Best Sippy Cup 2017

Best Sippy Cup 2017

Last Updated: Nov 9, 2017 @ 11:44 am. After researching and testing 14 different sippy cups, we pick the OXO Tot Transitions Straw Cup with Removable Handles ($10 on Amazon) as the Best Sippy Cup 2017.

Scroll down for our picks for Best Rimless Sippy CupBest Budget-Friendly Sippy Cribs and Best Eco-Friendly Sippy Cup.
New to shopping for baby? Read our 7 Things No One Tells You About Buying a Sippy Cup for advice and tips.

Before we go into why the OXO cup won in our tests, let’s talk Sippy Cup 101. What is the point of these cups? Sippy cups are supposed to teach toddlers how to drink from a cup. At about a year of age, most babies can hold a cup in their hands. At this point, you have three choices: a sippy cup with a spout, sippy cup with a straw or one of the newer, rimless training cups.

Our recommendation: sippy cups with a straw or a rimless training cup. (Read below for why we don’t recommend a sippy cup with spouts).

An excellent sippy cup should be easy to assemble, easy to clean and easy to use—that is, for a child to draw liquid from the cup. And let’s talk about spills: The whole point for your child to feed herself without spilling it all over the floor.

Good news: the nation’s best scientists have been working overtime to great all manners of valves, gaskets and gizmos to keep liquid in sippy cups—and off your floor. Yet how successful are these cups in real life? We torture-tested 14 of the most popular sippy cups to pick a winner.

The winner: OXO Tot Transitions Straw Cup with Removable Handles

OXO Tot’s Transitions Straw Cup is the best cup for parents transitioning baby from the bottle or breast to the kitchen table. It comes with a silicone straw tip, hinged lid, and removable handles. Plus, the OXO has a rare feature in straw sippy cups:  measurement markings on the side so you can see how much baby is drinking.

During our shake and leak testing, the OXO performed perfectly. Even though it has a tiny vacuum-release hole in the lid under the straw, no liquid dribbled out. It also comes with a flip lid for extra protection when tossed in diaper bag for travel. The flip lid is removable if needed. Check out the video at the end of this review.

Available in two sizes (6 oz. with handles, 6 oz. without handles and 9 oz. without handles), the biggest negative with the OXO Tot Transitions Straw Cup is the price. At $10 per cup ($9 for the 6 oz. version with no handles), it’s substantially more than its runner up, the Nuby at $4 each.

Another negative: The OXO cup has six parts to clean—which is more than other cups. Of course, this includes the removable handles and the removable flip lid (not all cups have those features). The parts are dishwasher safe. Replacement straws are available on OXO’s web site, two for $3.

Like most straw sippy cups, the OXO Tot Transitions Straw Cup does have a learning curve. Parents complained that getting liquid from the cup was difficult at first, although many said their kids got the hang of it over time.

Despite these drawback, we still think OXO Tot is the best in class. Overall, we think this is the top option for parents and toddlers transitioning away from breast or bottle.

Here’s a quick video of our leak test for the OXO Tot:

The Best Sippy Cup

OXO Tot Transitions Straw Cup with Removable Handles
With a flexible, silicone straw and contoured cup with measurements marks, and flip top for added leak protection, the OXO Tot Transitions Straw Cup with Removable Handles is the best bet to help babies learn how to use a cup.

Why didn’t we recommend a sippy cup with spout?

Good question! Our top choices for sippy cups are not cups with a spout like this:

Sippy cup with spout

Spouted drinking cup.

Here are the reasons why. Transitioning from breast or a bottle to a cup is a big step for toddlers. It’s one of the first times you’ll be encouraging real independence from your little one. Once your child can eat and drink independently (without leaving behind a huge mess), life gets a bit easier since you won’t need to be personally involved in every meal! Sippy cups are typically parents’ choice to help with the transition.

