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Best Sippy Cups of 2024
January 4, 2024

Best Sippy Cups of 2024

By Babylist Team
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Best Sippy Cups of 2024.
Best Sippy Cups of 2024

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

When To Introduce a Sippy Cup

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) 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.

Sippy cups, also known as transition cups, feature a lid to minimize spills and can withstand being tossed from a high chair or stroller. Some even stay leak-free when turned upside-down, and 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.

It’s also completely fine to skip the sippy cup altogether and go right to an open cup. You’ll need some patience and a whole lot of paper towels, but it’s completely doable and some parents even prefer to go this route.

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)

Sippy cups also come in a variety of materials. While plastic continues to dominate the market, there are other options with different benefits, too.

  • 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 concerns about leaching to consider.
  • Stainless steel eliminates the issues surrounding plastics and is easy to clean and very 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.

Are Sippy Cups Bad?

Although there’s no official stance from the AAP 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 may want to carry it around all day. 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.

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 diligent about the cleaning process.

Be sure to follow the cleaning directions for 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 okay, you can also put some sippy cups in a pot of boiling water for five minutes to sterilize them as needed.

Best Sippy Cup for Baby

What’s better than one sippy cup? Four, of course! Babies love our custom curation of four of the most popular sippy cups so they can figure out what they like best, and parents love it for the same reason. (You’re the one who’ll be scrubbing the cups, don’t forget!) The bundle features a Munchkin Miracle 360° Trainer Cup, NUK Learner Cup, Lalo Little Cup and Dr. Brown’s Baby’s First Straw Cup.

Best Sippy Cup for Toddlers

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. (Don’t’ want plastic? Munchkin makes a stainless option, too–just keep in mind there are no handles.)

Best First Sippy Cup

Featuring a soft, flexible and valve-free straw, this sippy cup is great for new sippers (and more experienced ones, too). The weighted straw moves to the liquid, so it 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. There’s also an easy-grip handle and a flip-up cover to protect from dirt and spills.

Best Open Cup

Even if you’re introducing a sippy cup to your baby or toddler, there’s no reason not to also practice with an open cup since it’s an important developmental milestone. This soft silicone cup is designed specifically for new drinkers. It’s perfectly sized for baby’s small mouth and hands, features a non-slip silicone grip and has a weighted base and tactile bumps for stability and sensory awareness to decrease spills. It’s dishwasher-safe and the silicone won’t fade or deteriorate over time. There’s also a version that comes with a straw and lid if they’re not quite ready for an open cup.

Best Hybrid Sippy Cup

Still trying to decide whether to take the open cup plunge? This four-ounce hybrid cup, made from high-quality silicone, offers the best of all worlds. It can be used three ways: with a straw, a spout or as an open cup once your baby is ready. Handles on either side make for easy gripping, and all cup components are top-rack dishwasher safe.

Best Leakproof Sippy Cup

Munchkin promises your little one can hold this cup at any angle and still get liquid—and we’re happy to report they’re completely right. The weighted straw in this cup moves to wherever the liquid is, even if your baby or toddler is holding the cup like a bottle. The even better news? It. Does. Not. Leak. (Truly.) It’s a sippy cup miracle!

Best Transition Sippy Cup

If you want to gradually make the switch from bottle to straw cup, this transitional sippy cup is your best bet. It includes a silicone sippy spout, a straw spout and a regular straw so you can let your little one take the lead as they wean from the bottle. It’s also made with plant plastic (a non-toxic, plant-based alternative to plastic) and silicone. Just note that while all parts are top-rack dishwasher safe, hand washing is recommended to prolong the life of the cup.

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, sports bottle or even a snack container, growing right alongside your little one.

Best Hard Spout Sippy Cup

There’s a lot to love about these hard spout sippy cups from Re-Play. They’re made in America from recycled milk jugs and come in a huge rainbow of different shades and colors. They’re dishwasher-safe, leakproof and stackable for easy storage. And there’s only one silicone valve to clean, plus replacements available if you lose yours.

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 CamelBak Eddy. Perfect for older kiddos, it holds up to 12 ounces 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 also a stainless steel option that features double-walled insulation that reduces condensation and keeps water cool all day long.

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