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10 best sippy cups and beakers

As your baby moves on from breastmilk or formula to solids and water, they'll need a beaker to help them learn how to drink independently. Here are the best sippy cups and beakers to buy for each age and stage.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Apr 26, 2022

Best sippy cups for babies and toddlers

Sippy cups allow babies from around six months to learn how to drink rather than suckle. They come in all shapes and sizes, and your baby’s age and habits will help you choose the right one for you.

Most parents buy a selection of different sippy cups to work out which their baby likes best. If your baby has used bottles, you may want to start with a soft spout cup, which is most similar to a bottle teat, and graduate onto hard spouts and then something more like a traditional cup. 

Some parents prefer to go straight to an open cup or tippy cup, particularly with those with exclusively breastfed babies who won’t have become accustomed to a teat, but with an open cup you do risk a lot of spills - rare is the toddler who hasn’t, at some point, hurled their cup full of water across the room just to see what will happen. There are other considerations, too: you might want a toddler cup that’s leak proof for travel as well as a free-flow beaker for at home that will help your baby get used to drinking from a proper cup one day. 

It’s also worth thinking about your child’s physical ability and whether they need to start with something very small that they can get their hands around, or if handles would help them manoeuvre it. 

There are a mind-bending number of sippy cups and beakers on the market for all those eventualities and more, so choosing one (and not spending a fortune working your way through every model on the shop floor) is tricky. To help with that, we’ve done the legwork for you and have vetted the best sippy cups and toddler beakers around.

How we chose our products

To ensure we are only recommending the best of the best, we always do our research thoroughly. 

Recommendations from real parents

The most useful reviews always come from mums and dads who have been there and bought the products. Before recommending any new products, we always ask our trusted Mumsnet users, of which there are more than 7 million each month. That’s a lot of honest, impartial advice and we find Mumsnetters always give advice you can trust. Real recommendations are worth so much more than those made off the back of press releases and marketing, which is why we head straight for our talk boards, rather than asking for companies to recommend us their products. 

Expert advice

We always ensure our information represents the latest recommendations from experts so you can rely on it, and we research each product thoroughly to ensure it follows the latest expert advice and stands up to scrutiny. Here we consulted reputable sources such as Which? for information on choosing the best trainer cups, and The NCT (National Childbirth Trust) for advice on how the right cups can support your child’s health and development. 

Consumer feedback

We also scour the internet outside of Mumsnet, checking out real reviews from parents who have bought the products themselves for their little ones, and given both positive and negative feedback to ensure every product we recommend comes with a clutch of good reviews. 

Celebrated best products

Finally, we check to see which sippy cups and toddler beakers have won industry awards and received recognition from trusted sources and feed this into our analysis too.

Here’s our pick of the best sippy cups and beakers for every age and stage.

Mumsnet HQ's Best Buys at a Glance

What is the best trainer cup?

1. Best sippy cup: Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup

Munchkin trainer cup

Price: £8 | Buy now from Amazon

“Munchkin Miracle 360. Was the only thing my daughter would drink out of. Tried loads of different cups before, but she refused them all.” Tried and tested by MyLittlePony374.

This clever spoutless Miracle 360 cup from Munchkin is a big hit with parents who say it’s pretty much spill-proof. It has a 360-degree drinking edge which allows your child to sip from any side, helping with muscle development and eliminating the need for a straw. It then seals up again as soon as they stop drinking. Some reviews claim that their very clever babies managed to work out how to ‘press and pour’ just to annoy their parents, but we suspect that might be a stealth boast! Others say that their child found it a bit too tricky, in which case you might want to go back to something with a bit more of a suckling style, such as the Nuk First Choice we have featured below, and then go back to this as they become more used to a cup. 

While it’s not completely free-flow, it does teach children to sip from the edge of a cup rather than chomp on a spout, which means they won’t have any liquid swilling around their teeth.

There are no fiddly parts to take apart so it’s easy to fill and simple to clean. Just make sure you remove and clean the silicone rim from time to time to stop any mould growth, as this can be a problem if it’s not cleaned properly. That said, the entire thing is dishwasher-safe on the top rack, so it is pretty easy to maintain.

