- Best Manuka Honey Brand Comparison Table
- Best Manuka Honey Brand Reviews
- Comvita Manuka Honey UMF 15+ (Super Premium)
- Kiva Certified UMF 15+ – Best Premium Manuka Honey
- Wild Cape UMF 15+ East Cape Manuka Honey
- Happy Valley UMF 15+ Manuka Honey
- Bee’s Inn Manuka Honey, UMF 15+
- Manukora Manuka Honey UMF 20+
- Steens Manuka Honey, UMF 10+
- Tahi Manuka Honey, UMF 15+
- Natural Solutions Manuka Honey, UMF 20+
- Wedderspoon Raw Manuka Honey, KFactor 16+
- Manuka Doctor Bio Active Honey, 24+
- Manuka Health – MGO 400+ Manuka Honey
- Pacific Resources Mossops Manuka 20+ Bio Active
- YS Eco Bee Farms Raw Manuka Honey
- Airborne Manuka Honey
- Best Manuka Honey Brand Buying Guide
- Best Manuka Honey MGO and UMF Ratings Compared
There is a new craze in the healthy foods market, and it is a little-known honey all the way from New Zealand. Manuka honey, a highly medicinal honey found only in the tiny nation, has captured the attention of doctors, researchers and health freaks everywhere.
The honey, with potent anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, offers amazing benefits for skin care, digestion, and many other health issues. Often touted as a home remedy for anything from acne, wounds, eczema, herpes to gastritis and cancer, the demand for this wonder product is soaring, despite its odd taste and high price.
In this review + buying guide, we will look at some of the best Manuka honey brands available online, check out their pros and cons, as well the top features to look for in a premium Manuka brand.
Best Manuka Honey Brand Comparison Table
|Product||Photo||UMF License||Сapacity||Stunning feature||Check Price|
|Comvita Manuka Honey UMF 15+ (Super Premium)||Yes, 15+||8.8 oz (250 g)||Best Authentic Manuka Honey|
|Kiva Certified UMF 15+ - Raw Manuka Honey||Yes, 10+, 15+, 20+ variants||8.8 oz (250 g)||Best Premium Manuka Honey|
|Wild Cape UMF 10+ East Cape Manuka Honey||Yes, 10+, 15+ variants||8.8 oz (250 g)||Best Manuka honey from East Cape|
|Happy Valley UMF 15+ Manuka Honey||Yes, 15+ and 10+ variants||8.8 oz (250 g)||UMF Licensed Honey in two variants|
|Bee’s Inn Manuka Honey, UMF 15+||Yes, 5+, 10+, 15+ variants||8.8 oz (250 g), 17.6 oz (500 g)||UMF Licensed Honey in three variants|
|Manukora Manuka Honey UMF 20+||Yes, 5+, 10+, 15+, 20+ variants||8.8 oz (250 g), 17.6 oz (500 g)||Excellent UMF 20+ Manuka honey|
|Steens Manuka Honey, UMF 10+||Yes, 5+, 10+, 15+, 20+, 24+ variants||3.5 oz (20x5g), 12 oz (340g), 17.6 oz (500g)||Unique Manuka Honey With Goodness of Bee Bread|
|Tahi Manuka Honey, UMF 15+||Yes, 8+, 10+, 12+, 15+ variants||250 gram, 400 gram||Best Eco-Friendly Manuka honey|
|Natural Solutions Manuka Honey, UMF 20+||Yes, 15+, 20+ variants||17.6 oz (500g)||Best Manuka honey from East Cape region|
|Wedderspoon Raw Manuka Honey, KFactor 16+||No||17.6 oz (500 g)||Best KFactor Manuka Honey|
|Manuka Doctor Bio Active Honey, 24 Plus||No||8.75 oz (250 g)||Best HPA active Manuka Honey|
|Manuka Health - MGO 400+ Manuka Honey||No||8.8 oz (250 g)||Best Manuka Honey With Medium MGO Content|
|Pacific Resources International Mossops Manuka Honey UMF 15+||No||17.6 oz (500 g)||Manuka honey with variable bio-active ratings|
|Raw Manuka Honey YS Eco Bee Farms||No||12 oz (340 g)||Thickest and creamiest Manuka honey|
|Airborne Manuka Honey||No||17.85 oz (500 g)||Affordable Manuka honey alternative|
Best Manuka Honey Brand Reviews
Comvita is one of the best-known brands when it comes to authentic Manuka Honey.
