The Best Sippy Cups to Buy in 2020

Transitioning away from bottles is a normal, healthy step in child development, and alternatives like a sippy cup or straw cup can be offered at as early as six months of age. There are many types of safety cups for growing babies and toddlers, but proper use is important, and some designs are more effective and developmentally appropriate than others. Wondering how to choose the best sippy cups?

Take a look at our detailed buyer’s guide to learn the ins and outs of picking a healthy cup for your little one as well as a rundown of 2020’s best choices.

 Sippy CupsAwardOur Rating
1Munchkin Miracle 360
Our rating: 4.6
Best overall 4.6
2Pura Kiki Stainless
Our rating: 4.6
Best insulated cup 4.6
3Re-Play No Spill
Our rating: 4.4
Best for milk 4.4
4Philips Avent Natural
Our rating: 4.5
Best with soft nipple 4.5
5NUK Fun Grips
Our rating: 4.3
Best for biters 4.3
Use the links above to check the latest prices on Amazon or read our in-depth nursing cover reviews below.

At what age should my child start using a sippy cup?

In order to prevent decaying teeth, it’s important to transition your child from a bottle to a sippy cup or straw cup around age one. However, waiting til then to attempt to introduce a sippy cup isn’t actually necessary. If you wish, you can begin introducing a sippy cup to your child when they are six months old. This can help them to get accustomed to the sensation of drinking from a cup, though they may have difficulty grasping and holding a cup without handles.

What are some factors to consider when choosing a sippy cup for my child?

  • Is the spout hard or soft?: While traditional, old-school sippy cups were generally made of hard plastic and had spouts constructed of that same material, many of today’s sippy cups use a hard plastic body but a soft silicone spout. The purpose of this is to keep your child’s tongue in a healthy placement; exclusive use of hard spouts can lead to difficulties and delays in transitioning from an infant suckle and swallow reflex to a mature swallowing reflex, and may lead to speech difficulties like a lisp.
  • Should I opt for a straw instead?: Rather than a hard or soft spout, straw cups can offer an alternative that’s ideal for healthy oral development. They encourage a mature swallow reflex, don’t disrupt healthy tongue placement, and they direct liquid inside the mouth rather than over the front teeth in order to prevent tooth decay.
  • What is the cup made out of?: When you’re eating and drinking receptacles for your child, picking those that are made of durable, safe, non-toxic materials and that are easy to wash is always your best bet. Some of the most effective sippy cups are made from a combination of hard, BPA-free plastic and silicone, though others include stainless steel in their design which offers natural thermal capabilities
  • Should I choose a cup with handles?: When little ones are transitioning into the use of a sippy cup, they’re also using their developing motor skills. Handles can make it easier for small hands to grasp and hold the cup, reducing frustration and offering a more effective experience for all involved. Some cups have handles which can be removed as your child grows and no longer need them.
  • Is it leak-proof?: Just like bottles, sippy cups will quickly become a new on-the-go essential for your child. This means they’re likely to get carried in diaper bags and purses occasionally, which means leaks can be disastrous. They’re also likely targets for shaking, banging, and tossing by excited toddlers, so a sippy cup that can hold up to some chaos without leaking is ideal.

Are there any dangers to using sippy cups? How can I limit any negative effects?

While making the transition away from using a bottle is a necessary step to preserve your child’s oral health and encourage the development of a mature swallow reflex. Using certain types of sippy cups exclusively or offering unlimited access to sweet drinks can be problematic to your child’s long term health. Wondering how to limit negative side effects of sippy cup use?

