Want a Non-Dairy, Eco-Friendly Milk Alternative? Try Oat Milk

Best oat milk
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Non-dairy milks are becoming an everyday part of life. Your local Starbucks has them listed on the menu; you don’t get a weird stare when you ask the waiter for them; and it’s as easy as a quick click online to order them. 

You might be wondering which non-dairy milk is the best. Soy, almond and hazelnut are all tasty contenders, but the clear outstanding substitute is oat milk.

Dairy, once a staple of diets worldwide, has become more controversial among health-conscious folks recently, some some nutrition experts encouraging adults to stop drinking dairy products completely. At the same time, vegetarian and vegan diets are becoming more popular and milk alternatives are easier to find in grocery stores. For all these, reasons, good old-fashioned cow’s milk is now found in fewer diets worldwide. It’s no wonder oat milk is suddenly so popular, especially when you consider its benefits.

If you’re unaware of the benefits of oat milk, here are a few of them:

  • Dairy-Free – Sure, it’s obvious, but it’s still the primary reason many people try oat milk in the first place. If you need a dairy-free alternative for cereal bathing, smoothie mixing and coffee, then the best oat milk lets you go dairy-free without sacrificing your favorite foods. This also makes it a kind, tasty choice if you’re lactose intolerant or looking to remove it from your diet. 
  • Nut and Soy Free – As two of America’s most common allergens, nut and soy make many types of milk unsuitable for those who experience reactions to them. Oat milk offers a delicious alternative that can fill the ingredient gap that would otherwise be left high and dry. 
  • Environmentally Friendly – The production of oak milk requires far less water than dairy milk. In fact, non-dairy milks are generally far more environmentally friendly, but oat milk takes the top spot. Choosing to integrate oat milk into your diet over cow’s milk is a great way to positively impact climate change and promote a better lifestyle to those around you. 
  • Great Source of Protein: The best oat milk is a wonderful source of protein. Better yet, it’s low in fat.
  • Shelf-Stable: Shelf-stable milk is a milk product that does not need to be refrigerated for long-term storage. In the past, the only options for shelf-stable milk were ultra-pasteurized milk products or canned condensed milk. However, most nut milks are easy to store for long periods of time without refrigeration.

Oat milk is a healthy alternative to dairy. It also has a longer shelf life and can be stored in the pantry until opened. If you’re not completely sold on the idea of fully converting to oat milk yet, at least give it a try. There are plenty of well-reviewed and trusted plant-based milk brands available online, and below we’ve listed the eight best oat milk brands for you to consider.

Editor’s Note: Like a lot of food and beverages, some of the oat milk products featured below can be hard to find available online for sale online consistently. 

  

1. Califia Farms Oat Milk

BEST OVERALL

Califia Farms, which is also known for its almond milk and cold brew coffee, is our top pick among the best oat milk brands. Their Barista-Blend Oat Milk is the top-rated oat milk product on Amazon and is delivered as a pack of six 32 fl oz cartons. This is a versatile, unsweetened oat milk designed for all types of use, from overnight oats and breakfast cereals to coffees, too. The airtight packaging makes each carton ideal for stocking up on. Plus, the easy-screw lid makes pouring a precise practice. Most importantly, it’s delicious and has a smooth consistency.

Best oat milk califia farms Image courtesy of Amazon

Califia Farms Oat Milk

$22.74

  

2. Oatly Oat Milk

RUNNER UP

With more than 1,000 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, Oatly Oat Milk is popular among Amazon customers. Spy editors also rate Oatly as one of the best oat milk brands. And, as far as pricing goes, this is the lowest per-ounce price on our list. This four-pack of their Barisa Edition cartons are ideal for single servings and on-the-go use, too. There’s nothing more annoying than milk going bad once you’ve opened the pack and not used it quickly enough, but with this cleverly sized oat milk, this needn’t be a worry.

oatly barista edition Image courtesy of Amazon

Oatly Oat Milk

$27.62

Oatly Oat Milk Original

Oatly was one of the first oak milk brands to box and sell this milk alternative the same way cow’s milk and other dairy-free alternatives are sold, which makes it one of the OG oat milk products on the market. If you want a larger serving size, then go with the brand’s declicious Original Oatly Oat Milk, which has a rich consistency that is similar to dairy and nothing like the watery texture you’re used to from almond milk. Inside each box, there’s no dairy, no nuts and no gluten, so a multitude of people with specific dietary restrictions can get drinking without worry. The brand also makes a barista edition, dairy-free yogurt and even dairy-free ice cream.

