Here at Reviewed, many of us are parents, so we know that even the small everyday items for your tot are extremely important. That's why when it's time for your baby to transition from bottles (the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends weaning before 18 months), finding the best sippy cup that doesn't result in spills is very important. Having three children myself, I know the constant struggle all too well.
To help me find the best sippy cups around, I recruited my kids to help me test. After about seven years of using different transition cups with my kids, I had two make-or-break concerns: ease of cleaning and leakiness.
We determined our top pick is the OXO Tot Transitions Straw Cup with Removable Handles(available at Amazon for $10.99). Why are we so sure? It’s easy to clean, extremely resistant to leaking (prevents spills), has a clear body with measuring marks, and can even fit in most cup holders thanks to the removable handles.
Though we believe a straw cup would be a great fit for most families, others we tested offered features that you might find more appealing, such as insulation and spoutless designs.
These are the best sippy and transition cups ranked, in order:
OXO Tot Transitions
Philips Avent My Bendy Straw
Thinkbaby No Spill
Thermos FOOGO soft spout stainless steel
Pura Kiki Stainless Steel
NUK Disney Learner
Philips Avent My Easy
nuSpin Zoomi Straw
Sassy Grow Up Cup with handles
Dr. Browns Soft Spout Transition Cups
Green Sprouts Glass Sip & Straw
Munchkin Miracle 360
OXO Tot Transitions 6 oz Straw Cup with Handles
The OXO Tot Transitions Straw Cup with Removable Handles is the best we tested for a number of reasons. Our biggest concerns were whether the cup leaked when shaken, how easy it was to clean, and whether it held up to repeated drops onto a hard surface (in this case, our concrete patio).
The OXO Transitions Straw Cup with Removable Handles performed better than all the other cups when shaken and dropped (it's practically spill proof!), and on top of that, it’s a breeze to clean.
Fluid won’t flow through the straw unless it is compressed, which is a large part of why it wouldn’t leak for us until we tried squeezing the straw. Another thing we liked about it was that the cup can be used without the internal straw, so if your little one prefers to tip the cup back or is just beginning to get a feel for how a real cup works, the OXO can accommodate that.
But most of all, we loved the ease of assembly and cleaning this dishwasher-safe vessel. Too often, these cups have lots of nooks and crannies where moisture can accumulate and mold can grow. And after washing, it can be difficult to fish a straw back up through a cup’s lid. But this cup came out of the dishwasher completely clean after laying on its side for two days with an ounce of orange juice inside, and the straw popped into place easily.
Looking for the best product to transition from a bottle? As baby transitions from bottle to cup, it can be helpful to have one that works in multiple ways. That's why this Green Sprouts Glass Sip and Straw Cup impressed us. The variety of spout options and removable inner lid makes it versatile, and all the spouts did a great job at preventing leaks.
The Glass Sip & Straw has the standard sippy-style spout—great for little ones moving from a bottle—and it also has a straw spout, which can be used with or without the internal straw.
This cup only allows the liquid to be in contact with the soft silicone spout and glass. Studies indicate that the science on this topic is evolving, but to the best of our knowledge glass and silicone are a safe bet, assuming the glass doesn’t break.
Luckily, the Glass Sip & Straw Cup held up remarkably well in our drop test and was nearly leak free. We repeatedly threw it onto a concrete patio, but the glass never cracked.
Squeezing the spout while inverted let out a steady stream of water, but it otherwise did well in our leak tests. It’s not as leak-proof as the OXO, but we liked it a lot for its versatility and the fact that the cup itself is glass.
Hi, I’m Sarah Kovac. I’ve been doing this parenting thing for a while now. I have a baby, a preschooler, and an elementary kid, so by now I’ve learned a lot about what works with little ones and what doesn’t. I know that we need products that are safe and reliable for our children, but we also need them to be easy to clean and maintain. We don’t have time to stand over the sink hand scrubbing every sippy cup spout and straw. I’ve spent way too much money on new, fancy toys only to watch my kids play with the box. I’ve scrubbed prune juice out of our white carpet, I have found baby bottles under the bed that had been missing for weeks, and I have worried about what chemicals might find their way into my little one’s water. There are so many things about having kids that you just can’t learn until you have the first-hand experience. And I can say, from experience, which of these cups are worth your time—and which are not.
