The best rattan garden furniture and where to shop for it | Ideal Home

2022-06-15 14:25:38 By : Mr. Carlos Yu

The best rattan garden furniture makes a timeless addition to the garden, blending classic good looks with contemporary design, and with most modern ‘rattan’ garden sets made from weather-resistant PE-rattan (a plastic polymer woven to look like the real thing) rattan outdoor furniture is a low-maintenance option for the patio too.

Whether you’re looking for a rattan garden table and chairs for alfresco dining, a rattan corner sofa for creating a swoon-worthy outdoor living area, or a rattan sun lounger for soaking up some rays in style, we’ve curated the best options around, along with our go-to retailers for shopping all things rattan.

If you’re after a wider selection of outdoor furniture, including wooden and metal options, make sure to check out our guide to the best garden furniture of the year, but if you know rattan is the look for you, read on to discover the Ideal Home team’s top picks for style, practicality, and budget.

Want to jump straight to the stockists with the best selections of in-stock rattan garden furniture? We’ve curated a list of our favourites below. Otherwise keep on scrolling to find our top picks of the most swoon-worthy rattan garden furniture you can shop this season.

An affordable rattan corner sofa set

Seats: 3 Materials: PE-rattan with a steel frame

Reasons to buy: + Affordable + Compact design useful for small patios + Hidden storage

Reasons to avoid: – Steel frame will need more protection from the elements than an aluminium option

Available in two colourways, this chaise rattan garden sofa from Habitat is a bestseller for good reason. The compact dimensions mean it works well on a small patio or in a courtyard garden, and the hidden storage in the accompanying padded footstool is a real added bonus. Made from PE-rattan with a steel frame this option will need a little more care than an aluminium-framed option to prevent rusting, but that’s reflected in the price point, which at well under £400 is pretty hard to beat.

Buy now: Habitat Mini Corner Sofa Set with Storage

Shop more: rattan garden furniture at Argos

A durable rattan corner sofa with an aluminium frame

Seats: 7 Materials: PE-rattan with an aluminium frame

Reasons to buy: + Timeless design + Spacious seating + Durable low-maintenance  rust and weather-resistant aluminium frame

Reasons to avoid: – You can find cheaper corner sofa sets, but they’re likely to have less durable steel frames

If your budget will stretch a little further, then this timeless rattan corner sofa set with dining table is a great investment. It may seem pretty expensive straight off the bat, but that natural-look PE-rattan upper is woven around an aluminium frame which makes it rust- and weather-resistant and means you can leave the set outside all year round (minus the cushions) without worrying about the over-winter storage that a steel-framed set would require. You also get a lot for your money, with the five-seater corner sofa and good-sized outdoor dining table accompanied by two padded footstools that can be used to turn the sofa into a chaise for some laidback R&R, or used as extra seating around the table, plus all fifteen well-padded cushions are included in the price.

Buy this item: Florence Garden Corner Sofa Set

Shop more: rattan garden furniture at Homebase

A budget rattan outdoor lounge set

Seats: 4 Materials: PE-rattan with a steel frame

Reasons to buy: + Affordable + Three colour options

Reasons to avoid: – Steel frame will need more protection from the elements than an aluminium option

Featuring a two-seater sofa, two chairs, a coffee table, and contrasting seat cushions, this rattan outdoor lounge set is a budget option that doesn’t compromise on style. It’s not as robust as more investment pieces on our list, but if your decision is being guided by price point then this set is well worth considering. It’s also available in three colourways to match your outdoor decor scheme; either black with white cushions, dark brown with cream cushions, or a Scandi-inspired grey rattan-effect weave with coordinating pale grey cushions. The table is topped with safety glass, and the cushion covers are shower-proof and can be removed for easy washing, although for longevity we’d suggest keeping the non-aluminium framed set covered or in storage during inclement weather.

Buy this item: Bigzzia 4-Seater Rattan Garden Furniture Set

Shop more: rattan garden furniture at Amazon

A good value aluminium-framed rattan bistro set

Seats: 2 Materials: PE-rattan with an aluminium frame

Reasons to buy: + Timeless design + Durable low-maintenance  rust and weather-resistant aluminium frame

Reasons to avoid: – You can find cheaper bistro sets, but they’re likely to have less durable steel frames

Stylish good looks and durable, weather-resistant aluminium frames make this rattan-effect bistro set a great buy. Rust-resistant aluminium is also a lighter weight option than steel, which makes the set easy to move around the patio to follow the sun, and means you can rest a little easier about rushing to cover the set should the rain clouds gather. As part of John Lewis & Partner’s Alora collection there is also a wide selection of coordinating outdoor furniture if you want to create a cohesive look for your patio or backyard.

Buy this item: John Lewis & Partners Alora Garden Bistro Set

Shop more: rattan garden furniture at John Lewis & Partners

A contemporary rattan-effect outdoor set

Seats: 4 Materials: PE-rattan with a steel frame

Reasons to buy: + Affordable + Contemporary design

Reasons to avoid: – Steel frame will need more protection from the elements than an aluminium option

If you love the natural organic feel that rattan brings to the garden, but want something a little more contemporary, then this Scandi-inspired PE-rattan outdoor lounge set from Gardenline could well fit the bill. A part of this year’s Aldi garden furniture collection, its accompanied online buy plenty of other great value outdoor buys, including the Gardenline hanging egg chair that proves a sell-out each season (which is hardly a surprise considering it’s one of the cheapest on the market) and a whole host of other stylish bargains, including an Aldi rattan-effect chaise garden sofa that gives the Habitat option at the top of this list a run for its money.

