5 Best Non-Dairy Creamers for Coffee
Unless you’re a black-coffee drinker, which I highly doubt if you’re here, your morning coffee routine consists of lightening its intensity with some dairy product or half and half to enhance the natural sweetness of your morning cup. Fortunately, we reviewed some great vegan, half-and-half, and non-dairy alternatives for you to try.
Sweeten your brew with the delicious flavours of these top non-dairy creamers for coffee.
At A Glance:
- TOP PICK: Nestle Coffee Mate
- Budget Pick: Rio Vegan Creamer
- Health Boost: Dose & Co Collagen Creamer
Reviews of the 5 Best Non-Dairy Creamers for Coffee
Home Grounds has compiled a review of the best dairy-free creamers for coffee. We have looked into the featured milks, the tasting notes, and whether these creamers are suitable options for those who follow a vegan, gluten-free, and/or sugar-free lifestyle.
1. Nestle Coffee Mate – Best Overall
Milk Type: Lactose-free milk
- Tasting Notes: French Vanilla
- Vegan: No
- Sugar-free: Yes
Dubbed as the #1 powdered creamer brand, Nestle knocks it out of the park once again with its sugar-free, french vanilla flavoured powdered best coffee creamer Coffee Mate. Each unit claims to contain 140 servings worth of creamer if you use ¾ of a tsp for your serving size, but you may find this to be a sore lack of creamer usage. You get a more realistic 58 servings if you bump your usage to 1 tbsp per serving totalling 45 calories. That’s not bad for being sugar-free.
However, FDA has issued the following word of caution to sugar-free adherents (1):
Sugar-free is not the same as no sugar! Producers can use sugar-free to describe one serving with less than 0.5 g of natural or added sugars.
This best-tasting creamer features a rich, smooth, and creamy classic vanilla experience while being a cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and lactose-free creamer for lactose-intolerant coffee lovers. Just note that it doesn’t mention vegan-friendly, so read the relevant directions, labels, and warnings carefully for more information.
2. Rio Vegan Creamer – Budget Pick
Milk Type: Coconut milk
- Tasting Notes: not flavoured
- Vegan: Yes
- Sugar-free: No
Vegans on a budget will appreciate this creamy option from Rio. It’s made from a base of coconut oil but has an entirely neutral flavour, making it suitable for all kinds of drinks. Unlike other non-dairy creamers on our list, this Rio Vegan Creamer can be diluted to make plant-based milk. 50g of powder will make 300 ml of vegan-friendly milk that can be used in milkshakes, smoothies or even baking.
Rio Vegan Creamer is also Kosher and Halal-friendly and comes in 100% recyclable packaging. Be aware that it contains glucose derived from wheat flour, so it might not be suitable for all diets.
3. Laird Superfood – Best Vegan Creamer
Milk Type: Coconut milk powder
- Tasting Notes: Original/coconut
- Vegan: Yes
- Sugar-free: No
Vegans, rejoice! And if you’re a gluten-avoiding coffee lover, come join in, too! Laird Superfood has got you covered! This coconut creamer is suitable for a gluten-free and/or vegan diet.
It is resplendent with a rich, classic coconut flavour due to its coconut milk powder, organic coconut sugar, and organic extra virgin coconut oil contents. Only made from these ingredients, plus Aquamin, you know what you’re getting in this organic dairy-free creamer. Laird Superfood is said to yield 227 servings at a recommended ¾ of a tsp per serving, but you will likely find a more tangible 57 servings per serving of 1 tbsp totalling 45 calories.
Throw this into your coffees, teas, smoothies, and meals, knowing there are no artificial flavours, ingredients, colours, or highly-refined sugars, chemicals, or fillers. No refrigeration is necessary, so it’s perfect for taking with you to the office or on travels. This creamer is also soy-free, non-GMO, and keto-friendly.
If you like to drink black coffee, this is the most suitable option. Otherwise, look at some of these high-quality syrups to give your coffee additional flavour. If you’re not into a classic coffee flavour with hints of coconut as is offered here, then check out Laird Superfood’s other offerings, including popular creamers with pumpkin spice and vanilla flavouring.
4. Dose & Co Collagen Creamer – For Added Benefits
Milk Type: Coconut milk
- Tasting Notes: Vanilla
- Vegan: No
- Sugar-free: Yes
This non-dairy creamer isn’t just an easy way to add a creamy taste to your morning brew, it’s also a chance to get an extra health boost. Each 20g serving contains 10g of collagen, which helps to maintain strong skin, hair and nails. The powdered formula is free of gluten, soy, GMO ingredients, preservatives and artificial colours.
