10 best sippy cups and beakers

02 September 2020

best sippy cup

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 this year.

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. You might want one that’s leakproof for travel as well as a free-flow model for at home that will help your baby get used to drinking from a proper cup.

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

1. Best sippy cup: Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup

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

1. Best sippy cup: Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup

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.

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.

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

Price: £7.49

Buy now from Amazon

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

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

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

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.

As well as being a great budget option, it’s also our go-to choice if you’re looking for a free-flow cup – usually 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. Just be aware that it’s not totally spill-proof.

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.

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

Price: £3.60 for two

Buy now from Amazon

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

“I'd recommend the NUK soft-spout sippy cup. Avoid anything with a valve if you breastfeed, as in my experience breastfed babies with no bottle knowledge don't know what to do.”

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

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.

A plastic lid covers the spout to keep it clean while on the move. 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

Price: £5.85

Buy now from Amazon

4. Best transition sippy cup: MAM Trainer Cup

“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.”

4. Best transition sippy cup: MAM Trainer Cup

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.

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

Price: £6.95

Buy now from Amazon

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

“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.”

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

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.

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

Price: £16.99

Buy now from Amazon

6. Best open cup for babies: Bickiepegs Doidy Cup

“Doidy Cup is a lifesaver. Not too close to baby’s face either and you can see what they're drinking.”

6. Best open cup for babies: Bickiepegs Doidy Cup

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. 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. 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.

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

Price: £3.80

Buy now from Amazon

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

“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.”

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

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 leakproof flip-top lid so you don’t end up with a handbag full of your baby’s drink.

It’s advised that you handwash 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 handwashed)
  • Base is microwave-safe
  • Holds a generous 200ml

Cons

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

Price: £6.95

Buy now from Uber Kids

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

“The Anyway Up Cup is the only cup that my son has not managed to destroy. It doesn't leak and it's really easy to keep clean as there are no tiny inaccessible bits to it.”

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

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.

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

Price: £5.49

Buy now from JoJo Maman Bébé

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

“Try the Litecup. It's fantastic and no need for a lid. Easily dismantled for the dishwasher and the night light is also a great idea.”

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

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

Price: £11.95

Buy now from Amazon

10. Best insulated sippy cup: Playtex Sipsters Sippy Cup

“Playtex do the best cups in the world and they don't leak! All cups are interchangeable and you can buy lids with spouts and big kid lids which look like the top you get on your coffee from Starbucks or Costa. I think I bought every cup on the market before I found these cups. They are perfect and still going four years on!”

10. Best insulated sippy cup: Playtex Sipsters Sippy Cup

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.

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

Price: £11.14

Buy now from Amazon

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.

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