Okay, so we’ve all heard of honey, but what is Manuka honey? According to Healthline, it’s also honey, but it has antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that regular honey does not. New Zealand bees create this special type of honey by pollinating a flower known as the Manuka bush, hence the name. Manuka honey has long been used for healing wounds, soothing sore throats, preventing tooth decay and improving digestive issues, among other things (we welcome you to try our new Manuka Coffee).
Honey, we shrunk the … infection? A study by Aston University researchers found the combination of Manuka honey and a common antibiotic, Amikacin, can successfully treat a potentially fatal bacterial lung infection. Adding Manuka honey to the equation also significantly reduced the side effects from taking the drug alone. The same study also showed that Manuka honey is able to kill a number of different drug-resistant bacterial infections. One being Mycobacterium abscessus, which can be fatal to patients with pre-existing conditions.
But according to Bees and Trees, not all Manuka honeys are created equal. The key ingredient should be methylglyoxal, which is commonly abbreviated on labels as MG or MGO. Concentrations vary by brand, from about 85 to 1,000+. The higher the amount, the more potent (and valuable!) it is. “UMF” is also a handy abbreviation to know. It stands for Unique Manuka Factor and is issued by a Honey Association in New Zealand that promotes quality standards.
With this in mind, you may still have a hard time deciding which brand of Manuka honey to choose. So, we’ve searched 11 websites to find the five best Manuka honey brands that are recommended most by experts. Some are premium, some are budget, so even Goldilocks should be able to find one that’s just right. Read on for the top-rated picks.
The List: Best Manuka Honey Brands, According To Pros
1. New Zealand Honey Co.
Dash of Butter raves about this brand above all others: “Having conducted a deep dive into 15 other leading brands of Manuka and purchasing over 6 of them, New Zealand Manuka Honey is the realist of the real and proved to be orders of magnitude better than the rest in both taste and nutrients.”
ManukaHoneyOrganic.com says this isn’t just a tasty treat, it’s medicinal: “New Zealand Honey Co. is your best bet if you want to level up your life and stop getting sick. It can get costly but the powerful high-grade UMF 24+ rating is worth every penny. The health benefits that come with this Manuka honey are costly but also some of the most powerful in the world. The unusual MGO 1,120+ content in this Manuka honey is directly responsible for the high antibacterial activity that can kill harmful bacteria. That is why the scientists from the UMF Association consider this Manuka honey medicinal.”
It’s also the go-to Manuka honey for WhatAboutHoney.com: “In our opinion, the best Manuka honey on the market today is the New Zealand Honey Co. UMF 24+ or 26+ range. This is a reasonably new company owned by a family of beekeepers, but the honey they produce is second to none. This honey is fudgey, caramel brown and has a slightly less sweet profile to lower UMF honeys. Each jar is traceable and testing certificates are available. This is also why it is also our go-to recommendation for people wanting Manuka Honey for medicinal purposes.”
Backyard Beekeeping recommends this brand as an overall great choice, and here’s why: “The higher UMF and MGO in honey products like Comvita Raw Manuka Honey portray the purity of its content. Sourced and manufactured in New Zealand, it has a UMF 15+ rating which assures us of authenticity. The company producing this product is a member of UMFHA, which proves that we are buying authentic (and not fake!) Manuka honey.”
Good Health Academy writes, “When it comes to the best Manuka honey the market has to offer, the brand I can blindly trust is Comvita. This brand is a member of the UMF Honey Association of New Zealand. Obtaining a UMF trademark license is not an easy job. The Manuka honey has to meet the high purity standards of UMFHA to get the certification. This tells you loud and clear that their honey is the real deal, loaded with therapeutic values.”
Simple Green Moms says the quality and authenticity warrant the high price tag: “This 8.8-ounce jar from Manukora is a high-quality Manuka honey. Its 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 skin care routine. It is the most potent in terms of antibacterial properties, which are associated with many health benefits. Each product contains a unique trust code. This code allows you to confirm its authenticity and trace the batch from hive to hand.”
EcoWatch also likes that it’s traceable: “Manukora Raw Manuka Honey is our top pick. This Manuka honey comes in many different levels of purity, which allows you to calibrate both your potency and find a Manuka that works for your budget. We especially like the high level of traceability the brand offers.”
OrganicallyBlissful is impressed by the traceability of the Wedderspoon brand, saying, “The contents of each bottle of Wedderspoon’s Raw Monofloral Manuka Honey can be traced back to a specific hive in New Zealand’s South Island. It’s been independently tested to ensure it exceeds the New Zealand government’s Monofloral Manuka standards and given a rating of KFactor 16. The honey is left unpasteurized, keeping it as close to its natural state as possible and ensuring it’s filled with living enzymes and healing compounds. It’s free from GMOs, antibiotics, pesticides, and glyphosate. It’s triple-filtered and lightly creamed for a rich flavor and smooth, creamy texture to enhance the honey’s natural sweetness.”
BarBend ranks Wedderspoon as the best value of all Manuka honeys, writing, “This raw and unpasteurized Manuka honey provides 16 grams of sugar per serving alongside 70 calories. It has a golden color, flows nicely, and has a bright taste. Each jar is non-GMO certified, free of pesticides, and comes at a fairly reasonable price point compared to the rest of the market.”
Sporked recommends trying this Manuka in a cup of hot tea: “Super floral-tasting honey is generally delicious, but some of the Manuka honey we tried straight-up smelled like grandma perfume. This Manuka honey from Airborne manages to smell and taste so wonderfully floral without smelling or tasting like bath products. If you really want to lean into its flavor, stir a spoonful of this into an earthy-tasting tea like Earl Grey. If you like floral, this is the best Manuka honey you can buy.”
And it’s also a perfect way to substitute molasses or sugar. “In particular, the product also works to treat colds or digestive disorders. You can use a little warm water to enjoy. This honey is suitable if you are health conscious and want to switch to a low sugar diet because this type can be used as an alternative sweetener. The Airborne Manuka honey is also a great alternative to replace molasses due to its pleasant sweetness,” Lacademie.com says.
Have you tried Manuka honey? What brand do you recommend? Let us know in the comments!
- Dash of Butter
- Backyard Beekeeping
- Good Health Academy
- Simple Green Moms
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. Study Finds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.