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Furniture Wood Guide

Wooden beds are very flexible and versatile, offering a solid structure to last the long haul. Wooden beds bring many benefits, from the robustness of the materials to the timelessness of the design. It is safe to say wooden beds and wooden furniture will never leave fashion, and new designs of wood variations are introduced to the wooden bed range here at Happy Beds regularly.

We've taken a closer look at the world of wood to give you the best wood guide for furniture, to ensure you understand all the different types of wood beds and even what wood is best for furniture!

What type of wood is best for furniture?

The best wood for furniture is entirely subjective, as it depends on what type of interior décor you've decided upon! Something like oak wood will provide an exceptionally durable piece of furniture. Still, if it is unpainted, it may only be suitable for lighter rooms due to its characteristic light colour. Whereas walnut wood offers an equally strong material, the darker colour may make it unsuitable for specific interiors.

Genuine wood furniture is always slightly more expensive than its particle board or MDF counterparts, but they can offer plenty of benefits, including great versatility in design!

Regarding which wood is best for a bed, we make sure only to use the highest quality wood to construct our bed frames. This means that your mattress will always be supported, whether you choose a divan bed or a bed with a slatted base. We use a range of wood types, including pine and oak, in our beds.

How can you tell if wood furniture is good quality?

If you are still feeling lost in the direction of which wood type will make the best bed for you, there are various tests of quality that you can consider in evaluating each wood type. You don’t need to be an expert to identify the effectiveness or quality of a particular type of wood, you just need to consider: durability, resistance, safety, weight, colour and appearance.

Toughness and durability:

Hardwoods and wood types which are heavier, will usually offer more resistance and durability over time. You need to consider if the wood will withstand shock and weight, as beds are a frequently used item which need to stand strong.

Safety:

Particularly for wooden beds, it is vital to identify whether the materials used are fire resistant. It is a general rule of identification that the denser wood types are higher in fire resistance. Another important factor of safety is water permeability, as wood must not absorb water efficiently as this will lead to decay and potential collapsing of the bed structure.

Appearance:

Many wood types such as oak and pine can be finished with paint or colour staining to create a unique and modern appearance, whereas others are simply finished in wax to preserve the natural effect. Each natural wood type has its own colour, texture and finish which will appeal to different personal tastes – it is important to compare the wooden finishes to identify which will suit your home and personality the most.


If you are considering a wooden bed or furniture item, be sure to familiarise yourself with the Happy Beds' Wooden Bed and Furniture Care Guide for all of the tips and tricks of how to best maintain the appearance and quality of your bed.

What is the strongest wood?

Many types of wood are used to make furniture, which means that there is no 'strongest' wood. You might think it will be strong because it is expensive, but this isn't always the case.

For example, if you type into Google 'what is the most expensive type of wood?', then it's important to remember that just because it's costly, it doesn't make it the strongest! Sandalwood is likely to pop up in the results for the most expensive type of wood, but if you search for the strongest type of wood, then you're more likely to get something like oak or mahogany.

To give you a little help, we've listed just some of the common types of wood used in our wooden bedroom furniture here at Happy Beds:

Beech

A light coloured wood with red tones; it is described as a hardwood material with high strength ability. Beechwood is considered medium-to-hard on the strength scale of hardwood variations and can withstand shock or damage well.

Oak

Oak is one of the primary woods used in bed design and is a hardwood. It is available in a range of colours and finishes whilst being known for its heavyweight and durability.

Pine

A common and often traditional type of wood used in the construction of beds and furniture, pinewood is both solid and durable hardwood that leans towards softwood in certain areas. It isn't as strong as, say, oak, and it is often used for budget-friendly beds and furniture.

Walnut

An adaptable and durable wood, walnut wood is not prone to decay and can last for a long time! It also has a rich colour and is perfect for furniture and bed frames. This type of wood is not as common as pinewood but offers a luxurious appearance.

Softwood or hardwood for furniture?

It can be very easily misinterpreted that the difference between softwood and hardwood is entirely down to strength, with many assuming that softwood is a weaker version of hardwood and is therefore inferior in bed design. This is untrue, as the difference between the two wood types stems from where the wood is extracted from, the expense and the appearance of the wood.

