Wicker Outdoor Furniture – Natural vs. Synthetic, Which is Better?

Natural vs. Synthetic wicker furniture

There’s nothing like relaxing outdoors in comfortable, stylish furniture. However, choosing the right type for your patio or deck can seem overwhelming when natural and synthetic wicker both have appealing qualities. This guide simplifies the decision with clear comparisons of popular natural vs. synthetic wicker furniture materials.

Wicker furniture renders an airy, breathable structure preferred by many for its casually elegant outdoor appeal. But what begins as an aesthetic preference soon tests the true toughness of each option. Natural wicker enchants with its organic texture but proves rather delicate. Meanwhile, synthetic varieties stay beautiful through relentless sun and showers alike.

Within these pages, we’ll scrutinize wicker compositions and their inherent strengths or weaknesses when confronting the elements. From stately sofas to whimsical chaises, whether your budget favors affordability or splurging, learn how to pick sets that complement any furniture ensemble for years on end. Get the lowdown on low-maintenance traits that leave you leisure instead of chores.

By the journey’s end, you’ll choose confidently between cadenced-curated charm or resilience-refined relaxation for the place where you unwind. Your patio awaits its perfect wicker matches – let’s find them!

  • Synthetic resin wicker is the most durable option for outdoor furniture, able to withstand weather for 10+ years
  •  Natural wicker requires indoor storage or covering when outdoors due to a lack of weather resistance
  •  Leading resin wicker brands like Harmonia Living focus on high-quality materials and craftsmanship for longevity
  •  Minimal maintenance is required for resin wicker vs. more upkeep of natural pieces
  •  While initially costing more, resin wicker saves on repairs and replacements over the long run

Types of Wicker Furniture

Wicker furniture comes in a variety of styles and pieces to suit any outdoor space. Common choices include wicker sofas, loveseats, chairs, dining tables, and chairs. For larger sections like conversation pits or lounge areas, customized wicker sectionals are available.

Smaller individual pieces like wicker chairs provide portable seating that can be moved around as desired. Wicker is also frequently used for outdoor bedroom furniture like daybeds and headboards, creating a tranquil retreat. No matter the type of wicker furniture selected, both natural and synthetic options strive to achieve the same light, airy aesthetic.

Understanding Wicker Materials

When furnishing a patio or outdoor area, one of the main considerations is choosing furniture that can withstand the elements. Synthetic wicker has emerged as a practical choice due to its weather resistance. However, it’s important to understand the distinction between wicker and rattan. Rattan refers to vine-like plant stems and is not suitable for outdoor use due to its vulnerability. This article focuses on natural and synthetic wicker specifically.

Wicker is typically made through a weaving process with materials like wood, bamboo, or rattan. While both natural and synthetic versions aim to create the same texture and style, their compositions differ significantly. This affects the durability, maintenance, and overall suitability of each for outdoor settings.

Natural Wicker

Wicker furniture crafted from natural plant fibers has a uniquely charming appeal. Gaining popularity for its lightweight frame and breezy aesthetic, wicker showcases diverse natural materials like rattan that have been carefully hand-woven or twisted together.

This results in casual elegance, with each piece varying in subtly intriguing details. The various fibers selected including willow, bamboo, and grass impart distinct textures to the finished product. Rattan in particular graces furniture with an intrinsic tropical warmth.

Beyond attractive appearance, the true appeal lies in the feel of natural wicker. Tactile variations emerge between each piece as fibers mingle. Its pliant weave complements relaxation like no rigid synthetic ever could.

However, wicker’s organic attributes come at a cost. Being permeable to moisture just as it feels to the touch, wicker absorbs water readily. Without a protective resin shell, rattan furniture suffers greatly like natural wicker when exposed continuously to sun damage and temperature fluctuations.

Unless stored indoors or adequately covered year-round, natural wicker warps and fades rapidly compared to synthetic cousins. While alluring for visual and textural qualities, natural materials prove too fragile for standalone outdoor use in most climates. Choosing hardier options prevents disappointment down the line.

Synthetic Resin Wicker (All-Weather Wicker)

As an alternative to fragile natural styles, many homeowners opt for synthetic wicker for outdoor furniture crafted to withstand relentless weather. Commonly termed “all-weather wicker”, this material skillfully duplicates the airy texture people adore.

Yet behind the scenes, it strengthens traditional rattan with synthetic fibers that safeguard without compromising aesthetic allure. Fibers are often tightly packed around sturdy frames to lock in protection from water seepage and harsh solar radiation.

Top brand furnishings infuse their innovative blends with resins specially formulated to repel damage. High-grade UV inhibitors and moisture-wicking qualities provide invisible armor rendering furniture made from the mix virtually indestructible with proper care.

Synthetic wicker establishes itself as nature’s best protégé. Franchising organic allure for outdoor patios and decks worldwide with resilient longevity that natural weavers themselves could only dream of attaining. Now home décor denizens may indulge in lightweight luxury wherever romantic relaxation calls them.