  • Oral development: While sippy cups with hard spouts are okay in moderation, they’re not ideal for long term use, as they don’t encourage healthy anterior-posterior tongue movement and placement; over time, this can lead to a delay in the development of a mature swallow reflex and may even cause speech impediments. Reserving these cups for occasional use and instead choosing soft spouted, spoutless, or straw cups is best for your child’s oral health.
  • Tooth decay: While the use of a bottle beyond the appropriate age can lead to tooth decay, so can sippy cups, which cause liquid to pass over the front teeth rather than directly into the mouth. Limiting sugary drink access to short periods can help to mitigate this issue, as can proper daily tooth brushing, but the use of a straw cup can encourage liquids to go right into the mouth, eliminating a lot of the problem.
  • Habit development: This is less about the cup itself, and more about what’s in it. Staying hydrated is essential to everyone, and it’s normal and healthy for your child to have regular access to their cup. However, if they’re given regular, unrestrained access to sugary juices and beverages, it can lead to a reliance on these tastes and drinks that can remain into childhood and even adulthood; this can play a role in future weight issues. It’s best to stick to water or milk the majority of the time, reserving juice and any other sweet drink for a limited-access treat.

 

The Winners

The Best Sippy Cups to Buy in 2020

#1 Munchkin Miracle 360

Best Overall

Spout style: Spoutless
Material: Plastic, silicone
Has handles: Yes
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Color(s): Green, blue

The best sippy cups for toddlers encourage healthy swallowing and tongue positioning, are easy to hang on to, and won’t leak. That’s the case with the Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup (check price on Amazon), which uses an effective 360 degree design to allow kids to sip from the rim of the cup without the risk of spills. When they’re done sipping, the cup automatically seals, so liquid always stays inside. A sturdy, convenient set of handles allow little hands to hang onto the cup easily.

These cups take their leak-proof design seriously, and can be shoved into a diaper bag or purse, toted upside-down, and included in all manner of toddler chaos with nary a drop lost, making them one of the best picks for on-the-go antics.

What We Love:

  • The spoutless design is a healthy pick for baby’s oral development, as it encourages proper tongue positioning and the development of a mature swallow reflex
  • It’s also designed to be easy and functional for both tots and their parents, with a fully leak-proof design and two handles that make the cup easy to grasp

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#2 Pura Kiki Stainless

Best Insulated Sippy Cup

Spout style: Soft
Material: Stainless steel, silicone
Has handles: No
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Color(s): Stainless steel, clear

If you’re on the hunt for alternatives to plastic sippy cups, stainless steel might just be the material you’re on the hunt for; food grade stainless steel is easy to clean, holds temperature well, and is free of any toxins. The Pura Kiki Insulated Sippy Cup (check price on Amazon) looks a bit like trendy stainless steel water bottles, but instead of a sport cap, it’s topped with a soft silicone spout that’s triple vented to regulate air intake and liquid flow.

The vacuum insulation of the cup’s body keeps their drinks cold for up to 24 hours with the inclusion of a few ice cubes, and internal volume markers take the mystery out of portioning their drinks. The outside of the cup doesn’t get too warm or chilly for little hands thanks to a medical grade silicone sleeve that reinforces its thermal capacity and keeps them from feeling the heat or chill. Another convenience factor? All Pura bottles work with all Pura lids, so it will be interchangeable with other items in the product line.

What We Love:

  • It’s made out of food grade stainless steel, so it’s a great non-toxic alternative to plastic
  • The medical grade silicone sleeve makes the cup/bottle easier to grasp and prevents cold or warm drinks from transferring temperature to sensitive little hands

Watch out for:

  • It’s large for a traditional sippy cup, and it doesn’t feature handles, so it’s generally better for kids who are a bit older and accustomed to their use

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#3 Re-Play No Spill

Best for Milk

Spout style: Hard
Material: Plastic
Has handles: No
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Color(s): Sky blue, Aqua blue, Navy blue

If you’re a parent who keeps ecological consciousness in focus when choosing gear and toys for your kids, these recycled, non-toxic plastic sippy tumblers from Re-Play (check price on Amazon), made of recycled milk jugs, are just what the doctor ordered. They eschew tons of fancy packaging and printing for simple, nigh-indestructible hard plastic cups in a wide range of cheerful, bright colors.

These powerhouse cups are microwave and dishwasher safe, so heating and cleaning won’t lead to discoloration or warping. They also use a one-piece valve made of silicone to prevent leaking, but this can be removed entirely if desired. Another green-minded thing to love about these cups: once your tot is done with them, they can be recycled once again!

