What are the Best Coffee Creamers?
Coffee creamer is an excellent alternative to milk or half-and-half if you don't like to take your morning coffee black. As well as whitening your coffee, it adds creamy texture, sweetness, and even additional flavors. Coffee creamer is also a good option for anyone who is lactose intolerant.
You do have to be wary of the additional calories in creamer and any artificial additives. Read on for the Home Grounds guide to the best creamers for coffee.
At A Glance:
- OUR TOP PICK: International Delight French Vanilla
- VEGAN FRIENDLY: Califia Farms Better Half
- FOR SWEET TOOTHS: Coffee-Mate Snickers Creamer
The Best Creamer for Coffee in 2023
As well as the wide variety of coffee creamer brands available, each brand has a multitude of flavors and options for different diets. Here are the best coffee creamer options in 2023.
1. International Delight French Vanilla Coffee Creamer – Best Overall
Liquid or powder: Liquid
- Dietary advice: Lactose-free, gluten-free
- Sizes available: 16oz, 32oz, 48oz, 64oz, boxes of single serves
International Delight has been making liquid coffee creamers since the 1980s, and its French vanilla flavor has been a gas station’s favorite creamer for years.
International Delight is one of those brands that you're going to see just about everywhere…and that's a good thing, because it's one of the best coffee creamer brands out there.
International Delight is a good everyday creamer. It adds sweetness, a distinct vanilla flavor, and a creamy texture with just a small amount.
This isn’t the best liquid coffee creamer for anyone with strict dietary requirements. It’s free from lactose but it does contain milk derivatives (1).
Prices start at $3.99 per 16 oz bottle.
2. Coffee-Mate Original Powder Coffee Creamer – Best Powdered Creamer
Liquid or powder: Powder
- Dietary advice: Non-dairy, lactose-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free
- Sizes available: 6 oz, 11 oz, 22 oz, 35.3 oz, boxes of single serves
Coffee-Mate has the claim to fame for creating the first coffee creamer, and this is still the best-selling powdered coffee creamer today.
Powdered creamers don't need any refrigeration and have a shelf life of up to two years, so they can be used as the occasional backup to create creamy coffee. It has a subtle creamy flavor and minimal sweetness, making it the best coffee creamer for anyone who wants a direct replacement for milk.
Coffee-Mate has just ten calories per serving and is cholesterol-free.
The downside to Nestle Coffee-Mate powder is that it contains some unhealthy ingredients (including trans fats) and artificial additives, and palm oil (2).
Prices start at $4.78 per 6 oz bottle.
3. Califia Farms Better Half Creamer – Best Value for Money
Liquid or powder: Liquid
- Dietary advice: Dairy-free, vegan, non GMO, carrageenan-free, soy-free
- Sizes available: 16.9 oz, 32 oz
Califia Farms is a much more recent brand that offers a range of dairy-free coffee creamers and milks. The brand focuses on health and sustainability, which have helped it gain popularity.
Califia Farms has become the most recognizable brand in the plant-based dairy aisle.
Better Half is the Califia Farms version of half-and-half. Rather than half milk and half cream, it's made from almond milk coconut cream, sweetened with cane sugar. Like all Califia Farms products, it's free of preservatives and artificial sweeteners and suitable for anyone on a vegan diet or with a milk allergy.
The downside to this dairy-free creamer is that it’s not suitable for people with nut allergies. Some coffee drinkers also say the coconut flavor is too strong.
Prices are approximately $22.00 for 2 x 16.9 oz.
4. Coffee-Mate Snickers Liquid Creamer – Best Flavored Creamer
Liquid or powder: Liquid
- Dietary advice: Lactose-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free.
- Sizes available: 32 oz, 50 oz, boxes of single serves
As well as plain coffee creamers, Coffee-Mate makes coffee creamers with indulgent flavors, such as Snickers. This delicious creamer is made to taste like the famous candy bar, with peanuts, caramel, and chocolate flavors.
One pump of this chocolatey creamer is enough to add a rich and unique flavor, so it’s an excellent choice for making iced coffee.
Home Grounds doesn’t recommend this flavored coffee creamer if you’re using some of the best coffee beans in the world, but it can help to uplift any subpar coffee. It’s also a bad choice for anyone on a diet, with 35 calories and 5g of sugar per serve.
Prices are approximately $35.66 for 2 x 50 oz bottles.
5. Nutpods French Vanilla Creamer – Budget Pick
Liquid or powder: Liquid
- Dietary advice: Whole30, dairy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, kosher, sugar-free
- Sizes available: 11.2 oz, 16 oz, 25.4 oz
Nutpods is another brand that specializes in plant-based dairy-free creamers, founded after a Kickstarter campaign in 2013. The brand initially only sold through Amazon but can also be found in grocery stores.
