16 Types of Yogurt, Explained (Because the Dairy Aisle Is Overflowing These Days)

Yogurt hive, rise up

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types of yogurt: person spooning yogurt into a bowl
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Unless you’re navigating dietary restrictions or you’re a huge dairy head (hi!), you may have never thought about the yogurts that exist beyond Greek or regular. But the last time I checked, my grocery’s yogurt aisle was practically bursting at the seams, with options ranging from plant-based to cream-top and in flavors far more adventurous than the usual vanilla or plain. Looking to branch out? This guide to the different types of yogurt has you covered, with a full rundown on 16 varieties to try, from skyr to sheep’s milk.

But First, What Is Yogurt?

Yogurt is a dairy product that’s made through the bacterial fermentation of milk. Live cultures of S. thermophilus and L. bulgaricus are added to milk; these bacteria eat the lactose sugars in the milk and produce lactic acid as a byproduct. That lactic acid is what gives yogurt its characteristic tang and texture, but the type of milk used to make the yogurt can have a dramatic effect on its final taste and texture, too. (And as you’ll soon find out, yogurt can be made from many types of milk.)

*Nutritional data sourced from the USDA

The Best Low-Sugar Yogurt You Can Buy, From Greek-Style to Plant-Based

types of yogurt: unstrained cow's milk yogurt

1. Unstrained Cow’s Milk Yogurt

  • Nutrition per cup (low fat): 120 calories, 15g carbs, 10g protein, 2g fat, 10g sugars

This type of yogurt is your run-of-the-mill fermented dairy product. It has a thinner texture without being runny, it’s tangy but not overly so and it’s available in about a million flavors and fat options. (You’ll usually find whole milk, low-fat and fat-free options on the shelf.)

Try it: Stonyfield Organic Lowfat Plain Yogurt

types of yogurt: greek yogurt

2. Greek Yogurt

  • Nutrition per cup (low fat): 145 calories, 8g carbs, 20g protein, 4g fat, 7g sugars

Arguably the darling of the dairy aisle in the U.S., Greek yogurt is a type of strained yogurt, which basically means it’s made by straining the excess liquid (aka whey) from regular yogurt. The result is a super thick consistency and sour taste. Nutritionally, Greek yogurt typically has more protein per serving than unstrained yogurt because the milk content is more concentrated. (And FYI, it’s marketed as Greek yogurt in the United States, but strained yogurt is also enjoyed across the Middle East and Mediterranean, as well as Asia and Eastern Europe.)

Try it: Fage Total 2% Milkfat

types of yogurt skyr siggis plain

3. Icelandic Skyr

  • Nutrition per cup (nonfat): 125 calories, 9g carbs, 24g protein, 0g fat, 6g sugars

Skyr is a traditional Icelandic cultured dairy product that’s similar to Greek yogurt in texture, but much milder in taste (not to mention slightly smoother and creamier). It’s typically made with skim milk, so it’s lower in calories and sugar but higher in protein than other yogurts on this list. It’s delicious on its own, but can be served with fruit or cereal, added to dressings or used as a dessert, too. (My preferred breakfast is Siggi’s whole milk vanilla topped with homemade granola.)

Try it: Siggi’s Plain 0% Skyr

types of yogurt: australian yogurt

4. Australian Yogurt

  • Nutrition per cup (whole milk): 220 calories, 10g carbs, 21g protein, 11g fat, 7g sugar

I thought the Aussie-style yogurt in my diary aisle (like Noosa and Wallaby) was just another way to brand strained yogurt, but as it turns out, it’s not. Australian-style yogurt is thicker than traditional yogurt, but it’s not strained like skyr or Greek yogurt. Depending on the brand, it’s either made with only whole milk, or skim milk that’s cooked longer and more slowly—both methods yield a luscious texture that’s extremely rich and creamy.

