Best baby plates and bowls

18 November 2020

child in high chair

Weaning from around six months is almost always a messy business, but the right baby bowl and plate could make a real difference.

Whether you’re doing baby-led weaning, spoon feeding or a combination of the two, there will come a point when your baby will want to feed themselves. This may inevitably mean that food ends up on them (or the floor) rather than in their mouths as they get to grips with where their mouths actually are.

Non-slip and suction bowls can help to reduce mess, while some families prefer mat-style plates. You also need to consider the type of material your baby bowl and plate are made from, where you’re going to use them (at home or out and about) and what you’re going to use them for – are they for purées or for BLW portions?

Here are the best bowls and plates for babies, as recommended by parents.

1. Best overall plate: EasyMat Mini Portable Baby Suction Plate with Lid

“I did baby-led weaning. I really like the EasyMat plate. She can't pull it off the highchair at all and it’s easy for taking on the go.”

1. Best overall plate: EasyMat Mini Portable Baby Suction Plate with Lid

EasyMat’s design combines the best of all worlds. It has strong suction cups and, while it’s not a traditional bowl, it’s ideal for weaning at home or on the go. The best thing is that it comes with a lid so you can pre-fill the sections. For an extra wow factor, the sections are arranged in a happy face design.

It’s 32cm by 27cm and over 2cm deep so works for lots of different food types. There are seven colours to choose from including bright orange, pink and blue so there’s something for everyone here.

Pros

  • Has a lid for travelling
  • Strong suction cups

Cons

  • It’s not a traditional bowl

Material

Highest grade BPA-free LFGB silicone

2. Best budget baby bowl and plate: IKEA Kalas Bowl and Plate

2. Best budget baby bowl and plate: IKEA Kalas Bowl and Plate

If your baby doesn’t tend to throw food about, then IKEA’s Kalas range is a bargain. Available in colourful six-piece sets, these bowls and plates are microwave- and dishwasher-safe. They’re also BPA-free.

If you are heating food though, transfer it to a ceramic or glass bowl first as temperatures over 100 degrees can degrade the plastic and could cause some transfer to the food.

Pros

  • Very cheap
  • Will last into preschooler years and beyond

Cons

  • Can’t use them to heat food

Material

BPA-free

Price: £1.25 for six

Buy now from IKEA

3. Best suction bowl: Munchkin Stay Put Suction Bowl

3. Best suction bowl: Munchkin Stay Put Suction Bowl

There are three bowls in this Munchkin Stay Put set and they stack so will take up less room in your cupboard. This newer version has an even stronger suction base than the previous model to create a firm hold, but quick-release tabs mean you shouldn't have too much trouble trying to get it off the table when it’s time to wash up.

It’s safe for the top rack of the dishwasher and it’s durable so should last well into toddlerhood.

Pros

  • Strong suction
  • Three in a packet for under £7
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Stackable

Cons

  • Only one colour set available

Material

BPA-free

4. Best suction plate: Vital Baby Nourish Power Suction Plate

“These are brill, but don’t put the bases through the dishwasher or they go kaput!”

4. Best suction plate: Vital Baby Nourish Power Suction Plate

Vital’s design has easy scoop sides. It’s a bargain and Mumsnet users love the super-strong suction power. The plate is suitable for the microwave and dishwasher, but the base isn’t, so be careful.

Pros

  • Affordable option
  • Easy-scoop sides

Cons

  • The base isn’t dishwasher- or microwave-safe

Material

Phthalate-free, latex-free and BPA-free materials

5. Best silicone baby mat: Betoy Silicone Suction Baby Eating Mat

“It's fantastic – has a handy pouch to catch food and also rolls up so easy to take out and about.”

5. Best silicone baby mat: Betoy Silicone Suction Baby Eating Mat

Betoy makes a feeding mat rather than a bowl. Mumsnet users with determined babies who can unstick most suction bowls rave about this design. It has an upgraded suction cup designed to secure the mat to any hard flat surface, and fits to most highchair tables.

