Best Coconut Milk Brands of 2022

coconut milk brands

Coconut milk is a popular plant-based beverage used in baking, cooking, smoothies and more. Its creamy texture and healthy fat content make it super useful! Yet coconut milk (especially canned) varies wildly in taste and fat content. So my team and I taste-tested all that we could find to bring you the best coconut milk brands to buy and which ones to leave at the store.

We’ve done these tests annually for almond and oat milk, and now we’re adding coconut milk to the list too! The results always surprise us, so I can’t wait to share them with you!

plant milk taste test

How We Tested + Rated Milk

We ranked brands on taste, texture, ingredients (gums, organic or not, types of additives) and the kind of packaging (B-corp, level of recyclability). Some brands had very few ingredients yet got bonus points if they were organic. Many had gums and therefore got better ratings for fewer gums and organic gums.

We only tested unsweetened original versions to make this test as equal as possible. No added sugars or flavors in any of these!

Best Carton Coconut Beverages

We weren’t the biggest fans of the taste of any of the cartons we tried. Yet who drinks a giant glass of straight coconut ‘milk’ anyways? So the taste test didn’t carry as much weight as the ingredients and packaging.

best coconut milk

All Around Winners

  1. Good & Gather Unsweetened Organic Coconut
  2. Vita Coco Coconut Milk Original Unsweetened*
  3. So Delicious Dairy Free Organic Coconut Unsweetened

*Vita Coco was the only brand with limited ingredients (not fortified with vitamins/minerals). They also only had gellan gum, while all the other brands had two or more gums.

Taste Test Winners

  1. Silk Unsweetened Coconut
  2. Good & Gather Unsweetened Organic Coconut
  3. Pacific Foods Organic Coconut Original Unsweetened

Organic Brands

Most of the carton milk brands we tried were organic:

  • Good & Gather Unsweetened Organic Coconut
  • Pacific Foods Organic Coconut Original Unsweetened
  • So Delicious Dairy Free Organic Coconut Unsweetened
  • Vita Coco Coconut Original Organic
  • 365 Organic Unsweetened Coconut Original

coconut milk brands

Best Canned Coconut Milk Brands

Unlike carton milk, full-fat canned had a few gum-free brands (woohoo!). We also found the tastes more appealing overall. If you want/need to up your fat content, use one of these great brands. They are great for super thick smoothies and smoothie bowls and cooking creamy sauces.

Best All Around Full Fat

  1. Thai Kitchen 2 Simple Ingredients Coconut Unsweetened
  2. Field Day Organic Classic Coconut Milk Unsweetened
  3. Thrive Market Organic Coconut Regular

Best Tasting Full Fat

  1. Field Day Organic Classic Coconut Unsweetened
  2. Native Forest Unsweetened Organic Coconut Milk Classic
  3. Thai Kitchen 2 Simple Ingredients Coconut Unsweetened

Organic Full Fat

Half of the full-fat canned milk we tested had organic ingredients. Bonus!

  1. Field Day Organic Classic Coconut Milk Unsweetened
  2. Native Forest Unsweetened Organic Coconut Classic
  3. Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk Unsweetened
  4. Sprouts Organic Coconut Unsweetened
  5. Thrive Market Organic Coconut Milk Regular
  6. Good and Gather Organic Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  7. Native Forest Unsweetened Organic Coconut Simple
  8. Cadia Organic Coconut Milk

best canned light coconut milk

Best All Around Light Canned

  1. Sprouts Organic Lite Coconut Milk Unsweetened
  2. Thai Kitchen 2 Simple Ingredients Lite Coconut Milk Unsweetened
  3. Thrive Market Organic Coconut Lite Milk

Best Tasting Light

  1. Sprouts Lite Coconut Unsweetened Milk
  2. Sprouts Organic Lite Coconut Milk Unsweetened
  3. 365 Organic Light Coconut Milk

Organic Light

Only 2 of the light canned brands weren’t organic. So if that’s important to you, then the below list gives you lots of great options!

  1. Sprouts Organic Lite Coconut Milk Unsweetened
  2. 365 Organic Light Coconut
  3. Field Day Organic Lite Coconut Milk Unsweetened
  4. KaMe Coconut Lite Organic
  5. Thrive Market Organic Coconut Milk Lite
  6. Cadia Organic Light Coconut Milk

dairy free taste test

How to Buy the Best Brand

READ YOUR LABELS. No matter what kind of milk you are buying, look for one with the fewest ingredients, no gums (if possible), and no sulfites (found in a few canned versions we tested). If you want to know your ingredients, read on for a breakdown.