We know kids have a hard time being gentle with their things, so we did not take it easy on these sippy cups. We filled each cup and threw them against a concrete patio to see if they would crack, leak, or fall apart. We poured orange juice in each one and left each cup undisturbed on its side for days to see if any crusted orange pulp would hide in the cup’s nooks and crannies. And, in what was perhaps the most demanding test in our lineup, we handed the cups over to real kids. Every one of these cups lived in a household with a 3-year-old and a 7-year-old, and was also pulled out for use when friends came over to play. Some of these cups stood up much better than others in real-world use, and we also noted which cups kids tended to gravitate toward and enjoyed using.
What You Should Know About Sippy and Transition Cups
Are Sippy Cups Tough To Clean?
By nature, these products are difficult to clean, even those noted as top-rack dishwasher safe. They are small, so it’s hard to get a scrub brush inside, and they have child-sized spouts and straws which are nearly impossible to get clean in a dishwasher. Even if you have one of those dishwasher baskets made specifically for bottles and sippy cups, it’s unlikely that your dishwasher will be able to get every part of the cup clean. Frequent or occasional hand scrubbing is nearly impossible to avoid. That being said, some of the products we tested did way better in the dishwasher than others.
What Are The Best Spouts To Buy?
Babies and toddlers tend to choke and gag when they take a sip from a spout or straw that lets liquid flow faster than they are used to. For that reason, you want to ease them slowly from nipple to straw/spout to cup. Some of the favorite sippy cups we tested came packaged with several different spout and straw types to ensure its usefulness as the child grows. That also enabled us to use these cups with children of different ages, which is a big deal in households with multiple children, as such households are generally overflowing with kid items as it is.
How Durable Are Glass Sippy Cups?
One of our biggest surprises from the testing was that we could not get the glass sippy cup in our lineup to break. Despite repeatedly dropping and even throwing it against tile and concrete (because you know that’s the kind of thing real kids do) we couldn’t manage to crack it. Manufacturers know that kids are going to be rough on these cups, so they are generally pretty well protected by the covers and sleeves that cover them. If you are worried about giving your child a BPA-free plastic cup to drink from, don’t be afraid to go for the glass or stainless steel.
Do Sippy Cup Covers And Lids Last?
If the cup comes with some sort of cover or lid, it can and will break or fall off. And once that happens, it will probably go missing until a year later when you find it hiding under the third-row bench seats of your Chrysler Town & Country (not that we would know anything about that). But in all seriousness, even on the models that tested perfectly otherwise, their lids snapped off almost without fail. You can’t rely on the lid to ensure your kid’s grape juice doesn’t come leaking out on the table and soak some important papers you left there (again, not speaking from first-hand experience at all). If you want a sippy cup that isn’t going to create messes, the cup itself needs to be pretty much leakproof with or without a lid. Luckily, several that we tested fit that description and don’t need lids at all.
How Long Will A Sippy Cup Last?
Nobody enjoys having a cabinet full of not-quite-usable dinnerware. Over time, you will misplace a straw, your teething toddler will bite a hole in the cup spout, a handle will break off, a lid will crack. And you will be left with a pile of completely useless plastic that you can’t bring yourself to throw out because one of these days you might find that missing piece. Save yourself the headache, and look for sippy cups that have very few pieces and have smooth surfaces. A cup that doesn’t have a lot of complicated parts is not only easier to keep together — it’s also much easier to clean. And of course, investing in a glass or stainless steel cup makes sense in the long run. Those materials are certainly more expensive up front, but if you can find one that is simple to take apart and put together, it’s very likely that it will last you for many years, as it’s going to be much more durable than the standard plastic sippy cup.