What We Love:

  • They’re made entirely out of recycled material, and they can be recycled again once your child is done using them
  • They’re “virtually indestructible”, meaning they hold up well to toddler chaos, won’t leak with use of the silicone valve, and can go in the dishwasher and microwave

Watch out for:

  • Though the silicone valve prevents leaks, it does not work as a flow regulator

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#4 Philips Avent Natural

Best With Soft Nipple

Spout style: Soft
Material: Plastic, silicone
Has handles: Yes
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Color(s): Clear

When your little one first begins their transition toward a sippy cup, a pick that can transition back and forth between a traditional nipple and a soft silicone spout has the potential to make life easier for you both. The My Natural Trainer cup by Phillips Avent (check price on Amazon) features both options, including their naturally styled wide silicone nipple which is often lauded for easing the transition between breast and bottle feeding.

The clear 5 oz bottle and cup combo has a removable set of plastic handles which rest under and are secured by the top, making it easy for even the tiniest hands to grasp. The design of this hybrid pick makes it ideal for early introduction of a sippy cup, and is suitable for use at four months.

What We Love:

  • It can be used as either a bottle or a sippy cup, and it features removable handles which can make it easier for little ones to hang on
  • It’s a good pick for babies transitioning from bottle to breast, as it features a Phillips Avent wide natural silicone nipple

Watch out for:

  • It’s rather small, so by the time they hit one year, you’ll probably want to invest in some larger spoutless sippy cups

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#5 NUK Fun Grips

Best for Biters

Spout style: Hard
Material: Plastic
Has handles: No
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Color(s): Assorted

One of the downfalls of old-school hard-spouted sippy cups was the damage they could cause to children’s teeth if they developed the habit of trying to bite the spout. It’s still a natural reflex in some kids, but the Nuk’s Fun Grips Cup (check price on Amazon) has a hard spout that’s specifically designed to discourage repeated unhealthy biting; the spout is raised and has graduated, sloped sides that make biting nearly impossible. The cup is also fully leak and spill proof, so regardless of position, you won’t find yourself dealing with a mess.

There’s a flow control valve to regulate their liquid intake, which is helpful to little ones as they begin their transition to a sippy cup. The hourglass design of the cup is also helpful, as the wider bottom helps to prevent tipping and falling.

What We Love:

  • The hard spout is designed to be nearly impossible to bite, as it’s raised with sloped sides
  • The hourglass design of the cup places the weight at the bottom, which makes it less prone to tipping over

Watch out for:

  • It’s still a hard-spouted cup, which isn’t great for constant use in older toddlers, as it discourages healthy tongue placement; there’s also no handles on this pick

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#6 The MAM Trainer Cup

Best for Breastfed Baby

Spout style: Soft
Material: Plastic, silicone
Has handles: Yes
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Color(s): Blue

Whether your little one is transitioning from breastfeeding to bottle or sippy cup, one key to easing that transition is using gear that feels natural and similar to them to create a sense of comfort and security. The MAM Trainer Cup (check price on Amazon) is ideal for babies who’ve been breast-fed, as it features two tops — a natural, wide, textured silicone nipple and an ultra-soft silicone spout. Starting with the nipple creates an experience that mimics breastfeeding, and as your little one becomes accustomed to drinking from the cup, the spout can slowly be introduced. This cup features durable, easy-to-grip handles on either side to facilitate easy grasping, and the wide opening makes it very simple to fill and clean thoroughly, even without a dishwasher.

