Does your search for the best sippy cups have you feeling like you might need a drink?
With so many choices out there, how can you ever know which cup will work best for your child?
Some cups are so expensive you feel like they should be made out of crystal instead of plastic or silicone. And you’ve heard horror stories from other moms about leaks and dangerous materials being used. Why can’t anything about parenthood ever be simple?
Don’t worry. we’ve got your back. This guide will lead you to your dream cup and it won’t be long before you’ll be toasting to your success.
|1. MAM Trainer||Best for Breastfed Babies|
|2. Munchkin Click Lock||Best Insulated Cup|
|3. Munchkin Miracle 360||Best for Toddlers|
|4. Philips Avent||Best Training Cup|
|5. nuSpin Kids Zoomi||Best with Straw|
|6. Munchkin Alphabet||Best for Milk|
|7. Green Sprouts||Best Glass Cup|
|8. Klean Kanteen||Best Organic Cup|
|9. Pura Kiki||Best Stainless Steel|
|10. NUK Blue Turtle||Best Silicone Cup|
- When Should My Child Start Using One?
- Types of Sippy Cups
- What Should I Look For?
- The Best Sippy Cups of 2018
- Are There Any Dangers to Using Sippy Cups?
- How Many Should I Buy?
- How Can I Help My Child Make the Switch?
- What Should I Do if My Child Refuses a Sippy Cup?
- Sippy Cup Don’ts
- What and How Much to Put in a Sippy Cup
- The Bottom Line
When Should My Child Start Using One?
Sippy cups are used to transition your baby from the bottle to a real cup. Babies can’t quite handle the responsibility of carrying around a regular cup so you’d be cleaning up spills and changing their outfits all day. That’s where sippy cups come in handy — they cut down on spills and your frustration levels.
Ideally, your child won’t be taking bottles past the age of 1 for a few reasons. First off, it helps protect their developing teeth (source), and secondly, if you wait much longer than that, you’re going to be in for the fight of your life trying to get your child to give up their bottle. They’ll get too attached to their bottles, and you’ll have to struggle to wean them off of them.
But if your baby can’t do it by the time they are 1, you should definitely try to have them completely off their bottles by 18 months old.
To get them used to the sippy cup before you yank away their bottle, you should introduce it months before. Some babies are ready for an introduction as early as 6 months old. If your child isn’t ready then, you should try it no later than around 9 months to give them time to become comfortable with it by their first birthday.
Types of Sippy Cups
All sippy cups have a similar structure, though they may look different depending on the design.
- Spout: This is where a child suckles to get liquid from the cup. It functions like the nipple of a bottle and is usually part of the lid.
- Lid: This is the top of the sippy cup.
- Valve: Sippy cups have a valve to prevent leakage when the child is not sucking. They’re usually a removable plastic piece inside the lid, though some are built directly into the spout.
- Cup: This is the main part of the sippy cup – the reservoir where the liquid is held.
- Handles: Some sippy cups have handles, others don’t. Whether or not you use a cup with handles is a personal preference. Some handles are removable, while others are built into the cup or lid.
These are wide, sippy-shaped spouts made out of the same material as a bottle nipple. They are flexible and feel familiar to the bottle-fed baby.
- Bottle-fed babies.
- Babies who refuse the hard spout.
- Babies reluctant to give up the bottle.
- Older toddlers.
- Babies with teeth to chew on the spout.
These are sippy cups with a soft plastic spout. The spout is not fully flexible and pliable but has some give to it.
- First-time sippy cup users.
- Younger babies.
- Babies with teeth – it is gentler on their teeth.
- Toddlers and preschoolers.
- Babies who will chew the spout.
These types of sippy cups appear the same as the soft spout but are made of hard plastic.
- Toddlers and preschoolers.
- Babies accustomed to the sippy.
- Younger babies.
- Introducing the sippy cup.
Kids drink from these spill-free sippy cups at any point on the rim, helping them develop the skills and muscle control to drink out of a regular cup eventually. They can be used by any age.
Instead of a spout, these sippy cups have a silicone straw. Their valve means they are spill-proof, which makes them different from regular cups with a straw.
- Kids who like to suck (particularly breastfed babies who have to suckle harder).
- Kids who have refused regular sippy cups.
- Young babies.
- First-time sippy cup introduction.
What Should I Look For?
Picking out a sippy cup can be difficult, but it’s easier if you know what you’re looking for. I found that out the hard way when I grabbed a pack in the store one day without putting any thought into it at all. I just went for the cheapest ones.
