In a hurry? Here is our recommendation as the best Manuka Honey from New Zealand (mono-floral) based on price, traceability, UMF certification and MGO antibacterial levels. For the rest, see the list below.
Manukora Raw Manuka Honey UMF 20+
Monofloral Manuka Honey – New Zealand
UMF 20+ | MGO 830+ | NPA 20+
A well priced and powerful Manuka Honey that suits a variety of uses including topical and food + beverages. If this price point is a bit too high and you just want the flavour without the activity levels you can also consider their best selling Multifloral 50+
Whether you’re looking for a Manuka Honey for its rare and special healing properties or just want a natural and organic sweetener for your sandwiches, baking or Manuka Honey tea, we’ve can help.
We’ve listed the best Manuka Honey on the market today. We’ve included Manuka Honey from lower UMF and MGO grades like UMF 5 right up to the high end Manuka Honey that has very high levels of MGO.
The higher levels of MGO are perfect for natural skincare use or healing on cuts and abrasions (a lot of people also use the higher MGO Manuka Honey on their dogs and pets to naturally heal sores, cuts and wounds).
Manuka Honey grade usage recommendations
Manuka Honey is incredibly flexible and can be used to cover a huge range of food, health & wellness applications. The following table provides recommendations based on the different grades of Manuka Honey you can buy.
It’s important to understand that UMF is a grading system by the UMFHA. This is an organisation that is based in New Zealand who manage the certification and authenticity of the Manuka Honey produced by its members. It is often recommended that UMF honey is best based on the additional testing and certification requirements enforced.
MGO is the measure of methylglyoxal in the honey. This is the anti-bacterial levels in the honey. The higher the number the higher the antibacterial and microbial properties.
So grading systems like UMF, MGS, K-Factor and BioActive are grading systems and all of them have a related MGO number.
To try to explain this easier we’ll use UMF as an example.
A UMF 15+ will have many chemical properties that can be tested. MG, or MGO (methylglyoxal) is one of the properties that is tested. If the UMF number goes up, so does the MGO levels. The two are tied together.
You can see this on UMF vs MGO calculators, when one goes up the other goes up relative. It’s not a UMF vs MGO, it’s UMF & MGO levels.
MGO is not the only thing that is tested for in UMF testing, there are other chemical markers as well but MGO is the main one as it is the activity levels, the antibacterial and healing levels in the honey.
Now that you understand how MGO and UMF work we’ll build the table of recommended usage based on the UMF and MGO grading.
Manuka Honey Usage Recommendations based on Grading numbers
|UMF Level||MGO Level||Recommended Usage||Notes|
|UMF 5+||MGO 80+||Baking / Cooking / Food /Drinks / Manuka Honey Tea||This is about as low as Manuka Honey is graded at. Anything lower is a multi-floral. K-Factor 16 would also fit in here.|
|UMF 10+||MGO 250+||Baking / Cooking / Food /Drinks / Basic Topical use||Flavour increases and the healing properties start to show|
|UMF 15+||MGO 500+||Baking / Cooking / Topical Use / Cuts & Wounds / Basic skincare / Sore throats & Colds / Drinks||Most common and middle of the road price range where the antibacterial levels become effective|
|UMF 20+||MGO 820+||Skincare / Cuts / Wounds / Concentrated topical healing applications / Sore throats & Colds / Drinks||Increasingly powerful methylglyoxal levels with strong antibacterial and microbial properties. Flavour strengthens, more medicinal taste.|
|UMF 24+ and above||MGO 1000+||Skincare / Cuts / Wounds / Concentrated topical healing applications / Sore throats & Colds / Drinks||Very strong flavour with a bitter medicinal taste. Very rare and expensive due to its limited supply and high MGO levels. Very few brands operate here.|
There are many different numbers you will see on the front of Manuka Honey jars but we have used UMF and MGO as they are the most common.
We also know they are attached to scientific and verified testing processes. Comvita are one of the oldest Manuka Honey companies in New Zealand and they champion the use of UMF when purchasing Manuka Honey.
Best Manuka Honey of New Zealand (monofloral)
Now that you understand the grading process and the different uses for Manuka Honey we’ll list the best Manuka Honey on the market right now. These are from companies who have testing certifications and confirmation from the New Zealand government to export their Manuka Honey.
1: Comvita UMF 10+ Manuka Honey
Comvita have been in the beekeeping business since 1974. That’s over 45 years. They own all their own facilities and are New Zealand largest Manuka Honey company.
Their UMF 10+ is a perfect addition to food and drinks. While it is slightly more expensive than some other Manuka Honey UMF 10+ your paying for all the work that goes in to their honey production which gives you confidence in the authenticity of the product you are purchasing.
Comvita are the most recognised New Zealand Manuka Honey company so it’s easy to believe when you are buying Comvita you are buying the best Manuka Honey available. This is true in part but as all New Zealand Manuka Honey exporters have to pass the required MPI testing, and UMF Certifications (if the producer is a member of the UMFHA) you can also have confidence in most of this list.
