What Is the Difference Between Wicker and Rattan?

What Is the Difference Between Wicker and Rattan?

Wicker and rattan furniture give you natural comfort, enhance your porch’s beauty, and last long. You may struggle to tell wicker and rattan apart, or you may not even realize they are different. 

No matter what you know, we will show you the main differences between wicker and rattan, and the types of wicker comfort seats and diner furniture that fit your indoor and outdoor spaces. 

Sit back and enjoy this informative read.

Best Wicker Furniture for Your Patio & Living Room

Get only the best wicker furniture at Modern Wicker for high-quality furniture with extra comfort and affordable prices. This first-class furniture transforms your patio or living room into a vibrant and valuable space where you can relax alone or with your friends and family.

Here are some of the best wicker furniture in the store.

Hospitality Rattan Andros 4 PC Patio Settee

The Andros four-piece conversation set is a rare find. It is a modest patio set with a sofa, two chairs, and a table; it is perfect for having your friends over for coffee. The set consists of hand-welded aluminum frames covered with finely woven wicker patterns with a rich brown finish.

The coffee table sits snugly with a tempered glass top and finished off with shiny silk screen paint. The optional cushions are covered in sunbrella fabric, making the entire set easy to maintain and durable.

Top Features:

  • 2 armchairs and sofas included
  • Tempered glass coffee table
  • Optional sunbrella cushions
  • Aluminum frames

Forever Patio Horizon Wicker Wedge Square Coffee Table 

The Wedge square coffee table is a minimalist outdoor wicker table that fits with any outdoor wicker set. It is made of durable resin wicker infused with UV protection that keeps it looking as good as new.

The resin wraps around a firm aluminum frame that promises to last. It also comes with optional sunbrella cushions that are the perfect addition to your furniture.

Top Features:

  • Aluminum frames 
  • Sunbrella cushions
  • UV protected

Hospitality Rattan Fiji 5 PC Side Chair Dining Set

The Rattan Fiji outdoor diner set is the dream addition to any poolside. Its synthetic rattan fibers shine through any weather, so your seats and table never wear out. This outdoor set includes four aluminum frame chairs, inclusive of sunbrella cushions. The set signs off with a beautiful coffee table with a thick, tempered glass top.

The best part is that you can customize it to various colors, so get yours today.

Top Features

  • 4 chairs and a table set
  • Tempered glass top table
  • Sunbrella cushions included

Understanding The Difference Between Wicker and Rattan

What is the difference between rattan and wicker furniture? For starters, rattan is a vine for furniture-making. Wicker, on the other hand, is a weaving style for producing home furniture and decor using plant materials, like rattan.

Rattan is also a naturally occurring material, while Wicker utilizes natural and synthetic fibers in its designs.

Let’s break them down in detail.

What Is Wicker Furniture?

Wicker furniture is a piece of indoor and outdoor furniture crafted uniquely using natural materials such as rattan, willow, and bamboo. Combined with other things, such as aluminum frames and sunbrella cushions, they give off an elegant look. 

That’s why wicker furniture is preferred chiefly outdoors. Not all wicker furniture and homewares are perfect for outdoor conditions, however. 

Types of Wicker Furniture

The material used to manufacture Wicker furniture determines whether it will do well indoors or outdoors in your yard/patio.

Wicker furniture is best suited for indoors or outdoors, depending on the material. The two types of wicker furniture are natural wicker and synthetic wicker.

Natural Wicker

Plant materials such as rattan, willow, reed, and bamboo make natural wicker furniture. Natural wicker wares and furniture please the eyes with their unique aesthetics from the dried branches that captivate any room. 

Natural wicker baskets, tables, and chairs are strong but very sensitive to harsh weather. That’s why they mostly suit indoor use. Humidity and mold in wet conditions or intense sunlight that fades and cracks them easily affect natural wicker. 

That is why people mainly buy them for indoor use only. Here are the main materials for natural wicker furniture and their highs and lows.


Bamboo is a woody grass with a hollow stem that can also be used outside because of its strength and durability. It can survive moderate weather conditions unscathed but absorb moisture and crack in harsh cold and heat.

Bamboo wicker furniture has durability and strength as its advantages. It can also work outdoors moderately, as long as it is not exposed to extreme weather conditions.

However, bamboo wicker furniture also has some disadvantages

It absorbs moisture quickly when it rains, which can cause it to rot or mold. It is less flexible than other materials, such as rattan, which makes it harder to weave and shape. It also cracks easily when exposed to direct sunlight, which can affect its appearance and stability.


Reed/Pith wicker material is mainly used for making baskets and repairing wicker furniture. It has a sturdy and glossy texture that can be painted for different designs. Reed/Pith wicker material lasts long and folds easily into different shapes. 

However, Reed also has some drawbacks. Weather elements affect it easily, making it unsuitable for outdoor use. It is relatively weak compared to other materials, and it absorbs moisture, which can cause it to swell or rot. 


Willow wicker furniture comes from a shrub with a sturdy trunk and branch. Its rugged branches are perfect for wicker furniture. Willow wicker furniture has an elegant look, a flexible texture, and a durable quality. 

However, it also has some drawbacks. Rain and too much light intensity affect it, making it prone to damage. Willow is also weaker than other materials, which can limit its use.

Defining Rattan Wicker Furniture

Rattan wicker furniture comes from a spiny plant with long, rigid branches that grow up to 30 meters long. Rattan has a uniform thickness of 1-5 cm throughout its length, which makes it ideal for natural wicker furniture.

What Is Rattan Made Of?

Remember that natural abaca strands (palm) make real rattan. It looks stunning, but it is too fragile for outdoor use. So, choosing man-made fibers makes more sense.

Is Rattan Furniture Durable?

Rattan is light, flexible, and versatile. It can be used for indoor furniture, such as chairs, tables, and stools, or for housewares, such as baskets, trays, and decor. Rattan can also be peeled and used as rattan core or rattan skin. 

However, rattan wicker furniture also has some drawbacks. Weather elements can affect it easily, making it unsuitable for outdoor use. 

Insects can also damage it if not well taken care of. Peeling rattan cane can make the wood prone to mold. To prevent this, you can paint your furniture and add a coat of varnish to keep it fresh.

Synthetic Wicker Furniture

Synthetic wicker furniture combines metal, vinyl and resin to create outdoor furniture. Metal and synthetic fibers make synthetic wicker suitable for both indoors and outdoors. Synthetic fiber manufacturers often copy rattan’s physical structure to give a similar look. 

You may like natural wicker for the style and the “class” it brings, but if there’s one thing synthetic wicker furniture has over natural it’s this: it is perfect for outdoors. Because of its make, synthetic wicker furniture is waterproof, durable, and colorfast. 

It can withstand rain, sun, and humidity without staining or fading. Synthetic wicker furniture appeals to urban dwellers who want to enjoy their balconies or patios without worrying about moisture damage.

Decorative Ideas for Wicker Furniture

Wicker furniture sets are versatile, so you can style them indoors or outdoors, depending on where you see best.

Your options range between:

  • Dining set
  • Outdoor chill spot
  • Porch decor
  • Green rooms
  • Gardens and yard

Final Thoughts: What Is the Difference Between Rattan and Wicker Furniture?

Wicker furniture can enhance your design if you style it properly. You need to know the main types of wicker furniture material to find the best price and design combination for you. 

Now you know the difference between wicker and rattan furniture, so you can confidently browse the Modern Wicker and outdoor furniture online store and make smart choices. Or, you can contact us for more information, and we’ll be happy to help you.