Remember those days of cradling your newborn baby in your arms? She was tiny and helpless and counted on you for her every move.

Then your newborn became an infant and she learned to roll over, crawl, now she sits on a highchair and eats from a spoon.

And you?re left wondering, When did my baby get so big?

Before you know it, she?s able to wrap her precious little hands around a sippy cup.

She tastes the independence and loves it!

And while she?ll eventually learn to use a sippy cup all on her own, it?s you who will make sure that it?s the safest sippy cup for your baby! (And we?re here to help, of course!)

While there are many non toxic sippy cup options available, we love stainless steel sippy cups and we have chosen the best brands for you to try. But before we dive in let’s learn some sippy cup 101.

ProductDescriptionPrice
Pura Stainless Steel Straw CupCheck Price
Thinkbaby Stainless Steel Thinkster Straw CupCheck Price
Munchkin Miracle Stainless Steel 360 Sippy CupCheck Price
Klean Kanteen Sippy CupCheck Price
Thermos FOOGO Vacuum Insulated Straw BottleCheck Price
Caveman Stainless Steel Toddler CupsCheck Price

When to start using a Sippy Cup

You can introduce a sippy cup to your child as early as six months of age or as soon as he is sitting up. (In fact – the earlier, the better!)

But he may not have the dexterity to drink from it just yet. This is more a point of familiarity so the sippy cup becomes part of his regular routine.

On the other hand, some parents wait until their child?s first birthday to introduce the sippy cup. Either way, it?s important to break the bottle habit by 12 months of age to avoid tooth decay

Start by introducing the sippy cup during mealtimes, then gradually offer it to your baby during snack time and after play activities.

If you start before she is a year old, you can offer breast milk or formula in her sippy.

If you?ve passed your little one?s first birthday, try water, milk, and/or diluted juice. (Just keep in mind that milk-filled cups will need more thorough cleaning!)

Do you need a sippy cup?

Some parents wonder, Does my child really need a sippy cup? What if I just teach them to drink from a regular cup?

Back in the days before all the options we have now, my grandmother actually learned to drink from a kid-sized regular cup – but it was not without its messes and misfortunes.

There are a few good reasons to offer a sippy cup, a.k.a. transition cup, to your child; 

  1. Your baby is transitioning from the slow flow of milk from the breast or bottle. We don?t think much about it as cup-using adults, but the flow of liquid from a regular cup is three times the amount for your toddler! The right kind of sippy cup can be developmentally appropriate for your child and give them good practice with drinking from a cup like big people do! 
  2. It helps keep them hydrated! If you skip a sippy cup altogether, you?ll need to offer a regular cup to your child often in order to make sure they stay hydrated. It?s not just a matter of parental convenience. It?s also about keeping your child hydrated. 
  3. A sippy cup helps train them to eventually use a regular cup without the discouragement of frequent spills. With a spill-proof sippy cup that is travel-friendly and easy to use, they feel safe to experiment and drink frequently. Even we adults like our canteens and water bottles!

For your baby?s first sippy cup, try finding one that is easy to hold, spill-proof, and not too light on the bottom. The easier it is to use, the more she?s likely to go for it.

Which is the best sippy cup type?

Now that we?ve covered the basics, how do you know which sippy cup is best to use? After all, there are more options than you can count on your fingers and toes! An expert pick for safety and durability is the stainless steel sippy cup (or stainless steel toddler cup). Unlike plastics, stainless steel sippy cups do not leach toxic chemicals, and they last with your child throughout many seasons.

Here are the four main types;

1.Spout

First, I?d recommend not using a sippy cup with a hard spout. The spout should be flexible and made of silicone or rubber like most baby bottle nipples. A hard spout requires an unnatural suck, which can affect your baby?s swallowing habits, speech development, and teeth. 

2.Straw sippy cups

Some sippy cups are designed with a straw rather than a hard or soft spout. Straw sippy cups are helpful because your baby doesn?t need to tip the cup to drink, and he won?t need to ?grow out of? using it because we use straws all the time! (One of my friends actually uses a straw to drink anything – even warm coffee! – to keep her teeth healthy and stain-free.) But fair warning – the straws must be cleaned often, especially if your baby is drinking milk or foods like kefir and drinkable yogurt.

3.360 cups

Spoutless 360 cups are a fantastic invention for the modern parent (and baby!). Named for their spill-proof drinkability around the entire cup, these make a great first sippy cup for younger babies and toddlers. It?s similar to drinking from a regular cup with the added advantage of no spills due to the silicone shell on top. Usually there are only three pieces – the cup, the screw-on lid, and the silicone top which ?pops? into the lid – so it?s an easy sippy cup to keep clean.

