Metal Vs Wood Wardrobes

When we moved into our house, I earmarked a “spare” room to be my walk-in-wardrobe (sorry guests, my sartorial companions took priority over you, but fear not I’m full of ideas for guest beds!), primarily because my addiction to charity shops was taking its toll on my trusty old wardrobe and secondly… isn’t it every girl’s dream to have a dressing room! I have to admit, as luxurious as it is to have an entire room dedicated to my expanding collection of all things fashion (I could literally open my own charity shop!), I did feel a little robbed from the excitement of shopping for a new freestanding wardrobe.

Missing the opportunity to browse the wide range of wardrobes on offer got me thinking, if I were on the hunt for a new wardrobe, what style wardrobe would I choose? Would I opt for a traditional wooden wardrobe or a more modern metal wardrobe? With so many gorgeous designs available, which wardrobe would suit my space and more to the point, accommodate my clothes without the wardrobe bursting at the seams!

I concluded, if I can’t live my own wardrobe shopping experience, I’ll take the opportunity to jump on your shopping trip and offer you some guidance over the question of metal wardrobes vs wooden wardrobes.

Which type of Furniture is best, Metal or Wood?

Both metal and wood wardrobes offer up advantages and disadvantages, neither one necessarily outshines the other in terms of which of is best – it’s more about your personal preference as they will both create a very different look in your home.

First let’s take a look at wooden wardrobes, as there are 3 mains types of wood used in furniture manufacturing; hardwood, softwood and engineered wood:

Oliver Furniture Contemporary Wood 2 Door Wardrobe in White & Oak

Types of Wooden Wardrobes

When it comes to finding your dream wooden wardrobe, there is a type of wood just right for you! Hardwood and softwood offer up different features and benefits, I can’t claim that I’m a wood expert, but a wood can easily be distinguished in botanical terms; with hardwoods being flowering trees and softwoods being conifers.


Hardwoods are generally considered to be of a better quality, resistant to scratches and marking, therefore ideal for wardrobes that command a high level of use. The type of hardwood that you choose will be dependent on your appearance preference and your budget! All hardwoods are prepared by air and kiln drying to remove all the moisture from the wood.

Oak – Oak is one of the most durable of hardwoods, its beautiful growth ring pattern can be visible in furniture, however it is slow growing so therefore not a sustainable option. As oak can be fairly expensive, look for designs that feature oak trims and handles such as this Oliver Furniture Contemporary Wood 2 Door Wardrobe in White & Oak. It would look stunning in any bedroom with its simple, curved design and solid oak trims.

Birch – Birch is another common hardwood used in furniture production, it has a lovely light colour with a fine even texture. It is a popular wood choice for plywood as it offers considerable strength to weight ratio and is considered a fairly sustainable wood source. If you fancy a modern white birch wardrobe, take a look at the Lifetime Customisable 3 Door Wardrobe, the carcass is made from solid birch and you get to choose from a selection of different doors and handles.

Other hardwoods, such as mahogany, cherry and maple are also available however they can be difficult to work with or harder to come by, therefore making them a less favourable choice for wooden furniture.


As a general rule of thumb, softwoods are cheaper than hardwoods and are a more sustainable option making them a popular choice for many customers. Softwood is less durable and more prone to dings and dents, however as many designs come painted this can offer added protection.

Pine – Pine is one of the most common woods used in furniture making, it has a light finish with visible knots and rings which is part of the natural finish. Look out for pine that has been FSC certified as this offers reassurance that the wood has been responsibly sourced. Take a look at Woood, one of Cuckooland’s bestselling brands, for an extensive range of FSC certified wardrobes.

Plywood & MDF

Alongside hardwood and softwood other popular materials for wardrobes are plywood and MDF (medium density fibreboard). Known for their strength and durability, in some instances they can be a better choice of material when it comes to wardrobes.

MDF – Medium density fibreboard (MDF) is a high grade, composite material, made from recycled wood fibres and resin. MDF is machine dried and pressed to produce dense sheets that often perform better under heat and humidity variances than solid wood.

Vox, another of my favourite brands at Cuckooland, manufacture their wardrobes using various combinations of solid wood and laminated board. MDF wardrobes offer a durable and modern finish, such as this Vox Concept 3 Door Wardrobe in Grey & Blue with its contemporary coloured doors it will look great in any modern home.

Plywood – Plywood is material made from thin layers of wood that have been glued together, it can also be referred to as engineered wood. Plywood is extremely versatile and offers great durability when used for manufacturing furniture.

For the ultimate custom wardrobe, the Mathy by Bols Fusion 2 Door Wardrobe is made from birch plywood and comes in a choice of 26 colours.

Mathy by Bols Fusion 2 Door Wardrobe

Advantages of a Wooden Wardrobe

Wood has been a favoured choice of material for making furniture for hundreds of years, offering many benefits as well as character from the wood itself. Here are just a few advantages of wooden wardrobes;

  1. Timeless

Wooden wardrobes will never go out of style, they are a timeless piece of bedroom furniture, whether you’re looking for a vintage wooden wardrobe or a modern white wooden wardrobe – wood will never date.