The overhanging edge blocks food from falling onto their laps making (slightly) less mess. It’s made from food-grade silicone and is dishwasher-safe, and it’s also designed to not absorb flavours or to stain.

Pros

  • Much harder for babies to throw on the floor than a bowl
  • Portable – can be rolled up

Cons

  • You will need plastic bowls as your baby gets older

Material

Silicone

Price: From £5.81

Buy now from Amazon

6. Best bamboo bowl: Bamboo Bamboo Baby Suction Bowl and Spoon Set

“This one is brilliant. Even a determined three-year-old can't remove the suction pad.”

6. Best bamboo bowl: Bamboo Bamboo Baby Suction Bowl and Spoon Set

Bamboo Bamboo’s Suction Plate is, as you’d expect, made from bamboo, as well as food-grade silicone to protect your child from BPA, phthalates and other toxins.

The suction is, according to Mumsnet users, very effective and it’s also removable so you can turn it into a regular bowl if/when your child stops throwing their bowl onto the floor, giving it longevity that other baby bowls simply don’t have.

It holds 350ml, is a good size at 12cm in diameter, and it comes with a spoon too. You can also get a cute racoon-shaped Bamboo Suction Plate from the same company for £15.99. There are six colours to choose from including lilac, cherry and orange.

Pros

  • Long-lasting as you can remove the suction to turn it into a regular bowl
  • Made from natural materials

Cons

  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • Pricey for one bowl

Material

Bamboo

Price: £15.99

Buy now from Amazon

7. Best bowl with a lid: Bumkins Suction Silicone Baby Feeding Set

7. Best bowl with a lid: Bumkins Suction Silicone Baby Feeding Set

Bumkins’ feeding set comes in nine colours. The suction base keeps the bowl from sliding or flipping over and the set includes an easy-to-grip double-ended silicone spoon – one end is for dipping into purées and the other for scooping solid food.

The best thing, though, is the lid, meaning you can keep uneaten food in the fridge and also take it in the changing bag when you’re on the go.

Pros

  • The lid makes it easier to keep food for later or take it on the go

Cons

  • It’s an expensive option

Material

BPA-free silicone

8. Best divided plate: NUK Tri-Suction Plate

8. Best divided plate: NUK Tri-Suction Plate

The NUK Tri-Suction Plate doesn’t just have one suction point but three, which means less likelihood of your little one removing it from the table or highchair tray.

There are easy-release tabs for parents to make clean-up quicker. It also has three separate sections, which is ideal for baby-led weaning so that savoury and sweet foods don’t mix – until, of course, your baby does it themselves. The sections are curved making it easier for them to get the food. You get two in a pack.

Pros

  • Triple suction helps it stay put
  • Quick-release tabs
  • Separate sections

Cons

  • It’s on the larger size so check it fits your highchair tray

Material

BPA-free

Price: £14.82 for two

Buy now from Amazon

9. Best long-term buy: Tommee Tippee Easy Scoop Feeding Bowl

9. Best long-term buy: Tommee Tippee Easy Scoop Feeding Bowl

The Tommee Tippee Feeding Bowl is BPA-free, can be used in the freezer and the microwave, and is dishwasher-safe. They are fairly cheap, but you do need to buy the magic mat as a surface to stick the bowls to. While it’s an extra cost, it does ensure the bowls will last once your baby no longer needs a suction bowl.

The triangle corners of the bowl make scooping food easier so there’s a chance your child will eat more – although we’re not promising anything.

Pros

  • Four in a pack
  • Affordable
  • Triangular corners for easier scooping

Cons

  • You need to buy the magic mat for the full benefit

Material

BPA-free

Price: £7.90 for four

Buy now from Amazon

10. Best for traditional weaning: NUK Bowl and Masher

10. Best for traditional weaning: NUK Bowl and Masher

If you’re planning on doing purées and spoon-feeding rather than baby-led weaning, then this NUK Bowl and Masher will make things easier. You can squash food directly into the bowl and then your baby can eat straight from it.

The inner ridges of the bowl ensure easy mashing and its compact size is just right for individual baby portions. It’s also freezer-, microwave- and dishwasher-safe.