Are Sippy Cups Bad For Teeth?
The benefits of introducing a sippy cup to your child tend to outweigh the risks, but prolonged use can lead to tooth damage if the drink inside is sugary and increases the risk of tooth decay. Sippy cups can also become a breeding ground for bacteria if not cleaned properly and often. Lastly, constant sucking on the spout could be detrimental to the development of the teeth and jaws, which could lead to orthodontic problems down the line according to McIntosh Dental. As long as the sippy cup is used properly (as a bottle transition) and for the correct amount of time parents should be able to avoid these potential dental problems.
Other Sippy Cups and Transition Cups We Tested
Philips Avent My Bendy Straw Cup
The Philips Avent My Bendy Straw performed well in all of our tests and was a close runner-up to the Best Overall OXO Tot Transitions Cup. However, the My Bendy Straw got dinged for not being clear, being more difficult to assemble, and for its lack of measurement lines.
That being said, my kids instantly gravitated toward this cup as one of their favorites for the lid design—they called it the “dinosaur cup.” The handles are not removable—so there’s no chance it will fit in a cup holder—but leaking during testing was extremely minimal and it generally held up well to abuse.
If you’re looking for a good sippy cup with higher capacity, we liked the Thinkbaby No Spill. True to its name, it wouldn’t leak during our tests unless we held it upside down and squeezed the spout. It was one of only three cups that didn’t release one bit of liquid in our drop tests (the others were the OXO Tot Transitions Cup and the Pura Kiki Stainless Steel Sippy Cup).
The handles are removable, so it will fit nicely into most cup holders, it’s easy to clean, and it will hold more than 8 ounces.
The Thermos FOOGO Soft Spout Sippy Cup with Handles delivers exactly what you’d expect from a cup made by Thermos. Its vacuum insulation keeps liquids cold for up to six hours, which is great for keeping you from having to dump a cup of room temperature milk down the drain.
Removing and replacing the spout for cleaning was a little more fiddly than we liked, and it did leak consistently when dropped or shaken. This could be a great cup for the kid who’s grown out of the I-must-throw-all-the-things stage but isn’t quite ready for a regular cup.
Keeps liquids cold for six hours
Easy grip handles
Leaks when dropped or shaken
Spout is fiddly when removed or replaced
Pura Kiki Stainless Steel Sippy Cup (9 oz)
The Pura Kiki Stainless Steel Sippy Bottle is just pretty. It’s made of vacuum insulated stainless steel and medical-grade silicone, and, much like the OXO Tot Transitions, it comes with a sippy spout as well as a straw spout which can be used (or not) with an attachable inner straw. On top of all that, it wouldn’t leak for us at all in the drop and shake tests.
So what didn’t we like? Two things: the cap is pretty awkward. It’s a flexible silicone lid that is to be stretched over the top of the bottle. It’s not easy to use for an adult, let alone a child. The other problem is that the sleeve around the bottle is supposed to be removed and cleaned periodically, which is a real pain. Also, it’s almost $30 per cup. Ouch.
We expected that kids would immediately gravitate to this cup because of its fun design, but to our surprise, they didn’t seem terribly impressed. The NUK Disney Learner held its own in our shake and drop tests with only a few small leaks, the handles are removable, and it’s easy to wash.
It receives high ranks on Amazon (4.5 stars across 365 reviews), and several reviewers rave about the handles being easy for tiny hands to hold. It’s a solid little cup and we didn’t have any issues with it, but it’s missing some of the features we love in other cups, such as multiple spouts and measurement marks.
The Philips Avent My Easy Sippy Cup scored exactly the same in our tests as the NUK Disney Learner. Because it doesn’t have handles, we decided to rank the My Easy lower.
The body of the cup does have ripples that will make it easier to hold, but not as easy as actual handles. Several Amazon reviewers complain that the cup is definitely not leak-proof. User Cecosugi says, “I love that these tops fit on the Avent bottles we have, but my son has figured out that smashing the nipple on anything will result in a glorious splash of water. This has resulted in numerous messes and many soaked clothes. He's thrilled, mom not so much.”
