Dairy milk substitute review: Which one is the best?

Lactose intolerant, allergic to milk, or simply looking to mix up your coffee? Read here to find out the best alternative for you.

Dairy has become less and less popular over the past few years, largely due to the negative impacts its industry has on people’s health as well as the environment. As a result, we’ve seen a great increase in a variety of milk alternatives. However, an important question still lingers: which one is the best?

To answer this question, I purchased five of the most popular milk alternatives: almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, soy milk, and oat milk. Unfortunately, I couldn’t buy the original version of each milk, leaving coconut milk and cashew milk at a slight disadvantage, as I had to purchase the unsweetened version of those.

By rating each milk alternative based on consistency, sweetness, nutritional value and price, I was able to determine which option is the best overall.

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Starting off with my least favorite—coconut milk. To be completely honest, I have nothing positive to say about coconut milk. I felt like I was drinking a slightly thicker coconut water, except it wasn’t sweet at all. Coming in at $3.99 and 45 calories per cup, coconut milk earns a 5/10. Nothing but average.





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After coconut milk, all of the alternatives were really good, and it was pretty hard to find my favorite. However, almond milk came in at fourth place, priced at $3.19 with 35 calories per cup. This option was also very average; it was slightly creamier than coconut milk, but the neutral and sweeter taste ultimately earned almond milk a solid 7/10.





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Next comes cashew milk, also priced at $3.19. For an unsweetened milk, I was shocked at how good it was; the consistency was extremely creamy, the taste was very neutral and it was slightly sweet despite being unsweetened. With 25 calories per cup, cashew milk earns a 7.5/10.






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(Photo by Charlotte Lake

Placing at second is soy milk, which definitely earned its spot in the top two. While drinking soy milk, all I could think about is how similar it was to vanilla ice cream. Its sweetness combined with a creamy consistency and 110 calories per cup, soy milk earns an 8/10.






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Ending with my personal favorite—oat milk. I really have no criticisms for oat milk besides that one cup is 160 calories, which is equivalent to one small serving of sour patch. However, I think it’s extremely worth it; for $3.49, you get a milk alternative that tastes very similar to cow’s milk. The consistency is extremely creamy, the taste is neutral and sweet, and overall earns a 9.5/10.



For all you dairy-free or lactose-intolerant people out there, you have a lot of great alternatives for milk. Aside from these five, there are many other options out there, and if none of these work for you, feel free to explore all the other alternatives.