The Best Non-Dairy Milks of 2023

Make smoothies, coffee, and more with the Milkadamia Unsweetened Macadamia Milk

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With plant-based nutritional trends growing, many consumers are looking for non-dairy alternatives to milk. From coffee to oatmeal and smoothies to baking, milk has a wide variety of uses; and with so many non-dairy milks on grocery store shelves, one type does not necessarily fit all needs. The best non-dairy milks should have minimal added sugars and have a main ingredient and consistency that works for your dietary needs and preferences.

Reviewed & Approved

The Milkadamia Unsweetened Macadamia Milk is our top pick because it's creamy and has no added sugar. If you're looking for coconut milk, try Native Forest Organic Classic Coconut Milk.

It's also important to consider the protein in the non-dairy milk of your choosing. Non-dairy milk is often lower in protein than traditional cow’s milk, and you may need to get your protein from other dietary sources. We researched a variety of non-dairy milks, considering nutritional value, main ingredients, consistency, and price.

Here, we share the best non-dairy milks.

Best Overall

Milkadamia Unsweetened Macadamia Milk

4.6
Milkadamia Unsweetened

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Good source of calcium and vitamin D

  • Zero grams of sugar

  • Non-GMO

Cons
  • Not a good source of protein

We love the Milkadamia Unsweetened Macadamia Milk for its creamy texture. It is naturally sugar-free and only contains 50 calories per serving. Like regular dairy milk, each glass is packed with vitamin D and even contains 50% more calcium than a glass of cow’s milk. It's great to use for coffee, smoothies, baking, or drinking straight from a glass.

Milkadamia brand non-dairy milk is vegan-friendly, GMO-free, gluten-free, and keto-friendly, so it’s perfect for those looking to add a new non-dairy milk into their regimen. However, keep in mind that it only contains 1 gram of protein, so you'll need to find another source of protein for your daily intake.

Price at time of publication: $4

Serving size: 8 fl oz | Servings per container: 4 | Calories: 50 | Protein: 1 | Total sugar: 0

Best Almond Milk

Blue Diamond Almonds Almond Breeze Unsweetened Original Dairy Free Almond milk

Almond Breeze Almond Milk

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Good source of calcium, vitamin D and E

  • No artificial flavors

  • Zero grams of sugar

  • Easy to find in many stores

Cons
  • Not a good source of protein

If there’s one product that’s synonymous with almond milk, it’s Blue Diamond's Almond Breeze. They make their non-dairy milk with California Blue Diamond almonds for an irresistible creamy drink without a noticeable almond flavor. Each glass is lactose- and soy-free and is only 30 calories. While the unsweetened version is great, you can also opt for the sweetened version, vanilla flavored or try their new extra creamy almond milk.

This product is also fortified with calcium, vitamin D and E, giving this non-dairy alternative similar nutritional benefits to drinking a traditional glass of milk. In fact, one cup provides 50% more calcium than a cup of dairy milk.

Price at time of publication: $4

Serving size: 1 cup | Servings per container: 8 | Calories: 30 | Protein: 1 | Total sugar: 0

Best Coconut Milk

Native Forest Organic Classic Coconut Milk

Native Forest Organic Classic Coconut Milk

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • 3 simple ingredients

  • Organic and non-GMO

  • Creamy consistency

Cons
  • Not a good source of protein, calcium or vitamin D

  • Higher calories per serving may not be suitable for all

Coconuts have become trendy in both the food and beauty world, but this can of unsweetened organic coconut milk from Native Forest is a staple ingredient in many Thai and Indian dishes, among others.

This is because coconut milk has a naturally creamy texture, which makes it perfect for adding to a variety of recipes. It can also be used to thicken sauces and provide a sweet but nutty flavor.

Coconut milk has a much stronger natural flavor than other non-dairy milk, so we recommend staying away if you’re not partial to a little "coconutty" flavor in your food. 

Price at time of publication: $44 for a pack of 12

Serving size: 1/3 cup | Servings per container: 5 | Calories: 140 | Protein: <1 | Total sugar: 1

Best Oat Milk

MALK Oat MALK

Oat Malk original

Amazon

Pros
  • No gums or emulsifiers, making this suitable for those who are sensitive

  • 3 simple ingredients

  • Organic

Cons
  • Not a good source of calcium and vitamin D (non-fortified)

If you’ve stopped by any coffee shop or café lately, you’ve probably seen this non-dairy milk on the menu. If you haven’t tried it, drinking milk made from oats might sound strange, but in reality, oat milk is a surprisingly delicious alternative to cow’s milk.

