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11 Different Types of Wood: Best Wood for Your Furniture

We use wood and wood products in one form or another daily, and this has improved the quality of our life over time. Woods are found in roofs, musical instruments, floors, pieces of furniture, and even in our hands as magazines, books, and all sorts of paper.

Hence, you would agree that they play a key role in our everyday life. To choose the best wood for your furniture, it can be quite helpful to understand the many different types of wood and their uses. Whether you are building something out of wood or simply choosing wooden furniture for your home, this list of the many wood types will help make sure you choose the wood you can be happy with! 

If you’re unsure of which species of wood to choose for your furniture, this guide will help set you in the right direction. Read on to learn about the types of wood that are ideal for your furniture.

Three Major Types of Wood

Before we get into all of the different varieties of wood used for furniture, it’s vital to understand the three basic types of wood from which other varieties are derived. These are softwoods, hardwoods, and engineered wood. Each of these wood types can be used in several different ways.


Softwoods are derived from coniferous trees. They produce needles and cones and are more readily available than trees producing hardwoods because they grow faster. Softwood is lighter and cheaper than hardwood; however, it is as popular as hardwood within the furniture industry. Pine, Cedar, Fir, Spruce, and Redwood are a few examples of popular softwood trees used in woodworking, construction, and furniture.


Are you looking for a natural yet sturdy material for your furniture? Then you should consider your hardwood options. Hardwoods are gotten from trees that don’t produce needles or cones but produce broad leaves and seeds. 

Coming from the slow-growing and broad-leaved trees, the material tends to come out denser than other alternatives. The following are examples of hardwood: oak, maple, cherry, mahogany, beech, ash, and walnut.

Engineered Wood/Manufactured Wood 

The third type of wood you may come across is engineered wood. As the name implies, manufactured wood is engineered using several types of wood. These boards are generally made with wood that is manipulated to have certain qualities or features; they are derived from waste woods treated with chemicals. Popular examples of engineered woods include Plywood, Particleboard (chipboard), Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF), and Composite Board.

Now that we are familiar with the three major types of wood, we can start exploring the different varieties of wood you may encounter while shopping for your furniture.

Different types of wood

While there are three main types of wood, there are thousands of varieties and species of wood. In this section, we’ll discuss the most common wood types used for furniture.

1. Cherry Wood

Cherry Wood

    Cherry, often known as fruitwood, is a beautiful wood that comes from the American Black Cherry fruit tree. This wood often starts as a light pink color that darkens and changes to a reddish hue over time.

    Cherry can be stained, but most people opt for its natural state and will give it a clear protective finish to let the beauty of wood and the natural patina process that occurs with aging stand out. This lovely wood resists warping and checking, and it's easy to carve and polish.

    2. Walnut Wood


      Walnut is a hardwood that is best known for its rich brown and dark coloring. It is one of the most versatile woods out there, and its uses vary among woodworkers. Walnut is a fine-grained wood that polishes up quite nicely and can easily be stained and protected. Many people enjoy using it for carving, routing, and as decorative accents for wood furniture. 

      The walnut wood is smooth when touched and decay resistant, although not insect resistant. While walnut is one of the more expensive hardwoods, it is still a much more economical choice over other exotic hardwoods.

      3. Beech Wood

      Beech Wood

        Beechwood is renowned for its strength, durability, and density. Often used for wood veneers, furniture, and woodworking projects, this wood type has colors ranging from light pink to soft honey brown and (sometimes) red when treated under high temperatures.

        It is a sturdy wood best known for its ability to easily steam-bend. For this reason, beech is an excellent choice for making any type of interior furniture, such as chairs and other curved pieces.

        Beechwood isn't suited for exterior use but fares well when used for indoor decorations. The wood is relatively easy to work with as long as your tools are sharp.

        4. Oak Wood

        Oak Wood

          This is also a favorite wood among woodworkers and comes in two shades: red oak and white oak. Due to its strength, high density, and hardness, it has been useful for several modern purposes.

          Oak has a very distinct grain, is lightly colored, and has high resistance to yeast, moisture, fungi, and other insect pests. Although very strong, it's easy to cut and is an excellent choice in building furniture and high-quality heirloom pieces that can last for generations.

          It is highly bendable, durable, and versatile, as seen in its wide array of uses. Oak has a distinct straight grain and a nice finishing even when painted.

          5. Ash Wood

          Ash Wood

            Ashwood exhibits a distinctive shine when polished. Although it's a type of hardwood, it is lightweight. It has a long straight grain that makes it easy to work with, plus it is quite elastic; it is mostly used for bent pieces of furniture, such as chairs with curved backrests. 

