What Is the Difference Between Natural & Synthetic Rattan?

This is a question that often stumps people when it comes to making their furniture purchase. As confusing as it can be to differentiate between the two, when it comes to rattan furniture, there is natural rattan or synthetic rattan. To help clear up some of the confusion, below we will take a look at the difference and compare both their strengths and weaknesses.


Opting for natural rattan means you are getting a solid and durable material so whether it’s built for indoor or outdoor, you’re always getting a high quality, strong piece. When it comes to synthetic rattan, once again it is extremely durable but the difference you need to be aware of is its ability to handle the weather. When it comes to outdoor furniture at Desser, we’re proud to offer a variety of all-weather collections. That being said, if you’ve bought from elsewhere it is useful to know that synthetic rattan is typically designed to handle testing outdoor conditions, whereas, with the natural suites you may find its struggles to keep its aesthetic beauty or durability.


The argument for real vs fake can be made here. Whilst synthetic designs unquestionably look great, natural rattan undoubtedly has a natural charm about it. Both versions today are on offer in a wide variety of styles, shapes, designs and colours, and give your garden or conservatory an elegant and showroom esk look. Typically, the buyer’s decision is made on the design of the furniture rather than the material itself. It is, however, always important to consider that the quality of the fibre used as well as the quality of the weaving has a defining factor on the overall look of the piece regardless of its design. The higher the quality of the rattan, the more beautiful the suite.


When picking your piece, the level of comfort is equally as important as its aesthetics because a beautiful but uncomfortable rattan addition is the last thing you’ll want. Both natural and synthetic rattan suites are today typically used with cushions, upholstery and pillows, ultimately making there be little or no difference between both types when it comes to comfort.

The Upkeep

As mentioned previously on our blog, when it comes to the maintenance of rattan furniture, both natural and synthetic rattan are simple to care for because both require only routine cleaning to keep them looking new. However, synthetic rattan is designed to be slightly more convenient to care. It is built to be stain-proof and it also won’t need to be varnished or stored instead to protect it from the weather.

How Do They Handle the Outdoors? 

Similar to most natural materials, as mentioned above, natural rattan doesn’t deal well with the extremes of outdoor weather. Cheaper, older versions must not be directly exposed to sunlight for long periods of time and they can’t be soaked through with rain so avoid this option wherever possible if you’re not going to update your suite. When it comes to Synthetic rattan, however, it is designed to be weather resistant. Generally, it all comes down to the quality of the fibre and that’s why we are so proud of the rattan garden furniture we provide. We specifically design, UV protected ranges in a range of styles to suit whatever exterior design layout you have.