the Muskoka chair vs. Adirondack chair

When it comes to iconic symbols of cottage life, Muskoka chairs have established their place right along with campfires by the lake. The Muskoka chair is synonymous with the Adirondack chair and although many people use these words interchangeably there are some notable differences when comparing the Muskoka chair vs. Adirondack chair.

rainbow coloured muskoka and adirondack chairs

2” Height difference between Muskoka and Adirondack chair

At a glance, the two chairs may seem identical, however, this is not the case. The seat of the Adirondack chair is two inches higher than that of the Muskoka. It could be argued that this distinguishing difference may play a factor for people of a larger proportion.

It’s not just the effort of lowering yourself into the seat that presents the issue but also getting up out of your seat. If you have bad knees or are feeling the effects of age, then getting up from these types of chairs is going to be a lot more of an effort than that of your traditional dining chair.

But we’re not talking dining chairs, we’re comparing the Adirondack chair vs. Muskoka chair. So should the extra 2 inches make a big difference in your purchase decision?

For most people, this difference is insignificant enough to dismiss. However, if you’re someone who could use every inch of help you might want the Adirondack chair with the longer legs and higher seat.

Comparing the muskoka chair vs. adirondack chair side by side

Curved yoke vs. flat back

The back of Muskoka chairs has a curved yoke, whereas Adirondack chairs are constructed with a flat back. While for many, this may not seem like a big difference, others may be of the opinion that the curve is more beneficial. After all, why not allow your head the luxury of being cradled by the Muskoka chair-even if it is only ever-so-slightly.

Adirondack and Muskoka chairs lined up on the beach
Flatback Adirondack chairs

2” difference in the width between the armrests

The last barely discernible difference between the Muskoka and Adirondack chairs is the width between the armrests. Adirondack chairs happen to offer the extra two inches of space between the armrests. This feature, once again, points to the slight notion that Adirondack chairs are designed for those of a larger proportion. You could also offer the advantage of being able to fit two skinny people on one chair. If you have kids-the extra space may also provide the extra bit of comfort for a snuggly evening by the firepit.

Two blue Muskoka chairs by the fire pit

History of the Muskoka and Adirondack chairs

You may find it interesting enough to learn that we, the North, have adopted the Adirondack chair from our neighbours down south. The original inventor coined the name because he spent his summers in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. Obviously, we’ve renamed it the Muskoka chair in recognition of our famous cottage destination in the summers. We’ve also made some subtle changes in design but apart from that, both names represent the immensely popular cottage destinations for New Yorkers and Ontarians.

Originally, these chairs were invented with the intent of being the ultimate lounging chairs. The inventor, Thomas Lee,  went through about 20 different prototypes before finalizing the design. He offered the design to his friend, Thomas Bunnel, an out-of-work carpenter who immediately recognized its marketing potential.

Bunnel filed for a patent on the design (without his friend’s consent) and began manufacturing a similar chair called the Westport. The chair has since evolved into what you see today but with many different variations.

Different variations of the Adirondack and Muskoka chair

You can find Muskoka and Adirondack chairs with different shaped slats and different materials. Muskoka chairs are predominantly made from softwood, hardwood or recycled plastic (poly lumber). 

Many manufacturers have been able to blend different types and styles of chairs to come up with new variations of the original Adirondack chair design. 

Adirondack rocking chair

Green Adirondack rocking chair

Swivel Muskoka Chair

Kids Adirondack Chair

A welcome addition for every cottage and outdoor living space

Whether you call it an Adirondack chair or a Muskoka chair is a trivial matter. Both chairs offer the same experience you’re after with the same sleek and stylish design. Enjoy the ultimate comfort of these iconic pieces of outdoor furniture and look good while you’re doing it!

Visit our showroom or call us for more information on the Muskoka chair vs. Adirondack chair.

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