Best Alto Saxophone Reeds

By Joel Hammond | Last Updated on Nov 15, 2021

In Hurry? Editor's Choice:

Vandoren SR2125 Alto Sax Traditional Reeds Strength 2.5; Box of 10
TOP 1
Vandoren SR2125 Alto Sax Traditional Reeds Strength 2.5; Box of 10
TR score rating icon 9.7
TR Score
Vandoren SR212 Alto Sax Traditional Reeds Strength 2; Box of 10
TOP 2
Vandoren SR212 Alto Sax Traditional Reeds Strength 2; Box of 10
TR score rating icon 9.7
TR Score
Vandoren SR213 Alto Sax Traditional Reeds Strength 3; Box of 10
TOP 3
Vandoren SR213 Alto Sax Traditional Reeds Strength 3; Box of 10
TR score rating icon 9.7
TR Score
How To Choose Alto Saxophone Reeds: Methodology

The best Alto Saxophone Reeds ranking is based on our detailed evaluation and analysis of over 6,311,622 consumer satisfaction surveys. We have come up with the top 3 Alto Saxophone Reeds you might be interested in and rated them on factors such as Material and Strength experience.

* Our experienced editors are constantly reviewing the latest news, looking at data analytics in order to recommend only products worth your time and money. As Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

A Detailed List of Top 3 Alto Saxophone Reeds in 2021

#TOP 1

Vandoren SR2125 Alto Sax Traditional Reeds Strength 2.5; Box of 10

SR2125
1.5 x 2.5 x 4.5 inches
0.8 ounces

Features

Traditional Reeds Are Available For All Clarinets And Saxophones In Various Strengths.
Extremely Flexible, Allowing The Legato Or Staccato Execution Of Large Intervals While Maintaining A Richness Of Tone That Gives Body And Clarity To The Sound, Which Is A Hallmark Of Vandoren Reeds.
Every Reed Sealed In 'Flow Pack' To Ensure Freshness.
Traditional Reeds Are Known For Their Excellent Response In All Registers, Allowing A Pianissimo Attack In Even Highest Notes.
Traditional Reeds Are Available For All Clarinets And Saxophones In Various Strengths.
Extremely Flexible, Allowing The Legato Or Staccato Execution Of Large Intervals While Maintaining A Richness Of Tone That Gives Body And Clarity To The Sound, Which Is A Hallmark Of Vandoren Reeds.
Every Reed Sealed In 'Flow Pack' To Ensure Freshness.
Traditional Reeds Are Known For Their Excellent Response In All Registers, Allowing A Pianissimo Attack In Even Highest Notes.
#TOP 2

Vandoren SR212 Alto Sax Traditional Reeds Strength 2; Box of 10

1.5 x 2.5 x 4.5 inches
0.8 ounces
SR212

Features

Traditional Reeds Are Available For All Clarinets And Saxophones In Various Strengths.
Every Reed Sealed In 'Flow Pack' To Ensure Freshness.
Extremely Flexible, Allowing The Legato Or Staccato Execution Of Large Intervals While Maintaining A Richness Of Tone That Gives Body And Clarity To The Sound, Which Is A Hallmark Of Vandoren Reeds.
Traditional Reeds Are Known For Their Excellent Response In All Registers, Allowing A Pianissimo Attack In Even Highest Notes.
Traditional Reeds Are Available For All Clarinets And Saxophones In Various Strengths.
Every Reed Sealed In 'Flow Pack' To Ensure Freshness.
Extremely Flexible, Allowing The Legato Or Staccato Execution Of Large Intervals While Maintaining A Richness Of Tone That Gives Body And Clarity To The Sound, Which Is A Hallmark Of Vandoren Reeds.
Traditional Reeds Are Known For Their Excellent Response In All Registers, Allowing A Pianissimo Attack In Even Highest Notes.
#TOP 3

