Wicker Or Rattan Outdoor Furniture? Which Is Best?

Wicker Or Rattan Outdoor Furniture

When you are buying outdoor furniture, you may hear wicker and rattan used interchangeably. However, they are different materials. Rattan comes from a relative of a palm tree and is a vine. At the same time, wicker is not a material and isn’t naturally occurring in nature. Instead, wicker is a technique for manufacturing a specific look and uses natural fibers that are wetted. Then, the material is woven to create a specific design. 

Synthetic wicker tends to be better for outside furniture. It has the same appearance as rattan furniture, but it will last for a more extended period outside. In addition, this material will withstand harsh winds, rain, and other elements mother nature throws at the furniture. 

Many chairs will have the materials labeled on the tag. This will allow you to choose which one is best suited for your lifestyle. Though rattan will never stay wet for long, you may have to move it inside every time it rains in your area. On the other hand, synthetic wicker can be left outside almost all year long without it ruining. Read on to learn more details about these choices. 

The Key Differences Between Wicker and Rattan

One of the key differences is that wicker can be made from many different materials. For example, willow, rush (an artificial fiber), rattan core, and polyethylene resin. It is considered wicker because of the way it is woven together.

Rattan is a natural material that can be used for wicker-style outdoor furniture. The core of rattan is strong and is hard to break. As a result, rattan grows rapidly throughout Australia, Asia, and parts of Africa. This natural fiber is so strong and durable it can grow up to 100 feet.

The Benefits Of Wicker Furniture

There are many advantages of using wicker instead of rattan furniture. These advantages can largely impact your decision to choose wicker over rattan furniture. Here are five benefits of using wicker.

Aesthetically Pleasing

One of the most incredible things about wicker furniture is that it is aesthetically pleasing. It offers that boho hippie vibe that is popular right now. It ensures that your outdoor space looks natural and mixes with nature and the surrounding environment. One of the best wicker features is that it now can come in many different colors other than brown, significantly depending on the material.

Durable and Strong

When wicker is made well, it can be incredibly durable. You won’t have to worry about weight limits for most people, and you can expect it to last a very long time. It can withstand most temperature changes, weather, and more. You should always look at the weave to determine how strong the furniture will be.

No Maintenance

Some material requires you to maintain it by scrubbing it or even protecting it from sun damage. With wicker, primarily synthetic, you won’t need to maintain it. This is a piece of low-maintenance outdoor furniture that can be wiped down or hosed off once in a while. These are good for people who need something nice looking while being easy to keep.

Good For Kids

One of the best things about this style is that it is stable. If you have kids, they can climb all over it, and you won’t need to be worried. Other types of wood and outdoor furniture can be heavy and lead to problems or harm your kids. This is lightweight furniture that is stable enough for your kids to crawl on.

Indoor Or Outdoor

Another reason to choose wicker furniture is that it can be great indoors too. Wicker or rattan outdoor furniture can also be used for spaces indoors, making them both an attractive choice. In addition, they are so versatile you can use them for themed rooms throughout your house or outdoors.

Disadvantages Of Wicker Furniture

Wicker Furniture
Wicker Furniture

On the other hand, there are some serious downfalls of using outdoor wicker furniture that you should be aware of. Not all wicker-style furniture is made equally or will withstand what you need it to. One of the best pieces of advice is to learn what your wicker furniture is made out of.

Not A Tight Weave

Depending on the make of the outdoor furniture, a loose weave can be a downfall. This can be more uncomfortable than a tight weave, harder to sit on, and may even leave scrapes on people. One of the worst things that can happen with loose weaves is that they can come apart easier than a tight weave. Typically, a loose weave will be sold much cheaper because it is not well-made.


To get the most comfortability, you will need to make sure the outdoor set comes with cushions, and you may find extra throw pillows as well. You likely will not find any super comfortable wicker furniture. It is meant for aesthetics and not comfort. Many outdoor wicker furniture sets will come with cushions, though the comfortability will heavily depend on the price.

Can be Expensive

There are budget-friendly options for wicker furniture. However, if you are looking for comfort and luxury, this is where it gets expensive. There can be a broad range of prices. Just know that well-made, natural fibers and extra comfort will come at a steep price that you may not want to pay. These can be the ultimate purchase and worth the price but may not be the best if you are on a budget.

Is Rattan Good For Outdoor Furniture?

If you live in a dryer area without hazardous weather, you may want to choose rattan. However, outdoor rattan furniture will be more expensive than wicker furniture. If you are looking for something less expensive and more sturdy for rainy weather, you should choose synthetic. 

The great thing about synthetic wicker is that it is super easy to clean off and keep nice throughout the years. So if you have kids, animals, or have a house full of crazy activity, synthetic wicker will be a great choice.

The Benefits Of Rattan Furniture

If you come across rattan furniture made from natural fibers and still in good shape, you need to buy it! You will see that this fiber is typically woven in a wicker pattern. Rattan furniture is some of the best quality you will find, and there are some serious advantages of having this as outdoor furniture. There is no denying this is a classic look that can bring good vibes to your home, but here are some other benefits to start thinking about.

It Will Last Years

One reason people love rattan is that it will last for years if you properly maintain it. If you inherit a set or something from your grandparent’s chances, it will last another 50 years. It’s a fibrous material that is super hard to destroy. It is incredibly durable, which is why nice wicker sets will often use rattan and be more expensive.


This can go anywhere you want. If you have a screened-in porch, this makes the perfect seating option, or maybe you have a sitting room with glass walls. This versatile look can be taken indoors and outdoors while giving it a natural vibe, especially if it’s in a wicker pattern. However, the most incredible thing is if you do not like the wicker look, you can opt for a different style made from rattan too.


