To take the guesswork out of choosing a practical and feasible sippy cup for your baby’s transition phase, we have compiled this valuable buyer’s guide and review of the best sippy cups for babies from between 6 months and two years old, for ease of reference.
Our top selection of sippy cups was guided by sage advice and recommendations from dozens of supermoms, pediatric and lactation experts, academic research institutions, and peer-reviewed studies.
We have also placed great value on online feedback and reviews from customers who bought sippy cups. It makes sense that their babies are the ultimate 'testers’ of the integrity and feasibility of these clever feeding utensils regardless of a brand’s high acclaim in the media.
Why Transition to a Sippy Cup?
The experts agree that although one year is the target age for babies to transition to a sippy cup, they recommend starting earlier according to your baby’s development.
The reason for favoring an early start is, the longer babies are breast or bottle-fed, the predictability and familiarity can become too comforting and convenient for both baby and mom.
The longer you delay in weaning your baby once they reach their first birthday could rob him of developing critical motor, sensory, and cognitive skills that stimulate hand-eye coordination. Sucking and sipping actions coupled with different positioning of the lips and tongue when using sippy cups also aid speech development.
Different Types of Sippy Cup Spouts
Sippy cups come in a variety of shapes, sizes, materials, and price ranges. It can become confusing once you walk into a store or shop online without prior knowledge about what to look for that’s age-appropriate and meets your baby’s developmental needs.
Let’s firstly focus on the type of spout. Choosing the wrong sippy cup spout can make or break your aspirations of having a smooth transition. It's often necessary to get a few sippy cups and allow your baby to test them and select the one they feel most comfortable with.
Sippy cup with a soft spout
Dentists recommend these for babies transitioning from 6 months old (and younger). A soft spout feels similar to the breast and a bottle's soft nipple. Some cups come with double handles, and some brands have removable handles, easy to remove if they prove to be awkward for your baby to hold.
Sippy cup with a hard spout
The hard spout challenges your baby to use different muscles and movements. It helps your baby transition from sucking to sipping and having to tilt his head back a little while lifting the cup. You can immediately see that this requires solid head-and-neck control.
Straw Sippy cups
Some cups come with a weighted straw. Interestingly, some babies at 5-months old have learnt to draw milk up into the straw even though they learn to master this action from 8 or 9 months onwards. Superstars!
It still requires a sucking action, the difference being in the pursed-lip action, the rolling of the tongue, and swallowing. These actions aid oral motor development. It also encourages babies to hold the cup independently.
Spoutless Sippy cups
These cups come with a flat, vacuum-sealed top, popularly called 360-degree cups. They allow the milk to flow from all the edges around the cup, resembling drinking from a standard open cup, although spill-proof.
Open-top Sippy cup
Once your little one can handle the spoutless sippy cup quite well, it’s the perfect time to transition to an open-top sippy cup. These are slightly smaller than the standard cups in your kitchen but much more break-proof if dropped.
Remember to put only breast milk, formula, or a little boiled, cooled water in the training cup. Do not use fruit juice in a sippy cup, which is high in sugar and will lead to tooth decay!
So for your convenience, our team of experts have rounded up the best-designed and most practical sippy cups. It will save you valuable time, money, and energy having to search through a myriad of confusing designs and styles.
OUR TOP PICK
This spoutless self-sealing sippy cup with its flat 360-degree leak-proof lid is designed with outstanding features that favor seamless transition for breast and bottle-fed babies.
Babies from 6 months old can drink from anywhere around the cup’s edges. As soon as their lips press down on the edge of the cup, the vacuum seal opens to allow milk to flow. It closes as soon as the baby stops drinking and the pressure on the lid is released. It holds 7oz (207ml) of liquid.
Dentists recommend these as the safest transition cup as it won’t lead to tooth decay due to the sipping action being similar to drinking from an open cup (without spills and mess). It also aids normal muscle development, a big plus.
The cup is made from safe, BPA-free plastic and features two handles that tiny hands will find easy to grip. You can order a two-count in blue/green or pink/purple, or a set of four is available in all four colors (including lid covers).
Its design consists of only three main parts. This makes cleaning easy-peasy, whether washing it by hand, or dishwasher (on the top rack).
And if your baby loves the cup so much that you want to keep it forever, you can also invest in the larger-sized stainless steel 10oz (295ml) insulated and vacuum-sealed 360 sippy cup. In hot weather it will keep drinks at a cool temperature for a good 15 hours, and also comes with a lid cover which makes it great for on-the-go families.
What We Liked:
- The clever 360-degree drinking design makes it the most versatile cup even for babies from five months old.
- Vacuum-sealed lid only allows liquid to flow if a baby puts his mouth anywhere on the edge of the cup. It closes when he stops drinking.
- Minimal design with only three parts and dishwasher safe.
- It's made of BPA-free plastic, safe for babies.
- It’s reasonably priced and comes in sets of two or four.
