8 Best Sippy Cups

Best Sippy Cups of 2019

July 2, 2019

Best Sippy Cups of 2019

When the time comes for baby to graduate to a cup, the sippy cup will be your new BFF.Best Sippy Cups of 2019

When it’s time for your little one to make the transition from breast or bottle to drinking from a cup, the sippy cup is going to become your new BFF. Used as the go-between after the nipple but before the open cup, the sippy cup helps babies learn to drink with way less mess—which is something we’re always there for.

Do You Need Sippy Cups?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends switching your little one over to a cup somewhere between one and two years of age. But just like with solid food, there’s a learning curve that comes along with using a cup, and an open-top option can be a messy way to start. (It is totally doable, though—you’ll just need patience and a whole lot of paper towels! If you do want to go right to an open cup, we love the ezpz Tiny Cup for its just-right size, weighted base, and sleek design.)

If you’re looking to minimize messes, then a sippy cup may be the way to go. Sippy cups, also known as transition cups, feature a lid to minimize “uh-oh!” incidents and withstand being tossed from a high chair or stroller. Some even stay leak-free when turned upside-down! Sippy cups are also convenient to take on the go—just keep in mind that many won’t fit in cup holders because of their wide bases, which are designed to minimize toppling over when they’re set down.

You’ll know your little one is sippy-cup ready when they are able to sit up in a high chair, as early as six months old.

What Type of Sippy Cup is Best?

Sippy cups come in four different styles:

  • Soft spout
  • Hard spout
  • Straw
  • Flat lid (also called 360s because the liquid comes out all around the sides of the lid when lips press on it)

Although there’s no official stance from the American Academy of Pediatrics on the issue, it is important to note that many experts—especially speech therapists and dentists—caution against too much reliance on sippy cups, and especially on cups that feature spouts instead of straws. That’s because of two main reasons:

  • The convenience of a sippy cup may mean your little one will want to carry it around all day, and this can cause tooth decay (especially if there’s milk in the cup), and can also affect your child’s hunger level for real foods.
  • Extensive use of spouted cups may cause oral motor delays. If your little one is exclusively drinking from a spouted cup, they may not learn to develop what experts call a “mature swallow pattern.”

Neither of these things means you’ll need to ditch the sippy cup completely, of course. But they are important to keep in mind when you’re thinking about what type of cup to purchase and how you use it throughout the day with your baby or toddler.

Another thing to consider when choosing a sippy cup is material. Although plastic continues to dominate the market, sippy cups now come in multiple materials with different benefits:

  • Plastic is lightweight and typically less costly than cups of other materials. But, even if it’s BPA-free (which you should verify it is), there’s still concern about leaching to consider.
  • Stainless steel eliminates the issues surrounding plastics and is easy to clean and super durable. Some stainless steel sippy cups are even insulated to keep milk or other liquids cold.
  • Glass also bypasses plastic issues, but is obviously a heavier material and breakable. Look for glass cups with silicone sleeves to make them less slippery and more shatterproof.
  • Silicone is used in most transition cups that have soft spouts, straws, sleeves or valves. It’s a soft, pliable material that won’t injure your baby’s gums when gnawed on. The downside? You’ll have to replace the parts of the cup, or the entire cup, once they become too chewed-up.

One more thing to consider is a universal sippy cup lid. Made of soft silicone and available in either a spout or lid/straw combo, these lids offer a nice alternative to buying all new cups. The one downside is they’re not as leakproof as other sippy cups on the market, so they may be a better option for older kiddos.

How Do You Clean a Sippy Cup?

We can’t lie to you—sippy cups rank right up there next to humidifiers as one of parents’ most-complained about items of baby gear to keep clean. Packed with nooks and crannies that just love to hang onto milk and other liquid residue, sippy cups can be a breeding ground for mold and other types of bacteria if not cleaned properly, so it’s important to be pretty diligent about the cleaning process.

