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The Best Hot Cereal - 2021

Last updated on January 27, 2021

We looked at the top 13 Hot Cereals and dug through the reviews from 31 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Hot Cereals.

Best Hot Cereal

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Our Picks For The Top Hot Cereals

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Best Overall

Cream Of Wheat Bananas & Cream Instant Hot Cereal

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Cream Of Wheat

Bananas & Cream Instant Hot Cereal

Overall Take

Single-Serve PacketsYou're sure to enjoy the sweetness of this hot cereal, which has a creamy banana flavor.

Experts Included
DWYM Food Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  Best for Families

Cream of Rice Gluten Free Hot Cereal, 2-Pack

Cream of Rice

Gluten Free Hot Cereal

Overall Take

Most EconomicalSince this hot cereal comes in at a low cost per ounce, you'll be able to feed your family on a budget.

Experts Included
DWYM Food Experts plus A Web To Know, Baby Gear Spot, The Nibble. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" While there are other viable varieties to go with, rice remains to be the most recommended cereal for infants because besides being easy to mix with other foods, it is very easy on tiny bellies and also has 2 of..."
Cons
"Given that this has such a short ingredient list and doesn’t include any salt or sugar, it doesn’t taste like much."
  Ready In 90 Seconds

HMR Multigrain Hot Cereal, 18-Pack

HMR

Multigrain Hot Cereal

Overall Take

Quick to PrepareIt takes just 90 seconds to get this hot cereal prepped and ready to eat.

Experts Included
DWYM Food Experts plus Fooducate. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Nice! 100% whole grain. This product is minimally processed. Yippee - No added sweeteners! Naturally high in calcium. A very good natural source of iron."
  High in Fiber

Wheatena Toasted Wheat Hot Cereal

Wheatena

Toasted Wheat Hot Cereal

Overall Take

Great Source of ProteinThis option can be used in a wide variety of recipes, as well as being a tasty breakfast option.

Experts Included
DWYM Food Experts plus Fooducate, The New York Times, The Healthy, The Nibble. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Less than 1.5 tsp of sugar. Nice! This product is minimally processed. A good natural source of iron. A top product in its category."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
20

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the hot cereals available to purchase.
13

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

31

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: HempNews Reviews, No Place Called Home, Cooking Light, Fooducate, NEAROF!.

11,008

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 13 Hot Cereals and also dug through the reviews from 31 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Hot Cereals.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Cream Of Wheat Bananas & Cream Instant Hot Cereal

User Summarized Score

8.8
650 user reviews

Our Take

When you're pressed for time, this hot cereal provides a delicious and nutritious meal in minutes. The box includes 10 individual packets the can be mixed with either hot water or warm milk. The cereal is rich in iron, vitamin D and calcium.


The Best Bang For Your Buck

HMR Multigrain Hot Cereal, 18-Pack

Our Expert Score

8.4
1 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.4
124 user reviews

Our Take

If you're searching for a nutritious breakfast that is full of fiber to keep you feeling full longer, this hot cereal is an excellent choice. It's made up of several grains and mixed with cranberries, currants and apples for flavor. Portion control is also a cinch, as this hot cereal comes in single-serve packets.

What other experts liked

Nice! 100% whole grain. This product is minimally processed. Yippee - No added sweeteners! Naturally high in calcium. A very good natural source of iron.
- Fooducate

What other experts didn't like

Keto: net carbs 35g. If you are following a ketogenic diet (keto), you need to restrict your daily carbohydrate intake so that your body enters ketosis.
- Fooducate

Overall Product Rankings

Cream Of Wheat Bananas & Cream Instant Hot Cereal

1. Cream Of Wheat Bananas & Cream Instant Hot Cereal

Overall Score: 9.8
Reviews Included: 1

Cream of Rice Gluten Free Hot Cereal, 2-Pack

2. Cream of Rice Gluten Free Hot Cereal, 2-Pack

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 4

HMR Multigrain Hot Cereal, 18-Pack

3. HMR Multigrain Hot Cereal, 18-Pack

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 3

Wheatena Toasted Wheat Hot Cereal

4. Wheatena Toasted Wheat Hot Cereal

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 5

Ralston 100% Whole Wheat Hot Cereal, 3-Pack

5. Ralston 100% Whole Wheat Hot Cereal, 3-Pack

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 5

HighKey Keto Instant Hot Cereal

6. HighKey Keto Instant Hot Cereal

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 1

Malt-O-Meal Original Wheat Hot Cereal, 3-Pack

7. Malt-O-Meal Original Wheat Hot Cereal, 3-Pack

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 5

Quaker Instant Oatmeal Variety Pack Hot Cereal

8. Quaker Instant Oatmeal Variety Pack Hot Cereal

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 5

Quaker Quick Steel Cut Variety Hot Cereal

9. Quaker Quick Steel Cut Variety Hot Cereal

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 4

Krusteaz Whole Wheat Zoom Quick Hot Cereal

10. Krusteaz Whole Wheat Zoom Quick Hot Cereal

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 3

Red River Hot Cereal

11. Red River Hot Cereal

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 5

Bob’s Red Mill Organic Brown Rice Hot Cereal

12. Bob’s Red Mill Organic Brown Rice Hot Cereal

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 4

Quaker Instant Variety Oatmeal Express Cups Hot Cereal

13. Quaker Instant Variety Oatmeal Express Cups Hot Cereal

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 4

Our Hot Cereal Findings


Cream Of Wheat Bananas & Cream Instant Hot Cereal

What We Liked: When you’re pressed for time, this hot cereal provides a delicious and nutritious meal in minutes. The box includes 10 individual packets the can be mixed with either hot water or warm milk. The cereal is rich in iron, vitamin D and calcium.


