The 2 biggest issues with sippy cups are leakage and hard-to-clean parts.
The best sippy cup is definitely going to be one that doesn’t leak all over the place and doesn’t take a degree in engineering to take apart and clean. Otherwise, what is the point? I’d rather give me kid a regular cup than a terrible sippy.
Let’s take a look at some of the top sippy cups – some with straws, some with spouts, and all without leaks.
|Top 5 Sippy Cups||Why It's Best||Mom Rating|
|NUK Disney Learner Sippy Cup||Best slow-flow infant sippy cup||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Munchkin Latch Transitional Sippy Cup||Most flexible infant sippy cup spout||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy Cup||Best stainless steel sippy, best 360 design for healthy mouth development||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Philips Avent My Bendy Straw Cup||Best short spout straw, good for oral development||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Nuby 6 Stage Transitional Comfort Cup||Best transitional sippy cup set, infant-to-toddler||♥♥♥♥♥|
Best Sippy Cups for Infants and Toddlers
NUK Disney Learner Sippy Cup
The NUK Disney Learner Sippy Cup boasts a baby-friendly design. It is BPA-free and features easy-to-grip handles and a soft spout. The company recommends the NUK learner for babies 6 months and up. It only holds 5 ounces, but that is enough for a small child that is just learning.
This plastic cup has a soft silicone spout that is gentle on gums that might be sensitive from teething. It has a spill-proof design but liquid still flows easily from the cup. Additionally, the cup has an air vent that stops your baby from swallowing air. This is important for preventing an upset tummy.
While many babies can use the spout successfully, it does have a slow flow. This is important for younger children since it stops them from choking on the liquid. However, some babies have trouble sucking drinks through the slow-flow spout.
For traveling, a hard plastic top is included. This goes over the lid to keep it clean if you put it inside the diaper bag.
The handles are made of a slightly grippy material and have a design that is easy for small hands to grasp. Additionally, you can remove the handles once your child is ready. The one downside is that the handles come up from the bottom, so it’s nearly impossible to fit this in a cup holder.
The fun, Disney design is only one of NUK’s learner designs. There are several other models, which makes it easy to choose a character that will encourage your little one to drink from the cup.
With just a soft spout, handles, and the cup included, this is easy to clean. This sippy has minimal nooks and crannies so cleaning is a breeze. The cup is also dishwasher safe.
- Minimal nooks and crannies for cleaning
- Several fun designs
- Handles are removable and easy to grip
- Traveling lid included
- Soft spout is comfortable on sensitive gums
- Handles will not allow this to fit in a cup holder
- Requires too much suction for some kids
Munchkin Miracle Stainless Steel 360 Sippy Cup
The Munchkin Miracle Stainless Steel 360 Sippy Cup has a unique design that lets your toddler drink from any side of the cup. It is perfect for transitioning to a cup but still has a spill-proof design and is designed for children ages 12 months and up.
The cup-like features of the Munchkin 360 include its smooth, easy-to-grip sides and a drinking top that has a cup-like edge. A flap covers the entire lid and when your little one sips from the cup, a small area opens up and liquid flows through. This design is preferred by dentists because it promotes natural drinking.
This only comes with the lid and cup, which makes it easy to clean. It is safe for washing on the top rack of the dishwasher. For parents worried about spills, this closes on its own once your little one stops drinking. A secondary lid is also included, which ensures the cup stays sealed on the go.
The Munchkin costs significantly more than the average plastic cup but it is made of insulated stainless steel. This keeps drinks insulated for about 15 hours and does not scratch as easily as a plastic cup would.
One nice feature of this cup is its size, which is nice for travel. It holds 10 ounces, though Munchkin does sell smaller models (9 ounces) that have a wider range of designs. Currently, the Miracle is sold in pink, green, and blue.
The one downside of this cup is its durability. Over time, the seal on the lid wears down and you’ll have to screw it on very tight. This makes it hard to remove. Additionally, the rubber seal can start leaking after it wears down. The Munchkin Company recommends soaking in soap, water, and white vinegar for stuck-on drinks instead of scrubbing.
Something else to keep in mind is that this larger size can be difficult for some toddlers to lift and hold.
- Minimal parts for easy cleaning
- Holds a lot of liquid, good for traveling
- Has an included travel lid
- Dentist preferred because of shape
- More cup-like than other sippies
- Silicone parts on the lid are not as durable as they could be
- Too large for some toddler’s hands
Nuby 6 Stage 360 Comfort Cup Starter Set
For parents who want a sippy that will last, the Nuby 6 Stage 360 Comfort Cup Starter Set comes with that work from infant to toddler. You can start as early as birth because the first stage comes with a nipple-like spout.
