Who knew that finding the perfect sippy cup would be so hard? I had found a few traditional ones that worked well for us, but I’ve since vowed to reduce food and beverage-related plastic in our home I had to start over. This sent me on a quest for a non-plastic sippy cup.
Believe it or not, pretty much EVERY cup out there has at least some plastic. I reached out to my friends at The Soft Landing and Mighty Nest again to help me break through the clutter. They sent me several cups to test, and I bought a few of my own.
A few notes on my testing: Nic was between 14 and 15 months at the time of testing. We tested mostly with water. He used the cups in his high chair at meal/snack time and occasionally while on the loose playing.
EIO Glass Kids Cup with Silicon Sleeve (Given to me by Mighty Nest)
Defining Characteristic: This is a big boy cup with training wheels. The glass cup has a screw-on plastic lid that has a large notch though which the water passes.
Mess Factor: High. This cup has the highest potential for spills when used by a young baby. I think it would be great for a more responsible drinker though.
Look: Cute and modern.
Baby Appeal: Nic loves this cup. I think it makes him feel grown up.
Materials: Glass cup, silicon sleeve, #5 plastic top
Overall: I don’t think that Nic is ready for this to be his full-time cup, but it’s great to throw in the mix and will be great when he’s ready to transition to a real cup for everyday use.
Thermos Foogo Phases Vacuum Insulated Hard Spout Sippy Cup (Given to me by The Soft Landing)
Defining Characteristic: This keeps milk cold for up to 10 hours! This is great for long trips out of the house.
Mess Factor: Medium. Milk gets trapped in the spout and when Nic shakes the cup, it “jumps” out.
Look: Sleek, but not ultra-fashionable.
Baby Appeal: It’s the only thing aside from a bottle that I can get Nic to drink milk from—and that’s a huge plus.
Materials: Stainless steel bottle, silicon valve, #5 plastic valve and top
Price: $13.00 (on sale from $15.90)
Overall: If it didn’t have the mess factor, it would be pretty perfect.
LifeFactory Glass Sippy Cap Bottle (Given to me by Mighty Nest)
Defining Characteristics: This beautiful glass bottle is a showstopper. I do have a mini heart attack every time he throws it off of the highchair though because I’m worried it will break. But I’m happy to report that it’s taken about 10 good falls and is still in perfect condition. (Knock on wood.)
Mess Factor: Low/medium. If you shake it upside down, you get a few drops of liquid with each shake. Laying it on its side doesn’t produce any drips or leaks.
Look: I love love love the look of this cup. I’m secretly lusting over the LifeFactory baby bottles and think I’ll take the plunge for #2.
Baby Appeal: Nic guzzles water from this sippy. I think the flow is just right for him because he drinks more water from this cup than any of the others. (Tip: Don’t screw on the lid too tight or it’s too hard to suck from.) I really like that it’s clear and I can see how much he’s drinking.
Materials: Glass bottle, silicon sleeve and valve, #5 plastic top
Overall: This is the sippy cup that I’m most likely to pull out of the drawer. Maybe it’s the prettiness factor, but I tell myself it’s because he drinks so well from it. The one drawback is the potential breakage factor.
Defining Characteristics: Stainless steel sippy for the hardcore tot on the go!
Mess Factor: Low. If you shake it upside down, you get a few drops of liquid. Laying it on its side doesn’t produce any drips or leaks.
Look: I love that this sippy is a tiny version of the one that’s always in my purse. It shows Nic’s outdoorsy and eco-friendly personality ;)
Baby Appeal: Nic loves it.
Materials: Stainless steel bottle, #5 plastic top (By the way, I was really impressed with their customer service when I called to find this out!)
Price: $19.95, I ordered mine from Diapers.com.
Overall: We always use this one when we go out of the house. It’s compact, has a cap, won’t break and looks cool. Although I am a little bummed that the paint has already started to chip a little.
ThinkBaby Training Cup (Given to me by The Soft Landing)
Defining Characteristics: One step away from a bottle. This plastic sippy has handles and a slightly flattened “nipple.”
Mess Factor: None. I couldn’t get it to leak or drip.
Look: Nice and modern with fun pops of bright orange (my favorite color). Still looks a lot like a bottle, which is good and bad.
Baby Appeal: Nic was a big fan.
Materials: Silicon nipple, #5 plastic bottle, ring and handles
Overall: This cup is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the EIO—I think it would be a great first sippy, but it’s a little “young” for Nic. I’m leary to get him attached to something that looks so much like a bottle when we’re making good strides away from them. I do think it would be great for a kid who is reluctant to make those first moves away from a bottle. Also, although this is made from “safer” plastic, it’s still plastic.
Defining Characteristics: Stainless steel sports bottle.
Mess Factor: High. This bottle has a sports top on it, so there’s no protection if it’s overturned and the top is open.
Look: Very cute!
Baby Appeal: NIc likes it, but sometimes the flow is a little high for him. Also, he likes to chew on the soft top and stick his finger in the opening at the top. Mommy doesn’t love this so much.
Materials: Stainless steel bottle, the top is either #5 or a plant-based plastic (the manufacturer hasn’t gotten back to me)
Price: $12.99, I bought mine at Whole Foods. Note: I couldn’t find the exact one I have to link to at the top. Mine has a slightly different nozzle.
Overall: I really like this bottle, but think it will be more appropriate for regular use in about a year.
Pura Stainless Toddler Bottle (Reviewed by Alex)
Defining Characteristic: This is a sippy cup that is similar to a bottle so it's an easy transition. It includes a Pura silicone no-spill sip spout.
Mess Factor: Although the sip spout is "no-spill," Reese enjoys biting down on the spout and letting water dribble out her mouth. But when she's thirsty, there is no-spill!
Look: Sleek and modern design.
Baby Appeal: Reese loves this sippy cup. I think the size of it reminds her of her bottle, which will eventually make the full transition from a bottle to a sippy cup easier.
Materials: Stainless Steel bottle, silicone spout (Phthalate, BPA, Nitrosamine, Latex, PVC FREE)
Overall: This is one of two sippy cups that Reese drinks her water out of. The price a bit steep but I think it's worth it - especially because it's taken me a long time to find a sippy cup that works for her. I will warn that I typically only fill the bottle up half way because when it's full, I find that it's a little heavy for Reese to lift.
All of the cups above are good enough to buy. I don’t think you’d be disappointed with any of them, but I do have some favorites. Drum roll please….
The LifeFactory and Klean Kanteen sippies are my favorites. Their combination of functionality, style and the fact that Nic drinks a ton of water from them make them my top picks. The Foogo cup would be up there too if it didn’t trap milk in the spout. I know these cups are expensive, but I think you'd only need to invest in one or two.