Six Popular Types of Wood for Malas

Six Popular Types of Wood for Malas
Malas are meant to be as unique as the people who own them, and they have been used for meditation for thousands of years. The only thing that is similar between two malas is that they contain 108 beads.

You can either purchase stone or wooden mala beads. Stone beads come in many different colors, which makes them all the more appealing to buy. However, wood mala beads have the appeal of natural color, light weight, and smooth finish. Here are six types of wood that are commonly used for wooden malas.


Rosewood comes in a beautiful warm brown color, almost similar to cranberries. Rosewood is a cherished wood from India, and has been the traditional wood for making Buddhist rosaries hence the name. Rosewood beads are beautiful, smooth, and light to hold making them ideal for first-time mala buyers. Professionally made rosewood beads have a light layer of wax on them to give them a classy look.


Sandalwood beads are from trees of the same name that grow in Asia and Eastern regions of India. It comes in a beautifully textured semi-light brown, which looks appealing in a natural way opposed to a sophisticated way. Sandalwood also has a pleasant scent to it that is slightly stronger than other wood mala beads. Mala owners who want to embrace a refreshing scent as they meditate will enjoy a sandalwood mala.


Ebony is a black, or very dark brown, hardwood that comes from various parts of Africa. Ebony contains a very high oil content, making it shiny and beautiful when polished and sanded. Ebony mala beads are almost black in color, making them ideal for pairing with other colors that you wear or display. Ebony, however, is classified as a hardwood, which means it will be slightly heavier than other types of wood.


Nangka trees are grown in various Asian countries to cultivate jackfruit. Their wood however, is a pleasant yellow color, and contains properties that are suitable for furniture and jewelry-making. Like other types of wood, Nangka wood can be carved into many shapes and sizes of beads, making them one of the most common for making malas. Nangka also has a reputation of having lasting quality, and can retain its beautiful appearance for a number of years without losing its color or luster.


Redwood mala beads do not come from preserved redwood trees, but rather from a type of mahogany tree that is grown in the Philippines. Redwood has a vibrant red appearance to it with a beautiful natural texture. What is unique about this type of redwood is that it can become more appealing with age. As it absorbs skin oils, it can develop a shine to it and make it look more valuable than it is.


Palmwood is from coconut palm trees grown in various South Pacific countries. After the tree stops bearing coconuts for around 70 years, it is chopped down and used for making furniture and jewelry. This palmwood is brown with various dark, thin stripes running all across each surface as if somebody finely painted them on. Palmwood is considered an artistic type of wood to use for malas, so if you want to meditate with something interesting that isn’t a stone then palmwood is a fine choice.


Like stone, there are various types of woods used to make unique beads for malas. Each type of wood contains a different shade, healing properties, and other factors making them appealing for meditation and other spiritual uses.


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