Pros

  • Great for traditional weaning
  • Right size for baby portions

Cons

  • Not for baby-led weaning (only for the first stage) so won’t last as long as other bowls

Material

  • BPA-free

11. Best for older babies: Salmon Luke Stay Put Feeding Bowl

“Salmon Luke bowls are fantastic. I cannot recommend them highly enough when babies start to independently feed with a spoon/fork.”

11. Best for older babies: Salmon Luke Stay Put Feeding Bowl

The bowl’s concave, or wave-shaped, sides and spoon-shaped corners are proven to help your baby feed themselves. There’s no suction, but the squat shape makes the bowl harder for babies to tip over. It has been independently tested to be self-sterilising. You can also use it in the dishwasher or microwave.

Pros

  • Squat shape so hard to push over

Cons

  • No suction

Material

BPA- and phthalate-free

Price: £9.95

Buy now from Amazon

12. Best alternative: IKEA Antilop Highchair

12. Best alternative: IKEA Antilop Highchair

Some babies are experts at pulling any type of suction bowl off the table and tipping the contents on their head/your wall/the floor/you. In this case, Mumsnet users recommend putting food onto the tray of the highchair.

The IKEA Antilop Highchair comes highly recommended for this purpose as the tray is removable and dishwasher-safe, and there are no corners or fiddly bits for food to get stuck in. No wonder it's been awarded Mumsnet's Best Highchair.

Pros

  • No bowls or plates to be flung onto the floor

Cons

  • It won't last as long as a bowl or plate so you may need both eventually anyway

Material

The seat and tray are polypropylene plastic, while the legs are steel with epoxy/polyester powder coating

Price: £12

Read the full review

Buy now from IKEA

What to consider when choosing a baby plate and bowl

  • The material it’s made from – you’ll need bowls and plates that won’t break when they are inevitably thrown on the floor. Silicone and bamboo are good non-breakable materials.
  • How do you plan to wean – BLW, purées or a mixture? If you’re baby-led weaning, then mats can often work better than plates for finger food. In the first year babies get most of their calories from milk, so don’t worry about buying bowls and plates with huge capacity.
  • How your baby behaves – some will pick up and chuck anything that is put in front of them, so suction bowls will help stop that happening. Alternatively, look for ones with a non-slip base, which will stop them sliding all over the table or highchair tray.
  • What other features you need – if you’re out and about, then look for mats that can fold or bowls with lids so you can take food with you (and home again if it doesn’t get eaten). If your baby likes to use a spoon themselves, then bowls with slightly angled edges can make scooping easier for them.

Are bamboo bowls safe for babies?

Bamboo is a great alternative to disposable plastic plates and cutlery. Bamboo is also naturally antibacterial, so germs and bacteria won’t get anywhere near your child at mealtimes. It’s also the fastest growing plant in the world, so it’s renewable and completely biodegradable.

Some cheaper bamboo products are made from fibres that are then glued together with melamine. Watch out for these as, while the FDA says it’s safe, they caution not using melamine in the microwave or with food hotter than 160 degrees. Also avoid serving highly acidic foods as it increases the chance of the material migrating or transferring into baby food.

Are silicone baby plates safe?

Silicone is durable, safe, and more ocean-friendly than plastic. It doesn’t contain any petroleum-based plastics or toxic chemicals like those found in plastics. It also stands up better against heat and cold.

What are the best baby bowls?

According to parents, the best baby bowl is the IKEA Kalas Bowl. Affordable, long-lasting and BPA-free, it's a safe and budget-friendly option for all families.

The best suction bowl is the Munchkin Stay Put Suction Bowl, which has a strong suction base and is dishwasher-safe.

How we chose our recommendations

All of our recommendations for baby bowls and plates came from Mumsnet users themselves. We searched the Mumsnet forums for posts about which plates and bowls Mumsnetters really loved including bamboo, silicone and suction. We also looked at other reviews to see which plates and bowls for weaning performed well across the board.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

Mumsnet carries some affiliate marketing links, so if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale (more details here).