What is Rattan Furniture?

No other furniture set symbolises the outdoors as much as rattan furniture does. Think about your earliest memory of gardens, maybe lounging and playing in the garden while your family visits grandpa or a neighbour, or think about the feel of lounging and resting in the park after a day’s work?

What chair comes to your mind? When you think about the outdoors or spending time outdoors, what lounging chair comes to your mind? If you are like me, the furniture you will associate with these memories with is likely rattan furniture, and that’s because of their ubiquity.

It seems like everyone’s grandparents or relatives usually had a variation of this furniture (and yes, there are many varieties), and the conservatory chairs always came in handy for every situation.

Want a simple armchair? Well, there’s a rattan armchair. Want a cute but sturdy and reliable lounger to help you ease your stress after a hard day? Well, there’s a rattan lounger. Loungers or reclining chairs have been proven to relieve stress more than other furniture in the same category.

The outdoors is not the only place rattan furniture is used. It is also found indoors, where they naturally contribute to the aesthetics and ambience of the room. Rattan furniture is versatile and uniquely adapted for every weather. You can either use them to sun yourself during summer or sleep in them when the cold of winter comes biting. In this article you will lean what is rattan and how to look after rattan furniture.

Types of Rattan Furniture

There are two different types of rattan furniture

1. Natural Rattan: This is the type of rattan furniture that generally comes to mind when people hear about rattan. . This Rattan is made from naturally-occurring vine-like plants with an appearance similar to bamboo (note: rattan and bamboo are very different). This plant has tough stems and can grow as long as 400ft. They are generally gotten from South Asia and some parts of East Africa. They are then processed using the WICKER process and converted into rattan furniture. This type of rattan is very pleasing to the eye. However, they are not well suited for use outdoors due to the hazard posed by moisture and other natural degradation problems. To find out more information about natural rattan, watch the video below

2. Plastic Rattan: Wait, you didn’t think your grandfather’s chair (which he claims he got from his grandfather too) that has lasted for centuries was not made of wood? The odds are in our favour when we say it is plastic. People are always genuinely surprised when they learn that there might be another type of rattan aside from the natural one. Plastic rattan is virtually indistinguishable from the wooden type apart from the texture. They perform relatively well in the outdoors, proven impervious to rot and other things that plague the natural type.

Why do people like rattan furniture?

People have been reported to like rattan furniture because it is aesthetically pleasing while retaining its functionality. It is versatile and has a whole furniture range for about everything you might want. It is also durable. Due to the materials used in its making, rattan furniture outlives many other furniture lines and, except when exposed to direct sunlight consistently, also retains its original colour and beauty.

Rattan furniture also doesn’t cost an arm and leg to purchase. It is priced moderately, so you can easily afford to get one for yourself. Also, most dealers offer a guarantee that has you covered if you change your mind, which you will rarely do.

Tips on Buying

When purchasing Rattan furniture, there are few things to keep in mind to ensure you are getting the best possible value for your money. These include:

1. Product Size: Pictures are often deceptive, so trusting only what you see online and then purchasing it is not a wise decision. If possible, go to a local (physical) store to check out the furniture’s size. If you can’t possibly check it physically, copy the dimensions on the product listing and compare it with where you want to place it. Will it fit? Will it give you enough leg space? Is it comfortable enough? The answers to these should eventually determine whether you buy or not.

2. Framework: Another factor to consider is the thickness of the furniture’s framework. Does it look sturdy enough? Is it wide enough to relax? The material used to make the frames will play a significant part in the furniture’s price. Steel frames are cheaper than aluminium frames but are not ideal for use outdoors and do not last as long as aluminium. On the other hand, furniture with aluminium frames last longer and are suited for all types of environments. Both frames come with some guarantee.

3. UV Stability: Due to the material used in making rattan furniture, exposure to the sun might be a constant hazard to their usage, so you should buy one that is UV stabilised so it can withstand staying outdoors.

We have prepared some guides for choosing the best rattan furniture and these can be seen below:


Maintenance is a great virtue to have, and your furniture will need you to clean it regularly. That’s why I want to show you how to clean your rattan furniture and keep it the right way.

To ensure maximum cleanliness and maintenance, you should have a schedule for cleaning your rattan furniture. This might be a bi-weekly activity or whenever feels convenient. You should ensure to clean it within a month, or the technical debt from not cleaning might catch up with you.

For the actual cleaning, use a specialised furniture washing detergent or pH-neutral dishwashing agent mixed with water. Any other detergent apart from this might cause cracks and abrasions on the furniture surface, and some might even discolour it. Use a soft sponge dipped in your dishwashing solution to gently wipe down the rattan furniture.

If you encounter any dirt, apply more pressure to get it out. Dirt is a sign of neglect, so if you find out that you are encountering more dirt than usual, then it is time to evaluate your rattan furniture’s overall maintenance.

To prevent mould, ensure to keep your natural rattan in direct contact with sun rays. Being away from receiving direct sunlight might cause it to grow mould and emit unpleasant odour. When you encounter mould, make sure to scrub the spot extra clean. This is usually a sign that you need to make your maintenance cycle more frequent.

Also, using a vacuum cleaner after some time for doing regular cleaning should be considered. Vacuum cleaners can get the dirt out of those hard-to-reach spots without needing to scatter your sofa or any other crude method.

Frequently Asked Questions

What about old rattan furniture? How do you clean them?

The first step to cleaning old rattan furniture is first having oil, soap, and water. A towel should be handy here. Using the towel, clean the furniture thoroughly and make sure no stains remain on it. After doing this, dust the sofa (if any), then use a clean towel to wipe everything away.

How do I waterproof natural rattan furniture?

The natural rattan furniture is not sold waterproof, and it can be easily made waterproof by varnishing. First, you have to use sandpaper to sand the surface gently. The next thing to do is to apply a clear varnish to the sandpapered spots, and that’s it, you have your waterproof rattan furniture.

How to protect my rattan furniture from harsh weather conditions?

There are special paints you can apply to keep your rattan furniture impervious to adverse weather conditions.


Rattan furniture is a sought-after and popular type of furniture made from natural materials or plastic. There are benefits to using Rattan furniture, and there are also ways to maintain and clean your Rattan furniture.

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