Softwood

Softwood is taken from trees such as pine, fir and cedar. Usually more affordable than hardwood materials, softwood is believed to be much more sustainable through specialist tree farms which are designed for wood material supply, and therefore does not harm the environment through deforestation of naturally occurring trees. Types of softwood include the likes of pine, cedar, fir and spruce.

Hardwood

Hardwood comes in a wide range of textures and designs, creating a luxurious appearance and offering a unique style. It is not strictly true that hardwood materials will last a longer time than softwood, however hardwood beds do tend to be more expensive due to the materials used and the quality of the wood. Types of hardwood include birch, maple, red oak and mahogany.


What is particle board?

A common term when discussing furniture is particle board, also called chipboard or low-density fibreboard (LDF). Particleboard is an exceptionally low-cost way to create furniture compared to traditional wood. It is created using the leftovers from the lumbar industry, including sawdust and chips, which are then pressed together with resin to make particleboard.

Particleboard is frequently used in furniture as it is exceptionally versatile and a low-cost option. However, its low density cannot bear heavy loads, so we don't use particle board to support our mattresses! An advantage to particleboard is that it is also very light, making it incredibly easy to transport. Materials such as veneer and laminate can be easily attached to them, giving you many colour and style options.

Particleboard vs MDF

So, what is the difference between particleboard and MDF? Medium-density fibreboard, or MDF, is another byproduct of the lumbar industry, only this is made using wood fibre. This gives MDF a smooth surface that looks more realistic than particleboard. It is still a low-cost option compared to genuine wood, but it's important to remember that it isn't as strong as natural wood.

Despite this, MDF is more robust than particle board, and the smoother finish makes it much easier to paint over if necessary. It is also more durable and is more resistant to water than particle board, but it is also more expensive. Many modern MDF beds are often aimed toward children, creating fun themed beds that brighten up a child's bedroom!

Is my furniture real wood?

One of the most commonly asked questions when shopping for a wooden bed or furniture item is whether or not the wood is authentic. The description of a product will always state the materials used and if it states as a pine, oak or other authentic wooden structure then the item is most likely real wood. To check the authenticity of a wood, be sure to:

Check the description of the product, as this will always detail the wood type used
Familiarise yourself with the price, as authentic wood is usually more expensive
Look out for words such as MDF, as these detail wooden substitute materials

Types of wooden beds and furniture

It is very easy to underestimate the wide range of wood types available across the bed industry; however, believe it or not, there are much more variations than the commonly-used wooden types (pine and oak). Throughout this guide, you can familiarise yourself with every wood type used within the bed industry and the qualities it will offer - you may even come across some forms that you have never even considered when shopping for the perfect bed.

Pine

A commonly used softwood material is a favourite choice in bed construction, as it is lightweight and easy to work with. The qualities of pinewood include strength, the resistance of shrinking or swelling and the ability to paint or stain the wood to create a wide range of bed designs.

Beech

A light coloured wood with red tones, described as a hardwood material with high strength ability. Beech wood is considered medium-to-hard on the strength scale of hardwood variations, and can withstand shock or damage well.

Maple

Wood commonly stained to offer the same appearance as more expensive wooden types, as it takes well to staining and finishing touches. As a hardwood, maple has considerable strength and can last a long time of resistance.

Oak

One of the main woods used in bed design, and is categorised as a hardwood material. Oak wood is available in a range of colours and finishes, whilst being known for its heavy weight and durability.

Mahogany

Another hardwood, which features a naturally-dark and luxurious appearance and texture. This form of wood works well in furniture construction as it accepts the use of nails and screws well and is also known to resist decay over time.

MDF

Stands for medium-density fibreboard and is a common substitute of wood used in bed and furniture construction. MDF is known to last a long period of time, and is usually more cost-effective as a wood material substitute.

Particle Board

Another wooden substitute, which is entirely ma made from chips of authentic wood bonded together to make a wooden appearance. Particle board is used in many flat-packed beds and is a dense material.