14 Best Plant-Based Milks Of 2023

There's no denying it — plant-based milk is the dairy replacement of the future. Over the past few years, traditional cow milk sales have declined with non-dairy alternatives like soy, almond, coconut, and oat milk taking center stage. Sentient Media reports that in 2020 forty percent of U.S. households purchased plant-based dairy. This prominence proves that milk alternatives are more than just a passing trend or reserved for a niche market. In fact, many of these households are opting for these alternatives simply because they prefer the taste.

With this explosive interest, food innovators have stepped into the space to create substitutes so similar to real milk, you have to try to taste the difference. This $3 billion industry — that's billion with a B — continues to grow alongside other animal-based food replacements (via Statista). Maybe you've switched to plant-based milk for environmental, health, or ethical reasons, or maybe it's just more pleasing to your palette. Either way, we've assembled a list of brands leading the non-dairy charge. The astonishing breadth of vegan-friendly options is certain to please herbivores and omnivores alike.

1. Elmurst 1925

For over 90 years, Elmhurst was a family-owned traditional dairy farm. But times (and business models) change, and so did this New York City-based company. In 2016, it abandoned animal-based dairy, devoting its efforts entirely to vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO alternatives. As the newly renamed Elmhurst 1925, owner Henry Schwartz partnered with Cheryl Mitchell, a renowned plant food scientist, to create clean and pure nut-, grain-, and seed-based milk products. 

Thanks to Dr. Mitchell's revolutionary HydroRelease process, the plant-based dairy at Elmhurst retains its inherent nutrition. It also doesn't contain food additives or emulsifiers, providing consumers with milk so smooth and creamy, you may never know it's not dairy. Plus, all of Elmhurst 1925's FSC Certified paperboard cartons are 100% recyclable in most facilities, making this entrepreneurial vegan milk company better for the animals and better for the planet.

Your inner child will rejoice when sipping Elmhurst's chocolate oat milk. Go nuts over almond, cashew, walnut, hazelnut, and pistachio milk — all carrageenan-free. Love to froth milk to upgrade your morning coffee? Elmhurst offers a host of barista blends — plant-based milks specifically formulated to provide the frothy goodness of a latte in the convenience of your own kitchen. If you prefer a flavored creamer, Elmhurst offers caramel macchiato, chai, and French vanilla. However you drink it, Elmhurst 1925's plant-based dairy is certain to hit the spot.

2. Hope and Sesame

With some of the most colorful packaging of all non-dairy milk on supermarket shelves, Hope and Sesame stands out in more than just its marketing efforts. This company is led and managed by women that started as a group of friends with a common goal. The makers use upcycled ingredients — the remnants of sesame oil production — to create tasty, creamy plant-based alternatives to dairy. As the name indicates, sesame seeds are the star of the show. These naturally pest-resistant plants don't require petroleum-based pesticides or herbicides to thrive. They also don't need help from bees or birds to reproduce. Sesame seeds are also drought-tolerant, meaning that they don't need a great deal of water to thrive. Considering that the World Economic Forum says the western United States is experiencing the largest megadrought seen in over 1,200 years, the amount of water your plant-based milk uses can actually make a difference.

If it's nutrition you're after, Hope and Sesame has that covered, too. Rich in calcium and vitamin D, Hope and Sesame's milks contain all nine essential amino acids plus 8g of protein in each serving. Hope and Sesame also offers barista blends for premium frothing as well as delightful chocolate sesame and chocolate hazelnut milks. The company's recyclable Tetra Pak cartons are derived mostly from plant-based, renewable sources, and its plastic PET bottles feature recyclable sleeves. You don't have to sacrifice taste, quality, or ethics when you opt for this delicious and truly sustainable plant-based milk brand.

