5. Kiva Raw Manuka HoneyThe best Manuka honey brands are not typically carried in most grocery stores. They’re considered a specialty item. Manuka is nothing like the honey you grew up eating. It doesn’t come in a bear-shaped bottle. Its potent healing properties is what makes it so special.
People who love Manuka honey don’t eat it because of the sweet flavor—that’s a bonus. It’s popular because it contains antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, Manuka honey can be applied topically for skin-healing benefits.
This type of honey isn’t just for smearing on bread(tip: we make our own bread then add sliced apples on top of the honey for a healthy breakfast). It’s also more than just a tea sweetner. Manuka is very versatile. It can be ingested, applied on wounds or used to treat acne.
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10 Best Manuka Honey Brand Reviews
Finding authentic Manuka honey can be a challenge. Traditionally, authentic Manuka is grown and packaged in New Zealand. It’s the native origin of the Manuka plant, which is the plant that honeybees pollinate.
Manuka is also the most potent when it’s raw and unpasteurized. Otherwise, heating it can kill off some of its powerful healing properties.
Finally, Manuka should have some sort of certification or rating. Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) is the standard. However, there are other rating systems that give Manuka a grade based on the level of antibacterial properties present. Here’s what we found and what we recommend based on our comprehensive reviews.
This 8.8-ounce jar from Manukora is a high-quality manuka honey. It’s premium price is justified because of its quality, authenticity, and potency.
If you’re looking for a top of the line honey, Manukora is a great choice. This raw honey is dark with a strong flavor profile. It can be used in recipes, teas, and smoothies.
In addition, it can be applied topically to wounds and used in your skincare routine. It is the most potent in terms of antibacterial properties, which are associated with many health benefits.
Their honey is also authentic because it’s produced by bees who feed exclusively on the Manuka plant in New Zealand. Each product contains a unique trust code. This code allows you to confirm its authenticity and trace the batch from hive to hand.
UMF is an abbreviation that’s used frequently when discussing Manuka honey. It stands for Unique Manuka Factor. It confirms the authenticity and measures the antibacterial compounds present in each batch of honey.
The UMF grade of Manukora honey is 20+ which is the highest we’ve seen. For instance, a UMF grade of 15 is considered medium grade. UMF 20+ means that the Manuka contains 830+ Methylglyoxal (MGO), which is the major antibacterial compound in honey.
If you’re looking for a Manuka with potent antibacterial properties, consider Manukora. With such a high UMF grade, this is a great choice for those looking to experience its many health benefits.
The premium price is a drawback for some people. However, the price is justified by its high-quality characteristics and potency. You just won’t find these traits in lower-priced honey products.
- UMF 20+ certified and MGO 830+ certified
- Authentic raw Manuka honey from New Zealand
- Natural, non-GMO, and traceable from hive to hand
- Premium price
- Flavor may be too bold for some.
Comvita is the leading manuka honey brand in New Zealand. They’ve been beekeeping for over 45 years.
Their premium Manuka contains 8.8 ounces per jar. Comvita’s Manuka is raw and unpasteurized unlike some other brands that do pasteurize their honey. Therefore, you get to experience the health benefits associated with raw, untouched Manuka.
You can add this manuka to your tea, toast, yogurt or any healthy recipes. It’s also great to have a spoonful before a work-out as a natural energy source. It can also be used in your beauty regimen. Its antibacterial properties make for an excellent DIY face mask.
Comvita is certified by the UMF Honey Association. Their Manuka receives a UMF 15+ grade, which is above average. This certification requires them to adhere to strict quality control guidelines. Therefore, they consider their product super premium grade.
Many other Manuka brands without the UMF certification will have terms like “Bio-Active” or “Active” on their jars. These are marketing terms and they are not the same as a UMF certification which ensures the purity, authenticity and quality of the manuka honey.
Their other certifications include non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Kosher, and Halal. Comvita puts a lot of thought into their products. For instance, they only use BPA-free packaging and each product is traceable back to the hive.
