Why Is Patio Furniture So Low to the Ground? (And How to Raise It)

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After a long and grueling day at work, you may want to take a breather on the patio. As you open the door and take a seat on one of the wicker chairs, you can’t help but wonder “Why is patio furniture so low to the ground?”

Well, think back to your office where the chair is relatively higher seated allowing you to place better focus on your work. Meanwhile, out on your patio, you want to relax and a low chair can give you enough room to cozy up and stretch your legs.

Aside from feeling comfortable, the outdoor furniture also looks inviting. Plus, it can fit more people in case you decide to have a backyard cookout.

Now, if you’re not a fan of the low seat, you can always add a few cushions to make it higher or use other methods. Stick around to learn more about why patio furniture is so low to the ground and how you can raise its height when needed.

Why Patio Furniture Is Low

People love patios for several reasons. They provide a great place where you can entertain friends and family or simply dine outdoors.

Even more, it’s a place to escape the confines of the indoors and to kick back and relax.

This brings us to why various patio furniture options are designed so low. Chances are, you may not be able to fully loosen up in a high-seated chair with an upright back support.

Patio furniture seating height is often around 16″, while indoor couches are often upwards of 20″ high. Several inches can have a huge difference in how close you feel to the ground.

Having said that, let’s get into why patio furniture is usually so low to the ground.

Provides Versatility

Why have tall furniture that you can’t shorten when you can have low furniture that you can heighten? Low patio chairs and tables are made to give you better flexibility.

If you want to add more height to your chair or couch, all you have to do is add a few extra cushions. Furniture risers are also an ideal solution to elevate tables and other patio furniture.

Meanwhile, if the furniture was high, it would be considerably more tasking to cut the height off. You’ll most likely need some professional help, which will, in turn, become a costly process altogether.

Gives More Comfort

After sitting for hours on end at a work desk upright, you may experience a bit of back pain. Instead, experts believe that a 135-degree recline is better for your back, rather than the standard 90-degree angle.

Think of your spine as a stack of pebbles. When you’re at a 90-degree angle, the stack is upright but there’s a lot of gravity strain pushing it down over time.

Meanwhile, sitting with a bit more recline on a patio chair can help you outstretch your back along with your legs. Additionally, since patio furniture is usually heavily cushioned, you’ll be getting most of the lumbar support you need.

Whether you’re lounging or reading a book on your patio chair, the last thing on your mind will be back pain from sitting all day at the office.

Offers Better Stability

The taller the furniture is, the harder it’ll be to remain stable. For instance, let’s say you put a bar stool next to a low chaise lounge on a particularly windy day.

Which is more likely to fall? When it comes to stability, the skinny bar stool legs are no match for the chaise longue’s larger surface area and closeness to the ground.

Apart from that, when you’re seated on a tall chair, you’ll likely feel less balanced than when laying on a short patio seat.

Allows More Space

Patios are all about summer BBQs and get-togethers. Finding enough room is sometimes challenging.

Luckily, short patio furniture is usually wider and can accommodate more people, especially kids. You can easily fit two children in a single patio chair.

On top of that, the wider and lower furniture will give your gatherings a cozier feeling. Additionally, your short friends will thank you since their legs don’t have to uncomfortably hang.

More Fitting for Outdoor Furniture Design

Patio designs can often go wrong for various reasons. You may be adding too much color, overcrowding the furniture, or not arranging the seating plan correctly.

This is why you want to think like an outdoor designer and understand the aesthetic you’re going for. As an outdoor seating plan, you want to evoke a calming vibe.

If you add high furniture, you may risk overcrowding the space since you’ll need more of it to accommodate your guests. Meanwhile, lower furniture is much larger and provides better value.

How Can I Raise the Height of My Patio Furniture?

Although low patio furniture carries several benefits, it can be uncomfortable for some, especially tall people. The good news is that there are a few ways you can raise the height of your patio furniture.

Method 1: Add Extra Cushions

You can raise your furniture seating by attaching extra cushions. This method is ideal if you want to raise your patio furniture by a small amount rather than several inches.

Alternatively, you can replace the seat cushions altogether and purchase thicker ones. Keep in mind that this may not work for every furniture piece since it may be difficult to find a replaceable taller cushion.

Other than that, you also want to make sure you have the bigger-sized covers for your taller furniture upholstery.

Method 2: Replace Furniture Legs

This method will only work if your patio furniture comes with screwable legs. If you do have adjustable legs, you can simply take the old short ones out and buy new taller ones from a furniture shop.

