Mango wood is a dense and strong tropical hardwood. It is often used for furniture, veneer and flooring. Mango wood comes from the mango tree that was brought to the Caribbean in the 17th century.
The best way to buy mango wood is from a reputable retailer or supplier. Make sure you ask about the origin of the wood because there are many types of mango trees and only some produce high-quality hardwoods. The most expensive type comes from India and has a pinkish tinge, which makes it prized for furniture making. A less expensive variety is light brown in color with stripes, found mainly in Central America.
This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure for all the details.
What is mango wood and what are its uses?
The mango tree (Mangifera indica) is a native fruit-bearing tree of the Indian subcontinent and has been cultivated throughout South Asia for thousands of years. The wood from its trunk and branches is known as ‘mango wood’ or ‘mango heartwood’. Today it is used to make furniture, musical instruments, replicas of antique furniture, and for many other applications.
What is the history of mango wood?
Mango wood was traditionally used in houses across India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, to make doors, window frames, beams, and pillars. The quality of mango wood was so high that it was often used to construct important buildings such as palaces, temples, and mosques.
Mango wood is also known as bead-board (in the west), and was used to make furniture in both India and Britain during the Victorian era (1837–1901). In those days, all types of timber were scarce, so mango wood was imported from India to make bedroom furniture like wardrobes and chests of drawers, as well as occasional furniture like card tables. It was prized for its durability, beauty, and strength.
Why do you use mango wood?
Mango wood is sustainable—it grows fast in the tropics, is abundant, and is easy to harvest, making it a cheap and environmentally friendly option for luxury furniture. It is also hardwood, so it can be sanded and polished to make soft furnishings for the living room, bedroom, or even the kitchen.
What are the best types of mango wood?
There are over 100 different varieties of mango trees worldwide, but only three main species: Alphonso (the king of mangos), Dashehari, and Kesar. The Alphonso variety, considered the best type of mango wood, is grown in Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Goa.
How do you harvest mango wood?
Mango trees are usually felled between June and September when they’re fruiting or flowering—this will ensure that the trees produce fruit in future years. In India, felled mango trees are stripped of branches and foliage and left for about six months to dry out. During this seasoning period, the sap from the wood gradually evaporates which makes it easier to work with; this process also improves its durability when exposed to water or moisture.
Why you should buy from a reputable retailer or supplier?
Today, there is a lot of timber and wood on the market that has been illegally logged. In most countries where mango trees are grown, plantations operate under strict Forest Department licenses, and only authorized employees can process or cut tree trunks for commercial use. Buying from reputable retailers will ensure that you avoid illegal timber products and supports sustainable plantation forestry.
How to tell if your mango wood is high-quality or low quality
High-quality mango wood is a honey brown color, with fine texture and grain. The tree will have been felled between June and September (to ensure fruit production in years to come), seasoned for six months, cut into planks, and sanded by hand before polishing.
No-quality mango wood has dark patches, is coarse-textured, and has an uneven grain. The tree will have been felled after January (when the mangoes are harvested), seasoned for at least three months, cut into planks, and sanded by machine before finishing.
mango wood care
Mango wood furniture pros and cons
PROS: Mango wood is popular with interior designers for its light, fruity fragrance. It’s also hardwood which means it takes on a polish well and resists scratching. Because of this, mango wood furniture can last you several lifetimes. It’s also easy to care for—simply dust occasionally with a dry cloth or mop and wax or lacquer as needed.
CONS: Though durable, mango wood can still become scratched and damaged over time if not cared for properly. Follow the suggested cleaning instructions above to protect your furniture from moisture and damage. Avoid using harsh chemicals, ammonia, and bleach which may stain and weaken the wood.
The best way to care for mango wood
Wipe with a dry cloth or mop occasionally to clean. Avoid using harsh chemicals, ammonia, and bleach, which may stain the wood. Wipe spills straight away with a damp cloth; then wipe again with a dry cloth. Avoid exposing the furniture to moisture. Use a high-quality varnish or wax as needed.
Mango wood vs teak wood
Teakwood and Mango are both hardwoods that are similar in appearance but vary in quality. Teak has a more yellowish-greyish tone to it while the mango has a sweeter redder orange tone.
Mango wood is a sustainable building material and can be used to create furniture. You might want to consider using mango wood if you’re looking for an environmentally-friendly option, or if you just want a stylish piece of furniture in your home that will last a lifetime.