The first time I brought my Italian cousins into an American grocery store, they nearly sobbed in the cereal aisle. It was the sheer quantity of breakfast time bits that sent their jaws flying to the floor—not to mention the jumbo-sized boxes themselves (in true American fashion) blew their minds.
We spent about an hour in the cereal aisle alone as they carefully studied each box. Questions like, “Why is there corn in your cereal?” and “Are these colors bad for you?” were fielded. In the end, we left with a few winners, including their all-time favorite American cereal, Fruity Pebbles.
On that day, history was made—it was the first time an Italian ever admitted that an American food item was better than theirs. Now every time I travel to Italy, they demand I smuggle a box of Fruity Pebbles for them.
We take our cereal VERY seriously here at Reviewed (and had multiple debates and polls during which the office erupted into sheer chaos), so we went ahead and ranked 50 of the most popular cereals from worst to best.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments...but be gentle!
50. Fiber One Bran cereal
This rubbish reminds me of the food pellets you get out of the gum ball dispensers at petting zoos to feed the animals with. SAD!
49. Grape Nuts
So what if they’re high in fiber and protein and full of nutrients—they’re also full of sadness.
48. Boo Berry
Of the Monster Cereals, Boo Berry’s blueberry flavor is the worst. It misses the mark in flavor, but it is still adorable, and triggers a whole lot of nostalgia.
47. Raisin Bran
Ah, yes. The Monday of cereals. Bold move to build an entire brand on raisins, but somehow Raisin Bran continues to exist.
Not, indeed, the breakfast of champions.
45. Kashi Go Lean
44. Honey Smacks
If these weren’t loaded with sugar then they would’ve scored higher. Then again, this "sweetened puffed wheat cereal” is definitely not part of a balanced breakfast.
43. Corn Flakes
Corn flakes aren’t terrible, but admit it—they are always the last box in your pantry. BUT, they are the main ingredient in Momofuku Milk Bar's incredible 'cereal milk' ice cream.
Yeah, we know, there are multiple kinds of Chex. But that doesn't matter, considering they all get soggy too quickly!
41. Big Biscuit Shredded Wheat
Someone in our office was really enthusiastic about these depression-era bricks disguised as cereal, so I indulged him.
“You remember the original Shredded Wheat, with its individually wrapped packages of big, honkin' biscuits? It's super hard to find in stores these days, but you can get a box on Amazon for highway robbery prices. Highlights of this cereal include: Fulfills 97% of daily whole grain intake, Safe to feed to rabbits, AND leaves the milk tasting like milk (because they are almost flavorless).” — Lee Neikirk
40. Apple Jacks
Apple Jacks did have some of the coolest TV mascots (Cinna-mon was always the winner, mon). But the flavor of this cereal is bogus. Cinnamon apples don’t go well with milk, IMHO.
Frankenberry, the strawberry-flavored monster cereal, is definitely better than Boo Berry, but its sickeningly-sweet flavor spooks the life out of my taste buds.
38. Cocoa Puffs
Are we cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs? Eh, not really.
37. Special K Original
Add fruit in and this cereal shoots up in the ranking, but plain Special K is just not satisfying enough on its own.
36. Scooby-Doo Cinnamon Marshmallow cereal
35. Cinnamon Chex
Another cereal I believe to be heinous (why cinnamon?!)—but a fellow coworker loves them so here’s her argument...
“When I was a kid, Cinnamon Toast Crunch was my favorite cereal. But now that I'm older, I can't stomach all that extra sugar. I was delighted to discover Cinnamon Chex, which is basically Cinnamon Toast Crunch for grownups. And, it's gluten-free, if that matters to you.” — Samantha Gordon
34. S’mores Cereal
33. Oatmeal Squares
It pains me to rank Oatmeal Squares so poorly, especially because it is one of my favorite cereals. But when I asked around for more opinions in the office, most people looked at me blankly and said, “I’ve never heard of that cereal before.” THE AUDACITY.
32. Count Chocula
The best of the General Mills monster cereals, Count Chocula is a Halloween time must-have. It’s chocolatey, and has marshmallows, making it a well-balanced sugary cereal. But, once the spooky season is over, so too is our craving for this cereal.
31. Donut Shop Cereal
30. Frosted Flakes
29. Rice Krispies
28. Frosted Mini Wheats
27. Special K Red Berries
26. Honey Nut Bunches of Oats
25. Honey Nut Cheerios
“I love Honey Nut Cheerios, but I think they're too sweet all by themselves, so I mix them with regular Cheerios. The thing is, I always end up running out of the Honey Nut first, and end up having to eat the plain ones until I go back to the store.” — Cindy Bailen
There's old Trix (colorful, fun-shaped, but questionable), and then there's new Trix (natural colors, circular, debatable taste).
