What is the Best Manuka Honey in 2023?
With so many diverse and delicious honeys on the marketplace, which is best?
It’s been a very arduous period of testing for me, I must say. I’ve had to eat copious spoonfuls of delicious honey from some of the best producers in the world. In fact, were it not for Manuka’s dental benefits, I’d be a little concerned about my next visit to the hygienist.
This guide will explore the top ten Manuka honeys available in the UK in 2023, comparing their MGO levels, flavour profiles, and sourcing practices.
I will also discuss the health benefits of Manuka honey, how to understand MGO and UMF ratings, and how to choose the right Manuka honey for your needs.
10 Best Manuka Honeys Available in the UK in 2023
The following list highlights the ten best Manuka honey products available in the UK in 2023, showcasing a variety of MGO levels and price points to suit different preferences and needs.
Best Antibacterial Manuka Honey for Sore Throats & Cough: Manuka Lab Manuka Honey MGO 525 – 500g
A premium option with a high MGO level, this honey boasts strong antibacterial properties and a robust, earthy flavour. Good for general consumption, sore throats, minor wounds or skin care.
The 500g jar of monofloral Manuka honey is certified with a 525+ MGO rating, equivalent to NPA 15+. Fully traceable from the jar to the hive, this honey is collected by Kiwi bees and harvested by beekeepers on the untamed East Coast of New Zealand.
My Verdict: Manuka Lab’s Manuka Honey with MGO 525 is a premium quality honey with a rich, aromatic flavour and a smooth, creamy texture.
Its fragrance is distinctively sweet and floral, with subtle notes of caramel and molasses. The honey’s consistency is thick and luscious, perfect for spreading on toast or adding to hot drinks.
Best Multipurpose Manuka Honey: Manuka Doctor Premium Monofloral MGO 340 – 250g:
With a moderately high MGO level, this monofloral honey offers a perfect balance of health benefits and palatability, making it a popular choice. It’s fully certified by New Zealand Gov.
It has a delicate, floral taste making it ideal for a good slice of sourdough bread or topping Greek yoghurt.
My verdict: I found Manuka Doctor Premium Monofloral Manuka Honey MGO 340 – 250g to be exceptional in quality, with a rich, smooth taste.
The company’s commitment to sustainability further adds to its appeal, making it a great choice.
Best Manuka Honey For Potency at a Great Price: Manuka Lab MGO 300 – 250g:
A more affordable option with a respectable MGO level, this honey is great for those who want to enjoy Manuka honey’s benefits without breaking the bank.
The company has a history built on healthcare, with a focus on creating a fair and open agreement between landowners, beekeepers, and the processing company. They are committed to caring for nature, operating a local and family-like workplace, and giving back to their communities.
My Verdict: Manuka Lab MGO 300 has a unique and distinctive taste, with notes of earthy and slightly bitter undertones combined with a sweet and floral flavour.
The taste can be quite strong and intense, especially for those not used to manuka honey’s flavour.
In terms of texture, Manuka Lab MGO 300 has a thick and creamy consistency, with a smooth and luxurious feel on the tongue. The honey is easy to spread and mix, making it a great addition to teas, smoothies, and other recipes.
Best Mild yet Powerful Manuka Honey: Manuka Doctor Premium Monofloral MGO 240 – 250g:
Offering a slightly lower MGO level, this honey is ideal for those who prefer a milder flavour while still enjoying some of the health benefits associated with Manuka honey.
Manuka Doctor is a New Zealand-based company that produces quality authentic Mānuka Honey from their beekeepers in the clean green mountains of New Zealand.
The company was founded in 1909, and its honey products are unique and natural as the land they come from, reflecting the company’s philosophy of providing nature’s best from New Zealand.
Manuka Doctor has a privately owned, fully integrated model, from hive to home, which is a rare feature among New Zealand honey companies.
My Verdict: Manuka Doctor Premium Monofloral MGO 240 boasts a smooth and velvety texture with a delicate floral aroma that is pleasing to the senses.
It has a mild yet powerful taste that is not overpowering, making it a great choice for those who prefer a subtler taste.
Best Manuka Honey for Newcomers: Manuka Doctor MGO 70 – 250g:
With a lower MGO level, this honey is ideal for newcomers to Manuka honey who want to experience its unique flavour without a strong, medicinal taste.
My Verdict: It has a mild, sweet taste with a slightly bitter aftertaste that is characteristic of genuine Manuka honey. The texture is smooth and creamy, and the honey is pure and free of any additives or artificial ingredients.
At MGO 70 it is a great introductory level for those new to Manuka honey, and it can also be used as a daily supplement for general well-being.
Best Affordable Manuka Honey: Manuka Pharm MGO 70 -250g
Another option with a lower MGO level, this honey offers a budget-friendly introduction to Manuka honey for everyday use.
My Verdict: As a budget option, Manuka Pharm’s MGO 70 honey still provides the signature Manuka flavour and texture without breaking the bank. Though less potent than other options, this honey is still pure and free of additives, making it a great introduction to the world of Manuka honey.
As part of the Honey New Zealand International group, which owns Manuka Doctor, Manuka Pharm ensures their honey is rigorously tested and certified to meet the strict New Zealand standard, providing peace of mind to their customers.
Best Manuka Honey for your Immune System: Pure Gold Premium Select MGO 300 – 375g
A high-quality choice with a higher MGO level, this honey is perfect for those seeking a more potent Manuka honey for its health benefits.
My Verdict: Pure Gold Premium Select Manuka Honey MGO 300 has a distinct and strong taste, with a rich and thick consistency. The honey is pure, authentic, and versatile, making it a great addition to different foods and drinks.
