Finest Rattan Patio Dining Furniture To Buy
Patio dining furniture sets
What is the best material for outdoor dining sets?
Outdoor furniture can be made from literally anything, but every material has its pros and cons. When considering what furniture you should be buying, here’s what to think about.
Cast Aluminium For A Beautiful Antique Effect
Aluminum is by far the most popular material for outdoor furniture. Sometimes even rattan and wicker sets are woven over an aluminum frame.
Modern Aluminium Sets Very Popular In sSeaside Resorts with It’s Ressistance To Saltly Enviroment
- Lightweight but plenty strong enough to do the job,
- Relatively rust and corrosion resistant
- Powder coated aluminum is basically resistant to everything
- Easy to look after
Natural rattan Is very durable & lightweight but prone to mould growth when left in damp conditions. Keep it undercover when not in use.
Unlike the natural rattan, resin wicker effect garden furniture can be left outside. Waterproof, strong & lightweight considered better than it’s natural counterparts.
Resin wicker is a longer lasting alternative to standard plant material furniture, but it’s more expensive and can be slightly irritating to maintain. The term wicker refers not to the material, which is generally some sort of polymer, but the way it’s woven. Rattan wicker like this has come into vogue the last few years as people realise that you get all the aesthetic benefits of a traditional plant fibre piece, with none of the downsides.
- Pretty looking and traditional
- Durable and tough
- UV resistant, so can be left in the sun
Hardwood companion seat
The traditional outdoor furniture material, and still an excellent choice.
Wood requires a little more care than most other materials, but aesthetically is stunning and comes in so many variants, whether style and material, that you’re sure to find exactly what you need.
- Wood like cedar and acacia is naturally weather resistant
- Durable and tough, if looked after
- Absolutely beautiful, and can be designed in literally any manner
Plastic outdoor furniture has what is needed for total weatherproof protection. Very strong and stylish like this antique effect bistro set
Tough and hard wearing, with a lot of style done right and usually at a more budget friendly price, plastic furniture can be an excellent option for a lot of gardens.
Whilst it might not have the same style as a lot of other options, plastic is damn near impervious to damage, requires almost no maintenance, and comes in a variety of different looks to suit any set up.
- Almost no maintenance needed, and resistant to nearly any weather
- Recycled plastic is surprisingly eco-friendly
- Doesn’t fade in the sun, and lasts years
Wrought iron garden furniture pieces are beautiful & elegant but very strong.
Timelessly stylish and contemporary, wrought iron furniture continues to be chosen because of how attractive and malleable it can be, fitting into any garden’s style. High end wrought iron furniture also avoids the downsides of the material, i.e. corrosion and rust, with weather resistant finishes. Though it might require a little more work, properly looked after, wrought iron is still an excellent choice for garden furniture.
- Heavy and strong. Not likely to be thrown around the garden by the wind
- Powder coated furniture makes it weather resistant
- Timeless aesthetic lends a touch of class to any garden
What type of outdoor furniture is the most durable?
In general, the most durable type of furniture is synthetic rattan or wicker furniture.
Synthetic rattan is incredibly durable because it’s made of polymer, which makes it highly resistant to damage from standard knocks and bumps.
It also has another benefit. Synthetic materials are treated to be UV resistant, which makes them all but immune to sun damage. Being made of plastics, furniture like this is also highly resistant to the weather, meaning that it’s safe to leave outside virtually all year round.
Synthetic rattan is incredibly simple to maintain. Unlike a lot of furniture, you’ll barely have to do anything except clean it every now and then with soapy water.
If you’re looking for furniture that requires the least amount of maintenance, you should seriously consider rattan.
Is rattan garden furniture durable?
Yes, rattan garden furniture is incredibly durable.
It’s durable in two different ways, too. First off, it’s highly resistant to weather and the sun, which is nice considering where it’s going to be kept.
Second, synthetic rattan especially is an incredibly durable material that’s woven in a manner than only makes it tougher. Don’t pierce it with anything and don’t set it on fire, and it should bounce back from almost anything that’s thrown at it. (But please don’t test this literally.)
What time of year is best to buy patio furniture?
Like every seasonal item, the best time to buy patio furniture is when the season is over.