4.Open cups (a.k.a. Learning cups)

Learning cups are generally for later use as they are most like regular cups (wide open on top!). There are different styles, including some silicone learning cups with handles and some with bottoms that grip the table. There are also some wonderful stainless steel options that we?ll cover here. In any case, these are a brave steps towards training your baby to use a ?real? cup. 

Are stainless steel sippy cups safe?

While stainless steel sippy cups are among the most non-toxic and eco-friendly options, some parents still wonder: Is chemical leaching still a concern?

We have some time-tested, expert-vetted, mom-approved options for you below.

But if you?re doing your own research (or curious about a stainless steel sipper you already own), here are 3 things to consider to choose the best stainless steel sippy cup:

  1. Look for a cup that has 304 grade stainless steel. This a corrosion-resistant steel which can withstand the frequent washing and scrubbing that come with toddler sippy cups (as well as acidic juices and heavy liquids like milk and smoothies). Some companies use 201 grade stainless steel because it is cheaper and stronger, but it has a lower chrome content than 304 grade steel and therefore will rust and deteriorate more quickly.  
  2. Next, check if the cup is electro-polished. This process removes any surface imperfections or contaminants. (Did you ever drink from a stainless steel cup and think, Why do I have a metallic taste in my mouth? It probably wasn?t electro-polished!)
  3. You can also play it safe by finding stainless steel sipper cups that have silicone spouts rather than plastic. Most use medical-grade silicone, which is safer and has more longevity than plastic.

Stainless steel sippy cups are heavier than plastic cups, but your baby will adjust quickly to carrying them! And they?re worth the added effort to keep your baby or toddler safe from the toxic chemicals found in plastics.

What about lead in stainless steel sippy cups?

In recent years, there have been reported concerns about certain brands of stainless steel sippy cups containing traceable amounts of lead.

A special tool, called an XRF (or x-ray fluorescence analyzer), is needed to test for lead, and there are environmental health groups and researcher moms out there who have used this handy instrument to examine products like stainless steel sippy cups. 

The allowable limit for lead in children?s products is 90ppm, but some stainless steel sippy cups have been found to contain as much as 4000ppm of lead!

Sometimes there?s a measurable amount of lead in an insert of the cup or in the measurement markings found around the cup, which is how the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) slips it through quality assurance. (In other words, the lead is not found within the cup itself, so it?s considered ?safe.?) 

Consuming lead is incredibly toxic to our bodies because it is a neurotoxin (i.e. it directly affects the nervous system). For babies and children who have immature, developing brains, it is critically important to avoid substances like lead

We?re starting to catch on to the phenomenon that even though most plastics are now BPA-free, they still contain other harmful chemicals, like PET and PVC, which simply replace BPA yet still cause disruptions to the endocrine and immune systems.

Natural and organic ingredients often contain heavy metals – these words aren?t necessarily synonymous with ?safe.? So it?s important for companies to find the safest and cleanest sources possible for their products – and we know some who do!

So how do you make sure your child?s sippy cup is lead-free?

You can avoid stainless steel sippy cups containing lead by following these steps before purchasing: 

  1. Read reviews on websites and blogs that test the level of lead in baby and child products like Lead Safe Mama
  2. Order lead swabs from Amazon to do your own testing! With lead swabs, you simply swipe the tip of the swab over various parts of your sippy cup, and the indicator will turn red to signify a high lead content. 
  3. This is a pricey option, but you can buy an XRF analyzer, which will test accurately for lead. (Remember from before: Any amount of 90ppm is unsafe for children.) 

We?ve compiled a list of the top-rated, most trusted stainless steel sippy cups out there and pored over the benefits and downsides of each one.

 

Best Stainless Steel Sippy Cups

  1. Pura Kiki Spout and straw

Features: all non-plastic features, stainless steel cup and silicone spout, transition spouts for your aging child, can be bought in either insulated or non-insulated, vacuum gfdafeature in the straw

Pros

  • Comes with accessories as your toddler ages
  • Parts are easy to take apart and wash
  • Silicone sleeve makes for easy gripping

Cons

  • Not spill proof
  • Slender design requires a special brush to clean
  • Pricey   

*An older version of the Pura Kiki insulated bottle was found to contain lead in a dot on the bottom of the cup. The dot piece was not exposed, but some parents were still concerned that their child may access it. However, all Pura Kiki cups on the market now are lead-free in their entirety!