They are a member of the UMF Association, which is the only authentic, independent certification on the planet for Manuka honey. This certification means that Comvita honey is real, authentic and traceable to the exact location of the beehive in New Zealand. The 15+ rating means that it has very high therapeutic values.
Talking about UMF ratings, the actual graph may have numbers as high as 25. But generally, anything above 16+ is considered of the highest quality regarding healing and anti-microbial capabilities. So 15+ is a pretty good rating, not the best, but certainly close to the top. If you want to use the Manuka honey for healing and therapeutic purposes, this is the minimum figure that you should be looking for.
Does the Comvita Manuka honey have any real flaws? The plastic packaging is just about the only issue we can find. It may get busted during shipping. And the price is on the higher side, but that is only to be expected when buying a premium product. Sure, you might find better brands out there with UMF 16+ ratings, but that doesn’t take anything away from Comvita. Incidentally, some people may have issues with the taste of this particular honey.
Kiva looks like the real deal, with honey that is thick and creamy, just as pure Manuka honey is supposed to look. The honey comes with an official UMF 15+ rating, which means that you can rest assured that you will be getting your money’s worth when you pay for this Manuka honey. We have already explained the benefits of UMF 15+ in an earlier review, so there is no need to repeat that here. Though it comes in a plastic bottle, the plastic is BPA free, and the black packaging does look quite attractive.
There are very few cons of note regarding the Kiva raw Manuka honey. The pricing and packaging do attract a fair amount of criticism, to be honest. It is expensive, as all authentic Manuka honey brands tend to be. But the way they leave the bottle almost a quarter empty can make one feel disappointed. Using a smaller bottle would have been a better option! When you pay good money, you at least expect a product that looks full, not half empty.
When you buy Wild Cape honey, you know the exact region from which this honey is sourced. And that East Cape region in New Zealand gives this honey an advantage over other versions of Manuka honey. The East Cape honey is milder, sweeter and more palatable while having the same health benefits as other Manuka versions. And Wild Cape is a member of the UMF Association, so authenticity is guaranteed as well. The honey is also ethically harvested, without unduly harming the bees. When you buy Wild Cape, what you get is high-grade UMF 15+ honey, packed in food grade plastic jars free from BPA.
There are no major flaws associated with this brand. The only thing to watch out for is the flavor of the honey. Manuka is not particularly well known for being a crowd-pleaser regarding taste. Some people are put off by its medicinal flavor. While the East Cape honey is considered sweeter, some may not like it.
Happy Valley is one of the few brands that have an actual UMF certification and license. So there are no doubts or concerns regarding the reliability and authenticity of this particular brand. What you get is 100% real Manuka honey from New Zealand. And you may already have noticed; the UMF 15+ rating means that this is one of the best quality Manuka honey you can buy. They also sell a lower grade UMF 10+ rated honey for those who need a less potent version of Manuka honey.
Though it comes in a plastic jar, it is BPA free and quite safe. The packaging looks quite pleasing, and they do keep it full, so you don’t end up feeling short changed! The honey itself has a rich flavor and is quite creamy. We found no major faults or flaws with the product.
Some individuals may have issues with the way Manuka honey tastes. As the taste can vary depending on the location and even the year, you may have to try a few brands until you get one that you like. So, you cannot fault the brand for this. There have been reported issues of people paying for the UMF 15 product and receiving UMF 10 instead. Other than that, there are no major problems with the Happy Valley honey.
Bee’s Inn is a group of authentic beekeepers in New Zealand. So you can rest assured that you are getting the real deal from these guys. Their brand has an entirely legal UMF rating. When you buy a bottle of this honey, you are getting a product that can be traced all the way back to its source in New Zealand. This honey has a UMF rating of 15+ which is on the higher side. Each batch is tested by an authorized and independent lab in New Zealand.
This particular honey comes from the North Island region, which one of the two main islands of New Zealand. The beekeepers are located near the city of Hamilton. The raw honey is 100% natural and hasn’t been heated or filtered. This can be used as a healthy spread, or as an alternative sweetener. It also has potent antibiotic properties.
Bee’s Inn sells three different grades of Manuka honey. You can choose between UMF 5+, 10+, and 15+ versions. All are available in 8 and 16-ounce jars. The packaging looks classy and has very detailed information on the labels.
