Recognizing Quality – What You Should Pay Attention to When Buying Furniture

Furniture should last a long time. You don’t usually buy them for just one season. Good quality is important so that your new acquisition does not show signs of wear after a short time . In this article you will find out which quality features you should pay attention to so that you can enjoy your dream furniture for a long time.

Cupboard or shelf – quality is in the details

Whether cupboards or shelves of any kind: quality furniture can be recognized by the details. The perfect wardrobe is in front of you. Everything looks fine, just as you wished. Color, size, interior design – everything according to your ideas. But is everything really good?

What You Should Pay Attention to When Buying Furniture

Living room shelf with doors

You should pay attention to the following details:

  • What material are the cabinet or shelf panels made of?
  • How strong and therefore stable should cupboard and shelf panels be?
  • Are the edges of the shelves or wooden panels glued?
  • Do the drawers run smoothly and close quietly?
  • Do the doors hang straight and close without banging?
  • Are all fittings made of high-quality material?
  • Can you reorder furniture parts and will the piece of furniture survive a move?

What you should know about the material of cupboard or shelf panels

If it is not solid wood furniture, quality furniture is usually made of chipboard or MDF boards and then equipped with different surfaces. This means that they are lacquered in various colors with a glossy or matt finish, veneered with real wood, fitted with glass fronts and mirrors or given decorative fronts.

The wood-based panels for our furniture

Quality features of chipboard and MDF boards

Particle board is made from small pieces of wood, i.e. wood chips, and binding agents. These are wood residues from woodworking and processing, recycled waste wood, branch wood or thinning wood without bast and bark. Depending on the orientation and size of the chips, a distinction is made between long pressboards, which are often used for floor coverings, and flat pressboards, which are used in the furniture industry. With these, the chips are pressed in at least three to five layers to form multi-layer panels. The inner layers consist of coarser chips, the outer layers of fine chip material. This ensures smooth surfaces, which can then be further processed decoratively.

MDF boards are medium-density fibreboards made from finely defibrated coniferous wood. They are more stable and also heavier than chipboard because the wood chips used are much smaller and can be pressed much more densely. They are more homogeneous in composition. MDF boards are often used for furniture that is exposed to higher loads.

What does emission class according to standard 1 mean?

Binding agents for wood chips are the so-called wood glues. These are adhesive mixtures of different composition. They consist of combinations of urea, melamine and phenol-formaldehyde adhesives. Inexpensive chipboard is usually glued with a urea-formaldehyde mixture that is not resistant to swelling. If liquid penetrates, these chipboards swell quickly. Urea-based adhesives with melamine resin are resistant to swelling.

About 10 percent of wood glue is in the chip mixture. Formaldehyde is released when the chipboard hardens. Emission classes indicate the level of these emissions. Emission class 1, which is standard in western and central Europe, means that the emission content is less than 0.01 percent. You should therefore inquire about the emission class of the chipboard used when buying your piece of furniture.

Where does the wood that is used in your dream furniture come from?

The origin of the chipboard is also a quality feature. Cheap furniture is often made in China, including the chipboard. The chipboard for this comes mostly from Eastern Europe and is often obtained from fresh wood, which contributes to a poor ecological balance. Wood preservatives may be added. The emission class is often unclear. The origin of the chipboard used in this cheap furniture is usually not documented or traceable.

This is different with quality furniture. Manufacturers of high-quality chipboard and MDF boards guarantee transparency regarding the origin of the wood and stand for sustainable, climate-friendly production of the wood-based panels.

Most of the chip wood used comes from quality manufacturers

  • from renewable raw materials and
  • from by-products of the sawmill industry,
  • and is of regional origin from Germany. obtains its chipboard and MDF boards exclusively from companies that meet the quality standards mentioned. These are, for example, the renowned manufacturers Egger and Pfleiderer , who stand for high-quality processing of their wood-based panels. In the production of only wood-based materials are processed that bear the FSC seal. You can find out more about the seal here. The chipboard and MDF boards are finished with a variety of surfaces: decors in uni colors or lacquer finishes in over 190 RAL colors, wood decors and real wood veneers. You will also find elegant surfaces made of real glass and fronts that can be mirrored or glazed.

How strong should the walls and shelves of your furniture be?

Another sign of good quality furniture is the thickness of the wooden panels that make up the cabinets or shelves. They should have a thickness of 19 millimeters. This means that they have sufficient stability and do not sag under heavy loads. The shelves and shelves should not be longer than 90 centimeters with a thickness of 19 millimeters.

Rear panels 8 mm thick

Shelves 19 mm thick

When can floors that are 25 millimeters thick be allowed?

A thickness of 25 millimeters makes sense for heavy loads, such as a well -stocked bookshelf , or if the shelf or shelf is longer than 90 centimeters. This option should always be offered with high-quality furniture. The back wall of a cabinet should have a thickness of 8 millimeters. This ensures stability.

Lower-quality furniture usually has bottoms that are between 12 and 16 millimeters thick because they are cheaper. For good resilience, they should not be wider than 80 centimeters. This is often not the case. Even such thin floors and boards are often 100 centimeters long or even more. So these floors or shelves sag after a short time under heavy loads. The back wall of cheap cabinets is usually only 3-4 millimeters thick.

