Minecraft Wiki
For other uses, see Sand (disambiguation).

Sand is a gravity-affected block found abundantly in deserts and beaches, and less commonly in or near surface water.

Red sand is a variation of sand found exclusively in the badlands.



Sand can be broken without tools, but a shovel is the fastest method of obtaining it.

Block Sand
Hardness 0.5
Breaking time[A]
Default 0.75
Wooden 0.4
Stone 0.2
Iron 0.15
Diamond 0.1
Netherite 0.1
Golden 0.1
  1. Times are for unenchanted tools as wielded by players with no status effects, measured in seconds. For more information, see Breaking § Speed.

Natural generation[]

Sand generates naturally in many biomes of the Overworld, in disk-like formations near ponds and rivers. It generates in abundance in deserts and beaches, generally in four-block-deep layers, supported by sandstone below. Sand also generates as the ocean floor of lukewarm oceans, deep lukewarm oceans and warm oceans, in a single layer not supported by sandstone. It usually generates in quantities of 545 blocks per chunk on average in non-desert biomes.[verify]

Sand is also used to cover up buried treasure chests depending on where the chest generates in. (In this case, sand is used to cover up buried treasure chests that generate in beaches and ocean floors that are composed of sand, but in some cases stone or sandstone might be used instead).

Sand also generates as part of warm ocean ruins, some desert village houses, desert wells, and desert pyramids.

Red sand generates naturally in badlands biomes and variants, always in a single layer. Unlike sand, there is no red sandstone that supports it below.

Both types of sand can spawn floating in the air. The floating cluster of sand falls when one of the sand blocks receives an update (e.g. when a block is placed near it or when a block near it is broken).


After brushing suspicious sand, the suspicious sand turns into regular sand.

Chest loot[]

Item Structure Container Quantity Chance
Java Edition
Sand Desert temple Chest 1–8 59%
Bedrock Edition
Sand Desert temple Chest 1–8 59%


Wandering traders sell 8 sand or 4 red sand for one emerald.‌


The only renewable method of obtaining either type of sand is through the wandering trader. Due to its low spawning rate and limited number of trades per spawn, it is more practical to obtain it through other means.

However, there is a glitch that can be exploited to duplicate sand (as well as other gravity-affected blocks like concrete powder and gravel) that uses sticky pistons and an End Portal. This is the majority of players' preferred means of obtaining renewable sand.


Main article: Falling Block

If the supporting block below a block of sand is removed, it falls until it lands on the next available block. More specifically, the sand block turns into a "falling block" entity, which is affected by gravity; when the falling block lands on a block with a solid top surface, it becomes a block again. More information about the falling block entity is available in the main article listed above.

If falling sand lands and covers the head of a mob or the player, the mob or player buried in it continuously receives suffocation damage. If falling sand lands in the space occupied by a non-solid block (such as torch, rail, or redstone dust) or a block less than a full block tall (such as slab or soul sand[1]), the sand drops and turns into an item. If it falls onto a cobweb, it falls slowly until it has gone through completely; if it touches the ground while still inside the cobweb, the sand becomes an item. Sand that falls onto a lifting bubble column floats on top of the water until the bubble column is blocked or removed.

Though TNT does not break any blocks if it explodes underwater, if sand, concrete powder (in one-block-deep water only), or gravel falls and covers the TNT before it explodes, blocks are broken as normal. This trick can be used to collect blocks underwater, or break into underwater structures such as the ocean monument without mining.

Crafting ingredient[]

Name Ingredients Crafting recipe Description
Concrete Powder Matching Dye +
Sand +
Red sand cannot be used in place of sand.[2]
Sandstone or
Red Sandstone
Sand or
Red Sand

TNT Gunpowder +
Sand or
Red Sand

White Concrete Powder or
Blue Concrete Powder or
Brown Concrete Powder or
Black Concrete Powder
Bone Meal or
Lapis Lazuli or
Cocoa Beans or
Ink Sac +
Sand +
[Bedrock Edition and Minecraft Education only]

Smelting ingredient[]

Name Ingredients Smelting recipe
Glass Sand or
Red Sand +
Any fuel



Sand can be used in the construction of airlocks and mob suffocation traps. Because sand falls, it can also be used for construction underwater while the player remains above the surface of the water.


Sand or red sand is required for farming cactus, and can also be used for farming bamboo, sugar cane and kelp.


A turtle egg can hatch only if it's on sand or red sand.

Note Blocks[]

Sand and red sand can be placed under note blocks to produce "snare drum" sound.