What We Love:

  • It’s perfect for babies who’ve been breastfeeding, because it features both a textured natural nipple that’s ideal for the transition and an ultra-soft silicone spout to graduate to beyond that
  • Their unisex garden and animal designs are fun and cute, and the structure of the cup is well designed, with durable and grippable handles as well as a wide base to prevent tipping

Watch out for:

  • If the lid on this cup isn’t perfectly threaded, it’s prone to leaks, so put it on carefully

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#7 The Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy Cup

Best for Toddlers

Spout style: Spoutless
Material: Plastic, silicone
Has handles: No
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Color(s): Green

As toddlers grow and try new foods, it’s increasingly important that they develop a healthy, mature swallow reflex. This means moving away from cups with spouts and transitioning to spoutless or straw cups like the Munchkin Miracle 360 (check price on Amazon). This version of the popular cup skips the handles in favor of a textured silicone grip that’s perfect for their maturing small motor control, as learning to hold a cup in their hands is a skill they’ll need to develop. The spoutless edge allows them to drink from any part of the cup’s rim, eliminating frustration, and the unique design automatically seals when your child is finished drinking.

What We Love:

  • IThe spoutless design is ideal for the development of a mature swallow reflex
  • Though it skips the handles, it instead uses a textured silicone grip that helps kids learn to grasp the cup with their hands

Watch out for:

  • Though they feature a similar spoutless design to other Miracle 360 cups, their higher volume makes them a bit prone to leaks if they’re dropped

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#8 The NUK Learner Cup

Best for Gassy BabY

Spout style: Soft
Material: Plastic, silicone
Has handles: Yes
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Color(s): Green, clear

A gassy tummy can make babies uncomfortable and fussy, and bottles and cups which don’t use air valves to prevent air from being swallowed can be a cause of the problem. The NUK Learner Cup (check price on Amazon) is perfect for babies who are prone to discomfort caused by gas, as it uses a small vent to minimize air intake.

The soft silicone spout of this pick is designed to make transitioning between a bottle and a sippy cup a bit easier, and a controlled flow mechanism prevents leaks during travel and allows your little one to take sips they can handle easily. Ergonomic graduated handles with an easy grip coating are attached to the bottom of the cup rather than the top, so they can be removed when they’re no longer needed without affecting the tension of the cup’s lid.

What We Love:

  • It’s an ideal cup for babies who are prone to gas, as it uses a valve to regulate air intake and control the flow of liquid during drinking
  • The handles are ergonomic and easy to grip, but they can be removed when your child no longer needs them

Watch out for:

  • Though the soft silicone spout is ideal for transitioning from a bottle, it’s not great for constant use and should be alternated with straw and spoutless cups

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#9 The Kid Kanteen Stainless Steel Sippy Water Bottle

Best for Travel

Spout style: Hard
Material: Stainless steel, plastic
Has handles: No
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Color(s): Stainless steel, green

A little water bottle that’s just like yours will be an easy favorite of little ones, and it’s what they’re getting with the Kid Kanteen (check price on Amazon) mini stainless steel sippy water bottle. The single wall stainless steel canteen is both spill and splash-proof, and is topped with a screw-in hard plastic spout with an additional travel cap to keep their drink safe and secure during travel.

A loop on the top attaches easily to carabiners and backpack clips for toting along on their adventures. Parents should note that while this bottle is made of stainless steel, it doesn’t have any additional insulation features, so it’s not ideal for maintaining temperatures over long periods.

What We Love:

  • The wide opening of this canteen makes it easy to clean, and ice cubes can fit inside without a struggle
  • The cap loop offers a convenient new way for their sippy to be carried on the go

Watch out for:

  • Although it’s stainless steel, there’s no extra insulation to make the cup hold temperature for long periods

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#10 The Munchkin Cool Cat Stainless Steel Straw Cup

BestWith Straw

Spout style: Straw
Material: Stainless steel, plastic
Has handles: Yes
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Color(s): Stainless steel, green

Two of the biggest benefits to choosing a straw cup relate to your child’s healthy oral development; use of a straw encourages healthy anterior-posterior tongue positioning, which facilitates a mature swallow reflex, and it directs liquid into the mouth rather than over the front teeth to prevent tooth decay. Your cool little cat will be able to sip safely with the Munchkin Cool Cat (check price on Amazon) stainless steel sippy cup, which features double wall insulated construction that keeps drinks cool for as long as 15 hours.

