Adding a splash of creamer to the morning brew is a daily ritual for many coffee lovers. Not so long ago, if you wanted a plant-based creamer your options were very limited. However, in recent years this has become a flourishing market, with many people moving away from dairy milk to plant-based alternatives like almond, soy or oat milks.
Now there are dozens of non-dairy coffee creamers to choose from. Unfortunately, not all of them taste good or are actually ‘healthy’ alternatives. If you are not sure where to start when choosing a non-dairy coffee creamer, we have compiled a list of our top seven picks and a guide to help you narrow down your search.
Benefits of Non-Dairy Creamers
Besides making your coffee taste creamy and sweet, non-dairy coffee creamers have many other benefits.
Many are lower in cholesterol, saturated fats and preservatives than dairy creamers, offering a healthier option for anyone trying to avoid them. Their plant-based ingredients make them ideal for anyone who is lactose intolerant or prefers using a coffee creamer free of animal-derived ingredients.
There is also a growing number of non-dairy creamers that contain little to no added sugar per serving, reducing the average amount of calories per serving.
Dairy-Free vs. Non-Dairy Creamers
At first glance, dairy-free and non-dairy creamers sound similar to someone casually browsing the supermarket isle. However, these two terms aren’t interchangeable and have significant differences.
Although non-dairy coffee creamers don’t have milk or cream, they can contain traces of milk proteins. These milk proteins include whey and casein, which can trigger allergic reactions in people sensitive to dairy. They contain vegetable fats that enhance their creaminess and replicate the taste and texture of dairy-based creamers.
Dairy-free creamers, on the other hand, are completely free of dairy with no traces of dairy and milk proteins. They incorporate plant-based alternatives like almond, coconut, or soy milk. Dairy-free creamers are an excellent option for anyone who’s lactose intolerant, has dairy allergies, or prefers coffee creamers without animal-derived ingredients.
Best Non-Dairy Creamer
Here are our top picks for the best non-dairy creamers you should consider adding to your next cup of coffee. We narrowed down these picks based on their popularity and highly-rated customer reviews.
Nutpods Original Unsweetened Oat Creamer
Nutpods Original Unsweetened Oat Coffee Creamer is one of the top selling non-dairy coffee creamer options that enhances the flavor of your coffee without making it too sugary. It contains ten calories per tablespoon serving, making it ideal for anyone trying to keep track of their daily calorie intake.
This liquid coffee creamer incorporates the texture and consistency of your standard half-and-half without including excessive additives and sugars to enhance its richness. It has a natural sweetness and creamy texture that mixes well with coffee, with no separation after adding. Its vegan-friendly recipe doesn’t incorporate dairy-based cream.
This creamer’s sugar and gluten-free properties resonate with coffee lovers looking for healthier options to jumpstart their morning without sacrificing their brew’s flavors.
So Delicious Organic Coconut Milk Creamer
So Delicious Organic Coconut Milk Coffee Creamer is an excellent option for anyone looking for plant-based creamers who love the rich flavors of coconut milk. Texture-wise, it has similar properties to traditional half-and-half, but is not as thick or sweet as some other creamers.
Its recipe includes organic and vegan-friendly ingredients, made from coconut cream and water. It has a sweet coconut flavor that balances out the bitter flavors of coffee. It doesn’t contain any traces of gluten or sugar, making it an ideal option for anyone following a gluten-free or Keto diet.
Despite being one of the richest coconut milk-based creamers, a few drawbacks keep it from being our top option. Some customers report that the recipe has changed in recent years and is now prone to curdling in hot coffee and has an occasional grainy texture. Its traces of coconut also aren’t ideal for anyone with tree nut allergies.
Califia Unsweetened Almond Milk Creamer
Califia Farms’ creamers are available in a wide selection of flavors, but their unsweetened almond milk coffee creamer is the most popular in the line-up. Made from almonds and coconut cream, this creamer has a rich and sweet flavor with a creamy texture. The nutty almond flavor is prominent, so you only need to add a dash to your coffee.
This coffee creamer ticks all the boxes being vegan-friendly, gluten-free and suitable for anyone on a Kosher diet. Califia Unsweetened Almond Milk Creamer contains 5g of calories per serving and 0g of added sugar. Its lack of soy ingredients allows coffee lovers with soy allergies to enjoy their favorite brew without worrying about triggering a reaction.