Java Edition:

SoundSubtitlesSourceDescriptionResource locationTranslation keyVolumePitchAttenuation
Block brokenBlocksOnce the block has brokenblock.sand.breaksubtitles.block.generic.break1.00.816
Block placedBlocksWhen the block is placedblock.sand.placesubtitles.block.generic.place1.00.816
Block breakingBlocksWhile the block is in the process of being brokenblock.sand.hitsubtitles.block.generic.hit0.250.516
None[sound 1]Entity-DependentFalling on the block with fall damageblock.sand.fallNone[sound 1]0.50.7516
FootstepsEntity-DependentWalking on the blockblock.sand.stepsubtitles.block.generic.footsteps0.151.016
  1. a b MC-177082

Bedrock Edition:

SoundSourceDescriptionResource locationVolumePitch
BlocksOnce the block has brokendig.sand1.00.8-1.0
BlocksWhen the block is placeddig.sand1.00.8-1.0
BlocksWhile the block is in the process of being brokenhit.sand0.230.5
PlayersFalling on the block with fall damagefall.sand0.41.0
PlayersWalking on the blockstep.sand0.151.0
PlayersJumping from the blockjump.sand0.051.0
PlayersFalling on the block without fall damageland.sand0.141.0

Data values[]


Java Edition:

NameIdentifierFormBlock tagsItem tagsTranslation key
SandsandBlock & Itembamboo_plantable_on
Red Sandred_sandBlock & Itembamboo_plantable_on

Bedrock Edition:

NameIdentifierNumeric ID FormItem ID[i 1]Translation key
Sandsand12Block & Giveable Item[i 2]Identical[i 3]tile.sand.default.name
  1. ID of block's direct item form, which is used in savegame files and addons.
  2. Available with /give command.
  3. The block's direct item form has the same id as the block.

Block states[]

See also: Block states

In Bedrock Edition, sand uses the following block states:

Bedrock Edition:

NameMetadata Bits Default value Allowed valuesValues for
Metadata Bits
sand_type0x1normal normal0Sand
red1Red Sand

Falling block entity[]

Main article: Falling Block
  • Dynamic block entity data
      • Tags common to all entities
    •  BlockState: The falling block represented by this entity.
    •  CancelDrop: 1 or 0 (true/false). Whether the block will be cancelled from being placed when it lands on a solid block. When true, it also prevents the block from dropping as an item (regardless of what the DropItem tag is set to). However, if true and the falling block's Time tag goes to 0 before landing on a solid block, it will still destroy itself and drop itself as an item (or not, respective to what the DropItem tag is set to). CancelDrop defaults to false for summoned and naturally occurring falling blocks (except for Suspicious Blocks).
    •  DropItem: 1 or 0 (true/false) – true if the block should drop as an item when it breaks. Any block that does not have an item form with the same ID as the block does not drop even if this is set.
    •  FallHurtAmount: Multiplied by the FallDistance to calculate the amount of damage to inflict. By default this value is 2♥ for anvils, and 6♥♥♥ for pointed dripstone.
    •  FallHurtMax: The maximum hit points of damage to inflict on entities that intersect this falling block. For vanilla falling blocks, always 40♥ × 20.
    •  HurtEntities: 1 or 0 (true/false) – true if the block should hurt entities it falls on.
    •  TileEntityData: Optional. The tags of the block entity for this block.
    •  Time: The number of ticks the entity has existed. When Time goes above 600, or above 100 while the block is below Y=1 or is outside building height, the entity is deleted.