Cream of Rice Gluten Free Hot Cereal, 2-Pack

Best for Families

What We Liked: Increase your iron levels with this hot cereal. It’s free of any artificial colors and flavors and tastes great with a wide variety of toppings, including strawberries, bananas and maple syrup. It also cooks in just 30 minutes, so you can get a quick start to your day.


HMR Multigrain Hot Cereal, 18-Pack

What We Liked: If you’re searching for a nutritious breakfast that is full of fiber to keep you feeling full longer, this hot cereal is an excellent choice. It’s made up of several grains and mixed with cranberries, currants and apples for flavor. Portion control is also a cinch, as this hot cereal comes in single-serve packets.


Wheatena Toasted Wheat Hot Cereal

What We Liked: You’ll love that this option contains 25% more fiber than other similar cereals. Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system and it also lowers a person’s cholesterol. This cereal is a non-GMO product and free of salt and trans fat.


Ralston 100% Whole Wheat Hot Cereal, 3-Pack

100% Milled Wheat

Ralston Hot Cereal - 20 oz(3 pack)

New From: $22.99 ($0.38 / Ounce) In Stock

What We Liked: You won’t find any sugar, sodium or saturated fats in a bowl of this hot cereal. In fact, the only ingredient is 100% milled wheat, which means you won’t find any preservatives or artificial ingredients either. With the help of a microwave, you can have a hot bowl of cereal ready in just two minutes!

Our Hot Cereal Buying Guide

Breakfast has long been considered the most important meal of the day. WebMD reports that a nutritious breakfast not only gives you energy, but it also boosts your metabolism so that you can properly burn calories throughout the rest of the day. If you don’t have time to prepare a plate of bacon and eggs, but don’t want to resort to cold sugary cereals, you can make a bowl of hot cereal in just a few minutes.

When shopping for the best hot cereal, you need to consider your diet. For example, if you’re sensitive to gluten, you’re going to want a cereal made using gluten-free brown rice. There are also cereals made using 100% all-natural toasted whole wheat that is free of GMOs.

Next, you’ll want to check the nutrition label. There are hot cereals that contain 25% more fiber, as well as some that have added iron. Many are high in calcium and folic acid as well. You also want to make sure they are low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

It’s important to note that instant hot cereal packets often have sugar in them. Look for a lower-sugar version if you have to limit your daily sugar intake. It’s also a good idea to go with a hot cereal that is free of artificial preservatives, sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup.

DWYM Fun Fact

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary lists porridge as grains cooked in either water or milk until they become soft and thick. This is essentially what we refer to today as hot cereal. The dish has been around close to the beginning of time, although not all cultures used the same grains to make it. For example, Asian countries make their porridge out of rice grains, while the Scottish people use oats. Here in the United States, we have a choice of hot cereals. We can buy porridge made from rice, wheat or oats.

The Hot Cereal Tips and Advice

  • Always follow the cooking instructions listed on the hot cereal’s product packaging. Typically, you’ll need to pour the recommended amount of cereal and water in a pot and bring it to a boil. The addition of salt is always optional. Once the mixture is boiling, you’ll want to lower the heat and stir constantly to avoid the formation of clumps. After the recommended amount of cooking time, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit until the cereal has thickened. If you prefer to prepare the hot cereal in the microwave, combine the cereal and water in a microwave-safe dish and cook for the designated amount of time listed on the hot cereal box. Again, you’ll need to wait a few minutes for the cereal to thicken.
  • When it comes to flavoring your hot cereal, there are an endless amount of possibilities. You can mix in a little brown sugar, vanilla extract or maple syrup. Perhaps you’d like to top your hot cereal with banana slices, a handful of blueberries or some coconut flakes?
  • It’s important to note that the FDA doesn’t regulate any health claims made by the companies that produce hot cereal.
  • To compare hot cereal prices, you must first determine how much the company is charging per ounce. The Cream of Rice Gluten Free Hot Cereal and the Wheatena Toasted Wheat Hot Cereal are the most affordable. Moderately priced is the Cream Of Wheat Bananas & Cream Instant Hot Cereal with the HMR Multigrain Hot Cereal coming in at the highest price per ounce.

About The Author

Alicia Bodine
Alicia Bodine 

Alicia Bodine is a New Jersey-based writer specializing in finance. With more than 15 years of experience, her work has appeared on leading financial publications. She's also a certified Ramsey Solutions Master Financial Coach.