The cupboards and shelves from have a standard board thickness of 19 millimeters, which can withstand a load of up to 150 kilograms. For heavier loads, shelves of 25 millimeters are also available. The cabinet back panels are always 8 millimeters thick and grooved into the cabinet body. This means that the rear wall is pushed into a recess milled all around and not nailed on from the outside. This makes the cabinets very stable and resilient. Since all decors are also available in 8 millimeters thickness, there is a suitable rear panel for every decor. You could also use your closet as a room divider. It looks just as stylish in the back as it does in the front.

Are the edges of the shelves and panels glued?

If the cut edges of the chipboard or MDF panels of the cupboards and shelves are not covered with a protective layer, moisture can easily penetrate and the panels swell. Quality furniture is always covered with a protective layer, an edge band.

A distinction is made between simple edge bands coated with melamine and ABS edge bands. The former are glued or ironed on. Since melamine is not very elastic, it can easily crack when hit.

ABS edge bands are clearly the better solution here. ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is a plastic with a high surface hardness, but it is very elastic and therefore resilient and resistant. The ABS edges are between one and three millimeters thick.

With cheap furniture, the edges of the panels are often not glued at all or only on the front edges. If at all, simple and sharp-edged bracket edgings with a thickness of only half a millimeter are used.

At, all edges that are not covered after assembly are consistently coated in the matching decor with ABS edge banding, including on the rear wall. The entire plate looks like it was made of one piece. The edges are slightly bevelled, creating a modern “angular” look, but there are still no sharp edges. Bathroom and kitchen furniture is additionally glued in the base area to prevent swelling due to moisture penetration. In addition, a PUR adhesive is used for the edging, which is significantly more waterproof than the EVA adhesive that is usually used.

Do the drawers run smoothly and close quietly?

You can recognize high-quality drawers by their ease of movement. They can be opened noiselessly by built-in dampers and close gently and do not tilt. In addition, they are usually equipped with a full extension, so they can be pulled out completely. So you can also easily remove objects lying behind. The push-to-open technique is used for drawers without handles. They can be opened and closed with a light touch.

Sturdy drawers with branded rails and full extension.
Cheap drawers usually do not extend fully and are often equipped with thin bottoms that often sag. Even if they seem to run smoothly when empty, they can still get stuck when loaded. A load test makes sense here by loading the drawer as a test.

The drawers from are solid and stable. With a thickness of eight millimeters, the floor is very resilient. The drawers are pre-assembled so that everything fits perfectly. In addition, they are equipped with one of the highest quality extensions available on the market from Blum . The guide system has a synchronized floating action for silent and easy opening and closing. Low-wear plastic rollers ensure optimal weight distribution. The cushioning allows the drawers to close gently, even when pushed shut. Even with wide or high drawers with heavy contents, the functionality of the pull-out is always guaranteed.

Do the doors hang straight and close without slamming?

When it comes to the closet doors, you should make sure that they hang straight and close gently and quietly. The decisive quality feature for this are the hinges used. These should be adjustable in three directions to allow the doors to hang straight. The hinges should allow the door to open more than 90 degrees. High-quality hinges also have damping, which ensures that they close quietly.

3-way branded hinge

wide angle hinge

You can tell bad quality by cheap hinges that are difficult to adjust, that are not cushioned and usually not very durable. only uses Blum brand hinges. They are also called cup hinges or cup hinges and have an opening angle of 110 degrees, even 170 degrees if required. The pot hinges are made of steel and consist of a pot, a base plate and a hinge arm that connects both parts. A damping mechanism is integrated in the hinge cup. The doors can be flexibly adjusted, always hang vertically and can always be closed quietly.

Are all other fittings made of high-quality material?

Drawer handles

Furniture fittings are all connecting, functional or operating elements, mostly made of metal, that used to be attached to wooden components with nails, i.e. fitted with nails.

In addition to the door hinges already mentioned, this includes connecting elements, handles, flaps or drawer runner systems. Good quality fittings ensure that your piece of furniture is highly functional and durable. For example, pay attention to the handles of your dream furniture. Do they look sturdy and are they made of quality material? Or are they cheap looking plastic handles that wear out easily? provides you with robust and durable handles in attractive designs to match your desired look. You can reorder or exchange them at any time to give your piece of furniture a slightly different look.

Can you reorder furniture parts and will your piece of furniture survive a move?

With quality furniture, you should be able to reorder shelves, cupboard doors or fittings. If your closet or shelf is easy to assemble with good instructions, it should be just as easy to disassemble for a move.

This is usually not the case with poor quality furniture. Thin floors or cheap fittings make it difficult to dismantle and reassemble again.

With the made-to-measure furniture from, you can not only reorder handles, but also shelves and entire cabinet fronts. The cupboards and shelves are very easy to dismantle and reassemble because of their high-quality construction and equipment. In this way, your custom-made piece of furniture can accompany you throughout your life.

Recognizing Quality