Furniture made from real wood like maple wood, oak wood, or solid pine wood, will last much longer than pieces made from processed wood, and though solid wood furniture might be more expensive, it's almost always worth investing in.
Learning about solid woods will give you a discerning eye to help you find quality wood furniture designed to stand the test of time.
In this guide, we'll outline the basics of solid wood, before showcasing great brands and pieces of high-quality furniture that are worth your money.
What is Solid Wood Furniture?
So what exactly is solid wood furniture?
David Charne, the co-founder of Fyrn, broke it down in one simple sentence for us, saying: “Solid wood furniture refers to any furniture that is made of solid, natural hardwood, not particle board, plastics, or other synthetic materials.”
“Solid wood furniture refers to any furniture that is made of solid, natural hardwood, not particle board, plastics, or other synthetic materials.”
By understanding how solid wood furniture is built, you can inspect the pieces you’re considering so you know they’ll last for years to come.
“Solid wood furniture is built almost exclusively with solid wood and doesn't have any plywood or fiberboard,” explained Bryan Ferris, a custom furniture builder, and designer located in San Diego, California.
“Most often, solid wood furniture is made with all wood joinery and uses as few nails and screws as possible because screws and nails don't tend to hold up in the long term. An ideal piece of solid wood furniture will be heirloom quality and will last for generations to come,” adds Feriss.
6 Places to Buy Solid Wood Furniture
Known for its stunning dining chairs and stools, Fyrn is the brainchild of Ros Broughton and co-founder David Charne. Fyrn was founded to create quality furniture that will last a lifetime. Its pieces are made from solid, natural wood and designed to minimize waste and last for generations.
With a free in-home trial, a buy-back policy, and an exchange program, they aim to ensure every piece of furniture lasts as long as possible and stays out of the landfill. All parts of Fyrn products are 100% repairable and replaceable for life.
Worth checking out:
The Stanyan Barstool is another excellent choice. It's durable and lightweight enough to stand up to use in restaurants nationwide, but it fits right in with any home environment. The Stanyan Barstool is available in a range of wood stains, bracket finishes, and material options for complete customization. These work wonderfully around a kitchen island or bar-height worktop.
The Mariposa Chair received Interior Design Magazine's 2017 Best of the Year Award, and it's made using North American hardwoods, genuine leather, and patented stainless steel and aluminum hardware. The Mariposa Chair is super comfy, and it comes in a range of wood stains, bracket finishes, and material options. The Mariposa is perfect for sitting around your dining table or even as a welcoming spot to sit in your entryway.
We recently got our hands on the Mariposa, check out our experience with it in the below video:
Created with luxurious modern homes in mind, Maiden Home offers quality, design-driven contemporary furniture for every home. With handcrafted furniture made in the United States by expert craftsmen, every piece is held to the highest standards before reaching the customer.
Maiden Home strives to offer a standout blend of comfort, quality, and beauty. Plus, they provide a complimentary white glove delivery service and shipping process, ensuring satisfaction.
Worth checking out:
The Hayes Chair is a comfortable chair with a cool, contemporary design — perfect for relaxing with a good book. With clean lines and natural materials, it has a luxurious look that feels inviting and modern. It features white hair-on-hide leather for the seat and back with a solid wood frame available in either beech or walnut. The wood is hand-waxed for a matte, silky surface that enhances the natural solid wood grain.
The Reade Round Dining Table is an artistic piece that will make an eye-catching sculptural statement in any home. This solid wood dining table is expertly crafted table is made from solid ash wood and refined and has handcrafted column legs and an intricately detailed round tabletop. And you can customize this table for your home with multiple options for the finish and size before placing your order.
Founded to simplify the furniture buying process, Burrow specializes in living room furniture and aims to provide better quality pieces at accessible prices. They reduce costs with direct delivery to customers, and every piece of furniture uses sustainably sourced hardwood, ensuring lasting enjoyment.
Worth checking out:
The Carta Credenza is a functional workhorse designed for to act as a living room storage unit or tv stand. It comes in walnut or oak, and it's suitable for most screens up to 65", with room for all your devices to fit underneath. Plus, it's part of the Carta collection, which means you can get a matching coffee table, side table, and bench to complete the look in your living room or den.
Read More: What Is a Credenza, and Do You Need One?
The Index Wall Shelves might look simple, but they feature a clever modular design that allows infinite expansion. So whether you need bookcases in the home office or a spot to display your home decor in your family room, these shelves will do the trick.
With an emphasis on accessible price points and exceptional custom furniture, Inside Weather aims to ensure every customer gets exactly what they want. Each piece of furniture can be customized to match your home decor and personal tastes. In addition, Inside Weather pieces are produced in the United States, and everything is made to order, eliminating the retail and warehouse costs to save you money on quality furniture.
