Transitioning from a bottle or breast to a cup can be a challenge. If you've already tried it, you'll know from first-hand experience how often those cups are likely to go flying and soak everything and everyone in the immediate vicinity. That's why many parents choose to give their children a sippy cup to bridge the gap.
Sippy cups are designed to teach your baby or toddler how to use a big kid cup, with slightly less chance of throwing the water everywhere, as most of them are leakproof. So whether you're looking for a baby training cup or toddler sippy cups, here are our top picks...
The best sippy cups at a glance
Best spoutless sippy cup: Miracle 360˚ Sippy Cup
Best all-round sippy cup: Munchkin Miracle 360 Degree Trainer Cup
Best sippy cup for bedtime: Litecup Sippy Cup
Best budget sippy cup: ASDA Sippy Cup
Best transition sippy cup: MAM Trainer Bottle
Best sippy cup with removable handles: OXO Tot Soft Spout Sippy Cup
Best no-spill sippy cup: Nuby Sippy Cup 360° Maxi Cup
Best sippy cup to hold: Tommee Tippee Sippy Cup Trainer
Best open sippy cup: Bickiepegs Doidy Cup
How to choose the best sippy cup
There are various different things you may want to consider when considering buying a sippy cup, with different benefits to your child. Here's what to look for:
Handles - With this one, you'll need to test the water as your toddler may find it easier to use one with handles or may take better to one without.
Non-spill – A must if you don't want everything soaking wet within three seconds because, as we all know, toddlers love to throw things.
360-degree design – Rather than having a spout or one opening, a sippy cup with this design can be sipped from any angle around the edge. This also makes it easier to move your child onto a beaker or cup.
Spout - Your child may prefer drinking from a spout rather than a 360-degree edge.
BPA-free – Always choose a cup that doesn't include these nasties.
The best sippy cups 2021
Best spoutless sippy cup
It was Shortlisted in the 2016 M&B Awards Innovation of the Year category.
Best all-round sippy cup
It won Silver in the 2016 M&B Awards Best Weaning Product category.
And here's the version
Best sippy cup for bedtime
The Litecup Sippy Cup + Nightlight was Shortlisted in the 2015 M&B Awards Best Sleep Product.
Best budget sippy cup
With sturdy handles for little ones to hold on to and a 360-degree opening so your toddler can sip
Best transition sippy cup
This won Bronze in the 2018 M&B Awards Best Weaning Product category.
Best sippy cup with removable handles
This sippy cup was Shortlisted in the 2018 M&B Awards Best Bottle Feeding Product category.
Best sippy cup with straw
This was shortlisted in both the 2015 and 2016 M&B Awards Best Weaning Product category.
Best no-spill sippy cup
It was Shortlisted in the 2018 M&B Awards in Best Weaning Product category.
Best sippy cup to hold
The clever two-piece, non-spill valve prevents unwanted spills and mess when you are out and about
Best open sippy cup
Designed to make the transition to open cups as easy as possible for your youngster, the
What's the best sippy cup to start with?
This entirely depends on how fast you want your baby to move on to independent drinking. Many parents prefer to take things slowly, while others will jump straight from a bottle or breast to an open cup.
When should my child drink from a sippy cup?
So, just how do you know when to use a baby sippy cup instead of a bottle or breast? Usually, if your little one is sitting up by themselves, and has started the weaning journey, then they are old enough to try using a cup. Normally between six to 12 months is a good time to think about introducing one.
It may take a while for your baby or toddler to get used to it, whether they have been feeding on the breast or bottle, but when it comes to how to transition your baby to a sippy cup, practice and perseverance are what's key. You may find it easier to go from a bottle to a cup as your child will have grown used to holding the bottle.
As with anything, the sooner you introduce the item to your baby, the sooner they'll recognise it as part of everyday life – rather than introducing it all of a sudden to a toddler who'll naturally treat it as suspicious and fling it across the room in distrust.
Are sippy cups bad for babies?
The NHS advises against the use of sippy cups, based on their requiring the child to suck, similar to a bottle; it recommends a free-flowing cup instead.
This is because a free-flow cup will encourage the sipping action rather than sucking. This is important for muscle and jaw development. Free-flow cups also allow the liquid to move to the back of the mouth rather than pooling around the front teeth.
Sippy cups are great if you're trying to minimise mess, but consider their use as a short-term solution and intersperse their use with free-flow cups. You could use your sippy cup just for when you're travelling out and about rather than in the home.
How to introduce a sippy cup to your baby
Choose a familiar drink: to start introducing a sippy cup to your baby or toddler, use only milk or water. They are familiar liquids and are the best ones for your little one's teeth and health.
Go slowly: it's a strange sensation to go from breast or bottle to a sippy cup, so naturally, it will take time and practice before your child is confident. Go slowly and help them get used to the cup, and with time it'll become a natural technique eventually.
Build confidence: if your little one wants to grab the cup for themselves, let them try with your assistance. It's a great way to inspire confidence and independence.
Variety is key: swap your sippy cup out for a normal cup too, to grow your little one's experiences with both types of cup. This will make the transition to a free-flow cup easier.
How to clean a sippy cup
Choosing a sippy cup without many separate parts will make your job easier overall, but here's how to clean your baby's sippy cup:
1. Rinse the sippy cup as soon as possible after use.
2. Separate every part cup, making sure any straws and detachable mouthpieces are separated from the main cup too.
3. Soak everything in hot soapy water.
4. Scrub every part carefully, paying close attention to any mouthpieces and straws. It may be worth investing in specially-shaped brushes to help ensure you get in all those nooks and crannies.
The NHS recommends sterilising all feeding equipment every time you use it for at least the first 12 months of your baby's life.
How Mother&Baby selected the best sippy cups
Our product recommendations are based on a combination of real-world testing from our burgeoning army of mum testers and the extensive knowledge of our experienced editorial team and product specialists. Where we can, we also consult experts who specialise in that field to ensure you get the right advice along with the right product, and we listen to what you say as well. Our thriving mum community on our Facebook group #mumtribe also often hold great insights as to which products mums really like best and why, helping us highlight the products that meet what you really want.
For the essential products, our annual Mother&Baby Awards shortlist the top products tested, and you can find full reviews from our mum testers provided on the product page. The winners and runners-up for each category will then appear in our top picks article for that product, along with other products that were rated highly by our team.