Each serving of oat milk is packed with good-for-you whole grains but is naturally creamy and sweet because of the oats themselves. Consuming oat products, such as this milk, can also help lower total and LDL cholesterol levels.

Malk oat milk only contains filtered water, gluten-free oats and Himalayan salt. Most non-dairy milks contain some sort of gum or emulsifier to increase thickness and creaminess, but Malt sticks to the basics—making this a more suitable option for those who are sensitive.

Price at time of publication: $6

Serving size: 8 fl oz (1 cup) | Servings per container: 4 | Calories: 100 | Protein: 2 | Total sugar: 5

Best Soy Milk

Silk Unsweetened Organic Soymilk

Silk Unsweetened Organic Soymilk

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Best source of protein among these picks

  • Good source of calcium and vitamin D

  • Organic and non-GMO

Cons
  • May be more difficult to find in stores

Before there was the booming popularity of oat, hemp, and almond milk, there was soy milk, which is one of the most widely available dairy-free milk options. We recommend this organic unsweetened option from Silk, which is fortified to have as much calcium as a glass of dairy milk. Each of these boxes is made with shelf-stable packaging so you can keep soy milk in the pantry at all times without worrying that it’ll spoil before you get to drink it. 

In addition to making a great-tasting substitute for all the traditional uses for milk, soy milk is packed with nutrients. Each glass of Silk Unsweetened Organic Soymilk contains 8 grams of protein that is naturally found in soy, contains no added sugar, and is low in saturated fat. In addition to being dairy and lactose-free, Silk is made without gluten, casein, egg, or MSG.

Price at time of publication: $16 for pack of 6

Serving size: 8 fl oz (1 cup) | Servings per container: 4 | Calories: 80 | Protein: 8 | Total sugar: <1

You may have heard of rumors about soy and estrogen levels or even cancer risk, but those fears are not justified! Soy milk contains phytoestrogens, that are not the same as estrogen; in fact, many studies suggest that consuming soy products such as soy milk, will not impact estrogen levels and consumption may even reduce the risk of breast cancer and other cancers. So consuming soy milk can be a part of a balanced diet!

Best Rice Milk

Rice Dream Original Rice Drink Enriched Organic

Rice Dream Organic Original Rice Drink

Courtesy of Walmart

Pros
  • Good source of calcium and vitamin D

  • Organic and non-GMO

  • Very similar to skim milk

Cons
  • Not a good source of protein

  • Contains 11 g added sugar per serving

If you’re looking for a non-dairy milk that isn’t made from nuts, whether for allergy concerns or just because of the taste, reach for a box of this rice drink milk alternative from Rice Dream.

Part of the reason it’s loved by the dairy-free community is that rice drink closely resembles skim milk in taste and texture, but it is just a touch sweeter. This makes it perfect for using in the same places you would regular milk without worrying about a strange aftertaste.

Price at time of publication: $4

Serving size: 8 fl oz | Servings per container: 8 | Calories: 120 | Protein: 0 | Total sugar: 11

Best Flax Milk

Good Karma Vanilla Lightly Sweetened Plant-Powered Flaxmilk

Good Karma Vanilla Lightly Sweetened Plant-Powered Flaxmilk

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Good source of protein (added pea protein)

  • Good source of omega-3 fatty acids

  • Non-GMO

  • Comes in shelf-stable boxes

Cons
  • Contains 10 grams added sugar per cup

If you’re looking for a milk that’s a great source of plant-based protein, consider trying this flax milk, which is paired with pea protein to increase protein content. Each glass of this creamy vanilla flax seed based milk is packed with 8 grams of protein and 1,200 mg omega-3 fats, which may be beneficial to heart health. It also contains 10 grams of sugar per serving. We recommend getting it in a set of shelf-stable boxes so you have plenty on hand for everyday use.

Price at time of publication: $30 for a pack of 6

Serving size: 8 fl oz (1 cup) | Servings per container: 4 | Calories: 110 | Protein: 8 | Total sugar: 10

Best Hemp Milk

Living Harvest Unsweetened Tempt Hemp Milk

Living Harvest Unsweetened Tempt Hemp Milk

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Zero grams of sugar

  • Good source of vitamins A, D2, B12 and riboflavin

  • Good source of omega fatty acids

Cons
  • May be more difficult to find in stores

  • Not a good source of protein

Another unusual source for non-dairy milk is hemp seeds, which are milled and milked for their nutritional value. Tempt brand enhances its natural nutritional hemp with vitamin A, D2, B12, and riboflavin, in addition to omega fatty acids and amino acids. We recommend the unsweetened original variety, which is made with no added sugars. Hemp milk is more watery than creamier non-dairy ​milk like coconut or macadamia and has a nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness.

