A sippy cup is a great gift for a young child. For parents who are concerned about Bisphenol A and other harmful chemicals that some plastics leach into acidic fruit juices and other drinks, a steel sippy cup can provide a great deal of relief, because it is impervious to juices and will not leach chemicals back into the contents.

Stainless Steel Sippy cup

Steel Sippy cup

Along with not leaching chemicals into the contents, a good-quality metal sippy cup will not take on any odors or flavors from the drinks placed inside. This back and forth action of plastic liners means that some odors or flavors that are absorbed into the plastic may leach back out again into future contents thereby changing the flavor or causing an odor that may be offensive when drinking.

Steel sippy cups often come with removable handles and some have ports for inserting a straw which will quickly convert the sippy cup to a straw cup. The exteriors are often partially plastic to reduce weight and the interiors are safe and easy-to-clean metal.

Some of the better sippy cups are rated to keep beverages cold up to 6 hours. Most are dishwasher safe and the partially plastic exteriors are often sweat-proof to prevent water rings.

Many times, matching food jars available. These are available in colors that match the sippy cups and are steel lined and insulated. Combined with the sippy cups, these insulated food jars make a handsome set.

A word about insulation. It is important to remember that some of these products will be vacuum sealed, meaning that there is an inner and outer liner that are sealed together to make one cup, and in the space between the liners, the manufacturer creates a permanent vacuum. Heat and cold do not move as readily through a vacuum so this empty space will act as an insulator. Other manufacturers will fill this space with foam insulation and still others will simply leave the space empty and filled with air. This latter method works the same way that storm windows work on a house. The creation of the dead air space means that hot and cold need to move through the first surface, then build up enough in the closed pocket to warm the exterior surface of the mug before escaping. Dead-air spaces as they are called are effective at retaining temperatures, but probably not so effective as either a vacuum or insulation.

Obviously there are some things you don’t want to do with a steel sippy cup. Placing one in the microwave is a good example of an activity to be avoided. Not only will it possibly damage the microwave, but the rapid expansion of the contents and the expansion of the filler material used in the inner pocket may cause damage or rupture to the cup.

Sippy Bottle by Eco Vessel

Sippy Bottle by Eco Vessel

The good news is that with only a little bit of care, any steel travel mug or steel bottle can last for decades. The reduction in the use of plastics alone is a good reason for these products to be offered, and the potential health benefits by ridding ourselves of  Bisphenol A is enough to make the small additional cost worthwhile.