There’s no piece of furniture that evokes summer relaxation more than the outdoor chaise longue.

On a warm summer day, “they’re something that people gravitate toward,” said Tommy Zung, the principal of New York-based Studio Zung — whether that’s by the side of a large pool in the Hamptons or sitting under an umbrella in a tiny backyard.

To choose the right model for your outdoor space, consider how much you’ll lounge wet and dry, advised Mr. Zung, whose firm has designed not only beach houses on the East End of Long Island but also its own line of surfboards.

On a deck or terrace, cushy upholstery might be desirable, but by a pool, “you want it to be permeable, to dry off and enjoy the feeling of the warm sun on your skin,” he said, in which case wood slats or an airy fabric sling might be better.

Is it worth the investment to buy a high-quality chaise made of teak, ipe or powder-coated steel? Only if you don’t want to buy a replacement next year.

As Mr. Zung put it: “You buy it once and buy it right.”