Learning to drink out of a cup can be a challenge for toddlers, but sippy cups can help bridge the gap and prepare your child to drink out of a cup. Here’s what you need to know about how to choose the best sippy cup for your little one and a run-down of Truly Mama’s top sippy cup picks.
What to Look for in a Baby Sippy Cup
Sippy cups come in many different styles but usually consist of a lid that screws on and a spout or straw where the liquid comes out. Some sippy cups come with a flat lid that requires the child to mimic drinking out of an open cup to get the liquid to flow.
The best sippy cup for your toddler will depend on several factors, like their age and ability to hold a cup as well as the size of the sippy cup and how easy it is to clean and store. Here are some different sippy cup features to look for when comparing:
- Leak-free or spill-proof. No cup can completely guarantee you won’t be dealing with spills, but many sippy cups come in leak-free models that will at least keep messes contained if not entirely prevented. (Side note: yes, these are as amazing as they sound!)
- Handles. Some cups come with handles, making them easy for small children to grip. Others come in unique shapes perfect for small hands. You’ll want to consider your toddler’s coordination and which style might be easiest for them to use.
- Different parts. Each sippy cup comes with at least two parts — the cup and the lid, but some may also come with straws or handles that come on and off. The best choice for you depends on your personal preference and how simple it is to clean and store the various sippy cup parts.
- Materials. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires sippy cups be BPA-free, meaning they do not contain harmful chemical compounds found in some plastic products. However, if plastic is still something you would like to avoid, you may want to consider a sippy cup made from stainless steel, glass, or silicone.
Is My Baby Ready for a Sippy Cup?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends easing children off bottles between 12 and 24 months, but you could introduce a sippy cup to your baby much sooner. Once your baby can sit upright unassisted, move their head and hands independently and sit in a high chair (usually around 6 to 9 months) you can introduce them to a sippy cup. Typically, you may be able to introduce a baby to a sippy cup earlier, than say, baby silverware, so they can be a good way to get your baby started at the table with the rest of the family or encouraging independence with snack time.
There are many different sippy cups on the market for children at various stages of learning. Some hold small amounts of liquid and are best for babies still learning how to use their hands to get a cup to their mouths, while others are large and sturdy, perfect for toddlers on the go. Here are Truly Mama’s top picks for the best sippy cups.
The Best Baby Sippy Cups
The one-piece spout on this sippy cup makes it easy to remove and clean. This cup is also sturdy and durable with easy-to-grip handles for little ones learning how to hold a cup. The bright colors also make this cup easy to spot in a messy room or on the floor of the car. Other features include:
- A soft, silicone spout
- Easy-to-clean parts
- Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.8 x 4.3 inches
- Holds 8 oz. of fluid
“My daughter uses these every day! I don’t know if any sippy cup is truly leak-free, but this one is darn close. Even when she throws it off the highchair. They are cute colors. I bought four! my go-to cup for my one-year-old after transitioning from the bottle. When my girlfriend’s twins come over, they always try to steal my daughter’s cup, I think they like it because the rubber nipple is great from transitioning from the bottle, it’s easy to get liquid out, and of course, they come in cute colors!” — Amazon buyer review
The cup is labeled leak-free, but some parents have pointed out that liquid will slowly drop out of the spout if the cup is left on its side. And while it is dishwasher-safe, some of the crevices in the lid may be easier to clean by hand.
This sippy cup comes with a buffer chamber so you can fill it with either cold or warm liquid. The transparent base also makes it easy to see how much liquid is left and the measurements on the side make for convenient filling. Other features include:
- Silicone straw
- Dishwasher safe
- Dimensions: 6 inches tall x 4.5 inches wide
- Holds either 6 or 9 oz. of fluid
“My 8-month-old has been obsessed with this cup since we introduced it 2 months ago! She immediately understood how to drink from the straw and wants to do so nonstop during meals. The handles are great, she always gets a grip on the cup and is able to get the straw into her mouth. The only drawback is that the lid looks like it’s on securely but quite often it will leak.” — Amazon buyer review
One thing to keep in mind is that babies may bite and damage the straw, which can cause it to lose its suction. This sippy cup is also dishwasher safe, but food residue can still get stuck in the straw, so some parts may still need to be washed by hand.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends cups with a design like this because it encourages sipping to drink, instead of sucking like with a bottle. This cup also automatically seals when your child stops drinking, so while it encourages the development of skills needed for open cup drinking, it also cuts down on messes and spills — the best of both worlds! Other features include:
- Easy to clean
- Dishwasher safe
- Dimensions (7 oz): 4.25 inches by 4.75 inches
- Holds 10 oz. of fluid
“I’ve tried just about every sippy cup in Target for my 18-month-old with no luck until we found this one. It took her a few minutes to figure out how to use it, but once she did it quickly became her favorite and my favorite because it does not leak, at all! So glad we decided to give this cup a try. I will be buying more.” — Target buyer review
This cup comes in two different sizes: 7 oz and 10 oz. The smaller one comes with handles so it’s easy for a baby to grasp, but the bigger one is better for older babies with bigger hands. Also, a note: ambitious kiddos may be able to also pop the top seal off, which can lead to leaks and spills.
