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Tommee Tippee Essentials Free Flow First Cup review: a classic free-flow sippy cup for easy drinking

Transitioning your baby or toddler from bottle to sippy cup? The Tommee Tippee Essentials Free Flow First Cup is a great choice. But do kids love it too? Mum of one, Laura, puts it to the test. 

By Laura Westerman | Last updated Feb 20, 2024

Tommee Tippee Essentials Free Flow First Cup
>>
Price: £2

What we like
  • Great value for money

  • Free flow for ease of sipping (better for teeth)

  • Two handles for small hands to easily grab

  • Soft spout

  • BPA-free

  • Easy to clean

What we don't like
  • Leaks when tipped upside down or dropped, unless spout in closed position

  • Small capacity (only 190ml) 

  • Lid can initially be stiff to get on and off

  • Labels wear off after repeated washing

Key specs

Capacity: 190ml | Recommended age: 4 months+ | Material: Polypropylene, silicone

What Mumsnet users say
Nanny R · Recommended
That's the type I recommend to parents. It's easy to hold and drink from, easy to clean and fairly leakproof when closed.
See Post
LaTomatina · Tried & Tested
Worked for us. We tried a few. This one was the best in my opinion.
See Post
Our verdict
  • Safety: 5/5

  • Design: 4/5

  • Ease of use: 5/5 

  • Ease of cleaning: 5/5

  • Value for money: 5/5

Ready to introduce your little one to drinking from a cup? Allowing small sips of water with meals during the initial stages of weaning can get your child used to sipping from an open cup or free-flow sippy cup like the Tommee Tippee Essentials Free Flow First Cup, rather than sucking. This facilitates a smoother transition as they get older and gradually drop milk feeds from the breast or baby bottle.

According to the NCT and dentists alike, sipping from a cup is better for your child’s teeth as regularly sucking squash or juice from bottles or spill-proof cups with a valve or straw can continuously expose your little one’s teeth and gums to sugary, acidic liquids, which can cause tooth decay. You can also try a sloping open cup like the Doidy Cup, which your baby might find easier as they don't have to tilt it so far.

If you’re looking for a fuss-free, classic free-flow sippy cup to help your little one transition from a bottle to independently drinking from a cup, then the Tommee Tippee Essentials Free Flow First Cup is a good choice. 

After using it for well over a year with my now 22-month-old, I can see why it’s her go-to cup at home. Specifically designed for small hands, the handles allow for easy gripping and the flip-up spout has two small holes ensuring that liquid flows smoothly without requiring much pressure.

From a parent’s point of view, I’ve found that this sippy cup is durable, easy to use and clean, is made from good quality BPA-free plastic and offers excellent value for money.

Toddler with Tommee Tippee Essentials Free Flow First Cup

How we tested the Tommee Tippee Essentials Free Flow First Cup 

I’ve been using this free-flow sippy cup daily with my daughter since she was six months old, so it’s been used now for over a year. She uses other training cups alongside this one, like the Munchkin Miracle 360° Sippy Cup and the Doidy Cup, but the Tommee Tippee Essentials Free Flow First Cup is her favourite because it’s so simple to use and hold. 

During testing, I scored this free-flow sippy cup on a number of different criteria including: safety, design, ease of use, ease of cleaning and value for money.

How does the Tommee Tippee Essentials Free Flow First Cup look and what age is it suitable for?

This free-flow sippy cup can be used from four months plus, but my daughter started using hers when she started weaning at six months old. It offers good longevity and can still be used well into toddlerhood alongside a larger open cup. 

It’s simple and minimalistic in design with just two pieces to assemble and no small parts, but that’s what I like about it. It’s a no-frills cup that’s easily accessible to babies who are being introduced to a free-flow sippy cup for the first time. 

The flip-up silicone spout is soft and the ideal size for small mouths. We have the blue and lilac versions at home, but there are four different colours to choose from depending on preference including lilac, orange, green and blue. 

Read next: Best sterilisers as rated by parents

Tommee Tippee Essentials Free Flow First Cup: is it BPA-free?

Yes! All the materials used are safe for babies, which is very reassuring, particularly first-time parents new to weaning.

Tommee Tippee Essentials Free Flow First Cup at dinnertime

How easy is the Tommee Tippee Essentials Free Flow First Cup to use?

My daughter found this free-flow sippy cup much easier to use from an early age compared to other cups like the Munchkin Miracle 360° Sippy Cup and the Doidy Cup. She immediately knew how to use it with basically no practice, and it was a great way to get her used to drinking water with meals. 

Plus, the spout is made with two small holes which control the amount of liquid that comes out, so even if your little one is thirsty and drinks quickly, I’ve found that my daughter doesn’t suck in air or choke when drinking. 

I like that there are two sleek handles for easy grabbing and, because the cup doesn’t hold more than 190ml, it’s lighter for kids to pick up. There are also measuring guides on the back of the cup so you know exactly how much your child is drinking.

My daughter learnt very quickly how to lift the spout from its closed position (and close it again after she’s had a sip), which helped her to be more independent. 

Read next: Best highchairs for babies and toddlers

Tommee Tippee Essentials Free Flow First Cup spout open and closed

Tommee Tippee Essentials Free Flow First Cup: is it spill-proof?

Partially. One of the things I like least about this free-flow sippy cup is that it’s only leakproof when the spout is in its closed position. So if it’s dropped on the floor when open, which frequently happens in my household, then you end up with a big spill all over the floor. This is also an issue if you take the cup out and about with you. It should ideally be stored upright in your changing bag to prevent any leakages. 

How easy is the Tommee Tippee Essentials Free Flow First Cup to clean?

Extremely easy, which is a big bonus - easier than sippy cups like the Munchkin Miracle 360° Sippy Cup, which has more parts that all need to be cleaned individually. You simply remove the lid and place the two parts in your dishwasher or wash by hand. Plus, there’s no straw to trap leftover juice or milk, ensuring easy cleaning and better hygiene overall. 

Read next: Best baby plates and bowls

Tommee Tippee Essentials Free Flow First Cup

Is the Tommee Tippee Essentials Free Flow First Cup good value for money?

Absolutely! One cup costs somewhere between £2 and £3 depending where you buy it and you’ll find this free-flow sippy cup in most supermarkets. You’ll also find bundles of two available on Amazon if you’d like to buy more than one, which I would recommend so that you always have one to hand.

About the author

Laura Westerman is an editor, writer and Deputy Head of Editorial Content at Mumsnet. Mum to a one-year-old, she is fully invested in discovering the best and most affordable baby products on the market, and sharing her knowledge and findings with other parents.

With over seven years' experience as a full-time editor, five of which have been spent writing, commissioning and editing pushchair product reviews and round-ups, Laura has a keen eye for what parents love and likes nothing more than putting together honest reviews to make parents' lives that little bit easier. 

In addition to her work as a writer and editor, she has also appeared in a number of baby product videos for Mumsnet's YouTube channel.