For outdoor furniture, that means when Summer is fading out, the nights draw in and it starts to get colder.
Expect to start seeing sales from early August, with savings getting progressively larger as the months roll on. If you wait until late September, early October, you could potentially pick up something amazing for up to ¾ off! But try not to wait too long, as other people might have the same idea and snap up all those bargains.
Can Rattan Furniture be left outside?
All rattan furniture should be weather proof, but it’s not invincible.
Whilst you can keep your rattan furniture outside with little issue as long as you keep it cleaned, over time the wind and rain will start to slowly wear it down.
The best thing you can do is treat it like you would any other furniture. Keep it covered. Store it securely in the winter, and treat the fact that it’s far more resistant to weather as a bonus, in case you forget to secure it or the covers come off in a storm.
Which furniture is best for outdoors?
Out of every material we’ve seen, the single best material for outdoor furniture is rattan, especially synthetic rattan. The reasons for this are manifold, but simple:
First off, rattan is by far the most durable and resistant material for outdoor furniture.
It’s both strong and tough for general use, which means, well treated, it will last for years.
Second, rattan is highly resistant to all forms of weather, which means you have to be less concerned about storing and covering it.
Don’t take this as a license to fire and forget, and just leave it outside after buying. You should still look after your purchase correctly. It just means the pressure’s off, and you’re not going to ruin your furniture if you make one mistake.
The answer to this question depends entirely on the material your furniture is made from.
Rattan is strong and durable, and you generally don’t have to worry about weather effects, or the damaging rays of the sun.
Of course, over time rattan will lose its lustre if left exposed, like anything else. You can avoid this and keep it looking amazing for years by protecting it, either with adequate coverage or storing it when not in use.
Wood can be left outside for most of the year, as long as it’s been properly treated with sealant. The sealant seals the porous wood off, preventing it from rotting and weakening.
Be sure to read the manufacturers instructions when you purchase wood furniture, as a failure to treat your wooden furniture correctly could cause it to degrade far faster than expected.
Plastic generally has no problems with rain, because plastic won’t degrade in water for hundreds of years. The only thing you need to worry about when it comes to plastic furniture is cold weather. Freezing temperatures can cause the plastic to become brittle, which can cause it to crack or warp.
Like most furniture, this issue can be solved with storage or a good all weather furniture cover.
Wrought iron furniture, whilst it might be gorgeous and have a classic, timeless aesthetic, is intensely vulnerable to all types of weather. Rain and winter cause rust and corrosion, which over time will destroy the entire piece. The only way to avoid this is through storage.
Aluminum furniture is far more resistant to weather, but does have one vulnerability. It’s lightweight, so strong winds can blow it around your property.
Luckily, because it’s so lightweight, it’s simple to up and move it somewhere safe when it’s not in use. Make provisions for storage and you can sleep safe.
Best patio furniture for windy areas?
Whether you live in a windy area, or you’re just concerned about the occasional storm, the thought of expensive patio furniture being blown across your property, wreaking havoc and causing hundreds of dollars of damage is a real one.
If it’s a real concern for you, there’s several ways to avoid the problem, whether you’re looking to purchase new furniture or you need to secure your existing set:
- Heavy furniture is far less vulnerable to strong wind. Iron and wooden furniture is much heavier than aluminum or rattan. However, it’s not just harder for the wind to move. If you have to move it, for example to store, then you might struggle. If you’ve got adequate storage, weigh up the pros and cons of this.
- Use windbreaks to keep it safe. For those of you who aren’t sure, a windbreak is a barrier against the wind that forces it to take a different path. Existing walls can do the trick, especially if furniture is stacked up against it. So can a line or trees or bushes, which can also be a beautiful place to put your furniture. It’s a great backdrop and can give you shade on hotter days.
- If you have an umbrella, invest in a weighted umbrella base to keep it secure. Heavy and able to attach to the umbrella rod, a strong stand will act as an anchor not just for the umbrella, but also any table it’s placed in.
- If you have your furniture on decking or patio, earthquake gel is an excellent tool that can make a huge difference. A clear adhesive gel that was designed to hold furniture down in earthquakes, it serves double duty to hold down furniture from anything else that tries to move them. Though that does include you.