That bargain wasn’t such a bargain after all. My daughter had destroyed the cheap spouts by the end of the first week by biting on them furiously. I had to replace the whole pack, but obviously I didn’t get the same kind again.
I put more thought into it and asked a friend what kind her child had been using. She led me to one she loved and, although it was pricier than what I’d bought, they were well worth the money because they held up until my baby was ready to transition to real cups.
Keep these features in mind when looking for a cup your baby will love:
- Hard or soft spout: If you think your baby is going to refuse the sippy cup, go with a soft mouthpiece. If your child has shown interest in normal cups already, you should be able to start with a harder spout. For my baby, I bought both types. I started using the soft ones and transitioned after a couple of months to the harder type because I knew she was ready for it.
- Tongue position: To avoid potential problems with your child’s speech development, make sure their tongues won’t need to come out of their mouths to drink (source).
- Material: A wide range of materials are available, including plastic, silicone, latex, stainless steel, glass, and aluminum. If you’re still shaken over the BPA controversy and think plastic may be harboring other harmful chemicals, go with a safer material, like glass.
- Handles or no handles: Sippy cups come either way, so it depends on what your baby would prefer. For many babies, cups with handles are more comfortable to pick up. For me, buying a cup with handles was the only way to go — it stopped my baby from dropping her cup every five seconds.
- Leakproofing: Leakproof cups are convenient for busy moms who don’t need another mess to clean up, but they can be frustrating for kids who don’t want to work that hard for a drink. You’ll need to figure out how much of a mess you can live with. If the answer is “not much” then you may want to use leak-proof cups.
The Best Sippy Cups of 2018
It might not seem like much to us adults, but mastering the art of using a real cup is just one of many milestones along your baby’s steady march to independence. The right sippy cup will give them confidence, while sparing you from having to clean up the mistakes. Here are our top 13 picks in 2018.
1. Philips Avent My Natural Trainer Cup
This transition cup is made for babies from four months up. It has a soft silicone spout so it won’t feel much different from the bottle for them.
It’s BPA-free, and you can put it in the dishwasher to clean it, but the best thing about it is that it’s compatible with other Philips Avent bottle and cup pieces. That gives it greater versatility because if you have a piece from your bottle that your baby loves, you can make it work with this cup.
This comes with a cap so you can keep it clean whether it’s at home between uses or in your diaper bag. Finally, it has trainer handles so babies will be able to get a good grip until they fine-tune their motor skills.
- It’s an affordable cup.
- The handles are rubberized so they’ll be comfortable for your baby.
- They’re compatible with other Philip Avent cups and bottles.
- It is a fatter, wider cup than some children may like.
- The top can be unscrewed fairly easily, so a smart baby can get it off and make a mess.
2. Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy Cup
It’s hard to get excited about a cup design, but this one impressed me as soon as I saw it. Instead of a traditional spout, this cup has a 360-degree drinking edge. Your toddler won’t have to worry about latching onto a mouthpiece to get a sip; they can just pick it up and put it to their mouths without looking.
When your toddler is done taking a drink, the cup automatically seals again.
There aren’t any hard-to-reach valves or pieces so this cup is easy to clean, either manually or by putting it in the dishwasher. But you need to make sure you fully take apart the four pieces of the cup each cleaning or you’ll get a black, yucky-looking ring on the lid.
This cup is best for toddlers who are a minimum of 12 months old. The two-pack comes in several different color combinations so you’ll be covered whether you have a boy or a girl.
- They won’t spill if tipped over (although if you drop them from greater heights, they will spill).
- Your kid can use this long after the toddler years are over.
- There is no spout that your child can potentially get hurt with.
- These cups cost a little more than some others do.
- You can’t tell how much liquid is still in the cup without taking the lid off.
3. NuSpin Kids Zoomi Straw Sippy Cup
This sippy cup has a valve-free straw and is made without BPA, phthalates, PVC, nitrosamines, latex, and lead. It’s only three pieces — the base, a lid, and straw — and all are safe to put in the top rack of the dishwasher.
This is best for kids who are at least 1 year old, and you can use it with milk, juice or water.
The straw is soft because it’s made out of silicone, but your child won’t be able to pull it out as long as the lid is on. That means if a child loses their balance and falls while trying to take a sip, the straw won’t injure the inside of their mouths.
The cute designs are protected by a polypropylene barrier so your baby won’t be able to scratch or gnaw them off.
- It’s a nice-looking, gender-neutral cup.
- Your baby can chew on the silicone straw without destroying it.
- The straw won’t hurt the inside of a baby’s mouth.
- For a single cup, the cost is a bit high.
