Can I leave wicker furniture outside in winter?

We are discussing if you can leave wicker furniture outside in winter and sharing some tips on how you can keep it safe and protected...

If you’re on the lookout for garden furniture, you might be considering wicker. After all, wicker furniture is lightweight, eco-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing. 

But one of the main considerations anyone has when weighing up which garden furniture to buy is durability.

In other words, how weather-resistant is wicker furniture and can it be left outside in the winter 

Lazy Susan answers this key question in this article and takes a look at what you can do to protect this popular garden furniture from the elements. 

What is wicker furniture?

What is wicker furniture?

Contrary to popular belief, wicker doesn’t refer to the material that makes up a table and chair set. Instead, it’s a type of weave (a wicker weave) that’s been used to make furniture for thousands of years. 

This means that wicker furniture can be made using different types of materials, such as natural rattan, synthetic rattan, bamboo, and other synthetic materials, including vinyl (more on this topic next). 

Can I leave my wicker furniture outdoors during the winter?

To answer this question, we’ll take a look at the difference between natural wicker and synthetic wicker in more detail.

Natural Wicker Furniture 

Natural wicker furniture in the UK is usually made from natural rattan, which isn’t suitable for wintry conditions. It’s occasionally made using natural bamboo, which is also not good when left outside during the winter as this can destroy its finish and structure.

Additionally, natural wicker furniture will soak up moisture easily, which leads to mould and rot. 

As such, natural wicker furniture is harder to maintain. Not only will you need to take it indoors during the winter, but you’ll also need to take it inside during other types of extreme weather, including heavy downpours and heat waves. 

Synthetic Wicker Furniture 

Synthetic wicker furniture is much more popular in the UK than natural wicker furniture. It’s less expensive but still looks great — and it’s easier to maintain. 

What’s more, the quality of synthetic rattan has improved so much over the years that your wicker furniture can be left outside during the winter! 

That said, you’ll still need to show it some attention. I suggest using waterproof covers to keep it snug during the winter months (as well as during rain showers), simply because it will keep dirt and debris from building up. 

Does quality matter?

Absolutely. While I said that synthetic wicker furniture can be left outside in the winter, I should qualify this by saying that it still depends on the quality of your product. 

For example, you’ll still need to consider the frames. At Lazy Susan, we make and sell high-grade cast aluminium furniture, which won’t rust or rot. 

And when it comes to your wicker tables and chairs, rust-free aluminium frames are always recommended.  

When buying wicker furniture, you should also look for all-weather wicker. It’s more expensive but it will last a lot longer and give you more years of enjoyment while lounging in your garden. 

Our top tips for looking after your wicker furniture in the winter 

Our top tips for looking after your wicker furniture in the winter

While you can leave your synthetic wicker furniture outside in the winter, it still needs some tender love and care.

1. Watch out for the wind

The UK has been battered by some awful storms in the last few years. If one strikes during the winter and you’ve got lightweight wicker furniture outside, make sure to tie everything down.

2. Clean Regularly 

Take a damp cloth to your tables, chairs, and sofas during the winter a few times a month to keep the dust, dirt, and debris from building up. 

You should also use soapy water now and then to make sure your wicker furniture looks ready for the spring. 

3. Cover Up

Even though you can leave your wicker furniture outside in the winter, this doesn’t mean you have to expose them to the elements.

A good idea is to buy protective covers that look after your furniture whenever it’s snowy, or icy - and even when the winter sun is shining a bit too much (UV rays can discolour your furniture).

Final Thoughts 

Wicker furniture can be left outside but it depends on the quality of your materials, as well as whether you’ve opted for natural or synthetic furniture. 

Leaving natural wicker furniture outside in the winter is a big No-No — but leaving synthetic wicker furniture outside is recommended provided it’s made with certain elements — like weather-resistant frames such as aluminium frames.

It’s also a smart idea to follow my tips above to make sure your wicker furniture has a long shelf life.

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