hardwood that grows in a few other countries in South America. When cut, it has a rich, deep red color and is exceptionally strong.

Indeed, ipe is three times as strong as oak and 8x stronger than redwood. So, you can already tell that it makes exceptional Adridorack chairs.

Ipe furniture is also very durable. Many units live for 50 years without treatment and many generations with proper care. The only difference is that ipe wood fades into a beautiful silver color when left unfinished.

You may also want to know that ipe wood is naturally rot and insect resistant. So, for instance, you never have to worry about termites feeding on your ipe furniture.

What We Liked Most

  • Pest and termite resistant
  • Doest require treatment
  • Very hard (3680 Janka) and durable
  • High dimensional stability

What Could Be Improved

  • It’s difficult to work (pre-drilled only)
  • It’s hard to find



7. Cypress

FSC Certified Cypress Adirondack Chair
  • Material: Southern USA cypress wood
  • Width: Seat: 19.5 in
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs

You’ve likely come across cypress chairs before. It’s one of the best woods for outdoor furniture, from patio chairs to picnic tables.

It is highly decay resistant and performs greatly even with ground contact. Moreover, old-growth cypress makes beautiful rustic furniture.

You should strongly consider cypress for your Adirondack chair project for the above reasons. Although it’s only rated 510 Janka, thus dents and chips more easily than hardwoods, it’s very strong, with high compressive strength.

The last two factors are critical when determining how much weight a piece of wood can bear without cracking. Cypress also boasts a high bending strength.

What We Liked Most

  • Exceptional strength
  • Excellent for rustic decor
  • Highly rot and decay-resistant
  • Highly resistant to insects

What Could Be Improved

  • It chips and dents easily
  • It has a distinct odor



8. Eucalyptus

Sale
Outdoor Interiors CD3111 Eucalyptus Adirondack Chair and Built In Ottoman
344 Reviews
Outdoor Interiors CD3111 Eucalyptus Adirondack Chair and Built In Ottoman
  • Made from dense and durable Eucalyptus Hardwood
  • Ultra-comfortable adirondack chair, looks and performs like teak
  • Built-in ottoman for comfort
  • Easily maintained with hardwood oil (sold separately)
  • Seat Dimensions - 20 x 23 x 15 H Inch

Eucalyptus is another highly rot-resistant wood. Its high oil content repels moisture, keeping the wood from rotting. It’s also fairly durable. Most eucalyptus furniture lasts 25+ years with good maintenance.

However, the two qualities particularly stand out about eucalyptus as a candidate for making Adirondack chairs. First, like hardwood, eucalyptus stands up to outdoor elements and doesnt dent easily.

Secondly, it has an appealing reddish-brown color that darkens with age. The only downside is that eucalyptus doesn’t stand up to cold conditions very well. As a result, it swells and shrinks as the seasons change.

What We Liked Most

  • Stong and durable
  • Highly sustainable
  • Consistent grain pattern
  • Beautiful reddish color

What Could Be Improved

  • Shrinks and swells
  • Susceptible to pests



9. Douglas fir wood

Douglas Nance Montauk Adirondack Chair
4 Reviews
Douglas Nance Montauk Adirondack Chair
  • Grade A plantation grown teak.
  • Impervious to extreme heat, freezing cold or constant sunshine. Resistant to rain, salt water and chlorine. No maintenance required.
  • Includes a hardware pack with tools and brass fittings for simple assembly.
  • Curved backrest - very comfortable. Seat height not too low.
  • Full 22" seat width.

You may have noticed by now that the best Adirondack chairs are made from expensive wood. So, what if you’re on a budget? We would suggest that you try maybe douglas fir.

Douglas fir is light brown with a hint of red or yellow. It’s also characterized by dark growth rings that give it a beautiful appearance. More importantly, it’s a softwood.

However, it’s a very strong softwood that can last many generations with good care. The biggest attraction of Douglas fir, though, is price and availability. It’s very affordable and highly available.

What We Liked Most

  • Durable
  • Moisture resistant
  • Decay and rot-resistant
  • It’s nontoxic

What Could Be Improved

  • Dense and heavy
  • Not very strong



10. Acacia

Cara Outdoor Foldable Acacia Wood Adirondack Chair, Gray Finish
15 Reviews
Cara Outdoor Foldable Acacia Wood Adirondack Chair, Gray Finish
  • Summer has arrived, and with it comes the profoundly human desire to unwind in the sun with a cool drink. This chair encapsulates the spirit of the season, giving you the perfect place to celebrate the warm weather in style. It's foldable, allowing you to store it safely out of sight in the cooler months when not in use.
  • Includes: One (1) Foldable Chair. Material: Acacia Wood. Finish: Gray.
  • Some Assembly Required. Hand Crafted Details. Unfolded Dimensions: 36.00 inches deep x 28.75 inches wide x 36.00 inches high.
  • Seat Depth: 17.25 inches.
  • Arm Height: 20.50

Acacia is a very strong hardwood with a Janka rating of 1750. So, it’s durable. Acacia furniture often lasts 30+ years. Additionally, acacia is scratch resistant and requires very little maintenance.

