Why Are Beach Chairs Lower?

Trying out a beach chair when you are not on the sand may make you wonder why anyone would choose to sit in such a low chair. But it all makes perfect sense when you are nestled in the soft, warm beach sand, and you can reach over the comfy armrest and touch the sand with your hands.

Beach chairs are lower to ensure they are stable and comfortable on uneven, sandy surfaces. The lower seat height makes them easy to stretch out on and relax on while providing support for your body. The lower the seat, the more steady it will be, making it less likely to topple over.

Few things are better than stretching out on a beach chair and gazing out over the crashing waves. We have looked into why beach chairs are designed to be lower than ordinary chairs so that you know what features to look out for when selecting the perfect chair for your next trip to the beach.

Why Are Beach Chairs Lower?

Sitting on a towel under a brightly colored beach umbrella is fine for a family trip to the beach, but nothing beats the luxury and comfort of reclining in a soft beach chair. Your torso is gently supported, and you don’t have to sit up from a lying position to view the crashing waves and take in the scene around you.

Stability is the number one consideration for beach chair designs. They support your body close to the ground, so the chair doesn’t easily tip over on the unstable sand surface. They are only intended for use on sandy beaches – where there is no danger of large rocks prodding you from below or unbalancing the chair.

Beach chair designs vary greatly from simple, lightweight camping-style beach chairs to heavy-duty models that feature side holders for drinks and pyramid leg construction. However, the one constant is that they will always be lower than an office or dining room table chair.

Indoor seating chairs are between 17 and 19 inches high – beach chair seats can be as low as 5 inches high. That’s a huge difference, and it can make them difficult for people with mobility issues to get in and out of comfortably. However, it makes them incredibly stable. If you used a regular chair on the beach, it would almost certainly quickly topple over.

Beach chairs are made for relaxing and even dozing off. In addition, you may want to turn the chair around according to the sun’s direction, so the sandy ground slant may not always be the same. It is, therefore, essential that the chair is low to the ground and provides sling-like support to nestle your body.

So, in a nutshell, there are some excellent reasons why beach chairs need to be lower than regular chairs.

  • They need to be stable on an uneven surface.
  • Being lower means you can stretch out.
  • You are less likely to be injured if it tips over on the uneven sandy surface.
  • Because they are lower, they can be reclinable while still remaining stable.
  • Being lower means the load-bearing supports on the chair can be made strong enough to hold a large amount of weight. So being plus size is no problem for a sturdy, low-to-the-ground beach chair.

Beach chairs are comfy while you’re in them, but they are notoriously difficult to get up from. The reason is, of course, because they are so low to the ground, and it can sometimes take a bit of effort to heave yourself into a standing position. This can make them challenging for people with mobility issues to use, so let’s look at why these chairs are designed to be lower than regular height chairs.

1. Lower Seats Mean Greater Stability

Quite simply, the lower your center of gravity, the less likely it will be that you will tip over. The higher you are, the more chance you and whatever you are seated on could topple over. So by designing low beach chairs, anyone can enjoy sitting securely, even if you are heavily built or don’t have the greatest sense of balance.

By keeping beach chairs low and stable, you can relax without concentrating on staying balanced. Beach chairs usually also feature soft, stretchy seat pads that allow your bottom to sink slightly below your knees to keep you firmly positioned.

2. Being Lower Means They Are Safer On Unstable Ground

Beach sand isn’t firm like a campground or asphalt surface. Sand may be more compact or softer depending on where on the beach you decide to set up, but it will never be solid. Even though beach chairs are extremely stable, like any chair, it is not impossible to topple over if you suddenly lean too far over to catch a beach ball or are having fun at a beach party.

Designing a chair to be used on an unstable surface means that it needs to be made with safety in mind. Beach chairs are ultra-low, so even if your chair does tip over, you won’t be able to fall far. It would be more like toppling over from a ground seated position than falling off a regular height chair.

3. Beach Chairs Are Low So You Can Stretch Out

When you are at the beach, you want to feel comfortable and connected to the beautiful environment. You don’t want to have to make a huge effort to stretch out comfortably and feel the sand between your toes.

Designing beach chairs to be lower means you can set the back position to a reclined position and stretch out. Adjusting the backrest allows you to rest various muscle groups and truly unwind. Not all beach chairs recline, so if you plan on spending long lazy days on the beach, be sure to look for this feature when selecting a beach chair.

