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our buyers guide takes you through everything you need 
to know when looking for high-quality manuka honey.

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our recommendations on the top brands, apiaries and producers in the market today.

Our Reviews: 
Finding The Best Manuka Honey brands - 2023 Ratings

Chances are you're here because you've been hearing about all the incredible health benefits of this superfood: Manuka Honey.

Manuka Honey is a unique type of honey made from the nectar of manuka flowers, which are native to New Zealand, and has been a staple in our kitchen for many generations!

Over the years this honey has been the subject of thousands of studies due to its unique antibacterial activity. Infections and wounds that simply did not respond to regular antibiotics seemed to clear up within days of being dressed with manuka honey, to the point that it is now a common treatment in New Zealand hospitals for treating wounds and infections.

Manuka honey has also been found to have many other health benefits, making it one of the world's true superfoods available today. Any time someone in our household has a cough or cold coming on, it's straight onto the manuka! You can read more about the many benefits here.

This guide is to help those interested in purchasing manuka honey for the first time. Unfortunately there are many low quality and even fake manuka honey products circulating, however, thankfully the manuka honey industry in New Zealand and Australia has some strict grading systems (MGO, UMF, KFactor and AMHA) to give confidence to buyers. This means each product has specific manuka honey grades, which are tested for purity and authenticity. We'll go over all of those in this guide, or you can click here to jump there now.

We've also tasted and tested all of the brands listed in our rankings below, and are confident our guidance and reviews will be useful in helping you find the right manuka honey for you!

best manuka honey brand 2023

Our #1 Pick: NEW ZEALAND HONEY CO. Raw Manuka Honey UMF 26+

The New Zealand Honey Co is one of the highest quality manuka honey producers in the world today.

This is a reasonably new company owned by a family of beekeepers, and they now partner with various honey farmers across New Zealand to bring you pure, raw, organic unadulterated manuka honey. 

It is 100% New Zealand owned and operated and produces top grade Manuka for New Zealanders and for export to the United States and internationally.

NZ Honey Co. has a wide range of honey, included certain batches that grade among the purest manuka honeys available to retail today. Every jar is also:

  • Raw
  • Organic
  • Certified glyphosate free
  • Halal
  • UMF certified

These are all important factors, but what makes NZ Honey Co stand out are their high UMF ratings.

Our top recommendation is their UMF 26+ product, which is almost a miracle they are able to offer it at the price point they do.

(NZ Honey Co also produces a UMF 28 product, but it's significantly more expensive, and we think the UMF 26 product will offer similar potency for a much cheaper price tag).

There are only two or three producers we know of that have been able to achieve UMF 26+ gradings from the UMF Association, and those consistently go for up to $1,000 a jar.

The fact that NZ Honey Co manages to offer their UMF 26+ product in the $100 range is almost unbelievable to us.

However, we have looked closely into their certifications and indeed tried most of their range, and have even called the UMF Association and confirmed their gradings, and are happy to confirm it is 100% genuine and legitimate. 

Let us offer some perspective. As beekeepers ourselves, we understand the difficulty in producing honey of this quality, but the regular consumer may not. The manuka tree only blooms for about a month per year, sometimes less, and only in specific parts of New Zealand. To produce honey of UMF 26 purity, conditions literally need to be perfect. To produce a top graded monofloral manuka honey, the hives must be extremely isolated so the bees only collect nectar from manuka trees, meaning they often need to be hidden deep in remote manuka forests, sometimes only accessible by helicopter. Then the extraction process must be flawless, to ensure freedom from contaminants or impurities. Not to mention - a little bit of luck is required too. As we said, the manuka blooming season is fickle and some years, there's no bloom at all.

When you get a jar of UMF 26+ honey, understand you are holding a true miracle of nature in your hands, one of the world's most potent superfoods, and an absolutely delicious one at that!

How does it taste?

This honey is fudgey, caramel brown and actually has slightly less sweetness to many others we've tried. The manuka bitter aftertaste is semi-strong, but not unpleasant. A bit of an acquired taste for some, but we think you'll love it.

This is our go-to recommendation for people wanting Manuka Honey for medicinal purposes. Getting a UMF rating this high ensures you will have extremely high antibacterial activity, even higher than those used in some hospitals.

