stainless steel sippy cups: the good, bad and moldy


Sweet Bean  has made the round through numerous brands of sippy cups in the last seven years since becoming a parent: the good, the bad and the moldy. After much trial and error, Sweet Bean settled on a few eco-friendly brands that are made of nontoxic stainless steel without the worry of certain plastics that may be leaching toxins. That said, BPA-free plastic is a convenient choice—many drug stores and supermarket chains now carry plastic sippy cups that are marked as BPA-free. But these brands listed below make stainless steel sippy cups—perhaps the most flawlessly eco-friendly, non-toxic material other than glass.

 Thermos Foogo sippy cups

Thermos manufactures a line of sippy cups, not to mention insulated food jars, and stack n’ lock lunch boxes for kids that offer iron-proof eco-friendliness. All its products are made with stainless steel, and come in fun colors and prints. I have never found them sold in stores—I use the leak-proof straw drinking bottles, and buy them on They can also be purchased directly from the Thermos web site. My only complaint after several years of use is that the plastic straws get moldy fairy quickly; I have to scrub them down using Q-tips and dish soap at least one time per week. You can buy straw replacements for a few dollars, which I do every few months.

 Crocodile Creek youth drinking bottles

Crocodile Creek, a brand known for its adorable eco-friendly line of backpacks for children, produces a line of stainless steel youth drinking bottles that have cool designs using bold colors. My boys love the solar system and rocket prints. The pull-up spout is user-friendly, but not at all spill-proof, so don’t make the mistake of packing it in your Dwell Studios diaper bag or anywhere near your cell phone. Also, the plastic lid that covers the spout broke off sooner after I purchased it. So my seven-year-old leaves it on the kitchen table, where he uses it as his drinking cup during meals only, thus avoiding the chance of leaks and spills. That said, S. has been drinking from it for more than a year now, and it’s still in solid drinking shape.

Eco-Vessel flip straw water bottles for babies and kids

 I only recently discovered these stainless steel water bottles with flip straws for babies and kids, and think they are perhaps the best of the lot. The designs are adorable—the owl and tree designs are particularly gender-neutral. They are also spill-proof and virtually maintenance free; the flip-up straws are built in and don’t get moldy, so they don’t require as much cleaning or need to be replaced.  I have not seen these cups sold in stores either, and ordered all of mine from the Eco Vessel web site.

I do scrub down all the kids’ sippy cups once per week, as all parents should since bacteria can grow in any moist environment.