However, what we love most is its water and rot resistance. A combination of exceptional strength and high levels of moisture resistance makes the perfect wood for outdoor use, including Adirondack chairs.

Acacia is also very beautiful. It boasts a medium to dark brown hue with gorgeous figured grain patterns.

What We Liked Most

  • Strong and durable
  • Moisture and rot-resistant
  • Beautiful grain pattern
  • Low maintenance

What Could Be Improved

  • Sensitive to temperature variations
  • Unpredictable grain pattern



11. Yellow pine

Sale
Bc201p Bear Chair - Pine Adirondack Chair Kit - Unassembled
49 Reviews
Bc201p Bear Chair - Pine Adirondack Chair Kit - Unassembled
  • EASY TO ASSEMBLE- Built with a natural finish so you can have a little fun and personalize it as your next DIY project; Box Size (inches): 40 x 8 x 8 Weight (lbs.): 25 Assembled Size (inches): 37 x 33 x 36 Est. Assembly Time for this chair is approx 1 hour.
  • DURABILITY- The weight of this chair is 46 lbs, it can withstand the scorching sun and rain for a long time so that you don’t have to put it inside on rainy days and it is also easy to clean because of its smooth material.Made of virgin high-density polyethylene (hard plastic) material. Designed to shed rainwater easily.
  • OUTDOOR CHAIR- Best for extra comfort outdoors. This chair is one of the things you need with a design that suits all the seasons and shell back shaping for the best of form and function. The Bear Chair Company has been providing quality outdoor furniture since 1987.
  • COMFORTABLE SEAT- Large seat, tall backrest, and wide armrests make it a seating solution built for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. This chair is ideal for seating on any screen patio, porch, or outdoor deck.
  • CONVEYABLE AND SPACE-SAVING- Its 360 degree folding design makes it easy to use and store away when not in use while the lightweight frame makes it convenient to relocate.

Finally, pine needs no introduction. It’s one of the finest softwoods and an in-demand woodworking material. Fortunately, pine is sustainable as the trees grow fast.

Therefore, you can pick up pine lumber from your local lumber yard anytime. It’s a very affordable wood type too. Among the pine varieties, we recommend yellow pine for three reasons.

First, yellow pine is lightweight. The low density makes it excellent for portable chairs. Secondly, pine is highly resistant to shrinking and swelling. So, it’s great for outdoor furniture. Above all, yellow pine is highly elastic. It doesn’t crack easily.

What We Liked Most

  • Lightweight
  • Resists warping and shrinking
  • It’s highly workable
  • It’s very beautiful

What Could Be Improved

  • Susceptible to dents
  • It’s a little too soft



How to Finish Wood Surface

Finishing Adirondack chair wood surfaces depends on the type of wood used for the project. However, generally, consider the following;

FAQs

What kind of wood do you use for building Adirondack chairs?

Cedar is one of the most popular woods for making Adirondack chairs. However, almost any other wood will do if you cannot find it. Alder, aspen, maple, and white oak are great hardwood choices. Meanwhile, cypress, fir, and pine are great softwood options.

How thick should Adirondack chair be?

Most Adrindorack chairs stand between 36 and 42 inches tall, 30-34 inches wide, and 35 to 38 inches deep. The frames are typically 1 1/2-inches thick. However, if you’re asking about the slats, we recommend a 3/4-inch thickness.

What are Adirondack chairs usually made of?

Adrindorack chairs come in an assortment of materials, from wood to aluminum and plastic. However, most people prefer wooden Adirondack chairs as they are more stylish. Moreover, wood is more environmentally friendly than other materials.

Is it cheaper to buy or build Adirondack chairs?

Of course, it’s cheaper to build Adirondack chairs than to buy the same. It costs $130 to purchase all the materials you need to make a complete Adirondack chair and 20% less to buy materials for two chairs. Yet, the same chairs cost $230+ per unit on Amazon.

Is fir a good wood for Adirondack chairs?

Yes, fir is an excellent wood for outdoor furniture items, including picnic tables, ottomans, and chairs, because it’s highly weather resistant. It does not shrink or swell when the seasons change. Instead, it retains its size and shape. It’s also decay and rot-resistant.

Summary

Adirondack chairs are the perfect solution for relaxation and sun-basking needs. But only if you pick the right one. We recommend wooden units as they are stylish and sustainable.

Some of the best woods for Adirondack chairs are teak, mahogany, and oak if you’re interested in hardwoods and cedar, yellow pine, and cypress if you prefer softwood.

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