We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission Here’s our process.

Healthline only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.

Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
  • Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
  • Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
  • Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness.

Butter is a dairy product typically made by churning cow’s milk to separate the solid fat and protein components.

It’s a versatile food that’s used as a spread and as an ingredient in baking and cooking. There are several types of butter, including:

  • salted
  • unsalted
  • organic
  • flavored
  • imported

With such a variety of butter on the market, you may be wondering which kind best fits your needs.

When shopping for butter, it’s important to choose a product that best suits your needs. For example, some kinds of butter are preferred for making baked goods like cakes and cookies, while others are best used as a spreadable topping for toast and bagels.

Here are some of the most common types of butter:

  • Unsalted butter: This type of butter contains no added salt. Unsalted butter is commonly used in baking.
  • Salted butter: Salted butter contains added salt. This is most people’s go-to butter for spreading on toast, bagels, and muffins, and for sautéing eggs and vegetables.
  • Whipped butter: This type of butter contains more air than traditional butter, which gives it a lighter texture that’s great for spreading.
  • Plant-based butter: Plant-based butter is made with plant-based ingredients, not milk. Some of the most popular types of plant-based butter are made with ingredients like cashews, sunflower oil, and coconut oil.
  • Ghee: Ghee is a type of clarified butter, meaning the water and milk solids have been removed. This results in a shelf-stable product with a rich, buttery flavor. Ghee is a staple in Indian cuisine and is used in dishes like curries and soups.
  • Grass-fed butter: Grass-fed butter is made with milk from cows fed a grass-centered diet. Some studies have shown that dairy products from pastured cows are higher in certain nutrients than traditional dairy products. For example, grass-fed dairy products may be higher in beneficial fatty acids, as well as certain vitamins and antioxidants (1).
  • European-style butter: European-style butter has a higher butterfat content and a richer taste than traditional American butter. Its softer texture and rich taste make it an excellent option for spreading on toast and baking decadent desserts.

This list consists of high quality butter brands from reputable companies. All are made with minimal ingredients.

We included several types of butter that suit different needs, including baking, cooking, and spreading.

Although most of the butter on this list can be found at your local grocery store, you may only be able to find some of the specialty and imported varieties online.

The brands on this list meet the following criteria:

  • made with minimal, mostly nutritious ingredients
  • free from unnecessary or excess preservatives and artificial colors
  • widely accessible, except for some specialty butter

Here are the 12 best butter brands for every use.

A note on online purchasing and pricing

Some vendors offer butter for purchase online. This can be a convenient option as long as same-day delivery is guaranteed. Online ordering may not be available in all areas, so you may have to look for products locally.

The products below range in price from $0.19 to $1.45 per ounce (28 g), though pricing may vary depending on the vendor, product size, and other factors.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under or at $0.60 per ounce (28 g)
  • $$ = over $0.60 per ounce (28 g)

Best for baking

Land O’Lakes Unsalted Butter

  • Price: $
  • Type: unsalted
  • Nutrition info per tablespoon (14 g): 100 calories, 11 g fat

Land O’Lakes unsalted butter is a go-to for many home bakers since it’s known to produce consistent results and is available almost everywhere.

It has a fairly mild flavor, making it ideal for baked goods that don’t need a strong butter flavor.

Additionally, Land O’Lakes butter is 80% fat, which means it has more water and less fat than some European and imported brands that may contain up to 84% fat (2).

Higher water content in butter is thought to be best for light pastry doughs, cream puffs, pie crusts, biscuits, and some cookies — but not every baker may agree.

If you pick up Land O’Lakes for your next baking session, remember to choose unsalted unless a recipe says otherwise. Salted butter can change the taste and texture of baked goods.

Land O’Lakes farms, like some other dairy farms, have been accused of mistreatment of their cows. In 2010, an animal cruelty case against the brand was dropped. Additional accusations have been raised, but no convictions have been made.


  • appropriate for those on low sodium diets
  • easy to find in most grocery stores


  • lacks flavor
  • animal welfare groups have raised concern over animal treatment at dairy farms

Plugrá European Style Unsalted Butter

  • Price: $$
  • Type: European style
  • Nutrition info per tablespoon (14 g): 100 calories, 11 g fat

Plugrá is a European-style butter that was specifically designed to produce superior baked goods.

Its butterfat content is 82%, which is slightly higher than Land O’Lakes and most American butter, but lower than other European styles and brands (3).

The composition of Plugrá is thought to provide the ideal amount of moisture and fat for pastries and other baked goods. In fact, it’s the preferred brand for many pastry chefs and baking schools.

While baked goods made with Plugrá may be a step above those made with other brands, this brand is not as affordable nor as widely available as Land O’Lakes.

Plugrá may be the best choice for more advanced baked goods that specifically call for it, but for everyday cookies or brownies, Land O’Lakes is always a good option.


