The 6 Best Organic Coconut Oils to Buy in 2017

UPDATED JULY 2017 | BY HANNAH REID

Coconut oil has exploded in popularity in recent years, and justifiably so.  This superfood is a legendarily high source of natural saturated fats, offers incredible flavor for cooking, and is widely used to add moisture and shine to dry skin and hair.  And it smells delicious too!

Not all coconut oils are created equal, however, and you have to know what you're looking for in a marketplace of thousands of brands.  We only believe in organic, unrefined ("virgin") coconut oils, which means that no pesticides were used in growing the coconuts and that the oil was extracted from fresh coconut meat without processing, and at natural temperatures.  

There are two types of unrefined organic coconut oils: cold-pressed, and expeller-pressed. Both are chemical-free, but expeller-pressing occurs at 210 degrees while cold-pressing environments keep heat below 120 degrees, which does a better job of preserving the natural flavor of the oil.  

We've reviewed the best organic coconut oils on the market for you below, all available on the healthy food and wellness site Thrive Market. Our top two choices are cold-pressed, which means that they're kept cold during the machine pressing process to ensure that heat doesn't change the flavor, and our list also includes top picks for spreads, skin care and bulk size. 

Best Overall: Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, 15 oz.

 Courtesy of Thrive Market

Courtesy of Thrive Market

Nutiva's organic, unrefined cold-pressed virgin coconut oil is our top choice on the market due to its delicious, subtle flavor, versatility, and Nutiva's reputation for high ingredient quality.

This coconut oil is non-GMO and cold-pressed from fresh fruit from the Philippines. It has a light, sweet flavor which pairs excellently with a wide variety of flavors when cooking.  It's not too strong or thick for skincare either.  It comes in a standard 15 oz. jar and has a 5-star rating on Thrive Market, with one buyer calling it "the smoothest and creamiest oil I've ever purchased."

As if the versatile flavor weren't enough, Nutiva is a famed superfood brand, founded in 1999, and has a reliable reputation for sustainable natural sourcing and ingredients that makes their coconut oil our top pick. Check Price and User Ratings >>

Best Fair Trade: Thrive Market Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, 30 oz

 Courtesy of Thrive Market

Courtesy of Thrive Market

There are other fair trade oils on our list, but we appreciate Dr. Bronner’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil for its fair trade qualities because it sources its coconuts from local farmers in Sri Lanka, an emerging supplier where farmers are at greater risk. There's even a great video on Dr. Bronner's site which highlights the farm and production processes.

Dr. Bronner's oil itself is expeller-pressed from dried coconut kernels, instead of cold-pressed, which affects the flavor and makes it nuttier-tasting.  Many cooks like the enhanced nutty flavor and toasted aroma, although if you're a coconut flavor purist you should opt for one of our top two cold-pressed choices.  The oil comes in a larger 30 oz. jar which frequent cooks may prefer.  Check Price and User Ratings >>

Best-Reviewed: Thrive Market Organic Virgin Coconut Oil 15 oz.

 Courtesy of Thrive Market

Courtesy of Thrive Market

Customers love this Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, which is non-GMO and fair trade certified. It has 5-star coconut oil has 2x the reviews of its closest competitors, and is part of the Thrive Market Collection, which the company created to give their readers the highest-quality products at a lower price.

We love this oil because it has a stronger, more coconut-y flavor and scent than Nutiva's oil, and a better price.  One verified buyer raved that "you can smell the coconut the second you open the jar. You can taste the coconut in the foods you're making. It gives chicken and plantains that sweeter, more tropical taste."  While some cooks will prefer a lighter flavor for certain recipes, buyers who want to taste the coconut in their food will be thrilled. Check Price and User Ratings >>

Best for Spreads and Smoothies: Nutiva Organic Coconut Manna, 15 oz.

 Courtesy of Thrive Market

Courtesy of Thrive Market

This pureed coconut product from Nutiva isn't a traditional coconut oil, but users love it, and it is perfect as a spread on bread or fruit, or as an additive to smoothies.  

Nutiva describes its Coconut Manna as a "coconut butter" - we think of its consistency as halfway between oil and butter.  It is made from dried coconut fruit that is whipped at high velocity to create a creamy spread with the thickness of a creamy peanut butter.

Reviewers say it has a more coconut-heavy flavor and smell than Nutiva's oil, which makes it perfect to add into smoothies to enhance their flavor.  Check Price and User Ratings >>

Best Bulk Size: Thrive Market Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, 54 oz.

 Courtesy of Thrive Market

Courtesy of Thrive Market

This bulk-sized version of the organic virgin coconut oil from the Thrive Market collection is a crowd pleaser.  

It comes in at 54 oz, over three and a half times the regular size.  It's a far better price per ounce too, saving buyers over 20% on Thrive's cold-pressed, unrefined oil.

Many users who purchase the 54 oz. bulk size use it to refill smaller jars.  One reviewer did mention the oil comes in a plastic jar, so reviewers who are looking for glass should look elsewhere.  Check Price and User Ratings >>

Good for Skin and Hair: Spectrum Essentials Organic and Unrefined Coconut Oil, 15 oz.

 Courtesy of Thrive Market

Courtesy of Thrive Market

Spectrum's organic unrefined non-GMO coconut oil is specifically marketed for skin and haircare.  

It is expeller-pressed, so doesn't qualify as "virgin". It has the toasted, nutty aroma common to expeller-pressed coconut oils, which many users enjoy.  Some were surprised that it is an off-white color, which is also common for expeller-pressed oils.

Spectrum's oil is cheaper than our other organic choices, which may be attractive to buyers who use a lot of oil for skincare or massage.  For our money, however, we would opt for Nutiva or Thrive's cold-pressed oils, which aren't explicitly marketed for your skin but are made from fresh coconuts and have more explicit sourcing. Check Price and User Ratings >>


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