© 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature. We discuss the stability of hidden and open heavy-flavor hadronic states made of either two or three mesons. References are made in passing to studies regarding two and three-body systems containing baryons. We perform a comparative study analyzing the results in terms of quark and hadron degrees of freedom. Compact and molecular states are found to exist in very specific situations. We estimate the decay width for the different scenarios: weak decays for bound states by the strong interaction, and strong decays for hadronic resonances above a decay threshold. The experimental observation of narrow hadrons lying well above their lowest decay threshold is theoretically justified.