            The wood permits the usage of screws, glues, or nails without the edges becoming rough. It has shades similar to maple wood and the texture of oak wood. However, it should never be mistaken for either.

            Due to low demand, Ashwood is less expensive than other hardwoods. It also allows for staining or painting and gives good finishing.

            6. Cedar Wood


              Mostly famous for its aesthetic qualities, cedar has a rich, crisp feel.  Besides its tonal properties, Cedar is pitch and resin-free which makes it ideal for indoor and outdoor architectural finishes. 

              In addition to its interesting wood grain and color, it is also known for its aromatic smell which is believed to repel pests and moths. The aromatic scent and bug repelling properties are why it is sometimes a popular choice to use in closets and storage chests.

              Cedar is also an ideal choice for outdoor building projects. This wood is often considered to be rot resistant and can withstand the rugged weather outdoors quite well. For this reason, cedar is widely used for outdoor applications, such as decks, patio furniture, fencing, and decorative siding.

              7. Birch Wood


                This hardwood is easy to find and often one of the more affordable hardwood species. Birch trees are common in the eastern United States, particularly in the Northeast. This wood is very strong and can be used for almost everything and anything you can imagine. Many people use birch as a less expensive alternative to Oak.

                Birch wood tends to be smoothly and tightly grained, giving a relatively uniform appearance. It varies in color from white to yellow, with black birch commonly having some black streaks throughout. The wood is heavy, hard, and strong but responds very well to woodworking with sharp tools.

                8. Pine Wood

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                  Pine is a very common and versatile softwood that has many practical applications. This wood is typically is considered to be economical, sustainable, and durable, which makes it a popular choice for several projects.  It is a fast-growing tree with good long-lasting quality.

                  With its pale finish, this wood is great for staining and blends well with other woods. These properties make it easily fit in with existing furniture and materials. Also, it is lightweight and very affordable.

                  9. Plywood

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                    Plywood is an engineered wood product, though it is made with real wood. It is made of a build-up of veneer wood layers, bonded to create a smooth, flat sheet of wood. This wood can come in a variety of different wood finishes.

                    Its “cross-ply” structure makes it resistant to warping and gives it inherent strength, which makes it popular in both the flooring and furniture industries. Most plywood used in construction is made of fir, pine, or spruce.

                    10. Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)

                    Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)

                      The term MDF is often mistakenly used to describe all types of fiberboard. It relates only to Medium-Density Fiberboard. To qualify as MDF it must have a density of 600 to 800 kg/m3. 

                      While MDF is also formed of different types of wood, here the wood is pressed together, unlike with Fiberboard. MDF has a dense structure which makes it very strong and more durable than other manufactured woods. These qualities and its reasonable price make it popular in the market.

                      11. Fibreboard


                        Fibreboard is one of the ‘eco-friendly’ man-made wood types, as it contains recycled materials such as sawdust, wood chips, paper, cardboard, and plant fibers. This is bonded together with a mixture of wax, resin, and heat to make large sheets. 

                        It is a cheap alternative to wood, and useful for numerous construction projects and furniture. In its favor, it is lightweight, capable of bearing heavy loads, and has good insulation qualities. However, it is never as durable or strong as real wood.

                        Best Wood Type for Your Furniture

                        Furniture can be made from almost any kind of wood. However, the quality and market value of the unit will depend on the different types of wood, as well as the uses and features. 

                        But, which is the best wood for furniture? Listed below are some of the best wood types and their uses.

                        i. Pine

                          Pine is affordable, lightweight, and readily workable. It is often used to make rustic furniture pieces. However, it is susceptible to scratches and dents.

                          ii. White Oak

                            White oak is a stunning, heavy, and durable material for cabinetry and kitchen furniture. It has a distinctive look when finished. It is also resistant to warping. 

                            iii. Walnut

                            Walnut is extremely beautiful. It can withstand very intricate carving. That’s why it is often used to make headboards, ornate antique-style dining tables, and mantels. An oil finish is more than enough to bring out its natural color.

                            iv. Cherry

                              Cherrywood is probably the best wood for indoor pieces of furniture, such as carved chairs and tables. It is very long-lasting and resistant to decay and abrasions. It is an all-around great wood. However, it is quite pricey.


                              Whether you are a woodworking enthusiast or just looking for wooden furniture, knowing the many types of woods and their properties will help you make better-informed decisions. Regardless of what your wood requirement is, you're sure to find one that suits you perfectly.

                              Explore our Furniture category to discover some gorgeous pieces crafted from these amazing woods.

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