But . . . you knew there’d be a “but” . . . you want the right sippy cup. The delivery method is important when it comes to your child’s dental and developmental health. According to our resident pediatric expert, Dr. Ari Brown (co-author of Baby 411 and Toddler 411), spouted lids work just like bottles (your child will tilt his/her head back to drink) so your child doesn’t get to practice for a real cup.

Baby drinking from sippy cup

Spouted cups encourage babies to tilt their heads back as when using a bottle. Straw sippy cups encourage babies to keep their heads forward similar to drinking from a regular cup.

Dentists also note that the flow of the liquid from a spouted cup is directed to the back of the top front teeth. This can easily lead to cavities. Hence, most dentists do NOT recommend using sippy cups with spouted lids.

Speech therapists also worry sippy cups with spouts could contribute to a lisping problem. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association offers a detailed explanation of potential problems with spouted sippy cups. Their recommendation: straws, which baby can master by about nine months of age. They also recommend helping kids drink from an open top cup once they are around one year of age to help them master independent drinking. Most toddlers can drink from an open top cup by themselves by 18 months.

In light of all this expert advice, we recommend sippy cups with straws; we don’t recommend spouted cups. Teaching your child to drink from a straw is a better strategy for dental health and will make the developmental transition to a lidless cup easier too.

The newest category of sippy cups are called “rimless trainers.” Our top pick is reviewed below. From the side, these cups look like a regular cup with no lid. But when you look down from above, you’ll see an insert that impedes the flow of liquid enough to help kids learn to drink from a lidless cup without pouring all of it on themselves. Some rimless trainers are self-sealing, while others slow down the flow rate.

Also Great: Nuby No-Spill Cup with Flex Straw

Nuby 2-Pack No-Spill Cup with Flex Straw
The Nuby No-Spill Cup with Flex Straw ($8 for two) performed well in our shake and leak test (see video below). It comes with a soft silicone straw top (removable for cleaning) as well as an attached hard plastic straw extending into the cup itself.

But let’s talk frankly about getting liquid out of these cups. Even our top pick, the OXO, is difficult to get the hang of at first. With any no-leak straw cup, the straw itself has a gasket to stop leaks. To get it to  work, your child will have to push the straw up to the top of his mouth, compressing the straw, then suck. Kids are pretty adaptable and learn quickly in most cases, but we can imagine some initial frustration.

In the case of the Nuby, we found this to be the one of the easiest straw to suck from. Other straws required more force or the straw was too narrow. We also liked Nuby’s silicone straw top: it’s comfortable in the mouth but can stand a lot of toddler chewing. The shape of the cup makes it easier for little hands to hang on, but we wish it had handles like Nuby’s spouted version. You can buy replacement straws from Nuby’s web site for $2.70.

Nuby No-Spill Cup with Flex Straw

The Nuby has four parts: the cup itself and the ring are hard plastic. The top gasket and straw are silicone while the straw extension is also hard plastic.

 

So what do parents think about the Nuby? It’s affordability is a major plus. At $4 per cup, these cups are significantly less expensive than our top pick, the OXO Tot. And parents are impressed that the Nuby doesn’t leak. You can shake it like a Polaroid picture, but you won’t get any liquid out. That’s impressive compared to other cups we tested.

On the other hand, it’s a bit difficult to master the valve in order to drink. In fact, some parents just couldn’t do it. Others noted that kids who didn’t get it at first were quick learners, so patience and persistence should help. Many folks liked the slow flow from these cups since in slows down those kids who chug their drinks.

Best Rimless Sippy Cup

Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy Cup

Best Rimless Sippy Cup. After testing a few of the new “rimless” cups, we have picked the Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy Cup ($11.49 for two) as our top choice for Best Rimless Sippy Cup.

Rimless cups are the next developmental step after straw sippy cups. They look and behave like a lidless cup, but have a control valve that keeps your toddler from spilling the entire contents when you’re not looking. These are a great idea for those days when temper tantrums rule the house. Even if your little one threw this cup across the room, the amount of liquid spilled would be minimal.

