While breakfast cereal may not be what it used to be, that doesn’t mean you have to give it up entirely. At one point, we were told that it was smart to start your day off with a bowl of sugary carbs. We know better than that now, but cereal still tastes good — at least, some cereals do. If you want to foray into the world of breakfast cereals, though, there’s one that’s more recognizable than pretty much any other brand out there, and that’s Cheerios.
The original Cheerios are about as simple a cereal as you can find. It’s just little rings of wheat-y goodness. And while they may not be particularly flavorful, the company now has a ton of offshoots in an assortment of different flavors. If you want to give this cereal brand a try, you may be wondering which variety you should get. After all, when there are so many different options to choose from in the cereal aisle at your local grocery store, it can be hard to make the right decision.
No worries, though, because we’re here to help. We’ve ranked the Cheerios flavors from worst to best so you know where you stand the next time you pick up a box. Pick up one of the tastier flavors, and you’re well on your way to a great morning.
22. Pumpkin Spice Cheerios
We all remember the dark days of the intense pumpkin spice trend. It’s still a thing, sure, but there were a few years that companies would go all out creating the most ridiculous pumpkin-spice flavored products. But once the pumpkin spice Pringles became a thing, we knew we could never take this flavor seriously again. And as you can imagine, the pumpkin spice Cheerios are definitely a bottom-of-the-barrel product as well.
As the Cheerios website suggests, this flavor is only available as a limited edition product. That means that you’re much more likely to see it during the winter months when there is a greater demand for pumpkin spice-flavored everything. But we warn you: Don’t buy into the hype. This is the worst Cheerios flavor in our opinion, and we don’t want you to fall victim to this tasty-looking trap. All you’re going to get with this box of cereal is some wheat rings that are less than flavorful with way too much nutmeg in them. You’ve been warned.
21. Very Berry Cheerios
When you wake up first thing in the morning, you have a decision to make. Should you grab something easy but that’s less than healthy? Or do you want to get in a good breakfast with a healthy bowl of fruit on the side? Well, if you choose the very berry Cheerios, you may think you’re getting the best of both worlds, but we’re here to tell you that’s not the case. Though the box says that this cereal is flavored with real fruit, it certainly doesn’t taste that way. It has a distinct and overly fruity taste to it that won’t leave your taste buds until minutes after your last bite.
It also tastes like there’s a lot of sugar in this cereal, and you probably don’t want to be eating it every day. When you think of berries, you probably think of a fruit that’s more tart than sweet. Unfortunately, that’s definitely not what’s coming across with this type of Cheerios. We’d suggest moving on to one of the tastier options — there are plenty of them. This one just isn’t one of them.
20. Peach Cheerios
We don’t know who thought this was a good idea, but it seems pretty obvious to us that peach Cheerios would be a disaster. We love peaches, but when it comes to infusing that flavor into a cereal? It’s not going to be good. This cereal did taste distinctly peachy, but not in a good way. It was almost like leaving a pallet of peaches in the back of your car for a few days in the hot sun. When you come back, your car is going to smell intensely of peaches, but it’s not going to be pleasant. That’s exactly the taste we got when digging into a bowl of this cereal.
If the flavoring had been less strong here, we think that these could have had potential. But alas, that’s not the reality we live in. While they are apparently made with "real peach puree," the box also states that the cereal contains "other natural flavors." That’s certainly not a vote of confidence in our book.
Even if you love peaches, we have to tell you: This cereal isn’t worth it. Just pass it by the next time you’re in the grocery store.
19. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios
Ahh, Reese’s Puffs cereal. It’s one of the best brands out there, and pretty much every kid from the ’90s had a bowl of this stuff from time to time. And if you love that flavor profile, then you may assume that you’re going to get more of the same when you decide to buy the chocolate peanut butter Cheerios. But we’re sorry to inform you that chocolate peanut butter Cheerios don’t even come close to Reese’s Puffs in terms of quality and flavor. Instead of that rich, chocolatey taste, you’re going to be left waiting for the chocolate flavor to arrive — though it never really does. Instead, you’re just going to be overwhelmed by the peanut butter pieces.
