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6 Best Manuka Honey Brands in 2023 Reviewed

It’s a wild search for the best manuka honey!

Yes, people are falling head over honey jar for this delicious, natural, and nourishing type of honey. Due to its incomparable taste, recipe-ready texture, and well-researched health benefits, it’s one of the most sought-after superfoods in the world.

While a teaspoon of manuka can feel like a decadent treat, people all over the globe use this honey for medicinal purposes and natural healing.

I have personally tested dozens of manuka honey products and picked the best ones for this buying guide.

Read on to find reviews of the finest manuka honey brands available on the market.

Our recommendations for Best Manuka Honey:

First, let’s begin by learning the origins, health benefits, and characteristics of this living food to know how to make a good choice.

What Makes Manuka Honey Famous?

A thick and rich honey, manuka is the “fruit” of the beautiful, pink-flowering manuka bush. The honey is created by bees that only pollinate in very precise environments.

manuka flowers
Manuka flowers

The craze for manuka extends far beyond the fact that this particular honey is so exotic and delicious. Manuka is the only honey to contain active compounds that generate healing both within the body and on the skin.

This is the cell-friendly honey that fits as naturally in your kitchen pantry as it does in a medicine cabinet.

Nature’s homegrown gift for the “sweet tooth” that only very distinct ecological settings can produce, manuka honey is known for its antibacterial properties and many health benefits.

Here is a great video that explains why manuka honey is so valuable:

Why Mānuka Honey Is So Expensive | So Expensive

6 Best Manuka Honey Brands Reviewed

After testing dozens of authentic manuka products on the market, I chose the 6 best ones to be reviewed in this guide.

Whether you are looking for the strongest medicinal manuka honey or a sugar substitute to sweeten your tea, smoothie, or breakfast bowl, you can find great options here.

All products included in this guide are pure, raw, and authentic manuka honey.

Best Overall: New Zealand Honey Co. Raw Manuka Honey UMF 15+

New Zealand Honey Co. Raw Manuka Honey UMF 15+

Size: 8.8 ounces / 250 grams (also available in other sizes)

Order directly from New Zealand Honey Co. for free shipping and fast delivery:

Product Highlights:

  • UMF 15+
  • MGO 514+
  • Beautiful consistency for blending into shakes, marinades and more
  • Great value for money
  • Packaged in BPA-free jars
  • Product of New Zealand

Foraged, prepared, and packed in New Zealand, this top-quality manuak honey is boasting a UMF 15+ rating. It’s as authentic as it gets!

You’ll find that this particular manuka honey offers the potency and consistency needed for whipping up shakes, porridges, marinades, and much more. It’s also smooth enough to be used as the perfect secret ingredient for homemade hair and beauty products.

Perfect for simply scooping a spoonful into your mouth, this particular honey has a dense, chewy texture that feels very clean and smooth. The color can range from a darker cream to a dramatic brown.

From drizzling it over my morning yogurt to enjoying a spoonful straight, this honey has been a delightful addition to my pantry.

New Zealand Honey Co. is definitely one of the best manuka producers in the world and you can even request a testing certificate with each jar you purchase.

One nice thing about this raw honey is that you can buy it with a light heart because it’s sustainably sourced before being packed into recyclable, BPA-free jars.

Pros

  • Rich Flavor: This honey boasts a uniquely rich and complex flavor that is both robust and sweet.
  • Texture: It has a creamy, thick texture that feels luxurious and is easy to spread.
  • Certified UMF 15+: The UMF 15+ rating assures me of its potency and authenticity in providing the benefits associated with Manuka honey.
  • Packaging: The jar is well-designed, ensuring no leaks or spills, and the honey is easy to scoop out.

Cons

  • Sweetness: For some, the intense sweetness might be a bit much, especially if used in larger quantities.

