Affordable, BPA-Free Sippy Cup Solutions

I wanted a BPA-free sippy cup for my son, but I heard so many complaints about leaks and design flaws from other mothers, that I was hesitant to shell out the cash.   I was under the (misguided) impression that most BPA-free cups cost $15-20 dollars apiece, plus shipping, which was tough to swallow considering that I hadn’t heard great reviews.

The Tightwad Gazette offered the simple, thrifty solution of having a child drink out of a cup after turning one.  After all, what did people do before plastic was invented?

We tried instructing our child to gently sip with a straw, but a few dozen cups of spilled milk later, I felt we needed a better solution.  Just then, I read a post on Green and Clean Mom announcing the happy news: Target now carries Munchkin BPA-free sippy cups for between one and three dollars! Eureka!  In her post, Green and Clean mom apologizes for her wild enthusiasm about finding these cups, but I instantly shared her thrill. 

If there were rooftops to shout from, I would’ve.  We purchased four of the sippy cups and were initially impressed with their performance.  There was some occasional leakiness, but it was minor if we assemble them correctly.  They were easy to clean, Roscoe loved them, and the total for four cups was less than it would be for one BPA-free sippy cup anywhere else.  

Sadly though, our sense of victory was quickly quelled when Roscoe learned that he could bite through the silicone nipple.  It made the milk flow much more quickly, but also totally eliminated the “spill-proof” aspect of the cups.  They were quickly retired after one too many milk leakages on the sofa cushions.  

After sharing my depressing news with Rebecca, she tipped me off to a myriad of other inexpensive BPA free sippy cup options.  Here are a few that I’ve discovered since then:

The First Years Take and Toss 10 oz. Spill Proof Cups. A four pack costs around four dollars and they are surprisingly sturdy despite their supposed disposability.  The spout isn’t flexible, but Rebecca found that they held up nicely. They’re also easy to find in most stores.  My son, a biting maniac, has also managed to bite through several of these rigid spouts so they didn’t really work for us.

Evenflo Fun Sip 10 oz. Sippy Cup. A two pack is $8.50 and it’s also widely available.  They come with straws or spouted lids.

12 oz. Sipper by Nuby with Flip-It Straw. This cup costs just $4.50 and works well for toddlers who are transitioning from a spout to a straw.

And there are more!  Go to Safe Mama.com to view a quick cheat sheet of all the BPA free bottle and sippy cup options.   I’d love to hear from you on which sippy cups were easiest to clean, held up the best, and seemed the most drip-proof.  Parent reviews are the most dependable!

For us, we ended up loving the new BPA-Free Nalgene Grip-n-Gulp sippy cups.  The spout is hard and durable and looks like it will last throughout the rest of Roscoe’s toddler years.  It’s easy to clean and Roscoe enjoys toting it around by the little finger loop.  Occasionally the inner piece falls into the drink and it does leak a bit, but it’s easy to fix and far better than any of the other cups we’ve tried.   

Is it really green to replace plastic sippy cups when we already had a few?  This is where green and non-toxic become separate issues.  It may not have been as planet-friendly to buy new cups, but I can’t justify feeding my child milk out of cups that may be leaching toxins, just to save the planet.  I couldn’t pass the cups on either, since I wouldn’t feel good about anyone else using them, but we did recycle them.

Although I am thrilled to have safer sippy cups for Roscoe, I’m even more excited to realize that finally, merchandisers are listening to us.   Canada’s ban on BPA most likely helped the movement quite a bit, but if all of us create demands for safer products, even mainstream brands are going to respond.  Well done fellow green parents!

Comments

  1. Thanks for these–we still use sippy cups at the table–my kids are so clumsy. I really need to replace our’s–this is great!

  2. I just recycled a bunch of my old sippy cups. I didn’t feel as bad about replacing them with BPA free.

  3. Great post!

    The Munchkin ones look very nice, although my toddlers would do the same thing as Roscoe- chew threw the soft spout.

    We’ve been using the First Years Take N Toss with great sucess. The spouts are pretty chewed up, but still intact. Although, since the lids do just pop on, I’m not able to use these when we go out and about (as I can’t just toss it in the diaper bag, or trust the lid not to pop off in the car).

    I’ll definitely check out the Nalgene ones… Thanks!

  4. Are any of these safe for hot liquids? I like to take my own thermal mug when I go to coffee shops, and since I usually get my son steamed milk I take his Fisher-Price plastic insulated sippy cup along. But I’m pretty sure that one is not BPA-free (heck I don’t even know if mine is!). So I was wondering if there were any suggestions for toddler-sized thermal cups? While he is fine drinking from paper coffee cups with plastic lids, sadly our local coffee house switched away from compostable cups and I hate throwing the other ones in the trash.