Additionally, you might be used to the crunch that comes from Reese’s Puffs. Unfortunately, Cheerios just don’t have the same texture. That may not be a problem with some of the other flavors, but this one is so close to another cereal entirely that we can’t help to compare them. Cheerios definitely soak up the milk faster, so there’s really just no crunch to be had.
There are better chocolate peanut butter cereals out there, so don’t waste your time on this one.
18. Banana Nut Cheerios
Here’s another limited edition one for you — and we hope it won’t keep periodically reappearing, that’s for sure. It’s the banana nut Cheerios, and no, they don’t taste like a good loaf of banana bread, which is what we were hoping for. While the ingredients list does contain real banana puree, that’s not really what these taste like. Instead, they taste like the most artificial banana you could think of. And then, we’re left wondering where the "nut" comes in, as that flavor is completely imperceptible. The cinnamon spice mentioned on the company’s website is there, but it’s not a strong flavor, and it’s definitely not strong enough to cover up the overpowering taste of bananas.
The thing is, it’s really difficult to make a good banana-flavored product that doesn’t contain real, whole pieces of banana. We can’t think of a single banana-flavored product that’s actually craveable or something you would buy on a regular basis. So now you know: Banana nut is not the way to go.
17. Fruity Cheerios
Here’s another Cheerios flavor that just seems like a spin-off of other cereal brands out there. The fruity Cheerios kind of taste like a mix between Fruity Pebbles and Trix — so, in a word, bad. You can taste the fruitiness, but like a lot of other Cheerios flavors we’ve already mentioned, that fruitness tastes more artificial than anything else, despite the "natural flavors." We don’t know exactly what fruits these flavors are supposed to emulate, but it doesn’t translate well. Plus, this stuff tastes really sweet. If you don’t want to start off your day with a big bowl of sugar, we’d recommend thinking again before you buy this variety of Cheerios.
However, this one does come in above some of the other fruity flavors for one reason and one reason alone: its looks. The little O’s come in a variety of pastel colors that are enjoyable to look at, even if they don’t taste particularly good. So, maybe you shouldn’t buy these to eat but instead as an inexpensive crafting supply for your kids.
16. Chocolate Cheerios
We actually don’t hate the chocolate Cheerios you’ll find on grocery store shelves. However, when you compare them to other chocolate cereals — and other types of Cheerios — they just don’t hit the spot. As we’ve mentioned before, Cheerios don’t hold up in milk as well as other cereals out there, like Cocoa Puffs. That means all that chocolatey goodness just leaches into the milk. And it doesn’t even produce that amazing chocolate milk-like flavor you loved as a kid. Rather, it just makes the cereal get all mushy and becomes a mess. That’s probably not what you’re looking for in a chocolate cereal.
But what really makes us grimace when it comes to this cereal is how it’s marketed. The company basically tries to pass it off as something healthy, when really, you’re just eating chocolate-infused carbs brimming with sugar for breakfast. Sure, they may be made with whole-grain oats and contain real cocoa, but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily a smart choice first thing in the morning if you’re going for the healthiest possible breakfast.
15. Multi-Grain Cheerios with Real Strawberries
When it comes to cereals, the multi-grain Cheerios are about as boring as they come. Do they taste bad? No, not really. But that’s mainly because they don’t really taste like anything at all. Not only are they beige, but they also taste beige. And while combining them with real strawberries seems like a good idea in theory, in reality, it’s far from a successful breakfast cereal. That’s why we won’t be purchasing the multi-grain Cheerios with real strawberries anytime soon.
You’ve probably already realized that you’re not going to have fresh-from-the-produce-aisle strawberries in this cereal. They’ve been freeze-dried and added to the mix in what seems like a bit of a mistake. There aren’t enough strawberries to really justify buying this flavor specifically, but at the same time, there are still too many strawberries. They just don’t have the juiciness you’re looking for in real fruit.
