Teak Vs Mahogany: Which Outdoor Furniture Performs The Best?

There is something quite magical about spending Christmas Day outside in the sun. You can throw another prawn on the barbie, and enjoy some time in the pool while knowing that the Northern Hemisphere is buried under a tonne of snow. Outdoor living means you need reliable outdoor furniture that can stand up to the variations in weather that Australia experiences. From sunshine to cyclones, Australia has it all. So when it comes to teak or mahogany, which is the best wood to choose for your next setting?


Appearance is the main difference that you will see when you are comparing mahogany wood to teak, so here are the main points that you need to know:

  • Both of these woods come from evergreen trees.
  • Mahogany wood colour ranges from a deep red brown to gold. Teak, however, ranges from a honey gold to a standard dark brown.
  • The grains of the wood are not too different when it comes to their looks. Teak wood has a straight grain. You can find teak that has a wavy grain, but this is not as common. Mahogany wood is commonly straight, but it is possible to find mahogany that has an interlocked grain. Straight grain shows the fibres of the wood running vertically down the length of the wood, but interlocked grain looks like circles repeating around themselves. This type of grain is particularly attractive when polished up on wood furniture.

There is no clear winner when it comes to a comparison based on appearance. This decision will come down to individual preference.


One of the most important questions to ask yourself when choosing between teak and mahogany is which one requires the least maintenance. After all, you hardly want to spend those sunny days tied to a long honey-do checklist.

  • Teak fades while it is outside, and will turn grey in colour over the course of the year. It does this because the oil which is sitting on the surface of the wood is drying out or being washed away in the rain. However, restoring teak to a beautiful honey colour is as easy as washing it with soapy water and a brush with soft bristles. 
  • Mahogany outdoor furniture will also turn to grey when left outside for a year. However, unlike teak, it is not a simple matter of washing the grey away. Restoration takes longer because the wood needs to be sanded and stained for the original colour to be restored.

This means in terms of maintenance, teak is the clear winner.


While you don't expect your outdoor furniture to last forever, you certainly do not want to replace it every year either. It is estimated that teak furniture can last up to 80 years outside, but mahogany will only give you up to 40 years of life by comparison.

While both woods stand up well when it comes to insect resistance, mahogany does not like to be left constantly in direct sunlight. The sunlight will lead to the quick fading of its beautiful reddish hues. Additionally, mahogany rots faster than teak, which is one of the reasons for its shorter lifespan.

Teak is again the winner when discussing the longevity of these hardwoods.

While teak comes out tops when it comes to its lifespan and the amount of maintenance it requires, mahogany still wins the hearts of many thanks to its appearance. While it will never be the cheapest furniture choice in the store, when you compare the length of life it will give you divided by the cost, teak wins by a country mile.

Head out to your closest teak dealer to see what furniture they have to suit your outdoor setting this summer. Or, you could put it on your Christmas wish list and hope that Santa notices just how good you've been this year.