1. Nutiva Certified Organic Coconut Oil
Hands down, this is definitely my favorite coconut oil. It was the third product that I tested and after two let-downs, this product was like a gift from coconut heaven. I actually liked it so much that I ordered more and have been using it ever since I stopped testing coconut and olive oils.
- It is certified organic, unrefined, and cold-pressed and is made without hexane or pesticides. In other words, it is totally free of any harmful chemicals or additives and chock-full of phytonutrients, healthy fats, and even some vitamins and minerals.
- Made from fresh coconuts
- It is an excellent source of healthy fats.
- Vegan-friendly (I’m not a vegan, but I do enjoy vegan-friendly products)
- Gluten-free and kosher
- The company emphasizes social and environmental responsibility; their red palm and 15oz. and 23oz. glass containers of coconut oil are certified fair-trade, they have California Green Business certification, B Corp certification, they buy from farms that practice sustainable agricultural practices, and fund a variety of project aimed to help not only their local community, but the communities of the places from which they receive their products. Basically, if you want to be a conscientious consumer, Nutiva is your company.
- Works great on skin and hair. After one week of use, my hair looked healthier and felt softer and my skin (especially my lips) was no longer cracking or itching, but soft and smooth.
- Has a pleasant taste and aroma that is coconutty enough to stimulate the senses, but not so much as to be overpowering. In general, I found that when I cooked with it, the coconut taste and smell were negligible, but when using it in things like coffee or smoothies, I could detect a hint of coconut. Plus, it made my kitchen smell like a tropical paradise, which is a nice added bonus.
- When compared to the other products on this list, I just found that the Nutiva coconut oil was of a better quality.
- This is the most expensive product on this list.
If you’re looking for the best organic, non-refined coconut oil, Nutiva Certified Organic Coconut Oil is your product. When compared to the other products, Nutiva’s coconut oil had the perfect balance of taste and odor and, although it is the most expensive product on this list, it is still reasonably priced. Additionally, I was very impressed by the company’s emphasis on social and environmental responsibility.
2. Barlean’s Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Barlean’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is amazing. In fact, it would probably be in the number one spot if it was not so expensive.
- Full disclosure: I usually cannot take coconut oil straight out of the jar and eat it plain. It’s a texture thing for me. (I don’t include that fact in reviews because that is not a flaw with the product, simply my personal tastes.) However, Barlean’s is different. It is smooth and has the perfect amount of sweetness, which is somewhat rare in coconut oils, so I checked the back to make sure it didn’t have any additional sweeteners (it didn’t).
- Pressed and bottled on demand
- Solvent and chemical-free
- USDA certified
- When used as a moisturizer, it left my skin velvety smooth and my hair soft and incredibly shiny.
- Out of all of the products on this list, I found Barlean’s to be of the best quality and have the best scent, taste, and texture. There was no weird aftertaste (as is common with many coconut oils).
- The only negative here is the price.
The Bottom Line
In my opinion, Barlean’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is just as good as Nutiva’s, maybe even better, in terms of taste, odor, consistency, and capabilities, however, the high quality comes with a high price tag. I still believe that it is totally worth it if you can afford it.
3. Carrington Farms Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Carrington Farms Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil was one of the most affordable products that I tested, though, unlike its other cheaper counterparts, there was very little difference in the taste, odor, and quality of this product when compared to more expensive brands, like the others on this list.
- This is the most affordable product on the list, costing just $0.45/oz. when you buy the 54oz. jar.
- Cold-pressed and certified organic
- Unrefined, with no trans fats
- On Amazon, Carrington Farms Coconut Oil only comes in two sizes: 12oz. and 54oz. I’ve found that 12oz. is far too little and is gone rather quickly, but 54oz. is way too much.
- Comes in a plastic container, which may be viewed as a negative by those trying to live plastic-free.
