Can rattan be left outside in winter?

This month our product development team are discussing whether rattan can be left outside in winter and how to best care for and protect it...

Rattan garden furniture is a popular type of furniture in the UK with homeowners that enjoy its classy style and contemporary look.

But what happens during the winter when the cold and inclement weather sets in? Can you leave your rattan furniture outside in winter? Or should it be taken indoors?  

Join Lazy Susan as we explore the question throughout this article and share pointers on how to look after your rattan furniture during the winter. 

Can I leave my rattan furniture outside during winter?

Let me answer this question directly straight away: Yes, you can leave your rattan furniture outside in winter. Like a lot of things when it comes to garden furniture, however, it comes with a caveat.

The first thing to consider is that there are two types of rattan furniture: natural rattan and synthetic rattan. Most UK homeowners buy synthetic rattan, which does a great job of mimicking the real thing. 

However, how well it can withstand the winter months will depend on the quality of the synthetic rattan your outdoor furniture is made from. For example, HDPE wicker is smooth, tough, and highly durable. In addition, you should also consider the frames, which we at Lazy Susan always recommend should be made of aluminium. This is because high-grade cast aluminium frames won’t rot or rust and can be left outside in any season, including the winter. It goes without saying that the higher the quality, the higher the price. 

Whatever you go with, you can rest assured that synthetic rattan is waterproof and will, therefore resist some of the worst weather that Britain can chuck at it.

What about natural rattan? 

What About Natural Rattan?

While natural rattan isn’t as common a sight in UK gardens as synthetic rattan, it’s still a great choice and offers a pleasant experience to relax on. But it doesn’t fare as well in wintry conditions as synthetic rattan. 

In fact, natural rattan isn’t waterproof at all and should be taken indoors as soon as the bad weather hits. This is down to the fact that natural rattan’s natural materials will deteriorate faster than synthetic materials and is, of course, one of the reasons why natural rattan is the more expensive of the two.  

In summary: Synthetic rattan can be left outside in winter as long as it’s made of a high quality but natural rattan should really be taken indoors when not in use. 

How to care for rattan in the winter

How to Care for Rattan in the Winter

As we’ve seen, synthetic rattan furniture can be left outside during the winter. However, you’re still taking a big risk if you fail to look after it properly because it’s not indestructible and will rot and mould if it doesn’t receive some tender love and care. Here’s how you can do that:

1. Invest in protective covers

You can buy garden furniture covers that will go a long way to protecting your rattan furniture during the winter (and in all other seasons for different reasons). 

When buying covers, just make sure to find ones that have plenty of air holes, as this will prevent a moisture build-up. It’s also essential that your tables and chairs are dry before you cover them up.

Also, there’s no need to keep your furniture covered all the time. It will need air from time to time, which is why you should take the covers off on dryer days. 

2. Take your rattan furniture indoors if possible 

While you can in theory leave your synthetic rattan furniture outside during the winter, it’s still a good idea to move it indoors if you can. 

If you’ve got a shed or a garage with enough space, I recommend storing it there for the winter if you’re not planning to use it at all. 

3. Clean it regularly 

Cleaning your rattan furniture should be a priority all year round. You can use a damp cloth most of the time but it won’t do any harm to use soapy water now and then, too. 

I also suggest using boiled linseed oil during the winter, too, although you certainly don’t need to go overboard with this one (just once per year will do). 

Final Thoughts 

As long as you have high-quality synthetic rattan, you can leave it outside during the winter. To get the most out of any type of rattan garden furniture, however, I highly recommend that you protect it with covers at any time of the year. 

For more information on garden furniture, feel free to get in touch with Lazy Susan today to find out how we can help you. 

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