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Best Furniture Materials: Particle Board vs. MDF vs. Plywood

Best Furniture Materials: Particle Board vs. MDF vs. Plywood

furniture Materials

The material that you will use for your home furniture will say a lot about its quality and design. It will also tell you how long the equipment will last, how much maintenance it needs, and so on.

Taking this into account, it’s just right that you choose the best furniture materials for your needs. Not only will this help you with your home’s quality, but also in keeping your investments valuable.

The three most common and confused are particle board, MDF, and plywood. These are what we’re going to compare in the following sections. You can expect to have an overview of the furniture materials’ pros and cons.

What is Particle Board?

Particle board is manufactured with the help of heat. Composites such as wood shavings, sawdust, resin, chips, and other fibers are heat-pressed together to form the material at hand. Moreover, the material is combined with adhesives and release agents. This allows it to form resistant qualities.

Here are some of the most common types of particle board:

  • Single-Layer Particle Board
  • Multi-Layer Particle Board
  • Oriented Strand Board
  • Melamine Particle Board
  • Cement-Bonded Particle Board

Usually, you can see the material being used in cupboards, countertops, and floor panels. Because this is lighter than most bases, this fits best for furniture that won’t need to hold heavy loads. Particle boards can also be seen in equipment that requires assembling to work.

Pros and Cons of Particle Board

Here are the pros and cons of particle board that you need to know. First, the pros are:

  • Cost-Efficient

The material at hand is one of the cheapest when it comes to furniture materials. It also needs little maintenance, which means you won’t have to worry about recurring costs.

  • Highly Decorative

Because most particle boards are flat and smooth in texture, it matches almost any interior design.

  • Lightweight

Particle board has a lightweight structure. This makes it a good choice if you plan on building a furniture piece that can easily be brought anywhere.

The cons, on the other hand, include:

  • Low Strength Capacity

Particle boards are known to not have the same strength as plywood and other types. Although durable, this can’t handle the usual items that regular wood-based materials can have. In addition, it can easily bend and break when it overloads.

  • Reacts Poorly to Moisture

When the material acts out with moisture, it can expand, disfigure, or have discolorations. This can get annoying for homeowners.

Considering these, particle boards will only be best used for furniture pieces designed for standby use – meaning those that won’t be used too often and are solely for light tasks.

What is MDF?

Moving on, MDF stands for Medium-Density Fiberboard. This mainly uses wood fibers in production. Like particle boards, this uses heat to process the final output. You can expect this to have a very smooth and almost flawless surface.

MDF only has two common types. These are:

The said material can be used in furniture pieces like cabinets, roofs, door parts, and podiums. Because this offers greater strength than particular boards, MDF is preferred when building storage-based furniture. This is also best for making shelves.

Pros and Cons of MDF

In this section, we’re going to focus on MDF’s pros and cons.

Below are the pros that you should know:

  • Versatile Material

MDF is a good material for almost any kind of furniture. Due to its protective qualities, and smooth finish, it will also be easy to design it.

  • Highly Durable

This material comes with very high durability. Hence, as long as you keep your MDF-based furniture in check, you can expect it to last long.

  • Environment-Friendly

Because manufacturing MDF makes use of existing wood fibers, you can expect this to be more environment-friendly.

For the cons:

  • Heavy

The material at hand is a lot heavier than other materials. This can be a disadvantage if you often move homes or you like mix and matching furniture pieces.

  • Prone to Damage

As is, MDF woods are durable. However, if you put it under extreme pressure, it won’t take long before it gets damaged.

You will benefit from MDF if you’re going to use it for furniture pieces that are going to stay in one part of your home. Though functional, this is not ideal if you want portable equipment.

What is Plywood?

The last furniture material that we’re going to discuss is plywood.

Plywood is probably the most familiar to you. This is one of the most durable and high-value wood materials. This uses stacked up wood veneers that are then pressed together to build a single engineered wood.

Here is a list of the most-used plywood types:

  • Softwood Plywood
  • Hardwood Plywood
  • Flexible Plywood
  • Tropical Plywood
  • Decorative Plywood

Plywood has a lot of uses when it comes to furniture pieces. For instance, some use this for bookshelves, bed panels, flooring, cabinets, and more. This suits almost, if not all, home furniture needs.

Pros and Cons of Plywood

For the pros and cons of using plywood, refer to the following.

Firstly, below are the pros:

  • Highly Resistant to Several Threats

Unlike the previous two, plywood is not easily damaged by moisture and water. Hence, this isn’t subject to discoloration or bending.


  • Flexible Structure and Design

Plywood sheets are easy to shape. This also guarantees an easy designing process as it easily stains and matches paint.

  • Great Durability and Strength

This material has the strongest manufacture build. This assures a long life span and insusceptibility to several damages.

The cons are:

  • Prone to Termites

Termites will be your top problem in the long run. If not maintained properly, you may end up needing professional terminators.

  • Expensive

Although plywood’s price will definitely give justice through its offers, we can’t deny that plywood is expensive. This can be hard to budget, especially if you need a lot of furniture pieces.

If you’re looking for a safe choice, then you should go for plywood.


Particle board, MDF, and plywood, although they look almost the same, have different offers and uses. Thus, you have to evaluate certain factors when choosing between these furniture materials. These include the type of furniture you want, what room you will use it in, and likes.

Simply said, there is no “better” material. It will all boil down to your needs and preferences. Furthermore, after choosing either one of the three, you should look into the specific material types that you will use. Doing so will help you take advantage of the base that you will use.