The Mango tree, a naturalised Australian timber

Mangifera indica (Mango)
Flickr photo by Forest and Kim Starr shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Mango wood is gaining popularity in the furniture industry due to its unique characteristics and sustainable nature. Known for its durability and aesthetic appeal, mango wood offers a versatile option for various applications. This guide looks into the uses and benefits of mango wood, providing a detailed overview of this remarkable material.

What is Mango Wood?

Mango wood is derived from the mango tree, scientifically known as Mangifera indica. While the tree is primarily cultivated for its fruit, the wood is also highly valued for its strength and beauty. Native to India, Myanmar, and other parts of East Asia, mango trees have also been domesticated in other regions, including Australia.

Mango trees grow rapidly, reaching maturity in about 15 years. Once the trees are no longer productive for fruit, they are harvested for their wood. This practice not only provides a sustainable source of lumber but also ensures that the trees are replaced regularly, contributing to environmental conservation.

Characteristics of Mango Wood

Physical Properties

Mango wood is known for its distinctive appearance. The heartwood typically ranges from golden brown to dark brown, often featuring streaks of yellow, pink, or black due to spalting. The sapwood is usually paler and not always clearly defined.

Grain and Texture

The grain of mango wood can be straight or interlocked, with a medium to coarse texture and a good natural lustre. Spalting, which occurs due to fungal infection, creates unique patterns and colours in the wood, making each piece distinct.

Hardness and Durability

Classified as a hardwood, mango wood is strong and durable. It has a Janka hardness rating of 1070 lbf, which places it between mahogany and oak in terms of hardness. This makes it suitable for various applications, including furniture and flooring.

Density and Weight

Mango wood has an average dried weight of 42 lbs/ft³ (675 kg/m³), making it relatively heavy and robust. This density contributes to its durability and resistance to wear and tear.

Benefits of Mango Wood


One of the most significant advantages of mango wood is its sustainability. Mango trees grow quickly, reaching maturity in about 15 years. Once they are no longer productive for fruit, they are harvested for their wood, and new trees are planted. This cycle ensures a continuous supply of wood without depleting natural resources.

Durability and Strength

Mango wood is a durable hardwood, comparable to ash and oak. It has maintained its natural lustre for years, making it an excellent choice for long-lasting furniture. Its strength and resistance to wear and tear make it ideal for heavy-use items like tables and chairs.

Aesthetic Appeal

The unique patterns and colours of mango wood, especially those caused by spalting, make it highly desirable for decorative purposes. Each piece of mango wood furniture has a distinct appearance, adding character and elegance to any space.


Mango wood is more affordable than many other hardwoods due to its rapid growth and sustainable harvesting practices. This makes it an attractive option for consumers looking for high-quality, eco-friendly furniture at a reasonable price.

Common Uses of Mango Wood


Mango wood is widely used in furniture making due to its strength, durability, and aesthetic appeal. Common items include tables, chairs, cabinets, and beds. The wood's unique grain and colour variations add a touch of uniqueness to each piece.

Home Decor Items

Mango wood is also popular for home decor items such as wall panelling, flooring, and beams. Its durability and resistance to wear make it suitable for high-traffic areas and heavy-use applications.

Musical Instruments

The strength and acoustic properties of mango wood make it an excellent material for crafting musical instruments, including ukuleles and guitars. Its unique grain patterns can also enhance the visual appeal of these instruments.

Kitchen Accessories

Mango wood is ideal for various kitchen accessories, including serving platters, chopping boards, and trays. Its resistance to water and durability make it a practical choice for items that require frequent use and cleaning.

Australian Mango Wood Salad Bowl

Here at Australian Woodwork, we offer a beautifully handcrafted 30cm salad bowl made from premium Australian mango wood. This versatile piece is perfect for serving salads, accommodating up to six people, and can double as a fruit bowl. Its elegant, classic design features a wide, shallow shape and a rolled rim, making it a stunning addition to any table setting. Each bowl showcases the unique grain and colour of mango wood, ensuring that no two pieces are exactly alike.

Australian Mango Wood 30cm Salad Bowl

Drawback of Mango Wood

While mango wood is durable, it is prone to damage from environmental factors such as extreme heat and prolonged sunlight exposure. These conditions can cause the wood to dehydrate, leading to cracks and splits. To prevent this, it is essential to keep mango wood furniture away from direct heat sources and sunlight. Regular moisturizing with furniture polish can also help maintain its integrity.

Caring for Mango Wood

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

To maintain the beauty and durability of mango wood, it is important to follow proper cleaning and maintenance routines. Here are some tips:

Dust Regularly: Use a soft, dry cloth to dust your mango wood furniture regularly. Avoid using paper towels, which can be abrasive.

Wipe with Damp Cloth: For deeper cleaning, wipe the surface with a damp cloth. Ensure the cloth is not too wet to prevent water damage.

Avoid Liquid Cleaners: Refrain from using liquid cleaners or mild detergents, as they can dry out the wood and cause discolouration.

Polish Occasionally: Apply furniture polish to keep the wood moisturized and to maintain its natural lustre.

Recommended Products for Polishing and Moisturizing

Using the right products can significantly extend the lifespan of your mango wood furniture. Look for high-quality furniture polish and wax specifically designed for hardwood. These products will help protect the wood from drying out and enhance its natural beauty.

Guidelines for Avoiding Damage and Extending Lifespan

Keep Away from Heat Sources: Place mango wood furniture away from direct heat sources, such as radiators and fireplaces.

Avoid Direct Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause fading and cracking. Use curtains or blinds to protect furniture from direct sunlight.

Use Protective Pads: Place protective pads under heavy items to prevent scratches and dents.

Mango Wood vs. Other Woods

Comparative Analysis with Other Popular Hardwoods

When comparing mango wood with other popular hardwoods, several factors come into play, including durability, appearance, and cost.

Oak: Oak is known for its exceptional durability and strength. It has a slightly higher Janka hardness rating (1290 lbf) than mango wood, making it more resistant to dents and scratches. However, oak is generally more expensive and takes longer to mature.

Teak: Teak is highly prized for its durability and resistance to water and pests. It has a similar density to mango wood but is often more expensive due to its slower growth rate and limited availability.

Mahogany: Mahogany is another popular hardwood with a Janka hardness rating of 800 lbf, making it less durable than mango wood. It is known for its rich, dark colour and fine grain but is typically more expensive.

Advantages and Disadvantages in Various Applications

Furniture: Mango wood offers a unique blend of durability, affordability, and aesthetic appeal, making it an excellent choice for furniture. While oak and teak may offer higher durability, they come at a higher cost.

Home Decor: For wall panelling and flooring, mango wood provides a distinctive look with its unique grain patterns and spalting. It is also more affordable compared to other hardwoods.

Musical Instruments: Mango wood's acoustic properties make it suitable for crafting instruments. However, it may not be as durable as teak for outdoor use.

Kitchen Accessories: Mango wood's resistance to water makes it ideal for kitchen items. Its unique appearance adds a touch of elegance to everyday objects.


Mango wood stands out as a versatile, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing material for various applications. Its rapid growth and renewability make it an eco-friendly choice, while its durability and unique grain patterns add value and beauty to furniture and home decor items. By understanding its characteristics, benefits, and proper care methods, you can fully appreciate the advantages of incorporating mango wood into your home.

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