Try it: Wallaby Organic Aussie Low Fat Plain Yogurt

types of yogurt: french yogurt
La Fermière

5. French Yogurt

  • Nutrition per cup: 150 calories, 17g carbs, 13g protein, 4g fat, 17g sugars

French yogurt is similar in taste and texture to regular ol’ whole milk yogurt, but it has a twist: Instead of being made in large batches, it’s portioned off into its own container or jar and left to ferment and set from there. (If you, like me, are a sucker for the cutie ceramic pots of yogurt in the grocery store, you’ve probably had French-style yogurt.)

Try it: La Fermière Orange Blossom Honey Yogurt

types of yogurt: soy yogurt

6. Soy Yogurt

  • Nutrition per cup: 250 calories, 42g carbs, 9g protein, 5g fat, 3g sugars

Aka soygurt or yofu (yogurt + tofu), soy yogurt is like regular yogurt, but made with soy milk to make it dairy-free and vegan-friendly. Of all the plant-milk yogurts I’ve tried, it has the closest texture to dairy yogurt, but it tastes slight sweet and beany, like soy milk. It’s not quite as smooth as traditional yogurt, but it has a comparable amount of protein. (As an aside, since plant milks don’t contain lactose, they can’t be made with the same cultures as dairy yogurt, and don’t have quite the same texture.)

Try it: Silk Vanilla Dairy Free Soy Milk Yogurt Alternative

types of yogurt: coconut yogurt

7. Coconut Yogurt

  • Nutrition per cup: 160 calories, 20g carbs, 1g protein, 9g fat, 18g sugars

Another plant-based type of yogurt, coconut yogurt is made from (surprise, surprise) coconut milk. You definitely have to enjoy the taste of coconut to like this one, and it’s definitely not as creamy as dairy-based yogurt. However, I find it’s a good addition to recipes that already feature coconut milk, like this Instant Pot carrot ginger soup.

Try it: Cocojune Organic Pure Coconut Yogurt

types of yogurt: almond yogurt
Kite Hill

8. Almond Yogurt

  • Nutrition per cup: 215 calories, 11g carbs, 7g protein, 17g fat, 1g sugars

If you can milk it, you can make it into yogurt, so yes, almond yogurt is a thing. It tastes like if almond milk and regular yogurt had a baby—slightly sweet but also tangy, with a dense texture.

Try it: Kite Hill Plain Unsweetened Almond Milk Yogurt

types of yogurt: cashew yogurt

9. Cashew Yogurt

  • Nutrition per cup: 140 calories, 12g carbs, 4g protein, 9g fat, 1g sugars

It’s good to have options, right? Cashew yogurt is another nut-based plant yogurt, but fans claim that it’s far creamier than soy or almond yogurt. (This makes sense, since cashews have a creamier texture than other nuts.) The rich texture makes it a good dairy-free substitute for sour cream or yogurt in dips and sauces.

Try it: Forager Project Unsweetened Plain Cashewmilk Yogurt

types of yogurt: oat yogurt
Icelandic Provisions

10. Oat Yogurt

  • Nutrition per cup: 265 calories, 31g carbs, 5g protein, 13g fat, 10g sugars

After oat milk rose in popularity, it was only a matter of time before it was turned into a type of yogurt, too. This vegan option is similar to other plant-based yogurts in that it’s on the thinner side, but I’ve found it has a creamier texture (probably thanks to the starches in oats). It’s a nice option if you don’t eat dairy, soy or tree nuts.

Try it: Icelandic Provisions Plain Oatmilk Skyr

types of yogurt: kefir

11. Kefir

  • Nutrition per cup (low fat): 104 calories, 12g carbs, 9g protein, 2g fat, 11g sugars

Kefir is a fermented milk product that’s much thinner than traditional yogurt—it’s so thin that you can drink it. It’s made by adding kefir grains (a type of symbiotic culture or SCOBY not unlike what’s used to make kombucha) to milk, then fermenting it at room temperature overnight. The result is a sour, slightly carbonated milk beverage. Kefir is known for being high in probiotics, and it can even be used to make sourdough starter.