Comvita’s honey is also sterilized thereby making it medical grade. Some hospitals and clinics use Comvita Manuka for topical administration on wounds and burns. It’s considered an effective treatment for healing because of the antibacterial properties.
- UMF 15+ certified
- Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Halal, and Kosher certified
- Traceable to New Zealand forests
- Premium price
- Taste may be too strong for some
- Quantity may be less than labeled per some purchasers
Like other top Manuka brands, WildCape is UMF certified. Their honey receives a UMF rating of 15+. What sets WildCape apart is that their honey is derived from a single source.
When you purchase from WildCape, you can rest easy knowing that all 8.8 ounce BPA-free jars came from the same place. Other Manuka brands may blend their honey from multiple origins. This blending process can affect the flavor, texture, and efficacy of the honey.
Another benefit is in its flavor profile. This manuka honey is milder and less bitter than other brands yet still retains its potency.
This honey is used in teas, smoothies and hot water as a natural sweetner. Many people use it as an ingredient in their cooking or on their breakfasts and desserts. Its rich, sweet taste enhances any meal or drink.
WildCape has ethical harvesting practices in place which sets them apart from other Manuka manufacturers. Since extracting Manuka honey requires the keeping of live bees, some people worry that bee products may not be made ethically.
WildCape puts the worries of conscious consumers to rest. They allow the wax comb in each beehive to remain with the bees.
This practice is a less industrial way to harvest honey since no artificial honeycomb is used. The beekeepers at WildCape also extract the honey by hand. This is also a more ethical practice as honey extraction machinery can harm or stress the honeybees.
If you’re looking for an ethical and sustainable option, look no further than WildCape’s Manuka honey. No other brand puts forth as much effort to make sure the bees are kept in ethical conditions.
- UMF 15+ certification confirms its antibacterial properties
- Made with ethical harvesting practices
- Single-source origin preserves efficacy and flavor
- Mild flavor profile may not appeal to some
- Less thick than other brands
- Jar is BPA-free plastic, but not more environmentally friendly glass
Each batch of Happy Valley’s UMF 15+ standard manuka honey is individually tested by an independent labratory to certify its UMF. They also publish their lab results so you can rest easy knowing that the honey quality and purity is as stated on its label.
There are a lot of honey products on the market that make many claims (including being authentic Manuka when they’re inauthentic). So Happy Valley Honey goes the extra mile to back all their claims with proof. This protects both them and you.
Each jar contains 8.8 ounces of authentic Manuka honey. Although this is a premium product, it’s still priced competitively. Its amber color and distinct flavor that contains notes of caramel leave a pleasant after taste in your mouth.
This honey has multiple every day uses. You can add it to toast, oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies and desserts. In addition, it can be used in health tonics and as an ingredient in an all-natural face mask for your beauty routine. The list goes on.
Happy Valley Honey is a high end and respected company. Their packaging is written according to New Zealand practices. In addition, they follow strict New Zealand government regulations.
Their 6-point quality system sets them apart from other brands. Some of the points—such as the health of the bees and gentle processing of the hives—aren’t even taken into consideration by other companies.
Another quality point is their gentle processing. They make sure not to heat the Manuka more than the natural hive temperature that would endanger the efficacy of the honey.
- Certified UMF 15+ rating
- Independently tested
- 6-point quality system
- Some users are not fond of the taste
- A few purchasers mention poor packaging issues upon delivery
Kiva wants to protect their customers from low-grade Manuka honeys. Many are labeled with terms like “active” or “bio-active”. So they have their product tested and certified by the UMF Association to ensure it’s high grade.
Each 8.8-ounce jar contains raw honey directly from New Zealand. Their honey is 15+ UMF certified, independently tested and traceable. We like that Kiva is one of the most transparent Manuka makers.
UMF certification is important when it comes to buying this honey for health purposes. Not every manufacturer chooses to get their Manuka certified by the UMF Certification. However, Kiva is one company that does.
Their honey receives a UMF grade of 15+ which is equivalent to 510+ MGO. This means that it contains a medium-high concentration of Methylglyoxal, one of the main compounds that gives Manuka its antibacterial properties.
