Difference between Mahogany and Teak

Key Difference:  Mahogany is a dark red-brown colored tropical wood indigenous to South America, Africa, and Central America. Teak is a close-grained hardwood which is yellow-to-dark brown in color. It is indigenous to Indonesia, India and Central America.

Mahogany is a strong hard wood containing a red hue. Due to its quality and fine grain pattern, it is used in making a lot of articles like furniture, door, ships, instruments an, plywood, etc. (See: Pinewood Vs. Plywood)

It is derived from any of the three species belonging to the genus Swietenia in the family Meliaceae which are Honduras mahogany, bigleaf mahogany and American mahogany. However, Swietenia mahoganies id only referred to as genuine mahogany. 

The color of mahogany gets darker with passing time. It exhibits a reddish sheen on the application of polish. Due to its durability, and strength, it is preferred for making furniture and other articles. 

Teak is a very valuable hardwood which is known for its decorative grain and golden brown luster. Teak is derived from the deciduous tree belonging to the family Vernenaceae.  This tree is native to Myanmar, India, and Thailand. (See: Oak Vs. Teakwood)

It is very durable due to the presence of natural oil in it, which provides protection from wet and cold weather. Being a close-grained hardwood, it is very easy to cut joints in an efficient manner. It is one of the strongest and most durable among all natural woods. 

Teak is expensive than Mahogany. However, Teak’s qualities like highly weather resistant and beautiful, it is often preferred by people who can afford it. The hardness of Teak is greater than that of Mahogany. Mahogany and Teak are often differentiated on the basis of texture and properties of wood.
(See: Teakwood Vs. Rubberwood)

Comparison between Mahogany and Teak:





Mahogany is a strong hardwood containing a red hue. It is derived from any of the three species belonging to the genus Swietenia in the family Meliaceae.

Teak is a very valuable hardwood derived from the deciduous tree belonging to the family Vernenaceae.


It has a reddish - brown color and may display stripe, ribbon, broken stripe, rope, ripple, mottle, fiddleback or blister figures

Yellow to dark brown. It generally exhibits straight grain, mottled or fiddleback figures


  • Strong
  • Uniform pore structure
  • Poorly defined annual rings
  • Extremely heavy, durable and strong
  • Carves well


African Mahogany is used for furniture high class joinery, boat building, decorative vaneers, cabinetry, etc.

American Mahogany is used for high-class furniture and cabinetry.  Used for carving, model making, flooring, boat building, musical instruments, etc.

It is used for shipbuilding, furniture, high-class joinery, flooring, plywood, decorative veneers, chemical tanks and, vats, etc.

Type of hardwood



Botanical Name

Swientenia Macrophylla (Genuine Mahogany)

Tectona Grandis (Teak plantation)


Comparatively less

Comparatively more

Branches of tree

Less than in compared to Teak

Greater than in compared to Mahogany


Easily degradable

Takes a long time to decompose

Grown in

Genuine Mahogany is grown in Southern Mexico to central South America

It is generally grown in Southeast Asia

Image Courtesy: angelfire.com, anncoojournal.com

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