Manuka honey is produced from flowers of the Manuka bush that is native to New Zealand. This honey is considered superior to traditional honey because of its impressive antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Numerous studies on Manuka honey suggest that good quality varieties have medicinal properties. Not only does it help to heal wounds, but it can also improve oral health.
Additionally, Manuka honey is an amazing superfood with an attractive nutritional profile.
However, not all Manuka honey brands in the market are equal. Here is a quick rundown of the most popular Manuka Honey brands and what sets them apart.
1. New Zealand Honey Co. Raw Manuka Honey
New Zealand Honey Co. Raw Manuka Honey is 100% authentic certified and tested high-quality Manuka honey.
- Meets UMF and MGO standards
- Raw honey with a fresh flavor profile
- Medicinal quality
- Luscious texture
- Minimally filtered to retain original properties
- Expensive as the UMF grading increases
- Packaging could be better
- UMF and MGO certified
- Six grades available
- Range extends from UMF 5+/MGO 83+ to UMF 26+/MGO 1282+
- Sourced from New Zealand
Indigenously Sourced from remote mountainous locations of New Zealand, New Zealand Honey Co. Manuka Honey has excellent health properties. The company tests and certifies each production batch to ensure authenticity and quality parameters.
The lower grades of UMF 5+ and 10+ honey are good immunity boosters and suitable for general consumption. Meanwhile, grades 15+ and above have medicinal benefits. With excellent anti-bacterial properties, this honey is a good remedy for colds, flu, and other infections.
New Zealand Honey Co. Raw Manuka Honey is unpasteurized and free from any artificial ingredients. Before bottling, the honey undergoes low-speed centrifugation. This process does not affect any of the positive attributes of the product. The bottled honey is just as potent as when extracted. The honey is thick and creamy. Since it has undergone minimum filtration, it remains fresh and flavorful.
Overall Rating: 9.5/10 (Excellent)
2. Wedderspoon Raw Premium Manuka Honey
If you are looking for a cheap but good brand of Manuka honey and aren’t bothered about UMF certifications, Wedderspoon Raw Premium Manuka Honey should be suitable.
- One of the most affordable brands of Manuka Honey
- Available in a variety of sizes
- Convenient travel-size packs
- Free of antibiotics and pesticides
- Multifloral and monofloral variations are available
- Meets the SQF (safe quality food) standard
- Not UMF or MGO certified
- Unspecified medicinal value
- Unclear about NPA activity
- Three different grades available
- Wedderspoon follows their own grading system called K-Factor for product quality
- Non-GMO and Raw
- Sourced and packed in New Zealand
The biggest drawback of Wedderspoon Manuka honey is that it doesn’t comply with UMF and MGO standards. Since these gradings are the benchmarks of authentic Manuka Honey, the actual effectiveness of this brand is debatable. So, Wedderspoon Manuka honey may not be the right choice for you if you want a 100% guarantee for the products you use.
Nevertheless, Wedderspoon Manuka honey isn’t entirely unregulated. The brand follows its own grading criteria called the K-factor. This is based on the concentration of Leptospermum scoparium in the honey. It places importance on the holistic properties of Manuka honey to measure quality.
Although there is no data about the non-peroxide activity of Wedderspoon Manuka honey, it is still safe for consumption. This is, in fact, the only brand that meets the Safe quality food standard. Wedderspoon also has MPI certification from the government of New Zealand.
So, don’t hesitate to try a sample of Wedderspoon honey. But be realistic with your expectations if you intend to use it as medicine.
Of the varieties that Wedderspoon produces, the mono-floral variety or K-Factor 22+ and 16+ Manuka honey are supposedly stronger. The other K-Factor 12 option is multi-floral honey, which is derived from a blend of sources.
Overall Rating: 9.1/10 (Excellent)
3. Manukora Premium Manuka Honey
The reason why I got this product is that it has been gaining a lot of popularity in the last few years.
