Wood, cast aluminium, rattan, wicker, plastic... garden furniture comes in many different styles and materials, all with their specific styles and particular characteristics. It is important you are aware of these properties before you purchase your garden furniture set, so you can find the best suited material for your needs.

In this post, our Rathwood Garden Furniture expects give you an overview of the main differences between plastic, cast aluminium or rattan as garden furniture materials:


Plastic garden furniture is a cheap and cheerful option. It is also light, waterproof and easy to clean. However, plastic garden furniture is limited in style and lacks the durability of other stronger materials. Its best attribute is price: it is an economical choice for those on a tight budget or looking for a short-term solution.

-Cast Aluminium

Cast aluminium garden furniture is a durable and resilient, perfect as a long term investment for your garden. Unlike cast iron, cast aluminium garden furniture doesn’t rust and it requires very little maintenance. Just a quick wipe with a damp cloth will be enough to clean cast aluminium tables and chairs. Cast aluminium garden furniture is ideal for the Irish wet and unreliable weather.

Garden sets tend to come with detachable pads and parasols so they are easy to remove and store neatly indoors. Cast aluminium is also remarkably light so garden sets are easy to move, if needed, either to change location or for storage purposes.


There are many stylish and contemporary rattan garden furniture designs these days, manufactured in top quality high grade man made wicker. Man made rattan or wicker is weather proof, it can be used in all weathers, making it a very resilient option. Rattan garden furniture is both waterproof and UV resistant.

Resin wicker and rattan garden furniture sets in modern funky styles have also become a popular choice for indoor spaces, such as conservatories and sun rooms.

Because rattan garden furniture tends to have aluminium frames, they are also very light garden sets that can be easily moved indoors or outdoors when needed.

Rattan garden furniture also requires little maintenance. Just a damp cloth with a bit of soapy water will keep your wicker furniture tidy. Just don’t forget to take the seat pads inside when it rains!


Wooden garden furniture is also another popular choice of garden furniture in Ireland. It is an attractive option for those looking for a rustic and warm style. However, wooden garden furniture in Ireland will require a level of maintenance and care to protect the wood from the damp and wet weather. While wood garden furniture will not last forever, you will certainly get a good few years out of it. Durability will also depend on the type and quality of the wood employed.

*If you need more information or advice on garden furniture in Ireland, please contact the Rathwood Furniture Team, we are always happy to help. Phone us on 0599156285, email furniture@rathwood.com or visit our store in Rath, Tullow, Co. Carlow.

October 30, 2023 — Chisom Onwukwe

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