The Munchkin 360 comes in loads of designs so you’re bound to find one you like. We like the polar bear design with handles, which holds 6oz (170ml), but there are also 10oz and 14oz Munchkins available, with or without handles. Suitable from six months.

Pros

  • Teaches drinking from a cup edge and makes transition to open cups easier
  • Prevents spills
  • Dishwasher-safe on top shelf
  • BPA-free
  • 100% recycled materials and packaging

Cons

  • Not completely free-flow
  • May take some children a little while to learn how to use it
  • Silicone ring can develop mould if not properly cleaned and dried regularly

2. Best budget sippy cup: Tommee Tippee Essential Free-Flow First Cup

Tommee Tippee sippy cup

Price: £3 | Buy now from Amazon

“Another vote for the Tommy Tippee Free-Flow. My son drinks water out of this and gets all excited when he sees the cup.” Voted for by SabrinaTheThirtySomethingWitch.

The classic Tommee Tippee Essential Free-Flow First Cup has been a favourite with parents for years. Tommee Tippee is a trusted brand and this cup is a well-priced option that can be found in most supermarkets.

While even cheaper cups are available to buy, we think it’s worth paying a few extra pence for this model, which is solid, well-made and from a premium brand. There’s nothing fancy here, but it’s a classic model that does exactly what it promises and it’s really easy to clean because there’s no fiddly valve or anything like that. 

As well as being a great budget option, it’s also our go-to choice if you’re looking for a free-flow cup – which is the recommended option anyway. The 190ml cup has easy-to-grab handles, is a good size for babies to wield themselves, and the spout flips down when not in use to minimise mess. It doesn’t promise to be totally spill-proof. If that’s what you’re after, you could try the Anyway Up Cup, listed below. But the spout flips down and many parents have been merrily carrying a Tommee Tippee like this around in their change bags for years with very little incident. 

Graduations on the side show how much your baby has drunk and it can be used from as young as four months. So, if you want your child to get started with a sippy cup early, then this is a great choice.

And, most of all of course, we love the price. They last and last but if you want to keep one at Grandma’s and one under the buggy for trips out you can easily splash out on a few of these and not break the bank. 

Pros

  • Free-flow
  • Dishwasher-, microwave- and steriliser-safe
  • BPA-free
  • Encourages sipping rather than sucking
  • Good for travel

Cons

  • Not spill-proof, but spout does flip down to prevent too much leakage
  • The spout can get tiny food bits stuck in it, but a thorough wash will get it all out

3. Best baby beaker for breastfed babies: NUK First Choice Learner Bottle

NUK sippy cup

Price: £6 | Buy now from Amazon

“I couldn’t be bothered with getting the baby used to a bottle and to need to wean them off it for a year. We used a nuk soft spout cup, so somewhere between a bottle teat and a regular supply cup.” Recommended by Callamia.

With its soft, free-flow spout, this cup from NUK is a great choice for breastfed babies as it mimics the shape and feel of a breast while teaching them to sip properly.

Breastfed babies often struggle with valved spouts that they have to suck on as it’s such a different mouth motion to breastfeeding, which is why this free-flow option will suit them well.

We love the upside-down trainer handles with no-slip grips, which make this cup really easy for babies to grab hold of. The spout features NUK’s anti-colic air system which prevents them gulping air as they drink and getting windy, and has a no-spill design, which doesn’t actually mean spill-proof but will nevertheless reduce the amount of water that ends up on the floor.

If you’ve started on an open cup or something like the Doidy cup, also featured in our round-up, and had difficulties, this is a good one for breastfed babies to go back to while they develop a bit more strength and coordination.

A plastic lid covers the spout to keep it clean while on the move and it’s very easy to hand wash. The cup is also suitable from six to 18 months and is available in a handful of colours.