The nuSpin Zoomi Straw Sippy Cup is refreshingly simple in its design. It’s comprised of a cup, a lid, and a one-piece straw that pops firmly into place. It’s very easy to wash and reassemble. The straw, however, is quite narrow and flexible.
We wouldn’t trust the dishwasher to get it clean if it’s been used to drink anything but water. It also leaked consistently in every test, but only little droplets of water escaped.
The Thinkbaby Thinkster is the straw version of the Thinkbaby No Spill Sippy Cup, and the two are similar in many ways.
The main differences are that the Thinkster didn’t perform well in our leak tests, and reassembly after washing was much more difficult. The “extra soft” silicone straw is a serious pain to feed up through the lid when putting it back together.
The Dr. Browns Soft Spout Transitions Cup was easy enough for kids to use, and we liked how the attached lid stays out of the way by sticking in the open position when the cup is tipped. The removable handles are a plus, as are the measurement markings.
It did leak some when dropped and shaken, and of course the lid popped off the cup when it was dropped onto a hard surface. It was easy enough to put it back on, but it’s not hard to imagine it getting lost after breaking off. The real issue with this cup was assembly. The spout fits so firmly into the lid that—after struggling with it a bit—we gave up and consulted with the manual to see if it’s even supposed to be removed for cleaning. It is, and it’s equally hard to put the spout back in.
Spoutless 360-degree cups are very popular and can be useful when you're trying to teach a child to drink from a real open cup. They can learn how to tip a cup back, how to sip from the rim, and they learn that you can drink from—and liquid can come out of—any part of the cup instead of just a single spout.
But in our tests they all were among the leakiest cups; there isn't much keeping the liquid in. They are a great option when a child is ready, but if you specifically want a leak-proof cup one of the above models is probably a better pick.
Sassy Grow Up Cup
Five of Amazon’s eight best-selling toddler cups are spoutless. Spoutless sippy cups are appealing since they have the look and feel of a regular cup, yet they’re harder to spill due to a valve around the rim of the cup that (ideally) only allows liquid through when someone is drinking from it. Of the three spoutless, 360-degree cups we tested, the Sassy Grow Up Cup with Handles was by far our favorite.
Kids are able to easily drink from any spot around the rim, just like a regular cup, without spilling if it’s tipped too much. The kids we tested with were attracted to the fun design. The problem was that the silicone valve allows liquid to escape through wavy crevices, which of course collected orange juice pulp in our tests and didn’t come out of the dishwasher completely clean.
The Chicco Natural Fit 360 is a spoutless cup with lots of features we were looking for. It has a lid, removable handles, and measurement markings. On top of that, the silicone valve is see-through, which means the little one can see the liquid approaching the rim (helpful when transitioning to a regular cup).
The cup can even be used without the valve to function like a standard cup, and there are two little holes in the top that might be for air flow, but they could totally be used as straw holes.
The problem? This cup leaked the worst of all those we tested. In fact, once the cup was dropped, it continued to let a stream of liquid flow as it laid on its side until we picked it up.
The Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup is a simple, spoutless cup: it’s made of four parts that are mostly easy to wash, however one of them is an easy-to-miss silicone ring around the edge of the lid that loves to collect gunk. Despite the fact that this cup is the #1 best-selling toddler cup on Amazon, we were not impressed.
It doesn’t have measurement lines (not helpful if you need to measure ounces of liquid), removable handles, or a lid like the Natural Fit, and the valve is harder to remove but easier to replace. This cup leaked almost as much as the Natural Fit upon being dropped.
Sarah Kovac is an award-winning author and accessibility editor for Reviewed. Previously, she worked with a multitude of outlets such as Wirecutter, TIME, PCMag, Prevention, The Atlantic, Reviews.com, CNN, GOOD, Upworthy, Mom.me, and SheKnows.
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