- They don’t come with lids so they aren’t great for travel.
4. Munchkin Alphabet Sippy Cup
Your child will be able to get milk out of these Munchkin cups at a fairly fast rate.
These hold 9 ounces of liquid and can be used for milk, juice or water. Since they have a hard spout, they’re best for babies at least nine months old.
They use a one-piece spill-proof valve, which means they’re easy to clean and you won’t find yourself crying over spilled milk. As long as you put the valve in properly, these cups won’t leak.
You’ll get a two-pack of cups in a blue and orange color. They don’t contain BPA, and they can be washed on the top rack of the dishwasher. It’s easy to take them apart and put back together again — you’ll even be able to do it while you have a thirsty, demanding kid on your hands.
- They won’t leak.
- They’re durable cups and will hold up well to the abuse children can deliver.
- They fit in car cupholders because they aren’t too wide.
- They don’t come with lids.
- The last ounce or so is hard to get out of the cup because of how it’s designed.
5. MAM Trainer with Handles
This sippy cup comes with a cap to protect from spills whether you’re at home or in the car. The cap also works as a handy measuring cup.
It has handles with non-slip grip material so your baby will be able to hold on better, and a wide opening and base so you’ll be able to fill it easily without spilling. Its shape means it won’t tip over as easily as a narrower cup.
The best part is that the nipple is soft and spill free, which means your breastfed baby can take their first step to use a cup, without you having to worry about any mess they make. You also get a spill-free spout for when your baby is ready to take the next step after training with the nipple.
The base of the cup has ounces clearly marked so you can still keep an eye on your child’s intake.
- You get both a nipple and spout.
- The cap makes this perfect for taking in the car or the diaper bag.
- The handles will help babies hold on.
- If your baby is a chewer, the spout can be destroyed quickly.
- It takes a lot of suction to get much liquid out.
6. Green Sprouts Glass Sip and Straw Cup
The base for this four-ounce cup is made of glass and it has a silicone nipple. You can drink from it two ways — the traditional way or by tilting it. It comes with both a straw piece and a spout.
Although parts of the cup are made of polypropylene and synthetic rubber, the liquid inside only touches the parts made out of glass and silicone.
It has a shock-absorbing base in case it’s dropped, so there’s less chance of it breaking, and the spout is drip-free so you’ll have less mess to deal with.
This cup is BPA and PVC free, easy to clean, dishwasher safe and suitable for babies as young as four months. It’s convenient that the handles are removable in case your baby does better without them.
- It comes with both a spout and a straw.
- It can be cleaned in the dishwasher.
- Babies can use it from a young age.
- It’s an expensive cup.
- Some parents have had problems with the glass breaking with minimal impact.
7. Klean Kanteen Sippy Cup
This cup isn’t tainted by the harmful chemicals and compounds you’re trying to avoid. It’s made of food-grade stainless steel that doesn’t contain BPA or any other plastic byproducts you’re worried about.
It will never give your child’s drink that awful plastic taste, plus the stainless steel won’t smell like the last drink you had in the cup.
You can take the valve off the top so you can clean it, either in the dishwasher or by hand. The opening is large enough that you can add ice cubes to your child’s drink if you want to, but still thin enough to fit in most car cup holders.
While it isn’t as lightweight as some of the flimsy plastic cups you can buy, it isn’t too heavy for your child to lift comfortably either.
- It comes in several different colors.
- It holds 12 ounces, so it’s a good cup for your child to grow with.
- It’ll take a lot to break this cup.
- Hand washing is recommended for the colored cups.
- These are expensive.
8. Pura Kiki Stainless Steel Insulated Sippy Cup
This cup doesn’t use any plastic, and it can grow with your kid. Your child will be able to use the same bottle year after year simply by switching out the lids as they graduate from each stage of drinking.
The bottle comes with a sipper spout, but you can purchase other lids separately, such as a straw and a cap. It holds 9 ounces of liquid, so it’ll always be useful, no matter your child’s age.
The cup base is made from food-grade stainless steel and the spout from medical-grade silicone. So you don’t have to worry about BPA, BPS, EA, PVC or any other chemicals making their way into your baby’s drink.
If you like, you can put a pretty silicone sleeve over the stainless steel body to give your child more grip.
- You get a travel cover with this cup so you’ll be able to keep the spout clean when not in use.
- You’ll get your money’s worth from this long-lasting bottle if you upgrade the mouthpiece as your child grows.
- The silicone sleeve reduces the chances of it dropping.
- These cups are expensive.
- The lids become leaky after a few months and need replacement.