Mueller Juicer Ultra Power, Easy Clean Extractor Press Centrifugal Juicing Machine, Wide 3" Feed Chute for Whole Fruit Vegetable, Anti-drip, High Quality, Large, Silver
Hamilton Beach Juicer Machine, Big Mouth Large 3” Feed Chute for Whole Fruits and Vegetables, Easy to Clean, Centrifugal Extractor, BPA Free, 800W Motor, Black
Omega NC900HDC Juicer Extractor and Nutrition Center Creates Fruit Vegetable and Wheatgrass Juice Quiet Motor Slow Masticating Dual-Stage Extraction with Adjustable Settings, 150-Watt, Metallic
Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer EVO820GM - Higher Nutrients and Vitamins, BPA-Free Components, Easy to Clean, Ultra Efficient 240W, 50RPMs, Includes Smoothie and Blank Strainer-Gun Metal
Cuisinart CJE-500 Compact Juice Extractor Black, 11.5 x 11.8 x 14.2 Inch

Calcium: Calcium Carbonate VS. Tricalcium Phosphate

Many plant beverage manufacturers fortify their milk with calcium because they compete with dairy milk. The two main kinds of calcium added are calcium carbonate and tricalcium phosphate.

They have roughly the same amount of elemental (real) calcium per unit. However, calcium carbonate is more easily digested, as it is more naturally occurring than tricalcium phosphate. Companies choose the more processed, less natural form of calcium, tricalcium phosphate because it’s cheaper. We docked them in our report if they did this.

Sunflower Lecithin

A few of the carton brands have sunflower lecithin. We have lecithin naturally in our bodies. It’s made up of fatty acids. Sunflower lecithin, in particular, is non-GMO, which makes us happy. This supplement is added to food as an emulsifier. It keeps fat and oils from mixing with other substances in our bodies.

There are several health benefits to sunflower lecithin, such as:

  • Improves Heart Health through breaking down fat
  • Lowers Cholesterol
  • Promotes liver health
  • Helps breastfeeding mothers avoid clogged ducts
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves digestion
  • Fights dementia symptoms 

Sulfites

I’m sure you’ve heard this word tossed around the health food arena just like I have. Yet what are sulfites, and why do we run from them?!

The Mayo Clinic explains it as sulfite sensitivity. Sulfites are used in food as a preservative. You’ll often find them in wine, but they were banned from fresh fruit and veggies in the 1980s due to several severe documented reactions. If you don’t have asthma, you will probably not be affected by sulfites. Yet if you have asthma, it’s better to steer clear when you can.

Another reason to check those labels we found sulfites in 2 of the full-fat canned brands we tested: Iberia and Goya.

Gums in Coconut Beverages

Almost every brand we tried had gums of one kind or another in it. Here’s the breakdown to help you understand your gums better:

  • Xanthan Gum (not so good): added to food as a thickener/preservative. It’s created when sugar is fermented by a certain kind of bacteria. It’s an insoluble fiber, so our bodies can’t break it down, therefore it has no real nutritional value. Xanthan gum comes from sugar found in wheat, corn, soy and dairy. You should avoid it if you are allergic to any of these ingredients.
  • Gellan Gum (better): Added to food to thicken, stabilize/texturize. It’s a plant-based alternative to gelatin. Studies are inconclusive so far in determining the safety/benefit vs the risk of adding gellan gum to food. Some studies show that it can reduce constipation, while other studies link it to abnormalities in stomach lining.
  • Locust Bean Gum (better): added to food as a natural thickener. It is made from the seeds of a carob tree. It’s health benefits include lowering blood sugar, high in fiber and able to reduce reflux in infants (added to infant formula). While it is more naturally occurring than the other gums we mentioned, there also isn’t a whole lot of research yet on how good or bad it can be for our bodies to ingest in the long run.
  • Guar Gum (better): added to food as a binder/thickener. It’s made from guar beans and is high in fiber. It may aid in digestion as well as help lower cholesterol and blood sugar. If consumed in high quantities, it can obstruct the esophagus and small bowel, so the FDA has maximum usage levels. Coconut milk is only allowed to have 1% guar gum in it, or up to 2.4 grams per serving.

coconut milk brands taste test

Plant Milk FAQs

What brand of coconut milk is the best?

Per our taste test, the best all-around brand in the carton is Vita Coco Coconut Milk Original Organic. The best in full-fat is Thai Kitchen 2 Simple Ingredients Coconut Milk Unsweetened, and the best in light is Thrive Market Organic Coconut Milk Lite.

Is coconut milk bad for you?

It doesn’t have to be. Look for brands with the fewest ingredients, avoid sulfites (especially if you have asthma), and know that coconut is naturally high in healthy fat.

What coconut milk is best for curry?

I recommend using a full-fat canned version for curry since you want a creamy sauce-like texture. The best all-around full-fat coconut milk is Thai Kitchen 2 Simple Ingredients Coconut Milk Unsweetened. No gums and super creamy!

Recipes that Use Coconut Milk

Now that you’re armed with the best coconut milk brands let’s make something! Most of the recipes below let you choose which type of milk you want. Yet know that using carton milk when the recipe calls for canned will cause you to lose out on a lot of healthy fat + creamy consistency.

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Best Coconut Milk Brands of 2022 – bestjuicerzone.com