Everyday, our kids are surrounded by a plethora of materials that they touch, breathe and could possibly even bite or chew on. There are a variety of different quality furniture materials, paint finishes and even fabrics that parents can choose from. Here’s a quick guide to help you select what’s best for you and your kids.
What’s the Furniture Made Of?
Almost any type of wood or wood based board can be used to build furniture. Hardwoods such as mahogany, walnut, oak, ash, birch, maple, and cherry come from broad-leaved trees whereas softwoods such as pine spruce, cedar, fir and larch come from conifer trees. Hardwood is usually more expensive than softwood, as they are denser and will last for years to come. Softwood such as pine is an affordable option often used in children’s furniture and is a lighter colour than hardwood.
Wood products can be treated with various preservatives to guard against insect attack. As parents, we need to be careful what we expose our children to. That’s why we source international brands such as Flexa that for example only use eco-friendly UV-lacquer on their solid wood furniture, which is free from solvents and toxic colourants.
Fibre board on the other hand is a more inexpensive wood which is manufactured from wood fibres which are then bonded together with wax, resin and heat to create a dense piece of wood board.
The most popular fibreboard is supawood, better known as MDF – constructed of medium density fibres that are known for their strength and durability and lend themselves ideally to furniture products, allowing for a smooth paint finish. The fact that is has a dense structure allows your furniture to last longer and comes in at a fraction of the cost of solid wood. MDF is used in most kids furniture products which are painted, such as our beautiful Aspen range.
Laminated Particle board or laminated chipboard is also a manufactured wood, made from wood chips and shavings that are bonded together with resin. This creates a truly dense wood which is used to create highly durable flat-packed furniture such as kids beds and bunk beds. The laminated finish is scratch resistant and does not chip or flake off easily. Perfect for active kids! Check out our Vox and In-house ranges for furniture made with this material.
Plywood has become a very popular material for contemporary kids furniture due to its strength as it is built-up of layers of wood veneers which are bonded together to create a flat smooth sheet of wood with a beautiful woodgrain. Birch plywood is one of the more expensive plywoods with pine plywood being a cheaper option for items such as shelving. The South African design duo Pedersen + Lennard have created a beautiful Birch plywood product offering paired with sleek powder coated metal elements.
Our Eden range also features birch plywood paired with sprayed colourful MDF details. Solid bamboo is also laminated into bamboo plywood in order to create boards that are very strong. Bamboo is an eco-friendly choice as it is an easily renewable plant that grows faster than other solid woods. Certain species of bamboo can grow 91 cm within a 24-hour period! If bamboo is up your alley, have a closer look at our Bambu nursery range which is treated with a non-toxic plant based oil wax.