In the infant stage, the bottle is squeezable so you can assist with feeding. A weighted straw follows the flow of milk or other liquids, making it easy for your baby to drink the entire cup. The weighted straw helps prevent acid reflux and colic but the cup can also be used without the straw if your baby does not have these issues.
One downside of the way the nipple is designed is that air can get trapped in the bottle. This makes liquid squirt out sometimes.
Inside this kit, there are two cups/bottles and four different lids. Once your baby is ready to transition from the nipple, you can switch to the soft spout. After a year, this cup can be used with a flip-top and straw or a 360 cup lid.
The wide variety available in this convenient set makes this a good choice for parents who don’t want to buy new cups for their little one every few months.
The leak-proof design works with all the cups. You can use these with or without the removable handles. To clean, just put the BPA-free pieces in the dishwasher.
- Several lids to grow with your child
- Removable handles
- Can squeeze bottle to help with drinking
- Weighted straw to follow the liquid
- Leak-proof design
- Air can get trapped in the bottle and make nipple top squirt
Dr. Brown’s Options Wide-Neck Sippy Spout Baby Bottle
The Dr. Brown’s Options Wide-Neck Sippy Spout Baby Bottle is designed for ages 6 months and older. It features removable handles and a soft silicone spout that makes it easier for babies to transition from a bottle. The handles are soft, flexible, and easy to grip.
These cups are made of BPA-free plastic and silicone handles and lids. They can be washed in the top rack of a dishwasher and are sterilizer safe, making them perfect for mommies who are worried about germs. The wide-neck design also makes this easier to clean and air dry.
One thing to note is that this nipple has a faster flow than what babies might be used to when using Dr. Brown’s bottles. However, this is compatible with other wide-neck nipples from the brand if you need to transition to slower flow one for a while.
The nipple is sturdy and does not leak. Additionally, the handles are compatible with other wide-neck bottles so you can get the most use out of all your baby products. Even though the nipple is well-designed, some babies do not like the way it is shaped because of the large mouthpiece.
- Wide range of compatibility with Dr. Brown’s wide-neck products
- Sturdy nipple that does not leak
- Flexible handles are easy to grip
- Dishwasher safe
- Easy to clean
- Flow might be too fast for some babies
- Nipple is too large for some children
Munchkin Latch Transition Cup
The Munchkin Latch Transition Cup holds just four ounces and features a flexible nipple and ergonomic handles, making it perfect for little hands. It makes a perfect first sippy cup, being recommended for children 4 months and older.
Parents with babies who have colic do not have to worry about the transition with this bottle. On the bottom, an anti-colic valve prevents air bubbles in drinks. The soft, silicone spout is designed to move with your little one’s mouth, making it easy for them to drink.
Additionally, the moving spout allows for a continuous latch that is common in infants, especially those that have been breastfed. For parents using the LATCH bottle, the tops are interchangeable for an easier transition.
The handles attach to the bottom of the cup, which makes it hard to use in a cup holder. However, they are removable. The thin design fits well even in an infant’s hands. Additionally, the position on the bottom of the cup encourages the tipping needed to get liquid flowing from the cup.
One downside is that the anti-colic valve may not last the entire use of the cup. It can start leaking over time, especially if your little one likes to bang their cup around. Another downside is that the nipple can collapse in on itself sometimes, making it impossible to drink.
- Compatible with Munchkin LATCH bottles
- Cup handles are removable and easy for little hands to grab onto
- Most flexible nipple
- Anti-colic valve prevents swallowing of air
- Designed for 4 months plus, which is perfect for getting an early start with transitioning to a cup
- Anti-colic valve may start to leak if your child is rough with the cup
- Nipple collapses in on itself sometimes
Philips Avent My Bendy Straw Cup
The Philips Avent My Bendy Straw Cup features a short straw, ergonomic design, and wide range of compatibility that makes them a worthy investment. The 2-pack available on Amazon also sells for less than the single-cup varieties of some other models.
The short straw on this cup makes it a good cup promoting healthy oral development, including natural tongue movement and swallowing. However, some toddlers have difficult sucking the design, especially if you are looking for a good first cup. Its parts are made of BPA-free plastic and can be washed in the dishwasher.
It is nice this cup is dishwasher safe, but I am not personally a fan of straws. The potential for germs in the impossible-to-reach parts freaks me out a little bit. This does have a clear valve and straw that lets you see inside, though.
Parents worried about leaks will appreciate this is 100% leak-proof or the Philips Avent company offers a money-back guarantee for the first 30 days.
Aside from their My First Big Kid Cup and glass bottles, there is compatibility with other bottles and sippy cup lids. This makes it a good choice if you want to transition to different sippy cup lids and use the cup longer.