- If you have no other option, anchoring your furniture to something, whether that be a stake in the ground or tying it to another solid point will hold it in place. Particularly strong winds can still throw it around though, so be careful with this method.
- Failing all of this, the best way to stop your furniture being affected by the wind is to keep it out of the wind. A strong shed, used for storage, stops this problem dead, before it even starts.
The 5 best patio chairs for bad backs
[top 5 list – coming separately]
What are the best suspended chairs for patios?
[top 5 list – coming separately]
Is rattan effect furniture weatherproof?
Whilst no furniture is weatherproof, rattan furniture is as close to it as you can get.
Synthetic rattan is basically immune to short term weather conditions. Rain won’t affect it, cold isn’t going to cause long term damage, it’s generally heavy enough that wind won’t blow it around unless it’s exceptionally strong, and even the damaging effect of the suns rays won’t cause long term damage.
However, given enough exposure, the weather will slowly affect the look of your furniture, ageing it prematurely.
If possible, it’s always absolutely recommended to cover or store furniture if it’s not in use for a long period of time, and especially over the winter months.
Should I cover my patio furniture in winter?
If possible, all patio furniture should be stored during the winter. Most types of patio furniture is susceptible to bad weather, whether it be wind, rain, and even the cold.
Storing patio furniture doesn’t take long, especially if you have dedicated storage space. We would recommend thinking about storing your furniture from late October onwards, until spring.
If you need more storage, you should check out our guide on the best garden sheds to store furniture in. You can find it here [LINK]
If you don’t have dedicated storage space available, then the next best option is to buy a proper furniture cover to keep your patio furniture protected from the elements.
Lastly, if no other option is available, a tarpaulin can be used, but shouldn’t be relied upon to keep your furniture safe.
Is it okay to leave patio furniture outside in the rain?
This is a question with two parts. First off, it’s important to consider that the long answer depends on exactly what type of furniture you have, and the materials it’s made from.
A wrought iron chair set is far more susceptible to rain than a solid synthetic rattan bench, for example.
However, the short answer is no. All furniture, no matter how hard wearing, is susceptible to the weather to some degree. Even rattan, which is basically rain proof, will lose that new lustre and shine if left outside unprotected.
This is why whenever you buy a high quality outdoor furniture set, it’s important to also buy a decent furniture cover to keep it safe when it’s not in use, as well as consider how and where you can store it during winter.
The best way to secure patio furniture from theft
Whilst it might not be something we consider often, high end outdoor furniture is actually a surprisingly tempting target for thieves. Consider, if you’ve just spend several hundred, if not thousand on a brand new set of furniture, it has that sort of worth to other people, as well.
Lock everything up
Steel cables and locks are cheap and plentiful at any decent hardware store. A couple of spools of steel cable will allow you to thread your furniture together, holding them in place. Steel cable is incredibly hard to cut without serious machinery, and a bunch of tables and chairs tied together is near impossible to move without making an absolute racket. Either way, you’re safe.
Even better, steel cable is generally unobtrusive, meaning others won’t notice it when they’re using it, or even as they try and steal it. It’s what the professionals do, so it has to work.
Have adequate security
Gate locks and security cameras can deter thieves before they even make the attempt.
A decent security system might set you back a little, but it does more than protect your patio furniture. It also deters thieves from trying to break into your house, and might even offer a benefit when it comes time to renew your home insurance.
You can also install motion sensing lights. Moving patio furniture takes time, and it would take a brave or moronic thief to try and steal a set of tables and chairs from an exposed patio, lit up by floodlights and covered by cameras.
Store everything safely
If you know that you’re heading out for a while, storing your furniture is always the smart play.
A significant amount of the time, thievery is opportunistic. i.e. they see something, and only then make the plan to steal it. Cut this process off at the start by keeping your furniture out of sight and securely locked away in storage when not in use.
Keep receipts and take pictures
The best insurance is, well, insurance. Make sure that you can prove the worth of your furniture, and that means keeping adequate records, just in case the worst should happen despite your best efforts.
What’s the best way to clean patio furniture?
Patio furniture can be surprisingly simple to clean, but the methods for every material differ. The good thing is, once you know the correct method, you can have your patio furniture cleaned in about half an hour, tops. Follow our list to find out exactly what you need for each type of patio furniture.