Another factor that makes Califia Unsweetened Almond Milk Creamer has outstanding blending properties that won’t make it clump or separate once it makes contact with your brew.
Milkadamia Unsweetened Vanilla Macadamia Creamer
Milkadamia Unsweetened Vanilla Macadamia Creamer is one of the best coffee creamer alternatives containing less sugar than the most popular dairy-based creamers. It lacks dairy and milk proteins, incorporating plant-based ingredients like pea protein and raw macadamia nuts to ensure a creamy texture and a subtle nutty flavor profile.
It doesn’t contain sugar, making it an ideal option for anyone trying to cut back on sugary creamers for their coffee. It has traces of vitamin D2, adding extra calcium to any refreshing, hot cup of coffee.
This coffee creamer can have a watered-down flavor, so if you’re expecting bold, vanilla flavoring, consider browsing for other options. It can be expensive on some budgets, but its six-pack value makes it worth the price.
One thing many struggle with when choosing the best non-dairy creamer for their coffee is finding one that’s compatible with their dietary restrictions if they have specific food allergies. Ripple Plant Based Half & Half is a straightforward half-and-half that’s as rich as its dairy counterparts but doesn’t share most of its allergens.
Ripple Plant Based Half & Half is nut, soy, dairy, lactose, and gluten-free, making it one of the most versatile non-dairy coffee creamer options for anyone sensitive to these ingredients.
Pea protein is one of its main ingredients, which gives the creamer higher nutritional value than other plant-based milk options. It doesn’t contain cholesterol or saturated fats.
It’s one of the sweetest creamers on this rundown, but some might find it too sweet and overpowering if they prefer ones with more subdued flavors. Its allergy-friendly properties make it one of the priciest coffee creamer options.
While most non-dairy creamers aren’t known for containing much calcium, Silk Almond Coffee Creamer is an exception. Its formula contains 50% more calcium than most dairy milk. Although you’ll only need at least a spoonful for your coffee, it contains several essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E and vitamin D2.
Its almond milk concentration gives the creamer a silky texture and a nutty flavor profile to enhance your coffee. It doesn’t contain dairy, gluten, saturated fats, artificial colors, and GMOs, so you don’t have to worry about enjoying this creamer occasionally.
Silk Almond Creamer isn’t ideal for anyone with nut allergies. It can contain a few traces of soy, so consider taking precautions before adding it to your coffee. This coffee creamer isn’t sugar-free and can taste overly sweet to some people. The carton can also be prone to damage, so consider checking it for holes or dents before purchasing.
Coffee Mate The Original Powder Coffee Creamer
Coffee Mate The Original Powder Coffee Creamer stands out from the other options on this list because of its powdered properties. Unlike liquid creamers, you don’t need to refrigerate powdered Coffee Mate after opening it. Its longer shelf life is one feature that many coffee fans gravitate to if they don’t want to replace their liquid creamer every few weeks.
This powdered creamer’s container is easy to pour and stir, ensuring little to no clumping while adding a smooth texture to your coffee and enhancing its natural flavors. It doesn’t contain gluten, cholesterol, or lactose, making it an excellent option for people trying to watch what they consume.
One drawback of Coffee Mate is its traces of hydrogenated vegetable oil, which contain trans fats that can impact your health if consumed regularly. It also contains traces of sodium caseinate, a milk derivative that can trigger dairy allergies.
The lid on the creamer’s packaging is prone to cracking, so you must check for cracks to ensure the powder doesn’t leak when closed.
How To Choose the Right Non-Dairy Creamer
Before narrowing down your top options for the best non-dairy creamer, there are several factors you’ll need to consider before buying one. These components differ from person to person, depending on their preferences.
Here are a few features to look for when browsing for non-dairy coffee creamers at the supermarket or online if you don’t know where to start.
Type of Milk
One of the first things to consider when choosing a non-dairy creamer that matches your preferences or dietary needs is the type of non-dairy milk it uses in its recipe. They differ in taste, texture, and nutritional value, so checking your creamer’s labels before adding it to your coffee is essential if you’re looking for one suitable for specific allergies.
Non-dairy creamers made with almond milk usually have a nutty flavor profile that won’t overpower your brew’s flavor. These non-dairy creamers have a light texture but can be thinner than dairy-based creamers. Most almond milk creamers are low in calories and sugar.
