Wicker Vs Rattan Chairs: Which Is Better?

Wicker Vs Rattan Chairs: Which Is Better?

05 Jun, 2024

When choosing furniture for your home or outdoor space, selecting the right type of chair can make a significant difference in terms of aesthetics, comfort, and durability. Wicker and rattan are two typical materials for this type of use. These phrases are frequently used interchangeably, but they have separate meanings. This article explores the differences between wicker and rattan chairs, analyzing their advantages and disadvantages to help you make an informed decision.

Understanding Wicker And Rattan

What Is Wicker?

Wicker refers to a weaving process rather than a specific material. It involves weaving pliable plant materials into furniture and other items. Wicker is typically constructed from natural materials such as willow, reed, bamboo, and rattan. However, modern wicker can also be composed of synthetic fibers, which provide greater durability and resilience to the elements.

What Is Rattan?

Rattan is a natural vine that grows in the tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Australasia. It is one of the strongest woods available and is often used in furniture making due to its flexibility and durability. The outer skin of rattan, called cane, is typically peeled off and used for weaving, while the core is used to create sturdy frames.

Wicker Chair Rattan

Wicker Chair Rattan

Key Differences Between Wicker And Rattan Chairs

Material Composition

Rattan is a specific type of material, whereas wicker refers to the method of weaving materials into furniture. Therefore, a wicker chair can be made from rattan, but it can also be made from other materials such as bamboo, reed, or synthetic fibers.

Aesthetic Appeal

Wicker furniture offers a versatile look due to its varied weaving patterns and materials. It can range from rustic to contemporary, depending on the weave and finish. Rattan's natural vine appearance lends a more tropical and natural appeal to indoor and outdoor settings, adding to its beauty.

Durability And Maintenance

Natural vs Synthetic

Natural wicker, while aesthetically pleasing, can be less durable than synthetic wicker when exposed to harsh weather conditions. Synthetic wicker, often made from polyethylene, offers better resistance to UV rays, moisture, and temperature fluctuations. Rattan, being a naturally tough material, is quite durable but still requires protection from prolonged exposure to moisture and sunlight to prevent deterioration.

Maintenance Requirements

Wicker furniture, especially if made from natural materials, needs regular maintenance to prevent damage from weather conditions. This includes periodic cleaning, repainting, or re-varnishing. Synthetic wicker is easier to maintain, requiring only occasional washing. To keep rattan furniture in good condition, it must be dusted and cleaned with a moist cloth on a regular basis, as well as a protective sealant applied on occasion.

Comfort And Versatility

Comfort Level

Both wicker and rattan chairs can be highly comfortable, especially when paired with cushioned seats. The comfort level largely depends on the design and quality of the cushions used. Wicker's various weaving patterns can impact comfort, with tighter weaves providing a smoother surface. Rattan's natural give gives a comfortable seating experience, but it may benefit from more cushioning.

Rattan Chair Suppliers

Rattan Chair Suppliers

Versatility In Design

Wicker chairs offer a broader range of design options due to the flexibility of the weaving process and the variety of materials that can be used. This makes them suitable for various settings, from traditional to modern interiors. Rattan chairs, while slightly less versatile in terms of design variety, provide a unique aesthetic that can complement bohemian, coastal, or tropical decor themes.

Environmental Impact

Sustainability Of Materials

Rattan is considered a sustainable material as it grows quickly and can be harvested without harming the forest ecosystem. It also has a lower environmental footprint compared to synthetic materials. However, the harvesting and processing of rattan must be managed responsibly to avoid deforestation and habitat destruction.

Eco-friendly Options

Wicker furniture made from synthetic materials, although not biodegradable, can be made from recycled plastics, reducing waste and the demand for new raw materials. Natural wicker and rattan, when sourced sustainably, are more environmentally friendly materials. Consumers should check for certifications and information on the manufacturer's sourcing processes to assure eco-friendliness.

Cost Considerations

Price Range

The cost of wicker and rattan chairs can vary widely based on factors such as the quality of materials, craftsmanship, brand, and design complexity. Natural rattan furniture is typically more expensive due to its longevity and labor-intensive manufacturing method. Synthetic wicker chairs come in a variety of pricing ranges, making them affordable to people of all income levels.

White Rattan Chair

White Rattan Chair

Long-term Investment

While wicker chairs, especially those made from synthetic materials, might offer a more affordable upfront cost, rattan chairs are often seen as a long-term investment due to their durability and timeless appeal. High-quality rattan furniture can last for decades with proper care, potentially offering better value over time.

Practical Considerations for Specific Settings

Indoor Use

For indoor settings, both wicker and rattan chairs can be excellent choices. Wicker chairs can be chosen to match various interior styles, offering flexibility in design. Rattan chairs add a natural, earthy feel to living rooms, sunrooms, or dining areas. Both types of chairs should be paired with cushions to enhance comfort and complement the decoration.

Outdoor Use

For outdoor use, synthetic wicker chairs are generally preferred due to their weather resistance. They can withstand exposure to rain, sunlight, and temperature changes without significant wear. Natural rattan chairs, while appropriate for covered outdoor settings such as patios or verandas, should be sheltered from direct weather exposure to avoid damage.


The decision between wicker and rattan chairs ultimately depends on your specific needs, preferences, and the intended use of the furniture. In conclusion, both wicker and rattan chairs have their unique advantages and can be the better choice depending on your specific requirements. As a reliable furniture supplier, Birdies Outdoor is devoted to offering a wide range of furniture including rattan chairs. For more product details, please feel free to visit our site today!

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