We could not find any faults in this product. Sure it is expensive, but Manuka honey is a really rare product. And the taste does take some time to get used to, but that is not unique to this product.
Manukora source their honey from a network of trusted bee farms in New Zealand. And that is not an empty claim, since they have the all-important UMF rating and license. Their honey is tested by independent labs in New Zealand, and have a proven UMF rating of 20+, which means that it is extremely rich in methylglyoxal. The MGO content in this honey has been rated at 825+, which indicates that it has a high potency.
The honey is taken straight from the hive and into the jar, with as little processing as possible. Manukora uses a unique creaming process to ensure a thick consistency for their honey. It also has a rather stronger flavor that some other manuka honey we tested. We believe that this is due to the particular region from which they source the honey.
Though that creaming process does sound promising, it does have an impact on the texture of this honey. You may not like the grainy texture that it often has. We have also encountered some level of crystallization, which may be a side effect of this process.
But as we have already mentioned, the honey is pure and has a high healing potency. The packing is also pretty good, with attractive black labeling. But the use of a plastic jar is a bit of a letdown for such a premium product. You can buy manuka honey in two quantities from Manukora. There are the smaller 8.8 oz jar and the more significant 16 oz jar.
The market for manuka honey is kinda diverse, since the quality and the taste of the honey is highly variable. Steens has a lower grade when it comes to its UMF rating, but they also have a USP. This particular honey has the goodness of bee bread, which is a highly nutritious product found in a hive. The honey is raw, unpasteurized, and cold pressed to preserve all the nutrients.
You can trace it back to its source hive, which is a feature that we have come to see as mandatory on authentic Manuka honey products. The brand was created by a beekeeper couple, who have been in the business for more than three decades. They are licensed members of the UMF association.
Cold pressed honey has a higher content of beneficial nutrients and enzymes and a much thicker texture. Their unique extraction process ensures that Steen’s honey has a higher content of bee bread, which is a mix of pollen, enzymes, probiotics, and honey. This extremely nutritious material is what goes into the making of royal jelly.
Steen’s is available in UMF 5, 10, 15, 20, 24 rating, and you do have three options when it comes to quantity. There is a small 3.5 oz jar, a 12 oz jar, and the biggest 17.6 oz jar. The packing and labeling are pretty standard, with a combination of black and amber colors.
Most brands these days pay lip service to be ecologically and environmentally responsible. But Tahi is one of those rare brands that bother to go the extra mile to make a difference. And that is what sets them apart from other licensed UMF honey brands. Yes, they have a license and produce authentic manuka honey in their New Zealand farms. But they do not follow any kind of commercial beekeeping practices and focus on creating organic environments for their bees.
They undertake a lot of steps in habitat restoration, and plant native species of trees, including the Manuka on their estates. Their estates are now home to 63 different species of endangered birds, and some of them adorn the label of this honey.
As for the actual honey itself, it is 100% pure and unadulterated. It is not pasteurized and has only undergone minimal filtration to ensure that each jar contains an extraordinarily pure and potent product. As for the actual potency, Tahi manuka honey has a UMF 15+ rating, which above average. This is what you should be aiming for if you want honey with superior healing powers.
As for the negative aspects, we could only note one or two. The consistency is a bit of a letdown, as it felt too watery. We have come to expect manuka honey that is very thick, and this one feels too runny for us. It is also somewhat sweeter and has a different color and texture. It might be due to the local conditions in their estate.
Standardization of taste and flavor is not possible for manuka honey. Each region in New Zealand produces a honey with a different flavor, texture, and color. Keeping that in mind, we cannot really fault Tahi for their honey. It may not seem pleasant for some people, while it may feel perfect for others.
This honey is sourced from the scenic region of East Cape, which falls on the fabled Te Araroa trail in New Zealand. The brand is pretty legit and has a UMF official license. So you can be confident that what you get is pure manuka honey direct from New Zealand. What sets this particular brand apart is the emphasis they give to the storage of honey. Manuka honey can lose its potency if it is stored improperly and frequently transported.
This brand makes it a point to ensure that the honey is securely stored in their specially designed “honey rooms” and transported directly to the customer. The honey has a high potency of above 20+ on the UMF scale. That is one of the highest ratings you can get. This is a single origin honey, sourced from the East Cape region.
