Furniture Materials – The Ultimate List for Your Business


furniture material

Although there are many features to look for when buying furniture, material type is a crucial element you can’t ignore.

This guide will help you choose the perfect material for your furniture.

It explores all types of furniture materials, their advantages, disadvantages, and possible applications.

So, before importing your furniture from China, read this guide:

1. Wood Furniture Material

Wood is one of the oldest and most popular materials for making furniture. They come in many finishing, depending on the specific furniture requirements.

When it comes to pricing – they range from affordable to high-priced furniture.

Wood Furniture
Wood Furniture
Types of Wood for Furniture Key Features
Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) · A perfect alternative to solid wood – it offers a cost-effective solution

· It is suitable for indoor furniture due to its inability to handle moisture

· Offer smooth finish

· MDF is not as durable as solid wood

Plywood · A popular material in most furniture

· Known for better strength

· It does not split easily

Solid wood · They are expensive options but the price will depend on the wood

· For example, Bocote furniture is pricier

· Allows for numerous finishes and decorations depending on custom requirements

Hardboard · These are wood fibers specially bound together using adhesives.

· They are common in the back sections or hidden sections of the furniture.

Particle board · They are wood particles bound together with a special adhesive.

· This wood furniture can replace plywood. Besides, particle boards don’t split easily.

Rubberwood · Rubberwood is a lightweight material that fits many furniture designs

· It is affordable, thou durable

Reclaimed wood · Reclaimed wood furniture is distinct for its rustic appearance

· Using reclaimed wood for furniture is a sustainable manufacturing practice – that is, making furniture from recycled wood.

Veneer · When you cut a thin layer of wood (say 3mm), you get a veneer.

· They range from 0.6mm to 3mm

· You can glue veneer on plywood or MDF to make furniture

In addition to these, you can classify wood furniture depending on the type of tree. Of course, at this point, you will be more specific. For example, you may have:

  • Cedar wood furniture – popular for household novelties or closets. It has a distinct reddish color and sweet odor.
  • Cherry wood furniture – know to resist shrinking or wrapping.
  • Elmwood furniture – the wood is resistant to splitting with a distinct interlocking grain pattern.
Elm Dinning Table
Elm Dinning Table

In short, you can make furniture from any wood type as long as the material is available to your manufacturer. However, even as you choose the wood for furniture, it is important to consider the:

  • Price
  • Function of the furniture
  • Surface finishing options
  • Durability

2. Glass Material for Making Furniture

In China furniture market, you will find many tables and storage units made from glass. Of course, there are chairs made from glass.

Glass furniture are stylish with unmatched elegance.

However, even if you go for tempered glass, the furniture is still fragile. The glass for furniture should be at least ½  inches or more.

It requires a lot of care.

Glass Wood Furniture
Glass Wood Furniture

3. Concrete for Furniture

I know this may sound funny – concrete is a perfect material for kitchen furniture.

Concrete furniture are heavier and available in only a few options and designs.

Concrete coffee table
Concrete Coffee Table

4. Furniture Made from Plastic Materials

Plastic furniture is fast growing. In fact plastic is a popular material for:

  • Kitchen furniture
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Bathroom furniture
  • Dining furniture
  • Bedroom furniture, amongst others.

Their durability varies depending on the plastic material.

In today’s furniture industry, they are replacing wood and glass as materials for furniture.  Other benefits of plastic furniture are:

  • Lightweight
  • Stronger and impact resistant than glass
  • Although some can scratch easily, others are resistant to scratches
Plastic Furniture
Plastic Furniture
Type of Plastic Furniture Material Key Features
Acrylic Furniture · You can use it to make chairs, tables, stools, jewelry boxes, etc.

· Lightweight and more durable than glass

· Does not break easily

Polycarbonate furniture · Extremely durable and stronger than glass

· Superior impact resistance thou susceptible to scratches

· Outdoor furniture requires UV protection coating

· Available in many color options, stronger than acrylic but pricier compared to acrylic material.

Polypropylene furniture · Suitable for both indoor and outdoor furniture

· They are rigid, long-lasting, resistant to ambient temperature, and environmentally friendly

· Many color options are available

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) · Offer a cost-effective solution in furniture manufacturing

· It is easy to maintain

· Not resistant to UV/extreme outdoor sunlight

Nylon furniture · Reasonably strong material for making furniture

· It is a popular material for chairs,

 Polycarbonate Chair
Polycarbonate Chair

In short, there are many plastic material types you can use for your furniture. The choice of a specific material will depend on unique design requirements and applications.

5. Metal for Making Furniture

There are many types of metal furniture such as tables, shelves, beds, benches, chairs, designs, cabinets, etc.

Ideally, you can make any furniture type using metals.

The metals for making furniture are available in form of:

  • Metal sheets
  • Metal rods
  • Metal bars, etc.
Metal furniture
Metal furniture

Depending on the furniture you want, you can choose from:

Type of Material for Metal Furniture Main Features
Stainless Steel Furniture · Popular for superior corrosion resistance and durability

· Can make furniture frames, or the entire surface

·  Perfect choice where hygiene is paramount such as laboratory furniture, kitchen cabinets, etc.