Their honey can be used in many different ways. It’s great to add in hot water to help soothe a sore throat or cold. A spoonful can help give you an energy boost or aid in healthy digestion. It can also be used in smoothies, oatmeal, tea and toast to name few.
Manuka is generally one of the most expensive types of honey. Kiva is a brand that has a premium price but for good reason.
However, the cost may be a drawback for some. Another drawback is the high level of crystallization. This process makes the texture less smooth and creamy than other brands.
- Certified UMF 15+ which is equivalent to 510+ MGO
- BPA-free packaging
- 100% raw and from New Zealand
- High level of crystallization
- Premium price
True Manuka must be grown and packaged in New Zealand since that’s where the Manuka plant is natively grown. Unfortunately, American honey shoppers have to pay a premium price due to the high costs of international shipping.
Luckily, Pacific Resources International (PRI) is an American distributor of New Zealand Manuka honey. They’re able to bring the honey all the way from New Zealand at affordable prices.
The standard size of a Manuka honey jar is 8.8 ounces or 250 grams. PRI Manuka contains 1.1 pounds in a single jar.
So if you’re looking for a Manuka that is long-lasting, this jar contains approximately twice the standard amount. So you get double the honey for around the same price as other brands.
The only drawback is that PRI doesn’t have a UMF certification. So it’s difficult to know how many antibacterial compounds are present.
However, PRI has conducted independent lab testing. The results confirm their Manuka is approximately 20+ UMF or 100+ MGO. These results haven’t been confirmed by the UMF Association, though.
- Over 1 pound of Manuka honey at an affordable price
- Packed and manufactured in New Zealand
- Raw, Kosher-certified, and sourced from the Manuka plant
- Not UMF certified
- Mild flavor may not appeal to some
Wedderspoon is a great choice if you’re looking for a budget friendly Manuka. Their product is raw, unpasteurized, and manufactured in New Zealand.
Wedderspoon considers their honey to be a superfood due to its naturally occurring wellness properties. They also pay close attention to the creamy texture and smooth taste of their product. Some honeys have a gritty texture or unpleasant flavor.
Manuka honey should be as natural as possible. Wedderspoon honey is free of harmful chemicals (antibiotics, pesticides, glyphosate, etc.) and is 100% all-natural.
There are different certifications used to validate the purity of Manuka honey. UMF is the most common and most credible. However, some manufacturers use KFactor. This measures how much of the honey is made from the Manuka plant rather than other plants.
It can be difficult for beekeepers to ensure that the bees only produce honey from one type of plant. This KFactor certification is in place to prevent honey from being labeled as Manuka when it was mainly produced from non-Manuka plants.
Wedderspoon honey has a KFactor of 16. This means that the New Zealand government has verified this Manuka to contain at least 75% Manuka pollen.
While this is a useful certification to validate the authenticity of Manuka, it doesn’t grade the antibacterial properties like a UMF score does. We’d like to see Wedderspoon get this product certified by the UMF Association.
- KFactor score of 16
- BPA-free jar is free of harmful chemicals
- All-natural, non-GMO, Kosher, and Safe Quality Food (SQF) certified
- Lacks UMF certification
- Honey contains pollen from non-manuka plants
Each jar of Manuka Doctor honey contains 8.75 ounces of New Zealand honey from purely Manuka plants. According to Manuka Doctor, you can expect to see a spike in energy levels from incorporating their Manuka into your daily routine.
This Manuka is used for Apitherapy purposes, which means using bee products for medicinal applications. So you may also experience anti-inflammatory benefits when ingesting this honey.
This honey can be used in beverages as a sweetner or added to meals such as: waffles, toast, oatmeal or smoothies. You can even just take a spoonful each day for its health and energy benefits.
As the brand name suggests, Manuka Doctor emphasizes the medicinal strength of their honey. They use the Total Activity (TA) rating system to measure the strength of their honey. TA specifically looks at peroxide activity (PA) in honey, which corresponds to the antibacterial properties.
A TA of 10+ is said to have some antibacterial properties. With a TA of at least 24, Manuka Doctor is known for its strength in terms of antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Their TA markers are tested by independent labs for unbiased results.