2: Wedderspoon Raw Manuka Honey – KFactor 16+
Wedderspoon take the award for selling the most Manuka Honey. The main reason for this is that it is very cheap and does not use any other grading system so it’s hard to know what the level of MGO is in their Manuka Honey.
It is very expensive to harvest and produce high level MGO Manuka Honey so we will assume that K-Factor is somewhere around a UMF 5+ or UMF 10+ Manuka Honey equivalent, probably closer to UMF 5+/MGO 83+.
The reason it makes this list is because it still passes the New Zealand governments MPI requirements as a monofloral Manuka Honey and if you are only planning to use your Manuka Honey in your drinks in food then it is perfect. It’s 17.6oz jar stretches a long way considering the affordable price.
If you’re looking for a high quality and highly graded Manuka Honey, there are other brands to choose from so look at the UMF and MGO levels.
3: Kiva Manuka Honey – UMF 15+
Kiva are a health food company and one of their strong sellers in their Kiva Manuka Honey UMF 15+ which has an MGO grading of 514+. This Manuka Honey is a perfect match for food and health and healing uses.
The UMF 15+ puts it in the middle of the available UMF range. It’s a balanced UMF number which makes it very flexible and isn’t the most expensive you can buy.
If you want a good Manuka Honey that is multi-purpose then this Kiva UMF 15+ is the perfect choice.
4: Manuka Health – MGO 400+
Manuka Health are a member of the UMF Honey Association but they have spent more time promoting their MGO levels than their UMF levels.
UMF 13+ is not a common UMF monofloral Manuka Honey as most companies focus on UMF 5+, UMF 10+ and UMF 15+ levels as they sound better.
Manuka Health also has a strong presence in the UK and Europe where people tend to shop based the MGO number (and levels) in the Manuka Honey.
When you’re buying Manuka Health Manuka Honey you know you’re purchasing from a long standing and quality brand in the market. This is also a brand well known in China and across Asia. You can buy Manuka Health with confidence.
5: Manukora UMF 20+ (MGO 830+) Raw Mānuka Honey
Manukora have grown significantly recently due to their broad selection of monofloral Manuka Honey, the pricing and their commitment to authentic certifications.
Their Manuka Honey is UMF Certified so it comes with all the confidence you need when purchasing. You can also scan the Manukora QR code on the jar to view more information on the specific graded honey you have purchased.
Manukora started rising as the best selling Manuka Honey when they priced their multi-floral Manuka Honey at an affordable and cheap price. At the time of writing their Manukora MGO 50+ Multifloral was priced at under $15 US. The Manuka levels in a 50+ are so low it’s more like a typical honey and the medicinal and antibacterial benefits are low but it still makes for an affordable Manuka Honey that gives people a lot of confidence.
6: Steens Raw Monofloral Manuka Honey MGO 514+ (UMF 15) (Unpasteurised)
Steens pride themselves on their honey being Raw Manuka Honey. They define this as keeping the temperature of the honey around 20 degrees Celsius during the processing of the honey.
UMF Certified and batch tracing is available on their Manuka Honey. All Manuka Honey that is prepared for export must have complete tests to verify the levels in the honey and to ensure it is export quality. Steens meet these requirements as a UMFHA member.
Steens have been a family business since the 80’s around the time Peter Molan was discovering the benefits of Manuka Honey. They doubled down on Manuka and have since driven some innovative change around honey extraction processes and traceability programs.
Don’t let the pale label put you off – Steens sell some of the best Manuka Honey of high quality that is monofloral. They also have some multi-floral honey.
If you’re looking for an award winning ultra high grade Manuka Honey they the Steens UMF 27+ with it’s amazing retail packaging is hard to walk past. See more.
7: Egmont Honey New Zealand Manuka Honey MGO 263+ / UMF 10+
This UMF 10+ Monofloral Manuka Honey from Egmont is a well priced UMF Certified monofloral from New Zealand. While they boast the purest, finest Manuka Honey it must really be a general statement as the high end honey NZ exporters on this list all stand tall in terms of quality.
Mt Egmont (or Mt Taranaki as it’s known officially by its Maori name) is located in the lower East of the North Island of New Zealand. This area is predominantly covered with farmland and this allows Egmont to locate their hives in some remote areas. Not all Manuka Honey producers have their own hives but Egmont do with some so remote they are only accessible via helicopter.
I’ve haven’t been to the Taranaki area in 20 years but when last there there wasn’t much there so, I can attest to their claims of remoteness.
You get all the confidence with the UMF certifications and MPI export testing regulations having been passed to make this an affordable choice for food and drink with some topical uses with this UMF 10+ / MGO 263+
There are more than 200 Manuka Honey producers in New Zealand. All are not the same but as a rule of thumb you will ideally want to look for UMF Certified Manuka Honey. This ensures the producer and exporter has meet the requirements of an association that holds its members to account.
UMF honey is not only certified for export based on the minimum required by the New Zealand Government (MPI), they also have to meet the requirements of the UMF Honey Association (UMFHA).
There are new Manuka Honey producers popping up regularly. If you’ve seen one that we haven’t included on the list that is one of your favourites, let us know in the comments below.