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Product Comparison: Straw Cups

My son, Connor weaned from the bottle to the straw cup. I chose to transition him to the straw cup instead of the sippy cup for several reasons.

  1. Straw cups were easier for him to hold because they don’t require tilting.
  2. Straws are EXCELLENT for oral motor strengthening and speech development.
  3. A sippy cup is just one more thing to have to wean from. He can use a straw until he’s an adult!
  4. Sippy cups can contribute to speech problems and dental problems, so I wanted to avoid them if possible.

However, this isn’t my article on convincing you to use straw cups with your child. This is my article comparing the trillion different straw cups out there so you can choose the right one for your child! The one thing consistent in all straw cups on the market is leaking. I haven’t found one cup that is completely leak proof, but some are definitely better than others!

Munchkin’s 10 oz. Insulated Straw Cup – Mommy and Connor’s Pick!

Munchkin’s wins in our house as Mommy and Connor’s favorite straw cup on the market. This cup is durable and has lived through many of Connor’s throws. The straw is nice and soft and Connor really enjoys drinking from this cup. While it leaks (like every single straw cup on the shelves), I have found that it leaks the least out of all of the straw cups I’ve tried. The fact that it leaks minimally and is not too difficult to clean makes this straw cup my pick. The price is steep at $6.97 on Amazon.com, however I paid $4.99 at my local grocery store for mine. I love the Dora, Diego, and Backyardigan prints, but am not fond of the Spongebob Squarepants prints. I had to wait for a new shipment to come in to avoid buying the Spongebob print because he’s just a little too mature and obnoxious for my kids in my opinion.

Playtex Baby Einstein – Highly Recommended!

This is my second favorite of the lot. The reason I love this straw cup is cleaning time! The valve is a plug, so you can unplug the valve and clean the straw very easily. All of the other straws are attached to the valve and cleaning is a little more difficult…not impossible, but more difficult than this one! I also love the fun Baby Einstein prints that are age appropriate. This cup leaks more than the Munchkins, however if you make sure the lid’s not screwed too tight, the leaking will decrease. Overall, this is a great straw cup!

Take & Toss Straw Sippers – A Must-Try!

Obviously, the price is GREAT! For $2.99, you get five cups. That’s $0.60 per cup and you can’t beat that in the overpriced baby market we live in! There are no valves, so these cups make for easy cleaning. Even though there are no valves, the leaking is not as bad as I thought. They don’t leak any more than some of the other straw cups that have valves. The lids are very sensitive. If you press on the top of the cup, the contents will travel quickly up the straw. I’ve had a lot of counter messes when using this cup. The straws are not very soft. They are a thick plastic and Connor does not enjoy drinking from these cups. I do keep these cups in stock for extended day trips, friends who come to play, and as back-ups when I am way behind on my dishes.

Gerber Cool Twisties – Not very durable.

The price is not too steep at $3.95 per cup. The straw is nice and soft and Connor enjoyed drinking from this cup. I also like the fun space design on the cup. Cleaning this cup is not very difficult. While Connor loved this cup, and the price isn’t too bad, I can’t recommend it for a couple reasons. This cup can do some major leaking! Connor is in the stage of throwing things when he’s done (that’s another blog post!) and he has broken two of these cups. He throws all of his cups, but these have been the least durable. Overall, I’d probably not purchase this cup again due to the fact that they can be easily broken by throwing toddlers!

Luv n’ Care’s 2 Handle 8 oz. Cup – Don’t waste your money!

This cup is my least favorite. There are some good things about this cup that I’ll share with you. This is the only straw cup I’ve found that has handles and I love the short squatty shape in contrast to the long stretched shapes of the other cups. The price is GREAT at $3.99 per cup. I bought a two pack for $5.99 at Babies “R” Us. The straw is super soft and Connor really loved drinking from this cup. I also didn’t have too bad of a time with the leaking. While it has many good features, it has a couple problems that keep me from recommending this cup. The straw is three separate pieces. One of the pieces is incredibly small and it is very difficult to put together. It is also incredibly difficult to clean because there is a valve on both ends of the mouth piece. Once you take this straw cup apart, it is incredibly difficult to put back together. If the maker would correct these problems, this would be my favorite straw cup on the shelves.

