Today is National Cereal Day, the single most important day on the calendar. Okay, that might be overstating things, but there’s no overstating how much we love cereal. It’s a quick, perfect meal you can eat at any time of day, there are so many types of cereals to choose from, and you’d have to be Homer Simpson to screw up making a bowl.
So to celebrate our favorite breakfast food that we also frequently eat for lunch, dinner, and at three a.m., we’re ranking the top 50 kinds. We’re sticking to the most famous ones–unless we feel like including a type we are fond of. That doesn’t mean this list isn’t definitive though, because we used, like, super serious science/decades of eating it to put it together. So we can’t imagine anyone will have any problems with it.
50. Shredded Wheat
What was the original sales pitch for this? “Here’s some unsweetened wheat to eat, and it’s shredded so it will feel like chewing on hard grass.”
49. Grape Nuts
Nothing like a bowl of grape-flavored pebbles to start your day off on the worst foot. At least it gave us this.
48. Boo Berry
Made of pure blueberry concentrate and too much sugar for any human to safely consume, this is scarier than most horror films.
47. Franken Berry
Like Boo Berry, but with a slightly less disgusting–yet still totally unappetizing–strawberry flavor. (Don’t freak out Monster Cereals fans, one of them made the top 5.)
Apparently to be a champion your breakfast has to taste like rough cardboard.
45. Nut & Honey
We would prefer nothing to this cereal, which is most famous for a series of not-that-clever commercials.
44. Special K
Fancy Wheaties but still blah. At least they don’t the lie about champions eating it.
43. Waffle Crisps
Who was sitting around saying, “You know I like waffles, but what if we made them hard as a rock, then served them in milk where they immediately got soggy?”
42. Rice Krispies Treats Cereal
Lots of cereal variations are better than the original, but this is a case of reverse engineering falling short.
Would rank a lot higher if they didn’t become absolutely vile the second you finished all the marshmallows.
Can I interest you in some edible wood flavored with way too much honey? No, I can’t? Obviously.
39. Cookie Crisps
A bowl of cereal that is literally a bunch of cookies dunked in milk should be amazing, but these are basically flat rocks.
38. Corn Flakes
Corn Flakes are totally fine if they are all you have, but they are basically the foundation of a house without any part of the house installed yet. You really need a foundation, but can’t live in it because that’s just a hole.
37. French Toast Crunch
It has its fans who got General Mills to bring it back in the U.S. a few years ago. But there’s a reason it went away in the first place–it’s an inferior version of one of the greatest cereals ever.
36. Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds
Pales in comparison to the line’s best version, and almonds are pretty blah so they don’t help the flavor profile.
35. Rice Chex
Too low? Maybe, but cereal is meant to be eaten with milk, and Rice Chex taste better on their own.
The best “grown-up” cereal that still tastes good, but the regular kind isn’t great, just decent.
33. Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch
Peanut butter makes for a great cereal flavor, but this version of the classic cereal is just a little too peanut-buttery, which sounds crazy but this is a cereal that needs a better balance.
32. Honey Smacks
They’re still tasty, but they have a really unusual texture, and it’s strange to eat them if you’re over the age of 12 or sober.
31. Cap’n Crunch Berries
Better than the peanut butter kind, but not as good as the original. The berries are a little too sweet in a cereal that is perfectly sweetened to start.
Much better than you remember, and they hold up better in milk than Chex. Chex are a better snack, but we’re ranking cereals here.
29. Golden Crisp
Just comes down to texture for why it foes higher than Honey Smacks, but otherwise these are the same cereals.
Life is pretty good, much better than actual life. However it isn’t nearly as special as you remember. And you can trust me because my name is Mikey.
Cheerios get the job done, so long as the job is to have an average bowl of cereal. Better as a dry snack.
Kix suffers from a very strange problem: once you open the bag you need to eat the entire box in a week or they’ll get so stale you can chip a tooth on them.
25. Reese’s Puffs
You know how sometimes you just say, “Screw it, I don’t care if I can fit in my bathing suit this summer?” Well this is the cereal you buy after you do.
