Best Sippy Cups for Your Babies – Infants & Toddlers

The sippy cup marks the beginning of the transition from milk bottle to glass for toddlers. Parents make such a fuss out of the choice of the best sippy cups because, indeed, transitions are cause for celebration! Toddlers apparently like sippy cups because of their more grown-up feel, as well as their interesting designs.

Richard Belanger invented the modern spill-proof sippy cup, the design of which he then licensed to Playtex. The sippy cups on my list are designed for spill-proof drinking, even for toddlers who have yet to use them.

These cups work because the surface tension prevents the liquid, whether it’s milk, juice, or water, from spilling over, even when they are upended. The key here is to ensure that the sippy lid is screwed in or placed firmly on top of its cup.

These products come in a wide range of designs, so there should be at least one sippy cup that will satisfy every parent’s and toddler’s needs. The styles include with and without spouts, with and without handles, and in various colors, sizes, and shapes, too.

Suitable Sippy Cups for Your Baby

1. Miracle 360 Trainer Cup by Munchkin

The Miracle 360 isn’t exactly a modern miracle, but its innovative design makes it among the best sippy cups, in my opinion. The simple design hides the fact that its drain-plug cup acts as an automatic seal when a toddler stops drinking from it. Therefore, the chances of messy spills are reduced, if not eliminated.

Unlike many sippy cups, it also features a 360-degree design wherein your toddler can drink from any part of the cup — there’s no dedicated spout, in other words. The sippy cup also doesn’t have valves and small parts, which are common risks in other cups, while the curved handles are just right for small hands. This is also easy to clean, since it can be washed in the dishwasher without disassembling the cup.

What's Great About It: The easy-to-clean design, all-around drinking property, and simple parts are the reasons that I consider the Miracle 360 my top choice.

2. Kid Kanteen 12 Oz Stainless Steel Bottle with Sippy Cap by KleanKanteen

The Kid Kanteen is a stainless steel sippy cup, which is why it can maintain a beverage’s hot or cold temperature. Your toddler can enjoy his cold drink cool and his hot milk warm, as well as sip it using the relatively large straw resembling a milk bottle’s nipple. You will soon find her sipping well from the cup instead of resisting the transition from his milk bottle.

What's Great About It: The valve can be easily removed and cleaned for washing in the dishwasher, too. The food-grade stainless steel doesn’t leak metallic tastes to the beverage, either, so your toddler will not recoil from drinking her milk or juice from the cup. There are also seven colors to choose from.

3. Fun Grips Hard Spout Sippy Cup by Gerber Graduates

The Gerber brand is well-known worldwide for its extensive line of baby products, including trainer cups, such as the Fun Grips. This 10-ounce trainer cup can contain just enough liquid for a single serving, while its Seal Zone technology guarantees no spills or leaks. Even the cup’s hourglass shape with molded grooves is designed for kids’ hands, so there’s no need for handles.

What's Great About It: The trainer’s cup is easy to clean, since there are no small parts to disassemble. The leak-proof design ensures a mess-free drinking experience every time, while the hard spout is a nice contrast to bottle nipples.

​4. Fashion Hearts Learner Cup by NUK

The soft spout on the Fashion Hearts trainer cup is just right for delicate mouths as young as 6 months, but sturdy enough to withstand growing teeth, including its biting motions. The air vents are useful in reducing the passage of air from the cup to the child’s mouth, so the risk of gas can be decreased, too. Many sippy cups don’t have this feature, a possible reason for kids complaining about bloated stomachs after drinking from their trainer cups.

What's Great About It: The attractive design, coupled with the non-slip handles and leak-proof lid, makes it a sippy cup after my own heart.

​5. LATCH Transition Cup by Munchkin

The Latch trainer cup is a great choice for toddlers, too, thanks to its soft spout made of soft silicone for better latching. The material is known for both being durable enough to withstand numerous bites in a day and flexible enough for sensitive gums. Even the overall design can move well with the toddler’s movement, so there’s a smooth flow of milk.

What's Great About It: I like the anti-colic valve that prevents the build-up of air bubbles inside the cup to reduce the risks of colic. The removable handle makes for versatile handling in a little kids’ hands.

​6. Blue Turtle Silicone Spout Active Cup by NUK

The nipple-style spout with its spill-proof and leak-proof design makes it easy for young kids to make the transition from bottle to trainer cup, even in just a few tries. The food-grade silicone has a durable and flexible quality that also makes it easy to clean and disinfect on a regular basis, while the large cup can hold a good amount of liquid.

What's Great About It: The easy-clip makes the training cup easy to clip on a bag, while the fun design makes it fun for your little boy to use. Plus, the cup’s so lightweight, even with liquid in it, that you don’t have to assist your child while drinking from it.

7. Jungle Designs Large Learner Cup in Patterns by NUK

The Blue Turtle and the Jungle Designs may be both manufactured by NUK, but their designs are very different. The Jungle Designs has a slim ergonomic handle, a printed design, and air vents to reduce gas development in the stomach (i.e., colic), but it doesn’t have the easy-clip feature of the Blue Turtle. Both trainer cups, nonetheless, have the same leak-proof, spill-proof mechanism for which NUK cups are known.

What's Great About It: I like the removable handle, soft spout, and fun print, as well as the mess-free drinking feature. These should make drinking from a cup for the first time so much more enjoyable.

