10 Best Raw Honey Brands, Ranked

You don't have to be Winnie the Pooh to appreciate one of nature's finest food manifestations: honey. Sweet, silky, and full of warm flavor, it belongs everywhere, from spooned into a simple cup of tea to drizzled atop wildly expensive cheeses on the fanciest charcuterie board.

Honey is deeply embedded in one of the loveliest life cycles to be found in the natural world. Flowers, not only colorful and aromatic, are highly practical — downright do-or-die — a hardworking honeybee seeks nectar for survival. The bee fills its honey sac as it buzzes from around 50 to 100 flowers. After this labor of love, the bee returns to its hive and deposits the precious cargo into wax cells we all know as honeycombs. And that's it. No, really, that's it. You can eat the honey right out of the combs, then and there, like a big old black bear. And a wise consumer knows that this purest form of honey, raw and unfiltered, is absolutely the way to go for the best-tasting experience. For a deeper look at the honey production process, check out the National Honey Board.

We decided to collect a variety of raw honey from various grocery stores (reducing the possibility of bee stings) and give them a taste test. So if you're looking for the sweetest honey on the market, take a look at our ranking of raw honey brands from worst to best.

10. Balim

The rumors are true: Honey can indeed last forever, but you'll still want to keep it fresh, especially when it comes with that beautiful comb in the jar. And one of these pretty jars is not only full of honey, but also packed with the chewy, waxy, and nutritious honeycomb to enjoy in creative ways. Seriously, don't be scared of that two-for-one deal! U.S. Grade A, 100% pure, raw, and unfiltered honey never looked this luxe. The stunning amber product is translucent enough to reveal intricate webs of honeycomb floating inside. The golden lid and matching label are also nice touches, so the overall effect is a certainly picturesque jar.

Balim is a product of Germany, so you might have to poke around in more international grocery stores rather than your habitual Walmart run. But if you aren't already doing that, you'll thank us later, because international grocery stores are treasure troves of hard-to-find delights like this. We felt that the Balim honey looked like gold, and tasted like it, too. A little metallic, aromatic with a bit of an antique smell and taste, and a bit of a highbrow rather than wholesome mouthfeel. Serving this up at a fancy cocktail party would wow guests with the gorgeous hue and gargantuan comb, but for everyday uses, it's not our favorite. Maybe it's just too strong for us!

9. Sadaf

There are so many different types of honey. Just think about how many flowers there are in the world, and when you throw in the unique individual bees that visit them, well, it's mind-boggling. When we picked up a jar of Sadaf raw honey, the option available was Sage, which is one of the less commonly found varieties. But we made an effort not to let the different sources, from sage to wildflower to orange blossom, influence our palates when it comes to the best honey itself. We trust that a great brand of honey will stay great no matter which aromatic florals grace it. Once you've found the top raw honey brand for you, that's when you can go ahead and dive into the distinctive varieties to determine which goes best with English Breakfast versus Oolong tea.

A jar of Sadaf, usefully, comes with a disclaimer: Crystallization of pure, raw honey is normal and expected (only processed/pasteurized and filtered honey does not crystallize). But don't worry, because honey like this tastes heavenly no matter how old it is. Sadaf really surprised us. Right from the very first taste, it didn't ooze with sugary sweetness the way basic honey does. Instead, it had a robust, almost musty taste and a mildly grainy texture. It would be great with cheese that has a bit of a good stink to it, but might not exactly do as it's expected on brown sugar cinnamon oatmeal.

8. Field Day Organic

Field Day is a brand that proudly sources non-GMO, organic products full of simple ingredients and pure good taste. With a "goal to fill your home with a wide selection of value-priced items that you can use and feel good about every day," you know you'll enjoy whatever it puts on the shelves. Organic goods have certain benefits, and so does honey. The research just keeps pouring in about the potential health advantages of incorporating more honey into your diet, exploring such exciting findings as the link between honey and long-term memory that could help fight Alzheimer's disease.

