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Best Toddler Straw Cups
Updated on
December 6, 2023

Best Toddler Straw Cups

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Best Toddler Straw Cups.
Best Toddler Straw Cups

Does it feel like you’ve spent more time than you care to admit trying to figure out the best—and least messy—way to quench your toddler’s thirst? You’re not alone. A five-second search unearths no shortage of approximately one zillion toddler straw cups to choose from, and lots of questions to consider. Plastic or stainless steel? Soft spout or hard? Eight ounces of liquid or 12? And the biggest wildcard of them all: DOES IT LEAK?

Let the Babylist’s gear experts do the work for you. Whether you’ve got water, milk or even a smoothie on the menu, these are the best toddler straw cups that will keep both you and your little one happy—and mess-free.

When to Use a Straw Cup

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends beginning to transition your child from a bottle to a cup around six months of age and completing the transition somewhere between 12 and 18 months.

What comes next is up to you. Some parents choose to jump right to an open cup, while others prefer a training cup, such as a sippy cup, to minimize the mess. (Just don’t linger too long with a training cup, per the AAP, and choose cups with straws rather than a spout or 360 lids to encourage your little one’s oral motor development skills and speech development, according to feeding therapists and swallowing specialists.)

Once they’ve mastered the straw, most toddlers are ready for a larger cup. Toddler straw cups are a great option for home or daycare, or for when you’re on the go. Many resemble the same type of water bottle you may use—just sized down for toddlers.

How to Choose a Toddler Straw Cup

There are a few things to consider when choosing the best type of straw bottle for your toddler.

Material

Toddler straw cups come in a variety of materials, but the most common are plastic and stainless steel. Toddler straw bottles made from plastic are lightweight and generally more affordable than stainless options. (If you’re choosing a plastic straw cup, verify that it’s BPA-free plastic.) Stainless steel cups, especially if they’re insulated, keep milk or other liquids cold and are more durable than plastic cups, but cost a bit more and are heavier than plastic. Many also feature a silicone sleeve to make the cup easier to hold.

You’ll also want to pay attention to the material of the cup’s straw. Opt for a straw or spout made from a soft material, such as silicone, instead of hard plastic. That’s because unlike a soft silicone straw, a hard spout can injure your toddler if they ever fall while drinking.

Capacity

Most straw cups for toddlers hold at least six ounces of liquid, but some hold up to 12 or even 16. How large of a cup you need depends on how you’ll be using the cup most of the time. For example, if you’re traveling or on the go frequently, you may want a larger cup requiring fewer refills. If you’re mostly using the cup at home, or if you’re concerned about its weight, opt for one that holds a bit less.

Leakproof

Ask any toddler parent what their number one complaint is about straw cups and you’ll likely get the same answer: leaks. Choosing a leakproof toddler straw cup will keep your home, car and toddler a lot cleaner—and you a lot saner. Trust us on this one.

A few of the toddler straw cups on our best-of list are spillproof but not leakproof, which means that the liquid will usually stay in place if your toddler tips the cup over but may leak if they turn the cup upside down or shake it vigorously. We recommend these types of straw cups for older toddlers who may have less of an “adventurous spirit,” to put it kindly.

How to Clean Straw Cups

If you suspect cleaning your toddler’s straw cup won’t be high on your list of things you enjoy as a parent, you’re correct. Toddler straw cups rank right up there with humidifiers as one of the most-complained-about items of baby gear to keep clean. But it’s important to stay on top of the cleaning process; straw cups are a breeding ground for bacteria and mold if they’re not cleaned properly and frequently.

Always follow the cleaning directions for your specific cup. Many toddler straw cups are dishwasher safe, while others need to be washed by hand. You’ll also want a good bottle brush and cleaning brush set on hand to get deep into those tough-to-reach spots.

How We Chose the Best Straw Cups for Toddlers

  • We analyzed results from Babylist’s Best Baby Products survey, which polled almost 3,000 Babylist users and asked them to share the baby products they love the most and why.
  • We utilized insight from the Babylist editorial team, including Gear Editor Jen LaBracio, an expert in the baby space for over six years and a mom of two who has written hundreds of baby gear guides and personally researched and tested hundreds of baby products, including over a dozen straw cups for toddlers.
  • We reviewed customer reviews from hundreds of real Babylist parents.

Easiest to Clean Toddler Straw Cup

Pros Cons
Easy to clean Non-insulated
Completely leakproof Leaks if tipped
Lightweight  

If digging inside a tiny straw with a tiny brush isn’t your idea of a good time, this is the toddler straw cup for you. The valve and straw pop open on the underside of the lid for easy access cleaning. Everything is tethered to the lid so you’ll never lose anything while you’re scrubbing—and putting it all back together is a cinch. Other major pros: the entire cup is top-rack dishwasher safe; it’s completely leakproof, even when the spout is up and it’s flipped upside down; and it’s lightweight. The added bonus is that the spout flips up with the quick touch of a button, a feature toddlers love.

Best Toddler Straw Cup for Smoothies

Pros Cons
Stainless steel Leaks if tipped
Easy to clean  
Comes with straw and airtight lids  

You’re not a parent if you haven’t tried to sneak a few veggies into your toddler’s day. If you’re whipping up smoothies on the regular, this is our go-to tumbler. It’s made from stainless steel, so it keeps your drink cooler longer, and it’s just the right size for a toddler serving. It’s also really easy to clean, a major plus when you’re scrubbing blueberry and raspberry remains out of, well, anything. The silicone straw is soft and flexible and features a stopper so your curious toddler can’t pull it out. (They can, however, push it down beneath the lid so it gets lost in the cup. Speaking from experience here…) And each cup comes with a silicone sleeve and an airtight storage lid that you can switch out for the straw lid if you need to take the tumbler on the go.

