When it comes to choosing the best stainless steel sippy cup there”s a lot to consider in terms of your child’s mouth and facial development, spills, and keeping them clean. The good news is, we’ve spent a long time testing out sippy cups and sippy cup alternatives to round up our favorite options in guiding you to the right cup for your toddler.
Thinkbaby Stainless Steel Thinkster Bottle
The Thinkbaby is probably the best of all the stainless steel bottles. It has some of the most valuable features for a good price. It’s also a more affordable dupe to the Growth With Me Stainless steel sippy cup.
This is a great transition sippy cup from a bottle. The no-spill straw and swivel top removable handles prevent leaks and spills while making it easy for young toddlers to hold.
What we love most about it is the easy to open/close straw cover. We know firsthand that random kids at the park tend to drink from exposed straws on water bottles that don’t belong to them… this limits that temptation, keeping things way more hygenic. Additionally, you can purchase replacement and back up straws here.
Our son started with this at 12 months old and it’s worked well for us. Our only complaint is cleaning the flip open lid can be a little challenging without the right cleaning tools to get in there.
- Free of BPA, phthalates, nitrosamines, lead, PVC, PET, and biologically harmful chemicals
- Leak proof
- Soft silicone straw
- Made from 304 (18/8) medical grade stainless steel
- Has removable easy-grip handles
- Can purchase replacement straws here
- May be heavy when filled to top for younger toddlers
- Plastic top could be a source of mold if not cleaned well
Simple Modern Kids Water Bottle with Straw Lid
The Simple Modern tumbler is a durable and well insulated stainless steel reusable bottle for toddlers. While younger toddlers can enjoy this, most parents will probably prefer it for toddlers aged 2 and up because it doesn’t have easy grip handles for younger children and has a hard spout; though our 14 month old had no problem with it.
The double wall insulation metal part keep beverages cool for up to 24 hours. The BPA-free plastic lid includes a built in straw design does a good job of preventing spills and leaks.
Simple Modern offers three different sizes: 10oz, 14oz, 18oz. They have the largest number of colors, designs, and prints; including a collaboration with Disney with all your favorite characters. Additionally, you can choose between several lids: straw lid, chug lid, flip lid, simple flip lid, and handle only.
We’ve used these with our kids for a few years now and overall very happy with them, but we have found the bottle tops and straw nozzle difficult to clean making them prone to mold growth; you can purchase replacement lids here.
- Double wall insulated cup
- Leak proof
- Multiple sizes, prints, and lid options; including Disney options
- BPA-free plastic lid
- Can fit in most cup holders
- Comes with extra straw
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
- Cup designs might chip over time
- Lid can be difficult to clean and can lead to mold formation; we recommend keeping extra lids on hand
- No side handles and heavy, so may be difficult for younger toddlers to hold and use
Mini Espresso Cups
Stainless steel espresso cups might not be your first thought when it comes to toddler sippy cups, but these are a great way for babies to learn how to use an open cup; which is critical for jaw development. In fact, we’re dubbing them the safest sippy cups.
The small size makes the inevitable spills/clean up easier (which is a montessori at home lesson in itself), and makes it easier for little hands to master quicker than a large regular cup.
How to introduce it:
We suggest on your babies first birthday teaching them how to use this cup, by simply adding a small amount of liquid to it. Next, bring it to the child’s mouth, hold it while slowly tipping back. You can gently place your other hand on the back of their head as you tilt back to guide them. It may take a few times, but they typically figure it out quickly. Then you can begin filling the entire cup with liquid and graduating to regular drinking cups. We’ve had a lot of success using these with both our kids as an introduction to open cup drinking.
- Affordable options that come in sets of 2 or 4
- Simple design is easy to clean
- Double insulated wall
- Small, lightweight, open mouth working a slew of motor skills
- Works crucial muscles and movements for proper jaw and cranial development
- Perfect trainer cup to use as a transition cup
- Learning curve for babies/young toddlers to use
- Spills are inevitable
Elk and Friends Stainless Steel Cups
A pack of four 10oz stainless steel tumblers that can be used as sippy cups or food storage. We find these are the best straw cups thanks to the stoppers on the included flexible straw which prevent kids from pulling the straws out.
The lightweight tumblers and silicone sleeve make these tumblers easier to hold. Plus they come with airtight lids for storing food. While they aren’t perfectly leak proof, they do a really good job of preventing leaks overall.
Elk and Friends tumbler kit comes with 4 tumblers, 4 silicone straws, a straw cleaning brush, 4 colorful silicone sleeves, 4 lids with straw holes, and 4 air tight lids for food storage.