Check out these links about straw cup drinking:

Mommy Speech Therapy’s take on straw cups over sippy cups

How To Teach a Child to Drink From a Straw

Sippy Cups Causing Too Many Cavities

27 Responses to Product Comparison: Straw Cups

  • Comment by Sharon M
    February 27, 2008 @ 1:27 am

    I LOVE the Munchkin cup! And here’s a little secret — if you lose the straw attachment (or the top straw part wears down b/c your child likes chewing on it), just call them and they will send you a new one for free! At least they did for me :-)

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Jenn
    February 27, 2008 @ 7:24 am

    I am in the process of replacing Little Beans plastics. So, I have been doing some research. Thanks for the article on straw cups. That is something to consider.

    Here’s a non-plastic option: http://www.thermos.com/SubCategoriesCatalog.aspx?CatCode=Foog&SubMenuID=0

    As of reviews – you have to put this cup back together just right or it leaks. I asked a friend of mine who owns one and she says it is no big deal once you get the hang of it.

  • Comment by McKenna
    February 27, 2008 @ 11:38 am

    @Sharon-That IS GOOD to know! I will definitely take advantage of that!

    @Jenn- I will definitely look into that cup. I have learned that all of these cups have little tricks to minimize the leaking. The Avent bottles leaked horribly for us (and so many other people), until I stopped over-tightening them. Then I had no problem at all. I think the pressure builds up too much if you over tighten these kid cups.

  • Comment by Amelia
    February 27, 2008 @ 3:12 pm

    Jenn–I am working on a post about non-plastic options for kids! I read about the cup you linked to but saw the reviews weren’t very good.

    We have 2 of the munchkin straw cups but I can’t stand them. I have to use a knife to get the straw to pop out after the “lid”-thing is closed. Of course the kids like to close the lid and then they can’t get it open. I put them away and said good riddance. Has anyone else had that problem with those cups?

    We used the playtex insulator sports straw cups for a while. I still have them on hand in case we need to go anywhere and bring a drink along but I use open cups all the time now. I figure at 3 and 4 they can handle it. If spills happen they know to get a rag and clean it up!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Jenn
    February 27, 2008 @ 4:38 pm

    Amelia – I can’t wait to read your article on non-plastics. I am finding the list is endless and non-plastic options are not easy to find! As far as my toddler’s world, I am feeling a little overwhelmed.

    McKenna – I agree about leakage, all the cups and bottles all have their tricks. We just have to adjust or come up with the idea bottle ourselves.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Melissa
    February 27, 2008 @ 11:00 pm

    Oh my gosh ladies, I saw an elementary school aged child today (easily 7, 8, or even 9 years old) WITH a sippy cup. Not holding it for a younger child, I saw her drinking from it several times and was appalled!! What are her parents thinking?

  • Comment by McKenna
    February 27, 2008 @ 11:07 pm

    @Amelia- I haven’t ever had that problem. I open and shut the straw lid all the time. Did you know that the straw lid can come off? It took me a while to figure that out…oh I hope I’m not the only person who didn’t figure that out right away. :?

  • Comment by Amanda
    February 27, 2008 @ 11:34 pm

    @Melissa – You never know what was going on that day. Maybe that was just the cup the mom had on her at that moment. Maybe she didn’t want to deal with a spill, if it happened. I am sure the child could drink out of a cup, but just didn’t at that time for whatever reason. The good thing is that by 21 I am sure that they won’t be sipping their margarita out of a sippy cup! ha!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by natalie
    February 28, 2008 @ 1:01 pm

    i didn’t know that about sippy cups. i feel terrible!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by natalie
    February 28, 2008 @ 1:02 pm

    oh and clarification….i didn’t know that sippy cups caused speech problems.