Pros

  • Soft silicone spout
  • BPA-free
  • Can be sterilised
  • Replacement spouts easily available

Cons

  • Not recommended for dishwasher use
  • No-spill design, but not strictly spill-proof

4. Best transition sippy cup: MAM Trainer Cup

MAM trainer cup

Price: £15 | Buy now from Amazon

“I gave both my girls MAM cups to start with. They do a sippy cup with a top made from the same material as a bottle teat. I found it made the transition a lot easier.” Tried and tested by Nicae.

For absolute cup newbies, the MAM Trainer Cup is a great transition cup. If your baby isn’t quite with the cup programme yet, she can start by using the MAM as a baby bottle (with the teat attachment) to get used to handling the cup herself, and then you can eventually swap the teat for the soft silicone spout once she’s ready for it.

The cup holds up to 220ml and the easy-grip handles aid development and help your baby hang onto it tightly. Gradations on the cup itself let you know how much your baby has drunk. The dust cap also displays measurements.

We like that the MAM Trainer Cup can be used from four months old. The parts are also simple to take apart and easy to wash, and the wide lid makes it easy to get a bottle brush right inside.

Pros

  • Easy transition from bottle feeding to independent drinking
  • Non-spill, free-flow spout
  • Wide lid for easy cleaning and for adding ice cubes
  • BPA-free
  • Dust cap to help keep the cup clean

Cons

  • Teat top may mean your baby doesn’t move onto a proper sippy cup as quickly

5. Best eco-friendly sippy cup: Klean Kanteen Kid Classic Sippy

Klean Kanteen sippy cup

Price: £17 | Buy now from Amazon

“We have lots of Klean Kanteens here. They can be pricey, but have really lasted and certainly do the job. Love the wide openings for ice cubes etc.” IndecentFeminist

If you’re trying to reduce your plastics, you’ll love Klean Kanteen’s stainless steel water bottles for kids.

Their Kids Classic Sippy comes with a sippy cap and dust cover for little ones, and the bottle itself (this one holds 355ml) is virtually bomb-proof – it doesn’t scratch or dent, which means it'll survive both the school bag and playground.

The Sippy is compatible with Klean Kanteen's bamboo, sports and loop mouth pieces too, so it can grow with your child and become a true drinking bottle for life.

It’s recommended from six months old, though we think a six-month-old might struggle to hang onto it reliably (no handles). However, considering it then grows with your child for years, it's most definitely a good starting point. It also has a plastic cover to keep the spout clean, which isn’t attached to the bottle itself and customer reviews say it is just asking to get lost, so bear that in mind. 

That aside, and while it’s expensive, it could be the only water bottle you’ll ever need, and it’s available in a range of attractive colours and designs as well.

Pros

  • Offers good longevity – compatible with other lids as your child grows
  • Eco-friendly
  • Made from durable stainless steel
  • Can be attached to a lightweight buggy or backpack

Cons

  • Harder to hold than some sippy cups
  • Expensive initial outlay
  • Longevity relies on the sippy not getting lost

6. Best open cup for babies: Bickiepegs Doidy Cup

Doidy cup

Price: £4 | Buy now from Amazon

“Get a doidy cup! They're brilliant, good size for little hands and angled so they can see the water coming at them. My toddler had one from 6 months and she much preferred it to a sippy cup. Takes a little while (and a lot of spills) to get used to but definitely worth it.” Highly recommended by HereComesFrog.

Doidy cups may not look terribly modern, but this same design has been around since the 1950s and if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

If you’re not familiar with the Doidy, it’s a slanted cup that's easier for babies to sip from than an ordinary open cup. It’s loved by healthcare professionals because of the independence it brings, the fact that it’s an open cup (the Holy Grail of cup training!) and the way it helps children to develop hand-eye coordination.

The handles are easy to grasp and, as your baby brings it to her lips, she won’t need to tip it too far to take a sip - the water sort of comes to them. It’s also available in a huge array of colours that babies will enjoy.

While it can be used from just three months of age, frankly we’d be impressed if any three-month-old baby was sipping delicately on this without help – no harm in helping them with it for a while until they can lift it themselves though and letting them become familiar with it.

