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11 best toddler cups and beakers for learning to drink independently

·9 min read
Look for one that doesn’t leak or easily spill and is simple to clean thoroughly (The Independent)
Look for one that doesn’t leak or easily spill and is simple to clean thoroughly (The Independent)

As babies grow into toddlers, the challenges of the new baby days fade and wrigglier and messier challenges replace them.

Unexpectedly, we have found that one of the greatest challenges of toddler rearing is finding a fool proof toddler beaker that doesn’t leak and spill and is also easy to clean thoroughly.

When your baby starts weaning onto solid food, it’s time to start using beakers with soft silicone spouts which mimic a bottle and are soft on little gums.

As they grow, you can move them on to harder spouts, sippy cups and straws.

As beakers are relatively inexpensive, it is worth buying a range of designs to see which your toddler gets on with best. We recommend checking the cleaning guidelines before you buy and choosing according to your attention span and patience levels.

There is nothing worse than removing the complex inner workings of a sippy cup to find it gummed up with a mouldy apple juice-milk cocktail (especially when your little darling has just been drinking from it).

We feel particularly passionate about this subject having been burned (and dampened) by unreliable toddler beakers in the past. We tested the best toddler beakers on the market looking for ease of use, lack of leaks, hygiene, value and FDA approved and BPA free materials.

Our little testers looked for fun designs and a good grip for their little hands.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

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Cove Baby beaker

These are designed for early stage weaning and are made from FDA approved (BPA free) silicone. The teat is incredibly soft and the silicone texture helped our little testers grip the beaker more easily. They are dishwasher and microwave safe and we were impressed and relieved that there is zero leakage, even when the cup is tipped upside down.

We adore the seven beautiful colour tones and each is designed to match one of the Cove Baby placemats and cushion covers. They aren’t cheap but will last and last. Once your child’s beaker years are over, this can still be used for older children as a cup, just simply remove the soft silicone lid. These beakers hit the sweet spot for us of both style and practicality.

Buy now £10.00, Cove Baby

JoJo Maman Bébé Haberman anywayup cow cup

We loved the pattern of this cup just as much as our little testers did. We also love the simplicity of the design. It has a one-piece valve and the spout is rigid plastic and very durable – it’s even chew-proof.

The solid plastic and lack of moving parts makes it easy to clean, dishwasher safe and leak-proof even after a few months of use when silicone and rubber can start to warp. We were impressed that it refused to leak, even when flung across the room. It holds a respectable 250ml of liquid and the steady flow makes sure it doesn’t all come out at once. Our little testers aged one and up got the hang of using it with no problems.

Buy now £5.49, JoJo Maman Bébé

Vital Baby hydrate easy sipper

This sippy cup has been designed for seven months onwards. The handles come off when toddlers become more dexterous. We love the one piece valve which is easy to clean and the easy flip lid keeps germs out. The whole cup can go in the dishwasher and microwave. It didn’t leak in the baby bag or while the little tester was drinking from it.

The soft and durable spout is easy on little gums and strong enough to cope with unbelievably sharp little teeth too. We love the fun design, different sizes and that it matches the wider range of Vital Baby weaning accessories. Above all we love the price – great value and quality.

Buy now £4.49, Vital Baby

Tommee Tippee insulated sippee cup

This beaker holds a good 260ml and is insulated, so a drink will stay cool and appetising for a whole outing. Despite this it is still lightweight and the big handles help little hands to hold it with no problems. The spout is small and soft, ideal for little gums and is tough enough to withstand teething.

We love the non-spill valve which really does work. It needs removing to clean, but is worth it for the peace of mind it gives. Our little testers loved the bright design. It is dishwasher safe and durable – great value too.

Buy now £4.75, ASDA

Simply Colours personalised anti leak beaker

These beakers are so bright and shiny, we love the look of them. The fact that they can be personalised is cute but also very practical when dealing with multiple children. They are solid plastic and hardwearing. They wash well in the dishwasher, but you need to remove the valve for a thorough clean and be sure to replace it. We loved the nice, big handles and fun array of colours.