Our suggestion? If you really want the good version of this cereal, just buy the normal multi-grain Cheerios and fresh strawberries, and do the dirty work yourself. It’s not that difficult, and the taste is 100% better.
14. Chocolate Strawberry Cheerios
You’ve already heard our stance on the chocolate Cheerios, i.e., they’re not that good. But for some reason, when they’re paired with strawberry Cheerios, that makes them a bit better. Enter the chocolate strawberry Cheerios. It seems like a strange combination, but it’s definitely not the worst flavor of the bunch. Of course, the chocolate is still lackluster, and if you don’t eat it right away, all those soggy pieces are going to make you want to throw the whole bowl down the garbage disposal.
However, when the chocolate is paired with strawberry-flavored Cheerios, they get a little boost. The rich cocoa taste has to compete with the sweet strawberry flavor, and the end result is something a little bit more exciting than the chocolate on its own. Now, would we go out of our way to buy these? Absolutely not — there are much better options that Cheerios offers. However, if we were offered some at someone else’s house, we would finish the bowl gracefully.
These aren’t always available, though, so keep an eye out for them if they sound good to you.
13. Multi-Grain Cheerios
The health benefits may not be significant, but if you’re looking for a slightly healthier breakfast option that you can just pour milk over and be on your way, then Multi-Grain Cheerios may be right for you. Let’s be honest here: You’re still eating a bowl full of sweetened carbs, even if this flavor does happen to be multi-grain. Therefore, you shouldn’t think that this is a quick path to the healthiest breakfast possible. But even if the healthiness factor of this cereal is negligible, the flavor isn’t too bad.
It’s definitely not the most flavorful variety of Cheerios you can find, but it’s generally a pleasant flavor. Most of all, it’s inoffensive. No matter what kind of flavors you typically like, this cereal is probably going to go down easily. It’s the kind of thing you can keep in the pantry that everyone will grab from time to time. That being said, it’s not likely to be anyone’s favorite. Take all of that into consideration before you buy a box of this stuff.
12. Blueberry Cheerios
While some Cheerios flavors are completely expected, that’s definitely not the case when it comes to Blueberry Cheerios. After all, how many blueberry-flavored cereals do you usually find on store shelves? If you’re interested in trying something totally different, this flavor should be one of your go-tos. It’s definitely a lot better than the other berry-flavored monstrosities that you’ll find in the Cheerios line, and for that, we’re grateful. While this flavor does have somewhat of a blueberry hint to it, it’s not particularly noticeable. Again, it doesn’t taste very natural, but it’s not an unpleasant flavor either — definitely nothing so artificial you’ll want to push the whole bowl away.
The best part of this cereal? The color. The flavor might be slightly strange, but the color itself is really appealing. The light blue O’s make you want to dig into a bowl of this stuff and find out for yourself how it really tastes. We don’t think it’s something that most people would want to get all the time, but for an occasional treat, it’s worth a try.
11. Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
We had a difficult time deciding where to place Apple Cinnamon Cheerios on our list. It’s a classic flavor that so many people love, and we admit that these Cheerios are one of the better-tasting flavors of the bunch. But at the same time, we wish that the apple cinnamon flavoring here was just slightly different. That’s because it seems to be super heavy on the apple flavor and too light on the cinnamon. While the end result still tastes good, we think that a few tweaks to the recipe would make this one a lot better.
However, if you still love this flavor, there are some easy ways to make it taste even better. Adding cut-up apples to the cereal adds a different kind of crunch and a lot of freshness to your breakfast. And if you wish the cinnamon flavor were a bit stronger, you can add a dash of it after you pour milk over your Cheerios.
While this may not be a go-to flavor for everyone out there, those who love apple cinnamon-flavored foods in general are going to be fans.
10. Cinnamon Cheerios
While the apple cinnamon Cheerios are pretty good, if we had to choose, we would pick the cinnamon Cheerios instead. Sure, you’re missing that apple flavoring, but we think that’s actually a good thing. There’s no artificial-tasting fruit flavoring, and instead, you get to focus more on the cinnamon. The cinnamon in this cereal definitely tastes stronger than what you’ll find in the apple cinnamon, but we can’t tell if that’s just because the apple is missing. While that cinnamon is more noticeable, that doesn’t mean it’s overwhelming, as some cinnamon-flavored foods can be.