For wound treatment or preventing/treating infection, every bit of MGO helps and the 1,500+ MGO rating will certainly pack a serious punch. This makes it the best manuka honey for things like infections, the immune system and anything to do with anti-microbial purposes. 

And of course, it's still great for adding to your daily food and drink as well! 

Either way, due to its exceptional quality and more than reasonable price, this easily gets our top pick for the best manuka honey on the market today.

Ready to buy? Click here.

Click here for our full New Zealand Honey Co review.

#2: best luxury honey: manuka south UMF 24+ limited reserve collection

Number #2 on our list is one of the most established manuka honey producers in the world, known for its luxury branding and achieving some of the highest graded manuka honeys in history.

This UMF 24+ product is not cheap, but not extravagantly expensive either. If you're simply after a UMF 24 product to spread on your toast, or to clear up a wound, this is probably not what you're looking for, but this limited batch product from Manuka South is a wonderful gift for any honey lover, or something to treat yourself for a special occasion.

Who is Manuka South?

Manuka South is a family-owned beekeeping and honey business from New Zealand that has been in operation since 1988. Since then, they have garnered a reputation for luxury honey, producing one of the highest graded honeys ever at UMF 32+, which was released in a limited 600 jar batch some years ago.

Manuka South is now the foremost producer of premium Manuka Honey from New Zealand, and continues to produce some of the country's highest quality manuka honey year after year.

Our Pick: Their UMF 24+ Limited Reserve Honey

Manuka South has many honeys, but our recommendation is their UMF 24+ product. Packaged in a beechwood crafted case with 18 karat gold finishing, it's as beautifully presented as it is delicious. It earns our recommendation due to its price point which is not gratuitously expensive (around $250), especially compared to the true luxury honeys that can price well into the thousands. 

If you're simply looking for a honey to eat - this is not the product for you - it's a no-brainer to take our #1 recommendation above from the NZ Honey Co, which is a higher UMF grade and cheaper too.

However, for something a little more special, a Valentine's gift, a wedding present, or something that simply says "I love you" and will get a big "wow" when it's finally unboxed, this is exactly what you're looking for.

Ready to buy? Click here.

#3: best everyday honey: new zealand Honey CO. manuka honey UMF 24+

Our third pick is another from NZ Honey Co, this time a much more affordable product that should suit most everyday consumers.

If you're looking for just a regular honey to add to your tea, desserts, as a sugar replacement, or just to add as a mouthful to improve your daily diet and nutrition, this is the exact product you're looking for.

The reality is - even a UMF 24+ product is extremely potent and difficult to produce, and most manuka honey producers do not achieve this grade.

If you've been eating manuka honey for some time, you'll have realised how rare this grade is - most companies, even very established ones, usually top out at UMF 20, and some even struggle to achieve that.

The fact that NZ Honey Co is able to produce a product of this purity and at the very affordable price of approximately $50 per jar is the reason many people across New Zealand and the world now have access to good quality manuka honey, which was not possible only a few short years ago.

This is also the honey that we use regularly in our household, usually as a topping for our oats or a sweetener for our tea. A $50 jar lasts many weeks and for the health benefits it provides, it's a staple in our pantry!

If it's your first time buying manuka honey, or you're looking for a quality manuka to add to your daily routine, this is the one.

Ready to buy? Click here.

Click here for our full New Zealand Honey Co review.


comvita umf 20

Next on our list is the Comvita UMF 20+ range.

Comvita is one of the most well known manuka honey producers in the world.

While it's more expensive than some other UMF 20+ products on the market, we believe the small premium that Comvita products command is worth it. It's been among the world's best rated manuka honey producers for over a decade.

Who is Comvita?

Comvita is a New Zealand company that has set the gold standard in Manuka Honey for many decades. Comvita is also renowned for producing raw, wild and unpasteurized honey - meaning there is no risk of nutrient or enzyme loss - this is one of the most reliable Manuka honeys you can buy.

Not only is Comvita's Manuka Honey renowned for its purity, it's also famous for its taste. Comvita Manuka Honey is irresistibly sharp with deep sweetness and does not have an overpowering "Manuka" aftertaste. It's a joy to eat or mix into hot drinks.