The Munchkin Miracle 360 allows your child to sip from any side of the cup (hence the 360 moniker) just like a regular cup. It comes with only three main parts (plus a thin, clear gasket at the top of the cup), is dishwasher safe (top rack) and has a softly textured surface for easy holding. Smaller versions come with handles ($9.47) if your child’s hands are too small to grasp comfortably. Your child activates the cup when she puts light pressure from her lips to the edge of the cup/gasket. When released, the gasket automatically closes.

Munchkin Miracle 360

The Munchkin Miracle 360 has few parts to clean and are dishwasher safe in the upper rack.

While the cup is pretty good at containing liquid, you can get some leakage with vigorous shaking or if you leave it on its side for a long period of time. Parents also complained the cups can grow mold under the gasket (which can be hard to clean) and the control valve. Careful cleaning and drying is necessary to keep the cup mold free.

However, if your child is at least 12 months old and ready for the transition from a straw sippy to a more realistic low-leaking cup, the Munchkin Miracle 360 is the best option.

Also Great: Sassy Grow-Up Cup

Sassy Grow-Up Cup

Sassy’s Grow-Up Cup is one of the coolest looking sippy cup options we found with its bright colors accentuated with polka dots and black-and-white stripes. Priced at $10.99 for two 9 oz. cups (or $10.99 for two 7 oz. cups with removable handles), the Sassy cup uses a similar gasket system.

In our hands on testing, we thought the gasket design made it somewhat harder to get liquid out compared to the Munchkin Miracle 360; in fact, our test subjects occasionally spilled on themselves trying to get it to work.

The Sassy Grow-up Cup will also leak a bit if you shake it vigorously. The gasket is removable for cleaning, but we found this harder do to than with other cups. The cup leaked a few drops of liquid when we turned it upside down, but did not leak at all when we left it on its side.

Bottom line: Sassy’s Grow-Up Cup is a decent alternative to the Munchkin 360.

Best Budget-Friendly Sippy Cup

First Years Take & Toss Spill proof straw cups

Best Budget-Friendly Sippy Cup. First Years Take & Toss Spill-proof Straw Cups are truly friendly to your wallet, yet sturdy enough to be for up to a year before throwing them out, based on our testing. These cups retail in stores for $5 for four cups, lids and straws, although we found them for as little as $2.68 on Amazon.com.

These 10 oz. cups are made from BPA- and BPS-free plastic and can be washed in the dishwasher. While they are reusable, the First Years’ selling point is they are cheap enough that you won’t be bummed if you lose one. And if you have a toddler at home, you know that is going to happen.

Our readers are overall pleased with these cups, although they caution to put the lid on first, then put the straw in the lid. If you snap on the lid with the straw already in it, the seal creates a vacuum which pushes liquid out of the straw and all over you.

Also, the Take & Toss cups aren’t completely spill proof, as the straws don’t have a gasket to hold back the water. So we suggest these cups for older toddlers who aren’t spiking their cups like a football.

But for the price (as little as 67¢ each) and performance,First Years Take & Toss Spill-proof Straw Cups are great for older toddlers.

Best Eco-Friendly Sippy Cup

Best Eco-Friendly Sippy Cup. Most sippy cups are made of plastic. The good news: most cups on the market today are free of chemicals like BPA. And some are BPS-free (another type of plastic some folks have concerns about).

But we hear you—plenty of our readers are worried that even “safe plastics” may have unknown long-term health impacts . . . not mention they aren’t very earth-friendly.

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly alternative, here are our top picks. Stainless steel sippy cups are a good solution, based on our analysis and testing. Our top pick for best eco-friendly sippy cup with straw is the Housesavvy Stainless Steel Cups with Lids and Straws, $15.99 for two:

Housesavvy Stainless Steel Cups with Lids and Straws

The Housesavvy Stainless Steel Cups with Lids and Straws

Yes, the lid is made of BPA-free plastic but the straw is silicone (plus the lid slides open so your child can use it without the straw, sort of like an adult travel mug). That plus the stainless steel base means you have significantly reduced the plastics in this product. And the stainless steel is double wall insulated to keep liquids warm or cold longer. As with any metal, do not put this cup in the microwave.