Since this cereal is made with real cinnamon, it has a natural taste that’s simple and delicious. However, it is a bit basic, and we think there are better cinnamon cereals out there, so it doesn’t make it into our top picks (Cinnamon Toast Crunch, anyone?). If you’re looking for something different from your Cheerios but still want that same old beloved shape, this flavor might be a contender.
9. Original Cheerios
Now, we can’t forget about where it all started. Before there were a wide variety of Cheerios flavors to choose from, there was just one option: the original Cheerios. And while this might be the plainest and most basic flavor of them all, we still think they’ve earned this relatively high spot on our list. First of all, you can’t hate on a classic. The first time you ever had Cheerios, this is probably the kind you had, so there’s a familiarity there that gives this cereal an appeal. It also has a plain flavor that you can’t dislike. While you may not be the biggest fan of it, most people aren’t going to find this cereal completely unappealing.
It may not be your top Cheerios flavor, but there’s nothing wrong with starting your day with the original. That neutral cereal taste has just a touch of sweetness to it, so it doesn’t feel like you’re biting into cardboard. Plus, you can feel free to get creative with toppings — who said you couldn’t dress up your plain bowl of cereal with some cut fruit?
8. Maple Cheerios
Want something completely different from your Cheerios-eating experience? If so, then you’re probably going to want to try the maple Cheerios at some point. This is an ideal breakfast if you’re craving pancakes but don’t have the time and energy to actually make them. (And on a weekday, who does?) We were surprised at how pronounced the maple flavor was in this cereal. The recipe contains real maple syrup, and the flavor definitely comes through. As you can expect from most Cheerios flavors, the taste isn’t overwhelmingly strong, but we actually prefer things that way. After all, you can always add more maple syrup if you want a more intense flavor.
While that flavor certainly isn’t overwhelming, this is one of the sweeter flavors of the bunch. While we don’t think it’s too much, it may not be right for those who want something that isn’t too sugary. Overall, this is an exciting flavor that you won’t see from many other cereal brands, so we think all serious Cheerios fans should give it a try.
7. Cheerios Oat Crunch Cinnamon
As we’ve already mentioned, Cheerios are a really basic cereal. The appeal is in its simplicity — if you wanted something more complicated and sophisticated, then you would probably opt for a different type of cereal altogether. However, Cheerios may be trying to change that reputation with their Oat Crunch line. Instead of just getting those classic O’s, these cereals have bits of oat in them as well. Basically, they feel like a mixture between oatmeal and traditional cold cereal. These oats offer a different texture and an extra crunch that you won’t get with the regular stuff, and we’re here for it. That’s why we love the oat crunch cinnamon Cheerios.
It’s got that same cinnamon-y flavor you expect from the regular cinnamon variety, but those oat clusters really take this cereal up a notch. They provide so much texture that you won’t even mind that they’re slightly light on the cinnamon.
6. Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch
Here’s another flavor from the Cheerios line that’s slightly out of the ordinary. If you want something completely novel from the brand, this is the way to go. It’s unlike any of the other options you’ll see here, and it’s actually really, really tasty — especially if you like cereals that tend to be more exciting than your standard Cheerios. It’s the honey nut Cheerios medley crunch, and you have to give it a try the next time you see it in the grocery store aisle.
This cereal starts out with your standard Cheerios, but then there’s a twist. You’ll also find crunchy clusters and crispy flakes in the mix too. Since these cereals have a very different texture, you’ll find that no bite tastes the same. We love all these different varieties of crunchiness coming together to create something special.
Then, to top it all off, this cereal is honey nut-flavored, which, as you’ll see, we think is the best flavor of the bunch. If you’re looking for your traditional Cheerios, these are a no-go, but otherwise, they’re an ideal way to start any morning.