- Great taste and nice texture
- Works well for digestion issues
- Can be used as a rinse for sinus issues
- Free from antibiotics
- Came with some crystallization
- A bit dry and granular sometimes
- The lid could be designed better
- Available in 50+, 100+, 600+, 850+ and 1123+ MGO variants
- Non-GMO verified and MGO certified
- Raw and unpasteurized
- UMFHA member
- Sourced from NZ
The taste is not too sweet, it is just right for me.
I take a teaspoon every day with my breakfast and I feel the difference within two weeks. It regulates my digestive system and keeps it working smoothly.
Manukora is known to be effective when it comes to treating irritated throats, as well as controlling acid reflux and ulcers.
The product’s antibacterial properties and creamy texture have made it extremely popular. Indeed, many users say it helps alleviate skin ailments.
Overall Rating: 8.7/10 (Very Good)
4. Kiva Raw Manuka Honey
Kiva is the right choice when you want high-quality, certified raw Manuka Honey with therapeutic qualities.
- Rich, dense texture
- Different types of products to suit different needs
- Organic and Non-GMO certified
- Medicinal grade honey
- Rich in antioxidants and antibacterial properties
- Unhappy with the plastic jar
- UMF certified
- Grades available: UMF 5+, UMF 10+, UMF 15+, UMF 20+, UMF 24+ & UMF 10+ Snap Packets
- Raw honey
- Produced in New Zealand
Kiva Manuka honey is of good quality. It is raw and pure. The UMF and MGO certifications prove that it is an effective anti-bacterial agent with good peroxide activity.
Kiva’s grade UMF 15+ and 20+ honey samples are suitable for medicinal needs. The high MGO numbers also indicate that it is ideal for various health issues. Taste-wise, this organic brand is not overpowering and has just the right amount of sweetness.
The UMF 10+ snap packets do not have significant medicinal value. However, they can be used as natural sweeteners. These packets are also easy to carry around and great for when you need a quick, healthy, and sweet snack while traveling.
Overall Rating: 8.2/10 (Very Good)
5. Manuka Doctor Manuka Honey
Unlike other brands we’ve tried, this one didn’t have an intense taste or any kind of aftertaste.
- Taste is good and mixes easily
- High quality and will last a long time
- Good for cuts, skin irritation, and immune support
- Helped me to manage my reflux quite well
- Includes monofloral & multifloral variations
- Does not offer a true UMF rating
- The bottle is smaller than expected
- Grades available: MGO 35+, 45+, 60+, 80+, 125+, 225+, 325+, 425+, 525+, 625+, 725+, 825+, 925+ and 1025+
- Certified as genuine by the government of New Zealand
- Packed and Imported from New Zealand
- MGO rated
I bought this honey as a gift for my husband. He is a professional vocalist and this honey is great for helping his voice heal after a live performance.
I highly recommend this honey for anyone that has sore throats or just wants a healthy alternative sweetener.
Overall Rating: 7.8/10 (Good)
6. Comvita Manuka Honey
Comvita Manuka Honey is the guaranteed choice for high-grade, high-quality, UMF certified genuine honey.
- UMF certification guarantees product authenticity
- Variety of grades to suit different needs
- Sustainably produced
- Non-GMO, Kosher and Halal
- A widely known brand
- It weighs less than the label says
- UMF and GMO certified Manuka honey
- The full range extends from UMF 5+ to UMF 20+
- Monofloral Manuka Honey
Comvita was established in 1974 and is a pioneer brand for Manuka honey. This brand follows the golden UMF standard to produce 100% genuine Manuka honey. For a conscious customer, this is a big advantage as it guarantees a sustainably sourced, high-grade product.
Comvita honey has a rich, creamy texture, and the color intensifies as it ages.
Although the Comvita Honey range begins at UMF 5+, the therapeutic value is insignificant below UMF 10+. So, you may like to look at the premium Comvita grades of UMF 10+ for medicinal purposes. Anything below has negligible therapeutic value and can be best used as a natural sweetener.
When compared to other brands with similar certifications, Comvita Honey is generally expensive. Also, their honey isn’t raw. Finally, each grade of honey is available in just one size. This can prove to be very pricey, especially if you need only small quantities.
