Have you ever heard the saying "They don't make them like that anymore"? Close your eyes and imagine your grandfather or grandmother, aunt or uncle, mentor or family friend; the one who has shared countless words of wisdom, including this phrase. Think about the feeling you get as you walk through their home. The warmth of the vintage solid wood armoire that has been handed down from generation to generation, or the smooth wooden side table with rich natural wood grain that brings the room to life. These are pieces that tell a family history, the works of art that are the centerpieces of memories, the things that make a house a home, the pieces that you might think are impossible to replicate...because "they don't make them like that anymore"...or do they?
Now before you start planning to sweet talk your entire extended family into bringing the family heirlooms to the next holiday or housewarming party allow us to let you in on a little secret, "they" actually do "make them like that". Not all quality furniture has to be found rummaging through antique sales or your great-aunt's attic. We have put together a list of places where you can buy quality, solid wood furniture that won't break the bank, but will bring a lifetime of happiness and the same feeling of nostalgia as your grandma’s china cabinet. So. what does "that" actually mean? Two magic words: solid wood.
Solid wood furniture is a great choice for people looking for something with a bit more quality and character than furniture made from composite wood materials or MDF. Want to know where to buy solid wood furniture? Find out below!
What is "solid wood"?
Solid wood is a terminology used to distinguish natural wood from engineered and composite wood materials. Unlike these other materials, solid wood is made from solid pieces of lumber, not from thin veneers or wood strands bound by adhesives.
When you feel solid wood furniture, it could have some texture. It’s noticeably heavier and more durable compared to furniture made with cheaper materials such as particleboard. You can expect solid wood to last decades as opposed to the few years cheaper furniture may last.
Why choose solid wood furniture?
Solid wood furniture has several advantages over other wood materials. It does not need additional chemicals and adhesives that are used to create engineered woods.
In addition, because it is solid pieces of wood and not thin layers of varying materials, it is easier to fix and touch-up. Often solid wood pieces can be assembled and disassembled as the wood will be more resistant to damage from unscrewing attached parts. Solid wood furniture also legitimately looks like wood furniture because it is made from actual, natural wood.
Solid wood furniture will be sturdier, more moisture resistant, and last longer, but tends to cost more due to its material quality. However, this doesn't mean getting solid wood furniture has to break the bank. Newer furniture retailers have started off with the goal to make solid wood furniture more accessible to buyers.
The longevity of solid wood furniture also provides the additional benefit of counteracting the culture of disposable consumerism. Low-quality manufactured wood products have shorter lifespans, ending up in landfills sooner, not to mention the packaging and waste that goes into buying a new piece of furniture every few years. There is a saying that goes “cheap is expensive”. If you repeatedly buy cheap, it will be costly. When you only buy cheaper furniture made of engineered wood, you can expect the furniture to last for just a few years before having to purchase again. Solid wood furniture can be expected to last for decades. Over many years it is likely buying a single piece of high-quality furniture will be cheaper than repeatedly replacing cheap products.
We have compared 8 furniture retailers to see how they stack up in the solid wood category.
The best places to buy solid wood furniture in 2023:
1. Grain Wood Furniture
Grain Wood Furniture offers 100% solid wood products at an exceptional value proposition.
All Grain Wood Furniture products are made with solid pine wood from only renewable forests in Brazil (no natural rainforests), so you know you are always buying environmentally conscious. Every piece of furniture at Grain Wood is lab tested for VOCs and formaldehyde so you can feel confident it’s safe to have in your home
All pieces come flat-packed for easy assembly at home and are efficiently delivered right to your door. All orders include free shipping making it even harder to pass up. Grain Wood also operates at a low margin, so this means no time-consuming price comparisons, no deals hunting, no waiting for prices to drop. Shopping Grain Wood’s solid wood furniture items means you are getting the very best price every single time.
Because Grain Wood Furniture also designs their furniture in house and works closely with the manufacturer, they provide incredibly high-quality customer service that you won't find at furniture marketplaces or stores that sell furniture from a variety of brands and manufacturers. At Grain Wood, customers can expect service representatives who are not just skilled in client interactions but are also experts in the details of the products.
All this combined means we believe grainwoodfurniture.com is the #1 place to buy solid wood furniture.
Wayfair.com has become the largest furniture retailer in the U.S. in recent years thanks to the growth of e-commerce.
They carry a variety of furniture and decorative products in an Amazon-like marketplace style. Searching for solid wood products will give you several different options which can be great for those who are undecided about what they want. Wayfair also hosts several of Grain Wood’s solid wood furniture items.
If you choose to go this route, we highly recommend you read reviews and product details carefully. Because basically anyone can sell on Wayfair, products can vary wildly, and you should make sure you are not buying from an unethical or low-quality vendor.
Many products on Wayfair also are flat-packed, though they offer professional assembly services with your purchase for an added fee.
3. Ashley Homestore
Ashley Homestore is a more traditional big-box furniture and home store that offers a variety of products
Their solid wood offering is more limited than other retailers, especially considering their size. But, you still might find a hidden gem.
If you have one of their stores in your area and you like a more traditional offline buying experience, you might choose to purchase from Ashley Homestore.
Overstock is another online furniture marketplace comparable to Wayfair. They offer a variety of different products from an equally large number of vendors. You'll even find Grain Wood Furniture's products listed on here (though often at higher prices due to Overstock taking a cut)
Once again, their wide selection of solid wood furniture is great, but reading reviews and researching the vendors is important to make sure the product and company are not going to give you unpleasant surprises.
This furniture start-up is offering a small selection of products, that seem to be of high design and material quality. Most of their products seem to use solid wood as the primary material. Though they are trendy, their relatively high prices seem to clash with the minimalist style of the furniture itself.
If you are not afraid of being an early adopter and are a fan of this trendy, modern and minimalist style you might find something you like at Floyd.
6. Crate & Barrel
Crate & Barrel sells primarily modern looking furniture and also has some great solid wood options.
They are a traditionally brick and mortar retailer and its stores have great shopping experiences.
7. Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn has long been a staple for classic and chic furniture and home decoration. Similar to Crate & Barrel, they are traditionally a brick and mortar retailer, but also ship from their website.
As a more high-end curated store they offer items at a higher cost, but you can be more confident of the quality of construction and design for items from this retailer. If cost is not your main concern and you are looking for stylish trend-setting products you should consider Pottery Barn.
Known as an affordable furniture retailer of products made typically from particleboard, it may come as a surprise to learn IKEA has some solid wood furniture. IKEA's Hemnes collection has products that are "mostly solid wood".
This is a great option for those who really can't afford more expensive options and like this look. IKEA's collection page for Hemnes describes it as having a "traditional-style" which is not quite the Nordic furniture retailer's natural element.
The Hemnes collection is very limited in size - and not quite our style - so we've ranked this last on our list.
As you can see there are many solid wood options out there that will give you the best bang for your buck.
When picking out solid wood furniture, do your research on making sure it is entirely made of solid wood rather than just a few parts. At Grain Wood, many resources are put into a quality build, with every piece having a fine-tuned human touch. Learn more about how it’s all made.