Types of wood used in furniture- Hardwoods, softwoods, engineered woods

Types of wood used in furniture

We know the importance of wood furniture. It’s like everywhere e,g in our offices, in parks, and home is incomplete without them.

So if you’re looking to buy furniture, are you curious to know which wood is the best and lasts long?

This is what this blog is all about. I’ll list out the types of wood most used in the furniture so by reading this you can be assured that your investment is safe and lasts for generations.

You should know that there are three main categories in wood.

Wood furniture can be constructed from all types of wood, but they would not be of the same quality. Budget plays an important role here as well.

Types of hardwood used in furniture.

The most demanding furniture is made of hardwoods. This includes dressers, showcases, cabinets, home fittings, beds, meanwhile every type of furniture that one invests in counts for the lifetime investment.


Maple is one of the most commonly used and hardest types of wood. It is also a durable wood. A lot of furniture pieces such as dressers, beds, and showcases are made out of this wood since it is dense and heavy- one of the woods that resists water well.

Its color is not as dark as walnut, it is creamy and often red-brown. By staining the wood, you can also create a dark, expensive look.

Also, it’s non-toxic by nature so widely used in constructing kitchen cabinets, dining tables as well.


Mahogany wood is also the hardest one, mostly found in a dark color that looks beautiful when shaping it into furniture. The tree’s growth is slow compared to others so it’s denser than many. This dense property makes it harder to cut through so a powerful machine can do this.

The price of the wood depends on the territory such that sound American mahogany is cheaper than African due to the size and some natural treatments. Mahogany wood from a sound American is more durable.

Staining on this wood is not required as maple does. Since it’s already dark however due to this, it absorbs more sunlight which is why it’s widely used in indoor furniture. With a little linseed oil, it can also be used outdoors but this is an expensive method.


Oakwood is one of the beautiful wood, the wavy dark grains on the light color surface add some extra shine. Furniture made of oak looks attractive, besides that, it is also used in hardwood flooring as well.

However, the wood has some bad traits about its ability to fight against insects. Unlike wood-like cedar, it can be affected by bugs and other pest animals, mainly in a humid environment.

Also in the veneer process, the wood is not good because it can react to oils and becomes exposed to rough hot, and cold weather.

Walnut Wood

Walnut is the type of wood used in furniture that can last for generations. It’s hard, durable, and strong. The furniture made out of this wood is extremely high quality, therefore it is expensive.

It’s a bit more expensive than others due to its natural production being slow. The tree takes around 10-12 years to grow and becomes able to provide a fine-long piece of wood. A;so it’s one of the highly demanding woods, the dark color with patterns gives an aesthetic look.

Types of softwoods used in furniture.

You may think that all the softwoods would be soft, but it’s not true. Softwoods have some woods that are harder than many hardwoods. Some hardwoods are much softer in the mechanical sense than longleaf pine, douglas fir, and yew.

Cherry Wood

Cherry is softwood with fine straight grain, varying from reddish-brown to blonde. One of the interesting things about cherry wood is that it smells really good, that’s the reason this wood is one the expensive and a large number of home furniture made out of it.

Cherry trees grow in abundance and have highly prized aesthetic beauty in their grain, making them cheaper than walnuts, but more expensive than other types of hardwoods like maple and oak.

Pine Wood

Pine is one the softwood type, it’s harder than many hardwoods so used in making wood furniture. Its color is light and creamy so it needs to stain to give a dark color. 

The wood is fairly cheap since its tree grows faster than other woods like maple. However, the furniture made out of this wood is not of high quality. Some major flaws are the furniture gets scratches easily, no pest prevention, and easily is exposed to extreme and cold weather.

However, there’s a way to overcome this, which is the veneer process. Simply put, furniture made of this wood-coated with quality hardwood like a walnut to extend its durability.

Cedar Wood

The cedar wood has a rich, warm reddish hue and an aromatic fragrance. Embryos are resistant to moisture, rot, and pests when they are in their natural state. Despite its high cost, it is very durable, long-lasting, and low-maintenance.

Engineered wood types used in furniture

Man-made or Engineered wood can also be used in furniture by veneer process. Since there are not strong so having a coat of hardwood can increase its overall strength, mainly protect it from weather exposure. Plus point there is, the furniture made using these woods is cheap.


It is surprising how lightweight plywood is, considering its strength. In that regard, plywood is ideal for making cheap furniture that actually does not suppose to last longer. When it comes to furniture or other commercial uses, solid wood can prove to be rather bulky due to its weight and at that moment the plywood takes over the industry.

Its color range is vast, you can find this wood in almost every color ranging from very light to very dark and with different beautiful color patterns.


One the wood that makes the cheapest furniture than plywood. The chipboard is typically the least expansive wood that can be used in making small pieces of furniture such as a table, a small wardrobe, a set of chairs. It’s then veneered like plywood to increase the durability that without that additive coat is too low.

The furniture made of this wood is of very low quality, can easily be affected by water, and is also easily breakable.

Anyways, despite its low quality, it’s still a good choice for many. Since they can get furniture built-in cheap thanks to this man-made wood.


One the man-made that is stronger, durable, and makes good quality furniture. It has a fine and smooth texture, a lightweight color, and a very dense wood since it’s made by merging a large number of by-products of timber and then coated with hardwood.

The wood is expansive than many other engineered kinds of wood like plywood and chipboard. And heavy to use, mainly its cutting process is not that simple as others.

The best thing about this wood is it can make furniture slightly better than many softwoods at a low price. However, the quality is no match for hardwood woods.

What are some types of woods used for furniture?


What is Hardwood

Hardwood groups the most expensive types of wood: the best choice to make durable furniture. These are some hardwoods popular in the Western United States: Hickory, Pecan, Maple, White Oak, Beech, Oak, Yellow Birch, Green Ash, Black Walnut.

What are Softwoods?

Softwood groups some less expensive types of wood that can be used for building furniture, but expect less quality compared to hardwoods. There are several commonly encountered Western softwoods, including Douglas Fir, Hemlock, Larch, Pine, Spruce, Red Cedar, Yew.

What are engineered woods?

Lastly, the engineered wood is not actually wood taken out of a tree rather it’s made using by-products of softwood (timber). These types of wood can only be used in making small furniture like tables, chairs, and pieces that don’t have to last for years but are a good cheap alternative for many. Unsurprisingly, today man-made wood is also one of the most popular sources for furniture production (due to its vast production). Popular man-made woods include plywood, MDF, HDF, chipboard, particleboard, and black wood.

As a hardwood, softwood, and engineered wood all have subtypes, let’s examine each one separately to see what they have to offer, how they differ, and why one is more affordable than the other. 

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