If you’re unsure how to go about this process, you can always ask for a specialist’s assistance in the shop.

Some patio furniture also utilizes metal framing rather than traditional legs, in which case this option will not work.

Method 3: Use Furniture Risers

This is the most common solution to lengthening your patio furniture. Furniture risers are an easy and fool-proof method to add height to the outdoor sofas, chairs, and even tables.

Furniture risers come in a variety of sizes. Most commercial options range between two to eight inches in height. Besides the size, there are also lots of styles and finishes to match your furniture.

How to Make Homemade Furniture Risers

Although there are various furniture riser choices in stores, you can make your own to better suit your furniture’s fit and style.

You can design the style of your homemade furniture risers to match your furniture.  Or you can keep the risers simple, but functional.

Without further ado, here are some basic steps in making your own furniture risers.

Step 1: Prepare Your Materials

Firstly, you want to make sure all your tools and materials are set. You can choose between several material types to make your furniture riser, such as wood, plastic or metal.

Broadly speaking, using wood is much better than plastic since the latter can break easily if the weight of the furniture is too heavy.  Metal is the most durable, but is not as practical for most homeowners to modify.

Even though you can choose between several types of wood, you can’t go wrong with cedar.  This wood option is rot and insect resistant, which is perfect for your outdoor patio furniture. 

Another wood to consider is Douglas Fir.  Douglas Fir is generally more structurally stable than cedar, but is not as rot resistant.

For basic wood furniture risers, here is a quick rundown of what you’ll need:

  • Tape Measure
  • Saw (Miter, Table, or Hand)
  • Drill/Screwdriver
  • 4 x 4 Wood
  • 1” x 6” Wood
  • Wood Glue
  • Screws
  • Non-slip pad
  • Polyurethane & brush (optional)

Step 2: Measure Your Patio Furniture Legs

Before getting to work, you’ll want to figure out the dimensions of your furniture risers.  You’ll mainly want to measure the width, length, and height of the legs. 

For the height of the risers, usually a couple inches is enough to be noticeable.  Taller risers may require more reinforcement to keep them sturdy.

Step 3: Saw Your Wood Pieces

Now, there are a few ways you can go about this step. One of the methods is to cut a single block of the 4×4 post and drill a hole where the leg of the furniture piece will go in.  It’s important that the depth of the hole is the same for each post in order to keep the furniture level.

Alternatively, you can go for a more secure design by first cutting a block of 4 x 4 post to the desired height. Afterward, you’ll want to cut five square pieces of the 1 x 4 to surround the post sides and bottom, while leaving a space at the top for the leg.

In this instance, we’ll assume we want to raise the height by 3 inches. Here are the cut measurements for each riser needed:

  • Post: 4 x 4 x 3”
  • 2 sides: 1 x 4 x 5” 
  • 2 opposite sides: 1 x 4 x 3-½” 
  • 1 bottom piece: 1 x 5 ½ x 5-½”

These dimensions will provide sides that are slightly taller than the post itself.  Again, you can be creative in how you design this, just ensure your post is cut exactly to the same length for all risers to keep it balanced.

Step 4: Assemble and Screw Wood Pieces Together

Once your pieces are cut, you just need to assemble all of them to make sure they fit snugly together.  The four 1″ thick pieces should surround the sides and bottom of the 4 x 4.

When you’re satisfied with the fit, apply wood glue to the sides and bottom pieces, and then screw them into the post.  

Step 5: Apply Varnish and Felt Pad

After the glue has dried, you can sand any rough spots out.  You can then apply a varnish or stain to the riser so it’s more well-protected from the outdoor harsh elements.  

If using cedar, a protectant is not necessary, but it can still add aesthetic appeal.

To keep the furniture riser stable, apply a non-slip pad to the bottom of each riser.

Once you’ve built the number of risers you need, you can raise up the furniture and test them out!

Final Takeaway

Why is patio furniture so low to the ground? Generally, low-slung furniture gives your outdoor area a more relaxed vibe.

In addition to this, the low seating comforts your back and accommodates more people during get-togethers.

All the same, patio furniture is versatile. If you don’t want to feel so close to the ground, making or purchasing furniture risers is always an option.

Otherwise, the low furniture may also be somewhat inviting for your dog. In such cases, you’ll want to dog-proof the furniture to keep it lasting longer.

Happy Lounging!

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