Mango wood furniture pros and cons

Photo of a mango wood cut with mango fruit on top. Mango wood furniture pros and cons.

When buying furniture for the home, you want to invest in pieces that look great, function well, and last a long time. One of the most common materials for household furniture is mango wood.

But is mango wood any good? The answer is yes! Mango wood is an excellent choice for furniture due to its durability, affordability, water resistance, and appealing aesthetic.

Read on to find out more about the mango wood furniture pros and cons.

What Is Mango Wood? 

As you may have guessed, mango wood comes from the mango tree. The tree is a part of the Anacardiaceae family and is well-loved for its production of sweet fruits. 

Mango wood is classed as a hardwood because of its dense grain, and as such, it’s commonly used in furniture making.

How Do I Identify Mango Wood?

  • The outer layer is usually a deep, golden brown color.
  • Unstained, with a light coating of wax, it’s usually darker in appearance than oak.
  • Occasionally has black or pink streaks across its surface.
  • The grain is fine and looks similar to that of oak or mahogany
  • The grain is also noticeable, with straight or interlocked lines.
  • It usually has dark spots and irregular lines. 
  • Similar in appearance to teak wood.

Pros of Using Mango Wood for Furniture.

We will explore the pros of using mango wood for furniture, including its environmental benefits, cost, strength, and longevity.

1. Durability

One of the most important factors when buying furniture is how long the piece will last. Fortunately, mango wood is dense and highly durable due to its internal construction. In fact, it has a comparable level of strength with walnut and teak.

Therefore, buying mango wood is a great investment, and the items will last decades.

2. Cost

Mango trees are very common, as they serve the dual purpose of providing fruit and wood. The length of time mango trees take to grow to the point that they can be harvested is relatively short compared to other hardwood trees.

As such, it is more affordable to buy mango wood as a raw material and a finished piece of furniture. 

For the price, mango wood has an appealing, expensive appearance. The distinct and unique grain pattern is desirable, yielding unique pieces of furniture that can’t be replicated for a relatively low cost.

3. Eco-Friendly

Mango wood is a by-product of fruit production. Once the mango tree passes its fruit-bearing stage, it can be cut down and used to make furniture. Thus, there is no wastage, and it’s much kinder to the environment. 

4. Work-Ability

Mango wood is one of the easier hardwoods to work with. This is one of the reasons it’s such a popular choice for carpenters and, by extension, an excellent choice if you are planning on making your own furniture. 

The reason is that mango wood is relatively soft compared to traditional, popular hardwoods such as oak. 

Therefore, carpenters can create intricate, carved pieces for the home. You can undoubtedly achieve aesthetic results when working with mango wood, 

5. Water Resistant

Due to the internal structure of mango wood, it is particularly good at repelling water. This, combined with a good polish or varnish, makes the wood extremely good at coping with moisture. 

And as such, mango wood is commonly used for outdoor furniture and would be a great choice if you are purchasing any furniture for the garden. 

Cons of Mango Wood Furniture

Let us discuss the cons of mango wood furniture in order to help you make an informed decision before purchasing any pieces for your home. By understanding these potential drawbacks, you can make sure you get the best out of your mango wood furniture purchase.

1. Too Soft

Traditional hardwoods, such as white oak, score 1,350 lbf (5,990 N) on the Janka Hardness scale, whereas mango wood scores 1,070 lbf (4,780 N). The Janka Hardness scale measures how dense a wood is and how resistant to damage it is.  

Although not a bad score, mango wood is not as hard as other alternatives. 

Over time, mango wood can alter shape and warp. Thus, mango wood is not suitable for furniture making that requires long panels, such as beds or wardrobes,

However, mango wood is ideal for creating smaller items of furniture, such as tables, chairs, and shorter cabinets.

2. Discoloration.

Despite the resilience to water, the color can fade if mango wood is left outside for too longThe better polish and varnish used, the slower the discoloration process will be.

Some people enjoy the shifting shade of mango wood. However, if you are particular about the color and would end up disliking the piece if it got any darker, consider purchasing another wood.

3. Allergic Reactions

Although uncommon, the dust created during the woodworking process can cause skin irritation and mild allergic reactions. This is because the mango fruit peel is filled with a high concentration of Allergenic Urushiols, which is known to create an allergic skin response.

Some of this allergen can be found in mango wood and cause skin irritation, such as itching, blistering, or a rash. 

It’s best to avoid using mango wood around fireplaces or near cooking fuel, as the heat and smoke will produce irritating fumes. 

Its toxicity is less of a concern in pre-made furniture. However, it is still worth bearing in mind if you are prone to allergic reactions and plan to come into physical contact with the item regularly.

If you are planning on using mango wood for carpentry, you should be mindful of allergens and any reactions. 

How to Care For Mango Wood Furniture

Although mango wood furniture is relatively low maintenance, you can do a few things to ensure it remains in great shape for many years.

Top Things to Avoid:

  • Keep it out of direct sunlight to protect its color and prevent cracking. Although sunlight is safe in small doses, keeping the mango wood piece in direct sunlight will make it age much faster.
  • Although water resistant, exposure to liquids may cause discoloration and damage over time. This is especially true if the wood is exposed to harsh chemicals such as alcohol, nail polish, or perfume.
  • Keep away from heat sources. Mango wood may produce toxic fumes if exposed to heat for a prolonged time. Additionally, placing hot objects on mango wood furniture will damage the finish of the wood over time.

How to Clean Mango Wood:

  • Use a plain, dry, or damp cloth to wipe away residue. Avoid using a wet cloth on any mango wood surface. Otherwise, you may remove the natural wax.
  • Protect and clean the mango wood regularly with beeswax. Beeswax cleans wood but also adds a protective coating to the surface. You only need to use a little; a small amount of wax will be adequate. 

Mango wood is an affordabledurable, and sustainable wood option great for many kinds of furniture in the home. It is not as hardy as other hardwoods but remains a durable and good choice for furniture. 

Feel free to share this post with any friends or family in the market for some new furniture needing a little help.

Rosa Peterson

Rose is the writer and creator of Better That Home, a blog about home design and decor. Rose has been designing spaces for over 10 years and writing home design and decor for big publishers. She has been inspired by many other creatives from around the world and loves to share those inspirations with her readers. Read more about Rose here