Just note, this cup will leak if you’re using the straw lid and your toddler tips it over, so it’s probably better to use it while seated and with an older toddler or one who you know won’t try to toss it across the room. It also doubles as a mason drinking glass if you want to use it with the top off once your toddler gets a bit older. And the brand makes a glass version, too.

Best Toddler Straw Cup for on the Go

Pros Cons
Light and durable Multiple parts to clean
50% recycled material Leaks when tipped
Fun designs  

The CamelBak Eddy+ is one of our favorite toddler straw cups to take on the go, whether it’s to daycare, preschool or any outdoor adventure. This BPA-free plastic cup is durable, holds just the right ounces of liquid and is lightweight and easy for little hands to grip. It’s also just the right size for slipping into a bag or the side of a backpack. The Eddy+ is made from 50% recycled material and both the cap and the bottle can be tossed in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. And there are lots of fun designs.

Keep in mind: this toddler straw cup is leakproof when closed, but does leak if your toddler flips it over while it’s open. There’s also a stainless steel version.

Best Leakproof Toddler Straw Cup for Younger Toddlers

Pros Cons
100% leakproof at any angle Small parts to clean
Weighted straw cup  
Good for bottle-to-cup transition  

If you’re transitioning your younger toddler from a bottle of formula or breast milk to a straw cup, you’re likely filling it with milk at least a few times a day. And the last thing you want is a leak. This toddler cup from Australian brand b.box is a reliably mess-free solution. It’s completely leakproof regardless of whatever wild cup antics your toddler tries to pull off. It also features a weighted straw that moves with the liquid at whatever angle the cup is held, a nice feature for a younger toddler who may be used to holding a bottle. There are also easy-grip handles and a flip-top lid.

The cup is dishwasher safe, but you’ll want to clean the inside of the straw fairly often—and you’ll need a tiny brush (and a bit of patience) for that.

Best Leakproof Toddler Straw Cup for Older Toddlers

Pros Cons
100% leakproof at any angle Need to scrub lid and inside of straw
Fits in cup holders  
Easy to clean  

What looks like an everyday big-kid cup is so much more. This toddler straw tumbler features a spillproof valve and a seal around the straw so it’s completely leak-free, no matter what your toddler throws at it. (Or, more likely, where they throw it.) It’s durable, budget-friendly and features a soft-grip bottom and weighted base that help to steady it and prevent tipping. And unlike lots of toddler straw cups, this one features a tapered bottom, so it fits in most car and stroller cup holders. Cleaning isn’t all that hard, but you will need to pay special attention to scrubbing under the lid and inside the straw, especially if you’re using the cup for liquids other than water.

Best Toddler Straw Cup to Transition from Bottles

Pros Cons
Transition cup Lots of parts to clean
Leakproof Transition kits sold separately
Easy to hold  

Options, options, options. That’s the name of the game for this toddler straw cup. It has several iterations, perfect for a younger toddler who is transitioning from bottles to a cup: a spout option, a straw top, a weighted straw kit and finally a straw + silicone straw tube kit. It’s fully customizable (there are even removable handles) and can help you cut down the number of cups you’ll need to buy as your little one makes the switch. It’s also leakproof, a must-have if you’re shopping for a transition cup to use with younger toddlers. Just be sure to follow the cleaning instructions so as to not damage the integrity of the straw.

Best Silicone Toddler Straw Cup

Pros Cons
Soft, food-grade silicone Leaks if tipped
Two-in-one design Lid can be pulled off
Easy to clean  

You can use this modern silicone training cup well before your little one enters toddlerhood—and well into it. The two-in-one design works as a straw cup and then as an open silicone cup when your toddler is ready. The handles make it easy to grab and the soft, flexible straw is safe for emerging teeth. It’s also top-rack dishwasher safe and the wide straw works for milk, water and even smoothies. Just pay attention if you have a curious (and dexterous) toddler—the lid isn’t all that easy to pop off, but it’s doable.

Best Stainless Steel Toddler Straw Cup

Pros Cons
Stainless steel Expensive
Flip top and carry strap Leaks if upside down
Cute designs  

A toddler straw cup made from stainless steel is a good choice if you’re looking for an alternative to plastic, and this one from Skip Hop is one of the best. Unlike some stainless steel options, this one is on the lighter side, so it works well even for younger toddlers. There are several thoughtful features such as a silicone straw and no-slip sleeve, a flip top and a removable carry strap. (The strap is also useful if you want to attach the cup to your stroller.) We love all the fun color options and cute designs (llamas! narwhals! unicorns!) and the 12-ounce size. It’s nearly leakproof but will leak if turned upside down for more than a few seconds, so you’ll want to pay attention.

Other stainless steel toddler straw cup options we love are the Thermos Funtainer 12oz Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Straw (this one also leaks if upside down, but is vacuum insulated to keep drinks cold) and Munchkin’s Cool Cat Stainless Steel Toddler Straw Cup.

Best Toddler Straw Cup for Travel

Pros Cons
Budget-friendly option Hand wash only
Leakproof Must be held upright
Lid clicks into place  

Cups are notorious for going missing at every turn. If you’re hitting the road with your toddler, consider bringing along this inexpensive cup from Nuby. (We also love keeping one permanently stashed in our diaper bag for emergencies.) It’s surprisingly leakproof, especially considering the price, and features a soft, silicone straw and a lid that audibly locks into place so you know you’re good to go. And at about five dollars each, you won’t feel bad if you accidentally leave it behind.

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