MDF Vs Plywood – Which One Should You Choose for Furniture?
MDF Vs. Plywood – Which One Should You Choose?
Feb 16, 2024 | By: admin

Navigating the decision between MDF and Plywood for home interiors can be a common dilemma among homeowners. To simplify this choice, we've outlined the distinctive features that make each material stand out.

While both MDF and plywood find applications in home interiors, it's important to note that they are not interchangeable. These materials are frequently employed in the construction of different types of kitchens and even modular furniture, each with its own set of advantages. Given their widespread use, we aim to provide you with a comprehensive comparison between MDF Boards and Plywood for various types of furniture. After all, a bit of extra information can only enhance your decision-making process.


MDF vs Plywood: Structural Difference




Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is engineered wood created by breaking down hardwood and softwood composites into small fibers, bonded with wax under pressure or high temperature to form panels. In comparison, plywood is made by binding veneer wood sheets into a solid piece, available in various grades.


Which One Has More Durability?


Plywood benefits from a cross-laminated structure which is absent in MDF. Let’s look at the table below to understand why Plywood emerges as the winner on the durability front.




Made from finely ground wood fibres glued together with resin, resulting in a uniform, dense board. Therefore, although strong, MDF lacks the cross-laminated structure, making it more susceptible to bending, sagging, and cracking under heavy loads.

Made from thin layers of wood veneer glued together with the grain running in opposite directions, creating a cross-laminated structure. This provides inherent strength, stability, and resistance to warping, even under heavy loads.


MDF vs Plywood: Application Difference




Both MDF & Plywood are water-resistant. The former is cost-effective, with a smooth surface ideal for painting and easy carving due to its lack of visible wood grains. On the other hand, plywood is more suitable for cabinets and tabletops. Its layered structure ensures a secure grip on screws.

In summary, both MDF and plywood have unique strengths. MDF boards suit budget-friendly interior applications, while plywood is preferable for moisture-resistant exterior projects.

Let’s look at the table below to see what separates plywood from MDF across different application purposes.





MDF's smooth surface makes it ideal for modular furniture which includes structures such as sectional sofas, modular shelving systems, stackable storage cubes, modular kitchen cabinets, modular office furniture and so on. 

Plywood's durability and weight fit best for long-lasting pieces of furniture such as beds, wardrobes, and dining tables where structural solidity is the primary requirement. 


Withstanding Water and Fire Challenges with Precision


For making different kinds of furniture, MDF and plywood boards offer a robust set of features, making them resilient choices.

Greenply introduces PRODIQ-NEO TECH, utilising artificial intelligence for precise microfiber analysis. This unparalleled accuracy sets a new standard in the industry.


MDF Vs Plywood: Cost Comparison


Price Factor




Uses recycled wood fibres, hence cost-effective.

Uses actual wooden sheets, hence more expensive. 


A simpler manufacturing process makes it cost-effective. 

A layered structure leads to greater manufacturing costs.


Within the same grade, MDF is more cost-effective.


Thin boards: The price difference might be negligible for thin boards (e.g., below 1/4").

Thick boards: The cost gap widens for thicker boards. For instance, a 25mm MDF board could be half the price of a 25mm BWP plywood board.


As we can gauge, MDF fares better than Plywood as far as cost assessment is concerned, taking the crown as the more affordable option.




Greenply's Green range of plywood is not only 2X fire-retardant but also boiling waterproof. The latest innovation, Pen Tech, incorporates phosphate-enriched nanoparticles (PEN) forming a protective mesh. This enhancement enables the plywood to delay the spread of fire for up to 90 minutes. Using unextended BWP resin in the lamination process ensures the plywood passes the boiling water test, surviving 72 hours without warping or shrinking. 

In the sphere of waterproof MDF boards, Greenply Boil Pro 500 incorporates cutting-edge HydroFireBloc Technology, seamlessly integrating hydro-repellent and fire-retardant elements. This technological advancement ensures your furniture stands resilient against two significant adversaries - water and fire. The result is a material that not only prolongs the life of your furniture but also adds an extra layer of safety to your home, addressing real-world concerns with innovative solutions.

Considering these advancements, MDF and plywood emerge as compelling alternatives, challenging solid wood. However, it's crucial to carefully weigh all the pros and cons before making a decision. Stay informed, make informed choices, and stay updated on the latest developments in the wood panel industry with Greenply, always ready to address every need.

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