Rattan is a material that we see across several interior design styles, both indoors and outdoors, but it's not just the aesthetic that makes it a classic. Rattan outdoor furniture has become a staple in the outdoor space thanks to its durability, and we don't see the trend slowing down anytime soon.
According to Nicole White, product category manager of outdoor and decor at Article, there's been a shift over the years for shoppers to create relaxing spaces at home that they can enjoy year-round, especially during the warmer months. "With the summer months quickly approaching, we've seen more of a demand for quality, stylish outdoor furniture, and it's no surprise that rattan and wicker pieces are taking the spotlight," White tells Hunker.
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And there's never been a better time to invest in outdoor furniture. Along with seeing more updated styles featuring "new materials and fresh silhouettes to appeal to a modern audience," White has also noticed an increase in '80s-inspired decor in the outdoor category.
"You'll see a lot more curvy and organic shapes and also some bigger woven textures, like in our Murrel collection," White says. "Often spotted alongside the '80s punchy hues, like teal and pink, curvy rattan has once again become a signature style for trendsetters and Golden Girls fans alike."
From the style to the functionality, we're all for hopping on the rattan outdoor furniture train. To help you find the best picks for your home, here's the ultimate guide to buying rattan outdoor furniture.
What to Consider When Shopping for Rattan Furniture
With all the options available, buying rattan outdoor furniture can be overwhelming. Aside from style and use, the main factor to consider is the material. If you're keeping your furniture outdoors all season long and don't have the ability to bring the pieces indoors during inclement weather, then finding an option with weather-resistant material is key.
"Synthetic wicker and pieces made with polypropylene (PE) will not only give you the desired look and feel of wicker but will stand up to the elements better than their natural counterparts," White says. "They're designed to withstand temperature fluctuations, moisture, and UV rays and can easily be incorporated into any outdoor space."
The Best Rattan Outdoor Furniture
This patio chair looks like it was made for royalty. It has a canopy with tassels to keep you cool from the sun and is resistant to weather and rust.
Get this thronelike rattan chair to make the ultimate statement either indoors or outdoors. It has an extravagant design and is sealed with a clear lacquer for protection. Just be sure to use an outdoor furniture cover or store it inside when the weather gets rough to preserve the longevity of this stunning chair.
Available in vibrant green and yellow hues, this faux wicker rattan dining chair has a cozy barrel shape that's perfect for outdoor dining or lounging.
Lounge in the sun on this rattan daybed with a plush cushion and stunning design.
Perfect for small outdoor living spaces, this patio dining set includes a 28-inch glass-top table and four rattan chairs designed for all sorts of weather.
Designed by contemporary Australian furniture brand VUEE, this sectional sofa has a sleek, curved frame made from outdoor-safe woven resin rattan.
Made to order and crafted from rattan, this hanging sofa gives off major relaxing, boho vibes. It's ideal for a covered outdoor patio or porch or for the indoors.
Upgrade your patio with this three-piece patio furniture set made of durable and easy to clean PE rattan. The set includes two chairs and a coffee table with a glass top for everything from an outdoor lantern to snacks.
This daybed from Anthropologie is sure to make a statement in any backyard. It has a gorgeous rattan frame and natural finish. However, you have to buy the patterned cushion separately.
Can you imagine snuggling up in this egg chair in your outdoor space? It's made from extra-durable faux rattan, has water-resistant cushions, and has a swivel function to lounge in luxury.
Upgrade your patio furniture with this lightweight outdoor basket chair from Serena & Lily. Pair it with a colorful throw pillow to make your backyard pop.
Create the ultimate outdoor experience with this multifunctional daybed made from PE rattan. It has a retractable canopy, pop-up coffee table in the middle, and two foot stools that you can rearrange in your backyard or on your patio as you please.
Whether you want to use it indoors or outdoors, this weather-resistant and retro loveseat is the perfect place to relax.
This sleek and modern bistro set is perfect for poolside hangs. It includes two rocking chairs and a side table all made from weather-resistant PE rattan.
Kick it in the backyard with this set that includes one sofa, two armchairs, and one side table with a fire pit in the middle.
Go a bit more modern with this charming rattan lounge chair with a black finish.
Certainly not your average chaise lounge, this stylish pick from Anthropologie is exactly what your patio needs.
Available in bold pink, modern black and white, or classic ivory, this stool is lightweight, easy to move, and ready for all types of weather.
Designed by Mermelada Estudio, this outdoor lounge chair is made from durable faux rattan and is paired with a polished stainless steel frame for added sophistication. It also has cushions made from Sunbrella performance fabric, so the chair is extra durable and easy to clean, and the color won't fade in the sun.
Stylish coffee tables aren't just for your living room — you can use them outdoors too. This pedestal side table from Article is the perfect example.
Made from acacia wood and faux rattan, this club chair set from Target is sure to be the go-to hangout spot in any outdoor area.
Consider this sofa set the ultimate place to sit with your friends and family during a backyard bash. It has a modular design with six pieces and a matching table.
What Is the Difference Between Rattan and Wicker?
The difference between rattan and wicker is that rattan is a vinelike material, while wicker is a method of weaving, according to White. "Wicker can be woven from rattan as well as many other natural or synthetic materials, which is where the confusion often lies," White explains.
"A wicker sofa like the Lucara, for example, could be made from synthetic rattan (like this particular style is), natural rattan, bamboo, cane, or any other suitable material and still qualify as wicker due to its construction," White adds.
Why Is Rattan a Good Material for Outdoor Furniture?
Rattan is a beautiful material that embodies nature indoors and outdoors. But as with any kind of outdoor furniture, you have to take precautions to increase the life span of your rattan pieces whether they're real or faux.
According to White, natural rattan, bamboo, or cane work well indoors, but you have to take extra care when using them outdoors. "While they lend well to a bohemian, relaxed patio look, these materials are naturally porous, which means they'll soak up any moisture from being left in rainy or damp conditions," White says. "They also have minimal UV resistance and will fade or dry out in sunny and hot conditions. A good tip is to use them under a covered area and to store them inside after you wrap up that afternoon pool party or lunch date with friends."
You'll also see a lot of rattan outdoor furniture made of faux rattan, which is much easier to keep up with. "Synthetic wicker (also known as resin wicker, synthetic rattan, all-weather wicker, or HDPE wicker), on the other hand, is typically made from an engineered resin material that replicates the look of natural wicker but is highly resilient in outdoor environments," White says. "With this type of material, you're able to get the classic look and feel of rattan but with high-durability and low-maintenance properties. The results are easy-to-care-for furniture pieces that make your modern outdoor space beautiful."
How to Maintain Rattan Outdoor Furniture
In order to keep your rattan outdoor furniture nice and tidy, you have to maintain it regularly. White recommends brushing off any dirt with a soft nylon brush.
"A good rule of thumb is that if it's gentle enough to brush your teeth, then it's safe for the furniture," White says. "For a quick clean, use a minimally damp cloth to wipe your furniture down to clear off any dust or dirt that may have accumulated."