  1. Easy to Maintain

Wooden wardrobes require very little maintenance, just keep away from direct sunlight, don’t get them wet (and don’t feed them after midnight!) and give them an occasional tickle with a duster and they’ll last for generations.

  1. Strength & Durability

If you’re investing in a new wardrobe for your bedroom, you’ll want it to last and also be able to cope with everything you want to stow in it! Wooden wardrobes are both strong and durable and will hopefully survive many years of use.

  1. Variety

Wooden wardrobes present a huge variety of choice, from 2 door wardrobes, triple wardrobes, corner wardrobes and sliding door wardrobes, you’re sure to find your perfect wooden wardrobe with so many to choose between.

  1. Environmentally Friendly

Wooden wardrobes are a super choice if you are eco conscious. Not only is wood a renewable material, it can be recycled and reused and its waste is 100% biodegradable. Plus, wood has a positive effect on your physical and mental health!

Vox Concept 3 Door Wardrobe in Grey & Blue

Disadvantages of a Wooden Wardrobe

With all the advantages listed above, it’s hard to conceive that there could be any disadvantages to buying a wooden wardrobe! Here are a few points to consider;

  1. Potential damage from Sun, Water or Temperature

Wood is susceptible to damage from UV rays, so if your wardrobe is placed in direct sun light, it may change colour. Water will stain natural wood and bear in mind that age, temperature, and environmental humidity are all factors that can make wood warp, preventing it from functioning properly.

  1. Prone to Surface Damage

Wood can be prone to dents and marks, particularly from sharp objects (top tip, don’t practice your karate kick when you’re wearing your jimmy choo stilettos!).

  1. Wood will show its Natural Characteristics

Being a natural material, wood has its own personality and this will show in terms of knots, grains and growth circles. While many people choose wood for this very reason (and see this as an advantage), if you’re looking for a smooth, uniform finish in your wardrobe, it may not be achievable with natural wood.

Now that we’ve covered all there is to know about wooden wardrobes, let’s take a look at their counterpart – metal wardrobes.

Lifetime Customisable 3 Door Wardrobe

Types of Metal Wardrobes

Metal furniture is becoming a more popular choice in our homes, historically chosen for our gardens, it’s now made its way inside and looks set to stay.

Iron and steel are extensively used in many wardrobe designs, a metal wardrobe will create a different style in your bedroom, with a more industrial look.

Most metal wardrobes will be finished in a powder coating as it’s much more scratch-resistant than paint and offers better protection from rusting.

Locker style wardrobes are very much on-trend, as seen here with the Metal Locker Style Wardrobe in Black by BePureHome, this modern closet is a whole new take on those drab school lockers!

Metal Locker Style Wardrobe in Black by BePureHome

Advantages of a Metal Wardrobe

  1. Extremely Durable

Metal, as a non-natural material, is extremely durable and hard wearing – it will literally last a lifetime! Being so tough, it’s harder to scratch and chip (although I still wouldn’t recommend the karate kick in stiletto’s!).

  1. Easy to Clean

Metal wardrobes are easy to clean, follow the manufacturers guidelines, however a swish over with a cloth should do it (for anyone who actually cleans their wardrobe!).

  1. Pet & Pest Resistant

Due to the surface of metal being cold and hard, you won’t find any unwelcome guests taking up residence in your wardrobe. Metal is also reasonably pet proof in comparison to wood, so your new wardrobe won’t double as a tempting spot for your puppy to relieve it’s troublesome teething!

Disadvantages of a Metal Wardrobe

  1. Less Choice

As metal wardrobes are still a fairly new concept, there is far less choice available in comparison to wooden wardrobes. If you’re not bothered by lining up endless possibilities then this shouldn’t put you off.

  1. Heavy

Depending on the type of metal used, a metal wardrobe could be considerably heavier than its wooden counterpart. This could make lifting it into situ a little more difficult and once in place it may be harder to move.

Storn Open Wardrobe

Hopefully you’ve found this exploration of wooden and metal wardrobes helpful, if you’re looking for some equally unique bedroom furniture to match your swanky new wardrobe feel free to explore the amazing selection available at Cuckooland.

For more wardrobe talk (and of course some charity shopping tips!) feel free to give our very stylish customer service team call +44 (0) 1305 231 231 or they’re super swift at responding to an email too.


With more than 8 years’ experience in providing advice and support to parents looking for their perfect kids bed, mother of 2, Nathalie Davis is passionate about helping children develop. In her role as Director of Product Procurement at Cuckooland, Nathalie has helped thousands of parents improve their children’s sleep and sleeping habits through the beds and mattresses she sources and the articles she writes. In her spare time she teaches her Golden Retriever to be a responsible vegetarian and is often spotted sifting through clothes at her local Charity Shops.

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