5. Cheerios Oat Crunch Oats ‘n Honey
Here’s another one of the oat crunch flavors, and we think it’s even better than the cinnamon variety. It’s the Cheerios oat crunch oats ‘n honey variety, and even though it sounds simple, it’s one of our absolute favorites. Again, you’ve got that nice combination of normal Cheerios and oats, which have just the right amount of texture difference between them. But what’s really special about these is the flavor. The honey here adds just the right amount of sweetness — way better than the maple Cheerios. The honey is nice and light, so it’s not going to be too overwhelming first thing in the morning, but it also gives you that sweetness you know you love.
This cereal really speaks to the value of simplicity when it comes to a good breakfast. Those who want a great everyday cereal should keep this stocked in their pantry for whenever they want to get their day off to a great start.
4. Frosted Cheerios
If you’ve tried more than one or two Cheerios flavors, you’ve probably had frosted Cheerios at some point in your life. Back in the day when kids ate a ton of sugary cereal first thing in the morning, this variety of Cheerios was popular because of its sweetness. While the original Cheerios do have a touch of sugar that adds some flavor to them, frosted Cheerios really took that sweetness to the next level. The result is a more pronounced sweetness than you’re used to from the original flavor.
While we’re usually not huge fans of cereals that are overly sugary, we don’t think that this one was too over the top. In fact, if you’re looking for a sweeter cereal that isn’t going to make you feel like your teeth are rotting out, this is a great option that actually tastes really amazing. The kids are likely to enjoy this flavor — even if they’re picky eaters. But adults can sneak a bowl too. When you want your breakfast to taste like dessert, frosted Cheerios are the way to go.
3. Toasted Coconut Cheerios
Do you ever wake up in the morning and fantasize that you were actually waking up on a beautiful tropical beach surrounded by sun, sand, and water? Everyone feels like that from time to time, but alas, for most of us, that’s just not the reality. But that doesn’t mean your breakfast can’t make you think of a tropical paradise. That’s where toasted coconut Cheerios come into play. Unfortunately, you’re not going to find pieces of actual coconut in this cereal (but Cheerios innovators, if you’re reading this, maybe give it a try). Rather, the flavor is just inspired by toasted coconut.
That being said, this flavor is really incredible. If you love the taste of coconut, you’re going to fall in love with this stuff. It’s got that fresh but ultimately nutty flavor that will make you want to pour yourself another bowl once you finish with the first one.
2. Cheerios Oat Crunch Almond
When you want the ultimate crunch from your morning cereal, what kind should you buy? Cheerios probably aren’t the first thing to come to mind. But that’s probably because you’re not thinking of Cheerios oat crunch almond. This flavor really is one of the best of the bunch, and that’s because it actually contains slivers of almonds in the cereal. First of all, this is going to give you a boost of protein you need to get through your day feeling your best, so it’s a no-brainer to choose this option. But it’s also about the taste too. Since you get the crunch from the Cheerios themselves, the oats, and the almonds, you’ll find that this is one of the most satisfying flavors of Cheerios you can find.
If you truly want to start your day off right, we think that this is probably the best kind of Cheerios to try. All those almonds are going to help you stay full longer than a normal bowl of cereal would, and it tastes better to boot.
1. Honey Nut Cheerios
Now, we finally get to discuss the best of the best, the magnum opus of the Cheerios line: honey nut Cheerios. Honestly, these are probably more well-known and popular than the original Cheerios, and there’s good reason for that: They taste incredible. Seriously, even if you don’t like cereal, you probably won’t be able to stop yourself from eating just one bowl of this stuff — it’s that good. The honey flavoring adds a lovely touch of sweetness that will keep you going back for more, but it’s much lighter than most other sweet cereals out there.
There’s nothing super wild or innovative about this cereal. Instead, it all comes down to simplicity and flavor. The honey flavoring here is somehow even better than what you’ll find in the medley crunch version of the cereal. And you know that when you stock this stuff in the pantry, pretty much every member of the family is going to want some. There’s a reason this flavor is a classic, and it will forever be our favorite of the Cheerios line.