  5. We have a natural parenting store near us which stocks some options where the main part of the cup is stainless steel (and the plastics are BPA free).

    There’s the Kid Basix Safe Sippy and Thermos Foogo line makes a sippy and a bottle with straw. We have a Sigg bottle and a Kleen Kanteen sippy for my daughter both of which have served us well.

    Looking at the websites they all seem to recommend not putting hot liquids in. Kleen Kanteen and the Kid Basix say don’t put hot liquids in their bottles because it’s a single wall of metal so no insulation and will get hot to the touch, also just the danger of burning with hot liquids. Sigg say the same, but you can buy an insulating pouch from them which would provide some protection; they have some bottles designed for hot and cold liquids but they’re adult sized. Thermos say don’t put hot liquids in the sippy cup because they can cause burns.

    I’m guessing they’re being extra cautious (along the lines of coffee cups having the caution contents may be hot warnings) and that if you have an insulating cover to avoid touching the hot metal, and make sure the beverage is warm not hot before giving it to the child it’s going to be ok, but that’s just my personal opinion of course. If you knit or sew you could make a cup cozy/cover fairly quickly and easily.

  6. Also — I have a reusable metal coffee/tea mug that I use for cocoa which I share with my 2 year old and she does fine drinking out of that once I’ve tested the temperature is safe for her. It’s a little big for her but it doesn’t get hot to the touch the way the sippys would.

  7. I’m sorry, I’m realising the stainless steel options I mentioned are less affordable than what the original post is talking about. Although the Kleen Kanteen option might still be affordable in the long run because you can use Avent spouts in them, and you can use the adapter on any of their bottles it seems so you could potentially use them from bottle to sippy and beyond.
    And now I’ll be quiet!

  8. Larisa:
    I have put warm liquids into the Nalgene cup but they’re just barely heated. I’ve emailed Nalgene with your question and am awaiting their reply. Hopefully we’ll hear back soon and I’ll post the information. Thanks for the question!

  9. Thanks, Joy and commonplaceiris! Of course, I went home and checked the sippy cups and they are Playtex, not Fisher Price, and Playtex insulator cups are listed on Safe Mama’s site as BPA free. So I guess we’re OK continuing to use them (though the Nalgene bottles are much nicer looking)!

  10. While not as affordable in the short term, we still love our Klean Kanteens for the long term. When your toddler grows out of them you can add a sports cap (perfect for bike riding) or loop cap (great to attach to a backpack!). So in reality, the “sippy cup” can be used right up to pre-teen and beyond. They are also much easier to clean when something gets left sitting in them all day long (and it always happens! lol!). We all have Klean Kanteens at home.

  11. We, too, have the Klean Kanteen bottles. We initially purchased one for Liam to use as a bottle for the occasional bottle-feeding, and now he has graduated to the sippy top instead of the nipple. I love the fact that it will last him for years to come, making the initial price tag quite small in the long run.
    I have a Sigg water bottle for my own use, but wish I had a Klean Kanteen like my son and husband. The Sigg bottle dents if dropped…which I’ve managed to do a few times now…

    I recently saw that Whole Foods carries a sippy-type handle for their Sigg toddler bottles. Although it won’t fit our Klean Kanteen, I’m wondering if perhaps Klean Kanteen makes their own handles…I’ll check it out now, now that I’m thinking about it 🙂

  12. No, Klean Kanteen does not have the sippy handles. Liam is getting to the point where he could maneuver the bottle if it had handles, but without them it’s still a bit unwieldy. Bummer.

  13. Here’s a reply finally for our readers that were interested in putting warm liquids into the Nalgene sippy cups. It’s straight from the company email!

    “These Sippy Cups are BPA free and can be used in the same manner as the previous product. There should be no problem using these cups with hot liquids except the user should be aware that Triton is a very conductive material and will pick up the heat of the liquid quickly. Make sure to use an appropriate barrier such as a dish towel or pot holder when exposing the product to hot liquids.”

  14. Thank you for posting this! We are weaning the little guy off the bottle and am glad to know there are healthier options for sippy cups.

  15. The BPA-Free Nalgene Grip-n-Gulp sippy cups are the best sippy cups. I bought mine at http://babynoahorganics.com

  16. Be Very Careful- Choking Hazard! While these sippy cups were one of the only ones my daughter would use (she nursed exclusively and I was never able to get her to take to a bottle), she choked on the entire end of the nipple. I’m so thankful I took an infant first aid class as I was able to get her to expel it but I was never more frightened. I always check the ends of the sippys before giving them to her so there was no prior damage to the end. She was literally sitting in her high chair eating and must have just bit down really hard on the end and that was all it took. Please be careful if you use these sippy cups- I personally don’t think they should be on the market since they are used at an age when children are teething/biting and it clearly doesn’t take much to bite right through the end.

Speak Your Mind

*