  • high butterfat content makes it ideal for baking


  • hard to find at most grocery stores
  • expensive

Best for spreading

Organic Valley Salted Butter

  • Price: $$
  • Type: salted
  • Nutrition info per tablespoon (14 g): 100 calories, 11 g fat, 75 mg sodium

As noted on its label, this product is an award-winning butter, and for good reason.

Made in small batches on a Wisconsin farm from pasture-raised organic milk, Organic Valley Salted Butter is high quality.

It has a creamy mouthfeel and a rich, mildly tangy flavor with a hint of salt that pairs well with a slice of toast.

Even though it’s more expensive than typical table butter, you don’t need to use much to enjoy the rich flavor. Plus, since salt acts as a natural preservative, salted butter can resist bacteria growth and last longer than unsalted butter (4).

These qualities make it the best choice to stock up on and have on hand for spreading. Even if you opt for the unsalted version, it’s still delicious.


  • salty flavor makes it a good choice for cooking
  • easy to find


  • contains added salt, which some people may want to limit in their diets

Best grass-fed


  • Price: $$
  • Type: grass-fed
  • Nutrition info per tablespoon (14 g): 100 calories, 12 g fat (100 mg sodium in the salted version)

Kerrygold is one of the best-known and best grass-fed butter brands. It’s made from milk produced by cows that graze on Irish fields and primarily eat grass (5).

Studies suggest that grass-fed milk is higher in certain nutrients, including anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, than milk from corn- and grain-fed cows.

Grass-fed milk may also contain more vitamin K2, which is important for bone health (6, 7).

In addition, the diet composition of grass-fed cows can lead to changes in the taste, color, and texture of butter produced from their milk.

For example, Kerrygold has a deeper yellow color than typical butter. This is likely due to the higher amount of beta carotene in the cows’ grass-based diets. Beta carotene is a red-orange pigment that gets converted to vitamin A in your body (8).

Kerrygold is known for its rich taste and creamy texture. It tastes delicious spread on toast, drizzled over vegetables or popcorn, and in baked goods.


  • made with milk from grass-fed cows


  • expensive
  • can be hard to find

Vital Farms Pasture-Raised Butter

  • Price: $$
  • Type: grass-fed butter
  • Nutrition info per tablespoon (14 g): 110 calories, 12 g fat (91 mg sodium in the salted version)

This brand of grass-fed butter is produced from the milk of cows that graze on pastures across the Southern United States.

It’s 85% fat, which is approximately 5% more than the fat content of most American butter, and therefore has an incredibly rich flavor (9).

The sea salted variety is an especially delicious option for spreading and everyday use, but it also comes unsalted.

Similar to Kerrygold, Vital Farms butter has a deeper yellow color and likely more certain nutrients than non-grass-fed butter. However, it’s usually more expensive and can be slightly more difficult to find.


  • made with milk from grass-fed cows
  • ethically produced


  • expensive
  • can be hard to find

Best organic

Horizon Organic

  • Price: $$
  • Type: organic
  • Nutrition info per tablespoon (14 g): 110 calories, 11 g fat (115 mg sodium in the salted version)

Certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture, Horizon Organic is made from the milk of cows that receive 100% organic feed free from synthetic pesticides (10).

Organic dairy cows do not receive growth hormones, unnecessary antibiotics, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

These practices may produce healthier milk and be better for the environment — though it’s still up for debate (11, 12).

For example, research suggests that organic milk has a more desirable fatty acid composition than conventional milk, including higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties (13).

For consumers who prioritize organic dairy, Horizon Organic butter is an excellent choice. It’s available at most grocery stores and comes in salted, unsalted, and spreadable varieties.


  • certified organic
  • easy to find


  • expensive

Best imported

Lurpak Slightly Salted Butter

  • Price: $$
  • Type: lightly salted
  • Nutrition info per tablespoon (14 g): 100 calories, 12 g fat (65 mg sodium in the salted version)

Lurpak, a type of Danish butter, is one of the highest quality imported butters available in the United States.

While most salted butters are made from just cream and salt, Lurpak also has lactic acid bacteria, or lactic cultures. Adding these bacteria to butter leads to fermentation, which contributes to a tangier, sharper taste (14).

Lurpak is known for its distinct “cultured” butter taste and rich mouthfeel that feels homemade. You can spread it on toast or use it for frying, drizzling, and baking.

Look for Lurpak at specialty stores or in the imported aisle of your supermarket.


  • tangy taste
  • less sodium than other salted butter


  • hard to find
  • pricey

Bordier Butter (Le Beurre Bordier)

  • Price: $$
  • Type: artisan French butter
  • Nutrition info per tablespoon (14 g): 104 calories, 11 g fat

Bordier is an artisan French butter, produced by Jean Yves-Bordier in the Brittany region, that’s prized by chefs and foodies.