Best Organic Manuka Honey: Wedderspoon Raw Organic Manuka Honey KFactor 16+

Wedderspoon Raw Organic Manuka Honey

Size: 8.8 ounces

Product Highlights:

  • KFactor 16+
  • Packed in BPA free, non-leaching poly jars
  • USDA Certified Organic
  • Non-GMO project verified
  • Earthy notes with crystallization
  • Product of New Zealand

With a KFactor 16, this unpasteurized honey is deliciously packed with honey crystals that melt like candy on your tongue. Sweet, earthy tones create the sensation of walking through a caramel-coated garden.

I’ve used the Wedderspoon Manuka Honey in various ways, from a sweetener in my tea to a soothing throat coat, and it has certainly left an impression.

While this honey works into recipes beautifully, its texture also feels nice against the skin.

Verified to be a non-GMO product, this honey is sourced and packed in New Zealand. It arrives to you in a BPA-free, non-leaching poly jar with a USDA-Organic label.

Something you might notice about the honey jarred by this particular brand is that it has a powerful scent. This is one of the best organic raw honey products you can find anywhere!

Pros

  • Organic Certification: This honey is certified organic, ensuring it is free from pesticides.
  • Pleasant Taste: The flavor is distinct yet not overpowering, providing a pleasant sweetness.
  • Versatile Use: It’s great for various applications, from culinary uses to skincare.
  • Non-GMO Project Verified: The product adheres to non-GMO standards.

Cons

  • KFactor Clarity: The KFactor rating might be a bit confusing compared to the UMF or MGO grading systems.

Best Premium Manuka Honey: New Zealand Honey Co. Raw Manuka Honey UMF 24+

New Zealand Honey Co. Raw Manuka Honey UMF 24+

Size: 8.8 ounces (also available in other sizes)

Order directly from New Zealand Honey Co. for free shipping and fast delivery:

Product Highlights:

  • UMF 24+
  • MGO 1122+
  • Good texture for taking a “spoonful a day”
  • Graded based on UMF Honey Association criteria
  • Blends beautifully into shakes, smoothies, marinades and more
  • Uses BPA-free recycled packaging
  • Product of New Zealand

A living food that contains natural bee pollen and enzymes produced by bees, this supreme 24+ UMF manuka honey is both medicinal and delicious.

This lovely monofloral honey is foraged, prepared, and packed in New Zealand. It comes to you in a recyclable, BPA-free jar.

This honey is a great pick if you’re looking for a “superfood” that you can spoon into smoothies, teas, and yogurts to heal your body from the inside with its high antibacterial properties. Of course, it’s powerful and smooth enough to be a great topical agent for any wounds or sores that need healing.

Every batch of this honey is independently tested to ensure that you’re getting quality and consistency without losing that wild New Zealand streak.

Pros

  • High UMF Rating: With a UMF 24+ rating, this honey offers very high-quality assurance and potent beneficial properties.
  • Authenticity: The brand is trustworthy and provides genuine, high-grade Manuka honey.
  • Robust Flavor: It delivers a unique, rich, and complex flavor that is a delight to the palate.
  • Health Benefits: The high UMF rating suggests that it provides substantial health and antibacterial benefits.

Cons

  • Pricey: The high UMF rating comes with a steep price tag.

Budget Pick: Manukora MGO 50+ Multifloral Raw Mānuka Honey

Manukora MGO 50+ Multifloral Raw Mānuka Honey

Size: 8.8 ounces

Product Highlights:

  • MGO 50+
  • Affordable 100% Manuka honey
  • Raw culinary honey
  • Uses a traceability system to track product from “hive to hand”
  • Packaged in sustainable packaging
  • Product of New Zealand

This affordable MGO 50+ raw honey is popularly used for culinary concoctions like smoothies and desserts. Even non-chefs will appreciate the way a thick, smooth teaspoon of this honey melts into a mug of hot tea so easily.

The natural taste of manuka is preserved by a process that involves taking this sweet honey from the hive to the jar with only minimal creaming in between. Enjoy a dense texture that is velvety and sweet on the tongue.

Sourced from New Zealand, this multifloral honey undergoes 15 different tests and verifications to give you peace of mind over the fact that you’re adding antibiotic-free, non-GMO, glyphosate-free, and residue-free honey into your kitchen.