What We Didn’t Like:
- Some smart babies figure out the ‘science’ behind the vacuum seal and press on the lid with their finger to break the seal and then ‘delightedly’ spill the contents. They are our future "rocket scientists" 🙂
- It comes with no spout for parents who would've preferred one.
- The two-count does not have lid covers included, only the four-count and stainless steel. Lid covers can however be purchased separately.
As a transition from bottle to cup, this sippy cup stands out with comforting features, even to a four-month-old breastfed baby. The training cup has a beautiful spiral design with ‘comfort petals’ to create a flexible, fast-flow natural nipple that also prevents nipple collapse. It has a valve in the nipple that prevents the baby from swallowing air while drinking that can lead to colic.
It is regarded as a model training cup as it also includes a second cap with a soft silicone spout which adds to the flexibility during the transition phase. Tiny little hands find it easy to hold the detachable soft trainer handles with a non-slip grip which encourages independent drinking.
The cup holds 5oz of milk (147ml) and is made of clear plastic, free of BPA and harmful chemicals. Additionally, it has a protective broad see-through lid cover to keep nipple, spout and contents germ-free.
An uncomplicated design with minimal parts makes it easy to disassemble for cleaning, and it's perfectly dishwasher-safe.
Parents who have bought this training cup are raving about the fact that all lids, even with handles, can be used interchangeably on other Avent glass or plastic bottles and cups without leaks or spills.
What we liked:
- The inclusion of a soft nipple and spout makes the transition easier for bottle or breastfed babies who are struggling with the weaning process.
- Rubberized trainer handles with soft, non-slip grip for tiny hands.
- Dishwasher-safe and can be easily disassembled.
- It's made of clear plastic, free of BPA and any harmful chemicals.
- The lids are interchangeable with other bottles and cups of the Avent brand without compromising its leak and spill-free design.
What we didn’t like:
- The cup only comes in a small size with less than 200ml capacity.
- Some customers complained that some nipples were a smaller size that didn’t allow for a faster flow of milk.
These cups are part of Nuby’s range of 1st Sipeez’ sippy cups, and it can hold 8 ounces (240ml) of liquid. It comes with a 'no drips and spills' soft silicone spout that encourages babies to drink naturally, with ease.
This cup is designed so that as soon as your baby's mouth touches the soft spout and sips, the one-piece 'Touch Flo' valve opens to allow liquid to flow out of the cup and closes when the sipping action stops.
The cups are made from BPA-free plastic, and it comes with twin handles that make it easy for babies to get a firm grip and helps with learning to bring the cup to their mouth.
Babies and moms are sure to be attracted to the vibrant bright color combinations of the cup and lid. These cups are dishwasher-safe, and the soft silicone spout can easily be checked for residue and kept hygienically clean.
Parents of babies with cleft palates have raved about the soft silicone spout helping their little ones transition to sippy cups. They found that the position of the soft spout allowed milk to flow into the baby's mouth, decreasing incidents of choking while swallowing.
What we liked:
The no-spill soft silicone spout makes the transitioning process much easier (even for babies with cleft palate conditions).
The ‘Touch Flo’ valve in the spout allows babies to drink naturally without tilting their heads back.
Easy to grip twin handles to aid independent drinking
The vibrant colors will win over even reluctant, picky babies
They are dishwasher safe, and the soft spout is easily cleaned with a tiny brush.
Economically priced and comes in a set of two.
What we didn’t like:
These sippy cups are easy to take apart for cleaning. However, reassembly requires keen focus to ensure the spout fits back correctly or the cup will leak.
Most complaints were related to the cup leaking upon receiving it or after a few uses.
The two-count sets don't come with lid covers for on-the-go parents
RUNNER UP #1
Kids love this sippy cup with weighted straw and Click Lock feature. With a 100 percent leak-proof guarantee by the manufacturer and replacement straws available, this is the dream cup of many parents.
With little ones being active and on the go whether they’re crawling, walking, sliding on their tummies or lying on their back, they can drink from any angle. The smartly designed, weighted straw moves with them even when they tilt their head sideways. The straw has a built-in valve and a flipping lid that prevents accidental leakage.
The handles on either side of the cup are easy for little ones to hold, and the Click-Lock technology will click the lid into place so that you know the cup is sealed.
This straw cup holds 10oz (295ml) liquid and includes a functional little straw brush to keep the straw and lid covers hygienically clean.
It’s made from plastic, free from BPA and other harmful chemicals and dishwasher-safe (in the top rack). The manufacturer does provide clear instructions on how to dismantle and clean the sippy cup.
What we liked:
- It’s clear from the reviews that little ones adore this weighted straw sippy cup after many have rejected all previous ones.
- The weighted straw allows little ones to drink from any angle.
- Handles on either side make the cup easy to hold.
- The Click Lock feature signals to parents when the cup is sealed.
- Made from plastic that is free from harmful chemicals.
