Rattan, Cane, Wicker; What's the difference?

Rattan, Cane, and Wicker are popular options when it comes to furniture, but they are also easily confused and many don't understand the difference. 


In this article we will explain the difference, the benefits, some style and maintenance tips and even share a couple of our best Rattan Bar Stool recommendations!


What is Rattan?

Rattan is one of the most robust natural materials used to manufacture furniture with hundreds of different species. It is naturally grown in tropical palm forest regions such as Australia, Asia, and Africa.


Rattan vines are known to grow as long as 100m but unlike Bamboo, rattan will naturally bend toward the ground as it grows. Rattan furniture is made using both the core, the outer bark, and the skin for weaving purposes.


As popularity and demand has grown for Rattan Bar Stools, it has put pressure on sustainability. To help counter this, synthetic rattan materials are also manufactured to create rattan furniture.


Rattan plant in a natural environment. Image via Fred Hoogervorst.


What is Cane?

As mentioned previously, the rattan plant splits into a core, outer bark and a skin. Furniture made from the outer bark of the rattan plant is called 'Cane Furniture'. 


This kind of furniture is more durable than solid rattan furniture as it is non-porous, meaning it is resistant to water, thus having a higher durability than solid rattan making it a great choice for outdoors.


What is Wicker?

Wicker is often confused as a type of material, but it's not. Wicker is a term used to describe any type of woven furniture. There are a number of different natural sourced materials used in wicker furniture such as; rattan, cane, reed, seagrass, bamboo, and willow.


Alternatives such as resin and vinyl are two of the more popular synthetic materials used in wicker furniture.


Benefits of buying rattan bar stools

The sudden increase in Rattan Bar Stool popularity is not only because of rattan’s natural and attractive style, but also it's unique quality and finish where no two pieces will be identical.

Rattan Bar Stools are lightweight and can be easily moved around with little effort. They are durable, perfect for indoors around your kitchen island, or outdoors undercover when entertaining with your family and friends.


Rattan bar stool style tips

Hamptons-style homes are very popular in Australia. Our love for bringing the outdoors in, being close to the beach and making the most of natural light make the style a natural match for the Australian lifestyle.


Typical of the style is a white-washed home dressed with classic colours or neutral tones and topped off with furniture and accessories that evoke a coastal vibe. This makes our Aleena Rattan Bar Stool Collection perfect for this style available with a high-back or backless options.




Tips to extend your rattan bar stool’s life

There are a few things you should do to increase the lifespan of your rattan bar stools that will improve the longevity of your furniture and keep it looking new. 


These include regular dusting each week, a more thorough clean each month, and checking for mold and mildew each year.



Once a week, use a microfiber cloth or a vacuum cleaner with a soft bristled brush attachment to dust off any debris stuck on the surface of your Rattan Bar Stool. This will avoid any excessive soil build up and longer term stains and damage.



It’s important to clean any spills as they happen to avoid build up and stains. Avoid rubbing any solids that may be stuck on the rattan as this may rub the residue into the rattan bar stool and permanently stain it. Instead, use something with a hard dull edge (not sharp) to lift the residue away. A toothbrush can also be useful here (without the toothpaste of course!).


Once removed you can then use a damp cloth to wipe down and if needed, you can use a drop of dishwashing liquid to help remove any residue. Then simply leave to air dry.



As the seasons and weather changes, mold and mildew may set in so it's important to spot this as early as possible and remove this from your rattan bar stool to avoid permanent damage.

Mix equal parts of water and chlorine bleach, then using protective gloves, dip a cloth into the solution, apply to the area and gently remove the mold or mildew. Avoid using too much solution and once cleaned, air dry outdoors in the sun to dry as quickly as possible.


Wrapping up!

We hope you've learned something new and now know the difference between rattan, cane, and wicker furniture.


At Bar Stool Home, it’s hard to go past the beauty and style of rattan furniture, this is definitely our favourite option.


If you have any questions or need any help choosing your next set of Bar Stools, contact us and we’ll be happy to help!


Chairs! 😉

Bar Stool Home Team