Oatly Oat Milk Original, best oat milk Courtesy of Amazon

Oatly Oat Milk Original

$54.50

  

3. Pacific Foods Oat Milk

BEST ORGANIC

The oats and oat-bran featured in the list of ingredients on Pacific Foods Oat Milk are both organic. This deliciously creamy beverage is the ideal substitute in your favorite recipes for all things which usually involve milk, from gravy to muffins. Not only does this oat milk taste good, it’s also a great source of calcium and vitamin D. Each order includes a 12 pack of 32-ounce cartons, which have been selected as the packing material of choice to ensure a long shelf life without compromising flavor. Just be sure to store this oat milk in the refrigerator once it’s been opened.

pacific foods organic oat original plant Image courtesy of Amazon

Pacific Foods Oat Milk

$56.37

  

4. Thrive Market Oat Beverage

BEST VALUE

A bargain price tag, an abundance of positive customer reviews and organic, too? It’s clear why Thrive Market Oat Beverage is our best value choice. Their delicious oat milk is suitable for a vegan lifestyle and is also low in fat and sodium. This particular carton is 34 fl oz big and designed to fit well in your fridge door. To top it off, the goodness doesn’t stop with the oat milk itself, as the packing in which it is presented is also recyclable.

Best oat milk thrive market Image courtesy of ThriveMarket

Thrive Market Oat Beverage

$2.49

  

5. Oatsome Organic Barista Oat Drink

BEST BULK PURCHASE

Oat milk makers can’t resist an oat-themed pun, and Oatsome is clearly no different. We’ll forgive them for the wordplay because their oat milk is made from whole grain oats that are non-GMO and USDA-certified Organic. And there are only four ingredients; oats, water, sunflower oil and sea salt. Plus, it’s a great value. Each order includes six one-liter cartons. And if you’re worried about not drinking it fast enough, an unopened carton will be shelf-stable for 14 months.

Oatsome Organic Oat Drink, best oat milk Courtesy of Amazon

Oatsome Organic Oat Drink

$19.05

Oatsome Original Oat Milk

ALSO CONSIDER

A totally awesome way to enjoy oat milk is by drinking Oatsome Oat Milk. It’s made from all-natural ingredients, including organic oats and riboflavin. It’s also a great source of vitamin D. Although Oatsome Oat Milk is completely non-dairy, it can be frothed as cow’s milk often is to create latte art or top a tasty coffee. Plus, the one-liter carton has no added sugar.

oatsome organic oat milk Image courtesy of Amazon

Oatsome Oat Milk

$19.05

  

6. Minor Figures Oat Milk

BEST FOR COFFEE

You might not be completely sure what you’re buying when you look at the illustration on the carton of Minor Figures Oat Milk. But let us assure you, this is top-quality oat milk. One of the most popular uses for alternative milk is as an additive to coffee drinks. Minor Figures has formulated their oat milk to be the exact combination of creamy and naturally sweet for all kinds of coffee drinks, which is why it’s a popular dairy-free creamer at many independent coffee shops. If you’re a caffeine fiend who’s keen to steer away from dairy, this is the best oat milk brand for you.

minor figures oat milk unsweetened Image courtesy of Amazon

Minor Figures Oat Milk

$29.84

  

7. Rise Brewing Co. Oat Milk Latte

BEST FOR ENERGY

Give your oak milk a premade kick of caffeine compliments of the Rise Brewing Co. Their tasty slim cans are a fantastic source of clean energy and only contain 110 calories per serving. 12 seven fl oz portions are included with each order, which works out to less than three dollars per can. Only USDA organic ingredients are used by Rise to create their Oat Milk Latte which, by the way, is best served cold! (We also love the Chocolate flavor.)

