Breakfast Staple: 25 Cereals, Officially Ranked From Worst To Best

Some people like a piece of toast for breakfast. Some people prefer an egg sandwich. Some weirdos want a bowl of instant oatmeal for some reason. However, we all know that there's really only one breakfast food that everyone agrees is perfect: cereal. Come on, what could be more enticing to anyone than filling a big bowl with your favorite cereal, pouring some milk over top of it, and just chowing right down? The other great thing about cereal is that you can literally have it any time of day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, whatever! Cereal is the best! One of the greatest realizations you can come to as an adult is that you can now buy whatever cereal you want. Do you want something healthy? Go for it! Something full of chocolate and marshmallows? Why not?! Enjoy cereal in any way you want!

With so many different kinds of cereal out there, it's sometimes hard to parse out which one's going to be good. After all, the cereal you had as a kid might not hold up to your adult palate. You might think that the sweet cereals of yesteryear are going to be just as good, but instead, you find that they're flavorless, boring, and in fact, not fun at all. We here at TheRecipe have put together our definitive ranking of 25 famous breakfast cereals. Some of you may disagree, and to be fair, there's some personal opinion going into this list. However, we feel that we have hit many of the right notes when it comes to deciding which cereal is best. So grab a bowl, get a spoon, and makes sure you have milk in the fridge because we have a whole bunch of cereals to go through!

25 Life

via quakeroats.com

Life is the worst. Not life in general, just Life cereal. This poor excuse for a breakfast item is possibly one of the most disappointing ways to start your day. Not only is this cereal so delicate that it gets soggy within a millisecond of touching even one milk molecule, but the flavor is just so lame. Sure, you could add some bananas or some strawberries, but cereal should be able to stand on its own. Life is devoid of texture and interesting flavor, and that's why it sits at the very bottom of this list.

24 Cheerios

via blog.generalmills.com

How could a cereal with "cheer" in the name be so flavorless and sad? Cheerios may be the perfect cereal to feed to your toddler, but if you're still eating them as an adult, then we're sorry to say that you probably aren't the most interesting person. Cheerios lack even the slightest hint of sweetness, owing to the fact that they're supposed to be a healthy choice. Come on, though... If you wanted to be healthy for real, you wouldn't be eating cereal at all, would you?

23 Corn Flakes

via wikipedia.org

Corn Flakes have a lot of practical purposes in the kitchen. For one thing, they're a great way to make a super crispy coating for chicken fingers. However, we're not ranking these cereals based on their ability to be other things. We're ranking them by how much you'd actually want to eat a bowl of them with some milk. By that metric, Corn Flakes are pretty underwhelming. Sure, the flavor is inoffensive, but so what? There's nothing else to them, which leaves them low on the list.

22 Chex

via amazon.com

Since when has anyone ever bought a box of Chex with the intention of eating it for breakfast? This cereal is known more for the mix that shares its name. While a bowl of Chex mix is nice to see at a party, again, we're not here to judge cereal by its other applications. Chex ranks slightly higher than Corn Flakes due to its ability to hold onto milk, so you don't have a whole bunch of leftover cereal sauce in your bowl. Other than that, they're pretty boring. Next!

21 Golden Crisp

via walmart.com

Just so you don't think that cereals are getting a low ranking based on the fact that they aren't sugary enough, let us reassure you that Golden Crisp (formerly known as "Sugar Crisp" before sugar became public enemy number one at breakfast) is a truly awful cereal. There's just something so off-putting about the texture of puffed wheat. It doesn't even start out crispy, and the sugar coating does nothing to mask the overly grainy flavor. Turns out you can get enough of that Golden Crisp.

20 Raisin Bran

via amazon.com

Full disclosure: I like Raisin Bran, but when it comes to the name brand stuff, there's been a severe dip in quality. The last time I bought a box of Raisin Bran, there were definitely fewer than two scoops of raisin in there. That, or the scoops Kellogg's is referring to are comically tiny. Either way, the fact of the matter is that the bran flakes in Raisin Bran have very little flavor or texture, and the lack of raisins definitely just adds to the problem. If you can, find yourself the store brand version of Raisin Bran. I guarantee that it's much better.

19 Lucky Charms

via deseretnews.com

Lucky Charms still seem to maintain the same level of popularity they always have. However, we're here to challenge the notion that Lucky Charms are any good. As far as the classic sugary cereals go, Lucky Charms falls way down on the list for not supporting its sweet and fun marshmallow pieces with an equally tasty cereal part. Once you run out of marshmallows, all the magic is gone from this cereal. And trust us—you always run out of marshmallows.