Vandoren SR213 Alto Sax Traditional Reeds Strength 3; Box of 10

SR213
0.8 ounces
1.5 x 2.5 x 4.5 inches

Features

Traditional Reeds Are Known For Their Excellent Response In All Registers, Allowing A Pianissimo Attack In Even Highest Notes.
Every Reed Sealed In 'Flow Pack' To Ensure Freshness.
Traditional Reeds Are Available For All Clarinets And Saxophones In Various Strengths.
Extremely Flexible, Allowing The Legato Or Staccato Execution Of Large Intervals While Maintaining A Richness Of Tone That Gives Body And Clarity To The Sound, Which Is A Hallmark Of Vandoren Reeds.
Traditional Reeds Are Known For Their Excellent Response In All Registers, Allowing A Pianissimo Attack In Even Highest Notes.
Every Reed Sealed In 'Flow Pack' To Ensure Freshness.
Traditional Reeds Are Available For All Clarinets And Saxophones In Various Strengths.
Extremely Flexible, Allowing The Legato Or Staccato Execution Of Large Intervals While Maintaining A Richness Of Tone That Gives Body And Clarity To The Sound, Which Is A Hallmark Of Vandoren Reeds.

Best Alto Saxophone Reeds — FAQ

What reed should I use for alto sax?

Most beginners start by using La Voz or Rico reeds, because they are the cheapest brands. A size 2 reed is a great place to start for a beginner. Play on it for a while before switching to a 2.5, unless it feels entirely too soft, then 2.5 is okay.

Beside this, how many times can you use a saxophone reed?

Reeds don't last long
This is why the reed is one of the most critical parts. Expect a reed to last for around a week to two weeks. When you change from a reed you've been using for some time to a new reed, the sound of your instrument will change with it.

In addition, how do I know if my sax reed is bad?

Old reeds that play mushy you should throw out. New reeds that play mushy, Clip. New reeds that play stiff, sand a little to soften. New reeds that play right out of the box.

Thereof, when should I increase reed strength?

Therefore, try to choose a strength that feels slightly hard when you start playing on a new reed, so it will feel just right as you break it in. When you've played on your reed for too long and it starts to feel too soft, it's time to start a new one!

Also, how do you tell if a reed is too soft?

If you're playing on a 3, then move down to 2.5. When the reed is too soft, you'll get a buzzy sound right out of the box. People compare this to playing on paper.

Eventually, should I get filed or unfiled reeds?

A filed reed is usually played on darker sounding mouthpieces to make the sound brighter . An unfiled reed is played on mouthpieces that have more resistance to make them play easier. Best is to try both and see which works best with your mouthpiece. 2 of 2 found this helpful.

Next, what strength should a beginner reed be?

For beginners it is generally recommended to start with a 2. If a beginner would start with a 1 or 1 1/2 reed, there may be some difficulty with playing very many notes because the reed is too weak to support the playing. Please keep in mind, the strengths could be different from brand to brand.

Moreover, do unused reeds expire?

Case 1: The reed is unopened and protected
It probably will never expire if you leave it in its wrapping. If it does expire, it will probably take at least several decades to do so.The reed is sealed at the perfect humidity for reeds, so it won't dry out or get waterlogged.

Still, when should I change reeds?

You should turn the reeds every two to three weeks to keep the scent alive. Submerging them in the oil gives the dry ends the opportunity to absorb all they can, while the previously submerged bottom stands out and projects an immediately stronger scent. Turning the reeds frequently will not make them last longer.

And, how long do unused reeds last?

For those just starting out, reeds can last up to six months. Once you play and practice more frequently, this cycle can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks.

Our Verdict

With so many Alto Saxophone Reeds available, it's difficult to know which one is best. Fortunately, our research team compiled an unbiased list of 26 best Alto Saxophone Reeds that will fit every budget. During this study there were over 14447 products across 26 brands. Our verdict: most customers choose Alto Saxophone Reeds with an average price tag of $33!

Joel Hammond
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joel Hammond is the CEO and Founder of, a company that specializes in wind instrument repairs and maintenance. He started the business as a way to connect with other musicians, but got serious about it after noticing how much people needed his services. Joel has been repairing instruments for over ten years now, and he’s seen all sorts of problems from broken keys to cracked seams! He enjoys spending time at home with his wife and two dogs.