This non-dairy creamer is made from almond milk and coconut milk, so it's an excellent dairy-free option. This is the unsweetened version of the brand's popular French vanilla flavor, making it suitable for anyone following the Whole30 diet (3).
Some customers have complained that Nutpods French vanilla isn’t as thick as other coffee creamers, so you might need to add more to your morning cup of coffee to get the effect you want.
Prices start at $2.69 per 11.2 oz carton.
How to Choose the Best Coffee Creamer
Choosing the best coffee creamer will depend on your personal preferences, but some things you should consider are:
- Powder or liquid: this choice is mainly about storage, as liquid creamers need to be refrigerated after opening. Some people prefer liquid creamers as you can use them for frothing.
- Taste: even unflavored creamers vary in taste between brands, so you'll need to try different options to find the best-tasting coffee creamer.
- Added flavor: are you looking for a milk substitute, or do you want to add a whole new flavor to your cup of joe?
- Dietary requirements: if you have any dietary restrictions, not all brands and flavors will meet your needs.
Related: What’s the difference between frothed milk and steamed milk?
What is coffee creamer?
Coffee creamer is a popular alternative to whole milk, heavy cream, or half-and-half. Its primary function is to whiten coffee or tea, but many coffee creamers also add sweetness and flavor.
Coffee creamer has several benefits when compared to milk. It has a longer shelf life, adds a rich texture to your morning brew, and can be suitable for people who don't consume dairy products.
The best-selling brands of coffee creamer are Coffee-Mate, International Delight, and Land O'Lakes, but brands such as Dunkin' Donuts, Califia Farms, Starbucks, and Chobani are also popular.
Coffee creamer flavors
Coffee creamers are available in unflavored varieties, but the best-selling coffee creamer options are flavored. French vanilla's the most popular choice, but other options like hazelnut, pumpkin spice, peppermint mocha, and caramel also rank highly. Some of the more unusual flavors are made to replicate popular foods, like cotton candy or cinnamon rolls, or best-selling drinks such as the Starbucks caramel macchiato.
If you want flavor without the creamy effect, check out our guides to the best tasting coffee syrups, or how to add flavor to coffee.
If you have special dietary requirements, a non-dairy creamer can be a better option than milk. Coffee creamer can be made in many different ways, so there are choices for most diets. Common things you’ll see on coffee creamer labels include lactose-free, dairy-free, vegan, kosher, carrageenan-free, and soy-free (4). Here's our list of the best non-dairy coffee creamers you can try.
The best coffee creamer depends on your taste, dietary requirements, and how much flavor you want to add to your coffee. Home Grounds' pick for the best cream for coffee goes to International Delight French Vanilla. It has an excellent creamy texture, affordable price, and the French vanilla flavor makes it a versatile creamer.
No, coffee creamer is not always healthy, but it depends on the brand and the ingredients. Many non-dairy creamers contain unhealthy ingredients such as trans fats, artificial flavors, and thickeners. Most coffee creamers are also high in sugar, which can be unhealthy, particularly for people with diabetes. The healthiest coffee creamers contain natural ingredients and no added sugar.
Yes, you can gain weight from coffee creamer, but it depends on the brand and how much you consume. A cup of black coffee has only two calories, but the nutritional value of coffee with creamer is around 43 calories, depending on the brand and serving size. The best coffee creamers for weight loss are low in fat, zero sugar, and low-calorie count.
The best creamer for intermittent fasting is one that has zero calories or very few calories per serving. It's generally recommended to stay under 50 calories to avoid breaking your fast (5). If you're also following the keto diet, you might want to stick to a specific keto creamer that's sugar-free, low in carbs, and high in good fats.
- Hill, R. A. D. (2020, June 24). What Is Sodium Caseinate? Everything You Need to Know. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sodium-caseinate
- Riddle, H. (2021, October 18). Coffee Mate was banned in some countries for having this ingredient. Mashed.Com. https://www.mashed.com/636056/coffee-mate-was-banned-in-some-countries-for-having-this-ingredient/
- Whole30 Approved Archive. (n.d.). The Whole30® Program. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://whole30.com/whole30-approved/
- Reinagel, N. D. M. (2015, July 1). The Carrageenan Controversy. Scientific American. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-carrageenan-controversy/
- Clear, J. (2018, August 7). Intermittent Fasting: 12 Lessons Learned from 1 Year of Fasting. James Clear. https://jamesclear.com/intermittent-fasting-lessons-learned