- Replacement straws are available from the manufacturer if needed.
What we didn’t like:
- The flipping lid snaps off easily (although it's easily clipped back).
- Some parents complained about leaks caused by the straw or the lid that slid open or other unknown reasons.
- Cleaning can be problematic as residue builds up in the valve inside the straw and becomes difficult to clean and dry.
RUNNER UP #2
This sippy cup is designed to withstand biters, throwers, and shakers! This German-made cup has a toughened spout to prevent little teeth from scratching or biting off pieces of the material. Because the cup is for toddlers from 12 months and older, it has an ergonomic, contoured shape that's easy for little hands to grasp and hold.
There is no doubt from the reviews that this cup is leak and spill-proof thanks to a leak-proof valve. A flexible lid cap is attached to the cup to prevent it from getting lost. It also comes with a clip that can be attached to your little one's bag, stroller or clothing.
Although this is a larger cup holding 10oz (300ml), it’s made from lightweight, yet hard-wearing, BPA-free plastic and comes in colorful arty designs.
What we liked:
- Parents rave about this sturdily designed sippy cup. It can withstand bites, throws, and is leak and spill-proof.
- It holds 10oz (300ml) liquid which is perfect for developing toddlers.
- The attached lid cover keeps the spout protected from germs and can’t get lost.
- It’s made from safe, BPA-free plastic, free from other harmful chemicals.
- Online instructions on how to clean the cup.
What we didn’t like:
- Some toddlers struggled and had to suck really hard to get the liquid out
- For some, the flow was too fast
- The lids fall off easily
- The rubber valve developed mold and is not easy to remove for cleaning.
Buyer’s Guide to Selecting the Best Sippy Cup
Parents need to be mindful of a few things before parting with their money, especially with sippy cups. Firstly, the age of your baby and how independent he or she is in his developmental phase would determine the design and type of sippy cup to buy.
Tips for selecting a good sippy cup
- Leak-free and spill-proof: Not all sippy cups are completely leak-proof. Some are spill-proof and leak-resistant, meaning the cup may be weighted to keep its balance, or it has certain features that will minimize spills and messes.
- Easy for little ones to manage: babies and toddlers are very picky about their likes and dislikes, which parents may never understand. While a five-month-old baby may take to a straw sippy cup, a one-year-old may prefer a soft nipple or spout. Under two years old, handles that make it easy for little hands to grip encourages babies to drink independently.
- Effective cleaning: It’s a fact that any vessel that holds food or drink becomes a target for residue build-up and breeding ground for germs and mold. Ensure the manufacturer has provided clear instructions on how the sippy cup can be taken apart and how to reassemble it.
- Safety of material: The FDA requires that all material used in sippy cups should be free of BPA or any harmful chemicals. However, some parents are cautious about the possibility that unknown chemicals are released from the plastic material. Fortunately, there are alternative options available such as stainless steel, silicone, and glass, but understandably, they will cost more.
- Customer reviews: In these times of digital media, consumers feel they owe it to others to leave a review after their purchase. Most people won’t buy a product unless they have searched through feedback from both happy and unhappy customers, as they also learn about the integrity and professionalism of the company and their customer service.
How to Keep a Sippy Cup Hygienically Clean
- Bacteria and mold are the main culprits that accumulate in the hidden crevices if left untreated. Although sippy cups can be dismantled for thorough cleaning and sterilizing, you will still need a few small-sized brushes to reach difficult to reach corners, especially to clean out straws and vents.
- After your little one has finished the contents of his sippy cup, rinse it immediately with warm soapy water. Alternatively, depending on sticky content, you may need to immerse the cup and soak it for a while to ensure no residue forms in nooks and crannies.
- Dismantle the cup according to the manufacturer’s instructions and detach all components that can come apart. If the sippy cup is dishwasher-safe, place the parts carefully in the cutlery or small compartment of the dishwasher.
- Dry all components thoroughly with a soft sterilized cloth before reassembling the sippy cup. Ensure you align the handles (if any) and valves and seals are inserted correctly so that the cup doesn’t leak.
- If you wish to sterilize the cup, you can place it in the microwave (if it’s allowed) or submerge the individual parts in boiling water for a few minutes. Dry thoroughly before reassembling them.
- If your baby's sippy cup doesn’t have a lid cover, you can do an online search for universal lid covers for straw, nipple, or spout sippy cups.
Transitioning from breast or bottle-fed to handling a sippy cup is a significant milestone for your baby.
We emphasize making the transitioning phase fun and a family affair, especially around the dinner table. With your baby seated in his high chair, he becomes an integral part of the family’s social interactions.
In this safe, comforting space, provide your little one with every opportunity to practice and hone his social skills and introduce him to his new sippy cup. You may have to try a few different designs until your baby accepts the one he feels comfortable with.
You should always clear up any questions or discuss concerns with your baby’s pediatrician to ensure your baby’s transition is smooth and on par with his growth and development.