As we as a society, we’ve come to understand how essential healthy fats and oils are to our diet and body better in the last couple years, rather than view them as the “enemy”. While coconut oil is no doubt good for us, not every one is made the same, regarding our health or wallet. With its rapidly-growing popularity comes a wide-ranging quality. You want to make the most of the product, don’t you? Well, we’re here to help. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to, and are pleased to report our skin and hair looking healthier than ever before! So, scroll down a bit further, and we’ll show you the way to better health with the best coconut oil.
Best Coconut Oil – Comparison
It wouldn’t be a very good guide if we didn’t make an easy-to-use table laying out the basics of each product, would it? We have the product on the left-hand side, along with the defining characteristics of each product to the right. Use this to weed out the ones you’re looking for before looking further to the longer descriptions.
|Viva Naturals||Unrefined, organic, cold-pressed, company contracts with local farmers, grown in natural environment, great taste|
|Maison Orphee||Virgin, organic, cold-pressed, Fair Trade-certified, glass jar, non-deodorized, non-GMO|
|Nature’s Way Organic||Organic, cold-pressed, non-GMO, unrefined, unbleached, gluten-free, great taste and smell|
|DME Virgin Coconut Oil||Hand-pressed, organic, certified Fair Trade, non-deodorized|
|Artisana Virgin||Virgin, organic, cold-pressed raw, Lacks Fair Trade certification, glass jar, non-deodorized|
|Carrington Farms||100% organic virgin, gluten-free, non-GMO, kosher, cold-pressed|
|Tropical Traditions||Virgin, organic, small-batch pressing, from family plantations, glass jar (certain sizes), non-deodorized|
|Nutiva||Virgin, organic, cold-pressed, Fair Trade-certified, glass jar (certain sizes), non-deodorized|
There are a lot of misconceptions about coconut oil out there. Finding high-quality product is not exactly an easy feat to do, and while it may seem simple, there are a lot of important variables to look at. Many brands produce unsubstantiated claims, so finding a reputable company is important. All of the brands and products we’ve listed fit into the reputable category, so all you have to do now is scroll down to help answer any questions you may have!
Viva Naturals - Best Weight Control Product
The first on our list kind of speaks for itself if you even just google the name. Vita Naturals’ Extra Virgin Coconut Oil comes in a plastic 16 oz. jar of pure, silky goodness. Viva Naturals is all about keeping their product in the purest form to preserve nutrients. What does that mean for you? That means better looking skin and hair, along with more vitamins to keep you going. So, how exactly do they keep their product so pure? They do it by keeping it unrefined, organic, and cold-pressed to preserve the MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), the soft texture, and the coconut smell.
The cold-pressed oil is great at penetrating skin and hair and making them shiny and soft, by rejuvenating and providing the nutrients your body needs. Some lesser-known benefits, are that the MCTs are great with weight control/loss, as they help increase the efficiency of your metabolism. If you’re having issues or would simply like to prevent fungus, coconut oil fights both candida and yeast! Unlike many other companies, Vita Naturals does not source their coconuts from huge farms where machines do all of the work. They instead, opt to collaborate with local farmers in the Philippines, where they hand-pick each coconut. The Philippines is the ideal place for coconut-growing, as the soil is so fertile and the climate is just right.
Just a few hours after they’re picked, the coconuts are then cold-pressed, rather than kept in storage for weeks, or even months, like some other brands do. This means that practically all of the antioxidants are kept safe in the oil.
- Local farmers hand-pick each coconut in the Philippines
- Fast turn-over means the antioxidants are kept intact
- Organic, unrefined, and cold-pressed
- Plastic container isn't as preferred as glass
Maison Orphee - Most Trendy Product
If you’re looking for a noticeably exotic flavor punch to your cooking, then hop on over to Maison Orphee’s website and pick up some of their virgin coconut oil. The label is all in French, as you might deduce from the name, but if you can’t speak the language, then trust us to translate it all for you. In short, it means it’s some of the best coconut oil money can buy. If you want the details, bear with us for a little bit longer.
