When you’re browsing furniture online, knowing what makes certain wood better than others will help you find options with characteristics beneficial to you. However, comparing different wood goes beyond materials like oak or maple. For instance, particle board and plywood are manufactured pieces that utilize various types of wood to build furniture. Thus, when it comes to choosing particle board or plywood, what’s the difference?


The first difference to address is the structure of each wood, which plays into the points we’ll discuss below. Plywood construction utilizes layers of various wood veneers connected through normal adhesives to create a single piece.

However, particle board doesn’t feature layers and instead utilizes particles of wood mixed with super strong glue to stay together, hence its name. Typically, this glue is made of harmful substances like formaldehyde. On the other hand, due to plywood’s construction, you don’t need to use these harmful glues to keep the panels intact. As you can see, there are similarities in the designs, but the details that make them unique are quite impactful. Now that you know what sets these two wood pieces apart structurally, let’s see how that impacts quality.


If you’re wondering what’s the difference between particle board and plywood, one of the key details you’re probably searching for is durability. After all, the wood’s strength ensures it will look excellent and avoid damage over time, supporting the items you place on top of it.

Thanks to the layered veneer design and the adhesives mixed with them, plywood continues to be the stronger alternative to particle board. The strength of those layers also means plywood doesn’t have to rely on formaldehyde to hold together. This contrasts with most particle boards, which use formaldehyde in their designs, and that can lead to off-gassing at home.

That said, plywood is not as susceptible to blunt-force trauma, while particle board often chips and breaks apart. Not only does this make the initial installation more complicated, but it makes repairs impossible.

Of course, particle board won’t wither in your hands, but it doesn’t showcase the same durability as plywood. Thus, plywood is an ideal choice for any furniture you want to have a long, luxurious life. This reliability is among the key reasons we design wood closet systems for homes with plywood.


Weight is essential to consider when installing or building furniture for several reasons. For example, weight affects how easy it is to handle and transport the wood safely. Likewise, weight impacts where and how you can mount or install certain pieces. When weight is a concern, remember that particle board is the heavier of the two options.

Plywood is helpful in this scenario because it is surprisingly lightweight despite being a particularly strong material—it’s only two-thirds the weight of particle board. After this quick walkthrough of the prevalent particle board vs. plywood discussion, you can now find furniture that delivers the strength, style, and convenience you want.