Its taste is so rich that it’s often described as a main ingredient instead of a condiment. Bordier is classically paired with radishes, but it can be used in a number of ways.

Bordier butter’s exceptional flavor, creamy texture, and variety of colors are a result of the slow culturing and churning process, as well as the seasonal differences in the grasses and feed on which the cows graze (15).

Eating Bordier butter is an incredible treat. It’s very difficult to find in the United States and online, but it may be imported by select gourmet food shops.


  • rich flavor
  • creamy texture


  • expensive
  • can be hard to find

Best ghee

Fourth and Heart Ghee

  • Price: $$
  • Type: ghee
  • Nutrition info per tablespoon (14 g): 120 calories, 13 g fat

Fourth and Heart Ghee is a special kind of butter classified as clarified butter (16).

Ghee is made by melting butter and skimming off the milk solids so that mostly just the fat is left.

This process reduces the lactose content, making it a shelf-stable product that can last for up to a year and a suitable option for those with lactose intolerance.

Ghee has a higher smoke point than regular butter, so it can be used in high heat cooking.

Fourth and Heart Ghee, in particular, is a high quality brand that’s made from the milk of grass-fed cows. It’s a great choice for frying but can also be used for spreading, drizzling, and baking.

You can find Fourth and Heart products at health food and specialty stores, as well as some large grocery stores.


  • low in lactose
  • shelf-stable


  • can be hard to find

Best goat milk butter

Meyenberg Goat Milk Butter

  • Price: $$
  • Type: goat milk
  • Nutrition info per tablespoon (14 g): 110 calories, 12 g fat, 40 mg sodium

Although butter is typically made from cow’s milk, there are a variety of specialty versions made from the milk of other mammals.

Meyenberg Goat Milk Butter has a tangy taste similar to goat cheese and a creamy texture that resembles cow’s butter (17).

Though not the case for everyone, some people with intolerance to cow’s milk are able to tolerate goat’s milk products better and find them easier to digest (18).

What’s more, goat milk butter melts quickly and is a great option for drizzling and cooking.


  • good option for those who prefer to avoid cow’s milk
  • tangy taste


  • expensive
  • can be hard to find

Best cultured

Vermont Creamery Sea Salt and Maple Cultured Butter

  • Price: $$
  • Type: cultured, flavored butter
  • Nutrition info per tablespoon (14 g): 100 calories, 11 g fat, 140 mg sodium, 1 g added sugar

Vermont Creamery Sea Salt and Maple Cultured Butter has all of the same delicious qualities of regular butter plus an added sweet and salty taste.

This product is 86% butterfat, made with bacteria cultures, and sweetened with fresh Vermont maple syrup.

As a result, it’s incredibly rich and creamy, mildly tangy, and slightly sweet (19).

Use it as a spread on toast, muffins, or waffles, or drizzle it over roasted root vegetables.

While the company that makes this sweet butter is based in Vermont, they distribute widely across the United States and can be found at some large grocery chains.


  • sweet taste makes it good for eating or baking


  • contains added sugar

Best vegan

Miyoko’s Creamery Cultured Vegan Butter

  • Price: $$
  • Type: cultured vegan
  • Nutrition info per tablespoon (14 g): 90 calories, 10 g fat, 65 mg sodium

Even though butter is traditionally made from the milk of mammals, there are several vegan butter substitutes made with plant-based ingredients.

Miyoko’s Creamery Cultured Vegan Butter is one of the best options on the market, based on ingredients, taste, and availability. It mimics the taste and texture of regular butter and can be used on toast and in cooking.

Unlike most other vegan butter, this certified organic product is made with limited ingredients, including cashews and coconut oil. It browns, spreads, melts, and bakes just like real butter.

This spread is also made without soy, which can be a common ingredient in vegan substitutes, and is a suitable option for those with soy allergies.