This coffee creamer doesn’t contain any milk products, but it’s definitely not suitable for vegans. The collagen is bovine-derived, which means it comes from cows. While vegan collagen does exist, it’s a matter of debate as to whether it’s effective.
5. Coffee Mate Hazelnut – Best Flavoured Creamer
Milk Type: Coconut milk, lactose-free milk
- Tasting Notes: Hazelnut
- Vegan: No
- Sugar-free: Both available
While non-dairy creamers can often be a lighter alternative to milk and cream, in some cases they’re just a great way to add fun flavours, sweetener and a creamy texture all in one go – and without the high cafe price tag. Coffee Mate Hazelnut is available in both regular and sugar-free versions, both of which interestingly contain 15 calories per 1 teaspoon serve.
Just like the brand’s best-selling French vanilla flavour, this is not certified as vegan-friendly, but it is suitable for anyone with lactose intolerance. It might not be the healthiest creamer on our list, but it’s great as a treat for days you want to make your coffee a little special.
How To Choose The Right Non-Dairy or Dairy-Free Creamer For Coffee
Choosing the best non-dairy creamers ultimately comes down to personal preference. To discern what that is for you, consider the following factors:
- the milk featured
- the coffee creamer taste
- the suitability for vegan, gluten-free, and/or sugar-free diets
What Type Of Milk Do You Prefer?
Milk alternatives used in dairy-free creamers for coffee come in various flavours, levels of fat content, and suitability for specific diets and lifestyles. Whether you are simply looking for lactose-free milk alternatives due to an allergy or intolerance, sticking to vegan-friendly options, or are after specific health benefits, there are creamers to meet your specific coffee needs. Some common milk types include cow’s milk, cashew milk, soy milk, and a lesser-known rice milk creamer. The specific milk alternatives featured in this guide are almonds, coconut, and oat (2).
Plain, unsweetened milk made with almonds is known for its low caloric content. The amount of added sugar, calcium, carrageenan, and vitamins A and D varies depending on the brand. Naturally, this milk alternative contains a vitamin E antioxidant, but it lacks protein and other nutrients, and it is not advised for those with a tree nut allergy.
Coconut milk has a pleasant tropical flavour as it is derived from coconuts themselves. Packaged coconut milk in cartons is often diluted with water with even less protein than milk made with almonds. However, it is safe for those with tree nut allergies. They are typically fortified with nutrients like minerals and vitamins A, B12, and D. Although they have a higher fat content, they increase helpful (HDL) cholesterol levels with their medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).
Oat milk is sweet, creamy, and contains soluble fibre. This fibre is helpful for your health as it is known to slow down your digestion and keep you satiated for longer. It also aids in stabilizing blood sugar levels and reducing bad (LDL) cholesterol levels.
You may have noticed some of the brands here specifying a deliberate lack of soy in their coffee creamers. Soy milk is the closest type of milk to cow’s milk due to its fortifications and protein content. However, soy is controversial as it has some health benefits, yet it is also grown with genetically modified resistance to the glyphosate herbicide. It is up to your personal preferences to decide whether soy is an ingredient you don’t mind or something to avoid.
What Tasting Notes Are You Looking For?
Besides one original coconut option and one cinnamon-tasting pick, you may have noticed that most of the flavours featured in this guide are vanilla, or french vanilla, to be more precise. This isn’t merely a coincidence. The research conducted by one 2019 study reveals an exciting insight into consumer choice (3).
The most popular flavours [in non-dairy creamers], as with dairy creamers, are the classic ones. Among the consumers of almond milk, 29 percent consume the “Vanilla/French Vanilla” flavour.
About 1 in 3 coffee lovers using the best plant-based creamers still stick to the classics. It seems like the old-school vanilla staple just can’t be beaten by any quantity of new fancy flavours.
There has been so much activity and flavour innovation in the dairy and non-dairy creamer market. Consumers have a plethora of choices, and we wanted to better understand their preferences
Now that you know that vanilla is the most preferred traditional choice, take a look at the beans that make the best coffee to get the most out of your coffee both flavour- and bean-wise if you wish to extend this knowledge beyond the realm of non-dairy coffee creamers.
