Gone are the days of dodgy-looking plastic, wood effect garden furniture. With advances in technology and a wide range of materials, it’s possible to get beautiful, realistic-looking wood effect garden furniture that won’t need sanding, treating or painting!
Sound too good to be true? Have a look at our pick of the very best garden furniture that looks like wood:
Composite garden furniture
Made from 100% recycled plastics that would otherwise be destined for landfill, composite garden furniture is extremely tough, easy to clean, scratch-proof and won’t peel or fade in the sun. As the plastic is weather-resistant, furniture can be left outside all year round, perfect for our often unpredictable climate.
Lasting up to 25 years, composite furniture is an eco-friendly option, taking empty household bottles and other plastic waste and turning them into functional, long-lasting items. You can watch POLYWOOD’s process of making the ‘lumber’ here.
A growing number of companies are using recycled plastics as the basis for their garden furniture. British Recycled Plastic are cleverly using waste plastic produced by Scotland’s farming community in their furniture, including recycled packaging from hay bales, silage wrapping and crates.
As well as being eco-friendly, composite furniture is incredibly lightweight compared to wood so can be easily moved around. Best of all, it really does look like wood!
Polywood Garden Bench, Scotts of Stow
This Polywood garden bench from Scotts of Stow is barely distinguishable from real wood, available in a range of colours, the natural version looks and feels like the real thing.
Sandwick Tea Set, Winawood
The Sandwick tea set from Winawood is an ultra-stylish and realistic wood-look dining set. There are a range of colours, plus benches, loveseats and armchairs to choose from.
Blumfeldt Bilbao Dining Table, Wayfair
Composites can be combined with aluminium and other materials if you prefer a more industrial look. This stylish garden table from Wayfair has a realistic, easy to clean polywood top.
Synthetic rattan wood effect furniture
Resin wicker is a relatively new material made from polyethylene synthetic rattan. Like composite furniture, it’s weatherproof, strong, easy to clean and won’t fade. The weaved material looks almost identical to natural rattan.
Synthetic rattan can be easily woven around an aluminium frame and, as anyone who’s recently tried to purchase a hanging egg chair will know, is one of the hottest trends in garden furniture. Synthetic rattan is UV resistant and can even tolerate chlorine and salt. It can easily be cleaned with soap and water and will last many years.
4 Seater Dining Armchair Set, Garden Furniture Centre
This weatherproof, patio dining set from Garden Furniture Centre looks completely natural, it’s almost hard to believe that it can be left outside all year round although a cover is recommended. The synthetic rattan has been manufactured to replicate willow, you can choose from other rattan styles too.
Meera Garden Corner Set, Made
Looking for a more relaxing option? This luxurious corner sofa set has a sturdy steel frame with a chunky poly rattan weave. Because it’s a natural colour, it looks extremely realistic and the base can be left outside all year round.
Midnight Montana Sun Lounger, Garden Furniture Centre
The synthetic weave on this lounger has been created to look just like woven natural water hyacinth. It’s UV stabilised so won’t fade and can be left outside all year round. As it’s practically maintenance-free, you can spend more time relaxing.
Caring for wood effect garden furniture
One of the biggest benefits of wood effect garden furniture is how easy it is to care for. Often, a simple wipe with a damp, soapy cloth will be enough to restore it to its former glory. Composite furniture shouldn’t stain but more stubborn marks can easily be removed with a mixture of warm water, vinegar and a little elbow grease. Just add a quarter of a cup of vinegar to a bucket of water and rub clean with a cloth.
Avoid using anything abrasive on the surface of your furniture. Synthetic rattan furniture can simply be sprayed down with a hose (just remember to remove the cushions first!). A brush dipped in soapy water will easily remove any dirt or algae.
With a range of extremely realistic, low-maintenance wood-look garden furniture available, it’s easy to see why so many people are choosing wood effect, recycled plastics over real wood. As companies look at more environmentally friendly ways to source materials, these sustainable products are the future of garden furniture.