We’re back at it again to give you the best oat milk brands of 2023! We researched, shopped and tested 12 different brands to bring you the widest variety of oat milk we could find (at least in central Florida). We’ve also done taste tests for the best almond milk and the best coconut milk if you want to check those out next.

gray countertop lined with 8 dairy-free milk cartons.

I can’t wait to share the results with you. Oat milk is something I’m reaching for more and more these days due to its creamy texture and mild taste. Let’s see how it stacks up in this growing world of plant-based milk.

Table of Contents
  1. Rating Criterion
  2. Best Oat Milk Brands of 2023
  3. Where to Buy Plant-Based Milk
  4. Nutrition Facts
  5. Is Oat Milk Gluten Free?
  6. Best Oat Milk Brands FAQs
  7. 9 Recipes with Oats
gray countertop lined with 10 dairy-free milk cartons.

Rating Criterion

Before I reveal our results, I want to break down a little research into these brands. Unlike almond milk, which is categorized as sweetened or unsweetened and comes in various flavors, oat milk categories are not straightforward. Let’s break down the lingo first.

What ‘Original’ Really Means

The goal of our project was to test all of the ‘original unsweetened’ oat milk we could find. Brands are not consistent with their labeling, so we had to get a bit creative. Here are all the ways we found ‘original’:

  • Less Sweet
  • Full Fat
  • Less Fat
  • Original
  • Plain
  • Unsweetened
  • Extra Creamy
  • Barista
  • Blended with coconut and cashews

How’s that for clarity? While you can be fairly certain that any almond milk has an unsweetened original version, this wasn’t the case with this milk. We did find the zero sugar plain version of Chobani this year (yay!). Yet we couldn’t find a fully unsweetened version of Good and Gather.

We also had to pick between the original and barista version of Oatly!, which threw us for a loop. We came up with a comprehensive list of what is on the market right now at the national level. Let’s get on to the results!

counter full of white cups with different plant-based milk brands behind them.

Best Oat Milk Brands of 2023

To make the table easy to decode, I used a leaf scoring system (because green is best!):

chart ranking oat milk from the store based on quality, taste, texture and packaging using different colored leaves to indicate the best and worst scores.

While Califia was the stand-out winner in all categories, most of the milk brands we tested were pretty middle-of-the-road. Only three brands, Califia, Elmhurst, and Forager, boasted a simple ingredient list. Simply Oat has a more straightforward ingredient list yet includes the ever-elusive ‘natural flavors,’ which dethroned its seat from our cleanest list.

Because most of the milk we tested had several additives and gums, they were disqualified from ‘dark green status.’ I recommend checking the calorie and sugar content of any oat beverage you purchase. The sugar content alone ranges from 1g to 10g between brands, so we felt them worth mentioning:

  • Natural by Nature: 120 calories, 10g added sugar
  • Trader Joe’s: 90 calories, 9g added sugar
  • Good + Gather: 90 calories, 9g added sugar
  • Chobani Extra Creamy Original: 120 calories, 8g added sugar
  • Oatly: 120 calories, 7g added sugar
  • Califia: 130 calories, 4g added sugar
  • Planet Oat: 90 calories, 4g added sugar
  • Silk: 80 calories, 4g added sugar
  • Simply Oat Original: 80 calories, 4g added sugar
  • Forager: 45 calories, 2g sugar (no added sugar)
  • Elmhurst: 80 calories, 1g sugar (no added sugar)
  • Chobani Zero Sugar Plain: 80 calories, 0g sugar

I’m still a firm believer that the best plant milk is homemade, so check out my homemade oat milk recipe and let me know how it compares to your favorite store-bought brand.

3 people sitting at a table in front of a counter lined with oat milk brands.

Where to Buy Plant-Based Milk

All the oat milk brands in this review were purchased around the Tampa Bay area. Obviously, there are regional grocery stores and brands not available here. Comment below with your favorite oat milk brand and store where it can be found so we can try to include it next year! My friend Erin shopped at the following stores to get as many oat milk brands as possible:

  • Trader Joe’s
  • Walmart
  • Whole Foods
  • Sprouts
  • Publix
  • Target

Oat milk brands are steadily gaining momentum here in the Southeastern United States. For this year’s update, we were able to find two additional brands to try: Chobani Zero Sugar Plain and Simply Oat Original.

pouring elmhurst oat milk into small white paper cups to taste test.

Nutrition Facts

Like many types of plant milk (and even varieties of dairy milk), oat beverages are commonly fortified with vitamins and minerals. Brands do this to compete in the ‘milk’ category. Oats are a healthy grain in their own right, as you’ll see below:

  • Lowers cholesterol: According to a study conducted by the US National Library of Medicine, regular consumption of oat milk for 5 weeks showed lower cholesterol levels.
  • Loaded with fiber: 1 cup of oat milk contains 3.3 grams of fiber, 13.2% of the recommended daily intake. If you use this as a base for a green smoothie, then your gut will be thanking you for helping to keep it regular.
  • Heart healthy: The soluble fiber in oat milk is also excellent (and necessary) to keep hearts healthy.
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions: not only does oat milk promote human health, it also promotes environmental health. It takes up hundreds fewer square miles to produce than dairy milk, and uses 1/8th of the water consumption expended in the production of almond milk. 
  • Fortified with B vitamins: Most commercially available oat milk is fortified (as are other dairy and non-dairy milk products). This plant milk specifically is loaded with B vitamins, which helps the body stay energized and also promotes heart health.

Is Oat Milk Gluten Free?

