12 Best Ukulele Brands In The World

Written by Andre Roberts
Last updated

Are you curious about which ukulele brands are considered the best? Or are you in the market for a new ukulele and don’t know where to start? The vast number of market options can make this a daunting task.

Look no further, however, because in this article, we’ll guide you through 12 of the best ukulele brands in the world. We’ll uncover a bit of their history, the unique qualities they are known for, other instruments they sell, and more!

If you’re ready to learn the best brands that make ukulele an exciting instrument and decide which one is best for you, read on!

1. Kamaka

Up first we have Kamaka, which is one of the oldest ukulele brands, established in 1916 by Samuel Kaialiilii Kamaka. Known for their excellent craftsmanship, they are considered top-of-the-line as far as ukulele brands go.

Kamaka is the creator of the pineapple ukulele, which has a rounder shape that gives it a louder and sweeter sound.

All their instruments are made from Hawaiian koa wood, ensuring each one is lightweight and durable, with a reputation for having a full tone.

The company, now in its fourth generation of family ownership, continues to high-quality handcraft ukuleles and is definitely a brand to consider if you want the best.

2. Kanile`a

Next, we have Kanile`a, a Hawaii-based company started in 1998 by Joseph Souza and Kristen Souza. The couple, who were both born in Oahu, had a dream to bring the Hawaiian lifestyle to people worldwide through music.

They succeeded in this task by not only making some of the most beautiful ukuleles on the market but also by maintaining excellent customer service.

Kanile’a is most commonly known for their stunning K-1 Tenor ukuleles, which are used by some of the most popular ukulele players in the world. Not interested in ready-made models? No worries, since they offer custom-build designs as well!

They’re also known for their commitment to sustainability, as not only do they source their materials locally, but they also plant a koa tree every time they make a ukulele.

3. Ko’olau

A favorite brand of Jazz ukulele players Benny Chong and Lyle Ritz, we have the Ko‘olau from Hawaii. They are master crafters of both guitar and ukulele, offering reputably high-quality instruments to customers.

The company began some 40 years ago as a family business, initially manufacturers of guitars. When demand for superior ukulele rose, they added that instrument to their repertoire.

Now, they offer four models of ukulele, all with beautifully finished wood and intricate designs to produce the best of sounds worthy of professional players—and beginners too!

4. KoAloha

If you want beautifully handcrafted ukuleles with inlaid abalone designs, look no further than KoAloha. This Hawaiian company was founded by multi-instrumentalist and innovator Alvin Okami and his wife, Pat, back in 1995.

Each instrument is carefully made by master craftsmen. Wanting easy accessibility of ukuleles to novices and professionals alike, KoAloha has three tiers of these instruments—the KoAlana, Opio, and KoAloha—all in three different sizes as well.

Depending on which tier you select, prices can range anywhere from $150 to $1,500. Regardless of your choice, you are guaranteed quality instrument with classic, stable sound.

5. Kala

Mike Upton founded Kala Ukuleles in California in 2005 and has run it as a family-owned and operated business ever since. Kala is one of the most well-known brands around the world and is the choice of famous musicians, including Twenty One Pilots, Dodie, and Walk the Moon.

While their reputation is based on their ukuleles, the other instruments Kala sells include acoustic guitars, guitaleles, and tenor guitars.

The Kala Learn to Play Ukulele Starter Kit is one of the most popular packages available. Customers love it because you get a high-quality instrument at an affordable price point, making playing the ukulele accessible for almost anyone.

6. Cordoba

Established in 1997, Cordoba is primarily known for making guitars, but they also offer high-quality ukuleles. They have become famous worldwide for providing fine nylon-string instruments.

They only use sustainably sourced wood to construct their ukuleles, which is a great benefit for customers who are conscious of their environmental footprint.

One factor to note is that they do not sell directly to customers, and to purchase a Cordoba instrument, you will have to go through a dealer.