Pros

  • Open cup style
  • Good for independence
  • Dishwasher- and microwave-safe
  • BPA-free
  • Recommended by medical professionals

Cons

  • Your baby has to be able to grab it the right way round
  • Open style means drinks are likely to regularly end up on the floor

7. Best straw sippy cup: TumTum Tippy Up Sippy Cup with Weighted Straw

TumTum sippy cup

Price: £10 | Buy now from TumTum Tots

“The Tum Tum weighted sippy cup is really good. DD is one year old and can drink from it great. She usually drinks two cups of water a day whereas before she was barely drinking any.” Tried and tested by TeacakeTotty.

This cute Tippy Up Sippy Cup from TumTum (koalas, bears and pandas available) has a clever weighted straw that follows the liquid around, which means that your child won’t need to keep it upright when they've finished drinking. They can even tip it fully upside down.

A measure on the side lets you see how much they've drunk – the cup can hold 200ml – and the cup has a leak proof flip-top lid so you don’t end up with a handbag full of your baby’s drink. Straw type cups are, it must be said, slightly frowned upon by the professionals as they’re still sucking rather than learning to drink from an open cup but they are at least learning to control the flow themselves. Plus some children do simply prefer to drink through a straw, so it might be your best route to open-cup drinking eventually. 

It’s advised that you hand wash this cup, but it can also be put in the dishwasher. It comes apart easily for washing, although the straw can be tricky to clean thoroughly. We’d recommend you buy the additional set of two spare straws with a straw brush, which gets right inside the straws for cleaning (£3).

Pros

  • BPA-free
  • Dishwasher-safe (though best hand washed)
  • Base is microwave-safe
  • Holds a generous 200ml

Cons

  • Only suitable from 12 months plus
  • Straw is fiddly to clean

8. Best no-leak sippy cup: Anyway Up Cup

Anyway Up cup

Price: £6 | Buy now from Jojo Maman Bebe

“We used an Avent spouted cup, then an Anyway Up Cup - never took a bottle.” Recommended by AnnieHM.

With its bold design in three colours, the Anyway Up Cup makes a stylish addition to any highchair and, best of all, won’t leave puddles on your kitchen floor.

It’s totally spill-proof so your baby can shake it around as much as they like without spilling a drop. That does mean that they'll have to suck on the spout to drink, rather than sip free-flow as is recommended, but there are some days when you need to choose your battles and this will solve that one problem. Some customer reviews suggest your child needs to have a suck like a Dyson to get fluid out of the cup, but plenty of others say their child found it really easy. This one may be a case of (literally) suck it and see. 

But it is very easy for little ones to manipulate. The cup has sturdy handles to make it easy to pick up and is really robust, withstanding anything a child can throw at it (including simply throwing it).

Suitable from six months, the Anyway up Cup holds a generous 250ml and there’s a taller 300ml version with no handles available for when they’re a bit older.

Pros

  • Leakproof
  • BPA-free
  • Microwave-safe (without lid)
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons

  • Has an internal valve so isn’t free-flow

9. Best sippy cup for bedtime: Litecup Baby Sippy Cup

Litecup sippy cup

Price: £12 | Buy now from Amazon

“You need a Lite Cup!! 360 sippy cup with a built in night light in the base. These are amazing.” Recommended by BerylStreep.

We’re always fans of a product that does two jobs at once and this clever little beaker also functions as a nightlight. No more reaching around in the dark for their water – this one is impossible to miss!

Invented by a dad who just happened to be an industrial engineer, the Litecup has a smart, well-thought-through design, with a 360-degree free-flow spout like the Munchkin to let children sip from any side of the cup. It also has a light-up base underneath that takes lithium batteries.

The light-sensitive LED unit glows gently in the dark (so don’t forget to switch it off if storing it in a cupboard!). It also comes with a security ribbon so it can go out and about in the daytime with you and be clipped securely to the buggy so you don’t lose it or drop it.

This model holds 200ml and comes with easy-to-grab handles for children of four months up to use, but there are two bigger versions available for toddlers and beyond.

