Your Guide to Buying Plastic Garden Chairs

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Your Guide to Buying Plastic Garden Chairs

With the weather being what it is, the biggest problem most people encounter when dealing with garden furniture is how to adequately protect garden chairs and tables against damage. Rain, ice, wind, and snow can all play havoc with expensive tables, chairs, and loungers. Due to its light weight, plastic furniture is certainly not proof against the wind, but plastic garden chairs do cope extremely well with all the other elements. This fact, combined with affordable prices, accounts for plastic garden chairs’ huge popularity in Britain today.

The main virtue of plastic is its durability. It is not indestructible though, and can stain, become scratched, suffer burns, or, in extreme instances, crack. That said, a plastic garden chair usually remain serviceable for many, many years. And if given a little care now and then in the form of a wash and brush up, stays looking presentable, too.

Before buying a plastic garden chair, or a set of plastic garden chairs, it makes sense to take the time to understand the market. A little research will go a long way in helping a buyer find plastic garden chairs at the right price, with minimal fuss. A buyer can save time and money by purchasing plastic garden chairs online, from markets such as eBay. eBay carries listings for a good selection of plastic garden chairs at sensible prices.

Types of Plastic Garden Chairs

Garden chairs come in all different shapes and sizes, and this is equally true of plastic garden chairs. Being as how easy they are to manufacture, plastic garden chairs are available in all the common garden chair formats, including upright armchairs, stackable and folding chairs, bistro sets, benches, hammocks, and sun loungers.

Traditionally, plastic garden chairs were easy to spot. They were often white, sometimes green, and had a distinctive and obvious plastic appearance. This is not always the case nowadays, with colours varying dramatically and some synthetic chairs being made to look remarkably like other materials such as teak or rattan. These modern synthetic garden chairs are the exception rather than the rule, and for most people are not what would immediately spring to mind when one thinks of plastic garden chairs.

The Versatile and Resilient Plastic Garden Chair

The typical plastic garden chair, of the sort seen in pub gardens and pavement cafes across the country, is still white. It has a bucket shaped base, integral arms, and a lattice backrest. The reason they are so popular in pubs and cafes is their versatility and their resilience. A plastic chair of this sort will last for years.

These same qualities mean that it is ideally suited to use in a family garden, where it will survive the onslaughts of children and the weather, alike.

Hardy in Winter Weather

That resilience stems from the fact that the plastic resin of the sort used to make these chairs, which is often a substance called polypropylene, is tough and durable even in freezing temperatures. Therefore, plastic garden chairs can be left outdoors all year round. Few other garden chairs can match the robustness of plastic varieties.

That is not to say that plastic garden chairs cannot be broken, as very cold temperatures can make them more brittle, and a sufficiently strong shock can crack any plastic. However, such breakages are comparatively rare.

Resistant to Rain

As well as resisting severe cold, plastic garden chairs are also impervious to water. This is a unique advantage for them, as they are the only type of garden chair for which a drenching carries absolutely no fear. Teak, for example, is resistant to water, but not completely impervious to it. Plastic resin can be left standing in water for days without rotting, warping, or degrading. Although the surface may still become stained over time if the water carries contaminants.

Ideal as Poolside Chairs

Another popular use for plastic garden chairs is beside a family swimming pool. Here, their water repellent properties are a particular advantage. Plastic sun loungers are especially popular, thanks to their reasonable cost and their lightweight construction, which makes them easy to move around. With poolside weather at a premium, it is good to be able to make the most of any sunshine that does come along, by wheeling or carrying a sun lounger into the sunniest spot as the afternoon shadows lengthen.

Some of these sun loungers are designed for lying on without a cushion, while others have cushions included. In either case, they tend to be economical and comfortable options.

Ultraviolet (UV) Sensitivity

Of particular importance when buying a sun lounger, although this applies to any type of plastic chair, is the vulnerability of plastic resin to strong sunlight. This stems from the fact that polypropylene can break down when exposed over a long period of time to ultraviolet radiation (UV).