  • Comment by McKenna
    February 28, 2008 @ 1:13 pm

    Natalie-You don’t need to feel bad!!! I wasn’t trying to add to the already way too heavy “mommy guilt” we all carry around. I just have had a child in speech therapy since she was three months old, so I have learned some things that most moms don’t know. Most kids go on sippy cups, and there’s a small percentage of those kids with speech problems…sippies are just one contributing factor for some of those kids. You also have to know that after going through as much therapy as I’ve gone through with Darah…I am a little nutty about avoiding potential therapy with Connor! Well, I’m just a little nutty period! 8)

  • Gravatar
    Comment by natalie
    February 28, 2008 @ 6:22 pm

    no…..YOU did not make me feel bad. I just didn’t know that. I’m sorry!!! Ha. I think it’s good for me to find this stuff out!

  • Comment by sharon m
    February 29, 2008 @ 1:25 am

    I was reading the article on the connection between tooth decay and sippy cups, and I’m not sure I completely agree with it. As someone who worked at a pedi dentist for 5 years, I can tell you that the root problem is sugary drinks and juices. If you dilute the juice (at least 1/2 water), it greatly reduces the problem. DON’T give your kids sugary drinks (and that includes juices and milk) all day, or they will most likely get cavities. If they’re drinking water out of their sippy cup, it’s unlikely they’ll get cavities on their front teeth. I’ve seen older kids come in that sip soda all day long, and guess what? Same problem.
    Our American kids are (in general) addicted to sugar. We saw kids come in with horrendous tooth decay (some as young as 2!), not because they didn’t brush their teeth, but b/c parents were choosing sugary drinks and snacks over healthier choices.
    Sorry, I’ll get off my soap box now.

  • Comment by McKenna
    March 3, 2008 @ 9:48 am

    Sharon, that’s very good info! I agree that the amount of sugar in kids diets is the number one culprit for cavities and tooth decay in children. Sippy cups expose more of the child’s teeth to the liquids than straw cups do, so maybe by eliminating those sugary drinks, the tooth decay problem will decrease!

    Very good info again! Thanks for sharing your experience!! :D

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Jenna
    March 5, 2008 @ 7:15 pm

    I agree with your recommendations. Don’t waste your money on the last… as I did on 3 of them at once. I love the Take & Toss Straw Sippers for the simplicity of them, but my favorite are the Playtex Straw cup (character doesn’t matter so much).

    Great post!!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Julie
    April 19, 2008 @ 11:45 am

    We also transitioned from a bottle to a straw cup. We had seen some kids at a playgroup with them and thought they looked awesome! Now she loves them and uses them every day. I had no idea that they were good for speech development though! Aly (my girl, 18 months) has a great vocabulary and speaks really well for her age. I have to wonder if that’s part of the reason why! Very good to know. We will definitely be trying the Munchkin straw cups since Aly is a huge Dora fan and because of your glowing recommendation. We’ve used the Nuby Mega straw cups since day 1 but they leave a lot to be desired.

    Thanks so much for your post!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Kay
    June 12, 2008 @ 10:31 pm

    We chosse to use the Playtex Coolster Sipper that doesn’t have a spout. We also have straw cups but the number of pieces was just too much to handle sometimes. The cup we use looks like an adults travel coffee mug and our daughter has been using them since she was about 8 months old and loves them. I like the way they look and they are double insulated so that they don’t sweat all over everything either.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by AJ
    July 29, 2008 @ 1:37 pm

    As a speech/language pathologist and mom to a one year old, I agree wholeheartedly with your recommendations. I couldn’t believe that the preferences I have for straw cups match exactly to yours, with the exception that both my son and I love the old standby Playtex straw cups as well :) (Like you, I tried them all.) My son is 13 months old and started drinking from a straw around 5 months of age. He made a fabulous transition to total straw cup and open cup drinking the day of his 1st birthday. I admit straw cup drinking is a little more messy, but I have found this also encourages me not to let him carry a cup around during the day nor put him down for a nap with one. Which although I know as a professional is not a good idea, the working mom with a messy house would probably have done a few times if not for knowing the mess it might cause. Thanks again for spreading the word on Straw Cups!!!

