When researching the best shutters for your home, you’ll likely encounter composite alternatives to real wood—PVC and MDF shutters. The array of retailers and products available can be overwhelming, but not all shutters are created equally. Our expert guide compares PVC and MDF shutters to help you make an informed decision. With over 25,000 shutters installed, we have the experience to cover all the bases.

Exploring MDF Shutters

MDF shutters are crafted from Medium-Density Fibreboard, an engineered wood composite bonded with resin and compressed under high pressure. They are enhanced with a high-quality polymer coating, offering practical benefits for everyday use.


  • World’s most popular selling shutters.
  • Patented and manufactured by global leaders in shutter manufacturing.
  • Consistent quality across retailers.
  • Cost-effective for small to medium-sized windows.
  • Hardwearing and easy-to-clean polymer finish, resistant to bumps, chips, and scratches.
  • Approximately 30% cheaper than high-quality plastic shutters (compared to ABS plastic).
  • High-quality finish, often indistinguishable from expensive wood shutters.
  • Always custom-made to measure.


  • Not 100% waterproof, though they can withstand average condensation.
  • Not suitable for large windows or designs requiring many bi-folding panels (additional support may be required).
  • Limited design options—not available for solid panels or shaped shutters.


Exploring PVC Shutters

PVC shutters, also known as faux wood shutters, are versatile and durable. They are ideal for areas requiring frequent heavy cleaning, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Constructed with metal cores and finished with PVC, they offer numerous benefits.


  • Highly resistant to moisture, perfect for high-humidity areas like bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Durable and resistant to bumps, chips, and scratches.
  • Easy to clean, even with excessive water.
  • Flame retardant—hollow metal core reduces combustible material.
  • Cost-effective for small to medium-sized windows.
  • Capable of creating very wide shutter panels.
  • Suitable for any room.
  • Good option for commercial properties


  • Quality and price vary widely among manufacturers.
  • Often has a plastic appearance, which may not provide a high-end finish.
  • Hollow construction reducing their insulating capacity


Appearance and aesthetic appeal of PVC and MDF Shutters

To best compare the two products before making a decision, it is best to have the two side by side. From the thousands of customers we have served, most cannot distinguish between MDF and more expensive wooden shutters. The finish of PVC shutters can vary widely and most look plasticky and many do not match the high-end appearance of custom-made products. MDF shutters generally benefit from superior construction methods and hardware, resulting in a higher quality finish.


Comparing Durability: PVC vs. MDF Shutters

Both MDF and PVC shutters are super hardwearing and resistant to superficial damage such as scratches, dents, chips and scrapes. Both shall not look worn over time as hardwood shutters may over the years.

MDF is finished with a polymer coating (a lot like a kitchen cupboard) which does resist some amount of moisture. However, if there is an excessive amount of water and is able to penetrate the polymer and reach the MDF it will swell and deteriorate the shutters, whereas we do not have this worry with PVC.

Although MDF can resist some moisture, we do not recommend MDF for bathrooms or for windows that suffer with excessive condensation.

Is there a weight difference? Is that an issue?

MDF is a solid, dense product and PVC is comprised of metal internally, making both MDF and PVC shutters heavy weighing products. As long as your shutters have been correctly designed and installed this should never be an issue however, there may be some limitations in the design of your shutters. If the weight is identified to be an issue for your windows, then neither of these composite materials will be suitable. Lightweight hardwood shutters, such as basswood or paulownia, should be explored.

As a rule of thumb, any shutter over 3m high is likely to require hardwood.


What is the price of MDF shutters vs PVC shutters?

A big question but also very important! Budget will no doubt play a key role when you are looking for shutters. Our MDF shutters are generally 10% cheaper than PVC. However, as ABS is our preferred plastic, due to its superior aesthetic appeal, this is about 20% more expensive than MDF.

There are many manufacturers of PVC shutters, often calling them faux wood with varying levels of quality and price. We would be very cautious buying from online stores without physically examining the different materials, for the most particular of eyes. Some PVC shutters are manufactured in the UK, made with limited designs which you can expect to pay around £300 per m2. For more information on the cost of shutters view our article on How Much do Shutters Cost. Or if you have measurements, you can use our Online Calculator for a more accurate price.


Is PVC the Best Material for Shutters?

The choice between PVC and MDF depends on your individual needs and budget. PVC’s primary advantage is its moisture resistance, making it essential for bathrooms or areas with high humidity. However, PVC shutters often look like plastic, which may not be aesthetically pleasing for everyone. At London Interior Shutters, we prefer ABS for waterproof applications due to its higher tensile strength and superior appearance compared to PVC. Despite this, PVC shutters are more budget-friendly than ABS shutters.


Which shutters do we recommend at London Interior Shutters?

In a nutshell, we want something cost effective but equally something that is designed and built to last a lifetime. If moisture is not a consideration, then MDF is a great option. If moisture is an issue, PVC is going to offer a more cost effective shutter. If we want the best quality finish and the shutters to be waterproof, then ABS is great.

A site assessment of your windows should be carried out and a discussion with the potential customer to understand their needs and wants from shutters, to make the best, informed recommendation. Contact us today and we’ll happily guide you through the process to a gorgeous set of shutters!

Contact London Interior Shutters.

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