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Can Bamboo Furniture Get Wet?

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What happens if your bamboo furniture gets rained on or if you spill some water on it? Can bamboo furniture get wet?

The answer is yes, bamboo furniture can get wet. However, there are precautions to take if you want your furniture to last for years.

When bamboo gets wet, it swells up, and the layers separate. However, this doesn’t mean that water should never come in contact with your finished piece of bamboo furniture. 

It just means that you have to take extra care when you clean it. This will ensure the water doesn’t stay on the surface for too long. That way, it won’t be able to seep too deep inside the layers where swelling may occur.

Can Bamboo Furniture Get Wet?

Yes— but not for extended periods of time. 

Bamboo furniture placed outdoors

The moisture content of bamboo after it has been harvested is high. While the outside shows typical-looking bark, the inside has a powdery look. It will not absorb much moisture due to this powdery interior, even if there are minor cracks in its exterior shell.

However, without proper treatment and care for your bamboo furniture, it can become damaged by water over time. So, it’s always best to take precautions such as keeping it away from nearby streams or sprinklers. 

A bamboo dining set placed outdoors

Also, treating the wood every few months with an oil or wax finish will help protect your furniture. Bamboo furniture is a good choice for anyone wanting to reduce their carbon footprint, but only if it is correctly cared for.

Can Bamboo Furniture Be Left Outside or Will It Rot?

Bamboo furniture exposed to the elements

People often put bamboo furniture outside because it doesn’t necessarily require climate control protection from the elements.

However, as an organic material, bamboo will eventually rot if left outside for a long period of time. The actual length of time depends on the intensity and type of exposure it receives. In addition, it will depend on whether or not you treated the furniture before using it.

Bamboo furniture constantly exposed to water

Prolonged exposure to water or moisture, especially when combined with sunlight and heat, will result in you having to replace your bamboo furniture sooner.

How Do You Protect Bamboo Furniture Outside That Will Get Wet?

A few items that can help protect bamboo furniture from the elements

1. Bring your outdoor furniture inside when it starts raining

2. Cover up all your outdoor bamboo pieces with an old sheet, shower curtain, or large garbage bag. Be sure to take it off once your furniture is dry so that the pieces don’t mildew while they’re not in use.

3. Buy an inexpensive tarp or water-resistant cover for your outdoor table or chairs. Throw it over them when you are not using them. 

4. Place two pieces of scrap lumber on top of your chairs or table, one on each short side. Then, place a potted plant on top of these scraps and fill in any open spaces with dirt and more plants.

5. Build a gazebo over your seating area for added protection against wind and rain, as well as sun damage. Be sure to line the bottom with plastic sheeting to keep water from seeping through onto your furniture below.

6. Line your deck or patio with potted bamboo plants for an elegant yet functional way to protect your bamboo furniture. 

7. Try lining one side of your deck with vinyl-coated wire fencing. The metal will deflect wind while the vinyl coating on the wire means very little moisture will make it through to your outdoor furniture.

8. Line your seating area with durable, colorfast, UV-resistant outdoor rugs made for patios and decks.

How Long Can Bamboo Furniture Be Left Outside?

When you purchase a piece of bamboo furniture, we recommend letting the furniture weather naturally. The color will change over time if left outside due to oxidation and steam. 

A complete bamboo furniture set placed outdoors

The degree of weathering depends on various factors. For example, things like time spent outdoors, climate/weather conditions, and the type of material used in manufacturing your furniture will vary. 

We recommend allowing your bamboo furniture to weather for at least 3 months before bringing it indoors. However, if your furniture has been left out in direct sunlight or rain, then you may need to leave it outside longer.

Will Bamboo Furniture Absorb Water?

Bamboo is very fibrous, so it absorbs water quickly. It also tends to swell when exposed to wet conditions. So, it’s very likely that bamboo furniture would absorb water if exposed for an extended period. 

However, bamboo will not disintegrate immediately with excess moisture. It will likely swell and crack, but it should not be soaked. The best way to avoid water damage is to keep bamboo furniture in a dry environment and treat it with care, so cracks and breaks don’t occur.

Is Outdoor Bamboo Furniture Worth It?

The problem with outdoor bamboo furniture is that it does not have the hardiness of more traditional materials. For example, even though oak contains some water content, it still has high immunity to weather erosion and insects. 

A beautiful set of bamboo furniture for an outdoor setting

Also, most bamboo pieces are treated with chemicals before being used outdoors because they are pretty porous. This can be dangerous for one’s health, especially if you expose yourself regularly. 

A positive to using bamboo outdoors, however, is that it won’t rot or break down quickly. Plastic materials, on the other hand, will. 

Bamboo also tends to be lighter than other similar products, making bamboo furniture easy to move around your garden. Most importantly, if you take care of it, your furniture should last for years— giving you great value for your money.


Bamboo does not like direct water contact. If furniture made from bamboo gets wet, it will warp and change shape. So, bamboo furniture needs to be kept dry at all times. 

Any liquid other than water should be considered equally harmful to bamboo furniture. Liquids such as alcoholic beverages and fruit juices won’t immediately destroy your bamboo furniture, but will still increase the chance of it warping over time. 

If you want to ensure your bamboo furniture has a long life, be sure to take the precautions we mentioned. Cover the furniture if it rains, pre-treat it before using it, and be sure to let it air out if it ever gets wet. 

Please leave a comment below, and let us know what you think.

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