What parents are saying: 

  • Heavy to hold for younger babies, but straw is easy to drink from 
  • Similar design to infant bottles which makes for easy transition
  • Stainless steel bottom can pop off if dropped onto very hard surfaces
  • Doesn?t sweat and keeps drinks cold
  • Does leak if lid is not closed 
  • Worth the cost since it is durable and the spout is interchangeable
  1. Thinkbaby sippy cup

Features: entire bottle is stainless steel with a silicone nipple, handles and top connector where spout inserts are plastic, easy to use swivel top, cross-cut design that mimics breastfeeding

Pros 

  • Comes with travel top 
  • Has handles that make it easy for baby to grip and use 
  • Leak-proof and does not spill even when tipped upside down 
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons  

  • Sweats with cold liquids (so there may be condensation) 
  • Lid and handles are plastic

What parents are saying:

  • After washing, need to dry all parts really well in order to avoid leaking
  • If you drop it hard enough, the plastic lid or handles will break
  • Nipple is a unique shape that makes transitioning from bottle to sippy very easy
  1. Munchkin 360 stainless steel sippy

 


Features: spill proof 360 rim that mimics cup-drinking, entirely stainless steel cup, insulated and vacuum sealed, flat silicone top that pops into plastic lid, very simple design that is easy to clean

Pros

  • Spill proof and seals automatically after your child drinks
  • Has a cup-like edge like a regular drinking cup 
  • Lightweight and keeps drinks cold
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons 

  • Doesn?t come with handles (but you can use lids with attached handles from other Munchkin 360 cups) 
  • Contents will spew out when the cup is dropped
  • Part of the lid where your child drinks is plastic

What parents are saying: 

  • Can take it to bed (with water) and it won?t spill
  • Helped my child learn to drink from a regular cup better than a sippy cup with a straw or spout
  • Super easy to clean due to open shape/design

4.Klean Kanteen

 


Features: lightweight, entirely stainless steel water bottle with silicone sippy spout and cap, multiple color and design options, interchangeable spouts, opening easily fits ice and keeps it in, twist on/off top

Pros  

  • Leak resistant 
  • Silicone valve-style spout and 
  • Silicone cap to keep the spout clean
  • Lid has looped feature for hanging on backpacks or being carried by your toddler

Cons

  • Paint layer on outside is non-toxic but can still chip 
  • Not dishwasher-friendly 
  • Canteen is known to sweat with cold drinks 
  • Upper lid is very slender while base is wide, so it?s more challenging to clean than some others 
  • Silicone valve must be removed for cleaning

What parents are saying:

  • Looped part of lid/spout pushed against my kid?s nose
  • The bottle is very durable and can be thrown around without denting 
  • Clear silicone lid is easy to lose
  • Does not leak even when shaken or tipped
  • Challenging to clean due to the bottle neck design
  1. Thermos Fogo

 


Features: insulated and vacuum sealed, silicone straw, pop-up top with the push of a button, interchangeable parts, keeps beverages cold for 10 hours without condensation

Pros 

  • Easy to close lid that opens with the push of a button
  • Spill-proof if lid is closed
  • Keeps drinks cold for a long time 
  • No condensation on outside of bottle 
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons

  • multiple parts which need to be taken apart for cleaning 
  • heavy and wide which makes it challenging to hold or fit into cup holders 
  • straw needs special brush for cleaning

What parents are saying:

  • Need to wash all parts of the lid separately in order to keep clean
  • Spout does not flow easily and can be hard to drink from 
  • Base of cup can harbor mold if not taken off and cleaned frequently

Stainless Sippy cup alternatives

  1. Caveman Glasses ?Cub Cup?

 


Pros

  • Light for a stainless steel cup 
  • Dishwasher safe 
  • Rolled rim makes them easy to drink from without liquids getting trapped 
  • Designed for small hands 
  • Shatter-proof 
  • Stackable so they don?t take up much space

Cons 

  • Cannot use silicone lids with them as the edge will slit the lid when dropped 
  • Expensive for 4 cups
  • If the edges become knicked from dropping then the rim is sharp

What parents are saying:

  • Edges can be a little sharp for small hands, but nothing harmful
  • Very loud if dropped on a hard floor
  • Not insulated so they will make little hands cold if the liquid inside is too cold (also best not to use hot liquids)
  1. Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Tumblers

 


Pros

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Very smooth rounded rim for drinking 
  • Compatible with Klean Kanteen silicone pint ring 
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Water can get trapped under the curved lid when in the dishwasher (so potential for rust if not dried properly) 
  • Not insulated so not ideal for very cold or very hot liquids

What parents are saying: 

  • Silicone ring (sold as an accessory) can easily be attached to backpack or diaper bag and makes it easier to keep up with them
  • My kids can hold them really well, and they are durable

Conclusion

We favor a future for our kids that is non-toxic, chemical-free, and as healthy as possible.

As we endeavor to run the race towards health, let?s keep them hydrated with the best options around.

When it comes to the cup your child is sipping on everyday, stainless steel sippy cups are one of the safest, most durable and eco-friendly options on the market.

 

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