The Manukora honey comes to you in FSC-approved (Forest Stewardship Council) PET plastic packaging that meets strict environmental and sustainability standards.

Pros

  • Affordable Price: Compared to higher MGO ratings, this honey is more budget-friendly
  • Mild Flavor: The honey exhibits a mild, friendly flavor, making it versatile in various culinary uses.
  • Packaging: The packaging is sleek and ensures the honey remains fresh and intact.
  • Daily Use: With an MGO of 50+, it’s suitable for daily consumption in larger quantities without being overly potent.

Cons

  • Lower MGO: The MGO 50+ indicates a lower level of Methylglyoxal, meaning it is less potent compared to higher-rated options.
  • Mildness: For those desiring a bolder, richer flavor, it may be a bit too mild.

Delicious Taste: Comvita Certified UMF 10+ (MGO 263+) Raw Manuka Honey

Comvita Certified UMF 10+ (MGO 263+) Raw Manuka Honey

Size: 17.6 ounces

Product Highlights:

  • UMF 10+
  • MGO 263+
  • Every batch is independently tested and certified by the UMF Honey Association
  • Non-GMO verified
  • Delicious addition to smoothies and treats
  • Glides on smoothly for skin brightening
  • Product of New Zealand

With a UMF 10+, this honey isn’t necessarily a pick for your apothecary jar. However, it is a wonderful choice if you’re looking for the flavor and experience of manuka honey.

It blends quite easily into teas, oatmeal, and yogurts to add a touch of sweetness.

This particular manuka honey definitely has a darker, richer hue than some of the lighter, flowery colorings you see. You’ll also notice that it truly blends like a dream into whatever mixture or drink you’re adding it to!

However, the taste is still very strong and distinctive.

Pros

  • Trusted Brand: Comvita is a reputable and well-recognized brand in the Manuka honey market.
  • Versatile: Its balanced flavor profile allows for varied uses, from teas to skincare.
  • Sustainable Practices: The brand is committed to sustainability in its production practices, which is environmentally responsible.

Cons

  • UMF 10+: This honey doesn’t have the strongest medicinal benefits compared to other products with a higher UMF rating.

Great for Therapeutic Use: Good Natured Manuka Honey MGO 850+

Good Natured Manuka Honey MGO 850+

Size: 8.8 ounces

Product Highlights:

  • MGO 850+
  • Every batch is tested in a New Zealand Accredited lab
  • Produced using a cold extraction method to preserve wound-healing abilities
  • Active medical honey
  • No creaming takes place during processing
  • Product of Australia

This is the manuka honey you’ve been looking for if you’re searching for a truly medicinal blend with antibacterial qualities!

With an MGO 850+, this honey is touted as offering medicinal-strength potency. Sold in a BPA-free bottle, each batch is produced in a facility that operates with solar power.

The company also manages its own hives while adhering to all Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) protocols.

A special cold extraction method is used to preserve the honey’s leptospermum for maximum efficacy. In fact, the company is transparent enough to publish lab reports online demonstrating the potency of this honey.

While the Good Natured Manuka Honey can be consumed by the spoonful, it also has a very thick and soothing consistency that makes it a great option for topical application for wound healing.

Pros

  • High MGO Rating: With an MGO of 850+, this honey has potent beneficial properties.
  • Pleasant Taste: Its rich and sweet flavor is a delightful addition to various foods and drinks.
  • Versatility: From dietary to topical uses, its applications are notably versatile.
  • Quality Packaging: The packaging is sturdy and secure, ensuring the honey is well-preserved.
  • Available Information: Good Natured provides ample information about their product and its potential uses.

Cons

  • Price Point: The premium MGO rating comes with a premium price.

Manuka Honey Grading System Explained

Authentic manuka honey is so prized that it has its own proprietary grading system called the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). When shopping for manuka honey, always ensure that the honey has a grade to ensure that it’s authentic.

In addition, all real manuka honey contains three compounds called leptosperin, DHA and MGO.

