Wicker and rattan are two types of outdoor furniture that are sold in the UK.
Both look great, they come in different styles and they have their pros and cons.
But while it’s easy to confuse the two, wicker and rattan outdoor furniture have enough differences to tell them apart — and you might find that one is better than the other
Join Lazy Susan as we take a look at whether wicker or rattan is better for outdoor furniture.
The Differences Between Wicker and Rattan Furniture
The core difference between wicker and rattan furniture is that, while rattan is a material (from some species of palms), wicker isn’t (it’s a style of weaving).
Indeed, wicker furniture can actually be made from rattan, as well as several other materials, including willow, reed and bamboo.
For example, when you’re shopping around for outdoor furniture, you might come across something called wicker bamboo. This means that the furniture is made from weaving bamboo material.
Pros and Cons of Rattan Furniture
Let's take a look at the pros and cons of rattan furniture.
Rattan is actually one of the most durable types of outdoor furniture money can buy. As long as you look after it the right way, it can last for years and years.
Strong and Sturdy
We know that the UK is capable of a few gusts of wind now and then (okay, all the time!).
Rattan furniture can be strong enough to withstand those annoying blustery days.
Good for the Environment
More and more homeowners are looking to go eco-friendly with their purchases.
Rattan furniture is composed of sustainable materials, which means you’ll be doing your bit for the environment.
Requires a Lot of Maintenance
While Lazy Susan doesn’t shy away from a bit of elbow grease, the fact that rattan furniture requires a great deal of care can be enough to put some customers off.
Yes, rattan will last a long time - but only if you protect the seats and cushions from the elements, as well as watch for loosening fibres.
Not the Cheapest
Rattan furniture isn’t the cheapest material when it comes to outdoor furniture, which means it isn’t going to fit into everyone’s budget
And if you don’t maintain it properly, it could turn into a very expensive investment.
Pros and Cons of Wicker Furniture
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of wicker furniture.
It Looks Great
I personally love the way wicker furniture looks. It comes in different styles and you can choose one which blends with your overall outdoor setting.
What’s more, wicker furniture comes in several different colours.
Tough and Durable
Wicker outdoor furniture is can be durable depending on what it’s made from.
This is because, as we’ve seen, wicker is a weave that’s woven using specific materials — such as synthetic rattan or bamboo.
Not Susceptible to Rot
Provided you buy wicker furniture that’s made using synthetic materials (as opposed to natural) or with a protective treatment, it shouldn’t be as prone to rot.
Naturally, extreme British weather will be an issue. But if you lacquer it enough and coat it each year, your wicker furniture can last a fairly long time.
Can Be Cost
Like rattan furniture, wicker outdoor tables and chairs can come at a price.
After all, you’re paying for the workmanship alongside the materials and frames.
While cushions can mitigate any comfort issues, some homeowners prefer their outdoor furniture to come without cushions.
If this is you, you might find that getting comfortable on your wicker furniture doesn’t come easy.
Alternatives to Wicker and Rattan Outdoor Furniture
If you’re still not sure whether to go with wicker or rattan outdoor furniture, you have a third option that might trump both of them: Metal outdoor furniture.
Metal outdoor furniture, which includes high-grade cast aluminium of the type made and sold by Lazy Susan, can make an awesome addition to your garden.
It’s strong enough to stand up to gusts of wind and, unlike both wicker and rattan furniture, it doesn’t require any maintenance apart from regular cleaning.
Instead, you can leave your metal furniture outdoors in sunshine, wind, or rain without worrying about short or long-term damage.
A slight issue is that metal furniture is heavier than wicker or rattan — but this largely only needs to be considered whenever you’re thinking of rearranging your outdoor setting.
Metal furniture also looks beautiful, and it comes in unique designs and patterns that will suit your personal tastes and outdoor decor.
Wicker and rattan furniture are similar options when it comes to their usefulness as outdoor furniture. They’re durable and look great in the garden — but they do require long-term maintenance if you’re to leave them outside.
Alternatively, metal outdoor furniture can be kept outside whatever the weather, it’s robust enough to stand up to the wind, and because it comes in different styles you can buy tables and chairs that blend with your overall aesthetics.