Best Wood for Furniture: Buyer’s Guide
The type of wood your furniture is made of can determine not just how individual pieces will look but how long they will last, as well. For this reason, it’s always best to review types of wood before making a big furniture purchase.
What’s the best wood for furniture? It depends on a number of factors, including whether the piece will be used indoors or outdoors, expected daily usage, and style. Still, many find that the best furniture woods usually come from the hardwood family.
Read also: Best Wood for Outdoor Furniture
Coming up, we’ll go over the most popular woods and some important information that can help you choose the right furniture set. Keep reading to find out!
List of the Best Wood for Furniture
What wood is the best for furniture? While it depends on your specific needs (the furniture in your study likely won’t be the same as your patio furniture, for instance), the following hardwoods remain ever consistent and reliable options when it comes to home furnishing:
Associated with elegance and its rich reddish-brown hues, mahogany is a lightweight yet strong wood that is ideal for decorative furniture.
A softwood commonly associated with outdoor furniture, cedar is highly resistant to both moisture and insect infestation. Though it’s not as dense or hard as other options, it’s a good-looking, lightweight option that can last for years, even outdoors.
When it comes to outdoor furniture, nothing tops teakwood. Among the hardest and longest lasting of all hardwoods, teakwood is virtually resistant to inclement weather, meaning it can withstand rain, moisture, and rotting. What’s more, it even gets prettier when exposed to sunlight!
A durable hardwood often used for carving, walnut furniture tends to be ornate, elaborate, and highly beautiful. Carved walnut furniture can maintain its shape for years, making it a top option for decorative furnishing.
4 Most Popular Woods for Your Furniture
With that being said, let’s go over some of the types of wood that are most popular and why:
One of the least expensive hardwoods, maple is also one of the hardest. This makes it a popular option for items such as dining room sets and dressers that see tons of wear over time. Generally, maple ranges in color from light and creamy to reddish-brown.
Oak’s open-grain, dense nature allows for extreme durability, which is one of the reasons why oak furniture remains a mainstay in homes across the country. The red or white material is often found in living room, bedroom, and even kitchen furniture, with oak being common in both traditional and modern styles.
Though pine is a softwood, it offers reliable durability, making it popular for a range of furniture options. Because pine trees grow so quickly, the wood is relatively inexpensive and is also lighter. Pinewood is highly shock resistant and light in color, making it surprisingly versatile for home furnishings.
Ranging from pink to reddish-brown in color, beechwood is a popular component of more elaborate furniture and holds up well over time due to its density. The wood is often seen in chairs and seating (as well as flooring) and is known for its shock absorption properties.
Verdict: Which Is the Best Wood for Furniture
So which wood is the best for furniture? Many people consider maple to be the best - or most popular- for its sheer versatility and quality. Few other woods offer the combination of maple’s low cost, high durability, and extensive array of patterns.
Because the wood is durable, it’s used in a variety of furniture pieces, from dressers, tables, and chairs to beds and cabinets as well.
What’s more, maple can be easily bent using steam, making it a flexible option for designers, despite the fact that it’s among the hardest and most durable of all the hardwoods.
The wood can even be carved for more elaborate pieces and boasts superior shock-absorption qualities as well. Taken together, this all makes maple the top choice for furniture design, though it’s impossible to look down on any of the options in this guide.
The Most Expensive Wood for Furniture Is…
Here’s a general rule of thumb: hardwoods tend to cost more than softwoods. The reason behind this is simple: hardwood trees grow slowly—one of the reasons the resulting wood is so dense—and thus take longer to harvest and replace.
This quite naturally drives up the price of hardwoods, though even among hardwoods there is a ton of price variability.
Among the most expensive hardwoods are relatively popular options such as sandalwood and lesser-known cuts such as dalgerbia.
Perhaps no wood is as expensive as bocote wood, however. Native to Mexico and Latin America, this hardwood can be molded, cut, and assembled with ease and yet maintains an exotic beauty and high levels of durability, making it a sought-after option for those who can afford it.
Fresh bocote wood is a light yellowish color, though the wood darkens over time. The grains of this wood also emit a nice smell. The location, type, and demand of bocote come together to make the material the most expensive on the market (though bocote furniture is certainly worth it if it’s in your budget).
Outdoor vs Indoor
Should you consider different woods for your indoor and outdoor furniture? We’ve hinted at this already, but the answer is yes.
And it’s not hard to see why. Furniture that goes outdoors will naturally need the ability to withstand more inclement weather conditions. Unlike the pieces that go in your climate-controlled house, furniture left out to the elements requires some particular abilities that come only with a few cuts of wood.
- Moisture Resistance
- Insect Repellant Capabilities
Perhaps no wood offers these features quite like teakwood, the best wood for outdoor furniture use given its natural durability, extreme moisture resistance, and resistance to beetles, termites, wood rot, fungus, and general weather damage. Other reliable outdoor woods include shorea, acacia, and cedar.
Naturally, you’ll want your indoor furniture to stand the test of time, as well. That’s why we recommend hardwood options such as maple, mahogany, walnut, and oak for beautiful, long-lasting pieces that can be both decorate and good for common use.
Finding the best wood for furniture isn’t always easy, simply because there are so many good options to choose from. Still, by understanding your needs and the different types of wood, you can begin to find the most suitable wood for your home furniture.
In this guide, we looked at the most popular woods for furniture and examined their properties to help you make the right purchase. Make sure to reference this article when buying your next set of indoor or outdoor furniture!