What Are the Different Types of Plastic Chair?

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  • Written By: Gregory Hanson
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 09 March 2014
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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.


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