Is rattan different from wicker?

The terms rattan and wicker are often used interchangeably but technically they are not the same thing. Here we explore the difference and what's best for your garden...

Rattan is an increasingly popular type of furniture among UK homeowners who want to add a touch of class to their garden. But is rattan different from wicker? 

And if so, which is better?

At Lazy Susan, we’ve been hearing this question a lot lately. To help clear up any confusion you might be experiencing, we’re going to answer it in this article. 

We’ll also help you to decide whether rattan or wicker furniture is the best for you — or whether there might be an even better alternative. 

Are rattan and wicker the same thing? 

Are rattan and wicker the same thing?

To put the question to bed as quickly as possible, No, rattan and wicker are not the same thing technically.

The difference is that rattan is actually a material used to make a piece of garden furniture, while wicker is a type of weave. 

In other words, look at wicker as a style of rattan furniture. This is because wicker furniture can indeed be made by using rattan materials. 

Does this make them technically the same? 

Not exactly. In fact, wicker furniture doesn’t need to be made exclusively from rattan. It can also be made using bamboo or reed. Sometimes it’s even made using willow.

In short, rattan furniture most definitely shouldn’t always be confused with wicker furniture — but you can buy wicker furniture made from rattan. 

Why buy rattan furniture? 

Another thing to bear in mind about rattan furniture is that there are two types sold in the UK:

  1. Natural rattan

  2. Synthetic rattan

Natural rattan is more expensive than synthetic rattan but the latter is more weather-resistant. In fact, natural rattan shouldn’t be left outdoors when not in use because it can rot and mould. 

Synthetic rattan, on the other hand, is UV-resistant and can be left outdoors most of the time. It’s therefore easier to maintain, it’s affordable and it’s more popular than natural rattan among UK homeowners. 

Both types of rattan furniture are strong and can be considered durable and both are eco-friendly, although natural rattan is more eco-friendly for obvious reasons. 

Both types will need to be cleaned at least once a month so that they keep their lustre — but this is the case for most types of outdoor garden furniture.

Should I buy wicker furniture?

Should I but wicker furniture?

When people think of wicker furniture, they might have a readymade image in their mind. But the thing is that wicker is available in a variety of styles and can fit different types of outdoor settings.

It also comes in various colours and even different shapes. It truly allows you to be as creative as you want with how you want your outdoor space to look.  

Furthermore, the type of material your wicker furniture is made from matters. Bamboo, for example, won’t bend quite as easily as rattan because it’s stiffer. This can prolong your furniture’s lifespan. 

On the flip side, buying wicker furniture made from natural materials can be more expensive than when it's made from synthetic materials.

Comfort is sometimes an issue for homeowners, too. However, this can be mitigated by buying cushions.

Best alternatives to rattan and wicker garden furniture 

Even if you’ve set your heart on either rattan or wicker garden furniture, there might be a few alternatives you want to consider first:

1. Aluminium Garden Furniture 

Aluminium Garden Furniture

Aluminium garden furniture is perhaps the easiest type to maintain, due to the fact that it’s completely weather-resistant and won’t rot, mould or even rust. It can be left outdoors, it’s durable but also lightweight enough to move around your garden. 

2. Wooden Furniture 

Wooden Furniture

Wooden furniture comes in the form of either softwood types or hardwood types, such as teak. Teak is indeed the best when it comes to lifespan but there’s so much to consider when it comes to wooden garden furniture, including price, colour, style and maintenance.

3. Metal Garden Furniture 

Metal Garden Furniture

Aluminium isn’t the only type of outdoor metal furniture you can buy. You can also go for steel garden furniture and wrought iron garden furniture. Both are strong and durable but, depending on the type you go for, they can be harder to look after. 

Wrought iron is also particularly cumbersome when it comes to shifting it around your garden — but all types of metal garden furniture can look stunningly stylish. 

Final Thoughts 

Rattan and wicker are different in the sense that one is a material and the other is a style of weave. But you can buy wicker furniture made from rattan.

When deciding what type of furniture to buy for your garden, it’s always best to think about how much space you’ve got, whether any potential furniture will blend with everything else in your garden and, of course, your budget.

For everything else in regard to purchasing aluminium garden furniture, Lazy Susan is on hand to talk you through the process. Feel free to get in touch with us today!

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