23. Cookie Crisp
22. Froot Loops
Toucan Sam is a legend.
21. Corn Pops
Who remembers the dark, aluminum-looking bag these used to come in? Pops was one of those addicting cereals that we aren’t even sure tastes good but we know we loved the sugar film that it left in our mouths.
20. Oreo O’s
Oreo cereal. C’mon. This stuff is brilliant.
19. Cocoa Pebbles
18. Cap’n Crunch Berry
Creepy, cannibalistic commercial, great cereal.
16. Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheerios
“If I could subsist on these alone, I would. They taste a little like Reese's Puffs cereal (but better). Plus, you're getting 16 grams of whole grains per serving." — Ashley Barry-Biancuzzo
15. Lucky Charms
14. Waffle Crisp
“I went to the store the other day and was scanning the cereal aisle. I saw Waffle Crisp out of the corner of my eye and since I hadn't had it in a while decided to give it a shot. At the checkout counter, the cashier was like, "Wow never heard of that, sounds interesting." I told him I used to eat it when I was 7 so I wanted to try it again. Still just as good.” — Connor Whooley
13. Peanut Butter Toast Crunch
12. Rice Krispies Treats
“I wasn't allowed to have sugary cereal growing up, so basically every traditional cereal just tastes like candy to me. I remember watching commercials for Cookie Crisp and Lucky Charms and thinking how ridiculous it would be to eat tiny cookies and marshmallows for breakfast! But one time my friend gave me a bowl of Rice Krispies Treats cereal during a camping trip and it completely blew my mind.” — Jeremy Stamas
11. Honey Comb
Definitely a fan favorite, Honey Comb was one of those cereals that you fought over with your siblings. Although it left the milk tasting a bit odd, the cereal itself was craveable. So, why didn’t it make our top 10? Simple, because of the terrifying commercials Honey Comb subjected us to in the '90s.
10. Fruity Pebbles
As I said above, this is like a drug for my Italian cousins. If I don’t bring these with me when I visit them, then I’ve made the 8 hour trip for no reason at all.
An obvious favorite among babies, parents, and... lazy millennials?
“My boyfriend and I keep little mason jars filled with our favorite Cheerios in our nightstands so we don't have to get out of bed if we're peckish but lazy (so, always). It's great after a night out, or in the morning after an exceptionally fun night out.” — Samantha Gordon
"The most interesting thing I can say about Kix is that, like, every tenth corn puff is unusually sweet compared to the bulk of them, and it’s this occasional burst of savory sweetness that really makes Kix fascinatingly moreish." — Michael Desjardin
Life is life.
6. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
“Growing up my favorite cereal of all time was Cinnamon Toast Crunch. If left to my own devices, I could easily polish off a whole box in high school (and then did so often in college). There's a trick, though, a secret not many know. You have to let it sit in the milk for about a minute and a half before you start eating it.
In my time, one commercial break between Saturday morning cartoons was just about perfect. You don't want it too soggy (gross) but you don’t want it too crunchy either (RIP roof of my mouth). Letting it sit for a little before you dive in ensures you get the perfect bowl of al dente cereal you truly deserve.” — Mike Roorda
Yes, he did just say “al dente cereal."
5. French Toast Crunch
The geniuses that brought us Cinnamon Toast Crunch also graced us with French Toast Crunch. Introduced in 1995, these adorable little toasts (that also taste amazing) were discontinued in 2006, but after demands from the public, they brought it back in 2014. What a time to be alive.
4. Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs
“Reese's have been my favorite candy since I can remember and when I found out there was a breakfast version of the treat as a child, I obviously ate it every day. There's literally no better combo than peanut butter and chocolate. Plus, I still get the rap from one of their commercials stuck in my head from time to time (you know what I'm talking about).” — Courtney Campbell
3. Cap’n Crunch
A true classic. The Captain, a hero of sorts, also gets bonus points because this cereal tastes great on top of froyo or ice cream.
2. Golden Grahams
It was a close call between these and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but everyone agreed Golden Grahams had a slight leg up. There's just nothing like stacking a bunch of these up and eating as many as possible in one bite.
Everyone knows Cap’n Crunch is an incredible cereal, so when they came out with a sprinkled donut version!? Yeah, no contest. A+ for taste, A+ for presentation. This cereal tastes like sugar cookies, and LOOKS LIKE LITTLE DONUTS.