Wooden furniture is easy to clean, especially if it’s been treated with a good oil. You should be cleaning wooden furniture reasonably often, and can use one of three cleaning solutions.
- A store bought cleaner is always a good choice, but they tend to be strong, and harsh on the wood if used repeatedly. Use on hard to shift stains or for a deep clean.
- A gallon of warm water with a cup of bleach and a cup of common laundry detergent makes for a good, soft cleaning solution.
- If you want a natural option, a gallon of warm water and a cup of white vinegar is an acceptable substitute.
Using a soft brush, (no metal bristles) work the cleaning solution of choice into the wood. Leave it for ten to fifteen minutes before rinsing off with water. You can repeat as necessary, but don’t overdo a single area as you might start working away the wood and damaging your furniture.
Rattan furniture might not require that much care, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean it. Luckily, there’s two simple ways to keep your rattan looking its best.
- First, use a vacuum cleaner every few weeks to clean dirt and dust out from the cracks and crevices.
- Second, to actually clean the furniture, soapy water and a cloth or sponge, or a low pressure hose (do not use high pressure, it will damage the material) will get rid of the worst. Wipe down once complete.
- If you need to deep cleanse your rattan, for example if it gets soiled somehow, use soapy water again, with a soft bristled brush to work into all the cracks.
- Once it’s clean, leave for a few minutes then rinse down.
Wrought iron makes for stunning furniture, but requires a good amount of maintenance. Every couple of months, you need to follow this process:
- Hose the furniture down to get rid of the majority of the dirt
- Using a small amount of soap and a sponge or soft cloth, scrub down the furniture with sweeping, circular motions
- If there’s fixed or ground in dirt, you can use a brush to scrub deeper and break it up
If any areas of the furniture are rusted or stained after cleaning, clear the area and sand it down, then repaint as necessary
Plastic is by far the easiest material to clean, requiring only a hose down and perhaps a scrub with soap and a sponge or cloth.
Once cleaned, make sure you dry the furniture off otherwise it will end up with water marks and staining.
Cleaning outdoor furniture cushions
You might think that outdoor cushions should be cleaned in the same way as other fabrics, but you’d be wrong. They’re designed to be far more hard wearing and tough, which means they require some special treatment.
- Using a spray bottle filled with warm water and a small amount of dishwashing liquid, spray down both sides of the cushions until they’re wet.
- When the cushions are completely dry (15-20 minutes) spray them down with your garden hose to remove the cleaning solution and all the collected dirt.
- Once they’ve dried a second time, brush down, and treat with a fabric protector if necessary
Are patio benches any good?
A patio bench is the perfect addition to any garden.
Comfortable and classy looking, patio benches are perfect whether you’re looking to spend a summer’s day with the grand kids, or you’re sitting down of an evening to watch the sun set.
Benches are also incredibly versatile. A good bench can easily be used instead of chairs if you have a table of the correct height, and with so many different styles available, you’re sure to find something to match your décor.
A well crafted bench will also last years. Metal benches are touch and hard wearing, rattan is basically indestructible unless seriously mistreated, and even wooden benches, properly looked after, can easily last upwards of a decade.
How long do wooden benches last?
Benches tend to be reasonably high maintenance pieces of furniture, and that maintenance directly affects how long the bench will last.
Untreated and left to the elements, a wooden bench can last as little as 3 or 4 years. However, with the correct treatment, the same bench could easily last 15 or even 20 years.
Your bench should come with manufacturers care instructions, but sanding and retreating with a good quality sealant at least once a year should be standard.
It’s also advisable to shield your bench from the worst of the weather by both storing it in winter, and covering it when not in use even during summer.
Do patio benches have to match?
Does anything? Do your sofa and chairs have to match? What about the curtains and wall colour?
Like every stylistic decision you make with your house and garden, whether your patio benches match are up to you. Some properties might benefit from a matching set of furniture, and some will look better with an offset bench of a particular style.
It’s all down to personal preference. Planning always helps, and there’s always massive amounts of inspiration online.
How do I protect my garden bench?
Protecting your garden bench doesn’t have to be difficult. In total, treating and protecting your bench should take around a day’s work total, and only cost as much as a pot of decent sealant.