UMF Rating

Originating from New Zealand, the UMF rating ensures that the honey is tested for its unique signature compounds that differentiate it from other honey varieties.

These compounds include:

  • Methylglyoxal (MGO): This compound largely attributes to the antibacterial properties of Manuka honey.
  • Dihydroxyacetone (DHA): Found in the nectar of Manuka flowers, DHA converts into MGO when bees turn the nectar into honey.
  • Leptosperin: A compound that is unique to Manuka honey and is also indicative of its authenticity.

As the UMF rating increases, so does the antibacterial potency of the honey.

UMF Ratings:

  • UMF 5-9: Low levels of activity properties. Not recommended for therapeutic use.
  • UMF 10-15: Moderate levels of activity properties. Suitable for regular use.
  • UMF 16+: High levels of activity properties. Considered superior grade with higher medicinal and therapeutic potential.

MGO Rating

Methylglyoxal (MGO) is the natural compound that gives honey its potent antibacterial powers. In fact, the UMF score determines how much MGO is in a manuka product.

A higher rating equals a more “medicinal” honey product.

Key Points about MGO:

  • Antibacterial Property: MGO is responsible for the strong antibacterial activity in Manuka honey.
  • Measurement: The MGO rating of Manuka honey represents the concentration of Methylglyoxal in milligrams per kilogram. For instance, an MGO rating of 100 indicates there are 100mg of Methylglyoxal per kg of honey.
  • Potency Indicator: A higher MGO rating indicates higher potency and therefore, potentially greater antibacterial activity.

MGO Ratings:

  • MGO 30-100: Low MGO content and minimal antibacterial activity.
  • MGO 100-350: Moderate levels and suitable for general daily consumption.
  • MGO 400+: High MGO content, often used for medical-grade Manuka honey.
  • MGO 800+: Extremely high MGO content and very potent antibacterial activity.

KFactor

While not as important as the UMF rating or MGO level, the KFactor is actually a marketing term developed by the Wedderspoon brand.

It is not a universally accepted grading system like the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) or MGO (Methylglyoxal) systems but is specific to this brand. The KFactor system emphasizes the purity, rawness, and authenticity of their Manuka honey.

Manuka honey with a KFactor rating means it’s:

  • Raw and unpausterized
  • Free of antibiotics, glyphosate and pesticides
  • Verified NON-GMO
  • Traceability from hive to home
  • Product of New Zealand

Components of the KFactor Grading System:

  1. Multi-Floral Manuka Honey (KFactor 12):
    • At least 65% of the pollen grains have to be from Manuka trees.
    • Non-GMO and raw.
  2. Monofloral Manuka Honey (KFactor 16):
    • At least 75% of all pollen grains need to be of Manuka origin.
    • Meets higher standards in terms of color and flavor compared to KFactor 12.
  3. Manuka Honey (KFactor 22):
    • At least 90% of all pollen grains have to be from Manuka trees.
    • The highest standard in the KFactor grading system.

How to Choose the Best Manuka Honey Brand

If you’re purchasing manuka honey for the first time, it’s important to know how to look for quality.

Country of Origin: Know Where Your Manuka Comes From

Real manuka honey only comes from Australia and New Zealand.

Most of the manuka honey shipped around the world comes from a stretch of land spanning from New Zealand’s West Coast to the East Cape. It’s known by beekeepers and culinary experts as the “Golden Triangle” for rare honey.

Some sellers are betting on the fact that buyers don’t know about the exclusive origins of manuka honey. While other countries of origin may market honey as being “manuka” honey, the products they are selling aren’t actually derived from the native manuka bushes that produce this honey.

To ensure quality, avoid manuka honey from places like China.

Grading and Certifications

A reputable manuka honey producer should add information about UMF and/or MGO (or KFactor) ratings and certificates to the label.

When purchasing Manuka honey, always look at the UMF rating (or MGO/KFactor) to ensure that the honey is genuine. This will also help you understand its quality and potential benefits. Looking at this rating is particularly crucial for those seeking Manuka honey for its therapeutic properties.

