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Suar vs Monkeypod: Why Suar Is Better

Suar vs Monkeypod: Why Suar Is Better

Suar vs Monkeypod: Why Suar Is Better

Are you in the market for a live edge table but can’t decide between Suar and Monkeypod wood? Are you not even sure what the difference between the two is? (Or maybe you didn’t even know there was a difference between the two.)

You’re not alone. 

Because they are two variants of the same species, it is easy to lump Suar and Monkeypod together. (Add in the South American Walnut which most claim is the same as the two we mentioned, and you have yourselves a real confusion of what’s what!)

But we’re here to correct that.

In this article, we will explore the key differences between Suar wood and Monkeypod, and what you should pay attention to when choosing live edge furniture made of each type of wood.

Let’s get started!

What is Suar and what is Monkeypod?

Suar and Monkeypod wood may come from the same rain tree species, Albizia Saman, but they have distinct geographic origins. 

Suar wood is sourced from Southeast Asia, specifically Indonesia, while Monkeypod wood hails from Central and South American countries such as Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil. 

These geographical differences result in variations in the wood’s color and grain patterns as well as its density.

Furthermore, each of these world regions has its own way of drying and treating the sourced wood. The end results are woods of different quality and aesthetic appeal, which you should be aware of when selecting a wood type for a live edge slab furniture piece.

Aesthetic differences

Suar wood stands out for its unique and distinct look. The fine lines in the wood are well-defined thanks to both the species of wood and the finishing techniques used. 

The Indonesians have been perfecting the art of drying and treating wood for decades, resulting in wood that not only looks beautiful but is also of the highest quality and durability.

On the other hand, Monkeypod wood is not as highly prized by woodworkers in Latin America. As such, they do not pay as much attention to the quality of the drying and treating processes. 

This lack of care during processing results in wood that is not as visually striking as Suar. The grain pattern and color of Monkeypod wood are less distinct and not as pronounced as Suar wood.

Additionally, the finishing techniques used on Monkeypod wood are not as advanced as those used on Suar wood, which further contributes to the aesthetic differences between the two kinds of wood. 

Overall, Suar wood offers a one-of-a-kind aesthetic that is difficult to replicate with Monkeypod wood.

Density: Heavy means high-quality 

Another key difference between Suar and Monkeypod is their density. 

Suar wood stands out as the clear winner. 

The density of wood is determined by various factors such as the climate it is exposed to and the quality of the soil the tree grows in. 

Suar tree wood has a higher density than Monkeypod wood. This results in Suar wood being heavier than Monkeypod.

The density of the wood not only affects its weight but also its structural integrity and durability. 

A denser wood will hold up better to wear and tear, making it more suitable for furniture and other applications that require strength and longevity. 

Suar wood’s density makes it more resistant to moisture and insect infestation (such as dry wood termites), and it’s more stable in different climates.

While the heavier weight of Suar wood may make it a little more difficult to move around, this density is also what gives Suar its value. The weight and density of Suar wood are a clear sign of quality and durability. 

It’s like the difference between a sturdy oak and a flimsy willow. Both woods have their unique beauty, but the oak is stronger and will last longer. The same can be said for Suar and Monkeypod.

A Little Red Riding Hood analogy to be added by Zach

Sustainability: Responsible harvesting

In addition to its aesthetic appeal and density, Suar wood is also a more sustainable option. 

In the 18th century, the Dutch government established colonial rule in Indonesia. They quickly realized the value of Teak and Suar wood and started planting thousands of trees to ensure that they would be able to harvest the wood responsibly.

The Indonesians take great pride in their rainforests and only harvest from trees that have fallen or are near the end of their growing cycle. 

This ensures that the forest is not being depleted and that new trees can grow in their place. This responsible harvesting helps to maintain the ecological balance of the rainforest.

In contrast, Central and South America have a history of unsustainable harvesting practices. Many species of exotic wood cannot be imported to the US and EU from these regions because of the negative impact on the environment.

Hawaii also grows a lot of Monkeypod, but the wood is not shipped to the US. The wood manufacturers in Hawaii care for the wood and only harvest from fallen trees, similar to the practices in Indonesia. 


In conclusion, Suar wood is the clear winner for your live edge furniture. 

Its unique aesthetic appeal, density, and sustainable harvesting practices make it a superior choice over Monkeypod. The beautiful grains in the solid wood, the high-quality finishing, and the responsible harvesting practices in Indonesia all contribute to Suar’s beauty and durability. 

The density of the wood also makes it more resistant to moisture, insect infestation, and more stable in different climates. 

If you’re in the market for a live edge table, consider Suar wood for its beauty, durability, and sustainability. Not only will you be getting a piece of furniture that is visually stunning, but you’ll also be making a responsible choice that helps to maintain the ecological balance of the rainforest.

At Bali Teak Collective, we specialize in providing high-quality, sustainable Suar wood furniture. We invite you to learn more about our live edge Suar wood furniture collection and to see the beauty and durability of Suar wood for yourself. Contact us today to learn more.



Suar vs Monkeypod: Why Suar Is Better