When traveling, there is a flip-top that goes over the straw. This keeps it hygienic when sitting in the diaper bag. The design of the cup itself is also nice since it has a thin waist and textured grip that is easy for toddlers to hold onto.
- Textured, easy-to-grip outside
- Affordable option
- Promotes healthy oral development
- Dishwasher safe
- Flip-top is nice for keeping straw clean during travel
- Straw can be difficult to clean
- Straw is too short for some toddlers to grasp
Gerber Graduates Fun Grips Sippy Cups
The Gerber Graduates Fun Grips Sippy Cups are great for parents trying to get the most out of their money. They feature a hard spout that stops damage from chewing toddler teeth.
The plastic of this cup is dishwasher safe and BPA-free. The outside of the cup has a fun texture with divots that are easy for little hands to grab onto. Additionally, it is thinner in the middle than the top and bottom which encourages your little one to grab on in the right spot.
Gerber Graduates Grips are designed using seal zone technology. They are 100% leak-proof and spill-proof, with the hourglass design preventing tipping. Additionally, there are arrow indicators that let you be sure the cup is perfectly sealed. This comes with a 100% guarantee from Gerber.
In addition to a fun design, each cup has a flat, blank area that can be used for personalization. This prevents cup mix-ups.
An included valve should be washed by hand. However, you should avoid using a nipple brush or other bristled objects to clean the valve. Otherwise, you can cause damage that will stop the leak-proof features.
Something to note is that the cup is a little wide. It may not fit in a standard cup holder. Additionally, the way the spout is designed makes it hard to reach the inside of the cup and this can be disconcerting to parents who are worried about germs.
- BPA-free, dishwasher-safe plastic
- Seal zone technology prevents leaks
- Hourglass shape prevents tipping
- Easy to personalize
- Fun, textured design and colorful cups/lids
- May not fit in your stroller or car seat cup holder
- Hard-to-reach area inside the spout
Bammax 3-in-1 Multi-Function Sippy Cup
The Bammax 3-in-1 Multi-Function Sippy Cup is made of stainless steel. It comes with transitional lids, including a silicone nipple-like spout, a short silicone straw, and a harder long straw. This lets the cup grow with your child.
In addition to the lids, a weighted straw and removable handles are included. The handles are easy for babies to grasp and can be removed as your little one grows. However, as the longer straw can be used without tipping the cup, this does not always encourage the same movements as drinking would.
The silicone spout is perfect from ages 6 months and up. It even has a valve to reduce extra airflow that can aggravate colic and acid reflux. However, the silicone is very soft and it can be damaged by children who have teeth and are likely to chew.
The stainless steel design is insulated and keeps drinks cold for hours. This makes it nice to travel with the cup. Additionally, the stainless steel design is free of BPA and other harmful chemicals.
- Several lids make it easier to transition from bottle to cup
- Stainless steel is sturdy and insulates liquids
- Weighted straw follows the flow of liquid
- Removable handles
- Soft spout has an anti-colic valve
- Doesn’t have a transitional 360 lid
- Silicone can easily be damaged by children with teeth
When Should I Make the Switch?
Let’s face ityour little one isn’t going to be on the breast or bottle forever.
With my youngest, I even tried encouraging him to drink from a regular cup from around nine months. He was far from ready for it and it resulted in spills almost every time (not to mention his fascination with stuffing whatever he was eating at the time into his cup).
Your baby is ready for a sippy cup as soon as he or she meets the milestones, including being able to sit up on their own, opening their mouth for a spoon while feeding, and supporting their head well. Most babies are ready to use a sippy cup around 6-9 months.
The easiest way to introduce it is to offer the cup regularly during feeding. Once a day is enough to get your little one familiar with the cup.
When making the switch, it’s also important to avoid creating bad habits that will be harder to break later on. For example, you shouldn’t let your little one bring a sippy cup (or bottle) to bed because it can cause liquid to pool in the mouth, increasing the risk of bacterial growth, illness, and ear infection. Giving milk or juice at bed can also encourage tooth decay and cavity development.
You can find some more useful tips for switching to a sippy cup here.
Sippy Cup Buyer’s Guide
Even though the wide range of features makes it easy to find the perfect cup for your infant or toddler, there is no one-size-fits-all option. Your child’s development and personal preferences have a lot to do with which cup will work best.
Here are a few things you’ll want to consider.
Sippy Cups for Babies vs Toddlers
Most babies are familiar with either breast or bottle before their first birthday. For this reason, choosing a soft spout cup helps mimic the softness they are used to. Handles can also make it easier for your baby to hold on to, however, you’ll want to remove these once they master the grasping motion that is needed for an open-top cup.
At the toddler age, features like a leak-proof top are going to be especially important. Toddlers are always moving and can easily set a cup down somewhere and forget about it, leaving a mess for you to clean up later. You’ll also want to consider a cup with removable handles or without handles at all, as this will help with the transition to a regular drinking cup later.