I love that oat milk isn’t only a healthy choice for our bodies and an environmentally friendly choice for our planet. If you’re sensitive to gluten, make sure to read the labels and ingredient list closely. Some brands specify gluten-free oats were used, yet most don’t. If you’re looking for a gluten-free brand, these are ones we found that say “gluten free” on them:

  • Planet Oats
  • Simply Oat
  • Elmhurst
  • Calafia
  • Chobani (both kinds)
  • Forager: states they use “gluten-free oats”

Best Oat Milk Brands FAQs

Is oat milk the healthiest milk?

It really depends on what you are looking for. Unsweetened, plain oat milk that is just oats + water contains small amounts of several nutrients, is low in sugar and has a good amount of fiber. Many store bought brands also fortify their milks with vitamins and minerals, so you can always read labels to determine the best milk for your needs.

Is there a downside to oat milk?

As with many store brands, beware of the added sugar, gums and fillers that might be in your oat milk. This varies widely between brands and if it’s important to you then make sure you read your labels. Also, since oats are a whole grain, they are higher in carbohydrates. This could lead to spikes in blood sugar if your body is sensitive to that. Bring your preferred brand to your health practitioner to determine if this kind of milk the best one for you.

Is oat milk actually good for you?

Unsweetened, plain oat milk contains 5 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of sugar per serving. Store bought brands typically fortify with vitamins and minerals like iron, vitamin D and vitamin C. Always read your labels to determine the best brand for you!

9 Recipes with Oats

Now that I’ve piqued your interest in this fun whole grain, let’s find some new recipes! You can swap in this creamy plant-based milk with any recipe calling for any other milk. You can also use a variety of oats in the following recipes:

dairy free smoothies base
How to Make Oat Milk
4.9 from 8 votes
This versatile oat milk recipe can be used in cooking, baking or with chocolate chip cookies. Deliciously creamy and free of gums and fillers.
Make Recipe
steel cut oats recipe
Warm Steel Cut Oats
4.7 from 6 votes
Spice up your breakfast routine with this yummy steel cut oats recipe. It's got sweetness + protein to help you stay full and focused throughout the day.
Make Recipe
Cinnamon Dolce Latte
5 from 8 votes
This homemade Cinnamon Dolce Latte recipe is bursting with all the right flavors. You can make this with an espresso shot or high quality instant coffee. There's no reason to wait in the drive thru line again once you sip this treat.
Make Recipe
baked oatmeal recipe
Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
5 from 8 votes
Enjoy as an easy weekend breakfast or bake at the beginning of the week for a prepped ahead week of nutritious breakfasts. This is an easily loved recipe that tastes much more gourmet than the time it takes to bake!
Make Recipe
dairy-free breakfast
Banana Oatmeal Smoothie
4.9 from 21 votes
Deliciously creamy, with hints of vanilla and cinnamon. This simple oatmeal smoothie is a delicious plant-based breakfast. Naturally sweet, it makes a great dessert, too!
Make Recipe
overnight oats recipe
Overnight Oats Recipe
5 from 8 votes
Start your day off right with this simply amazing overnight oats recipe thats's vegan-friendly and gluten-free.
Make Recipe
2 mason jars of chocolate peanut butter smoothie with straws.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
4.7 from 222 votes
Better than a milkshake! This plant-based peanut butter chocolate smoothie is so creamy and decadent, you'll think it's ice cream. Your body will thank you for enjoying this all-natural, no-sugar-added sweet treat.
Make Recipe
Homemade Granola Bars
5 from 25 votes
When you need to go the extra mile, homemade granola bars are your BFF. I grew up on Nature’s Valley bars thanks to my dad, but I wanted to make my own version using my favorite plant-based ingredients.
Make Recipe
healthy granola in a glass jar with dried blueberries.
Healthy Granola with Blueberries
5 from 4 votes
This gluten free granola recipe can be used as a smoothie bowl or yogurt topper, eaten as-is or enjoyed with a plant milk for a decadent cereal. Enjoy straight from the oven or store in an air-tight container to enjoy all week long!
Make Recipe

I wanna hear from you! Leave a comment with your fav oat milk brand so we can investigate it in our next update!

About the Author

Jen Hansard

I went from exhausted mama to running across the Grand Canyon, riding & hiking to the top of the tallest waterfall in North America with my kids. How? I fell in love with the smoothies and plant-based meals you can find on my blog.

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Comments

  1. I just started looking at your website with all the amazing recipes and ideas.
    I think you are incredible and so creative–can absolutely tell that you love good nutrition!

    Happy Thanksgiving

    1. Hey Linda – That’s awesome! Thank you so much! We hope you enjoy the recipes. Please leave us reviews on the ones you try to let us know what you think. We love and appreciate any feedback we can get. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! 🙂

  2. April 2022.
    This is all personal preference!
    Oatly Full Fat is my go-to.
    I’ve tried Califas twice and still dislike the taste. I usually have a hot mocha that has Silk oatmilk, at a local coffee shop, and even that tastes way better than Califas.

  3. Loved this list! I’ve tried 4 on this list and aim for the lowest sugar usually. Thanks for writing this one! Question on your homemade oat milk:: Do you soak the rolled oats too? {since you said you used steel cut in your recipe}.

    1. No way is Califia oat milk the best. It has sunflower oil and is not organic. Look at the ingredients.

  4. I definitely always have to look for the gluten-free label on oat milk! Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Very helpful article – I really like how you called out the added sugar for each. I buy Oatly, and my only ding on on Califia is the packaging as I try to steer clear of plastic packaging. If they had it in a carton, I’d be all in. Thanks!

  6. Surprised to not see Pacific Brands on here. Maybe it is only a big West Coast brand?!?

    1. Hi Lisa! The Pacific Brands oat milk option is a newer offering here in FL, yet we do have it avaiable now. The main reason we didn’t test it this time around was due to the fact that it’s a shelf-stable oat milk and we were aiming for refrigerated versions as they are usually fresher and contain fewer preservatives.