While TA ratings can be helpful, UMF certification is the standard. We’d like to see Manuka Doctor verify the antibacterial properties with the UMF Association.
- TA of 24+ is strong
- Independently tested by labs
- Manufactured in New Zealand and certified Kosher
- Not certified by the UMF Association
- Can become runny in hot weather so needs refrigeration
Manuka Health takes a unique approach to honey by balancing nature with science. Their Manuka has all the natural properties of honey but with the added benefit of scientific validation.
Independent quality tests confirm that this Manuka has an MGO score of 400+ which is equivalent to approximately 13 UMF.
Each jar contains 8.8 ounces of pure New Zealand honey. Manuka Health sources their honey from pristine and remote areas of New Zealand where the Manuka planet is natively grown.
It’s rare for a health food brand to have a product that’s fully traceable. However, Manuka Health is able to trace each jar back to the source.
In addition to being traceable, and therefore transparent, their Manuka is also backed by the renowned Professor Thomas Henle. Per Professor Henle’s research, Manuka Health’s honey contains contains significant amounts of what is considered a “magic ingredient” in the honey industry: Methylglyoxal.
One drawback of this Manuka is that the strength is slightly less than average. You may need to use more of it to experience the same health benefits as a more potent Manuka honey.
- MGO score of 400+
- Fully traced back to New Zealand bee farms
- Highly researched by renowned Professor Thomas Henle
- Less potent than other Manuka honey brands
- Must use larger quantity to experience benefits
- Not UMF certified
Traditional Manuka honey is made exclusively in New Zealand. However, we’ll make an exception for Good Natured, an Australian maker of high-quality Manuka.
The Manuka plant also grows in Australia. Therefore, you can get authentic Manuka honey from both New Zealand and Australia.
Good Natured focuses on the medicinal properties of Manuka. They have many standards in place to ensure that their honey, though not made in New Zealand, is pure and effective.
Some of those standards include: adhering to medical grade practices, not exposing the honey to heat, and certifying their honey with an MGO rating of at least 820.
Each BPA-free jar contains 8.8 ounces of raw Manuka honey manufactured with purely cold extraction processes.
Many Manuka manufacturers expose their honey to heat in order to get a creamy consistency. Unfortunately, this reduces the honey into a thin, runny syrup. However, Manuka is supposed to be thick and somewhat crystallized.
So Good Natured uses only cold extraction. They don’t expose their Manuka to heat which damages the enzymes and antibacterial compounds in the honey. This preserves the medical strength of raw Manuka.
An MGO 820+ rating is impressive, but the Australian origin and lack of UMF certification are drawbacks of this Manuka.
- 100% raw, MGO of 820+ which is equivalent to NPA 20+
- Cold extraction process preserves the enzymes and antibacterial compounds.
- Contains potent unique healing properties
- Not made in New Zealand
- Not UMF certified
- Premium price
Manuka Honey Buyer’s Guide
There are a few qualities that make for good Manuka honey. First, it will come from either New Zealand or Australia. Second, a good Manuka will have a rating or certification by a trustworthy grading system. Check out the video below for some of its benefits.
The best Manuka honey also varies depending on how you intend on using it. For medicinal purposes, the right Manuka for you will have more antibacterial properties. This is indicated by a higher potency. If you use Manuka as a sweetener, the potency can be lower.
Manuka honey should be authentic, high-quality, and made by a trustworthy manufacturer. Fortunately, we’ve done the research for you.
How to Select a Manuka Honey
There are a few things you must know before paying a premium price for a low quality honey. Since Manuka is associated with many health benefits, it’s especially important to invest in a quality product. Here are the factors that come into play when determining whether a Manuka product is worth your time and money.
Country of Origin
Manuka honey is made when honeybees pollinate the Manuka flowers. These flowers are native to New Zealand. Therefore, most authentic Manuka honeys come from there. However, Manuka can be produced wherever the Manuka plant is grown. Most of the quality honeys we’ve seen come from New Zealand but some do come from Australia.