  • vegan
  • soy-free
  • certified organic


  • expensive, can be hard to find
  • won’t work for those with nut allergies

PriceTypeNutrition per tablespoon
(14 g)
Best uses
Land O’Lakes Unsalted Butter$unsaltedcalories: 100
fat: 11 g
• baking
• cooking
Plugrá European Style Unsalted Butter$$European-stylecalories: 100
fat: 11 g
• baking
Organic Valley Salted Butter$$saltedcalories: 100
fat: 11 g
• cooking
Kerrygold$$grass-fedcalories: 100
fat: 12 g
sodium (salted version): 100 mg
• baking
• cooking
Vital Farms Pasture-Raised Butter$grass-fedcalories: 110
fat: 12 g
sodium (salted version): 91 mg
• baking
• cooking
Horizon Organic$$organiccalories: 100
fat: 11 g
sodium (salted version): 115 mg
• baking
• cooking
Lurpak Slightly Salted Butter$$lightly saltedcalories: 100
fat: 12 g
sodium: 65 mg
• baking
• cooking
Bordier Butter (Le Beurre Bordier)$$artisan Frenchcalories: 100
fat: 11 g
• eating fresh
• cooking
• baking
Fourth and Heart Ghee$$gheecalories: 120
fat: 13 g
• cooking
Meyenberg Goat Milk Butter$$goat milkcalories: 110
fat: 12 g
sodium: 40 mg
• eating fresh
• cooking
Vermont Creamery Sea Salt and Maple Cultured Butter$$cultured, flavoredcalories: 100
fat: 11 g
sodium: 140 mg
added sugar: 1 g
• eating fresh
• cooking
• baking
Miyoko’s Creamery Cultured Vegan Butter$$cultured vegancalories: 90
fat: 10 g
sodium: 65 mg
• eating fresh
• cooking
• baking

What is butter made of?

Butter is typically made from cow’s milk or cream, though it can also be made from the milk of other animals, like goats and sheep.

In addition to milk, butter may contain salt and other ingredients like lactic acid bacteria, depending on the type. Some flavored butter contains added sugar, herbs, and spices.

Is butter healthy?

Butter can fit into a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. Like all fats, butter is a high calorie food, providing about 100 calories per tablespoon (20).

Most people use butter in small amounts as a way to add flavor to foods like vegetables and bread. As long as butter is enjoyed in limited amounts, it’s unlikely to have a significant impact on health. However, like any high calorie, high fat food, butter can contribute to weight gain if eaten in large quantities.

Plus, butter is high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Studies show that, while most people respond minimally to cholesterol-rich foods like butter, up to 25% of the population has a more dramatic response to dietary cholesterol. People with an increased response to dietary cholesterol are known as hyper-responders (21).

Additionally, it’s recommended that people with familial hypercholesterolemia — a genetic condition associated with premature heart disease — limit cholesterol-rich foods like butter in order to reduce their risk of heart disease (22).

So, while it’s important for anyone to enjoy butter in moderation, people who are sensitive to dietary cholesterol should limit butter and other high cholesterol foods in their diet in order to maintain healthy blood fat levels.

What’s the difference between butter and margarine?

Butter is made from milk or cream while margarine is a plant-based butter alternative that’s typically made with a blend of vegetable oils like palm oil and soybean oil.

Even though some people think that margarine is a better choice than butter because it’s lower in saturated fat, margarine is made with vegetable oils like soybean oil, which are high in omega-6 fats.

Although the body needs omega-6 fats, most people consume too many foods rich in omega-6 fats — which tend to be pro-inflammatory — and not enough foods rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, like fatty fish (23).

Although the ideal omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is still unknown, it’s best to focus on increasing your intake of omega-3 fats and limiting omega-6-rich foods like corn and soybean oil (24, 25).

Additionally, while the use of artificial trans fats has been banned in many countries, some kinds of margarine still contain small amounts of trans fats, which are harmful to heart health (26).

Is butter or oil healthier?

Butter and oils can both be part of a healthy diet. However, it’s important to understand that while enjoying butter in moderation is unlikely to negatively impact the health of most people, using certain oils in place of butter may improve certain aspects of health.

For example, diets rich in olive oil have been consistently linked to health benefits including a lower risk of heart disease and stroke (27, 28).

Olive oil is also cholesterol-free, so it’s a better choice for those who are sensitive to dietary cholesterol and those with familial hypercholesterolemia.

What is dairy-free butter made of?

There are many types of dairy-free butter on the market, each with unique ingredients. Some types of dairy-free butter are made with sunflower oil while others are made from coconut oil and nuts like cashews or almonds.

The only way to know what’s in a particular dairy-free butter is to read the ingredient label.

The best butter brand for you depends on your:

  • cooking needs
  • taste preferences
  • dietary considerations

While butter shouldn’t be used in excess, you can still choose a high quality butter made with minimal ingredients.

In general, choose brands that contain minimal ingredients and do not have unnecessary additives. For most butter, that means just cream, salt, and lactic cultures.

If you’re watching your sodium intake, opt for unsalted butter so that you can keep the salt content of your meals in check.

For butter that may contain more nutrients, look for grass-fed and organic varieties that you can use for spreading and cooking. If you need butter for baking, remember to consider the fat content.

For a special treat, try one of the imported or specialty brands of butter on this list.

There are several butter brands and varieties that differ based on fat content, ingredients, texture, taste, farming and production practices, and affordability.

You can choose from salted or unsalted, European style, cultured, imported, grass-fed, organic, and even vegan butter.

To make the best choice, consider your price point and whether you need it for cooking, spreading, or baking. If you’re interested in options that may be slightly healthier and better quality, explore grass-fed or organic varieties.