The straw in this pick is secured to prevent leaks around the seam, and a flip-top lid with a very clear circle indicator makes it easy for both parents and tots to know that the lid is closed. Finally, strong but soft easy grip handles on both sides of the cup make it easy to hang onto in their car seat or booster.

What We Love:

  • It uses a straw, which encourages healthy tongue positioning and allows liquid to bypass the front teeth, preventing tooth decay
  • The flip-top lid has a closed indicator that’s hard to miss, so you’ll be able to avoid accidental leaks

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#11 The Munchkin Latch Transition Cup

Best for Transition

Spout style: Soft
Material: Plastic, silicone
Has handles: Yes
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Color(s): clear, orange, blue

When you have the right kind of sippy cup, it’s possible to begin introducing the drinking style a bit earlier than six months. Cups designed to facilitate a seamless transition, like the Munchkin Latch (check price on Amazon), use a super-soft, graduated silicone spout that very slightly mimics a bottle nipple, creating an experience that’s more similar to traditional bottle feeding and which can aid this ongoing transition.

The four ounce size of these cups is ideal for younger babies, and removable handles make it easier for them to grasp, even as their motor skills continue to develop. Conveniently, these handles attach at the bottom and not the top, so removing them won’t alter the tension and security of the cup’s screw-on lid.

What We Love:

  • The graduation of the soft silicone spout mimics a bottle nipple to ease the transition
  • The handles attach at the bottom of the cup, so removing them won’t alter the tension of the lid

Check Price on Amazon

What are the ultimate advantages and disadvantages of each sippy cup type?

Soft Spout

Advantages: Unlike hard-spouted cups, it’s less forceful in keeping the tongue in an improper placement, and will have less negative impact on kids who bite cups

Disadvantages: It’s still not as ideal for oral development as a spoutless or straw cup, and it allows liquid to pass over the front teeth, which can lead to tooth decay

Hard Spout

Advantages: It’s easy to clean and carry, and leakproof designs are readily available
Disadvantages: The hard spout leads to improper tongue placement, which can impede the development of a mature swallow reflex; liquids also pass over the front teeth, which can lead to tooth decay

Spoutless

Advantages: Because there’s no spout, a mature swallow reflex is encouraged, there’s nothing to bite, and the tongue remains in a healthy position
Disadvantages: These cups can be a bit harder to master the use of than their spouted counterparts; they also still allow liquid to pass over the front teeth

Straw Cup

Advantages: These cups encourage a healthy anterior-posterior tongue position and the development of a mature swallow reflex, plus they allow liquid to pass directly into the mouth and beyond the teeth, which mitigates tooth decay
Disadvantages: They tend to be less leakproof than their counterparts, specifically around the straw, which makes some picks difficult to travel with

Related reading

What’s the best way to clean my child’s sippy cups?

Fortunately for parents, just about every reliable sippy cup these days — including all the picks on our list — is dishwasher safe. This means that it’s generally safe to wash baby’s sippy cups with the rest of the dishes in the load, as long as you keep their cups on the top rack. You may wish to use a basket for lids and other small parts in order to make sure they don’t fly around during wash.

Smaller parts like straws will need to be cleaned independently, as a simple run through the dishwasher can’t access bacteria and particles that may be stuck inside the straw. A small bottle brush is sufficient for this.

If you don’t have a dishwasher, that’s okay! Sippy cups tend to be about as easy to wash as a regular plastic cup. A mild dish detergent and water, a thorough rinse with hot water, and a towel dry will safely prepare the cup for your next use.

And The Winnes Is…

Gear that’s well-rounded in terms of features and functionality tends to be best for toddlers, which is the case with the Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup (check price on Amazon). It’s spoutless, so concerns over unhealthy tongue position are completely mitigated, and the unique design of this pick allows your tot to sip safely from any side without leaks — the cup simply seals on its own when they’re finished drinking. That means shoving it in your purse, pocket, or diaper bag can happen without those frustrating leaks, which is a huge win in the world of traveling with toddlers.

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