The other interesting thing about Comvita is they are a listed company on New Zealand's stock market (NZE:CVT), so their business practices are under a tighter microscope than most other companies you see selling Manuka Honey in America. They are answerable to shareholders and international investors, which gives greater confidence that when you see their label it is a a genuine and reputable honey product.

One more notable accolade: Not only does Comvita sell to regular consumers, they also are the main supplier of medical grade Manuka Honey in New Zealand, which is used for antibacterial uses in wound and burn treatment in hospitals. 

To ensure your Comvita products are genuine, we recommend buying directly from their website.

Click here for our full Comvita review.

#5: Manukora UMF 20+/MGO 830+ Raw Manuka Honey

Manukora Raw Manuka Honey is a UMF 20+ product that is both great tasting and beautifully packaged. It's an extremely smooth and strong tasting honey and it might come off a little darker than other Manuka Honey's you have tried. 

What we love most about Manukora is they are a New Zealand company - all their products are produced in-house at their HACCP certified honey factory in New Zealand and they have full oversight from Bee to Jar. Their product is a raw, unpasteurized, authentic Manuka honey and all jars are tagged with a unique tracing code that allows you to trace your product with your smartphone.

As we've mentioned, UMF 20 Manuka is rare. In fact, it is dependent on season and weather and in some years, UMF 20 Manuka might not even be produced much at all.

As Manukora is based in rural New Zealand, they have full access to the unique locations that UMF 20 Manuka Honey can be reliably produced.

While they might not share the seasoned reputation of some of the other brands, when look at something like Manukora vs Comvita we still think Manukora is deserving of a high rating and we're happy to recommend them.

If you'd like a UMF 20+ product but at a lower price point, Manukora would be our choice. You can buy Manukora directly from their official Amazon store.

Click here for our full Manukora review

#6: Kiva Raw Manuka Honey, Certified UMF 20+ (MGO 850+)

Kiva is a US foods company that sources its Manuka Honey product from New Zealand beekeepers. Their honey is certified from the UMF Honey Association and their flagship product is a UMF 20+ Raw Manuka Honey that is independently batch tested and verified.

Kiva Manuka Honey is an extremely popular brand in America, as it comes at a lower price point that Comvita products but still retains the high UMF rating. Many people in America use Kiva Manuka regularly for everything from bloating to wound treatment to skin care. 

While it's a great product, the reason we rank it further down our list as it's a US company. While it sources its product from New Zealand Manuka bee keepers, we couldn't look over the fact it doesn't have complete ownership over the full bees-to-jar process.

Nonetheless, we still recommend Kiva and think it offers excellent value for money for a UMF 20 product. Kiva also has products at lower UMF gradings, we recommend checking them out at their Amazon store.

Read our full Kiva Manuka Honey review here.

#7: WildCape UMF 15+ East Cape New Zealand Manuka Honey

wild cape umf 15

Wild Cape is a premium and authentic Manuka Honey brand operating out of the East Coast of New Zealand.

Just like with wine, regions influence flavor, and it's no exception with Manuka. Wild Cape is the only Manuka Honey company that produces exclusively in New Zealand East Coast forests, and their honey is renowned for having a much milder, smoother flavor than the dense sweetness of other Manuka Honeys.

They're a truly local company that employs only local beekeepers under a profit share arrangement, to ensure continuing support for the local community. This is particularly important as Manuka grows in popularity - Manuka is rare, and it's essential money continues to flow to ground level beekeepers to ensure sustainability. Wild Cape controls the entire supply chain from hive to jar. The honey is then tested for UMF certification before being prepared for export.

This Manuka Honey is not only one of our favorites in flavor, it's one of our top picks for value as well. The only reason it doesn't rank higher is because it's not a raw honey product, however that doesn't affect the MGO count. If you're after a more affordable Manuka Honey but with reasonably potency, the Wild Cape UMF 15+ is the perfect option.

We recommend purchasing Wild Cape Manuka Honey directly from their Amazon store.

Read our full Wild Cape review here

#8: Three Peaks UMF 15+ New zealand manuka honey

This Manuka Honey from Three Peaks is a UMF ceritified 15+ product produced in Central New Zealand. It has a notably smooth and caramel like texture with an unmistakable Manuka hit. 

