can wicker furniture be left outside
Kristina Davis

You may have found yourself asking, Can wicker furniture be left outside? It’s a challenge with a simple answer, but you’ll understand better when you have all the info.

Wicker furniture has been popular with entire generations for its organic feel and ease of use.

Perhaps you’re a lover of the woven look of wicker furniture. If you find yourself collecting it, you should know how to care for it. So, keep reading to learn about how you can keep wicker furniture outside!

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Natural wicker furniture was once popular patio furniture, but it doesn’t hold up well to the elements. However, synthetic wicker furniture is very durable and can be left outside!

About Wicker Furniture

You may not know that wicker has been gone in and out of style for thousands of years!

Wicker is an ancient method used to make furniture by weaving natural fibers. Historians think that word “wicker” is from an old Indo-European word meaning “to bend.”

Archeologists have even found examples of wicker furniture made of river grasses in the tombs of ancient Egypt!

Wicker furniture has been popular over the years. The Victorians in the late 19th century favored wicker garden furniture.

They thought it was cleaner than upholstered pieces. Wicker popped back up in the 1920s during the Arts and Crafts movement.

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Then, lovers of wicker sought furniture that looked handmade and natural.  They didn’t like cold, modern styles that were popular in the era.

You probably hear the word “wicker” and think about its most popular modern era.

In the 1960s and 70s, the antique Victorian style became trendy. The woven garden furniture was light and affordable.

For these reasons and more, many people included them in their homes.

Today, wicker looks a little different. The current style with clean lines balances the woven, handmade nature of the material.

Creators use dark finishes to keep things fresh. Fans of wicker still favor the organic feel of the woven style, even when made of synthetic materials.

The Dilemma with Natural Wicker Furniture

natural wicker

When choosing wicker furniture, keep in mind that the natural material can be delicate.

Traditionally, you’ll find wicker furniture made of natural fibers like rattan and bamboo. It can be hand-woven or woven mechanically.

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Wicker goes in and out of style because it has an organic appeal, is lightweight, and is easy to clean. However, it doesn’t handle outdoor weather well.

Rattan and bamboo are very eco-friendly options. The renewable material is sustainable to harvest.

The problem is that you harvest rattan and bamboo by hand in developing countries. Organizations like the WWF are working to create more manageable ways to harvest it and keep providing jobs to local men and women.

The Biggest Issue

The biggest issue for lovers of wicker is that it has to be maintained. You have to keep it clean.

You can’t let it get wet, and if you do, you can’t use it until it completely dries out. DIY spray sealants and commercial sealants offer some protection, but not completely.

Modern technology offers a solution to the issues with wicker furniture. Today you can find synthetic wicker made of resin or PVC plastic, also called all-weather wicker.

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It has a metal frame, usually aluminum, instead of the cane or wood frame of natural wicker furniture.

People love the natural look of synthetic wicker, and it’s easy to manufacture. Plus, it’s durable enough to be used outdoors.

So, Can Wicker Furniture Be Left Outside?

wicker furniture outside

You may remember your grandparents having wicker furniture on their covered porch. These woven pieces were mildly protected from the weather.

They probably lasted a very long time!

Which may have left you wondering can wicker furniture be left outside in the winter? or can wicker furniture be left outside in the rain?

To guarantee your wicker pieces have a long life, natural or synthetic, you should care for them regularly. Take a look at specific weather examples so you know what to do!

Note: You shouldn’t leave natural wicker exposed to the elements, but synthetic wicker holds up.


Can wicker furniture be left outside in the rain? I don’t recommend exposing natural wicker to rain! You make wicker from dried fibers that soak up water easily.

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It cracks, warps, and gets moldy. However, you can leave synthetic wicker outside in the rain. For film and dirt, hose it down.

Tip: Just don’t let it in water, or it can mildew.


The sun will wear on natural wicker over time. Producers of wicker spray UV sealants on natural fibers to prolong their life, but they don’t work miracles.

If you leave natural wicker in the sun, eventually it will get ratty. Synthetic wicker is plastic and gets damaged over time by the sun and heat.

Tip: Buy a solid set of outdoor furniture covers if you live in a super-hot climate.


Can wicker furniture be left outside in winter? Again, natural wicker is especially sensitive to any moisture, including snow. Don’t leave it out.

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But even synthetic wicker with metal framing should be covered in the snow. If you live in a region where snowfall is common in the winter, try to bring in outdoor furniture for the season.

Tip: If you need to leave it outdoors, keep it covered.

How to Care for Wicker Furniture

wicker furniture care

All wicker needs care, no matter if you’re using it indoors or out. The woven nature of these pieces means they collect dust and other particles easily.

The easiest thing to do is to vacuum brush your wicker regularly.

If they get dirty, you can wipe them down with soapy water and a damp rag. Just make sure to fully dry natural wicker. For synthetic, you can also power wash it.

The key with wicker is to keep it dry, even synthetic wicker. Water can collect in the spaces between the weave or frame.

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Also, occasionally check the weave for gaps or loosening fibers. Simply shift fibers back into place or fix broken fibers yourself.

You can find DIY wicker repair kits for both natural and synthetic wicker or contact the manufacturer for replacement fibers.

Note: You should take regular care of your man-made and natural wicker so it lasts a long time.

FAQ About Wicker Furniture

faqs on wicker furniture

Once you start researching wicker furniture, a lot of questions come up! Check out these frequently asked questions on the topic.

Are Wicker And Rattan The Same Thing?

Rattan, refers to the stalk of the rattan palm. It’s a very durable natural material similar to bamboo. So, while wicker can be made of rattan, they are not the same thing.

What Style Is Wicker Furniture?

Classic natural wicker furniture looks tropical or bohemian. Today’s wicker furniture has a bohemian vibe but with a modern twist.

You’ll see bleached or dark matte finishes with clean lines and modular shapes.

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Does Wicker Furniture Look Dated?

Wicker furniture can conjure up thoughts of specific eras. It’s one of those aesthetics that goes in and out of style.

Yes, wicker can look dated if it’s not cared for. If it’s cared for, wicker from a particular period can take on a vintage appeal!

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Enjoy the Look of Outdoor Wicker Furniture

It’s easy to see why wicker furniture has always been so popular. The organic, mad-made feel appeals to many styles.

Natural wicker is a favorite with bohemian types and those concerned about the environment. But the challenge has always been, can wicker furniture be left outside?

The modern age has met the frustrations of using natural wicker in the elements. Trendy design has brought new to outdoor wicker furniture.

Today, you can find durable synthetic wicker furniture for the outdoor space of your home.