Pros

  • Light-up base
  • 360-degree drinking – no need for a straw or spout
  • Dishwasher-safe (without LED base)
  • BPA-free medical-grade plastic
  • Handles can be removed

Cons

  • Won't be completely free-flow at night if using lid

10. Best insulated sippy cup: Playtex Sipsters Sippy Cup

Playtex sippy cup

Price: £28 for two | Buy now from Amazon

“Neither of mine would take a bottle and I tried loads. My cousin in Canada had sent me a first stage sippy cup and they both used these instead. But not as a proper substitute. At the time I had to import the cups but you can get them on Amazon now. They’re called Playtex Sipsters and they used them from about 4 months.” Recommended by Deux.

Available in a huge range of designs, including Paw Patrol, Sipsters are a big favourite with Mumsnetters for their no-leak designs.

They’re also guaranteed break-proof, which is a boon. But they’re also one of the best insulated cups we found, with a double wall to keep drinks cool on hot days and milk warm at bedtime too, something very few sippy cups offer.

These 9oz (250ml) designs are suitable from 12 months, but there are four stages available – starting from cups for four-month-olds with handles and a soft spout – so you can move through the range as your baby grows.

Pros

  • Range of different styles for different stages
  • Leakproof, spill-proof and break-proof
  • Dual wall for insulation
  • BPA-free

Cons

  • Hard to track down in shops, but available on Amazon

11. Best sippy cup for cleft palates: Nuby Super Spout Easy Grip

Best sippy cups for babies and toddlers

Price: £11 for 2 | Buy now from Amazon

“Nuby do some great cups. My one year old has a Nuby Super Spout Grip and Sip for times when spillage is an issue eg car journeys. It’s a really easy ‘valve’ just touch it to the mouth and it flows (so no leaks but you don’t have to suck hard either) .” Recommended by TepidCat.

These best-selling sippy cups are approved by dentists and come recommended by cleftopedia, a website for parents of young children born with a cleft lip or palate. Because children don’t have to suck to release the drink, they’re much easier for children with cleft lip or palate to work, and actually many children without that diagnosis find the design easier to use, too. 

This cup is designed to be used from six months and has a soft silicone spout and a cup that is shaped and textured to make holding it easier. It’s no spill, so won’t make a mess if it’s knocked over, but the drink is easily released when you put it to your mouth and gently bite down. The whole cup is BPA free and can be washed in the dishwasher, too.

The only downside we can see to this cup is that the soft spouts do apparently erode a bit with time, however, you can buy replacement spouts, which save throwing out the whole cup. While they are advertised as leakproof, customer reviews say that when the spout starts to wear out, they do leak a little, so we wouldn’t recommend chucking one of these in your handbag, maybe. But overall, we’re impressed and for children that have trouble sucking, but maybe can’t be left with a completely freeflow cup, this is a great solution. 

Pros

  • Easy grip
  • Leakproof
  • Soft spout
  • Good for transitioning from bottles

Cons

  • The spouts do wear out over time. 

12. Best sippy cup with removable handles: Oxo Tot Transitions Soft Spout

Best sippy cups for babies and toddlers

Price: £18 | Buy now from Amazon

“I second Oxo Tot , the Transitions cup is brilliant. .” Recommended by ForeverRedSkinhead.

The Oxo Tot Transitions cup is an ingenious product that grows with your baby from weaning off bottles to using a ‘grown-up’ open cup. It starts as a handled sippy cup, then you can remove the handles as she develops enough to be able to get her hand round a cup, next there’s a trainer cup stage and then it works as a simple open cup. 

The soft spout that you use in the first two stages has an almond-shaped spout which is a more natural shape for your baby to get in her mouth. The spout allows fluid to flow out as soon as your baby’s lips touch it, making it easier to move on from breast or bottle. 

The valve is leakproof and the soft spout has a cap to help keep the spout clean. The cup is easy for little hands to grip onto and features measurement markings so you can keep track of exactly how much your little one has drunk.

At the ‘trainer cup’ stage, the disc inside can be set to slow or fast flow and then removed as your child becomes ready for an open cup. 

