The most straightforward categorization for wood can be done between hardwood and softwood. However, these terms have nothing to do with the actual hardness of the wood. In simple terms, flowering trees are hardwoods, and conifers are softwoods. Indeed, most of the hardwoods are harder than the softwoods, but softwoods are more readily available as the trees grow faster.
As mentioned above, the softwoods grow much faster and, therefore, are more readily available as compared to hardwoods. Ready availability also makes them cheaper. These are also easier to work with. Some of the most common softwoods used for bed frames are:
Cedar: Cedar is available in colors ranging from brown to white. It is the preferred wood type for outdoor furniture, and the Eastern red Cedar is known for its natural moth repellent properties.
White Pine: It is really easy to work with and is readily available. One of the biggest problems with this type is that it warps, swells, and shrinks easily. Also, the older pieces made of this type of wood show early wear due to the softness of the wood.
Yellow Pine: Since this type is grainy, it does not offer an excellent finish; therefore, it is mostly used on the inside. It is available in various colors ranging from yellow to orange.
On a comparative basis, hardwoods are much more durable and also more expensive than the softwoods. Therefore, buyers highly value wood furniture made of oak, walnut, teak, maple, cherry, and mahogany. Some of the most common hardwoods used for bed frames are:
Maple: It does not warp, shrink, or swell easily, and it is durable. It is not easy to carve and can be dyed. It is available in both soft and hard varieties. Soft maple comes from silver or red maple trees, and it is not as durable as the hard maple wood. However, it stains rather easily than the hard maple wood. On the other hand, hard maple is available from sugar or black maple trees.
Cherry: It is very popular for decorative work as it can be easily carved, but it does not shrink, swell or warp easily. It is usually reddish-brown in color.
Oak: IIt is also easy to carve and is resistant to shrinking, swelling, and warping. Its ready availability and ease in carving make it a popular choice. It ranges from light pink-brown to white.
Walnut: It is another easy to carve hardwood that is available in dark grayish-brown color.
Other than the original woods, composites are also used for making beds. These are human-made, and the prices and quality vary a lot. Most of the time, these are used for crafting the furniture backs as well as shelving. The two most common types of composites are:
Plywood: It does not shrink, warp, or swell quickly. Plywood is typically made by gluing wood sheets together under heat and pressure. It is usually white to tan in color. It can be easily shaped and bent.
Particleboard: It is made from sawdust, resin/glue, and small wood chips. It splits easily and is an option for cheap furniture. It isn’t guaranteed for life-like authentic wood is.