Cold-pressed from fresh coconut flesh, this Fair Trade-certified oil comes in a beautiful glass jar that will make a nice addition to any cabinet. It not only tastes good in just about any recipe you may have up your sleeve, but is also one of the best coconut oils for hair growth. Just keep this on your hair for half an hour and wash, and you’ll feel like you had a day at the salon. The company gets their coconuts fresh from the Philippines, and makes sure their product isn’t bleached or deodorized. The odor is light and pleasant, as is the taste, contrary to some products that have an overwhelmingly strong scent.
- Unbleached and non-deodorized freshly made from Filipino coconuts
- Great for hair growth
- Certified Fair Trade, organic, virgin
Nature's Way - Most Versatile Product
Nature’s Way has produced an organic coconut oil that you should definitely consider if you’re looking for the product that’s most healthy for you. Like the others we’ve listed so far, it’s cold-pressed and organic, however, it’s also Non-GMO Project Verified. Given the outrageous amounts of GMOs often found in our foods, the fact that Nature’s Way has eliminated these really shows how health-conscious they are of their consumers. Not only that, but it’s also unbleached, hexane-free, and gluten-free. It’s actually pretty difficult to find a coconut oil that has all three of those qualities, and is wonderful for those with Celiac’s Disease, or are opting not to consume gluten.
Due to the freshness and pureness of Nature’s Way’s coconut oil, it also has a superior taste, reflecting the time and care taken to produce it. The coconuts are cold-processed at less than 104 degrees, and are expeller-pressed within two hours of harvesting, taking special care to retain as many MCTs and antioxidants as possible. While the jar is plastic, it is made of BPA-free plastic, so no harm will come from it. There have also been reports of consumers using it to restore furniture made of wood by rubbing this on it! Another aspect that separates it from the rest, is that the brand also offers premium coconut oils in various flavors, including: jalapeno, lemon herb, red raspberry, spicy sriracha, and savory garlic.
- Good for versatile use
Alpha's DME - Best Product to Buy in Bulk
Alpha is a company out of British Columbia that produces certified Fair Trade products, but the one we’re going to focus on today is their DME Virgin Coconut Oil. It’s probably an accurate guess that it got its name because it’s DME hand-pressed straight from fresh coconuts out of the Solomon Islands. The best part is, that they’re not plucked by machines, but rather the natives of the islands on their own family farms, who hand-select each coconut. The DME process or “Direct Micro-Expelled” process, uses a hand-operated cold-pressing device to produce raw oil from fresh coconuts, in maximum, 1.5 hours! You can’t get fresher than that! Since the coconuts are processed in such a short period of time, mold growth or any other kind of threats are eliminated.
Another great addition, is the fact that the oil is non-deodorized and organic. There is a very faint coconut smell, which doesn’t overwhelm the senses at all. Oh, and if you’re looking to buy the product in bulk, they sell it on their site in various sizes – even up to 14L (28lb.) vats! That’s a whole lot of antioxidants and healthy fats!
- Can purchase in multiple sizes, up to 14L/28lbs.
- DME hand-pressed provides extremely fresh, organic coconut oil
- Hand-picked from Solomon Island natives
- Doesn't have as strong of a flavor as other options, which can be seen as a positive or negative
Artisana - Most Minimal Scent
Artisana’s Raw Coconut Oil is revered by many as food for your skin and hair, while also being a wonderful substitute for margarine or any other oils. We aren’t arguing with that, as it has many great benefits and features. The raw, virgin coconut oil originally comes from coconuts out of Southeast Asia, and then is produced by Artisana in Oakland, CA. It’s cold-pressed, which helps the product retain its MCTs and antioxidants, keeping it fresh and high-quality for your benefit. The product is also non-deodorized, and has a very pleasant coconut scent and flavor, and is not as mild as some others. It does come in a glass jar, which is an upgrade to the plastic ones that many other competitors use, however, it does lack the Fair Trade certification that so many others have, which for us, took it down a notch. It’s also much higher on the price spectrum than its competitor options, so if you’re on a budget, you may want to pass on this one.