This is fairly expensive for a sippy cup but it should grow with your child so, in theory, you should only need one of these. Plus, the clever design and sleek looks make it worth the price, we think. 

Pros

  • Grows with your child
  • Clever transitioning design
  • Unique almond-shaped spout

Cons

  • Fairly expensive

13. Best sippy cup for biters: Tommee Tippee Superstar

Best sippy cups for babies and toddlers

Price: £6 | Buy now from Amazon

“We stuck with the Tommee Tippee sippy type (had unbranded version too) for going out where it mattered if spilt. .” Recommended by TangerineLimes.

Designed as a first cup from four months, this smart design by baby feeding gurus Tommee Tippee helps your little one work out how to tip and sip without pouring water down their front. A clever two-piece valve lets liquid flow through the spout when your baby puts her mouth to it, but then seals it off between sips so no fluid can escape. This is especially useful in the very early stages of introducing a cup as it stops your baby enjoying the spectacle of a cup being shaken up and down, showering the kitchen with droplets of water. Its Intellivalve technology makes it 100% leakproof according to the promises on the packet, and parents agree that it lives up to the hype. 

It’s also a great design if you have a ‘biter’ on your hands. The tough spout (with a semi-soft part for comfort to be gentle on tender gums) can stand up to gummy chewing and even first teeth and because it’s made using Bacshield antibacterial silver ion technology, the spout won’t become a home for germs to hide in, even if it does get the odd bite mark. 

Pros

  • Bite-proof, throw-proof and shake-proof
  • Easy-grip handles
  • Anti-bacterial

Cons

  • Not completely freeflow but doesn’t let drink pool around their teeth

14. Best throwaway sippy cup: The First Years Take and Toss Sippy Cups

Best sippy cups for babies and toddlers

Price: £13 | Buy now from Amazon

We’re not big fans of a throwaway culture but if you really must, these cups by The First Years are actually pretty sturdy and will last a good while. They’re also made from recyclable materials, too, which makes us feel more predisposed to them. We’d think of these more as cups for the garden or general out-and-about use than strictly as ‘throwaway’ cups and they’re definitely useful for all those times when you don’t want to lose an expensive cup or just don’t have enough to go round. 

You get 6 assorted colours with lids in each pack, so they’re great for a picnic with other families and it won’t matter if you lose one out of the bottom of the buggy on the way home. 

Each cup has an easy-to-fit snap-on lid, and the lids work with lots of other First Years products. The spout is freeflow, very much like the Tommee Tippee First cup, but the spout is a little wider so little ones might need a bit of help the first time they use them.

Pros

  • Disposable but last for a good long while
  • Great for gardens and out and about
  • Freeflow design

Cons

  • Though they are made from recyclable materials, they aren’t meant to last forever

What are the different types of sippy cup?

There are many styles of sippy cup aimed at different ages, stages and occasions. But within that, there are various shapes and designs to try too.

For small children, you'll find sippy cups aimed at breastfed babies. These have softer spouts that mimic the feel of breastfeeding. If your baby is moving from bottle to cup, you can buy trainer cups with a variety of lids – including teats, soft spouts and free-flow.

Mouthpieces vary enormously from traditional free-flow spouts to taller silicone spouts. Then there are some, like the Munchkin Miracle 360, that have no spout at all. Rather, the lid unseals at any point around the cup's rim to allow your baby to drink from it. You can also get cups with straw lids that fold down or are covered by a cap and will teach your baby to suck through a straw.

If you can get your baby to drink from an open cup, even better. There are lots of these around, from the slanty Doidy cups to tiny soft silicone ones that are easy for little ones to hold.

How to choose the best sippy cup

Bear in mind that free-flow or open cups are what’s most recommended so go for one of those in the first instance if you can.

Ease of use

After that, it’s really about what’s going to be easiest for your baby to use. Getting them onto a cup is all about giving them independence, so they need to be able to learn to pick the cup up themselves. Look for cups with handles if they’re very young or shapes that they’ll be able to grasp easily as they get older. You need them to want to use the cup too, so try to pick a design that will appeal.