Overall Rating: 7.5/10 (Good)
7. Good Natured Raw Australian Manuka Honey
Good Natured is an AMHA(Australian Manuka Honey Association) certified honey producer. Although I was skeptical at first, I was pleasantly surprised by the results of this amazing product. I applied it to a small wound on my arm and noticed it healing in just a few days.
- Inviting flavor
- Good for acid reflux and throat issues
- Lower in sugar than some UMF honey
- Affordable and strong
- Little crystallized when came
- The container is plastic
- Frequent inconsistencies
- Available in MGO 100+, MGO 260+, MGO 510+, MGO 850+ and MGO 1200+
- Sourced from Australia
- AMHA certified
I like the flavor of this honey, but it is a little bit bitter. Its antiseptic effect and healing power make my stomach feel better.
I recommend this product for faster wound healing.
I expected the product to come in a glass jar. Many of us are aware of the toxic chemicals that can leach from the plastic into our food. I wonder why this manufacturer continues to use plastic in its packaging since there are safer alternatives.
Please note that this is an Australian manuka honey. It’s not the same quality as New Zealand manuka honey.
Overall Rating: 6.9/10 (Above Average)
8. Egmont Honey Manuka Honey
This honey comes from New Zealand. I am confident that it is authentic Manuka honey.
- A deliciously addictive flavor
- A good option for people with eczema
- Well sealed
- The price is reasonable for the quality
- Has a hint of bitterness
- The jar was small
- Honey is UMF™ certified
- UMF levels range from 5+ to 27+
- UMF 15+ lozenges are also available for sore throats
- Comes from New Zealand
I really like the texture and how smooth it tastes. It’s not acidic or sour, just perfect. And it’s one of the strongest UMF manuka you can find.
If you want a honey that delivers maximum potency and health benefits at a fair price, give this brand a try.
Overall Rating: 6.6/10 (Above Average)
9. Steens Raw Manuka Honey
When choosing honey for my family, I tested and compared many of the most popular brands. To be honest with you, I found some of them to be mislabeled, adulterated, and diluted with cheap foreign honey.
- I really enjoy the unique flavor
- Rich and satisfying, not too sweet
- Tastes like regular honey
- Great to apply to cuts, and other minor skin injuries
- A bit grainy, but it’s not bad
- Six varieties are available: UMF 8+, UMF 10+, UMF 13+, UMF 15+, UMF 10+ and UMF 24+
- The jar comes with a barcode that helps you trace the source of honey
- UMF certified honey
- Available in both monofloral and multifloral versions
I have compared Steens Manuka Honey with other brands and I can confidently say that it’s impressive. The honey is extracted by a unique cold-pressed process, which preserves the active ingredient.
I have seen great results by using this product.
My son fell off his skateboard and scraped up his knee and elbow. I put a little bit of Steens Manuka honey on them, within 5 days they were completely healed. I have used it for cuts and burns and it works wonders.
Steens uses the cold-pressing technique to extract the nutritious bee bread to preserve its ingredients for human consumption. Keep in mind that this honey is very strong. For kids, UMF 5+ to 10+ will be a better option.
Overall Rating: 6.2/10 (Above Average)
10. Manuka Health Manuka Honey
This specific brand of honey uses the widely-known MGO grading system. MGO stands for methylglyoxal and the highest methylglyoxal concentration found in this brand is 1288+, which is their pinnacle harvest version.
- Tastes great
- Great for troubled skin
- You can choose among several options
- Environmentally responsible
- Kosher and Halal certified
- Could be packaged better
- It contains added sugar
- Available in MGO 30+, MGO 115+, MGO 250+, MGO 263+, MGO 400+, MGO 573+, MGO 700+, MGO 850+, MGO 950+ and 1288+
- Approved by the UMF and MGO rated manuka honey
- Produced in New Zealand
I purchased this product to apply to my face, as I heard it is effective for the treatment of skin conditions.
I was very happy with this product. The honey is indeed very thick and doesn’t drip off your face. I would say it is the best honey mask I’ve ever tried.