18 Corn Pops

via ebay.com

Back in the day, it seemed like everybody had to have their pops. Now, though, Corn Pops just seems like the product of a bygone era. To be fair to them, they do stay relatively crisp in milk, and their coating provides a nice, light sweetness to the pops, which do indeed have a distinctly cornbread-like flavor. However, they're just not that amazing at the end of the day. That may be why they don't seem to be part of the cereal discussion anymore.

17 Honeycomb

via youtube.com

Honeycomb big? Yeah, yeah, yeah! Are they good? Kind of, kind of, kind of. Honeycomb was first marketed as being a cereal with big pieces, rather than flakes or puffs or pops. They used to have a distinctly sweet flavor to them and actually held their shape and texture very well in a bowl with milk. However, ever since the formula for Honeycomb changed, there's been a distinct dip in quality. They still stand high in the list for the sheer size of those pieces, though.

16 Rice Krispies

via walmart.ca

Snap, crackle, pop! Those are the sounds of a halfway decent cereal. Yes, you can use them to make probably one of the best non-baked baked goods out there, but let's just focus on Rice Krispies as a cereal to start your day. They have just the right amount of sweetness; plus, they give the milk a very distinct flavor, making it highly drinkable once all the cereal is gone. We'll even go ahead and say that Rice Krispies are one of the only cereals that are still good even if they're a bit soggy.

15 Special K

via walmart.com

Special K ranks just slightly higher than Rice Krispies due to the fact that it's somehow much more filling than the former. There really isn't too much difference in the structure of Rice Krispies and Special K, except for the fact that Special K pieces appear to be slightly flatter, allowing them to hold onto little pools of milk in your spoon. As we said before, though, Special K just has something to it that seems to fill you up more than any other cereal. That must be why it's so special.

14 Cocoa Puffs

via youtube.com

Now, we move into the realm of chocolate cereals, starting with probably the most famous one of all: Cocoa Puffs. You know, it was the cereal that people went coo-coo for! These dark-brown, chocolatey puffs of sugar were basically the one cereal that every kid wanted at all times. They had the added benefit of turning your milk into chocolate milk, giving you an extra treat once the cereal had all been eaten up. This was one of those cereals that parents basically knew they could never buy for kids. But here's a tip: adults can eat whatever cereal they want!

13 Count Chocula

via eater.com

Ah, Count Chocula. Truly, there was no cereal more coveted than this absolute sugar blast. Not only did this cereal have chocolate pieces, but it also came with marshmallows strewn throughout it. If you could convince your parents to buy this cereal for you, you were a luckier kid than most. Of course, there were two offshoots: Frankenberry and Booberry, which did the same thing but with fruit-flavored cereal. However, they could never live up to the high standards set by The Count.

12 Trix

via fox8.com

Trix may ostensibly be for kids, but there's no reason you can't enjoy them as an adult. There was something really magical about Trix, and it may have been that the fruit-flavored cereal was actually shaped like fruit, which made it more fun to eat. However, Trix was eventually converted to just being boring, multi-colored pops. The story doesn't end there, though. After consumer outcries, General Mills released Classic Trix, with the same fruit shapes that everyone loved! Trix takes this spot simply for the sense of fun it inspired.

11 Froot Loops

via wholesalesuppliesplus.com

Froot Loops is going to be ranked just slightly higher than Trix due to the fact that the pieces were just a bit bigger and had a nicer texture. they didn't get quite as soggy as fast as Trix would, and they had the added benefit of making one of the best cereal milks of any brand of cereal. Here's the dirty secret of Froot Loops, though: every loop, no matter what color it was, was the same flavor as all the other ones. That's fine, though, as Froot Loops have a much brighter, almost citrusy flavor that most other fruit flavored cereals are lacking.

10 Apple Jacks

via myrecipes.com

Apple Jacks are famously not supposed to taste like apples. At least, that was what the old commercials used to say. However, this seems disingenuous, and like it's selling the cereal itself rather short. Apple Jacks do, in fact, have a distinctly apple-like flavor to them, which is complemented by the addition of cinnamon to really round out the overall taste. Apple Jacks probably don't get enough credit, but they really did set the bar for other fruit-flavored cereals, which is why they're the brand that kicks off the top ten!

