If you’re considering adding new outdoor furniture to your outdoor living space, the two iconic reclining wooden chairs that complete every beach, garden, or cabana should be your best pick.
We are talking about Muskoka chairs and Adirondack chairs, the two classics that have been popular for over a century.
Although they look nearly the same in design and share a similar history, a comparison of Adirondack chair vs Muskoka chair shows some unique differences that set them apart.
So today, we’ll compare Muskoka chair vs Adirondack chair to help you determine which of these two classic outdoor chairs is suitable for your outdoor spaces. Read on.
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Muskoka Chairs Vs Adirondack Chairs: Understanding The History
Ask anyone about the Muskoka chair and the Adirondack chair, and they’ll tell you these two beautiful products are the same and therefore indistinguishable.
In Canada, this 20th-century patio furniture is called Muskoka after the vacationing town of Muskoka, Ontario.
In the United States, they’re known as the Adirondack chair, also named after the Adirondack mountains of Westport, NY, from where the first chair was designed.
In essence, when you do a Muskoka chair vs. Adirondack chair comparison, you find that both share the exact origin and story.
In 1903, a man named Thomas Lee, motivated by a need to find comfortable outdoor lounging chairs for his guests, handcrafted the first Adirondack chair from natural wood.
He later showed the prototype to a friend, Harry Bunnell, who patented it and designed similar chairs for 20 years until the chair found its way to the cottage and summer holiday town of Muskoka, Canada.
There, a different manufacturer designed and patented it and named it the Muskoka chair.
To turn the Adirondack chair into the unique design that it’s known for today, Lee tried out 20 different prototypes before the design was finalized.
Since then, the outdoor lounging chair has evolved into a unique brand with many variations and is a staple of beaches, patios, pool decks, and other outdoor living spaces.
The Muskoka chair borrowed and retained much of the Adirondack chair design and features that contributed to its popularity in Canada.
Whether you want to call it Adirondack or Muskoka, this wooden lounge chair with a slanted back, reclining shape, and wide arms is the epitome of outdoor luxury and comfort.
However, the Muskoka chair underwent specific changes that led to the three key differences that make the two outdoor chairs unique.
Yet it remains interesting that the Northerners or Canadians adopted the Adirondack chair from the neighboring southern state of New York.
Adirondack was a suitable name at the time, considering that Mr. Lee spent most of his summer days in the Adirondack mountains.
The subtle changes made to the Muskoka chair did nothing to change the fact that both the Muskoka and Adirondack chairs represent the vacationing destinations of New York and Ontario.
Adirondack Chair Vs Muskoka Chair: The Similarities
There has been a lot of debate between Muskoka Chairs and Adirondack Chairs, with each brand receiving more renaissance and resurgence in popularity.
The debates are focused on the styles, designs, color options, and materials that have since been updated and improved to meet the unique tastes of the modern consumer.
A lot of thought and consideration has been given to the built-in features like sliding Ottomans, adjustable headrests, and cup holders that make sitting in this classic outdoor chair a comfortable and relaxing experience.
Today both Muskoka chairs and Adirondack chairs are made of different wood variations, pine and oak being the most popular and teak being the most expensive and durable.
Teak is a sturdy hardwood that requires little maintenance and is used for outdoor living spaces.
Other popular Adirondack chairs and Muskoka chairs are made of poly-wood, eco-friendly recycled plastic lumber known for being weather resistant.
So regardless of which name you prefer, Muskoka and Adirondack chairs are luxurious, ultra-comfortable, and stylish garden chairs that compliment any outdoor setting and last for generations.
Muskoka Chair Vs Adirondack Chair: The Major Differences
Overall, many differences between Adirondack and Muskoka can be found in the designs.
Suppose the Adirondack chair continues to be constructed following the original prototype design; it would be two inches higher and two inches wider than the Muskoka chair.
Another notable difference is the Adirondacks flat yoke at its back, unlike the Muskoka chair with a slightly curved yoke at the back of the sloping seat.
These two are the main differences between the two iconic patio chairs, and the differences would not be so apparent to any casual observer.
Adirondack chairs vs Muskoka Chairs: Difference in Design
As we have seen, the Adirondack chair and Muskoka chair are interchangeable. The difference being in their size and shape, the Adirondack tends to have more ample room.
Still, for over 100 years, companies have made several adjustments to both chairs to accommodate different users.
The yoke is the main feature that has passed through numerous adjustments.
A flat yoke at the back of the Adirondack and a curved one at the back of Muskoka thus distinguish the two outdoor patio furniture.
Furthermore, the Adirondack has a steeper design, making it more comfortable and ideal for lounging.
The Muskoka, on the other hand, isn’t as steep, and you can quickly get out of it, which is why it’s more suitable for seniors and the sick.
Adirondack manufacturers have since taken more of this and improved their innovations to make the Adirondack accommodating to all users.
Muskoka Chairs Vs Adirondack Chairs: Height Differences
Having two extra inches of height makes the Adirondack chair ideal for people with larger physiques.
When using a chair for outdoor or indoor space, a key factor should be how easy it is to use.
In instances of a physical injury like a bad knee or age-related problem, getting out of steep chairs can be a bit of a problem.
So when we compare the Muskoka chair vs. the Adirondack chair, the extra inches of height, the longer legs, and the higher seat sure make a big difference.
Muskoka Chair Vs Adirondack Chair: Width Differences
Another difference between the two iconic chairs, which are just as indiscernible, is the width between the armrests. The Adirondack is typically designed with wide armrests indicating that this type of outdoor chair is more suitable for bulky people.
