Rattan or metal garden furniture? The pros and cons of both

Garden furniture is a big investment and it’s a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s massively important that you consider all of the options available to work out what the best type of furniture is for you. Rattan garden furniture does remain the most popular option, however, we are also seeing a big spike in demand for aluminium garden sets too! This is largely down to the slick, modern look that the sets provide.

So, we thought we’d compare these two popular types of garden furniture types, listing the pros and cons of both to help you make the right choice for you. As always, our team are here to help advise, so if you want to discuss your options further don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Rattan Garden Furniture

Let's start with Rattan furniture. As we’ve already said, it’s still the number one choice for many due to the fact that rattan is completely timeless and it’s never going to go out of style! There’s also a huge range to choose from, with different weave types, furniture, styles and colours to choose from. Let’s look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of rattan garden furniture… 

The pros of rattan garden furniture

  • Low maintenance: one of the major selling points of rattan furniture is that it is low maintenance due to the fact that most sets are made using high quality, weather resistant plastics. Rattan can be left out all year round and is easy to clean using a bowl of warm soapy water.
  • Designed to withstand the UKs weather: as we said above, rattan furniture is built to be weather resistant and can withstand the awful weather that the UK sometimes has to offer. We recommend ensuring you invest in a good quality set to ensure it stands the test of time. We also suggest added protection in the form of garden furniture covers. Most rattan furniture sets are also UV resistant so your sets can withstand the warmer days in the UK.
  • Timeless designs: one of the major appeals of rattan garden furniture is the fact that it’s timeless. Rattan furniture always looks sophisticated and classy in any garden, and that’s certainly not going to change! Investing in a quality rattan furniture set means you’ll have enjoyment for many many years to come. It’s definitely not an investment you would regret!
  • It’s eco friendly: we all know just how important sustainability is and ensuring we take care of the environment. Rattan furniture sets are actually an eco-friendly option, whether it’s natural or synthetic. Synthetic rattan is specially treated to ensure it doesn't release toxins into the air. As the name suggests, natural rattan is a completely natural material that is part of the palm family, usually grown in Asia or Africa. Rattan itself is completely biodegradable, making it a very eco-friendly option.

The cons of rattan garden furniture

  • Can loosen slightly over time: certain types of rattan furniture can loosen over time. This is one of the main reasons we would suggest investing in a quality set, if you really want your new furniture set to stand the test of time. Poorer quality rattan can often loosen, which impacts the look of your furniture set as well as the comfort of it.
  • Rattan is typically an expensive choice: there’s no doubt about it, rattan furniture sets are an investment. Due to the high quality and the durability of the sets, you can expect a high price point for rattan furniture sets. This can be a drawback to many. However, it is important to keep in mind that investing in a quality set, means you’ll have enjoyment from it for years and years to come.

Metal (Aluminium) Garden Furniture

Let’s move on to aluminium sets. As we’ve mentioned above, aluminium furniture sets are really growing in popularity. Below are some of the benefits and drawbacks of this furniture type.

The pros of aluminium garden furniture

  • Durability comes as standard: Aluminium is a strong, robust metal meaning that the furniture sets are incredibly durable. Investing in a quality aluminium furniture set will pay off for many years to come.
  • Resistant to extreme weather conditions: one of the great things about aluminium furniture sets is that they are resistant to extreme weather conditions, meaning you can keep them outside all year round without having to worry about rusting or damage. We would always recommend choosing a powder coated set as this also helps to prevent corrosion over time. 
  • Low maintenance: a major selling point for many is the low maintenance nature of aluminium sets, particularly if it’s powder coated. A quick wipe down with some soapy water is all it takes to ensure you can get the most possible enjoyment out of your furniture set.

The cons of metal garden furniture

  • Dents can sometimes occur: the hollow frame type can be vulnerable to dents. We’d suggest checking the joints before you invest in an aluminium set as better quality frames will have extra support to help the furniture sets last for years to come.
  • It can become very hot: Due to aluminium being a metal it will absorb the heat of the sun. So if we are lucky enough to experience some really hot days in the summer months, we’d suggest testing the heat of your set before you sit down or rest your arms on it. That being said, aluminium furniture doesn't retain as much heat as most metal, so the chances of it becoming extremely hot to the touch are slim. 
  • They are typically very heavy: most quality aluminium sets are extremely heavy in weight which can make it quite hard to easily move them around. However, depending on what you’re looking for, this could actually be a benefit rather than a drawback.

Closing thoughts…

So there you have it, the pros and cons to both options. In all honesty, both sets are excellent options for different reasons and the decision you make will largely come down to your personal preference. We have a wide range of rattan and aluminium sets  available to view in our showroom, so come and visit us to see the options for yourself. Our team are on hand to help you make the right choice for you!