Is Pure Honey the Same as Raw Honey?

There are a lot of different kinds of honey available, so it can be hard to know which one to get. In particular, I often see pure honey and raw honey for sale. Pure honey and raw honey are two different things, however – all raw honey is pure, but not all pure honey is raw.

I realize how confusing that sounds, so read on to learn about these two types of honey.

Is Pure Honey the Same as Raw Honey?

Pure honey is not the same as raw honey.  Pure honey is free from contaminations and added ingredients such as flavorings, sugar, and corn syrup. It is filtered to remove wax and debris and may also be pasteurized and heated. 

On the other hand, raw honey has not been processed – no filtering, heating, or pasteurizing. Raw honey comes straight from the hive so it contains small particles of honeycomb, bee pollen, and even propolis. 

What is Pure Honey?

Pure honey is defined as honey with no additives.  It will not contain any additional ingredients like corn syrup and sugar.  

This type of honey is filtered to remove debris such as bits of wax, pollen, and bee parts.  Pure honey may or may not be pasteurized.  Pasteurizing is a process in which the honey is heated to destroy bacteria.  

Pure honey does have health benefits, as it contains antioxidant and antibacterial properties.  However, if it has been pasteurized, it has lost some of its beneficial enzymes and nutrients.  

What is Raw Honey?

Raw honey refers to honey that has not been processed at all.  It has not been heated or pasteurized and it has not been filtered.  This honey contains beneficial compounds and natural enzymes, as well as small bits of pollen and honeycomb.

Typically, raw honey is taken directly from the hive.  Because it is not processed at all, it retains all of its natural nutritional properties such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

The Importance of Understanding the Difference of Pure Honey vs Raw Honey

It is important to know the difference between pure and raw honey because then you will be able to make an informed decision on your purchase. For example, if you want honey for health purposes, you should choose raw honey.  But for cooking, you can use pure honey.  

Differences between Pure Honey and Raw Honey

Pure honey and raw honey have different processing methods. Pure honey is filtered to remove debris.  It is also sometimes pasteurized.  Raw honey, on the other hand, is not filtered or pasteurized.  

The nutrient content of pure and raw honey are different as well.  Raw honey offers more nutritional benefits than pure honey.  It retains all of its nutrients because it is unprocessed. The little bits of pollen and beeswax in raw honey offer extra health benefits as well. 

As expected, the texture and taste of pure and raw honey differ.  Raw honey has a thicker, cloudier texture than pure honey.  The flavor of raw honey is quite complex, due to the particles of pollen and beeswax in it.  

Pure honey’s texture is very smooth and uniform. The taste of pure honey is more light and mild than raw honey.  Of course, the taste of honey widely depends on the nectar source of the bees. 

Choosing between Pure Honey and Raw Honey

honey extractor featured

If you are having difficulty choosing between pure honey and raw honey, consider the following: 

  • Nutritional Benefits – If you are buying honey mainly for it’s nutritional benefits, it is important to know that raw honey is more nutritious.  It contains more antioxidants and enzymes. 
  • Taste and Texture – Pure and raw honey have different tastes and textures, so this is a personal preference. 
  • Safety – Because raw honey is not pasteurized, it may contain harmful bacteria. While it is generally safe for most people, raw honey is not recommended for infants, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems.
  • Price – Raw honey usually costs more than pure honey because it is made in smaller quantities. 


With so many different kinds of honey, many people wonder, is pure honey the same as raw honey?  The answer is no, they are not the same.  Pure honey and raw honey have key differences in the way they are filtered and processed.