To buy quality furniture, choose furniture that is made from solid wood or at least nine layers of ply wood, and avoid furniture with knots, as it is more likely to crack. Furniture made from particleboard, fiberboard, pressed wood and pine should also be avoided.
Look for furniture that is made out of wood that is resistant to scratches. One way to test a piece of furniture's resistance to scratches is by gently scratching the wood with a fingernail to see if it leaves a mark. It may be necessary to use a flashlight to see a minor dent. If a mark is left, the furniture is not resistant to wear.
It is a good idea to avoid furniture with joints constructed with nails or staples. If glue is visible near the joints, the furniture is probably low quality. Joints that are held together with dowels or screws are ideal. Mortise-and-tenon joints and dovetail joints are commonly found on quality furniture.
The cushions on quality furniture usually have a density rating of 1.8 pounds or more. Cushions that are made only from foam tend to be less comfortable and more susceptible to damage. Quality cushions often have foam cushions that are wrapped in cotton, dacron or down. Quality cushions may also have a protective inner cover, which is often made from muslin.