Hardwood vs. Softwood—What’s the Difference?

Not all wood is created equal, and this is especially the case with wooden furniture. Before buying any kind of wooden furniture, you should be sure of its quality and make. One of the questions you should ask, then, is what kind of wood a piece of furniture is made out of. More specifically, is it hardwood or softwood? There are key differences between the two, differences you should be aware of before buying any kind of wooden furniture.


Hardwood comes from angiosperm trees—that is, trees that have seeds enclosed within a fruit or flower such as alder, beech, oak, and walnut. Compared to softwood, they have a higher density and rougher texture, thus hardwood is typically found in high-quality furniture, flooring, or any kind of construction that needs to last. However, hardwood is more expensive, and sometimes more challenging to work with, so it’s typically only used for high-end furniture manufacturing.


Softwood, on the other hand, is what about 80% of all timber comes from. It’s taken from gymnosperm trees—trees that have needles and cones instead of fruits or flowers (these include cedar, pine, and yew trees). While softwood does have a lower density than hardwood and a finer texture, it’s also less expensive and generally easier to work with. As a result, it’s used for a wide-range of applications, from furniture to medium-density fiberboard (MDF) to windows and doors. Even your Christmas tree is a softwood tree.

While hardwood can last longer than softwood, both are susceptible to wear and tear over the years. If that’s the case, and if your piece of wooden furniture doesn’t look as good as it used to, then contact Design Craft Upholstery. We specialize in wood furniture restoration in the Everett, Washington, and Seattle areas, so give us a call at 425-775-7620 today!