New Zealand and Australia
New Zealand is the #1 maker of Manuka honey. Some Manuka certifications even require that the honey is 100% from New Zealand. It makes the most sense that Manuka is made in this country since Manuka flowers grow there naturally.
When Manuka is from New Zealand, it’s a good sign. So, try to get your honey from New Zealand if you can. Australian Manuka is a close second. In Australia, the Manuka plant is called “Tea Tree” so Australian manufacturers may label their Manuka as “Tea Tree Honey.”
The China Problem
Chinese honey laundering is becoming a big problem in the U.S. In order to make honey more shelf-stable, China ultra-filters their honey. This process gets rid of all the beneficial pollen. Chinese honey is also diluted with high-fructose corn syrup and may contain chemicals and antibiotics. Long story short: Chinese honey is usually low-grade, low-quality, inauthentic, and void of any health benefits.
The U.S. government has even placed tariffs on Chinese honey to prevent Americans from buying low-quality—and possibly unsafe—honey.
To circumvent this, Chinese honey makers have flooded the European honey market. By going through Europe, Chinese honey can pass as European honey and make its way to America. Tests have shown that 77% of honey sold at big box retailers like Walmart, Target, and H.E.B. have had the pollen ultra-filtered out.
So how do you avoid honey made in China? It’s nearly impossible if you buy most store bought honey. Natural food stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods may carry non-Chinese honey. However, the best way to avoid honey made in China is to buy from certified manufacturers.
One of the most important factors when choosing Manuka and determining if it’s high-quality is whether or not it’s been certified or graded.
Manuka honey grading systems are like SPF in sunscreen— the higher the SPF, the higher the protective powers. In Manuka honey, the higher the grade (across all grading systems), the higher the quality, potency, and likeliness of experiencing health benefits.
UMF is a grading system by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association. It’s regarded as the best grading system for medicinal properties. It measures the amount of antibacterial compounds in the Manuka honey.
If you’re looking to use Manuka to receive health benefits, consider a honey with a high UMF grade. Typically, UMF grades range from 5+ to 20+. If you want to use Manuka for medicinal purposes, aim for UMF 15+ or higher.
MGO stands for Methylglyoxal, which is the main active ingredient in Manuka honey. This compound gives the Manuka its potent healing abilities. Some honeys will have both a UMF and MGO grade, while some have one or the other.
UMF rated Manuka honeys are held to a higher standard. However, an MGO score is acceptable as it grades the medicinal quality of the honey. If your Manuka brand uses MGO grades, look for MGO 500 or higher.
Unlike UMF and MGO, KFactor ratings don’t measure the medicinal or antibacterial properties of Manuka honey. Instead, KFactor measures how much of the honey is from the actual Manuka plant.
Since it’s difficult to know if the honeybees may pollinate other plants nearby, KFactor helps manufacturers and buyers know if a honey product is predominately Manuka.
If traceability and purity are more important to you than antibacterial potency, KFactor is a good grading system to go with. A KFactor score of 12 is a good place to start, but 16 is better. Some honeys have received a KFactor score of up to 22.
TA (Total Activity) or Bio Active
Manuka honeys that use this grading system will say Total Activity, Bio Active, or both. Bio Active is short for “biologically active.” As you can imagine, raw Manuka has many active ingredients: Methylglyoxal, antioxidants, digestive enzymes, naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide, and more.
TA measures the peroxide activity in Manuka honey. The higher the TA, the more peroxide activity and antibacterial properties. A TA score of 10 means there is antibacterial activity present, so anything higher than that is considered good. The TA scale is similar to UMF, so a TA of 15-20+ is considered very potent.
What you plan on using the Manuka honey for may affect your choice. For example, if you buy Manuka because you love the taste, you may not need to buy medical-grade Manuka honey with a high UMF rating. However, if you use it for your health, it’s worth investing in one with proven antibacterial properties.
Medicinal Use for Health Benefits
The most common health benefits of using Manuka honey are for healing a sore throat and external wounds. It’s also good for improving digestion.
High-quality Manuka has powerful healing capabilities because of its antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s high in antioxidants and other active compounds that can fight stress and inflammation in the body.