Three Peaks is a boutique company that operates 8,500 hives across the North Island of New Zealand. Sustainability is at the heart of their business and their operation involves various restoration projects, replanting of Manuka forests and cooperation with native land owners.

Not only does this improve sustainability, it also gives Three Peaks a very unique product.  By working closely with the landowners of indigenous Maori tribes, it gives them access to some of the most desirable Manuka forest sites in New Zealand. They own all their hives, and have full control from hive to jar. All jars can also be traced with their jar authenticity tracker on their website.

As for the honey itself, we were very impressed. Smooth and sweet, not too overpowering, really a joy to eat. We're more than happy to recommend them!

Read our full Three Peaks Manuka Honey review here.

#9: mother earth manuka honey umf 10+

Mother Earth UMF 10 Manuka Honey is the best value pick on this list. 

One of the main criticisms of Manuka honey is that it's unaffordable (we think it's worth every dollar), but the reality is most people can't afford to have a UMF 20 Manuka Honey on their regular shopping list. However, at only ~$20 per jar, Mother Earth makes it possible to have a UMF 10+ Manuka in the pantry at all times.

Manuka Honey is used sparingly - usually one or two teaspoons a day - and even a small jar like this lasts several months. If you are using Manuka Honey as a sweetener in your daily tea or coffee, or as a general wellness addition to your diet, we think this is the perfect choice if you're on a tighter budget. 

It is true that you will not get the same potency and numerous health benefits as you would with a higher grade honey, but it doesn't mean you won't get any health benefits at all. Even UMF 10 manuka honey has methylglyoxal content which is antibacterial and other enzymes that are great for general health.

Mother Earth is also a very popular brand in New Zealand, and many New Zealanders use this as their regular Manuka Honey too. It also tastes great - we think you'll enjoy it!

Read our full Mother Earth Manuka Honey review here.

#10: Happy Valley UMF 15+ (MGO 514+) New Zealand Manuka Honey

happy valley manuka honey

Happy Valley produces authentic Manuka Honey at several UMF gradings, our pick for this list is the UMF 15. We found it to be a sweeter honey than most other UMF 15 variants, though with the same smooth caramelly texture we expect from high grade Manuka.

They produce and package all their honey in New Zealand, an all their products are traceable on their website back to the source.

They are a small locally owned company who have been producing Manuka on their family owned farms for generations. We like Happy Valley, but there are a couple of reasons it fell a few spots down our list. One, it's more expensive than other UMF 15 options above, with no major compelling differences in purity or potency. Second, Happy Valley hasn't expressly said whether or not they pasteurize their Manuka Honey. We don't think pasteurized honey is bad, but we prefer the raw form where possible. Their honey was particularly creamy, which is typical of lightly pasteurized Manuka Honeys.

Still, we think it's a great product, just a little expensive for our taste.

Read our full Happy Valley Manuka Honey review here.

#11: manuka health umf 10+ manuka honey

manuka health umf 10

Manuka Health is based in Te Awamutu on New Zealand’s North Island. In addition to their honey products, the company sells superfoods, supplements, winter wellness, skincare and personal health products.

Manuka Health's UMF10 product is their most popular product, which is equivalent to an MGO grade of 263. They also have higher grades available, up to MGO 800+. 

The biggest advantage of Manuka Health products is their price. They are significantly cheaper than other more popular brands, as they tend to be less popular. When looking at something like Comvita vs Manuka Health, the price difference is substantial.

The reason Manuka Health is so far down our list is due to availability. It can often be hard to source supply, and it's not always available when you want it. Compared to larger brands like NZ Honey Co and Comvita, which are usually easy to find. However, if you are able to find Manuka Health, it's a great value for money product.

Read our full Happy Valley Manuka Honey review here.

Which Manuka Honey Products Should You Avoid?

We generally advise staying away from Manuka products that have not been UMF certified.

While many Manuka Honey products will put MGO counts on their labels, the only way to independently verify (with reliability) that the honey has in fact been produced from Manuka trees is with a UMF certification and testing.

Some products that might look familiar are these:

raw australian

raw australian manuka honey



It's important to note this doesn't mean we believe these products are "bad". There is every possibility they are authentic Manuka Honey products, and for whatever reason decided to bypass UMF certification.