The process of collecting, using, and creating rattan furniture is way more eco-friendly than using a plastic wicker furniture set. Most sets will be made strictly of rattan which is a sustainable material. The best news is that trees do not need to be cut down; instead, the vines are harvested from the trees it is growing on. The vines grow back super quick, and nothing is harmed to make these types of outdoor furniture sets. If you are worried about the environment, go for a piece of rattan furniture over plastic wicker.

Good For The Outdoors

Rattan happens to be a super sturdy fiber, and because of that, it does well outside. It will not stay wet for long and will withstand most things. However, many people may pay a lot more for this furniture style and may not want it outside because of that. It does well, but you will need to move the set inside during anything super hazardous to preserve it. This is not for everyone, but in a mild climate, it will do very well outside.

Disadvantages of Rattan Furniture

Rattan Furniture
Rattan Furniture

Unfortunately, there are some pretty heavy downfalls to using rattan furniture over a synthetic wicker set. If you are wondering what the disadvantages are, you may be surprised at what they are. Here are five surprising disadvantages of purchasing outdoor rattan furniture.

Styles Aren’t The Same

Rattan furniture lasts for so long you may be thinking you can save the items for your kids or your grandkids. Well, the truth is that seems like a great idea, but styles change, especially in home decor. Things go in and out of season all the time. Even before you have kids, you may change your mind about what is trendy and what is not. However, this can be said for any furniture set you buy. If you are concerned about your outdoor furniture, it may be better to go with something more budget-friendly than a rattan set. Something you won’t mind donating when styles change.

High Maintenance

This requires a lot more cleaning than synthetic wicker furniture sets. You need to be able to watch and inspect the furniture regularly. You will need to keep a lookout for loose fibers and anything that can cause damage. One thing to pay close attention to is sun damage when exposed to the sun too often. It is best to keep your rattan furniture in a shaded area with less sunshine. It won’t be bad to keep them in the sun, but they will wear down faster. You will also need to clean this regularly or spray it down from time to time.


If your rattan furniture is well made, it will be expensive. It can be anywhere from 2-5k, depending on how it is woven, the style, and the entire set. This makes it a bad choice for people who are looking for a fun set on a budget. Any patio furniture or outdoor furniture can be costly, depending on the brand and quality. 

Can Wear Down

Though this material can last decades, it can wear down if it is not properly cared for. If you do not watch for loose weaves, sun damage, or move it during the cold seasons, you will find that the set wears out quickly. It can be exposed to a lot of different elements, but you still have to care for it by rinsing it off, checking for loose weaves, and more.


Rattan is a natural fiber, and outdoor furniture sets tend to be more expensive than synthetic wicker sets. However, it is still incredibly uncomfortable. You will need to find a set that comes with pillows or add additional pillows to your furniture. However, pillows can experience more sun damage and be at risk for damage outside. You will want to ensure your pillows can handle sun exposure and rain.

Which Material Is Better?

Technically, wicker is not a material; it is the weaving pattern of materials. If you are looking for a wicker style, it may be cheaper to go with a synthetic material that is meant to be outside. However, suppose you are looking for a natural fiber that is eco-friendly and combines the natural world with your patio. In that case, you should purchase a rattan furniture set. If you have the time to inspect and take care of your furniture, rattan sets and furniture will last years at a time.

What is All-Weather Wicker Furniture?

All-weather wicker is made from resin and is a synthetic fiber that has been manufactured to look a certain way. It is the go-to style and source for outdoor furniture sets. It tends to be more affordable and lasts through all kinds of weather conditions. However, it is not eco-friendly, it is not natural, but it is one of the best choices for durability.

What Should You Know About All-Weather Wicker Furniture?

There are certain things you should know about resin or all-weather wicker furniture before you decide on buying it. This can be a cheaper way of getting the furniture set you desire and will be super durable. Here are some of the things you absolutely need to know before purchasing this product.

Eco Resin

Suppose you are looking for all-weather wicker furniture that is environmentally friendly. In that case, it has to be made from eco-resin. This is made from plant extracts and other renewable resources and is one of the most expensive types of resin. Many companies will say it is organic, but that does not necessarily mean that it does not harm the environment.

It Is One Of The Most Durable Types

The frames of these sets are typically made from rust-proof material, which will help it last outside through sun and rain. The entire structure can sit outside for long periods without being exposed to exterior damage.


One of the downfalls of other materials is that they can absorb tons of moisture which will warp the material. Resin or all-weather wicker sets will not absorb the moisture from the humid air or rain, which will help preserve it over time. This is one reason that people tend to go for the plastic wicker sets over the natural fibers.


When natural materials absorb the moisture in the air, they tend to mold. Resin does not do this, so it will never mold in the future. This can save you tons of money trying to battle mold in the future.

It’s Easier To Move

Because the resin is not a heavy material, these outdoor furniture sets are super easy to move around. You don’t have to keep it in the same place all year long. These also tend to be more budget-friendly, so you can keep multiple sets and change them around whenever you want.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between wicker or rattan outdoor furniture can be difficult. It all depends on the budget you have set and the style you are going for. If you are concerned about sustainability and the environment, you should think about going for rattan furniture. It can be woven in a wicker style. However, suppose you are looking for something budget-friendly that won’t damage easily. In that case, you should go for the synthetic wicker furniture sets. No matter what you choose, both have an undeniable style.


Hi there! I’m Alex, the one behind this website. I ran and operated a Local Furniture Store in Southern California. The store opened in 2010, during the “Great Recession,” It is still thriving today; however, I have dedicated my time to helping our online customer base. My primary focus is to help you with all your furniture & mattress questions.

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