- Made from fresh coconuts out of Southeast Asia
- Non-deodorized, with a pleasant coconut scent and flavor
- Great substitute for margarine
- Lacks the Fair Trade approval
Carrington Farms - Best Flavored Product
Carrington Farms is a pretty awesome company that’s been around since 2000, and genuinely cares about its customers and the products they consume. Their coconut oil is a wonderfully healthy replacement for traditional oils like canola, vegetable, olive, and more. Not only is it free of hydrogenated and trans fats, but it’s also gluten-free and non-GMO, so you can feel safe and secure consuming as much of it as you want (although we can’t say it’s calorie-free). It’s also 100% organic, which is perfect for nutrition-conscious consumers, and cold-pressed from fresh coconuts in the fertile lands of the Philippines.
The particularly creamy texture of Carrington Farms product makes it especially great for use of coconut oil for face and skin, although many have used it the coconut oil for hair treatments, and to regrow hair. The only possible downside to the product, is that it is very “coconutty” for some consumers who are looking for a more mild scent/flavor, although it can be seen as a bonus for others.
- Creamy texture is great for hair regrowth and face treatment
- Gluten-free, non-GMO, organic, and kosher
- Cold-pressed from fresh coconuts from the Philippines
- Strong coconut scent and flavor
Tropical Traditions - Best Methods Used
Tropical Traditions is one of the best coconut oil brands on the market today, mainly because of its freshness and traditional methods of creating their oils. The brand was founded by a man and his wife who grew up on a coconut plantation in the Philippines, and use a method almost unheard of on the market today. They grate the coconut, extract the coconut milk, and then let it stand for 24 hours, allowing the oil to naturally separate from the water. The oil produced is crystal-clear, while retaining the natural aroma and taste.
Needless to say, the product is virgin, organic, and come from family plantations, using GMP standards. The families hand-pick only the highest of quality coconuts that have grown from volcanic soil. There have even been tests done, showing higher levels of phenolic antioxidants than other oils on the market. Due to this, the oil actually lasts quite a bit longer than many competitor products, as the antioxidants help preserve the product. The product is also non-deodorized and comes in a glass jar in its default size, although you can also order much larger portions on their website.
- High levels of phenolic antioxidants and lauric acid
- Hand-picked quality coconuts on family farms
- Traditional style of extracting and creating coconut oil that is virgin, organic, and use GMP standards
Nutiva - Best for Baking and Cooking
Nutiva is a company out of Richmond, CA, that creates a virgin coconut oil created by cold-pressing, and is never bleached, deodorized, or bleached. This is one of the healthiest methods for making this oil, while still retaining the traditional coconut aroma and taste. This particular oil is a great cooking oil substitute, but also tastes great over popcorn, or as a baking substitute. The coconuts come from Southeast Asia, and are processed rapidly upon harvesting, to ensure the quality and retaining antioxidants and flavor, while also minimizing growth of harmful materials.
Nutiva recently came out with Fair Trade-certified oil, which shows their commitment to their workers, and customers. The product typically comes in a glass jar, although larger sizes often come in plastic.
- Great cooking oil and baking alternative
- Fair Trade-certified, organic, virgin
- Never bleached, refined, or deodorized
- Some of their oil is not Fair Trade-certified; make sure to check.
Best Coconut Oil - Buyer's Guide
Buying the best coconut oil isn’t as easy as it may sound. Coconut oil quality varies more widely than most of us probably realize. There are varied methods of picking coconuts, the quality of the coconuts, the varied methods of extracting the oil, and much more. Aside from quality, there are also many concerns of the ethics behind these companies, and more and more consumers are looking solely for organic and Free Trade products. If you need a guiding light, take a look at this comprehensive guide to point you in the right direction and answer any questions.