Worth checking out:
The Bondi Collection features a truly modular, made-to-order sofa collection for today's homes. You choose your desired number of seats and customize the fabric, layout, size, and finish to make it your own. So whether you want an armchair, loveseat, or a large sectional for the whole family, the Bondi Collection has what you're looking for.
Interior Define was created to offer a better way to shop for a sofa, eliminating the challenge of finding high-quality, affordable furniture that's customizable. And they've since expanded to provide a range of home décor and furnishings. The brand aims to put you, the customer, in the designer's seat. You’ll also have access to personal design advice from specialists to ensure you’re happy with the result.
Worth checking out:
The Devon Coffee Table is a functional, eye-catching coffee table ideal for cozy accent chairs and sofas. It comes in oiled walnut and whitewashed oak with a wood veneer over solid wood for a sophisticated wood grain top. The table also features a spacious bottom shelf for magazines, books, or decorative items.
The Briar Side Table is made with solid wood and finished with elegant, beveled edges for a refined design. It offers plenty of storage space with two different size options to fit any space. With a modern design and an open lower shelf, the Briar Side Table is perfect for contemporary and mid-century modern homes, but it could also update a traditional space.
Crate&Barrel offers high-quality products, timeless style, and exclusive design for both online and in-store customers. With an eye-catching architectural aesthetic and commitment to their customers, Crate&Barrell has developed an active online community. And through that community, they strive to help more people love every moment in their homes.
Worth checking out:
The Keane Driftwood Bed Frame is a solid wood bed that cuts a classic modern profile. It features a slat support system to make the box spring optional and is available in either king or queen size. There are a range of bedroom furniture pieces in the Keane Driftwood collection and this bed pairs perfectly with the Keane Driftwood 5-Drawer Wood Dresser.
The Tate Walnut Extendable Midcentury Dining Table draws inspiration from the style of the 1960s, with a streamlined shape and tailored profile. With conical tapered legs set at a subtle angle, it'll fit right in with any contemporary or mid-century modern home. And it's ready for extra dinner guests with two self-stored leaves that expand to seat up to 10 guests. Pair it with the Tate Midcentury Walnut Sideboard for a cohesive dining room aesthetic.
Further reading: The 15 Best Extendable Dining Tables for Your Home
What to Look for in Solid Wood Furniture
Since many customers buy almost exclusively from online sources, you'll want to search for clues to the quality of a piece before you buy.
“Solid wood furniture is exactly as it sounds, furniture assembled from solid pieces of wood, as opposed to a hardwood veneer over an MDF (medium-density fiber) board. Solid wood furniture is typically heavier and more expensive than its veneer and MDF counterparts," says Betsy Moyer, Co-Founder of Retreat. "It's usually meticulously crafted with fine joinery to ensure it holds together for generations of use. We call this level of craftsmanship heirloom quality.”
“Walnut, Oak, Maple, Hickory, & Teak are common hardwoods for furniture (and kitchen cabinetry too!)," adds Moyer. “They are typically more expensive than softwoods, and for a good reason."
The Difference Between Softwood and Hardwood
As you shop for solid wood furniture, you'll likely come across both softwood and hardwood pieces. Knowing which option is best for you will help you make the right choice.
“Although hardwood furniture has a higher price tag, it has benefits that make it worth the extra money,” Brianna Hill, Founder of Over The Hill Designs, told Living Cozy.
“One benefit is that they [hard woods] are incredibly strong and resilient; this is why they can last for many generations without much maintenance. Another is that it’s a renewable resource. This means that they can be replanted and have a positive environmental impact on the planet,” adds Hill.
Hardwood furniture will last longer and provide you with more years of enjoyment in most situations. And if it gets scratched or dinged, a professional can refinish the surface to give your furniture new life, saving you money and keeping it out of the landfill. Unfortunately, the same is not always possible with softwood.
“Furniture made from hardwood has great longevity and is very durable.”
“Hardwood is determined by how the tree grows, but most commonly referred to by its density,” Bryan Ferris said. “In the United States, we have a few domestic hardwoods (walnut, cherry, oak, alder, and, hickory, maple) that are staples for building furniture, as well as some imported hardwood (mahogany, Sapele, and teak).”
“Furniture made from hardwood has great longevity and is very durable,” Ferris continued. "Softwood types include pine, cedar, and redwood, to name a few. Furniture made from softwood is not ideal as it dents and scratches easily. That’s not to say that you can’t make furniture out of softwood, but it’s often not considered high quality.”