The 15 cm Concert Ukulele is one of their most popular models. This uke is worth the slightly higher price point, as it is made of solid mahogany with a satin finish.

7. Martin

If budget is not a problem, Martin might interest you. It is one of the most expensive brands of ukulele that made this list. The company originated in 1833 with Christian Frederick Martin, who made early guitars that Civil War soldiers played!

The company makes both ukuleles and guitars. They are also invested in sourcing its materials sustainably, as well as donating to nonprofit music and arts organizations.

Their Tenor Ukulele with a hand-rubbed finish is one of their most popular models. Though it is a more significant financial investment than some of the other brands on this list, you are paying for a quality, hand-made instrument that will last a lifetime.

8. Mitchell

Known for their smooth finish and superior quality, we have ukuleles from Mitchell. The brand also offers a wide variety of guitars, both acoustic and electric.

If you’re a beginner, tone and comfort might be a factor in purchasing an instrument. Mitchell’s MU40 Soprano Ukulele provides this as well as exceptional sound and looks.

For more advanced and professional players, there are also several concert ukuleles to choose from, like the Concert MU80XCE and MU75NM. Both are beautifully designed with good grip and rich sound.

Mitchell also offers a ukulele starter pack that includes an MU40C Concert Ukulele, instrument bag, and guitar tuner. All their ukuleles come with an instruction manual.

9. Lohanu 

Although ukuleles are typically associated with the warm climates of Hawaii, Lohanu is a Canadian company that makes beautiful and exceptional-quality instruments.

Lohanu got their name from three words: love, ohana (the Hawaiian word for family), and unity. They advertise that with their instruments, you can “experience the sounds of love and unity” for your family and friends.

They are one of the highest-rated ukulele companies, partly because all their instruments come with a guaranteed lifetime warranty. Another reason might be because they focus all their attention on ukuleles and do not make any other instruments.

Their Concert-Sized Ukulele is one of their most popular options. It comes with all the essential accessories you need, including straps, picks, a case, and extra strings.

10. Kai

If you’re one who wants unique design and sound, Kai Ukulele may be the one for you. Unlike other ukuleles, each of Kai’s instruments has a second hole in the upper frame, producing robust tones.

Appearance-wise, various finish colors and wood types are available to cater to individual styles so you are bound to find one that suits your preference.

Kai offers soprano, concert, and tenor ukuleles in different series models, suitable for both beginners and expert players. Their 700 series and up includes a gig bag.

11. Luna

The brand Luna is a standout that made this list because it offers the world’s best-selling ukulele, the tattoo concert mahogany ukulele.

In addition to being an affordable and high-quality instrument, this model features beautifully carved designs that set it apart from other options. The design is modeled after traditional native Hawaiian tattoos and includes shark teeth and waves along the body and frets.

Luna also makes guitars, basses, banjos, lefty instruments, instruments for children, and more. They were founded in 2005 by a visual artist, so each instrument is designed to look beautiful while creating unique music.

12. Lanikai

And last but not least, Lanikai sells ukuleles exclusively and offers a wide variety of different types, including soprano, concert, tenor, baritone, and bass ukuleles, as well as the five-string, six-string, and eight-string models.

They are a part of the German music company Hoehner and are made both in China and in the United States. Instruments are crafted from a variety of different wood types, like acacia, cedar, mahogany, and oak.

One of their top-selling models is the Mahogany Concert Ukulele, which has a satin finish. Players love it because it is comfortable and easy to tune while being of higher quality than other instruments designed for beginners.

Summing Up Our List Of Ukulele Brands

There you have it—a list of the best brands of ukuleles you can buy.

You can’t go wrong with any of these options, but depending on your experience, needs, and budget, you might find that one stands out and works better for you than the others.

Did you buy from one of these brands? How do you like your instrument? Let us know, and if you think we’ve missed off a brand, tell us and we’ll add it in!

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Written by Andre Roberts