3. Silk Nextmilk

Prepare to have your mind blown. Silk Nextmilk looks, tastes, and smells like the real deal. It's specially formulated using a proprietary blend of oat milk, coconut milk, and soy protein. Plus, the Colorado company assures consumers that no animals were involved in the making of its smooth and sweet non-dairy drink. For those cautious to embrace plant-based alternatives, Nextmilk just might convert you. Silk president John Starkey tells the Vegconomist, "Some consumers remain skeptical about plant-based food and beverages due to taste and texture, but Silk Nextmilk is on a mission to change that. We deconstructed dairy to create this revolutionary product that delivers the taste and texture we think dairy drinkers will love." 

Like its animal-based predecessors, Nextmilk comes in whole fat and 2% reduced fat varieties and boasts the same six hallmark nutrients that traditional dairy does: vitamins D, A, and B12, plus calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin. With less sugar and fewer calories per cup than cow's milk, Silk Nextmilk is also lactose- and gluten-free with no added carrageenan or artificial flavors or colors. Silk Nextmilk's non-GMO practices have been verified by the Non-GMO Project, letting you rest easy while knowing you're doing your body good — without doing harm to the planet or to animals. That's a win-win-win in our books.

4. Lifeway Oat Milk

Could your choice of milk products actually improve your mental health? According to Live Science, maybe so. That's because of the phenomenon known as the gut-brain axis, which describes the relationship between your central nervous system and your gastrointestinal tract. Lifeway Oat Milk contains 10 live and active probiotics that interact with your gut microbiome and might even have an uplifting effect on your mental state. You'll often find these probiotics in dairy products like kefir and skyr, but Lifeway stands out as an organic oat drink that also features these helpful cultures.

With six lip-smacking flavors — blueberry maple, berries and cream, peaches and cream, strawberry vanilla, vanilla, and plain — you're sure to find a delicious and healthy option for every palate. The texture of Lifeway Oat is thicker and more viscous than other oat milk varieties, making it ideal for sipping on its own or as an alternative to flavored coffee creamer. Free from gums, stabilizers, oils, and artificial ingredients, and rich in heart-healthy fiber, Lifeway Oat Milk packs the plant-based probiotic punch you've been looking for.

5. Golden Wing Barley Milk

Leave it to an all-American beer company to make delectable plant-based milk. Meet Golden Wing Barley Milk, a non-dairy beverage from Coors. This vegan-friendly beverage is made from non-GMO barley. These grains get their signature taste from being grown high in the peaks of the Rocky Mountains. Golden Wing has less sugar, more calcium, and twice the vitamin D of the average cup of 2% dairy milk. If barley and mushrooms don't sound like, well, anything that belongs in your breakfast cereal, you'd be mistaken. The delicate balance of Golden Milk's five ingredients gives it an utterly unique sweet-meets-savory taste. Fans of malt milkshakes may immediately recognize Golden Wing's irresistible combination of flavors including caramel, nuts, and grains.

By helping farmers reduce their overall water usage and future-proofing their crops, Golden Wing takes sustainability seriously. The company makes sure that both barley farmers and the folks who like to drink it in all its forms can enjoy this American grain long into the future. Golden Wing's hearty texture and singular taste work well in vegan cinnamon rolls or your favorite latte, cappuccino, or macchiato. Cheers!

6. Notmilk

Many people believe that technology will solve the climate crisis. Notmilk aims to make that belief a reality. The genius behind this Certified B Corp is Giuseppi. But Giuseppi isn't one of the human founders of Notmilk's parent company NotCo. Giuseppi is an artificial intelligence program with an encyclopedic knowledge of over 300,000 edible plants. It uses this knowledge base to efficiently recreate the flavor and texture that consumers expect from animal products. The proof is in the pudding... er, carton. Notmilk offers whole and 2% varieties that cook, froth, and pour like cow's milk. 

Because Giuseppi understands food on a molecular level, it can identify plant-based alternatives that trick your tongue (and therefore your brain) into thinking you're consuming dairy. That's why Notmilk is sweetened with pineapple and cabbage juice concentrates. "The combination of these ingredients together generates lactones that are similar to what milk has," NotCo's Founder and CEO Matias Muchnick tells Well + Good. But it's Notmilk, and that's a good thing.