So when something this sweet — literally — can also be rich in important nutrients, then by all means sign us up. We all agreed that the Field Day Organic honey tasted very similar to what we're used to. Cozy, simple, squeezable, and ready to add to anything you wish, it has a strong flavor but wasn't too challenging. It didn't have a pebbly texture, either (though if you store it badly by sticking it in the fridge, you can definitely make that happen). Pick it up since raw honey is so superior to regular, but don't think you're going to be blown away by the difference.

7. Simple Truth Organic

Simple Truth Organic always hits it out of the park with well-priced choices that sometimes prove to be even better than expected. The green and white label was created to make it easy to spot feel-good, organic, natural, and still affordable options even when racing through the grocery store in the middle of a busy day. Its tasty, wholesome food products usually offer a wide range of evolving flavors and reliably decent taste. It's got a quality guarantee and is certified organic by Pennsylvania.

All that is to say, though, is this honey is very tasty, but not that special. Simple Truth Organic is a lot better, and has a much deeper honey flavor than regular honey sold in nondescript (but really darn cute) bears at the grocery store, or in little packets that get all over your fingers (and therefore all over everything under the sun) at coffee shops. It's also a tad bit thicker, though not by much. Simple Truth's was definitely runnier than most of the others on this list. One important note, however: Compared to most of the others' price points, it's a winner.

6. Private Selection Raw and Unfiltered

Private Selection (a Kroger line) has easily accessible Raw and Unfiltered Wildflower Honey that would be amazingly used in recipes such as an elevated whipped cream. If you're interested in discovering other nutrient-dense alternatives to processed white cane sugar to use in recipes, try really good maple syrup. Like honey, it adds health benefits and a deeper flavor to lots of things you'd typically make using regular sugar! This guy is also a product of the U.S., and obviously Grade A goodness. Oh, and the easy squeezy shape means you'll be adding to it to basically everything, from morning oatmeal to evening ice cream. What, you've never put honey on vanilla bean ice cream? We're happy to help inspire your new favorite dessert twist.

This one's extremely enjoyable overall. Not too sweet, not too spicy, and not too pricey, Private Selection slides in a step ahead of Simple Truth Organic as a worthy step up from the norm. It still fits right into your everyday recipes and won't scare the kids by being so raw that they half expect to find a honeybee fossilized inside. We highly recommend this one before getting into the top five.

5. Nature Nate's

It's safe to say that all of these different honey producers don't exactly go wandering around in the woods hoping to come across a massive, buzzing hive of bees. The difference between wild and farmed honey is distinct: Farmed honey is produced by bees housed in boxes full of hives, while wild honey is taken, naturally, from hives occurring in the wilderness. But farmed honey, like farmed versus wild-caught salmon, can be sourced more or less sustainably. Just ask Nature Nate about his sustainably farmed honey if you want even more peace of mind to enjoy your soothing chamomile tea. Nate works hard to give back to bee health by partnering with responsible beekeepers and leading universities for bee health research. The brand "help the greater hive" (cute!) by taking as little from it as possible. We love the purity guarantee: to provide an unmatched level of care and precision that any honeybee would be proud of, "crafted for exceptional taste and award-winning flavor."

The honey has a rich, toasty flavor that surpasses generic grocery store varieties for sure. It was one of the best we've tasted for an upgrade from your usual processed honey, but not quite as sweet, creamy, or intriguing as some of the others even higher on the list. If you're feeling slight trepidation about the more startling raw honey, Nature Nate's sits comfortably at the upper range of middle ground. Try it drizzled on top of flapjacks and you won't be sorry.

4. Local Hive

Local Hive honey is raw and unfiltered, straight from those beekeepers to you. The brand claims that, "We've always made our honey one way: locally. We partner with American beekeepers from coast to coast to bring you authentic wildflower honey that stays true to the blooming flower our bees chose." Our favorite part is that a portion of the proceeds goes toward Pollinator Awareness Through Conversation and Education (PACE), thus towards promoting, protecting, and prolonging pollination. It's a very pretty vehicle for the honey, too, especially considering that it's plastic.