9. NUK Blue Turtle Silicone Spout Active Cup
If you love silicone spouts because of how soft they are on your baby’s mouth, you may want to check out this cup.
It’s great for kids who are trying to wean away from the bottle because of the soft spout and bottle-like shape of the cup. The spout will be gentle on their teeth and gums as they learn to handle the next milestone.
Kids will love the cheerful turtle and water design on this cup, and moms will like that it is leakproof and won’t spill.
It’s light enough that even young babies will have no trouble picking it up. Plus, it holds 10 ounces of liquid so it’ll be big enough for them to continue using as they become capable of drinking more liquids.
- It’s an affordable cup.
- It comes with a clip so you can attach it to a diaper bag or purse.
- This cup comes with a cap.
- If you have a fierce biter on your hands, they may destroy the spout.
- Your child will have to suck hard to get liquid from this
10. Munchkin Click Lock
This two-pack of cups can be used by children who are nine months and older. The Paw Patrol designs are sure to please the little boy in your life.
These cups have a click lock leakproof design and a one-piece valve that won’t spill if the cup gets tipped over. You’ll hear a click when you correctly screw the lid on the base, so it takes the guesswork out of whether you have everything lined up correctly.
Because the cups are insulated, they’ll keep your child’s drink cool longer than non-insulated cups will. They’ll also fit into most cup holders, which is nice if your child likes to have water to drink in the car.
They can be cleaned in the dishwasher on the top rack.
Finally, the hard spout is nice for those kids who love to bite through the softer spouts.
- They’re super affordable.
- Easy to clean.
- They keep drinks cold for quite a while.
- If your child likes to gnaw on things, they may end up ingesting little shavings of the hard spout.
- They can warp if you wash them often in the dishwasher.
11. Gerber Advance Developmental Insulated Cup
This cup is easy on a baby’s developing teeth because it has a flat rim, much like an adult cup would. If you have a child who likes to bite everything, you’ll appreciate that this rim is bite resistant, too.
The design still allows it to be completely leakproof. Plus, it’s so durable your child won’t be able to break it, even when dropping it from a high chair.
The cup comes in a two-pack and they can be washed in the dishwasher. They’re BPA-free, which brings peace of mind to moms who are worried about chemicals entering their baby’s drink.
It’s insulated enough that it can keep drinks cool for approximately six hours.
- The flat rim will help your child transition to regular cups.
- It won’t spill or leak.
- The fun patterns are eye-catching so your baby should like it.
- Some parents have had problems with the lids cracking.
- Moisture might get trapped between the insulating layers.
12. Gerber Hard Spout Sippy Cup
This two-pack has cups with a hard spout for parents who like the looks of traditional sippy cups. The spouts are bite resistant, which may be comforting for parents whose children bite everything when they are teething.
They’re made in the U.S., are BPA-free and guaranteed leakproof. Each cup holds 10 ounces of liquid and is ideal for kids who are at least 12 months old.
These are simple to clean — all you have to do is pop out the valve and put it back in the lid after you’ve cleaned it.
The print on the side of the cups is heavy duty and doesn’t rub off even after your baby has carried this cup all over the place and even after repeated washings.
- The lids screw on well without having to line them up carefully.
- They’re affordable.
- These won’t break even when they are forcibly dropped.
- It does require quite a bit of suction to get the liquid out of this cup.
- You have to make sure to take the valve out of the cup every time you clean it otherwise it will grow mold.
13. The First Years Spill-proof Sippy Cup
This four-pack of brightly colored cups from The First Years is durable enough to get a few months of use, but also cheap enough to be used as disposables.
This is the perfect solution if you’re constantly losing sippy cups since it’s so affordable to replace them. The lids snap on and are interchangeable, each coming with a little lid that’s attached and so can’t be lost.
You can see into the cups and tell how much liquid is left, and when they’re dirty, they can go straight into the dishwasher. These cheerful cups don’t contain PVC, BPA or phthalates.
- Only two pieces to clean.
- Can be used as regular cups by removing the lids.
- They stack well and save storage space.
- The lids come off easily and may cause leaks.
- The plastic is not durable and will mark and fade with time.
Are There Any Dangers to Using Sippy Cups?
With proper supervision, sippy cups are a great tool. They help prepare your child to handle a normal cup.
But if you aren’t careful, they can cause some problems too, just as bottles can.
The potential downside of sippy cups is that they can injure kids who decide it would be a good idea to drink from their cups as they walk. The spouts are inside their mouths, and if they fall while walking and drinking, the spout can cut their faces or the inside of their mouths.
For that reason, you should encourage your child to sit down while using a sippy cup.