If you want to treat GI issues, sinus infections, and skin infections, opt for manuka health rated 400+ or above. The MGO 400+ is also appropriate for healing wounds and acne scars.
Lower levels of MGO can be used as a sugar alternative, especially for people who are making healthy choices.
Overall Rating: 5.6/10 (Average)
What are the Manuka Honey Grading Systems, and Why are they Important?
Manuka honey enjoys more importance than other traditional varieties of honey because of its medicinal properties. This single factor also justifies its higher price. However, not all Manuka honey is the same.
You may not enjoy the therapeutic benefits of Manuka honey if you do not pay attention to the quality of the product you buy. But how do you know what to expect from a brand?
This is where grading systems like UMF, MGO, and K-factor come into focus. But to understand these terms, we should first analyze what makes Manuka honey special. Let us briefly explain this part.
Any honey in raw form has antibacterial properties due to the presence of hydrogen peroxide. However, when the heat is applied, this hydrogen peroxide is neutralized. Since the processing of honey involves heat, it can cause honey to lose its antibacterial properties.
However, Manuka honey is an exception. It displays antibacterial properties even after its hydrogen peroxide is neutralized by heat processing.
This unique anti-microbial property of Manuka honey is due to the presence of another chemical compound called methylglyoxal or MGO. This active ingredient is present as dihydroxyacetone or DHA, exclusive to Manuka flowers. It is responsible for Manuka honey’s non-peroxide antibacterial activity or NPA.
So, the more MGO a batch contains, the more potent this variety of Manuka honey should be. But how do you identify this?
To help customers evaluate the quality of Manuka honey, standard grading systems were developed. Let us look at the most important and relevant grading systems.
What is UMF, MGO, and K-factor?
Of the different grading systems used to evaluate the quality of Manuka honey, UMF, MGO, and K-factor are most popular.
Of the different types of Manuka honey grading systems, UMF is held in the highest regard. UMF certified honey is genuine as it gives an accurate representation of the anti-bacterial properties of a batch.
UMF measures MGO and DHA levels to determine the non-peroxide activity of honey. Accordingly, it grades honey on a scale of 5+ to 30+ according to the antibiotic strength.
Manuka honey with UMF 10+ displays high anti-bacterial activity and is suitable for therapeutic uses. Higher numbers indicate higher purity and hence, better benefits.
The MGO system directly calculates how much methylglyoxal is present in a type of honey. Manuka honey has very high MGO levels. So, if the MGO scale is above 100+, it is highly likely that the sample primarily contains Manuka honey.
However, a factor to consider is that MGO levels are tested by the concerned company themselves. So, it isn’t exactly verifiable.
The K factor grading system is created and used exclusively by Wedderspoon. The scale consists of three divisions—K-Factor 12, K-Factor 16, and K-Factor 22.
The numbers on this scale represent the pollen content in honey. So, honey with K-Factor 22 has a higher percentage of Manuka plant pollen than that in K-Factor 12.
Since pollen counts are not considered an accurate measure of purity, the K-Factor is not an efficient grading system for Manuka honey.
What to Look for When Choosing Manuka Honey?
When you wish to buy good quality Manuka honey, it becomes necessary to rely on recognized grading scales. Since UMF measures the non-peroxide activity and follows strict verification protocols, this is the most reliable certification.
After UMF, MGO is the next most trustworthy choice. However, always go with a credible company to guarantee that the numbers can be trusted.
For high-quality Manuka honey with medicinal value, the K-factor and bioactive labels are not reliable. So, you may like to avoid brands without UMF or MGO labels unless you want to use honey as a natural sweetener.
Pure Manuka honey has unparalleled therapeutic benefits that make it a star amongst other traditional varieties of honey. However, it is imperative to choose genuine brands to enjoy any actual benefit. Standard grading scales will help with this choice.
This post revealed the best Manuka honey brands available. We also looked at the different factors that should help you make an informed and correct choice. Whether it is for general use or targeted treatment, this should help you find the right Manuka honey for your needs.