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The Best Bongo Drums You Can Buy

a woman in a denim shirt holding and playing bongos

Bongos are popular Afro-Cuban percussion instruments used in many musical genres. Usually consisting of two hand drums with open bottoms, they are fairly easy instruments for anyone to learn how to play. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an experienced drummer, we recommend these bongo drums.

Choosing a Bongo Drum

There are many bongo drums to choose from. Keep some of these considerations in mind when buying your set:

  • Size: Bongo drums come in varying sizes. For a classic sound, opt for 6- to 8-inch drums. However, for smaller hands or a West African style drum, you can choose a smaller option.
  • Material: The heads of bongo drums are typically made of natural skins. Some common types are cow, buffalo, or goat, but synthetic skins are also available.
  • Features: For a more customized playing experience, you can look for a bongo drum stand, carrying case, or specific drum set color and design options.

Best Overall: MUSICUBE Bongo Drum Set

A wood MUSICUBE Bongo drum set with black trim is displayed against a white background.

This 6- and 7-inch drum set delivers a great tone with authentic natural skinheads. It features a well-designed construction for excellent hardware that has a black powder-coated and natural glossy finish. Plus, it comes with a tuning wrench and meets Forest Stewardship Council certification requirements to ensure an environmentally friendly playing experience.

Best for Travel: RockJam Bongo Drum Set

A wood MUSICUBE Bongo drum set with black trim is displayed against a white background.

The RockJam traditional wooden bongo drums are available in two design options, including natural or red and natural stripe. These drums provide great tone and superb construction since they are crafted from wood and fitted with 7- and 8-inch cow skinheads. They come complete with a tuning key and robust black bag with a carrying strap, so you can always play on the go.

Best for Travel

RockJam 7" and 8" Bongo Drum Set with Padded Bag and Tuning Key, Natural

This drum features chrome fittings for aesthetic appeal and added durability.

Best Design Options: Meinl Bongos

a set of attached black Meinl bongos

These Meinl bongos are available in eight design options, including black, transparent, maple, and wine red burst, among others, and at 6.5 and 7.5 inches. They offer durable synthetic shells with hand-selected buffalo skinheads to create a classic sound that delivers consistent resonance, projection, and warmth. They have black powder-coated steel rounded rims, which sit lower than traditional bongo rims and feature a rounded edge for comfort to offer you control so that you can avoid harsh or unwanted contact with the rim as you play with your hands. The set also comes with a tuning wrench.

Best Design Options

Best for Kids: Remo Bongo Drum

bottom view of bongos featuring a child-friendly design are displayed against a white background.

Remo’s bongos, featuring a kid-friendly design, offer a way to add the unique flavor of bongos to your child’s drum circle, classroom, or other musical experience. Its synthetic head guarantees it won’t fluctuate in pitch with temperature and humidity changes, and it’s constructed for holding up to heavy use. 

Best for Kids

Remo RH-5600-00 Rhythm Club Bongo Drum - Rhythm Kids, 5"-6"

These drums are 5 and 6 inches in diameter to fit smaller hands.

West African Style: B.N.D TOP Djembe Drum

A wooden Djembe drum with a rope handle is displayed against a white background; a young girl is playing it on the right side.

The Djembe wooden drum is suitable for decoration as well as music. It is made with high-quality mahogany, 100% genuine goatskin, and a braided rope handle. It’s offered in three different sizes (4×8, 6×12, and 8×16 inches), so it’s great for kids and adults.

Ellie Miller Ellie Miller
Ellie Miller is a full-time copy editor and writer for LifeSavvy’s articles. With years of experience in substantive and copy editing, proofreading, and publishing, she has edited thousands of online articles, as well as memoirs, scientific essays, book chapters, and workplace training documents. She hopes you’ll find some new favorite products here on LifeSavvy like she has. Read Full Bio »
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