An important part of landscaping is what they eye perceives. Gravel can create either an austere look or a very manicured look, depending how its used. On the other hand, wood chips create a more natural, woodsy look. Wood chips can make a sitting area more inviting and give it a cooler feel, especially during hot summer months. Gravel offers more options for decorating, such as different colors, sizes and shapes.
While both gravel and wood chips provide weed control, gravel is slightly better at preventing weed growth when it's placed in a thick layer. Wood chips are better at retaining moisture in the ground, which is good for nearby plants, but also encourages certain types of weeds. Removing weeds, however, is often easier in places covered with wood chips because the soil remains soft.
Eventually, gravel and wood chips will both need to be replaced or refreshed by adding additional layers, but wood chips need replaced more often. They blow away, float away in rain and work into the soil faster than gravel does. Gravel, on the other hand, can be more difficult when it comes to removing debris like fall leaves, twigs and leaves, and a lot of gravel can be lost during cleanup.