While grading standards vary by honey producer, at least one of those categories should be displayed on the label. Certifications from food regulators and labs are also signs of integrity.

When Buying for Medicinal Purposes

If you’re purchasing manuka honey for its antibacterial properties, choose products with a UMF 20+ (or MGO 850+) rating or higher to get richer antibacterial properties through greater MGO levels.

When Buying for Sweetening Teas and Foods

If you’ll be using manuka honey as a sweetener in teas, granola, muffins, or other recipes because you’re craving its earthy, flowery taste, looking for products with a lower UMF is fine.

When Buying for Skin and Hair

If you’re purchasing manuka honey for beauty or skin treatments, opt for a higher UMF when trying to treat things like acne or a follicle infection.

When you’re simply looking for soothing, nourishing qualities for your skin and hair, you can save money by selecting a lower UMF rating.

Health Benefits of Manuka Honey

Commonly used in folk medicine, manuka honey is getting attention from modern-day researchers for its potent ability to activate the body’s natural healing abilities.

Some of the science-backed health benefits of manuka honey include:

Antibacterial Properties: As mentioned above, manuka honey has natural antibacterial properties. In studies, it has even demonstrated an ability to efficiently inhibit influenza virus replication.

Alternative to Antibiotics: For those seeking holistic wellness, researchers have confirmed that the higher phenolic and methylglyoxal contents found in manuka honey compared to non-manuka honey make it a “natural and safe antibiotic.”

Enhanced Wound Healing: According to one study, manuka honey can enhance wound healing and tissue regeneration by its immunomodulatory properties.

Gum Disease Prevention: Manuka has been shown to help treat gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Sore Throat Treatment: Manuka honey is used to treat sore throats (Streptococcus pyogenes). This makes it a perfect companion to a cup of tea if you like medicine that goes down easy!

Acne Help: Many beauty brands use manuka honey in facial scrubs and cleansers. It’s also easy to make homemade manuka skin products.

Relief for Sinus Infections: Manuka honey is known to reduce sinus inflammation thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Manuka Honey FAQ

What grade of manuka honey is best?

Manuka honey has two prominent grading systems: the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) and the Methylglyoxal (MGO) grading system.

In the UMF grading system, a higher UMF indicates a higher level of unique Manuka properties. UMF 16+ is often considered a high-grade Manuka honey and is thought to confer more health benefits due to its higher concentration of beneficial compounds.

The MGO grading system measures the Methylglyoxal content, which is one of the key compounds responsible for the antibacterial activity of Manuka honey. Higher MGO numbers indicate higher antibacterial activity and generally higher quality.

Recommendation:

  • For general use (like a dietary supplement or for skin care), Manuka honey with a UMF rating of 10-15 (or its MGO equivalent) is often recommended.
  • For therapeutic use, a UMF rating of 16+ (or its MGO equivalent) is usually recommended.

Why is manuka honey so expensive?

Manuka honey is expensive due to its unique health properties and limited production. In addition, the rigorous testing and certification processes implemented to ensure its quality and authenticity add to its cost.

Can you eat manuka honey every day?

Yes, you can eat Manuka honey every day, but it’s important to consume it in moderation due to its high sugar content. It should be avoided by individuals with honey allergies and should not be given to infants under one year of age due to the risk of botulism.

It’s best to consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice if you plan to consume it for therapeutic purposes.

How to take manuka honey for acid reflux?

Manuka honey may be taken for acid reflux by consuming it directly or mixing it into a warm (not hot) drink. A common approach is to take 1-2 teaspoons of Manuka honey on an empty stomach, such as first thing in the morning or between meals, to potentially help manage acid reflux symptoms. Some people also find relief by taking it before bed to minimize nighttime reflux.

Where to buy manuka honey?

The best option for buying manuka honey is often to order it directly from the company’s website. This ensures you will get an authentic product with the best price. You can also find many popular brands of manuka honey on Amazon for a good price. Another option is to go to your local health food store and look for manuka honey.

Enjoy your daily dose of healthy manuka honey!

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