What Are Your Personal Preferences And Specific Dietary Restrictions?
Whether you are looking for vegan, gluten-free, and/or sugar-free coffee creamers, you are guaranteed to find one that is the best fit for your dietary needs here, in addition to being certifiably non-dairy. From unsweetened to coconut to vanilla flavoured, you will also get the chance to experiment with different powders and liquid creamers to discover which you prefer.
Are You A Vegan?
This guide features the 5 best non-dairy creamers. You may wonder why some of the items on this list are not certifiably vegan-friendly. Non-dairy means no dairy, right? However, if you look closely, some of these products only specify being dairy-free, not non-dairy.
Dairy-free is not the same as non-dairy!
Vegans can have dairy-free products as non-dairy ones only need to have less than 0.5% milk. (4)
Otherwise, we would probably have titled this comprehensive review as the 5 best vegan creamers for coffee. Luckily a couple of items on this list are in fact vegan-inclusive.
Are You Committed To Gluten-Free Options?
Most of the selected picks in this article are gluten-free. Whether you are actively looking to adhere to a gluten-free diet specifically or you just happened to have stumbled across some items from this lifestyle, you have options with the creamers for coffee listed here.
Are You Cutting Back On Sugar?
Three creamers on this list claim to be sugar-free, and each has a tiny, almost indiscernible amount of sugar. To be sure that you are picking up products with no sugar at all, look for labels that specifically say no added sugar, no sugar added, or without added sugar. This will guarantee that the product you are consuming did not ever get any sugar or ingredient with sugar added into its processing or packaging. If you are health-conscious, switch to unsweetened products or drink black coffee instead of relying on creamers.
Home Grounds’ favourite non-dairy coffee creamer for coffee this year is Nestle Coffee Mate.
It offers a rich, smooth, and creamy traditional vanilla flavour that you can’t get elsewhere. Although it is free from lactose, gluten, and cholesterol, it is not certifiably vegan-friendly. Therefore, vegan-diet-adherents should look for labels that specify dairy-free rather than non-dairy. It is purported to be sugar-free, but the genuinely health-conscious should look for no or without labels.
Dose & Co is the healthiest non-dairy creamer in this comprehensive guide. It’s free from sugars and additives, and contains collagen for healthy nails and skin. Laird Superfood is also a healthy choice due to the presence of an ingredient known as Aquamin. This mineral-rich calcified sea alga brings a great variety of helpful minerals for your health with every recommended heaping tablespoon.
Non-dairy creamer is better for you than using heavy cream or half and half in your coffee. However, some creamers, contain vegetable oils, such as high oleic sunflower oil, which are high in both calories and fat despite being seen as healthy oils (5). As with anything, use this type of creamer in moderation. Avoid the ones with lots of trans fat as this increases bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and reduces more helpful (HDL) cholesterol levels (6).
A non-dairy alternative to creamer is healthier than dairy creamers. They lack the dietary cholesterol, hormonally active compounds, and other potentially health-harming elements that are often present in dairy creamers. Non-dairy creamers still, however, typically contain oils, preservatives, and sugars. Check the nutritional labels before purchasing any creamer and look for fewer ingredients that look familiar and wholesome. An even healthier option is to use unsweetened plant-based milk, although it may curdle from the coffee’s heat.
- American Heart Association. (2020, February 3). What’s the Difference Between Sugar Free and No Added Sugar? Retrieved September 16, 2022, from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/difference-between-sugar-free-and-no-added-sugar
- Danahy, A. (2019, November 12). The 7 Healthiest Milk Options. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/healthiest-milk
- Green, M. (2020, February 5). Classic flavors dominate dairy creamers, reveals study. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from https://www.foodingredientsfirst.com/news/classic-flavors-dominate-dairy-creamers-reveals-study.html
- Zanteson, L. (2022, March 18). What’s In Your Non-Dairy Creamer? The Healthiest Dairy-Free Options. Retrieved September 13, 2022, from https://thebeet.com/what-is-non-dairy-creamer-made-of/
- Begum, J. (2021, June 21). Health Benefits of Vegetable Oil. Retrieved September 13, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-of-vegetable-oil
- Med Broadcast. (n.d.). 7 things you need to know about non-dairy coffee creamer. Retrieved September 13, 2022, from https://www.medbroadcast.com/channel/nutrition/food-safety/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-non-dairy-coffee-creamer