When you hear someone mention folding chairs, several concepts and images will spring to mind, most of which are either associated with the outdoors or the film industry. The most famous of these are the round and the flat foldable chairs. But what is the difference between folding round chair vs folding flat chair?

What are folding chairs?

Contrary to popular belief, folding chairs have been around for quite some time, with curious artifacts dating as early as the 15th century BC. These items were recovered in the Mediterranean era and were made of wood and bronze, sometimes even gold. Egyptian pharoahs have even adorned their tombs with some that are made of ebony and ivory.

Folding chairs are often imbued with intricate carvings and are sometimes gilded and decorated with complimentary materials that elevate the value of the chair. The folding chair, in its earlier inception, was often used by members of the aristocracy in that era as a means of separating them from the rest of the society.

What are the different uses for folding chairs?

Nowadays, folding chairs are often used in situations wherein a permanent seating solution is not available or is not seen as being practical. Examples of these are activities like camping, sporting events, funerals, and competitions, as well as being a solution for interior decoration and extra seating arrangements in a small living space.

Before knowing what is the difference between folding round chair vs folding flat chair, it is best to know the different kinds of folding chairs as well as their features.

What is a Folding Flat Chair?

Flat folding chairs are your traditional folding chairs that work using leg and backrest pivots to fold down into a compact size. They are often made of a combination of steel and flexible plastic which can support heavier loads than other known materials.

Flat folding chairs are lightweight and are more often found in gatherings like church services and sporting events because of its small size and shape since it lets you align everything rank and file.

Here are some of the features of flat foldable chairs:

  • Support. The supporting frame of folding flat chairs are often made of high-grade steel that can withstand the pressure of carrying large weights. The frame itself is often in a crisscrossed design with a pivot at the junction of the pivoting legs. An additional support arm is often placed across its legs as needed.
  • Seat. The seats of foldable flat chairs are often cushioned with foam and vinyl, while newer models sport a polyethylene mesh that allows better air circulation and contours itself around the user.
  • Backrest. Much like the seats, the backrest of flat folding chairs are often cushioned with foam and vinyl, and a pivot would sometimes be located at the base of the backrest where it joins the seat. This additional pivot allows the chair to be folded in a more compact storage system.

What is a Folding Round Chair?

Folding round chairs are new players on the market as they deviate from the usual folding chair design. They still use a pivoting support system, but it is made mostly of aluminum and does not have the additional perpendicular support that folding flat chairs often have.

Round foldable chairs are mostly found indoors and act as extra seating in living rooms and dens. For compact living spaces, these also serve as the permanent seating and are rarely taken out as their folded versions are a bulkier compared to other folding chair designs.

Here are some of the features of round foldable chairs:

  • Support. The support system of foldable round chairs is made of two different-sized squares that are leveled on the bottom and then intersected by a pivot somewhere in the middle of the shorter frame. The longer frame then extends to serve as the backrest support.
  • Seat and Backrest. One of the major features of the folding round chair is that the seat and backrest are joined together by a large round cushion. This is often made of nylon or synthetic cotton stuffed with goose down or foam.

What is the Difference Between Folding Round Chair vs Folding Flat Chair?

While some would argue and say that the only difference between the two is the shape, there are, in fact, a few more notable differences than shape and the name.

  • Design. The cushions of foldable round chairs can come in a variety of designs from sports-oriented patterns to plush leather upholstery. Folding flat chairs, on the other hand, come in avant-garde designs that enable to blend with any interior decoration, with some evolving to become modular folding chairs that can be stored underneath beds and inside cupboards; some have even incorporated chair pegs into dividing walls.
  • Frame. The frames of flat folding chairs are generally stronger and sturdier than round folding chairs since they are mostly made of high-grade steel. The frame is designed in a way that the user’s weight is distributed along different pivoting points, making them more stable and able to support heavier weights.
  • Cushion. The cushion of round folding chairs is a combination of seat and backrest which makes sitting on them a little awkward as one wrong move might topple you over. Flat foldable chairs have separate cushions for seats and backrests and are often cushioned with foam inside vinyl or leather upholstery. Some flat folding chairs use flexible polyethylene that molds itself around the contours of its user.
  • Capacity. Generally speaking, the frame of the flat folding chair is designed to carry heavier weights than round folding chair, especially since the materials used for the supporting frame of flat chairs are stronger and sturdier.
  • Storage. The combination seat and backrest cushion of round folding chairs make it a bit tricky to store it more compactly while the pivoting system of the flat folding chair has proven to be compact over time.
  • Use. Flat folding chairs are best used in outdoor settings although their indoor uses have recently been highlighted in architectural journals. Round folding chairs are geared towards interior use, especially since the cushion can soak up moisture overnight which can effectively ruin the chair as a whole.

These are some of the most notable differences between foldable flat chairs and round folding chairs. They also have different materials and designs that let them blend with the type of architectural character that you would want to pull off.

Regardless of what you want to do with them, folding chairs are a great addition to any living space and can sometimes help you in hosting a successful housewarming or tailgate party.