Try it: Lifeway Low Fat Plain Unsweetened Kefir

types of yogurt: labneh

12. Labneh

  • Nutrition per 2 tablespoons: 60 calories, 1g carbs, 2g protein, 6g fat, 1g sugars

Is labneh cheese or is it a type of yogurt? It’s a little bit of both. In the Middle East and Mediterranean peninsula, strained yogurt is known as labneh, and so much whey is removed that it’s ultra-thick and spreadable, almost like sour cream. It’s commonly served as a mezze, drizzled with olive oil and alongside pita for dipping. You can make it yourself at home by draining plain Greek yogurt (I’d suggest Fage) in a few layers of cheesecloth.

Try it: Karoun Labne

types of yogurt: cream-top yogurt
Brown Cow

13. Cream-Top Yogurt

  • Nutrition per cup: 150 calories, 12g carbs, 8g protein, 8g fat, 11g sugars

Like French-style yogurt, cream-top yogurt is made by portioning non-homogenized dairy into containers before letting it ferment. As it sets, the cream rises to the top, so the end product has a rich, creamy layer before you dig into the rest of the yogurt. Non-homogenized milk is key—this just means the fat particles haven’t been mixed with the milk, so they can still separate and rise to the top.

Try it: Brown Cow Cream Top Plain Whole Milk Yogurt

types of yogurt: goat's milk yogurt
Redwood Hill Farm

14. Goat’s Milk Yogurt

  • Nutrition per serving: 180 calories, 16g carbs, 9g protein, 9g fat, 8g sugars

Goat’s milk yogurt is just that—yogurt made with goat’s milk. The flavor is slightly more savory, but since the yogurt is fermented as usual, it’s creamy and tangy like cow’s milk yogurt. Studies have found that goat’s milk may be easier to digest than cow’s milk because the fat molecules are smaller, so some lactose-intolerant folks might be able to enjoy it without issue.

Try it: Redwood Hill Farm Plain Goat Milk Yogurt

types of yogurt: sheep's milk yogurt
Bellwether Farms

15. Sheep’s Milk Yogurt

  • Nutrition per serving: 180 calories, 8g carbs, 13g protein, 12g fat, 3g sugars

This type of yogurt is less common than cow’s or goat’s milk, but it’s similar in texture. The taste is earthy and less sweet than regular yogurt, but since it contains more fat, it’s very creamy—almost like Greek yogurt. Like goat’s milk yogurt, it has less lactose, so it might be easier for some people to digest.

Try it: Bellwether Farms Plain Sheep Milk Yogurt

types of yogurt: drinkable yogurt

16. Drinkable Yogurt

  • Nutrition per serving: varies by brand

In general, drinkable yogurt is just yogurt packaged in a way that makes it easy to drink. It could also be kefir that’s branded as “drinkable yogurt,” but that will depend on the brand.

Try it: Ronnybrook Drinkable Strawberry Yogurt

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Yogurt Is the Healthiest?

All types of yogurt contain protein and probiotics, so they’re good sources of sustained energy and can have a positive effect on your digestion. Depending on your health goals, you might want to choose a lower fat yogurt over whole milk options. The one thing that makes some yogurts more nutritious than others is the amount of added sugar—all dairy products contain natural sugars, but choose a yogurt with no added sweeteners for the most benefits.

Which Yogurt Is Highest in Probiotics?

According to Healthline, kefir actually contains three times more probiotics than regular yogurt, making it the yogurt-esque product with the most probiotics.

What Yogurt Is Best for Gut Health?

As long as it contains active probiotic cultures, any yogurt can benefit your digestive health. That’s because the probiotics feed the good bacteria in your gut, and studies show that can improve digestion and bowel regulation.

How Should Yogurt Be Stored?

Since it’s a perishable dairy product, yogurt should be stored in the refrigerator. And because it’s fermented, it will last for a good while unopened—per the USDA, one to two weeks, but I’ve kept yogurt in my fridge for three weeks without issue. (Don’t just take my word for it—you should always smell and examine for signs of spoilage before you eat.)


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...