Skip to Content

What is mango wood similar to?

Mango wood, also known as Mango tree wood, refers to lumber that comes from mango trees (Mangifera indica). It is a popular furniture wood that is often compared to woods like oak, maple, cherry and mahogany. Mango wood has a straight grain and a naturally golden hue that deepens over time as the wood oxidizes and matures. It is a moderately dense hardwood that is strong, stable and resistant to termites and fungi.

Mango wood has a similar appearance and working properties as many higher-end North American hardwoods, but it comes at a more affordable price point. This makes it an attractive option for furniture manufacturers, artisans and hobbyists looking for an economical alternative to domestic hardwoods.

In this article, we’ll take a close look at mango wood and how it compares to other common furniture woods in terms of appearance, characteristics and uses. Some key points we’ll cover include:


When freshly cut, mango wood has a pale yellow color. As it is exposed to light and oxygen, it darkens to a warm golden or medium brown tone comparable to oak or maple. Mango wood typically has a straight grain, but some figured grain patterns can occur. Overall, it has a uniform texture and a matte luster when smoothly sanded.

Here’s a quick visual comparison of mango wood to other common hardwoods:

Oak – Very similar golden brown color in the middle range. Oak has a more pronounced grain pattern.

Maple – Lighter in color than mango wood, with a pale creamy white to light brown tone. Has a more subdued grain.

Cherry – Starts rosy pink when fresh but darkens to a rich, warm red-brown. Cherry has a more distinctive grain pattern.

Mahogany – Variable color range from pale pinkish brown to a deeper reddish brown. Grain is usually straight or interlocked.

Teak – Has a yellow-brown to dark golden brown color. Straight grain with natural oils that give it a distinctive look.

So while not an exact match to any one wood, mango wood falls within the color range of light to medium brown tones found in oak, maple, mahogany and other common hardwoods used in furniture. Visually it shares some similarities with all of them.


Beyond color and grain patterns, some other key characteristics of mango wood are:

Density and Hardness – Mango wood has a slighty higher density than oak. It rates about 900 kg/m3 on the Janka hardness scale, compared to North American red oak which rates at about 860 kg/m3. This makes it a moderately dense hardwood suitable for furniture and flooring.

Stability – The wood stability of mango wood is considered good, with minimal expansion and contraction through humidity changes. This prevents excessive cracking or warping.

Workability – Mango wood machines well, allowing clean cuts when sawing, routing, drilling, etc. It sands to a very smooth surface and takes most stains and finishes evenly. Overall it’s easy to work with using both hand and power tools.

Durability – Natural resistance to wood decay makes it last longer than less durable woods like pine. It holds up well over time.

Sustainability – Mango trees are abundant, regenerate quickly, and wood is harvested from plentiful plantation sources. This makes mango a sustainable, eco-friendly wood choice.

So in terms of technical qualities, mango wood stacks up nicely against traditional North American hardwoods. It offers comparable performance across most metrics and excels in some areas like stability and workability.


Because of its attractive appearance and versatile characteristics, mango wood is well suited for a variety of furniture and wood product applications:

Furniture Use Comments
Cabinets Works well for both frame and frameless cabinet construction. Takes stains and paint evenly.
Tables A good choice for dining tables, coffee tables, end tables. Stains to coordinate with other woods.
Chairs Durable enough for chair frames and legs. Turns and carves well for ornamental details.
Beds Makes attractive and sturdy bed frames. Coordinates well with other lighter woods.
Bookcases Holds up to heavy books. Finishes nicely to match other cabinetry.
Office furniture Works for desktops, filing cabinets, shelving. Affordable alternative to oak or maple.

Beyond furniture, mango wood is also commonly used for:

– Architectural millwork like mouldings, trims and panels
– Turned wood crafts and objects
– Carved decorative pieces
– Small specialty wood items
– Cutting boards and kitchenware
– Flooring planks

So whether building furniture from scratch or refinishing an existing piece, mango wood can be substituted for oak, maple and other hardwoods traditionally used in cabinetmaking and carpentry. It’s very flexible and can be integrated seamlessly into many furniture styles from contemporary to traditional.

