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 sippy 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.
This guide will help you to find your dream sippy cup and it won’t be long before you’ll be toasting to your success.
- Won’t spill if tipped over
- Spoutless design
- Includes a nipple & spout
- Protects from spills
- Non-slip handle
- Built-in air vent
- Gentle on gums
- Easy-grip removable handles
- Anti-spill spout and lid
- Ergonomic design
- Durable BPA & BPS free plastic
- Won’t leak
- Durable cups
- Fits in car cupholder
- Rubberized handles
- Soft spout
- Includes sipper spout
- Long-lasting bottle
- Upgradeable mouthpiece
- Gender-neutral cup
- Free from harmful chemicals
- Gentle on baby’s mouth
- Different colors to choose from
- Holds 8 ounces
- Food-grade stainless steel
- Includes a spout and straw
- Dishwasher safe
- Shock-absorbing base
When Should a Baby use a Sippy Cup?
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 (1), 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 you should begin to introduce it months before. Some babies are ready for an introduction to sippy cups 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 brands 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.
Silicone Spout Cups
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.
- Good for bottle-fed babies.
- Also good for babies who refuse the hard spout.
- Babies reluctant to give up the bottle will like the soft spout.
- Not great for older toddlers.
- Babies with teeth tend to chew on the spout.
Soft Spout Cups
These are sippy cups with a soft plastic spout. The spout is not fully flexible and pliable but has some give to it.
- Great for first-time sippy users.
- Good for younger babies.
- Babies with teeth – it is gentler on their teeth.
- Not great for toddlers and preschoolers.
- Babies who will chew the spout.
Hard Spout Cups
These appear the same as the soft spouts but are made of hard plastic.
- For toddlers and preschoolers.
- For babies accustomed to the sippy.
- Not for younger babies.
- Not an introductory sippy cup.
Kids drink from these no-spill 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.
- Makes transitioning from bottle to cup easier.
No risk of teeth malformation.
- Not for a young baby.
Instead of a spout, these have a silicone straw. Their valve means they are spill-proof, which makes them different from regular cups with a straw.
- For kids who like to suck (particularly breastfed babies who have to suckle harder).
- For kids who have refused regular sippy cups.
- Not for young babies.
- Not typically an introductory cup.
How to Choose Sippy Cups
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 from bottle to cup.
Keep these features in mind when looking for a cup your baby will love:
Hard or Soft Spouts
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.
To avoid potential problems with your child’s speech development, make sure their tongues rest inside their mouths, and don’t protrude out of their mouths to drink.
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 Not
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.
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 free sippy cups.
The Best Sippy Cups of 2021
Here are 15 great sippy cups to consider.
1. Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy Cup
It’s hard to get excited about a cup design, but the Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy Cup 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.
The Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy 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 child can use this long after the toddler years are over.
- Spoutless design makes it less likely your child can get hurt.
- 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.
2. MAM Trainer Cup 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 proof, 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 proof 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 the liquid out.
3. NUK Learner Sippy Cup
Many bottles are designed to help prevent gas and colic in babies. If too much air gets into your baby’s stomach, it can cause discomfort. However, many sippy cups do not take this into account during the transition process as your baby learns to drink normally.
NUK’s Learner Sippy Cup not only helps your child get excited about drinking on their own from a cup, but it prevents excess air as they move from a sucking action to a drinking action. It works because of a special air vent in the spout. It helps ensure your child swallows liquid, not air.
The spout is also made of 100 percent silicone and is shaped similar to a bottle’s nipple to help with the transition process. Because of the silicone, it is super soft and gentle on your child’s gums, teeth, and palate.
If your child’s been prone to gas and is at the beginning stages of transition from bottle to cup, this sippy cup is one to consider.
- Built-in air vent prevents children from swallowing air when drinking.
- 100 percent silicone nipple is shaped like a bottle and is gentle on the gums.
- Easy-grip removable handles.
- Easy to use.
- May be hard to transition to a hard sippy cup or open mouth cup because toddlers like this one a lot.
4. MAM Starter Cup with Handles
What’s one of the biggest concerns when transitioning to a sippy cup? The mess! Sloshing and spills can quickly become the bane of a busy mom’s existence.
Avoid the stress completely with this anti-spill starter cup from MAM. It holds five ounces of your child’s favorite beverage and features an extra-soft spout. It also has an ergonomic design, with a curved bottle and non-slip handles, so your child can hold and carry it with confidence.
Best of all, the soft spout is completely spill-free. Not only does this make your life easier, but it helps your little one transition from sucking to drinking. A dust cap is also provided to prevent spills during transport and protect from dirt and germs.
The entire sippy cup is made of durable plastic, which is BPA and BPS free. We love it for moms on-the-go who don’t have time to worry about cleaning up spills.
- Anti-spill spout and lid prevent stressful messes.
- Ergonomic design helps your child learn to drink from a cup with confidence
- Since the nipple is so soft, your little one may chew on it and damage it.
5. Re-Play Sippy Cups
Your child will be able to get milk out of these Re-Play cups at a fairly fast rate (faster without the silicone valve)..
These hold 10 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. As your toddler gets older and spills less you can remove the valve.
You’ll get a three-pack of cups in different colors. They are BPA, Phthalate, PVC and Melamine FREE, (made from recycled milk jugs) 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.
- Leak free.
- 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.
6. Philips Avent My Natural Trainer Cup
This sippy cup by Philips Avent 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 plastic, 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 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 wider cup than some children may like.
- The top can be unscrewed fairly easily, so a busy baby can get it off and make a mess.
7. Pura Kiki Stainless Steel Insulated Sippy Cup
This cup doesn’t use any plastic, and it can grow with your child. 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.
8. 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.
- 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.
9. 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 8 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.
10. 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. The removable handles are a bonus, 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.
11. NUK 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 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
12. 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 little one who likes to bite everything, you’ll appreciate that this rim is bite resistant, too.
The design still allows it to be completely leak proof. 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.
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 cap 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.
14. Munchkin Click Lock
This two-pack of cups can be used by children who are nine months and older. These cups have a click-lock leak proof 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 little one 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.
15. 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.
Sippy Cup FAQs
Are There Any Dangers to Using Sippy Cups?
With proper supervision, sippy cups are a great tool. They help prepare your little one to handle a normal cup.
But if you aren’t careful, they can cause some problems too, just as bottles can.
The potential downside is that sippy cups 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.
Here are some additional sippy cup safety tips:
- 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 (2).
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.
- 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 kid 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 first, 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!
What Should I 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 (sporadically), as well as water. Juice should be thought of as a treat because it is empty calories, meaning it doesn’t offer anything nutritionally.
Avoid offering sweet tea, sugary artificial drinks, or soda. If your little one’s appetite seems diminished at mealtimes, consider limiting drinks to water or dilute juice, so they don’t get too full.