9 Frosted Mini-Wheats

via wikipedia.org

Hear us out: Frosted Mini-Wheats are a ridiculously good cereal. Yes, they had that truly annoying commercial jingle for a while there, and that might've been enough to put anyone off of them forever. However, if you stopped eating Mini-Wheats for that reason, then you're really missing out. Mini-Wheats are hearty, just the right amount of sweet, and actually maintain their texture very well in milk. They also, apparently, are really amazing if you have them with milk that's been heated up, which does sound like a nice way to start a winter day.

8 Honey Nut Cheerios

via amazon.com

Honey Nut Cheerios are the cool cousin to regular Cheerios. They're practically a perfect breakfast cereal, combining the healthier aspects of Cheerios with the sweetness of honey and the added flavor of almonds. These Cheerios are perfect in a bowl with milk or just on their own when you need something to munch on. They're not as intense as some of the other sugary cereals, which meant your parents would probably buy them for you when you were a kid. Also, Honey Nut Cheerio milk is one of the best things ever.

7 Golden Grahams

via amazon.com

Golden Grahams don't get quite enough love, in our opinion. This cereal basically takes the best things about graham crackers and turns it into a cereal. The flakes themselves have a nice texture and hold onto milk very well due to their ridges. They also, surprisingly, don't lose a lot of their sweetness to the milk, managing to stay just as tasty, even when fully saturated. Golden Grahams are a great option when you feel like breaking out of the typical cereal mold but still want something nice and sweet.

6 Honey Bunches of Oats

via walmart.com

Honey Bunches of Oats are kind of like what you'd get if you mixed two kinds of cereal together, somehow creating something that's greater than the sum of its parts. This cereal comes in all kinds of flavors, but just the original honey flavor still stands as the best, mostly for its uncomplicated flavor and blend of textures. The flakes themselves stay fairly crisp in milk, and the chunks of granola remain satisfying even when fully saturated with milk. This cereal is a definite winner.

5 Reese's Puffs

via wikipedia.org

Reese's Puffs is the king of chocolate cereals. Why? Because it's never tried to dance around what it is. It even marketed itself as "candy for breakfast." You can't get much more upfront about your sugar content than that. On top of its honesty, Reese's Puffs were just totally delicious, combining the perfect levels of chocolate and peanut butter flavor into one amazing cereal that could literally be eaten by the boxful. Out of all the brands that kids pined for, Reese's Puffs stands as the king of chocolate cereals.

4 Cap'n Crunch

via walgreens.com

It's Cap'n, not Captain! Cap'n Crunch is one of those cereals that are practically perfect in every way. The texture of the puffs is firm and... well... crunchy. The sugary coating isn't overbearing, and this is the cereal that, more so than any other kind, famously stayed crispy in milk. Cap'n Crunch has been found to be a great coating for chicken fingers as well, but when it comes to just being a cereal, it really does stand on its own. In fact, the only thing that could be better would be...

3 Crunch Berries

via thedashdeal.com

Well, of course, Crunch Berries are going to have a leg up on just regular old Cap'N Crunch. It has berries in it! Okay, not real berries, but these little colorful fruit-flavored puffs really accented the old flavor of Cap'n Crunch perfectly. They became so popular that an all-berry version was sold as well. However, for our money, having the two kinds of cereal intermingling creates a much nicer flavor profile, and neither flavor overpowers the other. You also get a decent number of berry pieces, so you don't have to dig around to find them.

2 Frosted Flakes

via boxed.com

Just like Honey Nut Cheerios are the cool version of regular Cheerios, Frosted Flakes are the cool version of Corn Flakes. They provide the perfect blend of sweetness and corn flake flavor, creating a cereal that really does leave you wanting more every time. While some people complain that the frosting melts off of the flakes too fast, they're missing the point entirely. The sugar just blends in with the milk, keeping all that sweet flavor right there in your bowl. Tony the Tiger is right—Frosted Flakes are great! The only cereal that's better and therefore takes the number one spot is...

1 Cinnamon Toast Crunch

via myrecipes.com

Come on... how could the top spot on this list go to anything else? Cinnamon Toast Crunch is by far the best breakfast cereal out there. Not only is it delicious any time of day, but it's also the only cereal where you can actually see the flavor, as each piece is coated in intricate cinnamon swirls. Sure, like Frosted Flakes, the sweet cinnamon coating usually just comes off of the cereal, but it blends into the milk in such a special way that it creates by far the best cereal milk out there. Cinnamon Toast Crunch takes the top spot for its flavor, texture, and overall appeal to both kids and adults.

More in À la Carte