However, Manuka Honey is not cheap and when spending your hard earned dollars we think it's important you have certainty that the honey you are buying is genuine. Especially when dealing with your health - there would be nothing worse than taking a spoonful of Manuka Honey each day, only to later find out it was just regular or improperly harvested honey after all!

With a UMF certification, you can be sure that you're getting the full benefits of manuka honey, with all the unique properties and enzymes that it should have.

What Makes A Good Manuka Honey?

There are three things we look for when trying to find a top rated manuka honey.

The first is grading and certification. Manuka Honey is very different from regular raw honey.

Luckily, New Zealand and Australia have a grading system that is quite rigid, meaning it’s easy to gauge the difference in quality between brands.

UMF, KFactor, MGO and AMHA are all gradings that we can use to determine how “good” our honey is. We’ll get to what all those things mean in a second.

It’s also important to buy from a reputable brand – manuka honey is big business and there are many fakes floating around. Buy from real manuka honey brands that are established and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

The next thing we’re looking for is price. Most of us don’t have hundreds of dollars to be throwing around on honey. We need something that’s high quality, potent but also something that won’t break the bank.

Prices vary widely in the Manuka Honey industry, and high prices don't always mean high quality. 

Lastly, we’re looking for flavor. Not all Manuka Honey tastes the same – there are some that are very sweet, some taste more medicinal, and some have a herbal flavor to it. Some have a creamier texture while some are stickier.

This comes down to personal preference, but it’s something to consider if you plan on eating the honey (there are many other uses for it).

We also look at different variables such as:

  • Is the honey raw and unpasteurized?
  • If they pasteurize it, how is it done?
  • Do they have full oversight and control of their production process from hive to jar?
  • Is their packaging BPA and toxin free?
  • Are their business practices sustainable? 
  • Is it a monofloral (pure) Manuka honey or is it blended?
  • Is it organic Manuka Honey?

The best manuka honey to buy depends on a combination of all the above factors. 

Manuka Honey Grading Systems: UMF, MGO, KFactor, AMHA – What's The Difference?

Whenever you shop for manuka honey, you’re going to come across several different grading systems.

These grading systems are how you distinguish the best manuka honeys from the mediocre, so it's useful to understand what they mean.

Let’s go through them briefly.


comvita manuka honey mgo rating

The MGO grading system measures a single compound in Manuka Honey: The level of MGO, or methylglyoxal. 

MGO is also largely responsible for Manuka Honey's antibacterial properties. There are other compounds that contribute to this too, although MGO is the main one. 

Generally speaking, the higher a Manuka Honey's MGO score, the higher the quality of honey.


wild capes manuka honey umf

UMF is a grading system developed by the UMF Honey Association in New Zealand, where the manuka plant originates from, and is approved by the New Zealand government.

UMF grades honey based on the level of four components:

  1. Level of MGO to determine antibacterial levels.
  2. Level of DHA which is a precursor to DHA
  3. Level of NPA which determines effectiveness of MGO.
  4. Level of Leptosperin - a chemical found only in the nectar of the Manuka flowers.

All four components contribute to the potency and effectiveness of Manuka Honey. UMF is the most comprehensive manuka honey grading system in place today and considered the best indicator of overall antibacterial quality.

The best manuka honey brands always submit their products for UMF certification and grading.


k factor wedderspoon manuka honey

KFactor is a grading system invented by the company Wedderspoon.

Wedderspoon Manuka Honey is able to achieve a KFactor if it achieves five criteria: 

  • Raw and unpasteurized
  • Non GMO verified
  • Produced and packaged in New Zealand
  • Free of glyphosate pesticides and antibiotics
  • Traceability from Hive to Home

The main criticism of the KFactor system is that it doesn't test the most important components of Manuka Honey, those being NPA, DHA, MGO or leptosperin. No company other than Wedderspoon has adopted this rating system as of yet. For this reason, we generally do not recommend Wedderspoon Manuka Honey.

AMHA - Australian manuka honey association

The AMHA grading system is by the Australian Manuka Honey Association. This is a much simpler grading system:

  •  AMHA Authentic: Honey with MGO levels above above 85mg/kg and DHA levels above 170 mg/kg
  •  AMHA Authorised: Honey with MGO levels above above 30mg/kg and DHA levels above 60 mg/kg

We find this grading system inferior because it doesn't give specific grading levels, but is simply a "yes/no" system of grading. It does ensure your manuka honey is authentic, but beyond that it doesn't have much usefulness.