Established way back in 1924, you really are supporting the American beekeeper when you choose Local Hive. And after a spoonful, we plan to support Local Hive quite often. This honey is very more-ish, absolutely better than the processed stuff but smooth as, well, honey. The perfectly drizzly consistency really appealed to us. We wanted to simply dip ripe fruits in a bowl of this for a meal, and for dessert, maybe add a dollop of whipped cream for a fresh take on an ice cream sundae. It's much tastier than Hershey's chocolate syrup in our books!

3. Wee Bee Honey

Discover honey pretty darn close to "wild" when you dig into a jar of Wee Bee Honey. It's never heated, filtered, or strained, so it stays rich in pollen, propolis, and enzymes, and has a delectable honeycomb layer. As we mentioned when discussing Sadaf, Wee Bee notes that the bees themselves decide the color, flavor, texture, and crystallization of each and every individual jar of honey. It depends on the blossom! It's also made in a pesticide-free apiary (the word for a location where bee hives of honey bees are kept). Wee Bee Honey, naturally raw, comes from a family farm right here in the U.S. This is an important distinction, as it turns out. Honey fun fact courtesy of the Wee Bee jar: 80% of honey sold in the USA is imported, and, unfortunately, this has led to the decline of the U.S. Beekeeping industry. Considering how delicious it is, we felt a slight panic at the thought of only having access to the overly processed stuff in the future.

American family-owned and operated, these beekeepers raise their bees organically. It's another reason to love Wee Bee Honey beyond the taste. You have to love a self-aware tagline like "We are the Beekeepers." THE beekeepers? No one else compares? Alright then, we almost agree, because another honey takes the cake. This buttery honey looks straight out of a storybook. Rich, raw, and ridiculously good, we're going to have to resist spooning it onto everything.

2. Bee Well Honey

Local, raw, and unfiltered, the Bee Well Honey bear is a few paws ahead of the competition. We loved that, as opposed to other fancier raw honey on the list, we can squeeze this one out and reduce the sticky mess that often happens when dirtying a spoon to scoop it out of a jar. Besides, who doesn't love the bear-shaped vessel for honey? It instantly brings a smile to our faces! We eagerly drizzled it onto our utensils and immediately appreciated the perfect texture. It's a lovely product, sweet as can be, and scented with unplaceable aromas that we found are a combination of Blackberry, Maple, Holly, Tulip, Poplar, Blueberry, and many other nectars found on the Bee Well properties. We broke out the salty crackers and cut up some sharp cheddar to taste it along with a bit of savoriness.

We patted ourselves on the back for that one, because the sweet honey matched that snack-time energy just as well as it matched the sleepy energy of warm tea. And, obviously, it tasted like pure heaven all by itself! We were buzzing with happiness over Bee Well, though take that with a grain of salt, too, because we might have been really feeling a sweet honey high at this point.

1. Y.S. Eco Bee Farms

Apparently, this is the "Honey Lovers Choice," and we, as unprofessionally certified honey lovers, agree wholeheartedly. This wholesome, natural, specially harvested raw honey has our hearts. The brand is built on a foundation of four generations of hands-on beekeeping experience. It's pure, unpasteurized, unfiltered, nice, and fresh straight from the hive. The enzymes are actually alive, with all the nutrients carefully preserved as whole food. It's SO creamy, we were absolutely floored. Yet, don't worry, it's still somehow all natural. The crystallization is nature's miracle, energy packed in its true raw state.

Y.S. Eco Bee Farms is never forcefully processed to make it conveniently spreadable because the luscious consistency happens all by itself. And that makes us want to visit the facilities in Illinois in the summertime and lay down in a sun-drenched wildflower field while enjoying freshly baked sourdough bread dipped into this perfect honey.  We could go on and on about this pristine product. It's not pourable, so if you need a one-and-done way to add sweetness to your food, Y.S. Eco Bee Farms takes a little more effort and mindfulness. But it's time well spent, hands down. Don't deprive yourself of the experience of spreading decadent raw honey on top of anything your heart desires. We plan to spread it generously even if it takes a big bite out of our paychecks. Life's too short!