Affordable Outdoor Wicker Patio Furniture – An Honest Review

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Walmart River Oaks wicker patio furniture

We’ve spent the winter couped up and here on the East Coast, but now the daffodils are starting to make an appearance. Springtime and the promise of warm weather are right around the corner. Now is the time to get your patio ready and that means shopping for some new wicker patio furniture.

Outdoor wicker patio sofa with ottomans and throw pillows, cherry trees in background

Sofa and chair set | Ottomans | Umbrella | Throw pillow (square) | Throw pillow (lumbar)

While searching online, you’ve probably seen the Better Homes and Gardens River Oaks outdoor furniture set from Walmart. Or maybe you’ve been in the store still boxed and up on a shelf. Either way, it’s hard to figure out if you are truly going to love something without seeing it in person. I am sharing my thoughts on this affordable wicker patio furniture to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you!

What is the difference between wicker and rattan?

These terms are often used interchangeably when referring to furniture. However, rattan is a natural material that is woven together to make furniture and other things. Wicker is a term that refers to the way materials are woven together. Rattan furniture is susceptible to the effects of temperature and humidity so the best type of wicker for the outdoors is made of synthetic weather-resistant resin. The best type of outdoor wicker would be one that looks just like the real thing until you get very close to it and touch it.

Pink cherry treed blossomed behind a pair of wicker chairs and ottomans on bluestone patio

Chairs | Ottomans

What makes it affordable?

Expensive outdoor wicker patio furniture is made with all-weather resin wicker. It has a coated metal frame that prevents rust and lasts for years. But, so does the affordable River Oaks collection. So why the higher price tag despite being made of the same materials?

Pair of wicker swivel chairs on patio


One reason is that the less expensive versions usually come in several small sections that you have to assemble. It’s labor intensive – I got some blisters to prove it – and it takes time to put it together. Connection points can loosen over time and the longer you use your furniture, the less stable it will be compared to a solid piece.

Another reason for the increased cost is the shipping. If you want a white-glove delivery service for your fully assembled furniture, it’s going to cost you!

Configurations for wicker patio furniture

One of the great things about the BGH River Oaks collection is its versatility. The main 5-piece set comes with a sofa, two swivel chairs, and two nesting tables. You can also buy the 3-piece sofa and table set or the 2-piece swivel chair set separately. The tables have a “marble-look” ceramic tile surface. You know how I love marble – have you seen my kitchen and bathroom designs?

Additionally, this collection also comes in a sectional set, a 2-piece ottoman set, and a square coffee table that coordinates with the round nesting tables! You can mix and match to find the right combination that fits your outdoor space.

Coffee table | Patio set

Two color options

This line comes in both a dark brown/beige and natural/beige combination. By far, the most popular seems to be the natural color. While the dark brown is still really pretty, it seems to lack the same color variations as the lighter option.

Real rattan furniture is made from natural materials with variations in color and texture. I think this is one of the things the manufacturer did a great job on. There are plenty of subtle changes in this weather-resistant wicker that give it a realistic look.

River Oaks Patio set – natural and dark brown

The tone of the natural-colored wicker is something else that is surprisingly really good. It has a neutral look that doesn’t lean too yellow or gray. Images you see online can sometimes make it tricky to see the true color and some of them look slightly yellow online to me.

Cushion comfort

I find the fade-resistant cushions to be really comfortable as far as outdoor furniture goes. The sofa seat is a little lower than the chairs, probably because of their swivel mechanism underneath. The chairs technically have a glider function as well, but don’t expect much there – just a little range of motion.

Besides comfort, the polyester-wrapped cushions have a couple of other features that are important, in my opinion. The first is that they are removable! You can unzip them and use mild soap and water to keep them clean.

Outdoor wicker patio sofa and ottomans with blue throw pillows and striped fringe umbrella

Sofa and chair set | Ottomans | Umbrella | Throw pillow (square) | Throw pillow (lumbar)

The second helpful feature is the ability to connect the seat (and ottoman) cushions to the frame with a simple toggle mechanism. No slipping and sliding! The back cushions aren’t connected but they are pretty sturdy and don’t get deformed too easily. I have shared tips to clean and maintain indoor furniture and the same general rules apply here.

Custom covers – a perfect fit

Whether you purchase the full 5-piece set or the 2-piece set of chairs, you will receive custom covers for each piece! Especially helpful for those of us with an uncovered patio. The covers have side handles for easy removal and are vented to allow for air circulation while still protecting your furniture from the elements.

Outdoor sofa covered with protective cover

Would I buy this wicker patio furniture again?

Yes! Initially, I was worried about compromising structural integrity with so many pieces coming together. I wouldn’t mind a fully assembled delivery, but honestly, it wasn’t that hard to do. With so many positive features, I think it is a good value for the money. Sometimes you can find it on sale which makes the decision even easier!

If I had to say one negative thing, it would be about the chairs. I have a love/hate thing with the swivel feature. Wind can be an issue in my backyard and the chairs don’t have a mechanism to lock them in place. Unless you use some patio decor as a stopper, the chairs will just kind of spin around and don’t stay where you leave them – facing the right direction.

Outdoor wicker patio set, sofa, ottomans, and two chairs, pink cherry trees blooming in background

Sofa and chair set | Ottomans | Throw pillow (square) | Throw pillow (lumbar)

We had a wind storm recently and the furniture was substantial and heavy enough that it didn’t budge. These were the type of winds that would make our grill roll away and tip over. However, we did lose one of the chair slipcovers. We probably didn’t tighten the pull cord well enough. Make sure you do that if you don’t want it to blow away. Now I will be looking for a replacement cover.

In summary, here are my favorite features:

  • reasonably priced
  • seat cushions attach to the frame and have removable covers
  • neutral color
  • comes with side tables and custom covers
  • versatile pieces in the collection – can mix and match

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