Pros and Cons of Wicker Furniture Materials

Natural Wicker


  • Eco-friendly material made from renewable plant fibers
  •  Provides an organic aesthetic that enhances outdoor ambiance
  •  Lightweight for portability and easy assembly or storage
  •  Comfortable and airy texture


  • Lacks durability for outdoor use without protection
  •  Requires indoor storage or covers when outdoors
  •  Increased maintenance from weather damage if unprotected
  •  Possible allergies to natural fibers for sensitive individuals

Synthetic Resin Wicker


  • Highly durable and weather-resistant for long-lasting outdoor use
  •  Low maintenance without requiring indoor storage or covers
  •  Retains a natural wicker texture and aesthetics
  •  Comfortable for outdoor lounging and entertaining


  • Contains synthetic materials not derived from nature
  •  Quality can vary between manufacturers
  •  Potential for ultraviolet degradation over 10+ years
  •  Generally heavier than natural wicker

Overall, synthetic resin wicker provides the hardiness needed for wind, rain, sun, and general wear without much upkeep. It has become the favored choice for patios, decks, and outdoor living spaces in North America where weather resilience is key.

Choosing Outdoor Wicker Furniture

When selecting wicker furniture for outdoor use, the material is paramount. Choose a name brand known for high-quality synthetic or resin wicker woven around powder-coated aluminum, rust-resistant iron, or heavier-duty frames. Leading manufacturers like Harmonia Living carefully test pieces to exceed durability standards.

Factors like company reputation, frame material, weaving technique, and resin process affect the longevity of synthetic wicker. Refer to manufacturer websites or specialty stores for recommendations suited to your specific needs and budget. A 10-year limited warranty on synthetic wicker pieces provides peace of mind.

Repairing Resin Wicker Furniture

Even the toughest synthetic wicker can experience wear over many years outdoors. Replacing damaged sections is often more affordable than a full replacement set. Contact the manufacturer for an assessment and purchase replacement parts directly when possible.

Look for resin wicker strands that precisely match the original in color and weave pattern. Properly installed, replacement pieces will blend in seamlessly. Ask the company for application tips so repairs maintain the furniture’s aesthetic and structural integrity long-term.

Difference Between Natural and Resin Wicker Outdoor Furniture

There are several key distinctions to examine when choosing between natural or synthetic materials for your outdoor wicker furniture set:

Style and Design

Naturally woven wicker made from plant fibers like rattan displays subtle variations between pieces, giving it an artisanal, serendipitous charm. In contrast, resin wicker furniture achieves consistent patterns through a precise synthetic manufacturing process, retaining a defined design aesthetic.


While beautiful, natural wicker proves fragile and fades and warps without shelter from weather extremes. Reinforced resin wicker is resistant to sun damage and moisture thanks to protective coating, achieving a lifespan twice as long as natural without maintenance.


Some prefer the breathable texture of natural rattan wicker. However, synthetic varieties allow for cushion stuffing options that deliver long-lasting ergonomic support. Resins prevent static buildup that natural wicker may cause.

Care Requirements

Outdoor storage or covers shield delicate natural fibers from rain and sun year-round. By comparison, merely washing resin wicker with mild soap maintains its like-new appearance outdoors long-term.

Cost Comparison

Higher initially, resin wicker furniture becomes more economical in the long run by eliminating repairs from weathering and replacement every 5-7 years as needed for exposed natural styles. Factor in resins’ extended usability for a lower lifetime cost.

Considering these distinguishing qualities will help you select the ideal wicker outdoor furniture suited to your specific climate and budgetary priorities for seamless, worry-free enjoyment of your protected outdoor seating and living arrangements.

Wicker Furniture Products and Prices

To provide examples of wicker furniture types and their pricing ranges:

Furniture PieceNatural Wicker PriceResin Wicker Price
Dining Set (4 chairs, table)$1200-1800$1500-2200

Brands like Harmonia Living offer attractive starter sets starting around $1000 for basic loveseats and dining tables crafted from sturdy synthetic resin wicker and powder-coated aluminum frames.

Higher-end luxury designs integrated with pillows, cushions, and canopies naturally involve steeper costs anywhere from $3000-6000 per complete set. But the tradeoff becomes unparalleled comfort and style retaining valued aesthetics for 10+ years of weathering.

In summary, while natural wicker proves more economical initially, resin wicker investments translate to lifetime savings through reduced maintenance and replacement needs over the long haul. Select top brands focused on sustainability, craftsmanship, and protection for worry-free outdoor relaxation.

Final Thoughts

If you want furniture that provides the natural look of wicker but is far more durable than options made from plant fibers alone, synthetic resin wicker is the best choice. Combining the aesthetic appeal of woven rattan and wicker with the hardy resilience of protective resins, resin wicker sets the benchmark for withstanding weather fatigue with minimal repairs or replacements versus 100% natural materials.

When shopping for your new outdoor seating group, be sure to compare top brands known for thorough longevity testing and prioritizing natural vs. synthetic attributes like weave consistency and weather-proofing. Speak with specialty retailers about premium resin wicker collections within your budget that naturally withstand exposure for many years to come.

With resin wicker furniture, you receive the same breezy, inviting look you love without drawbacks like necessary coverings or seasonal storage. Instead, simply sit back and relax outdoors through every type of climate conditions. Start browsing reviews today to discover the ideal synthetic wicker option for your patio or landscaping.