Java Edition Classic
May 21, 2009Notch shows interest in adding sand.
May 23, 2009Notch says he accomplished adding sand.
0.0.14aSand JE1 Added sand.
Sand behaves similarly to gravel, which was also added during this update.
Sand blocks appear naturally only in one block-thick beaches (usually by water or in the middle of a landscape). These beaches are always at and below ocean level.
Rather than falling by turning into a falling block entity, sand instantly appears at the lowest point it can go when placed above an air block, without any sort of falling animation. This behavior lasted until the Seecret Friday 1 update, in Infdev.
A glitch occurring at this time allows players to raise the height of a fluid block by placing sand over it. The sand stays suspended in mid-air until it is broken. When broken, a fluid block corresponding to the type below the sand appears where the block was. The suspended fluid block remains immobile until a block was placed next to it, causing a flood.
Map editors can be used to create floating sand, crashing the server if the sand was affected from its state.
0.0.15aSand JE2 The texture of sand has been changed.
0.0.19aSand has been removed from the inventory (hotbar) because of a lack of space.
0.0.20aSand has been re-added to the inventory.
Java Edition Indev
0.3120100110Islands now have more sand.
20100129Sand is now used to craft TNT.
Java Edition Infdev
20100227-1Sand has been removed during map tests.[3]
20100413Sand has been re-added.
20100618Sand now falls realistically.
Sand can now be destroyed by falling onto a non-solid object, but not dropping as item. This was fixed in a later update.[when?]
Java Edition Beta
1.2Falling sand entities now behaves better in multiplayer.
Sand can now be used to craft sandstone.
1.3Sand now generates with sandstone under it.
1.8Pre-releaseDue to changes in the terrain generator, sand no longer appears in beaches.
Sand now generates anywhere that water does in large, circular patterns, noticeably larger than the similar patterns of clay. These can occur anywhere water does, including in village farms.
Java Edition
1.0.0Beta 1.9 Prerelease 6Sand JE3 BE1 The texture of sand has been slightly changed.
1.112w01aSand now appears in beaches again, which have been re-added as a biome, rather than terrain features.
1.4.212w38aSand now has new sounds when being walked on.
1.7.213w36aDisks of sand are no longer found on ocean floors.
13w39aRed Sand JE1 BE1 Added red sand.
1.814w27bSand and red sand's textures now rotate randomly, making beaches and deserts look less uniform.
1.915w44aSand can now be found in desert temple chests.
1.1016w20aFalling dust particles for unsupported sand has been added.
1.1217w06aSand can now be used to craft concrete powder.
1.1318w07aTurtles are added, which lay eggs on sand.
18w08bSand now generates on the floors of warm and lukewarm ocean biomes.
18w09aSand can now generate in underwater ruins.
1.1418w43aSand JE4 Red Sand JE2 The textures of sand and red sand have been changed.
18w44aSand JE5 BE2 The texture of sand has been changed, once again.
18w47aRed Sand JE3 BE2 The texture of red sand has been changed, once again.
19w05aAdded wandering traders, which sell sand and red sand, making both types of sand renewable resources.
1.16Pre-release 3Turtle eggs can now hatch on red sand.[4]
23w07aSand now generates in desert wells and desert pyramids.
Sand can now be created after brushing suspicious sand.
1.2023w12aSand now generates in trail ruins.
23w16aSand no longer generates in trail ruins.
Pocket Edition Alpha
Pre-releaseSand JE2 BE1 Added sand.
v0.2.0Sand JE3 BE2 The texture of sand has been changed.
v0.3.0Sand can now be used to craft sandstone.
v0.4.0Sand can now be used to craft TNT.
v0.6.0Sand is now affected by gravity.
v0.8.0build 8Falling sand now drops a resource when landing on a non-solid block.
v0.9.0build 1Red Sand JE1 BE1 Added red sand.
v0.10.0build 1Falling dust particles for unsupported sand have been added.
v0.14.0build 1Red sand can now be used to craft red sandstone.
Pocket Edition
1.0.0alpha can now be found inside desert temple chests.[verify]
1.1.0alpha can now be used to craft concrete powder.
Bedrock Edition
1.4.0beta now generates on the floors of warm and lukewarm ocean biomes.
Sand now sometimes generates on top of buried treasure chests in beaches.
beta can now generate in some warm underwater ruins.
1.10.0beta JE5 BE2 Red Sand JE3 BE2 The textures of sand and red sand have been changed.
1.11.0beta and red sand can now be bought from wandering traders.
1.12.0beta traders no longer sell regular sand.
1.16.0beta has changed, wandering trader can now sell regular sand, making it renewable again.
Legacy Console Edition
TU1CU1 1.0 Patch 11.0.1Sand JE3 BE1[verify] Added sand.
TU14 1.04 The sound made when mining sand has been changed.
TU31CU19 1.22 Patch 3Red Sand JE1 BE1 Added red sand.
1.90 Sand JE5 BE2 Red Sand JE3 BE2 The textures of sand and red sand have been changed.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0Sand JE3 BE1 Added sand. It is not known if red sand was ever added.

Data history[]

Java Edition
1.814w10aSand with numerical metadata variants 2 through 15, which are inaccessible through normal gameplay, now have no model Missing Model JE2 rather than appearing identical to sand.
14w25aSand and its variant are now defined via block states rather than by numerical metadata. Prior to this version, the numerical metadata variants of sand were as follows:
DV Description
0 Sand
1 Red Sand
2-15 Inaccessible "boring" variants of sand
14w26aSand with metadata values 2 through 15 have now been completely removed from the game.
1.1317w47aThe different block states for the sand ID have been split up into their own IDs.
Prior to The Flattening, this block's numeral ID was 12.


Issues relating to "Sand" or "Red Sand" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.


  • If a block of sand has snow on it and is made to fall, the snow is destroyed‌[Java Edition only] and does not drop snowballs.
  • Because falling sand is considered an entity, it can be launched in a TNT cannon, similar to an ignited piece of TNT.
  • Sand falls at the same rate when submerged in water, or lava, or air.
  • If a player is standing on a stack of sand or gravel, and the stack falls onto a non-solid block, the player can fall fast enough to take damage or even die.
  • Sand falls through torches without breaking, if there is air below the torch.[5]
  • Sand and gravel take about 0.45 seconds to fall one meter.
  • The sand texture is rotated if a block of sand turns into a falling_block entity, similar to ignited TNT blocks. This is not the case with gravel.
  • Because falling_block is considered an entity, blocks of sand without supports may disappear for a split second and a falling_block entity is summoned. This is also the case when it is landing, but the entity (not the block) disappears instead before a block is placed.


Java Edition[]

See also[]


  1. MC-77079 — resolved as "Works As Intended".
  2. MC-150278
  3. "Minecraft InfDev. Huge Temple Of Brick!" – DRMB on YouTube, February 27, 2010
  4. MC-185616 — resolved as "Fixed".
  5. MC-3262 — resolved as "Works As Intended".

External links[]