Which is Better – Plywood or MDF?

Which is Better – Plywood or MDF?

Selecting the best woodwork material for home furniture and furnishings isn’t easy. Decision-making can take weeks with multiple options unless you can access a transparent guide to navigate your options. In this post, that’s precisely what we will do. We will make your selection journey easier by helping you choose between plywood and MDF.

Plywood or MDF- Which is Better?  

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) uses particles from wood chips that are ground down to the fiber. After that, these particles are bonded with a resin under pressure and high temperature. On the other hand, plywood is made using wood veneer sheets. Several layers of sheets are skillfully compressed and then bonded under pressure and heat.

Now that you know how these two materials are made, let’s take a deeper dive to see how they compare:


Longevity is a crucial factor in making furniture or furnishings around the house. So, compared to MDF, plywood has greater strength and durability. MDF is made with wood chip particles, not sheets, while plywood uses multiple layers of thin wood sheets, making it considerably strong.


If you want a large decorative and stained wood surface, plywood is better than MDF. Plywood carries a grain, making it best for kitchen tabletops and cabinets where large stained wood surfaces are needed. Compared to plywood, MDF has no wood grain, soaking up the stain like a sponge. Hence, it doesn’t look as attractive as you’d want. 

Detailed Design

MDF is your best bet if you want detailed designed surfaces with smoothness and sheer consistency. Using a band or scroll saw, you can easily make scalloped and scrolled designs with MDF. This is not the case with plywood. Plywood is difficult to cut mostly because the edges splinter, thereby showing layers in some areas.

Resistant to Water, Moisture, and Termites

Before you invest in MDF or plywood, you must be clear about its resistance to moisture, termite, and water. 

It is because termite is a natural enemy of wood. However, the good news is that both products resist termite infestation. But MDF fails to perform when exposed to moisture and water. MDF soaks up water and swells. 

In contrast, high-quality BWP (boiling waterproof) plywood can easily withstand exposure to boiling hot water for nearly 72 hours. So, if you want a termite, water, and moisture-resistant solution, consider high-quality BWP plywood. 

Impact on Health and the Environment

Before you decide, it is crucial to assess them for human health and environmental sustainability. When compared, plywood is eco-friendly. When MDF is cut, it releases a lot of sawdust that damages the environment and can cause respiratory problems. Comparatively, plywood is sourced from renewable and fast-growing species of trees. So, if environmental sustainability is a priority, opt for plywood over MDF. 


Contact us for more information about MDF and plywood. Our experts can guide you and help you make an informed decision. 

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