Does it have any unusual faults? The packaging could have been better, since they use plastic bottles that don’t feel premium. But other than that, we could find no major issues. The taste is a bit off but is not unusual for manuka honey. If the taste is high on your priority list, you might want to look elsewhere.
The labels are bright and have pastel colors. This honey is only available in a single sized bottle. It is available in 8 oz bottles. We wish they also sold in more massive quantities.
This is undoubtedly one of the most popular brands of Manuka honey available in the market. It is one of the most affordable brands of Manuka honey out there, which probably contributes a lot to its popularity. According to the manufacturer, the honey is sourced directly from New Zealand, which is the only source of real Manuka honey in the world. It also has a unique KFactor 16 certification, recognized by the New Zealand Government.
Before we get to the cons of this honey, it is essential to explain the significance of the KFactor 16 certification. Unlike the universal UMF certification used by all Manuka manufacturers, KFactor is a certification used by Wedderspoon. It only looks at the pollen content in the honey, with the logic that higher pollen content means healthier Manuka honey. But pollen in honey can come from other flowers as well, not just the Manuka plant. So this is not a very reliable certification for authentic Manuka honey.
Unfortunately, just because something is popular doesn’t mean that it is the best product available. And the same is true in the case of Wedderspoon. Its most significant flaw is the absence of the standard UMF certification. To be considered authentic Manuka honey, you need to have the UMF certification. And the price is also quite low, which is too good to be true. You can say that there is no such thing as cheap Manuka honey. The packaging is also quite cheap, with plastic bottles implying a less-than-premium product. There are also some wide variations in the taste and appearance of the honey in different batches.
Manuka Doctor throws out a lot of ratings and figures about their honey sourced from New Zealand. One of its pros seems to be the 24+ Bio Active rating, which shows the active peroxide content in the honey. Honey with higher peroxide activity is considered healthier. This appears to be an authentic all natural product from New Zealand. Manuka Doctor also has a lot of different grades and flavored variants of this honey for the discerning customer.
Again, we feel the need to clear the air about these certifications thrown about by brands for marketing purposes. The Bio Active rating here is quite similar to the KFactor 16 rating used by Wedderspoon, in that both do not look at the things that matter in Manuka honey. All honey has peroxide and pollen. A particular honey cannot be branded Manuka just because it has high pollen or peroxide activity. UMF certification, along with MGO rating is what truly separates Manuka honey from the rest.
That brings us to the main issues with the Manuka Doctor brand. This honey does not have a UMF Association certification. Only brands which are part of the Unique Manuka Factor association can claim to have truly authentic Manuka honey. This, unfortunately, does not apply to the Manuka Doctor brand. And the 24+ label doesn’t mean much since the best quality Manuka honey has the highest rating of UMF 16+. Also, it is quite cheap and comes in a plastic bottle, which does not exactly scream “premium quality.”
As a Manuka Honey brand without UMF membership, Manuka Health does manage to get a few things right. The certification and rating they have used are what separates them from some of the other non-UMF brands out there. Manuka Health uses MGO rating, and their honey is rated MGO 400+, which makes it comparable to a UMF 12 or 13 honey regarding health benefits.
As you can see in our buyer’s guide at the end of this review, MGO stands for Methylglyoxal, the active ingredient that makes Manuka honey so special. An MGO rating of 400 means that the honey has medicinal properties similar to a UMF rated 10+ honey. To clarify further, it may have some therapeutic or healing effects, but it is not comparable to a top of the shelf, UMF 16+ rated brand.
When we come to the cons, it is the same thing all over again. An MGO rating is not comparable to the Unique Manuka Factor, or UMF, which is an independent industry association certification. Manuka Health may have medicinal properties comparable to a medium quality Manuka honey brand, but it still cannot be classified as authentic Manuka honey.
When you buy this Manuka from Pacific Resources, you do get a lot of quantity, that too at a good price. This honey is available in different bio-active ratings, ranging from 5 to 20. The honey is sourced from Mossops, which is a recognized New Zealand company that produces authentic Manuka honey. This seems to be a good quality honey blend, rather than a single batch of honey.
We feel it appropriate to give some clarification here. Yes, Mossops is a brand recognized by the New Zealand government, but that does not mean that every batch of honey they sell under that name is authentic Manuka honey. This particular variant is sourced by the US firm Pacific Resources and does not have the actual UMF certification.