Our little testers loved having their own cup and we loved knowing exactly which cup it was. It is a cute gift or a nice beaker to take to nursery and not get lost.

Buy now £15.95, Not On The Highstreet

Dr Brown’s soft spout trainer cup

This sippy cup holds a decent amount of liquid at 270ml. We love that the lid keeps the spout clean while it is mixed up with all the crumbs, odd socks and other horrors found in most baby bags. If your little ones are like our testers and get distracted by playing with the lid and forget to drink, you can remove it.

The silicone spout is soft and simple for babies from nine months to use. The flow is not too strong and this beaker also helps toddlers transition to using a cup as they learn the “head back” drinking motion. Our little testers got to grips with it easily and loved the super hero design. We loved that it is dishwasher safe.

Buy now £4.49, Dr Brown’s

Tum Tum tippy up cup

Watching a toddler learn to drink through a straw is an entertaining lesson in physics, for about five minutes at least. We love seeing the little cogs in their brains work as they tip the cup up and wonder why the straw isn’t working. It’s cute until the inevitable happens and everyone needs a change of clothes and a new drink.

This cup has a weighted straw which follows the liquid around any way up while little ones concentrate on the basics of straw drinking. It took our little testers a little while to master, but this is a great, dry way to tackle an essential learning curve. The lid folds the straw over when closed, preventing leaks. Spare straws and a straw brush for thorough cleaning are available but we found that it was fine to simply pop it in the dishwasher. It is also super cute in panda and pink teddy styles.

Buy now £8.99, Tum Tum

Munchkin miracle training cup

The Munchkin cup is a toddler staple. The design is genius – allowing little ones to learn to drink from a cup, but also not spilling a single drop. The liquid is released when little lips push the silicone rim – very clever indeed. Our little testers from six months got the hang of it very quickly, and even bigger toddlers love it.

What we like most is that it is easy to clean under the flap and we trust it to not leak after months of use – it stays good as new. It comes in bright colours, with and without handles depending on dexterity. It’s great value, too.

Buy now £6.00, Kidly

Stokke Munch cup

This cup looks sleek and stylish and is made from solid silicone. The bottom of the cup is weighted to avoid spills and the lid is anti-drip. It is dishwasher and microwave safe and its simple design makes it super easy to clean. It can be used as a sippy cup and a trainer cup as the child grows. There are no handles but the soft material makes it easy for little hands to hold.

It’s not a cheap option, but is a sleek design from a very trusted, designer baby brand. We love the soft mint colour – it was clearly designed for aesthetically-minded parents in mind.

Buy now £12.00, Stokke

Design Letters green grow with your glass Tritan gift set

This cup evolves with your child. The handle can come off when they are able to hold the glass, and the spout can be removed when they can drink from the cup like a grown up. We love that the spout can always go back on whenever we feel nervous about nice outfits. It is leak proof unless held upside down.

It’s not cheap, but the plastic is hardwearing and dishwasher safe, so this set will last the distance. The biggest cause of beaker mortality in our household is coming home with someone else’s sippy cup by accident so its unique design means it will be harder to misplace. We love the educational element, too.

Buy now £28.90, Alex and Alexa

Nuby incredible gulp Tritan no spill cup

Despite its powerful name and 360ml size, this beaker is really rather sweet with the little fox design. It packs a lot of technology – our little testers were obsessed with pushing the button to release the spout. Said spout and gripper is made of soft silicone and the rest is made from tritan; a shatterproof plastic.

It is all dishwasher safe and leak-proof, when the lid is closed. Little ones of 18 months plus will love it because it feels grown up. We love it because we can easily see how clean or empty it is.

Buy now £6.00, ASDA

The verdict: Toddler beakers

There are only two real questions you must have when choosing toddler beakers; does it leak and does it leak when it’s been used and washed for a few months? If the answer is a constant no, then you’re onto a winner. Longevity and lack of leaks, combined with ease of use for the little ones, ease of cleaning for us and a pleasing design is what we were looking for.

The Cove Baby beaker ticks all of these boxes. Due to the regularity of us losing beakers, good value is also a key point, which made the Hydrate easy sipper from Vital Baby a close second.

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