Flexibility also gives it the advantage of accommodating two skinny people or children. If you have children, you can use the extra space to snug up on a fantastic evening by the fire pit.
Adirondack vs Muskoka Chair: Difference in Materials
Following the traditional innovations of Mr. Lee, both Muskoka and Adirondack chairs are handcrafted as Lee did with the prototype.
The outdoor furniture is natural, primarily highland wood, including pine, oak, and cedar. The more expensive variations are made of teak.
Muskoka chairs are typically manufactured in Canada, while Adirondacks are made in upstate New York and shipped to customers in different regions.
As furniture design has lived through its second century since its invention, significant innovative developments have been carried out.
The latest of these is the use of poly-lumber, made from 100% recyclable consumable plastics.
One notable variant is Poly-Luxe, designed to withstand the rigors of weather without losing its aesthetics or quality.
Interestingly poly luxe has a look and feels of natural wood, making it one of the popular variants.
Regardless of which materials Muskoka and Adirondack chairs are made of, both are designed specifically for outdoor use.
The two chairs are built to withstand the harsh weather elements and are not susceptible to rot, pest invasion, or mildew making them maintenance-free.
All that’s needed to keep the Westport chair in shape is an occasional wash with detergent soap and water.
The flexibility in the weight of both outdoor chairs makes them easy to move around and store without worrying that they could break.
Muskoka vs Adirondack: Difference in Appearance
Choosing Adirondack or Muskoka chair is still a win if you’re keen on aesthetics.
This iconic chair is known for its excellent color combination and variations, made from wood and poly wood.
Since the days of Thomas Lee in the 1900s, the Adirondack and Muskoka chairs have come a long way.
Now they’re available as ottomans, tete-a-tetes, rocking chairs, unique tables, and feature built-in cup holders.
Both Adirondack chairs and Muskoka chairs belong in cottage, garden, pool, and seaside settings, although you can integrate them into other spaces like patios.
Muskoka vs adirondack chair: Differences in Usage
Best known for their comfort, you’re likely to find Muskoka and Adirondack chairs in any cottage destination. They complete any fire pit gathering and make the experience more memorable.
On your next holiday vacation, expect to find your favorite Muskoka or Adirondack chairs in any lodge, inn, or hotel.
These chairs make outdoor resting spacing for guests beautiful and relaxing and can be used as tanning and sunbathing furniture in a seaside restaurant.
In Canada, no patio or porch is complete without Muskoka chairs, the same way Adirondack chairs make the perfect outdoor addition to properties in the United States.
The unique aesthetics of the two chairs make for a comfortable lounging area in your compound.
Curved Yoke Vs Flat Back
Next time you want to distinguish between an Adirondack chair from a Muskoka chair, look at the back of the chair.
You’re looking at a Muskoka chair if it has a curved yoke. On the other hand, if the chair’s back yoke appears relatively flat, then that’s the famous Adirondack chair.
The differences, while being extremely subtle, are crucial in helping you identify the ideal chair, especially when you need to make a purchasing decision.
Adirondack Chair Vs Muskoka: FAQs
Which came first: the Adirondack Chair or Muskoka Chair?
The Adirondack chair was the first to be made in Westport, upstate New York in 1903 before the first patent reached Canada to design the Muskoka chair. For 20 years, beginning in 1903, Harry Bunnel patented the designs he obtained from founder Thomas Lee to make the Adirondack chairs known then as Westport chairs, before another manufacturer acquired the patenting rights to create similar structures in the cottage town of Muskoka, Canada.
Muskoka Chair Vs Adirondack Chair: Which is best for the outdoors?
Both chairs are meant for outdoor living. Muskoka is synonymous with Canadians as Adirondack is with Americans. Overall, both outdoor furniture’s materials, design, and quality precisely fit outdoor use.
What is the best Adirondack Chair?
The best overall Adirondack chair is the Lifetime Adirondack Chair for its comfort, flexibility, and durability. The best modern Adirondack chair is the POLYWOOD Modern Adirondack Chair, while the most luxurious is the Crate & Barrel Paso Teak Outdoor Adirondack Chair
What is the most comfortable Adirondack Chair?
The OT Qomotop Oversized Poly Lumber Adirondack Chair with Cup Holder is the most comfortable Adirondack chair. Pottery Barn Adirondack x Polywood Rocking Chair tops the list as the best for rocking, while the 2-set Rosecliff Heights Lopes Adirondack Chair leads the pack as the most colorful.
What makes the best Adirondack chairs?
Material, comfort, and durability. These three factors determine the overall quality of an Adirondack chair. Most are made of high-quality plastic or natural wood like teak, pine, oak, acacia, eucalyptus, and cedar, all of which are natural bug repellents. Other factors like flexible weight, ease of use, and maintenance determine if a Westport chair is good enough.
Muskoka Chair Vs Adirondack Chair – Summary
Tracing its humble beginnings as a family lawn chair in the Adirondack mountains in the 1900s, the Adirondack or Muskoka chair has become a symbol of cottage life living and the epitome of outdoor luxury and comfort.
And the fascination with these two iconic chairs can be attributed to their comfort and how they personify a more laid-back lifestyle.
So whichever name you give it, whether it’s Adirondack or Muskoka, that’s irrelevant. What counts is the rich history both chairs share and the unmatched comfort both bring.
Enjoy the luxury of lounging in these iconic Westport chairs and take pride in being part of their history.