- Easy to clean
- Lightweight and good grip
- Does a good job of preventing spills
- Air tight lids offer additional use as food storage
- Wider straws work well for smoothies
- Fun colors
- Straw lids are more prone to leaking
- Straws can get moldy
- May leak too much for younger toddlers to use
Nuby Thirsty Kids No Spill Flip-It Reflex Stainless Steel Travel Cup
The Nuby, like the Thinkbaby, has a soft spout that can be hidden away to help prevent spills and other kids from drinking from it or touching it.
The Nuby is recommended for children 18 months and older. These hold 10 ounces of liquid while keeping drinks cold or up to 10 hours. and fit in most cup holders.
The sippy cup has a straw that easily folds closed. Choose from four different colors: white, aqua, blue, and pink. You should only hand wash this water bottle as it is not dishwasher safe.
- 304 food grade stainless steel
- Soft BPA free soft silicone spout
- Can be disassembled for cleaning
- Not dishwasher safe
- No replacement straws
- More complaints about leaks than previously mentioned picks
- Straw and lid can break pretty easily
CHILLOUT Life Stainless Steel Cups for Kids and Toddlers 8 oz
Once your toddler has mastered the mini stainless steel cups, you can graduate them to the Chillout cups which can hold eight ounces of liquid, and have removable silicone sleeves.
These come in a set of four regular cups made from stainless steel. They are lightweight and easy to hold, so even smaller toddlers can manage them.
While it’s best for toddlers to use open cups for proper jaw development, parents often pair this set or this set of silicone sippy cup lids with these cups if they don’t want to worry about spills.
- Water can get in upper lip/rim so be sure to dry thoroughly to prevent mold
SUNWILL Insulated Coffee Mug with Handle
While the Sunwill coffee mug is not specifically intended as a stainless steel toddler cup, we all know toddlers love to mimic grown ups and my daughter is obsessed with this 14 oz cup.
The simple design of this cup makes it a great choice as a sippy cup the whole family can use thanks to it’s vacuum sealed insulation and BPA free silica gasket which makes it spill proof. It’ll keep your child’s drink hot for three hours or cold for up to nine hours.
We personally love this cup because the slide open lid features a wide drinking hole making it more similar to open cup drinking than a traditional sippy cup. Additionally, you can easily add a straw. Beyond that, the handle and powder coated finish make it comfortable and durable. This cup also comes in a huge selection of colors.
- Powder coat finish makes it scratch proof
- Keeps drinks cold for 9 hours
- Easy hold handle
- Well made and durable
- Sliding lid closure with wide opening more similar to open cup drinking; and can fit straw
- Premium 18/8 Stainless Steel
- Large color selection
- Lid is not very durable or as spill proof as other options on this list
- Does not easily fit in a diaper bag
Munchkin Stainless Steel Sippy Cups (DO NOT BUY!)
Munchkin sippy cups are generally loved by many; however we strongly encourage you to skip them and choose better options from this list. Here’s a look at why on the two most common stainless steel options from Munchkin:
Munchkin Miracle Stainless Steel 360 Sippy Cup
The Munchkin 360 Cup comes in a stainless steel option and was long touted as the go to sippy cup thanks to what seemed like an open cup design, without the spills.
However in recent years it’s come under a lot of scrutiny from pediatric occupational therapists, speech therapists, feeding specialists, and pediatric dentists for many good reasons. Professionals have realized it encourages an unnatural tongue position/movement.
Essentially, when we drink, our tongue should be doing the work; not our lips and cheeks.
Because of the spoutless pressure valve at the top of 360 cups (including Dr. Brown’s sippy cup), it actually requires children to use their upper lip and jaw, or adopt a tongue thrust, in order to get liquid out.
Additionally, we found the seal on this collects mold extremely fast. 360 cups give many kids a hard time when taking a sip, so the first thing they attempt, in order to compensate, is tilting it fully upright. This move allows moisture to collect in the silicone gasket, which just sits there and it’s hard to properly clean that out.
Now if you do have a cup like this, you can remove the silicone gasket to use it as an open cup.
Munchkin Cool Cat Stainless Steel Straw Cup
The Cool Cat straw cup is similar to the Thinkbaby, but the top has more grooves, making it more susceptible to mold growth in our experience; it is easier to to clean under the flip top though.
Additionally, the leak proof seal gasket on the interior collected mold in one day for us.
We think it happened because it’s thinner than others on this list which made it more susceptible for mold growth in a shorter time frame. Additionally, due to it’s small size, it’s easy to misplace; and if you misplace it, the cup will leak.
How To Choose The Best Stainless Steel Sippy cup For Babies + Toddlers
Supports proper jaw development and growth
There are many different styles of sippy cups that are not the traditional spouted look. Hallie Bulkin, a Speech Language Pathologist and Certified Orofacial Myologist (SLP/COMTM) who specializes in tongue ties and poor oral habits says, “the sippy cup is NOT a rite of passage and can do more harm than good.”