7. JOI

JOI has introduced a line of sustainable, filler-free, condensed plant milks that you add your own water to formulate. These let you customize your non-dairy alternatives exactly to your liking. Even better, JOI comes in reusable glass containers or pouches made from post-consumer recycled materials, reducing waste. JOI's shelf-stable plant milk concentrates don't require refrigeration, and because you make JOI on an as-needed basis, you'll know your vegan milk is fresh. Considering the FDA estimates that around 133 billion pounds of food are wasted every year, the less you toss out the better. By mixing up just the right amount you need at the moment, you can avoid throwing away outdated non-dairy milk. Plus, it's shelf stable meaning it's perfect to take along on trips when you might not have access to milk alternatives. 

Whether you use the product as an at-home staple or a nifty travel hack, there are plenty of options to choose from. Choose from oat, almond, and cashew milk (with organic nut and bulk size options available) and hazelnut creamer. You can even use JOI's concentrates to make plant-based ice cream. What's not to "enjoi" about that?

8. Bored Cow

Holy cow, vegans. Bored Cow makes completely animal-free milk using real milk protein. How is that even possible? The fermentation process has enabled food scientists to create a molecule identical to whey protein. This process eliminates the need for cow's milk and uses microflora to make the vegan alternative. (Fair warning to those with dairy allergies: Because Beyond Cow is molecularly identical to cow's milk, this plant-based alternative can cause allergic reactions.) The result is a cleaner, greener, kinder dairy with the same vitamins and minerals you'd find in traditional milk.

Bored Cow's delightful post-modern comics make drinking this non-dairy beverage not just yummy but fun, too. Get to know the cute cow mascots, each of whom has an associated flavor — vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. The founders of Bored Cow believe that cows should be able to do whatever they want, including stargazing, songwriting, and skateboarding. Okay, so maybe that's only true on Bored Cow's fanciful website, but this cruelty-free world is fun to envision, especially while sipping some antibiotic-free milk. Slurp!

9. Califia Farms

One of the biggest players in the non-dairy beverage game, Califia Farms offers an array of plant-based dairy alternatives. This includes milks, creamers, and barista blends so good you'll want to tip yourself after making your coffee. Plus, this California company features the only hemp milk on our list. Miss the fluffy goodness of Reddi-Wip? Try Califia Farms' heavy whipping cream substitute for a homemade vegan option. Gave up eggs but long for a creamy winter drink? Check out Califia Farms' holiday nog. Califia Farms also recently introduced a new line of organic plant-based milks with just three simple ingredients and no gums or oils. With a variety of ready-made coffee drinks and seasonal flavors like peppermint mocha almond creamer, there's something for everyone at Califia Farms.

Califia Farms' plant-based milks contain healthy fats, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals that give you the nutrition you need while emitting far less carbon than traditional dairy. With so many versatile and delicious animal-free options available, Califia Farms products just might entice and encourage folks to choose more sustainable foods.

10. Mylk

Myracle Kitchen's Mylk is an organic, plant-based dairy alternative that contains no preservatives or artificial additives. Created in collaboration with international celebrity barista James Hoffmann, Mylk was designed with coffee lovers in mind. Professionals and amateurs alike rave about Mylk's silky smooth texture and its ability to form a tightly packed and lasting microfoam — two qualities necessary for creating amazing latte art. But Mylk is more than just a tool for coffee artists. It's also a mission-based Certified B Corp focused on the health of people and the planet. Among its other climate-friendly efforts, Mylk donates to regenerative farming efforts and offsets 100% of its carbon emissions by supporting wind farms.

The delicious and distinctive taste of Mylk comes from a combination of oats, coconut, fava bean protein, and nutritional yeast (also called nooch in vegan circles). Try Mylk's barista, semi-skimmed, and whole milk varieties. Or indulge in the company's dairy-free, organic, plant-based milkshakes. With drool-worthy flavors including chocolate, chocolate hazelnut, coffee, and banana, you won't need to ask "y" cows weren't involved.