And that, in a nutshell, is our main issue with this product. You can have as many ratings and certifications as you please, but the gold standard when it comes to Manuka honey is the UMF. And this blend does not have that certification. Bio-active ratings are largely meaningless when you are looking for a unique product that grows in a small region in one country in the world.
This honey is incredibly thick and creamy and feels more like a paste. The YS Eco Bee Farms is a rather unusual little brand on our list. They are quite legit, despite not having a UMF certification. They source their honey from an official UMF licensee, a cooperative in New Zealand to be exact. They are pretty transparent about their sources and supply chain. If you want therapeutic Manuka honey, they are probably a good choice. The honey is good quality, and it is packaged in a heavy glass jar.
Granted, they don’t have the actual UMF + certification, but YS Eco is an exceptional case. They offer a legit source of pure Manuka honey, but if you want to be 100%, it may better to choose a brand with the actual UMF certificate. In a market dominated by fake and adulterated products, caution is the best policy.
Airborne is a New Zealand brand that claims to have a potent blend of Manuka honey with several beneficial properties. It is available in a larger 17oz jar, which is more convenient for long term use than the smaller jars usually preferred by Manuka brands. Airborne offers its customers to trace the honey back to its source in New Zealand, which is a nice touch. The honey has a very high 70+ pollen rating.
But all that is a bit moot, since Airborne does not have a UMF license. So you cannot say with 100% certainty that this is real Manuka honey. Without a UMF 15+ rating, you cannot consider this honey to be of medicinal value.
Best Manuka Honey Brand Buying Guide
Before thinking about buying Manuka honey, it is vital to understand this product and its unique purpose. Here are the major things to know about Manuka Honey:
1. Unique, Rare, and Expensive Product
Manuka Honey is produced only in New Zealand. This honey is gathered by bees from a single medicinal plant, called Manuka, found only in the wild in New Zealand, and Australia. As a result, Manuka can only be manufactured in New Zealand (or Australia). It is highly sought after by the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry. Since demand is very high and supply is limited, Manuka honey is very expensive.
2. Medicinal Honey
You don’t buy this expensive honey to add to your daily cereal or to spread on toast. Of course, you can do that as well, but the main reason for buying Manuka honey is because of its numerous medicinal benefits. It has potent healing and antimicrobial properties. It can be added to your diet for overall improvement in health and well being.
3. Unique Taste and Texture
Not everybody will be a fan of the way this honey feels and tastes. It has a creamy texture and has an unusual flavor. The taste and sweetness vary from each batch of the honey, depending on the location and seasons of harvest.
4. Highly counterfeited product
It is estimated that nearly 80% of all honey sold globally as Manuka honey is fake or adulterated! The global sales were estimated at 10000 tons in 2014, while the actual production figures for that year in New Zealand was just 1700 tons!
So beware when you shop for best Manuka honey brand. Look for the following features to get 100% authentic product:
1. Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) License & Certification
By far, this is the most important thing to look for when buying Manuka honey. This is the only reliable seal of authenticity that proves that a particular brand is selling real Manuka honey. The UMF is an independent industry association, the only one in the world, for manufacturers involved in producing Manuka honey in New Zealand.
2. UMF Rating
UMF Licensed brands will have a rating for their honey, usually between UMF 5+ to UMF 16+. This indicates the medicinal or therapeutic capacity of that particular batch of honey. The higher the number, the more potent the honey. You can learn more about the UMF rating system at their website.
3. MGO Rating
This figure is directly related to the UMF rating of Manuka honey. MGO stands for methylglyoxal, a unique compound that gives Manuka its medicinal and healing powers. A higher UMF rating indicates that the amount of MGO in the honey is also high. You can find a helpful chart showing the correlation between the two here.
4. Third-party Ratings
Some brands which do not have UMF license use their rating systems to impress the consumer. “Bio-active” and “Pollen content” are two of the most common features used by such brands. Bio-active usually refers to the activity of naturally occurring Hydrogen Peroxide (HPA) in honey. But all types of honey have HPA. So you cannot take high HPA as a sign of authenticity of Manuka honey.
Best Manuka Honey MGO and UMF Ratings Compared
|UMF RATING||MGO RATING|
The Manuka honey market is very lucrative. The benefits of the honey are real, and the demand is soaring with each passing year. Theft of beehives is becoming common in New Zealand as a result! Fake and adulterated products have flooded the market. UMF certification is the only way to ensure that you get an authentic product when you pay good money for Manuka honey.