​8. Disney Learner Cup with Silicone Spout by NUK

The Disney-themed sippy cup comes in two designs: Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse, both of which are familiar to kids. As an NUK product, it has many of the features of the aforementioned NUK trainer cups, including air vents, removable handle, and spill- and leak-proof technology. The sippy cup also has a silicone spout for a perfect fit inside tiny mouths and sturdy plastic to hold milk, juice, or water.

What's Great About It: This is an NUK product, so its attractive design, durable construction, and easy-to-clean materials are a given.

​9. Thinkbaby Sippy Cup by Thinkbaby

The Thinkbaby trainer cup is made of medical-grade silicone, a better choice than food-grade silicone, since it’s safer for baby products. The silicone used on the straw is shaped like a bottle nipple to ease the transition from bottle to sippy cup. The removable handles have ridges for a better grip, while the cup’s hourglass figure contributes to better stability.

What's Great About It: I like the non-toxic material used for the Thinkbaby sippy cup, specifically a durable plastic free of PVC, BPA, PET, and other harmful chemicals.

​10. AVENT My Natural Trainer Cup by Philips

Even a 4-month-old baby can learn to drink from the Avent My Natural Trainer Cup by Philips. The cup has a lock mechanism on its sleek handle so it doesn’t slip and slide.

The silicone nipple features twin valves, which reduce colic incidence, and built-in petals for superior latching by tiny mouths. Think of a baby feeding bottle, but with modified features for a trainer cup.

What's Great About It: The Avent brand is known for its quality products, and this trainer cup is no exception. The durable cup complements the functional silicone nipple.

How I Chose the Best Sippy Cups in My List

I chose the best sippy cups based on several factors, including materials, construction, and performance. I know the importance of choosing the safest trainer cups for their children where parents are concerned, especially since many inferior sippy cups can be hazardous for kids’ health. These hazards include the use of toxic materials, such as plastic with BPA, PET, and lead, and the inclusion of small parts that pose a choking hazard.

The most important factors I used in choosing the best sippy cups are as follows:

Cup body design

The sippy cup must hold a sufficient amount of liquid for a single serving (i.e., one medium-sized glass) without being too large and too bulky for little hands to handle. The hourglass design was a favorite because small hands can hold the cup in the “waist” part.

Materials

The sippy cups should be made of non-toxic materials, since kids are more vulnerable to long-term exposure to harmful chemicals like BPA and PET. These materials include plastic and stainless steel for the body and collar, as well as silicone and plastic for the spout in most cases; I shied away from glass sippy cups for safety reasons.

Stainless steel is an increasingly popular material because it doesn’t leak lead, phthalates, and chemicals into the liquid, and it is easy to clean, durable, and has good insulation properties. Plastic is light in weight, versatile in use, and colorful in design, as well as durable and easy to clean when it’s of high quality. Many of the best trainer cups combine stainless steel and plastic.

The silicone in sippy cups is used in the spout, valve, and outside sleeves. The safest choice is medical-grade silicone, as is usually used in the valves and spouts, so that it doesn’t have as much exposure to the liquid contents as the plastic and stainless steel components.

The use of silicone on the spout makes sense for two reasons. First, it is more flexible, so it’s more mouth-friendly than plastic spouts. Second, it is soft enough not to cause injury to delicate mouths, especially when kids fall on their faces while sipping on the cup.

I recommend changing the silicone part, as recommended, since it can break down faster than stainless steel and plastic.

Safe overall design

The individual parts of the cup should be safe to use for the child, such as the absence of small parts that small hands can easily take apart (i.e., choking hazards). Basically, the fewer small parts, the better; the faster the parts snap into place, the better; and the easier the parts are to clean, the better. 

The spouts can be hard or soft; the choice between the two is based on the personal preference of the parents. These choices include soft silicone spouts, hard plastic spouts, cup-like 360-degree edges, and silicone straws. Each one has its pros and cons, but I included all of these types in my list.

The valves should be designed to prevent leaks and spills, while the child is using the sippy cup. I had to read the parents’ reviews, and even test most of the sippy cups, since there appeared to be no direct correlation between the design and materials and the valves’ efficacy.

Tips on Introducing Sippy Cups

Sippy cups aren’t just a great way for babies to transition from a milk bottle to a regular cup; they are also useful in improving the child’s hand-to-mouth coordination, hand strength and grip, and drinking action (i.e., drinking from a sippy cup requires a different action from suckling on a nipple). Even the fact that the best sippy cups are designed to reduce spills and leaks while drinking increases the child’s confidence in his newfound sense of independence in drinking.

However, many parents also have a bit of a difficulty in introducing a sippy cup to their kids. Here are few simple, yet effective, tips to overcome it.

  • Look for signs that your child is ready for a training cup, such as attempting to drink from a glass or mimicking the drinking action. Many babies are ready as early as 6 months old, but many others will start late, such as a year old. Just be sure to gradually introduce a sippy cup by your child’s first birthday to prevent tooth decay (American Dental Association).
  • Start the process with a soft silicone spout, preferably with a nipple shape. Your baby will have an easier time transitioning from either your breast’s nipple or a milk bottle nipple to the trainer cup’s nipple.
  • Show your child how to bring the spout to his mouth first. Be patient, as it will take time for him to learn the mechanics, but when he does, you won’t even have to ask him twice.

Conclusion

I hope that my list of the best sippy cups provided you with useful information. I know that with the right choice, your baby will soon be a bigger baby in transition.

    Sandra Cobain
     

    Mum of two. Child psychologist. Ardent admirer of art, crafts and cooking. She is the head of content for BestForTheKids. When she's not busy crafting posts & researching about compelling content ideas, she can be spotted playing outdoors with her two adorable children.

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