Price at time of publication: $6

Serving size: 8 fl oz (1 cup) | Servings per container: 4 | Calories: 80 | Protein: 2 | Total sugar: 0

How We Selected

When choosing the best non-dairy milk, we looked at a variety of products with different main ingredients that would fit various preferences and needs. We chose products with minimal sugar, and considered quality, taste, price, and convenience.

What to Look for in a Non-Dairy Milk

Protein

Unlike cow’s milk, non-dairy milk is typically low in protein.  Milks such as oat, almond, and hemp contain anywhere from 1 to 4 grams of protein, while soy milk has the most at 7 grams per serving. If you are going to replace your dairy milk with plant-based milk, be sure to get your protein from other sources. 

Added Sugar

Many non-dairy milks come sweetened or flavored with vanilla or chocolate, which means sugar is added. Aim for an unsweetened variety or choose one with 10 grams of added sugar or less per serving. This will help stay within the current recommendations to limit added sugar to no more than 10 percent of your daily caloric intake; this would translate to less than 30 grams per day for men and less than 25 grams for women.

Main Ingredient

You’ll want to consider what your non-dairy milk is made from when selecting your choice. If allergies to nuts or soy are a concern, stick with rice, coconut, or flax milk.

Consistency

Non-dairy milks are versatile and can be used in many ways.  Since all of the different types of milks are different consistencies, consider how you’ll want to use them. If you are looking for milk for your coffee or oatmeal, you may want a creamier texture like macadamia nut, coconut, or oat milk. If you’re looking for something for a smoothie or a baking recipe, try almond or rice milk. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the benefits of non-dairy milk?

    Different types of non-dairy milks vary in their nutritional benefits. If you are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk protein, non-dairy milk is an excellent alternative. 

    Many non-dairy milks are fortified with many vital nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, folate, and B12. While you do have the option to buy non-fortified non-dairy milks that are purely main ingredients and water (brands like Malk and Elmhurt), milk is typically our primary source of calcium and vitamin D. Consider your dietary needs and preferences when making this decision. Specifically when following a plant-based diet, fortified non-dairy milks can be a good source of vitamin b12 and calcium or you may want to consider a multivitamin.

    Also, in many cases, non-dairy milk is also lower in calories and fat, if that is important for your health needs. Non-dairy milks are also a more sustainable option compared to cow’s milk. Their production accounts for less greenhouse gas emissions and less water use than dairy milk. While plant milks do still have an environmental impact, they are an eco-friendly option compared to cow’s milk.

  • What is the shelf life of non-dairy milk?

    Non-dairy milks have variable shelf-lives. When unopened, non-dairy milk can last for months. Many types can even last unrefrigerated, which makes them a good option to stock in your pantry or take when traveling.

    Consume almond milk within 1 week of opening; refrigerate and keep the lid sealed tight to prevent bacteria from entering. Oat milk and flax milk should also be consumed within 7 days of opening. Opened containers of coconut, soy milk, and rice milk can last up to 10 days in the fridge.

  • How should you store non-dairy milk?

    You’ll want to store plant-based milks that are sold chilled in the middle of your refrigerator, where the ideal temperature is 37 degrees. Avoid storing them in the door and the top shelf, as those are typically the warmest parts of your fridge.

    Dairy-free milks sold in shelf-stable cartons or cans, such as hemp milk or coconut milk, do not require refrigeration until they are opened. Store them in your pantry, preferably at room temperature and away from sunlight and heat.

  • How do you use non-dairy milk as a substitute?

    Non-dairy milks are used in a variety of ways as a substitute for cow’s milk. In many cases, they can replace cow's milk directly, in the same proportions. 

    Since they have different flavors and textures, certain non-dairy milks substitute better than others depending on their use. For example, oat milk gives coffee a creamy consistency and it froths beautifully to make a latte. Soy milk is generally good for baking, in smoothies, or over cereal. Rice milk has a sweeter flavor and is best in desserts, as well as curries and sauces. 

7 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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