To combat this, a special additive needs to be included in the resin’s chemical recipe. For anyone buying plastic garden chairs that are going to be subjected to strong sunlight over an extended period, it is worth checking to see if the chair is marketed as UV resistant, or not. The point should not be laboured too much, as most plastic chairs generally survive mild English summers well enough. But for the buyer looking to get years of use out of their plastic garden chairs, ultraviolet protection is desirable.

Caring for a Plastic Garden Chair

Having considered the essential advantages of buying a plastic garden chair, it is also important to consider how much maintenance they require. Fortunately, plastic garden chairs are low maintenance, however, they do require some regular care to ensure they look their best. Wash them down with soapy water once in awhile, but never scrub them, as this abrades the surface, wearing down the finish.

Polishing Plastic Garden Chairs

It may sound extreme, but for those who really want to keep their plastic garden chairs looking pristine, an occasional coat of car wax will do wonders. After all, most car lovers polish the plastic and fibreglass trim on their vehicles, so it is hardly surprising that plastic garden chairs should benefit from similar care. Waxing helps to protect the smooth glazed surface of the chair, keeping it looking as new. Take care not use an abrasive polish though, as this will scratch the surface.

Dealing With Stains

One of the few drawbacks of a plastic garden chair is its susceptibility to stains. Cigarette stubs are a common culprit. Although any chair can suffer a burn mark from a cigarette, the smooth, often white surface of a plastic garden chair suffers especially badly when melted and browned by a cigarette burn. Other substances can also stain the surface of a plastic garden chair. When this happens, take care to avoid harsh cleaners, as these can make the problem worse. Half a lemon is sometimes helpful, as its mild acidity shifts most stains. Otherwise, try touching up the chair with a suitable white paint. 

Buying Plastic Garden Chairs

If you are thinking of buying some plastic garden chairs, you are probably attracted by their cost and how easy it is to care for them. They can safely be left outdoors year round, are tough enough to stand up to kids, and light enough to carry around the garden. Since they come in such a wide variety of shapes and styles, it should be easy to find the perfect plastic chairs for your garden.

That said, it is rare that any one retail outlet carries more than a few types of plastic chair. Common issues like space and stocking costs mean that high street retailers and garden centres only concentrate on a few popular styles. Few are able to carry a full range of plastic garden chairs.

For this reason, as well as the chance to get a really good deal, many buyers prefer to look online for their plastic garden chairs. Without having to spend precious time and expensive petrol running around from store to store, it is possible to see a good selection of  plastic garden chairs at Internet markets such as eBay.

How to Search for Plastic Garden Chairs on eBay

Searching for the ideal plastic garden chair on eBay is straightforward. All you need do is enter a search term such as "plastic garden chairs" into the search bar. This actions brings up a results page that is populated with all the current listings that match that description. At any one time there is potentially a few hundred listings for garden chairs posted for sale. To hone your search better, simply include more descriptive keywords in the search query.

The more specific your query, the fewer the results, but the more focused your search will be. On the results page, you also have the option of using various search filters to sort the listings. Because garden furniture is bulky, it may be quite expensive to ship across the country. You can save money on postage by only doing business with a seller in your local area and picking up the garden chairs yourself. To sort the listings to only show those posted by local sellers, simply enter your postcode on the results page, under the heading, ‘Distance, and specify a search radius.


Plastic garden chairs are economical to buy, almost weatherproof, waterproof, hardwearing, and easy to care for. They are not indestructible though, and ideally a resin which has ultraviolet protection should be chosen. Plastic garden chairs also need a little care to look their best. That said, even if neglected, they will survive perfectly well. They simply won’t look as shiny and new.  

Plastic garden chairs can be left out year round, moved about easily, and are strong enough to survive kids. Not surprisingly, therefore, there are many different styles and to a lesser extent colours, available. This variability makes it difficult to get a good impression of the full range by visiting a garden centre or high street store. For this reason, as well as for reasons of price, many shoppers choose to search for their plastic garden chairs online. Internet markets such as eBay often have a good selection of plastic garden chairs at reasonable prices. This makes eBay an excellent place to buy plastic garden chairs.

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