Wall Beds and What They’re Made Of

In today’s wall bed market there are a number of wood materials wall beds are constructed out of. Four of the main materials used in constructing a wall bed are Particle Board, MDF Board, Plywood, and Solid Wood. Each material has unique qualities that lend themselves to the operation and structure of your wall bed. Each material type is outlined below to give you a better understanding of why it is used, what it is best used for, and what to look for when choosing your perfect wall bed.

Particle Board

Particle Board is an engineered material used primarily for exterior furniture surfaces. It is composed of highly compressed wood pieces, or particles, which gives the material its name. In wall beds, particle board’s chief use is for exterior surfaces, because its guarantees a smooth surface and is less likely to warp or crack over time. Particle board strength is measured by its PSI, which gauges the compression of the particles together, and therefore the overall quality and strength of the board as a whole. A cheaper product will be composed of cheaper particles, and therefore have a lower PSI. Industrial strength particle board is much stronger, and has a much higher PSI rating. One thing to note is that particle board may contain amounts of formaldehyde, and it is important to be aware of this when furniture will be used in nurseries, or other highly sensitive spaces. Newer age particle board does not utilize formaldehyde in its construction so be sure to ask when purchasing a wall bed that has particle board components.


MDF is a material similar to particle board and has the same usage as an exterior surface wood since it results in a smoother surface and is less likely to warp and crack. MDF, however, is a much more refined product than particle board. It is also composed of wood particles, but they are much, much smaller than those that particle board is comprised of. Because of this, MDF has a slightly smoother texture than particle board. Consequently, this decrease in particle size makes MDF a much heavier product than particle board. This increases its structural use, but also makes your wall bed much heavier, which can be a hindrance when installing or moving your wall bed.


Plywood is a material that is generally stronger as a structural material than particle board or MDF. Plywood is constructed of several thin layers of wood, and can also be called layered board. The wood used to create the layers in plywood is generally B grade wood, which individually would not be strong enough for use, but when layered together creates a much stronger material. Use of plywood minimizes the chances, which makes it desirable for exterior surfaces of a wall bed, as well as interior. Be cautious when selecting a wall bed that utilizes plywood as a main structural component, however, as knots in the wood layers can create instability. If one layer of the ply wood has a knot, it creates a point of weakness that can be transferred throughout the wood.

Solid Wood

Solid Wood is the material that is most used in wall beds for structural composition. This is the strongest material available, and is consequently the material used most often for the most important part of the wall bed: the structure. Solid wood is generally not used as an exterior material for several reasons. Solid wood can naturally warp, leading to visual imperfections which decrease the overall appearance and structural performance of your wall bed. It is also difficult to guarantee and align specific grain patterns when using solid wood, and it is more difficult to work with for exterior purposes. Solid wood is also very expensive, and unnecessary use is wasteful in our limited eco-system. Wall beds that utilize solid wood as their main structural material will be extremely strong, but for aesthetic purposes solid wood is not recommended as an exterior surface.

Deciding what you want your wall bed to be made of brings you one step closer to knowing which wall bed is perfect for you. Once you know the materials, the next step is to choose how your wall bed looks. We look forward to seeing you again soon!