Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Hot Cereal

Last updated on December 14, 2023
Best Hot Cereal

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

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

Our Picks For The Top Hot Cereals

View All Recommendations
Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Nature’s Path Instant Organic Hot Cereal, 8-Pack

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Nature's Path

Instant Organic Hot Cereal, 8-Pack

With this hot cereal, you'll get your day started off with 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. The box comes with eight packets, all of which can be prepared quickly on a busy morning. You can also use this cereal to create overnight oats, which is just as healthy and delicious.

Overall Take

Choice of FlavorsYou can get this hot cereal in a choice of apple cinnamon or a variety pack with four different flavors.

 Runner Up

Cream Of Wheat Naturally Flavored Instant Hot Cereal

Cream Of Wheat

Naturally Flavored Instant Hot Cereal

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.

Overall Take

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

 Strong Contender

Cream of Rice Cholesterol & Gluten Free Hot Cereal, 2-Pack

Cream of Rice

Cholesterol & Gluten Free Hot Cereal, 2-Pack

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.

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.

 We Also Like

Farina Mills Fat-Free Original Hot Cereal

Farina Mills

Fat-Free Original Hot Cereal

Warm up on a cold winter morning with this classic hot cereal. In addition to protein and fiber, the creamy meal offers calcium, folic acid, iron, niacin and thiamin for a healthy start to your day. You can make the cereal using your choice of milk, such as whole milk, oat milk, almond milk or coconut milk.

Overall Take

23 Servings Per BoxIn just 2 1/2 minutes, this hot cereal is ready to eat.

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.

What to Look For

  • 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.

More to Explore

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.

From our partners