4. A Lower Seat Is More Comfortable

While a low beach chair will never be suitable for a business meeting, its soft, padded, sling design allows you to settle in without worrying about staying balanced. In addition, most beach chairs have wider seats, so even elderly or larger size people will be able to remain securely seated.

The whole purpose of a beach chair is to provide stable and comfortable seating while you are out enjoying the seaside environment. They are built with relaxation in mind.

Features To Look For When Choosing A Beach Chair

Beach chairs usually have a significantly lower seat height than other chairs. This is so that, no matter your shape or size, your center of gravity is close to the ground. Even if the sand is super soft, if your chair is low, it is unlikely to tip over if your seat is very low.

But beach chairs are not only about how far your bottom is from the sand – there’s a lot more to consider when selecting one of these cozy little seats for your next trip to the beach. Let’s go through some of the most important considerations for choosing your perfect beach companion.


Although the lower the seat of a beach chair is from the ground, the more stable it will be. However, they come in various heights, so if you’re not a fan of the ultra-low style beach chairs or have trouble standing up from one, you should choose a model with a slightly higher seat setting.

On average, beach chair seats are between 8 and 12 inches high. Some can be lower than this, but it can make it more challenging to stand up. If you are slightly taller or need a higher chair, they are also available in designs featuring higher seats. Some, like the one from BeachMall on Amazon below, have a seat height of 17 inches which is perfect for anyone who likes the more traditional feeling of a chair.

Lightweight and easy to set up

Relaxing on the beach in your beach chair is usually the end result of a process. You may need to carry your chair quite a distance to set it up in your selected spot, so keep weight in mind when choosing. Also, choose a design that you can easily fold to store.


Almost all beach chairs are designed with incredible load capacity. Even a standard beach chair can hold up to 250lbs. However, it is always good to check the load capacity of a chair you are buying to feel secure enough to relax completely. Some models like the one from ICECO on Amazon below can comfortably hold 300lbs and is a comfortable option for larger adults.


Ensure that the seat is well cushioned and spacious. You may have a thick beach towel wrapped around your waist after a refreshing swim, so make sure the seat is wide and comfortable, even if you are a little wider than usual.


Not all beach chairs have backs that recline, but many do have several adjustable positions. The lower the chair height, the more likely it is that it will be able to recline. Luxury and comfort meet in this 4-position reclining Ottoman lounger from Hayneedle.


Sea air is refreshing, but it can be quite hard on your equipment. Ensure that your beach chair is made of rust-resistant materials that will last a long time. Also, take note of the fabric – it must be able to withstand long days in the sun without looking tired and faded.


Some beach chairs come with built-in canopies, like the one from BeachMall Store on Amazon below. Sun protection is essential when you are at the beach, so this can be a handy feature if you don’t want to lug a bulky beach umbrella as a separate item.


For long lazy days on the beach, you may want to keep your book and drink close at hand and safely out of the sand. Some beach chairs have armrests or handy storage bags where you can keep your keys and extra sunscreen.

How To Stop A Beach Chair From Sinking In The Sand

Beach chairs are low, making them feel stable in a sandy environment. Sometimes, they work a little too well, and as the chair sinks lower, you may start to feel your bottom making contact with the surface of the sand.

While this may be part of the beach experience for some, it can be pretty annoying, especially if you prefer a beach chair with a higher seat height. Fortunately, this is a common challenge, and there are several hacks that you can try to keep your beach chair above ground, even on soft sand.

  • Use a sand mat – Beach chairs are prone to sinking because the legs are small compared to the weight the chair is supporting on the soft surface. A beach chair-sized sand mat, like the one from Amazon below, will prevent the chair from sinking in the sand.

  • Cut slits in tennis balls to cover the beach chair legs – This works well if your beach chair has suitable legs.
  • Add crocs – Attaching small, inexpensive crocs to each chair leg is a cute and lightweight solution to keep your beach chair above the sand.
  • Give your beach chair its own towel – Some beach chairs have front and back sleigh legs to distribute weight more evenly. If you don’t have a sand mat handy and have set up on soft sand, it can help to place your chair up on top of an old towel folded in half to make it thicker.
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Beach chairs are lower than regular chairs, so they are stable, safe, and comfortable, allowing you to stretch out and enjoy the sandy setting. The lower your center of gravity, the less likely it is that the chair will topple over, and even better, the lower the seat, the more likely it will have back reclining settings.

A comfy beach chair is sure to make any trip to the beach more fun, especially if you are going to be there for more than just a few hours. You will be able to relax and take in the scenery more comfortably.