How To Choose The Best Manuka Honey (By Use)


7 minutes, 30 seconds read

Essential Takeaways

Deciding which is the best manuka honey to buy all depends on what you want it for. If you just love honey and want a fresh, authentic product, then the cheaper and lower-grade manuka honeys will suit your needs.

But if you’re interested in the antibacterial properties that make manuka honey famous and a versatile ingredient in medicine and skincare, then that’s a different story.

Always opt for UMF™ graded manuka honey like ours regardless so that you can be sure you’re getting the real deal every time.

The best manuka honey to buy (for your needs) depends on a few different factors.

What are you using it for?

How much antibacterial activity do you want?

Perhaps those questions surprised you.

Manuka honey is incredibly versatile, and you’ll find a selection of variations available, offering different grades and strengths of beneficial compounds.

So in this guide, we’ll break them down for you so that you can decide which manuka is right for you.

In this guide to the best manuka honey:

  • What’s the best manuka honey?

  • The best honey for health

  • The best honey for skincare

  • Where to buy top quality manuka honey

What’s the Best Manuka Honey to Buy?

You may have noticed that the price of manuka honey can vary quite a bit.

You might also have seen the different numbers and ratings on manuka honey jars.

There’s a simple explanation for this. And it can help you decide which is the best manuka honey to buy for your specific needs.

Manuka honey contains an antibacterial compound called methylglyoxal, often shortened to MGO.

Other honeys do contain MGO, but not in the same quantities.

The higher the concentration of MGO, the more antibacterial the honey becomes. And it’s used for some pretty serious wounds and medical conditions as a result.

This is what has earned manuka honey its global reputation.

So how do you decide which manuka honey is right for you?

That’s what we’ll discuss here.

But first, there’s something else you should know…

How to tell if manuka honey is good quality

MGO isn’t the only rating you should look for on a jar of manuka honey.

In order to verify the very best quality manuka honey, the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (the official industry body) created a special grading system, the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF™).

A UMF™ grade is a quality assurance mark.

It is independent of honey producers and tests for authenticity, freshness, and shelf-life.

The higher the UMF™ grade, the more MGO the honey contains and the higher its antibacterial activity.

So for the very best quality manuka honey, always look for a UMF™ grade.

Is there a better honey than manuka?

Whether one honey is better than another all depends on what you want to use it for.

Shop-bought honeys can be delicious. They can also be laced with additives and devoid of their beneficial compounds - lost during the manufacturing process.

UMF™ graded manuka honey has been independently tested and verified to be fresh and authentic. It has antibacterial properties, and it can be used in a huge variety of ways.

(In fact, we list over 170 of them here).

So, as well as a deliciously sweet honey, you get much more with manuka.

The Best Manuka Honey for Health Benefits

The unique antibacterial properties of manuka honey make it an exciting natural medicine.

And that’s not an “alternative” view, either.

Doctors and vets across the globe are already using manuka honey to heal serious wounds and medical conditions. This is particularly crucial given the rise of antibiotic resistance.

In this section, you’ll find a breakdown of the best manuka honeys for health and medical uses, depending on the purpose you’re planning to use it for.

NB: Always consult your doctor before using anything for medical conditions - even when it’s all-natural like our manuka honey.

Manuka honey for wounds and burns

Manuka honey has humectant and emollient properties as well as antibacterial compounds.

When applied topically, it forms a protective barrier around a wound, locks in moisture for healing, and keeps out nasty bacteria.

It also helps to regenerate damaged tissue and promotes healing, which makes it ideal for burns and scars.

For this reason, it’s best to opt for higher-grade manuka honeys when using them for medical purposes.

“My wife has been using this on dressings for wounds on her leg. The wounds are healing and the dressings do not irritate her skin as has happened with other products she has used.”

The best manuka honeys to buy for wounds and burns are the highest grades available from New Zealand Honey Co.:

Allergies and infections

Manuka honey has also been proven to be effective for managing the symptoms of allergies and for easing sinus infections.

You can even make your own easy sinus wash to ease inflammation and help you breathe easy again.