A bummer about the Housesavvy cups: they aren’t dishwasher safe. Yes, all parts have to be hand washed. And they are not spill proof. They will leak some through the straw if thrown on the floor.

Most parents like these cups for older toddlers, based on our reader feedback.

If you prefer a stainless steel rimless sippy cups, Munchkin, maker of our top choice for rimless sippy cup (the Miracle 360) makes it with a stainless steel base. The Munchkin Miracle Stainless Steel 360 ($10.68 to $14.50) is insulated and the company claims this will keep drinks cool for up to 15 hours. Our testers concur! These cups are impressive.

The lid and control valve are still made of plastic like the original version of the cup. The company has included a plastic cap for travel.

Munchkin Miracle Stainless Steel 360

Same great 360 degree drinking edge of the original, this version reduces the plastic to just the lid and gasket.

We love that the lids are interchangeable between the stainless steel and plastic versions. Another plus: stainless doesn’t retain odors so if you forget to clean them out (guilty!), you don’t have to worry the container will absorb any funky smells. And unlike the straw cup mentioned above, these cups can be washed in the dishwasher.

What’s not to like? The Munchkin Miracle Stainless Steel 360 is large and heavy, and they aren’t leak proof. Remember this when you throw one in your bag or car (some readers recommended packing them in a zip lock bag just in case). A few folks complained about a metallic taste, so if you’re sensitive to that, consider sticking with plastic cups.

Overall, this is a great option if you want to reduce the plastic in your life. We recommend the Munchkin Miracle Stainless Steel 360 cups.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing baby products since 1994. In addition to hands on testing and inspection of sippy cups and other items, we have also visited manufacturer facilities and met with safety regulators—and when we travel, we pay our all of our own expenses. We also evaluate consumer reviews posted on sites like Babies R Us and Amazon, as well as our own message boards.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Baby Bargains is your independent and unbiased source for expert baby gear reviews. We’ve been writing and reviewing baby gear since 1994. Yes, that long!

How we picked a winner

Sippy Cup Smackdown: We tested these "spill proof" cups to see if they could stand up to real toddlers

Sippy Cup Smackdown: We tested these “spill proof” cups to see if they could stand up to real toddlers—here’s a sampling of the 14 cups we tested.

Our toddler testers sucked on a lot of straws, shook up all kinds of cups and did our best to figure out how to make a “no-leak” a sippy cup leak. We inspected a top slate of popular sippy cups with straws as well as rimless sippy cups, checking models for overall quality and ease of use—for example, figuring out how much liquid could we extract.

We also gather significant reader feedback (our book, Baby Bargains has over 1 million copies in print), tracking cups on quality and durability. Besides interviewing parents, we also regularly talk with pediatricians and dentists to learn about sippy cup concerns. Since we’ve been doing this since 1994, we have developed detailed profiles of manufacturers that help guide our recommendations.

7 Things No One Tells You About . . .

7 Things No One Tells You About Buying A Sippy Cup!

1. Whenever you can, try helping your child use a real cup, not a sippy cup.

train baby with real cup

Especially when you’re eating at home, the quickest way to teach your child to drink from a cup is to use a real cup. Now we don’t recommend you just hand your child a full cup of milk in a standard cup, rather you should be helping her. That’s right, hold the cup for her as in the photo above. You can control spills and make sure baby doesn’t start gulping down too much liquid.

2. Pro tip: not all sippy cups are dishwasher safe.

dishwasher safe sippy cups

Sippy cups today come with all manners of gaskets and valves that keep liquid in the cup and off your floor. That’s great—but the downside is cleaning. While most of the cups we recommend are dishwasher-safe, there are a few exceptions: stainless steel cups, for one.