If you want to use Manuka honey to reap these health benefits, it’s worth the premium price to invest in a product with a high UMF or MGO score.
Aim for at least UMF 15+ or MGO 500+ if you plan on using Manuka for internal or external medicinal purposes. If you specifically want to use it to help with digestive issues, consider an even higher UMF grade of 20.
The taste of raw Manuka honey is sweet. However, it’s stronger than the flavor of store bought honey that most Americans grew up on. It has a naturally appealing flavor. Many people use it to sweeten their tea and pour over meals like cereal, oatmeal, and toast.
If you’re just using Manuka to sweeten your food and drink, opt for a more cost-effective one. Budget-friendly Manuka honeys are usually less potent though. Even if you use a less potent Manuka, it’s a win-win because you get the enjoyable flavor and you may experience mild health benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the best Manuka honey?
A: In our opinion, it’s Manukora raw honey. It has a very high UMF rating at 20+. So it’s a great medical grade Manuka honey with potent health benefits.
If you’re looking for a Manuka to use for medicinal purposes, then you’ll definitely want a higher potency. Manuka honeys graded with a UMF score are held to the highest standards out of all the grades.
Q: What is Manuka honey good for?
A: Manuka has many uses. You can use it as a sweetener or you can use it medicinally. Within its medicinal applications, it can be used internally or externally.
Due to its antibacterial properties, Manuka is commonly used externally to treat wounds, burns, acne, and more. Internally, it is used for digestive healing, immune system boosting, and providing energy.
Q: What is the difference between Manuka honey and regular honey?
A: Manuka honey is a specific type of honey that’s sourced exclusively from the Manuka plant. It’s usually raw, made in New Zealand, and used for medicinal purposes. Regular honey is not sourced from the Manuka plant. It’s not associated with having the same antibacterial properties as Manuka.
Regular honey may also be filtered, heated, or blended with other sweeteners. Regular honey is primarily used as a sweetener but Manuka can also be used for medicinal purposes.
Q: How do you use Manuka?
A: There are many ways to use Manuka honey. The two main ways are to consume Manuka or apply it topically. For internal health benefits, use it the way you would regular honey: in tea, on toast, or with fruit. In addition, you can even dehydrate your fruit such as apples in a food dehydrator and then smear Manuka on top as a snack.
It’s best to avoid heating Manuka so don’t cook with it. For topical benefits, simply lather the Manuka on your skin. You can also mix it with other skin-healing ingredients such as aloe vera. You can even make a DIY face mask.
Q: How much should you take daily?
A: If you’re taking it for medicinal purposes, you should take Manuka on an as-needed basis. Experts recommend 1-2 tablespoons at a time for internal use. For external use, you only need to use enough to cover the affected area. For non-medicinal purposes, you can use as much Manuka honey as needed to sweeten food and drink.
Everyone has likely had honey at some point in their lives. But not many people have had Manuka honey. Once you try it, you’ll probably never go back to regular honey. The sweetness plus all the potential health benefits make it a winning combination!
Your best bet when looking for top-quality Manuka honey is getting one that’s from New Zealand because that is where the Manuka flower originates. New Zealand is simply the home of authentic Manuka honey. Australia also makes good Manuka honey, but authentic Manuka comes from New Zealand.
If you plan on using Manuka honey for its health benefits, our top choice—Manukora Raw Manuka Honey—is worth the premium price. Think of it as investing in your health. This Manuka has the highest grade we’ve seen: 20+ UMF. We really like that this honey is certified with the UMF Association.
If you want to experience the positive effects of using Manuka honey at a more affordable price, consider our budget pick by Wedderspoon. This is a high-quality product at a reasonable cost. It also has a KFactor score of 16, which means at least 75% of this honey is sourced from the Manuka plant. Pacific Resources International (PRI) Bio Active Manuka Honey is also a cost-effective option where you get over 1 pound of true New Zealand Manuka.
We hope that after reading our detailed Manuka honey brand reviews and comprehensive buying guide, you’ll have all the information you need to select the best Manuka honey so you can start experiencing the benefits right away.