It’s critical for parents to opt for sippy cups that encourage proper tongue positioning on the roof of the mouth and healthy swallow patterns.
Using straw sippy cups has benefits, especially when it comes to preventing spills and leaks, but only the tip of the straw should enter the mouth to encourage a proper suck swallow pattern. Keep an eye on your child if they are placing the straw too far in the mouth or using their cheeks to suck.
For the best jaw development choose open mouth sippy cups like the espresso cups to start and move up to the ChillOut cups once they’ve mastered the sip.
Easy to clean
Toddler cups tend to be a breeding ground for mold unfortunately, and while most sippy cups boast that they’re easy to clean, we’ve found that isn’t the case always.
Generally, the fewer features and simpler lines will be the easiest to clean. Most sippy cups use a little gasket ring on the inside to seal the lid to the base, making them leak proof. Take note of this as this ring can often grow mold quickly.
When choosing a sippy cup, we suggest looking for ones that are easy to disassemble, reassemble, and sell replacement parts just in case.
Additionally, while most stainless steel sippy cups are medical or food grade steel, they are typically not recommended for dishwashers or only recommended for the top rack. We suggest, despite whatever the manufacturer rating says, always hand washing to reduce the likelihood of rust.
Toddlers throw things, drop things, bang things. It is important to make sure that whatever cup you choose can stand up to the wear and tear of everyday use. These are all stainless steel, so the base of the cups will all be pretty durable compared to plastic sippy cups or glass cups, but no necessarily immune to dents and dings or paint chips.
FAQS About Stainless Steel Sippy Cups
What kind of sippy cup is best?
Stainless steel, glass, and silicone sippy cups are generally considered best from a materials perspective as these are typically associated with the lowest toxins. You also want to look for ones that have the best leak-proof lids.
From a development perspective, open cups are best followed by a short straw that requires babies to use to follow a proper suck-swallow pattern, and not compensate with their cheeks or lips.
Are stainless steel sippy cups safe?
Yes, stainless steel sippy cups and stainless steel water bottles are generally considered safe as they don’t break like glass and don’t have toxins associated with plastic.
Are stainless steel cups good for toddlers?
Yes, stainless steel sippy cups are good for toddlers because they are the most durable option and made from food or medical grade stainless steel. Stainless steel is generally considered a safe material as it’s free of the toxins typically found in plastic cups. An added bonus steel cups generally keep beverages warm or cool longer than other materials.
Why are traditional spouted sippy cups no longer recommended?
Traditional sippy cups, which feature a hard plastic spout, do not encourage proper facial development and can lead to tooth decay as well as speech issues.
Examples of these would be The First Years Spill Proof Sippy Cups or First Essentials by NUK.
According to speech language pathologists and occupational therapists, the hard spout sits on top of the first 1/3 to 1/2 of the tongue, encourage a low tongue tone which impedes speech. Low tongue tone can also lead to a tongue thrust, open mouth posture, tooth decay, and speech problems.
Additionally, these types of cups can change the palate of the mouth where it becomes high and narrow, which can also change the entire shape of the face.
What sippy cups are best for teeth?
Open mouth sippy cups are going to be best for teeth, tongue posture, and jaw/facial development. The latter two directly impact teeth health so it’s critical we encourage a closed mouth and high resting tongue posture that seals to the roof of the mouth:
How can I safely introduce a sippy cup?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends weaning the use of a baby bottle between 12 and 24 months of age.
Additionally, we recommend toddlers sit while drinking as numerous injuries have been reported due to toddlers falling while using sippy cups.
Lastly, while it’s not traditional, open cups are truly the only cup that encourage a proper “sip” and are the most beneficial type of cup for children’s development and health. One study suggests reducing the use of sippy cups as a preventative care measure to improve oral health risk factors in kids’ dental health. What they found though, was the rate of continual sippy cup use increased with time, likely due to the convenience and social/cultural influences.
The key take away: introduce a small open cup like these around 12 months old. When you do need a spill proof option, a straw is your next best bet. Always supervise children and encourage them to sit or stand still while drinking.
What should I put in a sippy cup?
Generally you’ll want to put water, breast milk, or formula in sippy cups. The AAP does not recommend fruit juice for children under 1, and only 4 ounces per day for toddlers age 1 to 3.
Final thoughts on stainless steel sippy cups:
We think the best stainless steel toddler cup is this set of cups. Not only are they an easy cleaning option, they are affordable and an excellent choice for new parents to set their child up for proper oral development. They act as the perfect transition cup to a regular cup too.
Another great option is the Thinkbaby water bottle with removable handles, soft flexible straw, and built in sippy cup lid to keep things hygenic on the playground or in a diaper bag.