- Unlike the other products on this list, Carrington Farms Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil does not have a near-perfect record on Amazon. While the majority of the reviews are positive, and while my own experience with it was quite enjoyable, there have been complaints of it arriving with “grayish/greenish spots sunk into the top,” and of it having a bad taste and smell, with one reviewer describing it as smelling like “burnt rubber.”
- Can only be shipped within the U.S.
The Bottom Line
This product is a great choice for those on a budget, those looking to save money, and those who are curious about coconut oil, but hesitant to spend a large amount of money on a product that is unknown to them. It is a fantastic starter product that, when compared to the other items on this list, performed almost as well, though the taste and coconut were a little stronger with Carrington Farms coconut oil. My final word is that although there is a tiny difference between the quality of this product and those ranked above it on this list, the low price more than makes up for it.
4. Nature’s Way Organic Coconut Oil
Nature’s Way Organic Coconut Oil was fifth in my series of testing.
- Contains no artificial ingredients, chemical solvents, gluten, trans fat, or preservatives.
- Certified organic by Pro-Cert, which is a North American certifier of organic products. (They are accredited under the USDA National Organic Program, the Japanese Agricultural Standards, the CFIA Canada Organic Regime, and Quebec’s Committee on Accreditation for Evaluation of Quality)
- Comes in a BHP-free plastic jar. (For those that dislike plastic, this will likely still be a negative)
- Cold-pressed in a temperature-controlled environment.
- Worked well as a moisturizer, though I found that the Nutiva and Barlean’s made my skin softer and my lips less prone to cracking.
- Though it tasted a little differently from other coconut oils that I have tried, it was not bad and still had a pleasant aroma. I did not notice any irregular tastes in the food that I prepared.
While my experience was, overall, quite a positive one, there are several complaints from other consumers that I feel should be mentioned.
- Many customers have reported that the product they received was packaged in a leaky container.
- Some have found that their product contained crunchy, plastic-like pieces in their coconut oil, which is definitely something of which you need to be aware if you are planning to cook with this oil.
- There may be an issue with its melting point and re-solidification, as some have stated that their coconut oil melted before 76°F and did not re-solidify until it had been refrigerated.
The Bottom Line
Compared to the other products on this list, Nature’s Way Organic Coconut Oil seems to be more of a riskier purchase due to the similarity of the submitted complaints. However, I received a good jar of coconut oil and while I marked it down for its different taste, I would still recommend this product, especially since it is one of the more affordable products.
5. Viva Labs Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Viva Labs Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil was the second-to-last product that I tried during my coconut oil testing. After testing it for a week, I found that overall, while they product a good product, there are some issues that the company needs to resolve.
- USDA-certified organic, kosher, and gluten-free
- Free of pesticides, bleach, trans fats, and hexane
- Unrefined and cold-pressed
- Oil was of very high-quality and did not have a heavy coconut taste or odor.
- Produced in a tree nut and peanut-free environment, packed in a GMP-certified facility, and is free of all common allergens.
Viva Labs is the only product on this list with which I did not have a totally positive experience.
- My jar had a large air pocket in it; I estimated that I only received 2/3 of the product that I purchased.
- I attempted to contact Viva Labs about this and received no reply. Looking at the comments on Amazon.com, I have seen that this a common issue, so apparently Viva Labs has a tiny quality control and customer service issue
- While my jar was fresh enough, it seems that some customers have received incredibly rancid jars of coconut oil from Viva Labs. Several consumers reported that it smelled, “like vomit,” which, considering that coconut oil is supposed to have a light coconutty scent, is definitely a problem. Those who had this problem and attempted to contact Viva Labs had the same problems I and many others did, either non-response or, when they did respond, they seemed like they did not care.
- Can only be shipped within the United States.
The Bottom Line
Why would I recommend this coconut oil? Because for all of its faults, Viva Labs provides a high quality oil with a light scent and taste (at least for me) that seemed to boost my energy more than other brands and left my skin softer. In fact, if it had not been for those problems that I discussed in the previous section, this product would have ranked second.