11. So Delicious Wondermilk

You might find yourself doing a double-take when sipping on So Delicious's newest non-dairy creation, Wondermilk. An OG in the plant-based milk world, So Delicious combined its gluten-free oat milk and sustainably sourced coconut milk to create this blend. The result is a tasty treat that's both vegan and certified organic. It's so similar to dairy, you'll wonder why you ever drank milk from cows. As a Certified B Corp, So Delicious uses FSC-certified paperboard in its half-gallon and shelf-stable packaging. The company's goal is to make all of its packaging recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025. 

Rich in vitamins A, D, and B12, Wondermilk comes in both reduced fat and whole fat varieties. With its creamy texture and decadent flavor, there's no wrong way to enjoy this plant-based beverage. Wondermilk even has its own dessert line featuring five flavors of ice cream and two tasty sundae cones in the nostalgic flavors of salted caramel and vanilla peanut. Indulge your sweet tooth and rest assured you're doing right by the animals and the planet. That's the wonder of Wondermilk.

12. Ripple

Ripple's creamy and nutritious plant-based milk is made without dairy, soy, or nuts. So what's behind this allergy-friend, non-GMO milk alternative? Cholesterol-free yellow peas. Many plant-based milks have scant levels of protein, but the peas in Ripple provide 8g per serving. The unsweetened original Ripple milk has zero sugar, 50% more calcium than 2% cow's milk, plus vitamin D and 32mg of Omega-3s. Ripple also contains nearly nine times less saturated fat than either traditional dairy or coconut milk. But Ripple doesn't stop there. With six fabulous flavors of plant-based milk, Ripple provides plenty of opportunities to mix it up a bit. 

Ripple even has a plant-based milk specially formulated for children. Developed with pediatricians, Ripple Kids features an impressive 50mg of Omega-3s to promote healthy brain development, plus choline and prebiotic fiber to nourish growing bodies. The company believes that sustainable living can create a ripple effect to create a happier and healthier world — for kids, adults, and animals alike.

13. Milkadamia

Soft, creamy, buttery macadamia nuts are the heroes of Mikadamia plant milks, non-dairy drinks from Jindilli Beverages. The beverage was born on the east coast of Australia, where the lush climate makes an awesome growing spot for macadamia nuts. The company's name was even inspired by the indigenous Australian word for macadamias. This connection to native traditions and appreciation for Mother Earth is part and parcel of Milkamadia's business practices. The founders believe that the power of community and plant-based dairy can help save the shared planet we all love and live on.

In addition to Milkadamia's macadamia nut oils and buttery spreads, the company's non-GMO plant-based milk stands out in a crowd of dairy alternatives. These gluten-free and vegan milks bring a bright, light touch of creaminess to your favorite recipes. Milkadamia's unsweetened barista blend foams and steams so beautifully, you'll be singing, "latte da!" with every sip. The plant-based deliciousness of Milkadamia truly embodies the company's motto: moo is moot.

14. MALK Organics

MALK Organics is a no-nonsense almond and oat milk company. No fillers, no preservatives — just clean, simple, certified organic ingredients that make a sweet and satisfying drink. Created by a mom searching for an allergen-free option for her son, MALK is dedicated to transparency and encourages consumers to #turnitaround. The bottle, that is. MALK makes its labels easy to read so consumers know exactly what they're consuming. In fact, when customers asked MALK to ditch the vaguely named "organic natural flavors," the Texas-based company did just that. In 2022, MALK relaunched its vanilla almond and oat varieties using organic vanilla extract made from real vanilla beans. This goes to prove that when you drink MALK, you can trust the company to provide what it promises.

Use MALK in your next smoothie, pudding, or even vegan egg nog. When you incorporate MALK into your kitchen, you can relax knowing you're drinking a high-quality, transparently-labeled, dairy alternative. Just what Mom would want.