The effect of compressive pretreatment before chemical pulping on the properties of poplar kraft and soda-AQ pulp was evaluated. Compressive pretreatment not only resulted in the dissolution of hemicellulose, but also leached extractives. Pulps made from compressive pretreated wood chips required lower beating energy than the untreated pulps to achieve the same beating degree of 45°SR, and the brightness of the handsheets was improved by 2% ISO. Compressive pretreatment allowed for efficient delignification and saved about 6% alkali consumption to achieve similar pulp screen yield. Furthermore, a higher content of fines and slightly lower mechanical properties were observed after the compressive treatment.