Buy this item: Gardenline Rope Effect Coffee Set

Shop more: rattan garden furniture at Aldi

A luxury rattan garden set with a hidden fire pit

Seats: 9 Materials: PE-rattan with an aluminium frame

Reasons to buy: + Timeless design + Range of colour options + Modular units allow for multiple configuration options + Adjustable backrests for lounging + Durable low-maintenance  rust and weather-resistant aluminium frame + Built-in fire pit + Plenty of seating

Reasons to avoid: – An investment

If you have a little (OK, a lot) more cash to invest into your outside space, then this timeless rattan corner sofa set from Moda comes high on our wishlist. The modular sofa units can be clipped together into a variety of configurations to create the layout that best suits your outside space, and with the five-seater sofa, plus four padded footstools there is plenty of seating for all of the family, plus guests. As well as a rust- and weather-resistant aluminium frame that provides long-term protection and durability against the elements, this set also comes with plenty of hidden surprises to delight. On top of the hidden fire pit in the centre of the coffee table which is sure to wow guests, both end units of the corner sofa feature adjustable flip-up bases that allow them to transform into uber-comfortable loungers. Bliss.

Buy now: Moda Halo Corner Sofa with Charcoal Fire Pit

Shop more: rattan garden furniture at Moda

Most modern ‘rattan’ garden furniture is usually made from PE-rattan or polyrattan rather than real, organic rattan. Both terms are slightly different names for the same woven synthetic plastic polymer that is fashioned to emulate the appearance of natural rattan.

Why not use real rattan? Although the natural fibre is what inspired the rattan look we all love, the organic material needs a little more TLC to survive outdoors, requiring protection from damp and moisture, and needing to be shielded from direct sunlight and wind which can cause it to become brittle.

Plastic, as an alternative, is waterproof, UV-resistant, frost-resistant, and requires very minimal maintenance in comparison, leading to it being favoured by manufacturers for low-maintenance outdoor options.

The downside, of course, is that unlike biodegradable natural rattan, most PE-rattan garden furniture is currently unrecyclable at the end of its lifespan. Although some advances are being made in repurposing single-use plastics for the manufacture of the polymers needed to create the furniture in the first place.

Opting for the most durable PE-rattan garden furniture your budget allows can, therefore, become an important way to minimise some of the environmental impact of polyrattan furniture, and that means considering the type of frame that gives rattan garden furniture its structure; namely whether it’s constructed from steel or aluminium. Plus, of course, opting for the most durable rattan garden set your budget allows will save you money in the long run. Read on to find out the pros and cons of each metal and their outdoor durability.

Whether or not you can leave rattan garden furniture outside in the rain without it becoming damaged is largely due to the type of metal frame the set is constructed with.

The most affordable rattan garden furniture will generally be made with a steel frame. This makes for heavier furniture, and you’ll want to make sure you look for powder-coated steel. This is because steel is highly corrosive when it comes in contact with water, and the frame will rust quickly outdoors if moisture reaches the metal surface. This problem is ‘solved’ by powder-coating the steel in a dry paint powder that’s cured through an electrostatic process to form a hardwearing seal from the elements.

The downside of powder-coated steel is that if that painted surface chips then rusting can occur quite quickly, so you’ll need to repair any knocks to maintain that waterproof seal. Joints and fixings which are hard to thoroughly powder-coat and open to abrasion can also become a weak point, allowing moisture to penetrate and reducing furniture’s lifespan.

As such most manufacturers will recommend you store steel-framed rattan garden furniture in a sheltered environment during inclement weather to prolong its lifespan. This can be inconvenient if you don’t have a garage or shed for storage, plus, steel is pretty heavy to move. A waterproof outdoor furniture cover will help to protect steel rattan furniture from the worst of the elements, although it’s hard to prevent damp from penetrating over time, so expect steel-framed options to have a shorter lifespan overall.

Aluminium is the alternative. This is a non-corrosive metal, meaning the surface oxidises to form its own barrier to water, so aluminium doesn’t need any powder-coating or maintenance to maintain its integrity (although it may still have a powder-coated finish for aesthetic purposes). It’s also a lightweight metal and much easier to move in comparison to steel if you’re likely to be picking up your rattan garden chair to chase the sun.

And the best news is that due to its enhanced weatherproofing, aluminium-framed garden furniture can be left outside all year round, so you don’t need to worry about storage. (Although, nothing is completely impenetrable to the elements, so if you have the space then protecting your garden furniture over winter is still wise).

However, the downside is that these benefits come with a cost, with aluminium-framed rattan garden furniture usually the most expensive to purchase. Of course, the added durability that comes with this non-corrosive option can make it the most cost-effective in the long term, as long as you don’t mind the initial outlay. And if you find an aluminium option on our garden furniture deals page, it will be well worth snapping up!

To find the best products for this list we spent time handling and sit-testing some of the bestselling garden furniture, dived into the specifications to sort the wheat from the chaff, grilled the Ideal Home team for their expert knowledge, asked friends and family for their top-rated products, and took into account third party opinions via online reviews. Click here to find out more about how we review products on Ideal Home.