· Easy to maintain

Aluminum furniture · Lightweight furniture

· Corrosion resistance and easy to fabricate

· You can apply many surface finishes depending on custom requirements

Iron furniture · A perfect choice for masculine aesthetics

· It is a durable material thou susceptible to rusting – therefore it requires surface treatment


Other metals for furniture may include:

  • Copper
  • Bronze
  • Brass, etc.

Ideally, you can use any metal to make furniture. However, the cost, ease of fabrication, and material availability are integral factors you must consider.

6. Leather Material for Furniture

Wood, plastic, and wood mainly form the furniture’s basic structure. Currently leather is a popular furniture upholstery.

They add an aesthetic, classy, or contemporary look.

Depending on the leather furniture you wish to have, the key options to consider include:

Leather Furniture Key Features
Faux leather · Faux leather furniture is affordable
Genuine leather · Genuine leather furniture tends to be expensive
Bonded leather · The materials blend both genuine leather and faux leather

· It is a perfect alternative to genuine leather


You can learn more: Choosing Best Leather for Furniture.

7. Fabric for Making Furniture

Another furniture upholstery is fabric material. They are a perfect alternative if you don’t like leather furniture.

Most leather furniture are soft.  You can use fabric to make a sofa, bed sections, chairs, and ottomans, just to mention a few.

 Velvet bed
Velvet Bed

Among the fabrics you can consider for your furniture include:

Type of Fabric Furniture Material Key Features
Linen fabric for furniture ·  Available in virtually all colors

· Fabric is lightweight

· Best for all types of furniture, from casual to modern designs

Velvet fabric for furniture · Although velvet materials are not very popular, they guarantee a bold appearance

· It has lushness thou the fabric is heavier than linen

· Velvet furniture gives a contemporary and bold theme. At times, it may be associated with “richness”

Microfiber material for furniture · Microfiber mimics the leather

· They are more affordable than genuine leather but are durable

· Microfiber furniture can fit virtually all interiors

· They are lightweight


8. Cardboard or Paper for Making Furniture

You can use paper r cardboard on the furniture’s base section. They are common in low-cost furniture due to many drawbacks:

  • Not easy to clean
  • Short lifespan
  • Susceptible to scratches
  • Not suitable for heavy use
  • They are resistant to moisture and extreme heat is limited

9. Rattan Furniture Materials & Bamboo Furniture Materials

Rattan Furniture
Rattan Furniture

You may also consider either rattan or bamboo for your furniture from China. Generally, rattan is durable.

Although bamboo resembles rattan, it is hollow.

Note: Many people assume wicker is material. It is not true. This is a process you can use to make furniture from either rattan, bamboo, or other materials such as reed, flexible twigs, etc.

In addition to these, we have the cane. Cane furniture are a perfect solution for unique interior decorations.

Cane Chair
Cane Chair

10. Marble for Furniture

Marble is a common material for making furniture tops. Among the most popular marble furniture are:

  • Marble coffee table
  • Marble dining table
  • Marble TV Stand
Marble Coffee Table
Marble Coffee Table

Faux marble furniture is popular due to its contemporary design. It is an easy-to-clean, durable, and affordable alternative.

Marble is a perfect example of stone furniture. Closely related to this is granite.

Although granite furniture are good, they tend to be porous. Consequently, they are easily stained.

Apart from the materials we have covered in this section, you may require foam. You can choose from poly foam, high quality, or super soft foam.

Again, the top 10 categories in this guide are some of the most common options. When it comes to customization, your furniture manufacturer from China will use any material.


Note: In most cases, you will use more than one material to material to make furniture. Take for example, when making a sofa, you will require:

  • Sofa frame – you can make the frame from wood, metal, or plastic
  • Metal springs to make the sofa comfortable
  • Fiber for a comfortable feeling
  • Lather or fabric to cover the sofa frame.

Factors to  Consider when Choosing Furniture Material

Many factors will determine the right material for your furniture. Take, for instance, your main concern may be:

Financial Capability of your Business

Plastic furniture are affordable compared to metal furniture. Furthermore, furniture made from exotic woods are pricier.

Remember, furniture material price will affect your budget directly. So, before importing furniture from China, you must know your customers’ buying habit

Type of furniture

When it comes to furniture design, the material type will play a pivotal role. Although you have the freedom to use any materials, here are some ideas that work well:

  • For sofa beds – a combination of wood/leather, metal/leather, wood/fabric, or metal leather can be a perfect match.
  • Stools – plastic can make a perfect material.
  • Tables – you can use wood and glass, plain wood, plastic, etc.

Design and Trend


If a trendy design is your priority, then you must consider the latest furniture materials. Since there are many designs in the market furniture materials suppliers in China will help you choose a suitable option.

Remember, trendy furniture from China tends to sell more. Of course, there are antique furniture designs.


When it comes to furniture materials, there are many options to choose from such as wood, metal, plastic, glass leather, or fabric. The best part, you can combine more than one material as long as the design allows.

At Dongrong, we offer high-quality furniture made from metal tubes and MDF. We have premium furniture at competitive prices.

More Resources:

What Furniture is Made of – Source: Italica

Furniture Materials & Characteristics – Source: UNL

Knowing your Material for Furniture – Source: Inquire Q

Natural Materials for Making Furniture – Source: Star Furniture

Materials for Furniture – Source: Online Design Teacher


One Stop Furniture OEM Factory

Dongrong is a high-end OEM furniture manufacturer in China, we provide the best service to our customers.
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