Transitional sippy cups may be sold with 1-2 pieces inside the kit and a variety of lids. These are good for advancing your little one through the stages. However, they also work well when you aren’t quite sure which cup is going to be best for your little one.
Types of Sippy Cups
The top of your child’s sippy cup is going to affect how easy or difficult it is for them to suck the liquid from the cup into their mouth. For children under 1, cups with a soft top are going to be most effective. Hard tops or straws are generally reserved for children over 1 and toddlers.
Soft spouts are usually designed smaller than hard tops. They are soft, flexible, and similar to a nipple. Their similarities to a nipple are good when you are trying to wean from the bottle. One thing to note is that spouts are softer and can be punctured by teeth if your baby chews on them a lot.
Hard spouts usually have a faster flow than softer sippy cups. They are sold with and without stoppers. Usually, they are preferred for use by toddlers. Something to note is that the hard top can harbor bacteria if your little one chews on the lid. Additionally, stoppers can be knocked loose when the cup is dropped, which stops the leak-proof feature.
Sippy cups with straws are good for after your baby has mastered the sucking motions needed by a soft spout cup. They can be flexible or soft and rigid, but it’s important to choose a model that is easy to take apart and clean. Softer straws are better to start with since they are flexible and easier to suck on.
Manufacturers of sippies use a wide variety of materials. Some like plastic and silicone are more common, while others like glass and stainless steel are less well-known but also exist. Here are the pros and cons of each.
Plastic sippy cups are often transparent, which is nice when you are monitoring how much your little one is drinking. They are also less likely to sweat than some of the other options.
Some parents also like the durability of plastic, however, it is likely to scratch or get scuff marks over time. These marks can trap bacteria, which can be dangerous to your little one. When buying plastic sippy cups, it’s also important to choose one free of BPA, which is a common plastic additive that has been found to be harmful to health.
Silicone cups are softer than plastic which may make it easier for your little one to hold. Additionally, silicone materials are non-toxic and less likely to harbor bad bacteria, since they do not scratch or break easily.
Silicone materials usually aren’t transparent, so you cannot monitor how much your little one is drinking. Additionally, silicone sippy cups are more expensive than plastic.
Glass sippy cups are usually designed so the glass is on the inside and there is a hard plastic outer shell or are sold with a silicone or rubber cover. Smooth glass is easy to clean and does not harbor germs. Additionally, they keep drinks cold after being stored in the fridge and it is easy to monitor fluid levels.
Even though glass is sold with protective outer coatings, there is still a risk of breakage if they are dropped. They are also rather expensive compared to some other sippy cup styles.
Stainless steel sippy cups are a good choice for keeping liquids warm or cold. They are very durable and may not even dent when dropped. Additionally, stainless steel sippy cups are recyclable and have less environmental impact than some of the other options.
The one major downside of stainless steel is that there are not a lot of options for sipping tops. You may find hard spouts or soft spouts, but there is not a lot of variety. This can make it hard to find a cup that works well for your little one’s mouth.
How to Choose a Good Sippy Cup
When transitioning to a cup, you can increase your little one’s interest by buying a great sippy cup. You should also choose something that’s frustration-free for you. Here are a few things to consider:
- Leaks- Toddlers are always on the go. You don’t want to worry about spills every time that they set the cup down on its side. Before you use a cup for the first time, take the sippy out of its packaging, fill it with water, and shake it. If it leaks, send it back.
- Handles- Handles are a nice feature, especially if your little one is trouble gripping. However, you’ll want to eventually transition to a cup that has no handles to prepare your child for drinking out of a regular cup. If you don’t want to buy a whole new cup, choose one that has removable handles.
- Interchangeable Spouts- Choosing cups that have different styles of top are useful, especially if you spend a lot on a high-quality cup. This is more cost-effective than buying an entirely new cup when your little one is ready to make the transition.
- Easy Cleaning- Cups that have multiple parts, vents, curves, and ridges also have multiple areas where bacteria can get trapped. You should consider how easy a cup will be to clean, including whether it is dishwasher safe and how many hard-to-reach areas you’ll need to wash.
- Insulation- A cup with insulation will keep cold drinks cold and warm drinks warm. This is a nice feature if your little one is an infant and prefers warm breast milk or formula and for keeping drinks cold while traveling.
Buying your little one’s first best sippy cup is a big milestone in their life. By choosing the right cup, you minimize your frustration and give them a better chance at making the switch.
Remember to be wary of little parts and materials that are hard to clean, since they can hold dangerous bacteria.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to try a few cups to find the right model. Reading sippy cup reviews can help, but there is no better judge than your child.