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    Comment by lisa L
    December 29, 2008 @ 12:14 am

    We use sippys for water only at this point, and I am looking to transition from the bottle/formula to whole milk. My 12 month old also drinks out of a regular cup, but I’d like another option. I’d love to try straw cups as I’ve always felt a little weird about older toddlers still being attached to their sippy cups. My question: do you have any information if the above straw cups are BPA/pthalate free? I THINK the Foogo by Thermos and the Playtex Baby Einstein both are… do you know about the others?? Thanks!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by janet
    February 12, 2009 @ 1:37 pm

    comment on the nuby 8oz cup. the NEW BPA free version of this cup is a little bit better. it only has 2 pieces of the straw part, and i find it easy to clean and put together. the only issue i have with this cup is trying to close the lid by turning it to the center is extremely hard. i have to use a rubber glove to do it. it’s spill proof, but after the baby takes a sip, there’s a little bit of whatever she’s drinking that remains on top of the straw part, so that part gets all over the place when she shakes the cup, so i only fill this particular cup with water, so mess won’t be a problem.

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    Comment by kelley
    March 3, 2009 @ 9:32 pm

    My 15 month old daughter uses the lovn’ care straw cups, and loves them. I dont find it too difficult to take apart or put together, in fact, I like the 3 pieces because I feel like I can get the straww really clean. But…to each his own. I have the Foogo thermos sippy cup which I usually only use for long trips, though pricey…it really keeps liquids cold or hot much longer than any other cup. I plan on getting the Foogo straw cup though.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Liz
    March 15, 2009 @ 12:38 pm

    Thanks for the advice. My baby is going through much therapy and we have just gotten her on to the straw. I am looking for cups to buy now. Have you noticed any new cups since you last did your comparison?

  • Gravatar May 4, 2009 @ 11:51 pm

    [...] is at tipping back a glass. And they say they’re better for baby, too, for several reasons. HERE’S a little info about them and product suggestions on a blog called “The Mom Crowd.” Ryan [...]

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    Comment by Gigi
    May 26, 2009 @ 1:57 pm

    I am thinking of trying a straw cup with my 6 month old. It will replace the Playtex Nurser (w/ diaposable liners) that she uses now. My question is how do you guys warm up the milk?? As she drinks from breastmilk from the fridge. Right now, I warm up the milk with a steamer used for disposable liners. Thanks~ :D

  • Gravatar
    Comment by shannan
    May 29, 2009 @ 11:30 am

    Our little one went from boob to sippy cup straws,too. The only problem I had was getting the dishwasher cleaned, dried milk out of the straw. I recently started using Dr. Brown valve cleaners. They fit perfectly in the straws!

  • Gravatar August 5, 2009 @ 10:42 am

    [...] For more information on straw sippy cups check out the mom crowd. They did a review of sippy cups with straws. I also learned that sippy cups with straws are better for children than traditional sippy cups with spouts. Click on the link to learn more. http://www.themomcrowd.com/product-comparison-straw-cups [...]

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Meg
    August 14, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

    I love straw cups. My first daughter refused a bottle after a couple of weeks, but by 6 months could drink out of a straw cup perfectly. It looks like my third is on the same path at 5 months. My favorite cup is the magmag cup by Galtak. You can find it at http://www.galtak.com. It has a GREAT soft straw and the cup has handles, too. The straw is only 2 pieces and is easily cleaned with a pipe cleaner or Dr. Browns’. It can leak as there is no valve, but the top closes over the straw to more or less prevent this when not in use. I HIGHLY recommend this for young babies as the lack of valve makes it easier for them. Anyway, my kids are proof that a 5 or 6 month old can drink 6 ounces of milk out of a straw cup and a bottle is not necessary!

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