Be sure to follow the cleaning directions of your specific cup. Some can go in the top rack of the dishwasher, while others are hand wash only. You’ll also want to have a good bottle brush on hand and a cleaning set to get deep into those hard-to-reach spots. Have a microwave bottle sterilizer? Don’t put it away just yet—you may be able to use it with your sippy cup. And if the cleaning instructions indicate it’s OK, you can also put sippy cups in a pot of boiling water for five minutes to sterilize them as needed.

Best 360 Sippy Cup

Truly leak-proof, the 360-degree design of this BPA-free cup is great for avoiding messes and supporting kids’ dental health. It may take a bit of practice, but toddlers will quickly learn how to drink from it (tilt the cup and suck on the valve’s edge), putting them one step closer to drinking from an open cup. The handles make it easy to hold, and the minimal design makes it easy to clean. (Looking for a non-plastic option? Munchkin makes a stainless option, too–just keep in mind there are no handles.)

Best Sippy Cup for New Drinkers

Featuring a weighted straw that moves to the liquid, this straw sippy cup can withstand all the wiggling and jiggling your little one sends its way, ensuring they’ll still get a sip no matter how they hold the cup. The soft, flexible straw is valve-free, so it’s great for new sippers and more experienced ones, and there’s an easy-grip handle and a flip-up cover to protect from dirt and spills. (Pro tip: increase the longevity of your BOT with replacement straws and a straw cleaning brush.)

Most Eco-Friendly Sippy Cup

Looking for an eco-friendly solution to sippy cups? Look no further than Herobility. Made from plant-based materials, this cup is as environmentally friendly as it is functional. Use it three ways: as a sippy cup with a spout and a lid, as a sippy cup with a straw and a lid or as a regular open cup that’s just right for tiny hands. Just keep in mind that hand washing is recommended.

Best Stainless Steel Sippy Cup

Featuring zero plastic parts and medical grade silicone components, this stainless steel sippy cup is a great alternative to plastic. It’s ultra versatile, too–thanks to interchangeable parts, the cup seamlessly transitions from an infant bottle to a sippy cup, sport bottle or even a snack container, growing right alongside your little one.

Cutest Sippy Cup

What’s not to love about these brightly colored, adorable straw bottles? With so many cute animal faces to choose from, your little one is sure to find their favorite. These straw sippy cups feature a thinner, flip-up soft straw to regulate liquid flow, a domed cover to prevent spills and a removable grab strap. And all of the cup’s parts disassemble easily for cleaning. Just keep in mind that this sippy cup isn’t completely leak-proof–you’ll want to keep the bottle as upright as possible to minimize the mess. (Same level of cuteness, less plastic: these bottles also come in stainless.)

Best Transition Sippy Cup

Having trouble with the switch from breast or bottle to cup? A transition cup can be a great solution. Featuring a soft silicone spout, this sippy cup will help your little one seamlessly transition to the next stage of feeding. Parents love the cross-cut design on the spout that contains the mess–even when the cup is held upside down. It’s also easy to clean, BPA-free and converts to a straw bottle thanks to the Thinkster system.

Best Sippy Cup for Older Toddlers

Once your little one has mastered the sippy cup, you may want to move on to a larger bottle that can hold a good amount of liquid while also remaining leak-free. Enter the CamelBack Eddy. Perfect for older kiddos, it holds up to 12 oz of liquid, comes in tons of great designs and features a one-piece bite valve that limits leaks and is easy for little ones to get the hang of. There’s a plastic option, but we love the stainless model for its double-walled insulation that reduces condensation and keeps water cool all day long.

Best Disposable Sippy Cup

Easy to toss in your diaper bag, take out for play dates or keep at grandma’s house, these BPA-free sippy cups hold up to multiple uses but are affordable enough that you won’t be mad if you leave one behind. Simply tip and sip–there’s no valve to worry about here–and enjoy the snap-on, spill-proof lid and and the bonus travel cap. (There’s a straw option too!)


Choosing What’s Right for You

Making the switch from breastfeeding or a bottle to a sippy cup can be daunting at first–for you and for your little one! But stick with it. Whether you decide on a spouted cup or go right to the straw, try to be as consistent as possible and give your little one plenty of time to adjust to this new way of drinking. And don’t worry if it takes a while to click. It’s normal and all part of the learning process!

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content.