How Many Should I Buy?
You’ll want several for your child — I had about 10! I kept most of them at home, but I always had two in the diaper bag at all times. You can get by with less, but I’d recommend having at least six.
If you only have three or four, you’ll constantly be washing up. That’s fine if you don’t mind keeping them clean and making sure you don’t lose them, but having extras rakes the pressure off.
How Can I Help My Child Make the Switch?
By paying attention to the finer details, you’ll be able to help smooth the transition from bottle to sippy cup.
Here’s how you do it.
- Go with a sippy cup that has a soft mouthpiece because it’ll be what your baby is used to with the bottle or with your nipple if you’re breastfeeding (source).
- Help your baby by showing them how to use the cup.
- Although you don’t want any more spills to clean up, you also don’t want a spout that’s super hard to get any liquid out of. If your baby is struggling to form a tight enough suction, they may just give up. It’s better to go with one that requires just a little effort.
- Start with water instead of juice or milk if you’re worried about the mess. It’ll make clean-up much easier!
- Try two or three different types. Don’t give up if your baby doesn’t want to take the first one you pick out. There are so many choices out there that you don’t have to keep using a cup you and your child hate.
What Should I Do if My Child Refuses a Sippy Cup?
First of all, don’t worry. Your child will follow their own pace and as long as you’re patient and keep trying, they’ll get it eventually.
Each child will be different, and some even skip right past sippy cups and use ordinary cups immediately. Try the above tips to introduce one when you think your child is ready. But if they’re still not interested, consider the following:
- It may be too soon. Wait a while and try again under different circumstances.
- A drop of breast milk on the spout can entice reluctant children.
- “Drink” from the cup yourself or make sure your baby sees an older sibling doing the same. This will arouse their curiosity.
- Practice placing the spout correctly in their mouths firs, just so they get used to the sensation.
- Offer a bottle nipple without the bottle, then quickly follow with a sippy cup to make the connection.
- Experiment: try with or without the handles, different liquids in different amounts, and different bottle styles. Watch your baby carefully to see how they fare. Is the cup too heavy for them? Is the flow too fast or slow? Adjust as necessary.
- Finally, be patient. It will take a little trial and error. Try not to be angry or scolding if your baby spills — it’s all part of the learning curve!
Sippy Cup Don’ts
Using sippy cups seems like a hard thing to mess up, but if you’ve ever known a toddler, you know how ingenious they are at making trouble in seemingly the safest situations.
- Don’t let your baby walk around with a sippy cup or worse, fall asleep with one in their mouths.
- Replace any cracked or broken parts to avoid your baby hurting themselves. Cracks can also harbor mold or bacteria and are more difficult to keep clean.
- Don’t let your baby drink juice or milk for extended periods to avoid damage to their teeth.
- Don’t let your child use one beyond 2 years of age. Sippy cups are transitional and are only meant to be used until your baby can move on to proper cups.
- Don’t assume your baby is weaned just because they use one. Sippy cups are more like bottles than they are like cups, so you’ll still need to encourage your child to let them go eventually (source).
What and How Much to Put in a Sippy Cup
What you give your baby to drink will depend on their age.
For babies under 6 months of age, offer them either breast milk or formula in the quantity they’re used to — there’s no need for water.
After 6 months, you can start introducing no more than 4 ounces of 100 percent fruit juice, as well as water.
Avoid offering sweet tea, sugary artificial drinks or soda, especially right before bedtime, since the sugar can damage their teeth. If your little one’s appetite seems diminished at meal times, consider limiting drinks to water or dilute juice, so they don’t get too full.
If I had unlimited money, my number one pick would be the Klean Kanteen cup because I love the safety of stainless steel. But since most moms I know can’t afford to drop that kind of money on several sippy cups, I’d recommend the Gerber Graduates Advance Developmental Insulated Cup.
I’m not a fan of hard spouts because it’s a drag to consistently ensure your baby isn’t walking around while drinking. With this flat rim, there’s less risk of children hurting themselves or ingesting small plastic shavings they’ve gnawed off with their teeth.
I love the design of this cup — it’s spill-proof, but it’s not hard to get liquid out of. Since it’s insulated, it’ll keep your child’s drinks cold.
Whatever you choose, just remember to keep offering it whether your child takes it initially or not. Eventually, they’ll get used to it, so don’t worry and don’t give up. Every baby follows their own timeline when it comes to life’s milestones!
Do you have a massive pile of sippy cups already? Or are you an intrepid mama trying to buy her first one? Either way, we’d love to hear your comments, questions or suggestions down below.