Virgin vs. Refined
These are the two main types of coconut oil. The refined oils are not as coveted by consumers, for various reasons. Refined oils are much less expensive, however, the tradeoff is that they possess nearly no flavor, or aroma. Rather than being created from fresh coconuts like the ones on our list here, they are made from dried copra that usually go through bouts of deodorizing, bleaching, and various processing methods. Virgin oil is essentially synonymous with unrefined coconut oil, and typically has a light aroma and taste of coconut. The flavor and smell typically varies with each brand, as it depends on the quality and type of coconuts used, as well as processing methods. The less refinement and processing, the healthier it will be for you.
As briefly mentioned above, processing methods can greatly change the taste, chemical makeup, and consistency of a product. Coconut oil is typically processed through cold-pressing, or by expeller-pressing. Expeller-pressing is not used on any of the products seen on our list, but is used by high temperatures to create refined oils. Cold-pressed standards keep heat low, and have a quick turnaround rate between picking and bottling. By keeping heat low, the product adheres to RAW standards, by keeping things transparent to customers. The level of heat applied to coconut oil is important not because it affects the consistency of the oil, but because the less heat used, the more nutrients remain intact for our consumption.
Organic vs. Conventional
Coconuts are typically not subject to many pesticides or GMOs, however, it’s always best to go the organic route when speaking about nutrition. There are many other ways non-organic products can affect coconut oil, like the fertilizer used, post-harvesting applications, and much more. Fair Trade certifications are also important to many people. This is in regards to being ethically transparent, social justice, and helping the environment’s stability. Making cheap products with cheap prices generally reflect a harsh working environment for people producing the oil, along with unfair wages and destroying the environment.
Glass vs. Plastic Bottles
In recent years, it’s come to light how potentially damaging it is to mix our food with plastic containers. There are many harmful compounds found in these containers, that can transfer into the food housed in them. This becomes even more serious if heat is applied. As most coconut oils are heated and then bottled, this becomes a bigger issue. Aside from our own bodies, plastic is terrible for the environment. With that being said, glass is coveted for many reasons.
There are various types of coconut oils, aside from just refined and virgin, as well. There are some oils called liquid coconut oil, and also RBD coconut oil. The first, is oil that has been fractionated, with some of the solids also removed. Even at room temperature, it stays liquid, while virgin oil does not. While this may be appealing for certain consumers, you lose out on a lot of virgin coconut oil’s benefits. The process removes lauric acid, which is one of the healthiest fat components of the oil, jipping you out of the full experience.
RBD oil stands for “refined, bleached, and deodorized”, all things that you do not want in your product! It doesn’t have the coconut taste, which some find appealing, but you’ll also be putting unnatural substances into your body.
Overall, sticking with a process that is as natural as possible, is an easy and consistent way to find the best oils. All of the products on our list follow natural and healthy ways of extracting oil.
We personally loved all of the oils on this list, however we had a mutual favorite in mind the entire time. Tropical Traditions was the clear winner in our book, although there were many that came very close. The reasons why were due to the natural and traditional method of creating the coconut oil. Not only do they hand-pick each coconut to perfection by using family farms, their process uses no bleaching or processing.
While their method may take longer, this reflects how much the company really cares about their consumers and their ethics. The oil is packed full of antioxidants and nutrients, and is great to add to any meal, or for use on the hair and skin. Overall, though, you would be well off with any of these options. They are all made by using natural methods of extraction, and most are produced by cold-pressing, which keeps the majority of the healthy fats and nutrients intact.
Many are also Fair Trade-approved, so if you care as much about the well-being of our neighbors and the planet we live on, then that’s another factor to consider when looking. There are some much higher in price that others, so make sure to look into that before purchasing if you are on a budget. If you plan on using a lot of the product (and we’re sure you will), then consider buying in bulk. A couple of the sites offer the option to buy in quite large quantities! We truly love them all and can say they’re the best coconut oil on the market!