Almond milk creamers have less protein than soy milk, making it less likely to curdle your brew. However, specific factors, such as the coffee’s temperature and acidity or the creamer’s brand and recipe, can impact its chances of curdling coffee. Almond milk creamers are not ideal for those with tree nut allergies.
Coconut milk creamers usually have a thick, creamy texture that replicates traditional dairy cream. Flavor-wise, it has a sweet yet nutty blend that gives any coffee brew extra flair.
Some coconut milk creamers have more calories and healthy fat content than almond milk creamers. Many recipes incorporate several vitamins and minerals, like vitamin A, B12 and D into the recipes.
If you prefer oat milk coffee creamer, you’ll be glad to know that it’s as creamy as other non-dairy creamers. Its sweetness is subtle compared to coconut milk, but once you detect it, it complements your coffee’s strong, bitter flavors.
Oat milk creamers usually have more carbs and dietary fiber than non-dairy creamers. This coffee creamer is low in cholesterol, making it an excellent alternative for anyone with soy or nut allergies.
Soy milk creamers are the closest non-dairy creamers to cows milk on the market. They are typically fortified with calcium, vitamins, and proteins, which gives it a similar texture and consistency to cow’s milk. Its flavor is slightly nutty, with subtle hints of soy that linger on your taste buds.
One of the most important features many consider when choosing a go-to non-dairy creamer is its flavor. You’re more likely to use a specific creamer if you think it makes your coffee taste great.
Examples of standard flavor options that many non-dairy creamer brands offer include vanilla, hazelnut, coconut, almond, and caramel. By far, the most popular falvor is French vanilla, which blends well with coffee.
Flavor preference can differ from person to person, so you should consider sampling different flavors to find your favorite. Depending on the brand’s quality, some flavors are more prominent than others.
If you don’t want your coffee to become overly sweet, unsweetened creamers are an excellent solution. Unsweetened non-dairy coffee creamers have fewer calories than flavored variants
Dietary restrictions are another essential factor in helping you choose a non-dairy creamer that suits your needs. Checking each creamer’s labels can help streamline this process.
Many flavorful non-dairy creamers have gluten-free properties that are safe for someone sensitive to gluten or those who prefer a gluten-free lifestyle. Some creamers have thickening agents or added flavors with traces of gluten, so consider looking at their labels thoroughly before switching to a different brand.
Most people on vegan diets can enjoy their coffee with creamers that don’t have dairy and milk proteins, substituting them with plant-based ingredients. However, they should thoroughly read any non-dairy creamer’s labels to ensure they don’t contain milk derivatives, such as sodium caseinate or micellar casein.
Non-dairy and lactose-free coffee creamers can contain milk derivatives, such as caseinate, that can cause reactions in anyone with a severe lactose intolerance. Your safest solution is to find non-dairy creamers labeled “dairy-free.”
If you prefer adding non-dairy creamer that doesn’t contain sugar to your coffee, look for products labeled “no added sugar.” Most unsweetened creamers are sugar-free because they don’t contain added flavoring that can increase a creamer’s sugar content.
Is Non-Dairy Creamer Good for You?
While many non-dairy creamers contain fewer calories than dairy-based heavy cream milk and half-and-half, specific ingredients can impact your health if ingested frequently. Some examples of these ingredients include hydrogenated vegetable oil, carrageenan, and sodium caseinate. They can also contain other preservatives and sugars.
Hydrogenated vegetable oil in non-dairy creamers is used to enhance their freshness and retain their creaminess, but it’s packed with trans fats, which can cause potential heart problems. You can reduce this risk by limiting how much you add to your coffee.
Best Non-Dairy Creamer- The Verdict
Whether you’re interested in starting a plant-based diet or trying something new, there are plenty of excellent non-dairy creamers worth sampling if you’re an avid coffee fan.
Although each of these creamers has advantages and disadvantages, our top recommended option in our rundown is Nutpods Original Unsweetened Oat Creamer. Its gluten-free, vegan properties make it ideal for anyone who prefers using creamers without animal-derived ingredients.
We also recommend it as a sugar-free alternative if you want to reduce your intake while enjoying your coffee.
Hopefully, this rundown of quality non-dairy creamers encourages you to try these options and discover a new favorite whenever you want to give your brew extra flair.