Comparison to Specific Woods

Now that we’ve looked broadly at mango wood’s general characteristics, let’s drill down and get more specific comparing it directly against several of the most popular furniture hardwoods.

Mango Wood vs. Oak

– Workability – both are easy to machine and sand
– Durability – both are quite dense and weather damage well
– Color – mid range light to medium brown tones

– Grain – oak has a more open and pronounced grain pattern
– Cost – mango is typically 30-50% cheaper
– Supply – oak is mostly North American, mango imported

When to choose:
– Mango – For a smoother, tighter grain at a lower cost
– Oak – For projects where the oak grain pattern is preferred

Mango Wood vs. Maple

– Hardness – Both rate high on the Janka scale for hardness
– Smoothness – They sand to a silky smooth surface
– Workability – Excellent machining and finishing qualities

– Color – Maple has a light creamy white tone, mango is darker
– Grain – Maple has a tighter, finer grain
– Cost – Mango is more affordable

When to choose:
– Mango – When a maple look is desired but cost is a concern
– Maple – For a lighter colored wood with negligible grain or figuring

Mango Wood vs. Mahogany

– Color – In a similar range from light to reddish brown
– Grain – Both predominantly have a straight grain pattern
– Durability – They resist rot, fungi and insects well

– Density – Mahogany is slightly less dense and hard
– Cost – Mango wood is significantly cheaper
– Supply – Mahogany woods are imported from tropical sources

When to choose:
– Mango – As an affordable alternative to imported mahogany
– Mahogany – When a pinkish undertone or exotic look is preferred

Mango Wood vs. Cherry

– Workability – Both machine and finish very smoothly
– Uses – Suitable for the same furniture and millwork

– Color – Cherry starts pinkish and ages to a richer reddish brown.
– Grain – Cherry has a more varied grain pattern.
– Cost – Mango is the budget-friendly choice.

When to choose:
– Mango – If cost savings is important and a neutral tone is desired
– Cherry – For deeper, warmer red tones and interesting grain figure

So in direct comparisons to other woods, we can see mango holds it own in terms of workability, durability and uses. The main advantages are its very attractive pricing and neutral tone that complements both lighter and darker woods equally well.

Price Comparison

One of the primary reasons many furniture makers, woodworkers and manufacturers utilize mango wood is its cost savings over traditional domestic hardwoods from North America. Here’s a general price comparison per board foot of lumber:

Wood Type Price Per Board Foot
Mango $2 – $4
Red Oak $3 – $6
Hard Maple $3 – $7
Cherry $5 – $9
Walnut $8 – $12

As you can see, mango wood comes in at the lowest price point per board foot. This represents a cost savings of 30-50% or more compared to domestic hardwoods like oak, maple and cherry. The savings become very significant when purchasing lumber for manufacturing furniture on a large scale.

Of course, exact lumber prices vary over time as supply and demand fluctuates. But mango wood consistently offers the budget-friendly option without sacrificing quality or workability.

Environmental Sustainability

In addition to its affordability, mango wood also provides environmental advantages:

Abundant Supply – Mango trees are cultivated worldwide in tropical regions. They are quite prolific and mango plantations produce abundant wood.

Fast Regeneration – Mango trees grow quickly, reaching maturity for harvest in just 5-10 years. This yields a renewable supply.

Efficient Processing – Wood is harvested from trees once fruit production declines. The whole tree can be utilized for various lumber grades and yields almost no waste.

Less Energy Intensive – Imported mango wood travels far shorter distances than North American hardwoods, requiring less fuel for shipping.

So using mango wood promotes sustainable forestry practices and reduces some of the environmental impacts compared to domestically sourced lumber. When imported from reputable suppliers, it provides a green materials option.


Mango wood offers an affordable, eco-friendly alternative to traditional North American hardwoods with comparable strength, workability and visual appeal. It shares many similarities with oak, maple, cherry and mahogany in terms of color, grain, durability and suitable furniture applications. The main advantages of mango wood are cost savings, sustainability, and the versatility to complement both light and dark woods equally well. So if you’re looking for an economical hardwood option, give eco-friendly mango wood consideration for your next woodworking or furniture project.