Higher-grade manuka honeys are best for medical purposes, but you probably don’t need the top tier for these more minor health issues.

“Great taste can feel it’s effect when suffering from cold and cough really effective as compared to regular honey.”

We recommend the following manuka honeys from New Zealand Honey Co. for managing allergies and minor infections:

Gastritis and stomach problems

Stomach issues like gastritis are often caused by bacteria and inflammation.

So with its antibacterial properties that ease and reduce inflammation, New Zealand manuka honey is the ideal natural solution.

It’s something our customers regularly comment on after using our manuka honey:

“I love it and I have been using it for a month. My stomach feels much better with having it every morning before food.”

We recommend the best manuka honeys for gastritis from New Zealand Honey Co. are:

Exercise and recovery

Manuka honey has been shown to raise blood sugar slowly, release energy over a prolonged period, and provide the amino acids that our bodies need to rebuild cells.

These things make it an idea pre- and post-workout fuel.

Add it to smoothies, make your own snacks, or simply slurp by the spoonful just before or after your gym session.

“It is a marvellous product that has helped improve our energy and vitality. Grateful!!!”

We recommend the following manuka honeys from New Zealand Honey Co. for a general performance boost:

Hormone imbalance

Studies have found that manuka honey may boost testosterone levels, which is vital for men and women alike.

Evidence also suggests that it can ease the unpleasant symptoms of hormone imbalance, particularly during the menopause.

So when looking for honey to ease hormone imbalance, it’s best to stick with top-quality manuka.

We recommend the mid-range manuka honey grades from New Zealand Honey Co. for hormone imbalance:


It’s not safe to give any type of honey to infants, but it’s perfectly safe for pregnant women.

It can be applied topically to sore breastfeeding nipples for relief, to heal stretch marks, and to give that desperately needed energy boost after a sleepless night.

For particularly unpleasant skin complaints, opt for higher-grade honey. Otherwise, you can opt for the mid-tier grades.

The best manuka honey to buy for pregnancy and recovery from New Zealand Honey Co.:

The Best Manuka Honey for Skincare

Thanks to its emollient and antibacterial properties, genuine manuka honey is also fantastic in skincare.

Here are our recommendations for the best manuka honey products to choose for your skin.

Manuka honey for acne and eczema

Acne and eczema can be unpleasant skin conditions. Inflammation can cause redness, dryness, and flakiness, which manuka honey can ease.

You can apply manuka honey directly to your skin or make your own soothing face masks with other beneficial ingredients.

If your acne or eczema is particularly bad, opt for the higher grades of manuka honey. For the more minor cases, lower grades should do the trick.

“I recently had an acne breakout and have been doing manuka honey face masks and my skin looks so much better now. This honey far exceeds what I was using previously. I plan on continuing to use and purchase more of this honey.”

Here’s the best manuka honey to buy for general skincare from New Zealand Honey Co.:


Manuka honey has been found to boost cell regeneration and repair tissue damage.

So it’s a great natural remedy for reducing scarring.

Apply it topically to your scar and cover it with a gauze so that it has plenty of time to soak in.

For the best results, opt for the mid-high grades of manuka honey.

“This honey is beyond amazing! Any little skin issue like an infected cuticle to something more serious like contact dermatitis - this is the answer! You’ll feel the bees magic right away when it touches your skin. A 5 star for sure and well worth the investment!”

We recommend the following grades of raw manuka honey from New Zealand Honey Co. for scars:


Get the Best Quality Manuka Honey New Zealand Has to Offer!

The best manuka honey to buy depends on your needs and preferences. Just be sure to choose a reputable supplier for your UMF™ manuka honey.

Transparency is a core value for our brand. So all of our monofloral manuka honey is UMF™ graded, and we work with the most responsible beekeepers throughout New Zealand.

Our honeys are also non-GMO, glyphosate free, Halal, and Kosher. We use recyclable materials that are best for honey storage and for the environment.

It’s easy to see why we’re the top-selling manuka honey brand on Amazon.

Learn more about our credentials here.

Shop your premium manuka honey.

Your wellness journey starts with a spoonful a day.


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