Even if you have no plans to travel beyond your garden or patio this year, you can still channel holiday bliss with the right sun lounger.
There’s one to suit every taste and budget, but it really depends on how much you plan to use it and how much upkeep you’re willing to do.
Cheaper powder-coated metal models have a more modern look and are great for occasional use as they usually don’t need cushions and can stay out in the garden. A folding sun lounger is a great choice for anyone with limited space too.
More traditional wood or rattan loungers need a little more care and may need treating to retain their immaculate finish.
Cushioned pads should also be removed when not in use, however, these loungers are by far the most comfortable option overall and ideal for those craving a little luxury at home.
During testing, which took place in our very own garden, we considered comfort, practicality, style and price to find the very best lounger. So all you’ll need to do is add a book, a cold drink and hope for a sunny day.
The best sun loungers for 2021 are:
Best overall – Barlow Tyrie capri standard lounger: £792, Gardenfurnitureandinteriors.co.uk
Best for sunbathing – Bramblecrest la rochelle lounger: £499, Charlies.co.uk
Best wooden sun lounger – Charles Bentley FSC acacia folding curved sun lounger: £140, Wilko.com
Best outdoor bean bag – Armadillo Sun indoor outdoor bean bag lounger: £259.99, Armadillosun.com
Best portable sun lounger – Kinnard reclining sun lounger: £47.99, Wayfair.co.uk
Best rattan sun lounger – Keter daytona sun lounger: £140, Argos.co.uk
Best hardwearing sun lounger – Ikea torholmen sunlounger: £125, Ikea.com
Barlow Tyrie capri standard lounger
This chic but pricey lounger looks almost too good to leave outside thanks to its tactile, honey-coloured teak slats and smooth curved legs. There’s a slightly cheaper version available without wheels, but we tested the standard model with elegant rubber and teak wheels, which made it simple to move as the sun changed position. The backrest has four positions and these are easy to change, even without getting off the lounger if you’re feeling really lazy.
A full-length cushioned seat pad can also be added at extra cost, which is so thick and comfortable it felt like we’d just climbed into bed. This didn’t slip on the wood at all and we could have happily stayed put all day with a good book and a blue sky pretending we were poolside at a five-star hotel.
Buy now £792.00, Gardenfurnitureandinteriors.co.uk
Bramblecrest la rochelle lounger
Best: For sunbathing
Show serious dedication to sunbathing with this lovely-looking lounger. It’s not cheap, but was the most comfortable of all we tested and will help you achieve major garden goals. It comes ready-made and is not too much of a faff to look after either.
The lightweight aluminium frame is powder-coated so can be left out all year without fear of rust. Although it takes two people to lift, it’s fairly easy to drag around when the sun moves, and there’s a matching ceramic-top coffee table available to keep your wine in easy reach.
We especially loved the easily cleaned, contemporary slate grey cushions, which are included in the price and made from recycled plastic bottles. These need to be brought inside between uses, although they can withstand the odd shower. But be warned, they’re so plush that you may never leave your garden again.
Buy now £499.00, Charlies.co.uk
Charles Bentley FSC acacia folding curved sun lounger
Best: Wooden sun lounger
Made of FSC-approved acacia wood, this distinctive curved lounger makes a real style statement. It’s oil-stained to enhance the wood’s natural colour and we felt it looked a lot more expensive than it is. Although it can stay outdoors, it’s recommended the lounger is stored undercover when not in use, but it’s surprisingly easy to pack away, folding easily and coming complete with a handle for easy carrying. There’s only one reclining level and it’s perfect for garden posing, but we would add a cushion behind our head if we planned to spend the whole day relaxing on it.
Buy now £140.00, Wilko.com
Armadillo Sun indoor outdoor bean bag lounger
Best: Ourdoor bean bag
Not sure if a sun lounger is quite relaxed enough? This bean bag version adds the sprawl to summer so you can lie back with your feet up without adjusting any legs or scrabbling about for cushions. It’s not cheap, but this is no ordinary bean bag. It’s large but as light as a feather for moving around the garden when you’re seeking the sunniest spot, feels luxe to the touch and is astonishingly weatherproof.
Handmade in Armadillo Sun’s Kent workshop, the patterned fabric comes in several brightly coloured designs and won’t fade or rot, drying quickly when wet and wiping clean when stained. It’s designed to be moved between indoors and out as you choose, but could easily be slung in the garden and left over the summer months too. The teardrop shape provides neck support so you can lean back like on a traditional lounger, and it’s a lot firmer than it looks so you won’t be stuck in it unable to get up either.
Buy now £259.99, Armadillosun.com
Kinnard reclining sun lounger
Best: Portable sun lounger
A great option if space is tight or you want an extra lounger for guests, this sunny lemon-coloured recliner is fantastically portable. It’s startlingly light so easy to whip out the moment the sun starts shining. You could even bring it along on camping trips as it folds down easily for storing.
We unfolded it from the box in moments without even glancing at the instructions and were reclining in no time. It is important to straighten the legs out properly to make sure it doesn’t collapse, but once up, we found this lounger very sturdy and comfortable. The backrest was easily adjusted from sitting up to lying horizontal and it locked securely into place without budging. It’s hard wearing too, with water and UV resistant Oxford cloth, although this is quite rough to the touch which might not be to everyone’s liking. It’s currently out of stock, but you can sign up to be notified when it’ll be back.
Buy now £47.99, Wayfair.co.uk
Keter daytona sun lounger
Best: Rattan sun lounger
If you fancy a traditional rattan look, this black lounger with a woven design has classic good looks. It’s fairly straightforward to put together and can be left in position year-round once assembled, as the frame is weatherproof and won’t fade in the sun. The backrest has four positions and is a cinch to adjust, even without standing up, although we did find the grey cushions a little thin when lying down for longer periods. But for this price, it’s a great addition to any garden.
Buy now £140.00, Argos.co.uk
Ikea torholmen sunlounger, grey
Best: Hardwearing sun lounger
This sleek grey option looked stylishly understated in our garden, and we loved the fact it could match almost any other furniture we already had. It’s extremely lightweight and can be stacked if you want to buy more than one – though be aware that it doesn’t fold up if you’re short on space. The back is easily adjusted into four positions and all felt secure.
The best bit? The rust proof aluminium frame and hard-wearing polyester mesh fabric are a dream for lazy sun-worshippers. Plus, rainwater runs straight through the mesh so it dries quickly after a shower and the whole thing can be kept outside with no maintenance, except a quick wipe with a cloth to keep it looking good. This lounger is currently only available in store.
Buy now £125.00, Ikea.com
The verdict: Sun loungers
For resort-style relaxation this summer, the Barlow Tyrie capri standard lounger is unbeatable for its sheer good looks and sleek, teak frame. If you’re looking for something a little more budget-friendly, you can’t go wrong with the Kinnard reclining sun lounger for under £50.
For discounts and offers on homeware, try the links below:
For more luxurious garden furniture, we’ve rounded up the best egg chairs to hang out in