Another key point: remember to dry all the parts thoroughly. Trapped moisture can lead to mold.

3. Handles are good for beginners.

OXO Tot sippy cup pieces

Little hands can’t always hold onto a wide sippy cup so give them a little help in the form of handles. Most sippy cups have options with handles–some, like our top pick from OXO Tot Transitions Straw Cup (pictured), have removable handles. Hence you can start with cups with handles and then transition to handless mode!

4. Get a brush to clean the straw.

Hiware Drinking Straw Brush Kit

One of the frustrations about buying a sippy cup with a straw is cleaning those reusable straws. They can get gunked up, especially when you don’t clean the cup out immediately.

Usually, the straw is two parts: a silicone tip and a harder plastic body, so you want a brush that’s gentle on the silicone, but can handle the harder plastic too. Our favorite is a set of three different size brushes from Hiware ($4.65; pictured). You get two brushes of each size and can clean brushes as small as 6mm up to 12 mm. They are dishwasher safe (top rack) too.

5. Weighted straws aren’t a good choice.

What’s a weighted straw sippy cup? This is a cup with a flexible straw to which a weight is added at the bottom (see video above). Munchkin makes one of the most popular weighted straw cup, the Click Lock. Because the flexible straw is weighted, if you tip the cup up to drink, the weight always keeps the end of the straw in the liquid.

You might think to yourself “this is a great idea! No matter how my baby holds the cup, she’ll be able to drink the liquid.” Yes, that’s true, but when your baby graduates to a regular cup, likely she will dump the entire cup upside down on herself or your kitchen floor. In other words, you aren’t helping your child learn to gently tilt the cup a little bit to drink. You may as well give her a baby bottle.

Another thing to remember, these weighted straws are difficult to clean. Munchkin includes a flexible straw brush, but it’s so tiny it is very easy to lose And to thoroughly clean the straw, you have to remove the weight from the end of the straw. Again, you could lose this small part. So overall, we don’t recommend this type of cup.

6. Introduce water first in a sippy cup, then whole milk at 12 months.

Dr. Ari Brown, our resident pediatric expert and co-author of our best selling Baby 411 book, recommends babies start drinking water at around six months of age. This is a great time to introduce a straw sippy cup with handles. Your baby will likely not immediately take to a sippy cup, rather she may treat it like a new toy. But you can help her by bringing it up to her mouth and helping her put the straw in her mouth.

It can take up to six more months before your baby gets the hang of a sippy cup. If you are weaning from formula or breast milk around one year of age, you should be switching to whole milk. And at this point, Dr. Brown recommends presenting whole milk only in a cup, not a bottle.

7. Say no to . . . . JUICE!

Apple juice sippy cup

An 8 oz. serving of Tree Top Apple Juice contains 26 grams of sugar. An 8 oz serving of Coca Cola also has 26 grams of sugar. The American Heart Association’s recommended daily amount of sugar for a 12 month old child is only 17 grams of sugar per day. Skip the juice.

Would you hand your 15 month old a can of Red Bull? Then why hand them a cup full of juice? Even 100% juice is really just  a form of liquid sugar. The American Academy of Pediatrics came out with a policy statement in 2017 saying that juice is “absolutely unnecessary for children under one.” Here’s why:

1. Juice provides little nutrition. Vitamin C has to be added to many juices to give them any nutritive value.

2. Juice is filling, which decreases a child’s appetite for more nutritious foods.

3. Drinking juice throughout the day (especially in a bottle or spouted sippy cup) causes sugar buildup on the teeth. This, in turn, creates high dental bills.

4. A sugar-loaded diet causes diarrhea.

So by all means fill those sippy cups but stick to water or milk (formula, breast or whole).

The Best Sippy Cup

OXO Tot Transitions Straw Cup with Removable Handles
With a flexible, silicone straw and contoured cup (with measurements called out), and flip top for added leak protection, the OXO Tot Transitions Straw Cup with Removable Handles works well to train kids away from bottle or breast to cup.

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