It has been independently tested and conforms to New Zealand standards, ensuring its authenticity and high quality.
The honey is harvested during the Manuka flower’s bloom period and contains MGO, which is the unique component responsible for the extraordinary properties of Manuka honey.
Best Manuka Honey for toast: Manuka Doctor MGO 55 – 500g:
A great entry-level Manuka honey, this product offers a mild flavour and a lower MGO level suitable for those new to the world of Manuka honey.
My Verdict: Manuka Doctor MGO 55 is the perfect Manuka honey for spreading on your toast.
It has a smooth, creamy texture and a light, floral taste that is not too overpowering. This honey is packed with natural goodness and is perfect for those who are new to Manuka honey or prefer a milder taste.
The honey is pure and high quality, with every batch tested and certified to meet strict New Zealand standards.
Best Cheap, Low Potency Manuka Honey: Manuka Doctor MGO 40 – 250g:
The lowest MGO level on our list, this honey is ideal for those who want to enjoy the unique taste of Manuka honey without a strong medicinal flavour or a high price tag.
My Verdict: Manuka Doctor MGO 40 is an affordable and accessible option for those who want to try Manuka honey without breaking the bank.
While it has a lower potency level, it still maintains the unique taste and consistency of Manuka honey. It’s a great choice for adding to hot drinks or spreading on toast for a delicious and healthy treat.
The purity of the honey is also guaranteed by Manuka Doctor, so you can trust that you are getting a high-quality product.
Comparing the Best Manuka Honey for Your Health
|Manuka Honey Product
|Best Manuka Honey for Sore Throats
|Manuka Lab Manuka Honey MGO 525
|Best Multipurpose Manuka Honey
|Manuka Doctor Premium Monofloral MGO 340
|Best Manuka Honey For Potency and Price
|Manuka Lab MGO 300
|Best Mild yet Powerful Manuka Honey
|Manuka Doctor Premium Monofloral MGO 240
|Best Manuka Honey for Newcomers
|Manuka Doctor MGO 70
|Best Budget Manuka Honey
|Manuka Pharm MGO 70
|Best Potent Manuka Honey
|Pure Gold Premium Select MGO 300
|Best Manuka Honey for Toast
|Manuka Doctor MGO 55
|Best Cheap, Low Potency Manuka Honey
|Manuka Doctor MGO 40
How We Judged the Best Manuka Honey: Our Methodology
Here are the factors we considered:
I considered each Manuka honey variety’s UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) rating. I researched and analyzed the UMF ratings of different brands to determine which honey varieties had the highest antibacterial potency. This helped us narrow down our list to only the best Manuka honey options.
Source and Certification
I also looked at the source and certification of the honey. I only recommended Manuka honey produced in New Zealand and certified by reputable organizations such as the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA) or the New Zealand Government’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
Taste and Texture
I considered the taste and texture of each Manuka honey variety. I researched and analyzed the flavour profiles and textures of different brands to determine which honey varieties were the most enjoyable to eat. I took into account the sweetness, richness, and earthiness of the honey to make our recommendations.
I also looked at the packaging of the Manuka honey.I only recommended honey that came in a sealed container that prevented air from entering and kept the product fresh. I also considered whether the container was opaque, as this could help protect against light deterioration.
I considered the purity of each Manuka honey variety. I only recommended honey that was free from any chemicals, additives, and preservatives. I looked for honey that was labelled as “pure” or “raw” and had undergone testing for purity.
Finally, I considered reviews from other customers who had purchased the same Manuka honey variety. I used this feedback to provide additional insight into the product’s taste, texture, and overall quality. This helped me make an informed decision when selecting the best Manuka honey.
How to Choose the Best Manuka Honey for Yourself
Manuka honey is worth considering if you’re looking for a natural and health-boosting food. It’s derived from bees that feed on the manuka bush, which grows in New Zealand, and studies have shown that it has far superior antibacterial and health-boosting properties than other types of honey. But how do you choose the best manuka honey for you? Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Check the rating: Manuka honey is graded based on its antibacterial activity, which is measured using a variety of different systems such as UMF, NPA, MGO, or A or TA. The higher the rating, the greater the antibacterial strength.
- Look for authenticity: Ensure that the manuka honey you are buying is from a reputable source and is genuine. Look for certifications or trademarks from New Zealand Manuka Honey Appellation Society to guarantee the quality and properties of the honey.
- Consider your budget: Manuka honey can be expensive, so think about how much you are willing to spend. Lower-potency honey may be cheaper, but it might not have the same benefits as the more potent varieties.
- Know what you want to use it for. Different types of manuka honey have different properties, so consider what you want to use it for. Higher-potency honey may be better if you want it for sore throats. If you want it for toast, then lower-potency honey may be sufficient.
Remember that manuka honey, like all honey, is still a sugar, so it’s important to consume it in moderation. You can use it as a natural sweetener in foods and drinks or consume it directly from the spoon as a supplement. It can also be applied directly to wounds and burns to promote healing. Remember these tips when choosing the best manuka honey for you, and enjoy its many health benefits.
How do I know if I am getting genuine manuka honey?
To ensure that you are getting genuine manuka honey, look for a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) rating or an MGO (methylglyoxal) rating on the label. The higher the rating, the more potent the honey will be. You can also check for a certification label from the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA).
How should manuka honey be stored?
Manuka honey should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. It is important to keep the lid tightly sealed to prevent moisture from getting in and potentially compromising the quality of the honey.
Cara Hayes is an experienced natural health practitioner with a Masters in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics from the University of Sydney. She has been writing for New Zealand Honey since 2020 and loves manuka in her morning tea.