Start by sanding down the top layer of your bench, working away imperfections and revealing the wood underneath.
Apply one coat of the sealant evenly across the whole of the bench, then leave to dry for around 24 hours.
Once dry, apply a second coat of the sealant, making sure to cover every spot, even the finicky sections around joints and underneath.
Once coated twice, your wooden bench is protected for another year. Remember to schedule the date you should treat it again somewhere safe, so you don’t forget to do it next year.
What is the best cantilever umbrella to buy?
[top 5 list – coming separately]
How do I keep my patio umbrella from blowing away?
A good patio umbrella is both attractive and functional, keeping you safe from the weather whilst you relax on your patio. But strong winds can cause your umbrella, especially if it’s a larger umbrella, to lean or potentially tip over.
Here’s how to avoid that.
Keep your umbrella shut when it’s not being used
An open umbrella functions like a sail in strong winds, catching it with the full size and imparting that much more force.
Keeping your umbrella shut avoids that. Some umbrellas have a built in closing strap, others have a cover. Failing that, you can always just tie it shut with a cord.
Buy a heavy umbrella base
A lot of umbrellas, especially the less expensive models, only come with a small plastic base to keep them standing.
If you regularly face strong winds, a heavier base can be a canny investment. Once placed down and weighted, it’s sturdy enough to take all but the strongest winds, and generally also has a method of attaching the umbrella itself so it doesn’t blow away.
If you don’t have a heavy base, you can make do with things like sandbags, gravel or other weighted bags. Look for around 10 to 20lbs worth of extra weight, minimum.
This can lead to its own issues though, so you should also…
Make sure your umbrella has strong ribs
We’ve all seen people struggling in the rain and wind with a handheld umbrella, until one errant gust causes it to turn inside out.
This is the issue with weak ribs. If they’re not strong enough to resist the wind, it doesn’t matter how strong the umbrella is or how heavy the base it.
Invest in an umbrella with strong metal or wooden ribs, and the potential problem of it turning inside out and obliterating itself is much less of an issue.
Buy an umbrella with an air vent
Some umbrellas have vent flaps built into the structure that open when the wind catches the umbrella from underneath.
This allows the wind to flow through the umbrella, and hugely reduces the drag that the wind will impart on it, almost eliminating the chances that you’ll see it gaily flying away down your garden like Mary Poppins.
How do I choose a parasol?
Start by choosing the type of parasol you need.
The traditional upright parasol is what you might think of first. It’s essentially a large, base mounted umbrella that can sit in the centre of a table, keeping you all shaded.
Slightly more technical are tilting parasols. The canopy will be the same, but the pole with have a mechanism that allows the parasol to tilt, angling it towards the sun to better shade you in the evening.
Lastly, there are cantilever parasols, which are mounted to the size of the table, with the canopy hanging from a central attachment point at the top, rather than from underneath.
Cantilever parasols are easy to adjust, but tend to have size limitations.
Once you’ve decided which type of parasol is right for you, you need to choose the correct base.
If your parasol is going through a table, then a 15kg parasol base is absolutely fine.
If it’s going to be free standing, a 25kg parasol base should be the minimum size that you’re using.
It’s also worth checking the width of your parasol when buying. Smaller parasol bases tend to only sit thinner poles, so if you’re buying a smaller base but have a massive parasol, you might find it’s impossible to fit it inside the base stand.
What size patio umbrella should I buy?
Choosing a patio umbrella is predicated on several things.
First off, and perhaps most obviously, how much space you have. There’s no point in recommending a certain size patio umbrella if you simply don’t have the space to unfurl it.
Secondly, budget. Larger umbrellas are more expensive, and some budgets might not stretch to a larger umbrella.
But in a perfect world, how big should your parasol be?
According to the experts, your patio umbrella should extend over the edges of your table by at least 2 feet on every side. This means if you have a table that’s 4 feet wide, ideally you need a parasol that’s 8 feet across at the widest point.
Height is also another important consideration. There’s no point in buying an umbrella that leaves everyone hunched and squatting.
In general, 7 feet for the pole height is a good rule of thumb. Other patio umbrellas might have smart features like cantilevers and tilting, which allows you to position them precisely where they are needed.
As always, consider the space and what you’re using it for before you buy.