The take and toss spill-proof sippy cups are a great choice for travel, and even come with caps to protect the spout when not drinking out of them. You can also easily stack these cups and lids for storage, so they definitely take up less space in the cupboard than some other options. They’re also made with recyclable materials, so once this cup has run its course, you can recycle it instead of ditching it. Other features include:
- Snap-on, interchangeable lids
- Includes interchangeable spout cover
- Dimensions: 3.37 x 3.37 x 5.25 inches
- Holds 10 oz. of fluid
“Super awesome sippy cups that don’t leak, easy to clean, and even easier to travel with!” — Walmart buyer review
While very affordable, these cups are not the most durable and may not last as long as other types. But price point means you haven’t lost too great of an investment if it does get damaged or go missing. They also may get misshapen after prolonged runs through the dishwasher, but again, that’s not terrible for the price.
Best for toddlers 12 months or older, this cup also has a personalization area so you can add their name if you’d like. The Fun Grips Hard Spout Sippy Cup is also dishwasher safe and has only a few parts to make cleaning easy. While no sippy cup can really be completely spill-proof, many parents claim this one is the best for preventing leaks. The spill-proof seal is also removable for deep cleaning. Other features include:
- Easy to hold
- Dishwasher safe
- Suitable for toddlers 12 months or older
- Dimensions: 7.9 x 6.2 x 3 inches
- Holds 10 oz. of fluid
“I’ve had at least 10 different sippy cups before finding this gem! No joke it’s the best for you buck and better than anything that is high priced, no spill and your kid can’t chew off the top like my oldest does! He’s a king at spilling his milk everywhere, and literally eating the top off and this kid nor his baby brother can do that now! The only thing I wished is that I found this sooner! So if you have a child anything like mine I promise this is the cup to go with. I’ve tried every brand and the only reason it took me this long to try this was it was cheap. Thinking it was a bad cup but by no means is it! No joke! I can give them this cup in his bed or my car and literally no spills anywhere, nor tops torn off. Highly recommended and I never leave reviews!” — Amazon buyer review
One potential downside is that because the base of this cup is larger than others (which does help keep it from tipping), it may not fit in standard cup holders on car seats, stroller or highchairs. It may also not fit as well in diaper bags than other styles so it may be a bit more difficult to travel with.
This is a great choice for a sippy cup that can grow with your child. It is suitable for children 4 months or older and includes one lid for babies and another with a clear disc that encourages toddlers to figure out how far they need to top the lid to get the fluid through the straw. Other features include:
- Hinged cap closure to protect straw and prevent leaks
- Interchangeable parts
- Dimensions: 3.1 x 3.5 . 7.7 inches
- Holds 6 oz. of fluid
“My 9-month-old loves this cup. The straw is super easy for her to use and it’s nice that it’s made of a soft rubber so she can’t hurt herself. I like that we can use the handles on the cup now and transition to no handles later.” —Buy Buy Baby buyer review
The straw valve on this cup helps keep it from leaking, but some parents say their kids have trouble figuring out the suction. This cup is also dishwasher-safe, but it may need to be handwashed for deep cleaning.
Recommended for children ages 9 months to three years, the Thinkbaby stainless steel sippy cup is sturdy and the handles are easy for littles ones to grip and hold. If you’re looking for an alternative to plastic, this sippy cup offers the same benefits as other types, but is a great eco-friendly choice. Other features include:
- A protective lid for the spout
- Medical grade silicone spout
- Dimensions: 2.75 x 5.5 x 7.25 inches
- Holds 9 oz. of fluid
“I prefer to use non-plastic options whenever possible with my kids, so I bought the Thinkbaby after searching for a stainless steel sippy cup option that would grow with my daughter and last for the long haul. We have been using this as her primary cup since she turned one and it’s still brand-new despite daily wear and tear and tosses off of the highchair tray. I really appreciate that I can toss it in the dishwasher and that the handles are removable when needed (like fitting into the diaper bag pocket).” –Chaunie Brusie.
Compared to other types of sippy cups, this one is a bit pricier, but for parents looking for an eco-friendly choice, it may be worth the investment. Because it is made with stainless steel, this sippy cup is a bit heavier than plastic alternatives and could hurt more if dropped on small feet.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the best sippy cup to start with?
For babies still getting the hang of hand-eye coordination, a sippy cup with handles may be a good choice. You might also want to consider a sippy cup with a soft spout to start because it mimics the bottle and can help ease your baby’s transition to a cup.
When should a child start using a sippy cup?
The AAP recommends easing your child off the bottle between 12 and 24 months. You can introduce a sippy cup to your baby as soon as they can sit up independently and are able to move their hands to their mouth.
Should I give my baby a sippy cup?
As soon as your child is able to sit up unassisted and move their head and hands independently (usually around 6 to 9 months), you can introduce a sippy cup. Over time, you can also introduce more utensils, such as baby and toddler plates and silverware for meal and snack times.
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