Trix is for kids because they are probably too sweet to justify eating them frequently as an adult, which knocks it down.
23. Corn Pops
Corn Pops tastes good, isn’t cloying, and has a nice, satisfying crunch. Until they get soggy that is, and then they are gross.
22. Special K Red Berries
All it takes to jump over 30 spots is to add some dried sweet strawberries, which totally transforms the entire flavor.
21. Rice Krispies
A classic but a goodie. A nice balance of sweetness without feeling like too much of a kid’s cereal, and they sing to us. No other cereal sings to us.
20. Apple Jacks
They hold perfectly in milk, taste awesome, and produces one of the best post-eating flavored milks to drink.
19. Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
Cheerios make a really good base for a good cereal, which is what this variation is. There’s really no reason to ever buy regular Cheerios when these are on the shelf.
18. Basic 4
The box makes it look healthy, but it is not. What it is though is one of the best cereals out there, with a great mix of different flavors and textures. Not to exaggerate, but if you’ve never tried it you’ve wasted your life.
17. Cap’n Crunch
It might seem sacrilegious to have this out of the top 10, but Cap’n Crunch has a major, major problem: it gets soggy right away. You have to speed eat it or you end up with a bowl of mush.
16. Honey Nut Cheerios
The best Cheerios by far. It’s like they looked at Nut & Honey and said, “What if we used those flavors to make a cereal that isn’t terrible?”
15. Frosted Mini-Wheats
50% of it is awesome, 50% of it tastes like cardboard. GUESS WHICH SIDE IS WHICH.
14. Cocoa Krispies
One of the best variations ever made. Not every cereal works with chocolate, but this is much better than the original. Might rank higher if a better brand didn’t exist.
13. Froot Loops
A great tasting cereal with a nice, crunchy texture that holds up, and the milk that is leftover is awesome.
12. Honey Kix
I’ve been told these can be hard to find, but man they are worth the hunt. They are dramatically better than regular Kix, and for reasons I don’t understand they also don’t go stale as quickly.
11. Raisin Bran
A cereal so good it makes raisins tasty. Raisins. Raisins are basically spoiled wine turned into an edible rock. But Raisin Bran is legit, whether you’re a kid or an adult.
10. Cocoa Puffs
The only real complaint with Cocoa Puffs is you have to give them a chance to slightly soften up in the milk, but once they do this is a fantastic cereal.
9. Peanut Butter Puffins
The best “adult” cereal in the world. None of the other flavors they sell even come close. A perfect balance of peanut butter, so it tastes great without being too sweet.
8. Fruity Pebbles
If Fruity Pebbles, which is almost a perfect cereal eating experience, is ranked eighth, that’s an amazing compliment for the next seven.
7. Golden Grahams
The single most underrated cereal finally gets its due. Delicious, satisfying crunch, and they hold for the entire bowl.
6. Honey Bunches of Oats Honey Roasted
An amazing cereal that isn’t terrible for you to eat. The honey-flavored oat clusters are some of the best bites of food you’ll find in any meal. Also gets better the more you eat it.
5. Count Chocula
This might sound shocking for a cereal that is made with chocolate and marshmallows, but it’s not terribly unhealthy for you. But even if you gained five pounds for every bowl you ate it would be worth it.
4. Lucky Charms
Maybe the favorite of kids everywhere, Lucky Charms is good because even the non-marshmallow bites still taste good.
3. Frosted Flakes
There should be a statue at the United Nations to the man or woman who looked at unsweetened breakfast flakes and said, “Let’s just cover them entirely in sugar.”
2. Cocoa Pebbles
Because they are so small, Cocoa Pebbles can really fill your spoon, giving you a much more complete, satisfying bite than most cereals. It’s also perfectly sweetened, makes it okay to eat chocolate for breakfast, and results in the absolute best leftover milk.
1. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Long live the cinnamon-flavored King, the most perfect cereal ever devised by men or gods. That’s just science. And you can’t argue with science.But just in case you do disagree with us/science, how would you rank them? Tell us what we got right or wrong in the comments below.
Featured Image: Kellogg’s, Post Consumer Brands