Leak-free

Think about where you want to use the cup most. If it’s for mealtimes, something that will sit solidly on a highchair and be easy to reach out and grab for is key. Check it’s not so tall that they'll have trouble getting their mouth to the top of it without the bottom getting caught on the highchair tray.

If it’s a cup for travel, you’ll want a leakproof design with a lid that covers the spout or is spill-proof so that you don’t end up with a backpack full of water.

No harmful chemicals and easy to clean

In all cases, look for models that are BPA-free if they’re plastic, seem robust, are unlikely to crack when they're hurled to the floor (because they certainly will be), and are easy to clean and sterilise.

What’s the best sippy cup to start with?

It depends on how quickly you want to move your baby onto independent drinking. Some parents go straight for an open cup while others want to take it slowly.

If you're in the first camp, we'd recommend the classic Doidy Cup, which is slanted to make sipping easier for babies.

If you're in the second, we like the Munchkin Miracle 360 and MAM Trainer Cups. The MAM has a fast-flow teat that you can swap for a soft spout as your child grows.

Whatever you’re going for, look for something lightweight that your baby will be able to lift easily, as well as easy-to-grip handles.

When should a child start using a sippy cup?

The NHS suggests starting your baby on a sippy cup at around six months old, which will also be when you begin to wean.

It’s fine to start earlier than that, and actually lots of mums who have trouble breastfeeding use a sippy cup or beaker. Whenever you start, remember that breastmilk or formula should be your baby’s main drink and main source of nutrients up to 12 months old.

If your baby is using bottles, experts recommend that you move to a cup by 12 months as bottles can contribute to tooth decay, and you may find it harder to wean them off bottles as they get older.

Are sippy cups safe for babies’ teeth?

Yes, but not all sippy cups are created equal. Experts and dentists recommend that you use a free-flow (i.e. valve-free) cup wherever possible as it teaches sipping and is better for your baby's teeth.

The NHS recommends that, as soon as your child is able, you move on from lidded beakers and teach your child to use an ordinary open cup. This is partly because completely spill-proof cups (the ones your baby can turn upside down and throw across the room without any liquid escaping) still require her to suck. Comfort sucking on sweetened drinks can cause tooth decay.

The downside for parents is that babies will obviously enjoy pouring their drink all over their highchair and the floor, so you’d be forgiven for occasionally resorting to a non-spill cup if you really have to, particularly if you’re out and about and liable to lose an entire cup of milk to the floor.

Learning to drink from cups is a skill that comes with time so using a range of different cups that give different drinking experiences will help your baby’s oral development. Investing in a free-flow beaker for everyday use and a suitable open cup to keep persevering with periodically is no bad thing at all.

How to clean a sippy cup

Make ‘thorough’ your watchword where cleaning is concerned. Choose a cup without too many parts as it will make cleaning easier, and always make sure you take the whole thing apart to clean, particularly if you’re using the cup for milk.

The tiny spouts and hinges on some sippy cups are a veritable playground for bacteria so always wash them thoroughly in hot soapy water. If you can, wash your cup, or at least parts of it, in the dishwasher.

The NHS recommends sterilising all feeding equipment until the age of 12 months, but it’s particularly important with mouthpieces and lids. A dishwasher does a great job but doesn’t actually sterilise.

How we chose our recommendations

We began our research by consulting the NHS and National Childbirth Trust (NCT), as well as dental experts on their recommendations for best baby beakers and sippy cups. We also checked out advice from consumer champions, such as Which?, on what to look out for.

We then turned to the experts on the front line and trawled the Mumsnet forums for recommendations from parents on which sippy cups worked well for them, looking particularly at which lasted well (without leaking) and were popular with babies. We also noted any models that received negative reviews.

Having created a longlist of 30 recommended beakers, we looked up various industry awards and reviews to see which sippy cups were scooping the most accolades, and checked out customer reviews on retailer sites too.

We then cross-referenced that information with our own longlist to come up with our top 10 best buys featured here.

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.

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