A more thorough explanation of MGO, DHA, NPA, Leptosperin, UMF grading, AMHA and KFactor can be found in our article How Do We Measure The Quality Of Manuka Honey? 

How To Interpret Manuka Honey Gradings

You’ve probably seen Manuka Honey with a ‘UMF10’ or a ‘KFactor 16’, but what do those numbers actually mean, and how do you know if it's good or bad?

Yeah, it’s a little confusing. 

Let’s break down some of those numbers so you know what you’re looking at:

Manuka honey grading systems:






Similar or indistinguishable from regular honey





Medium level honey. Good for general wellbeing.





Good quality honey with significant antibacterial activity.





High quality honey with high antibacterial activity.





Ultra quality honey with medicinal antibacterial activity.





One piece of quick advice: Don't bother getting any manuka honey that’s UMF 5 or lower.

Unless you’re buying it purely for the Manuka flavor, you can save your money and just buy regular honey.

Our picks in list above are mostly UMF 15-20 certified Manuka Honey products.

There are higher UMF grades available, but we think this hits the sweet spot of value for money and Manuka potency and strength. 

UMF and MGO are definitely the two most reliable grading systems.

Using the chart above, you should get a reasonable idea of what you're looking at on a Manuka Honey label. 

If not, don't worry. Simply use our list of reviewed brands above and you can't go wrong!


Why is Manuka Honey so expensive?

Manuka Honey is expensive due to its rarity. It can only be produced reliably in New Zealand (and to a much lesser extent, some specific locations in Australia). On top of that, Manuka Honey gets its unique health-giving properties from the Manuka plant, which only blooms 4-6 weeks per year, if that. When you have a honey that can only be produced in a remote corner of the world from a specific flower that blooms less than two months per year, it's naturally more expensive than other honeys. But in our opinion it's worth it!

It's my first time buying Manuka Honey. Should I just buy the most expensive one?

No, we don't recommend buying the most expensive one. When it comes to Manuka Honey, most expensive doesn't always mean best. If it's your first time buying Manuka Honey and you are using it for daily wellness purposes, we would recommend the NZ Honey Co UMF 24 product. It's around $50 for a small jar, so won't destroy your bank account, but will give you access to a very high quality honey.

How do I know if the Manuka Honey I am buying is not fake?

We recommend buying your Manuka Honey from their official websites. That way you can be sure the product is genuine. Most Manuka Honey brands that export to USA now.

If I buy a lower UMF Manuka Honey will it still work?

Yes, lower UMF Manuka Honeys are still effective. Anything above UMF 10+ will have noticeable antibacterial properties.

Which Manuka Honey should I buy if I'm on a budget?

If your budget is very tight we would recommend buying the NZ Honey Co UMF 10 product. It will cost you around $15 and is still very good.

How long will my Manuka Honey last?

Most jars of Manuka Honey last 2-3 months if you use them sparingly. One teaspoon a day is usually enough for general wellness.

How do you eat Manuka Honey?

The best way to eat Manuka Honey is straight out of the jar! One teaspoon as soon you as you wake up is our favorite way to eat it. However, you can also mix it into warm drinks, spread it on toast or even add it to smoothies. There are endless ways to eat Manuka Honey. You can even put it on pancakes!

I want to use Manuka Honey to treat wounds - which one should I buy?

We recommend buying higher UMF Manuka Honey for wound treatment. The NZ Honey Co UMF 28+ product is ideal. However, even the UMF 20 product will have some effect. But in general, the higher the UMF, the better.

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About the author 


I'm Erin, and my family has been raising bees for over two generations. We no longer raise bees on Manuka flowers, but it remains one of our favorites, and we eat it daily, among other honeys like Kamahi and Rata. Since Manuka has grown in popularity overseas in recent years, we thought we should educate people on the true benefits of Manuka and how to find quality Manuka honey. Haere mai to our site, written by us and designed by our brilliant computer whiz of a son, Byron. We hope you find it helpful!

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