The paper treats the processes involved in wood densification and provides a summary of the state-of-the-art, as presented in the literature, with regard to densification as achieved by compression, accompanied by some form of hydrothermal treatment. The viscoelastic nature of wood is discussed, togetherwith its thermal softening and typical stress-strain relationships. The properties of densified wood products depend, apart from processing parameters, on various anatomical features such as density, the percentage of late wood material, ray volume and the loading direction. The problems associated with wood stabilization after densification are also treated. Relevant examples of wood densification from fundamental research, and the results of applied studies significant for everyday practice, are presented. Aspecial focus is given on the process of viscoelastic thermal compression (VTC) of wood.