Rattan Buyers Guide

Rattan Garden Furniture - Buyer’s Guide

Rattan furniture – a sensible, weather-resistant seating solution for your beautiful outdoor space. Rattan is an extremely versatile material that will fit right into any garden design scheme with very little trouble. In this buyer’s guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about garden rattan furniture so that you can make an informed decision before completing your purchase.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for on this page, please feel free to get in touch with the Sefton Meadows customer service team by calling on 0800 157 7265 or sending an email to [email protected]

See the full rattan furniture range here.

What Is Rattan Furniture?

Rattan furniture is a visually stunning and extremely durable type of furniture which is popular in houses and gardens around the world. In the UK, 1000’s of people a year switch over to rattan furniture for its sleek, modern looks and easy to maintain appeal.

Rattan and wicker furniture are not always the same thing. People often get confused between rattan and wicker furniture, but the difference is simple; rattan is a material created from a natural vine, whilst wicker is a weaving style/method. Wicker furniture can be created using a variety of materials other than rattan – both natural and synthetic. Because it’s so common to hear wicker and rattan used together, it’s easy to get them mixed up.

Natural vs. Synthetic Rattan

Both natural and synthetic forms of rattan furniture are widely available to buy at garden centres, furniture shops and online. Although in more recent years, synthetic resin rattan is produced to such a high quality that it can be hard to tell it isn’t natural from a distance, there are some key differences.

Natural Synthetic

  • Made with natural fibres
  • Strong and durable
  • Not suitable for all weather conditions
  • Not UV or moisture resistant
  • Made with plastic or resin
  • Strong and durable
  • Suitable for all weather conditions
  • UV and moisture resistant

Because natural rattan isn’t weather-resistant, it is best suited for indoor use, whilst synthetic rattan furniture is perfect for outdoor spaces like patios, gardens and decks.

Rattan Maintenance

One of the core benefits of rattan is that it is so easy to maintain and will stay looking just as good as the day you bought it for years to come if it is looked after properly. The durability of rattan makes it a worthy investment that will pay itself off with happy memories season after season.

How To Clean Rattan

Cleaning rattan is simple when you know how. You should aim to clean your furniture once a season, following these steps.

Synthetic, or outdoor, rattan

  1. Remove cushions - If your furniture come with cushions, remove these. Now is a good time to wash the covers following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Get rid of dirt - With a stiff brush, carefully go over the surface of your rattan furniture to loosen grit and grime. Be wary of other materials used, such as chrome plated legs, which might be easily scuffed or scratched.
  3. Add detergent - You don’t need to use any harsh chemicals – these might damage, discolour or fade your furniture. Simply mix a few drops of washing-up liquid to warm water, mix, dip a cloth in and use this to wipe down your furniture.
  4. Rinse (and repeat). - After leaving your detergent solution on for a few minutes, rinse your furniture down with a hose or a bucket of cold water. Repeat the process if needed.
  5. Dry - Tip furniture upside down and leave them to dry.

Natural, Or Indoor, Rattan

  1. Remove cushions - As above, use this opportunity to remove cushion covers and wash them.
  2. Remove dust - Use a soft, microfibre cloth to dust down your furniture. Use the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner to get to any hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.
  3. Add detergent - Mix a few drops of washing up liquid with warm water and stir. Dampen a soft cloth in your detergent mix and gently wipe over the surface of your furniture, being careful not to get the surfaces too wet. You could use a toothbrush or other soft bristled brush to achieve a real deep clean.
  4. Dry. Once done - carefully dry with a soft cloth and avoid using until it is completely dry.

Cleaning your rattan frequently will ensure it maintains its good looks and lasts for many years to come.

How To Repair Rattan

Damage shouldn’t come easily to high-quality, durable rattan furniture – but it can happen to rattan over time. Thankfully, any small imperfections that might arise are easily fixed. If you find a loose strand of rattan or pieces on the arms or legs of your furniture become loose/unwrapped, you can put it right with a small amount of furniture or plastic glue.

Apply the glue and tuck the rattan back into the weave or hold it against the frame (depending on where the damage is). Once mended, leave your furniture for 30 minutes or so to dry, and apply some varnish over the top if preferred for extra protection.

If the strands of rattan are too damaged to repair, you can cut them off or remove them and replace them with new rattan strips – these can be ordered online. If you do a good job, nobody will ever spot the damage.

How To Store Rattan

Storing rattan furniture is easy, you just need to remember a few general rules:

  • Use correctly fitted, purpose-made covers to protect your furniture during bad weather (rain, frost and wind)
  • Always take your cushions inside to be stored safely whilst not in use. Although most outdoor cushions are ‘weather-resistant’, they are generally not ‘weather-proof’, and will become damaged and mouldy if they are left wet.
  • If possible, move your rattan furniture into a sheltered space like a shed or garage during winter months. This isn’t necessary, but it will extend the life of your furniture. Find the perfect storage solution for your garden here.


Do you have a pressing question you need answering before you buy your rattan garden furniture? Here are some of our most frequently asked questions.

Can rattan furniture be left outside all year round?

Plastic, or synthetic, rattan furniture can be left outside all years round. It is recommended that you use covers or move your furniture into storage if it isn’t going to be used for a while and during extreme weather. You should also make sure to remove any cushions whilst your furniture isn’t in use.

Can Rattan Furniture Be Painted?

Yes, in most cases rattan furniture can be painted. Spray paint is usually recommended for rattan furniture, as it ensures the complicated weaves, nooks and crannies get an even coverage – avoiding any pooling that you may get with traditional paint. You should always check with your rattan furniture’s manufacturer before getting started.

What Is Rattan Made Out Of?

Natural rattan is made from rattan, which is crafted from a natural vine.

Synthetic rattan is made using plastic materials like PVC, PE and PU.

Does Rattan Fade?

Good quality synthetic rattan should not fade. Cheaper rattan may fade because the colour

dye is only applied at surface level rather than being distributed through the rattan material.

How Long Does It Last?

Rattan of the highest quality can last 10-20 years if it is maintained well and proper care instructions are followed.

Our Rattan Range

At Sefton Meadows, we carry a range of natural rattan and resin rattan-look furniture. We frequently rotate our ranges to ensure our customers can access the latest seasonal trends at very reasonable prices. Whether you’re in the market for a brand new dining set to seat the whole family, or your patio is calling out for a stylish bistro set – we have you covered.

rattan dining sets rattan sofa sets rattan cube sets rattan bistro sets rattan sofas

See the full rattan furniture range here.