Muskoka Chairs Vs Adirondack Chairs: What's The Difference?

If you’re in the market for outdoor furniture, then you can’t go wrong with the reclining wooden chairs that are staples of beaches, cabanas, and gardens. After all, Adirondack chairs and Muskoka chairs have been popular for over a century. However, despite the fact that they are, in fact, different chairs, they’re so similar that most people can’t tell them apart. What is the difference between a Muskoka chair and an Adirondack chair? Explore our blog today to familiarize yourself with each of these beautiful products:

Subtle Differences

Many people will tell you that the Muskoka chair and the Adirondack chair are almost indistinguishable. Called the Muskoka chair in Canada and the Adirondack chair in the USA, they are nearly one and the same. That’s because they share an origin story. 

The Adirondack chair was created by Thomas Lee and is named for the Adirondack Mountains in the state of New York. In 1903, he was looking for comfortable chairs for guests that he could use outside. Thus, he invented the Adirondack chair. He showed the prototype to his friend, Harry Bunnell, who patented it under his own name and benefited from the patent for 20 years in the USA. It was eventually brought to Canada by a different manufacturer, who called it the Muskoka chair, named for the Canadian Muskokas. 

The Muskoka chair retained the defining features of the Adirondack chair that were essential in regards to its eventual popularity. Whether it’s a Muskoka or Adirondack, a wooden lounge chair with wide arms and a slanted back has become the epitome of outdoor comfort. However, changes were made in the design of the Muskoka chair and now there are three key differences that make both chairs unique. 


At a glance, the Muskoka and Adirondack chairs are interchangeable. There’s a slight difference in their size though. The classic Adirondack chair is two inches higher and also two inches wider than the traditional Muskoka chair. The larger dimensions make it roomier. That being said, in the last hundred years, companies have made different versions of both chairs to accommodate different users.

The biggest difference between the Muskoka and Adirondack chairs are the yokes. When you’re talking about chair yokes, you’re referring to how much the back of the chair curves. The Muskoka has a curved yoke, while the Adirondack is flat. The Adirondack is also a bit steeper, which makes people feel more reclined. It’s extremely comfortable, which makes it perfect for lounging. However, the Muskoka can be easier to get out of, making it more suitable for seniors. Companies have made innovations on the classic Adirondack chair so that people have an easier time getting in and out of the chair. 


Carrying on the tradition of Thomas Lee, who built the first Adirondack chair from hand, Muskoka chairs and Adirondack chairs are usually handcrafted and made out of gorgeous woods including cedar, pine, or teak. Many Muskoka and Adirondack chairs are built in their respective regions and then shipped to customers. 

A new innovation in Muskoka and Adirondack chairs is the use of poly-lumber, a plastic lumber made from 100% recyclable consumable plastics. Our special Poly-Luxe variant is designed to withstand the rigors of the elements while remaining beautiful and easy to care for. It’s the most sustainable choice in outdoor seating. The look and feel are similar to that of real wood!

Regardless of your material choice, know that these are chairs built for the great outdoors. They’re weather-resistant and impervious to pests, rot, and mildew, which means they’re basically maintenance-free. They just need an occasional wash with soap and water to keep them clean. They’re also collapsible, which makes them easy to move and store. Even better? They’re light to carry, but they hold a lot of weight themselves. You don’t have to worry about breaking them.


If you’re only worried about appearance, then either one of these gorgeous chairs will fit the bill. With a variety of woods and colors, they make an excellent addition to any outdoor decor. You can also get them in all shapes and sizes.

The Adirondack and Muskoka chairs have come a long way since 1903. Now you can get them with ottomans, tables, and built-in cup holders. They come in all different styles. A tete-a-tete Adirondack piece has two chairs joined together by a table, perfect for couples, or to treat yourself to the world’s most comfortable rocking chair. 

Adirondack chairs and Muskoka chairs flourish in cottage, seaside, and garden settings, but they can easily be integrated into other design schemes. Play around with ideas to see what you can come up with!


Because of their reputation for being so comfortable, you’ll find a lot of Muskoka chairs and Adirondack chairs in cottage regions. These chairs enhance the experience of escaping to nature and are often popular choices when you’re gathering around a fire with friends or just watching the water with a cool drink. You’ll find them in lodges, inns, and hotels in the Muskoka and Adirondack regions, as well as other areas abundant in nature. They make for beautiful outdoor resting areas for guests. Some restaurants in these regions even include these in their outside decor.

Muskoka chairs appear on patios and porches throughout Canada, the same way that Adirondack chairs adorn properties in the United States. They make for comfortable lounging areas in your backyard and are pleasing to the eye. 

The Iconic Chair

The Muskoka chair has become a defining feature of the Muskokas. They are featured on logos for local businesses throughout the region. The chairs have become so popular as outdoor furniture that they have come to symbolize the area, in fact. Nothing quite says ‘summer’ like lounging in your favourite seat at the cottage with a view of the lake or by the fire pit.

Are you ready to unwind? Now that you know the differences between a Muskoka chair and an Adirondack chair, it’s time to make a well-informed purchasing decision. The Best Adirondack Chair Company dedicates itself to producing the best, most beautiful and resilient chairs for outdoor lounging. Browse our website to see a full range of our products or get in touch with us for assistance. We’re happy to help!