rise brewing co. oat milk nitro cold brew Image courtesy of Walmart

Rise Brewing Co. Oat Milk Latte

$29.99

  

8. Silk Oat Yeah Oat Milk

BEST FOR BREAKFAST

With a large, half-gallon capacity, Silk Oat Yeah Oat Milk is big enough to see you through many bowls of cereal and cups of coffee at breakfast time. This particular product is Silk Oat Yeah’s ‘The Plain One,’ and so it is focused on being the best, naturally creamy, completely oaty, oat milk on the market. However, no matter the flavor of your Silk Oat Yeah milk, it’s guaranteed to be dairy, lactose and casein-free.

silk oat yeah the plain one oatmilk Image courtesy of Walmart

Silk Oat Yeah Oat Milk

  

9. Chobani Oat Drink Extra Creamy Plain

BEST CREAMY

This is our e-commerce editor Tyler’s favorite oat milk by far. “It’s exceptional,” he says, “I’ve tried every other oat milk and nothing compares, it’s as thick as heavy cream and is perfectly smooth for my morning cup of joe.” You probably know Chobani pretty well at this point. Like, what other Greek yogurt have you been eating? Since the oat milk way came about, Chobani hopped on board and we couldn’t be more thankful. This oat milk is easily the creamiest on this list and will totally surprise you each time you pour. For real, try this milk in your darkest cup of black coffee and watch the magic happen.

Chobani Oat Drink, Extra Creamy Plain Courtesy of Amazon

Chobani Oat Drink Extra Creamy Plain

  

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FAQ: Oat Milk 101

Considering making the switch from dairy to oat milk? Or maybe you're already drinking almond milk but want to change things up. No matter the reason, the best oat milk is a great dairy alternative that's a popular add-on to cereal, smoothies, coffee and more. Keep reading for answers to common questions about this popular milk alternative.

What is the best oat milk brand?

According to our product reviewers, Califia Farms currently makes the best oat milk. Califia Farms is a fast-growing health food company that's also known for its almond milk and cold brew coffee. Their unsweetened oat milk has no added sugars (duh) and is Kosher, gluten-free and non-GMO Project Verified. It has a smooth consistency and is a versatile dairy alternative that tastes great.

Why should you drink oat milk?

Oat milk has a few benefits that its competitors don't. If you're choosing to forgo dairy for environmental reasons, you won't be surprised to know that oat milk uses a lot less water than cow's milk. And while pretty much all non-dairy milks are going to be more environmentally friendly than cow's milk, the production of oats uses even less water and waste than almonds and rice, which both require a lot of water to produce. Oats ever so slightly edge out soy in terms of lowered emissions.

Plus, it tastes good!

What are the health benefits of oat milk?

In terms of health benefits, oat milk is a decent source of protein (though not as much as some other kinds of milk) and it's low-fat. And since it's one of a handful of non-dairy milk options that aren't made from common allergens like nuts or soy, it can be a good option for anyone with those allergies (it's also gluten-free, for what it's worth).

Does oat milk taste good?

Frankly, none of the health benefits of oat milk would matter if it didn't taste good. And while this is a subjective question, our editors all agree that oat milk does taste good, at least compared to common milk alternatives. It's slightly (but not overwhelmingly) sweet and has a richer, milkier consistency than other options. And while the light yellow-brown color can be a little offputting, the flavor isn't.

Our favorite thing about oat milk is that it doesn't taste too much like something else. Where almond milk is obviously almondy and coconut milk is coconut-y, the best oat milk tastes pretty close to milk, with a very mild oat aftertaste. That makes it great in coffee, as it won't have the sickly sweetness of artificial creamers. It also froths pretty well if you're making a latte.

Is oat milk lactose free?

Yes, most oat milk products are completely free of lactose and dairy products.

How much does oat milk cost?

The cost of individual oat milk products varies by brand and size. Oat milk brands usually sell their products in half-gallon sizes; the typical half-gallon carton of oat milk is priced between $2.50 and $5.00.