In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

NUK Learner Review

Interesting handle design that is easy to clean but hard to drink from
NUK Learner
Credit: Abriah Wofford
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Price:   $8.00 List | $7.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Soft silicone spout, nice handles, totally leak-proof
Cons:  Made of plastic, difficult to drink from
Manufacturer:   NUK
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Jun 1, 2018
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 10
  • Leakage - 35% 10
  • Ease of Use - 25% 4
  • Ease of Cleaning - 20% 7
  • Eco-Health - 20% 3

The Skinny

The Nuk Lerner Cup is an interesting leak-free cup with handles for little ones to grasp. The parts are easy to assemble and clean, and the soft spout helps prevent injuries related to hard spout sippys. Unfortunately, many testers found the spout challenging to drink from, which may make it a better choice for breastfed babies who are used to a more powerful sucking process. Although this difficult valve could be the reason it performed so well in our tests for leaks with a perfect score and not a drop missing during testing. The Nuk is also plastic which isn't our favorite given the potential for plastic to leach chemicals into their contents. However, the reasonable price point and soft spout could make it a good match for parents who need an on-the-go option that is inexpensive and leak-free.

Compare to Similar Products

 
NUK Learner
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NUK Learner
Awards   Best Value Award  Best Value Award 
Price $8.00 List
$7.99 at Amazon
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$3.99 each at Amazon - 72% off
$10.00 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Soft silicone spout, nice handles, totally leak-proofLightweight, dual handles, spout cover, leak-freeInsulated, lightweight, kid-friendly graphicsSoft straw spout, easy to holdEasy to drink from, kid-centric design, silicone straw, inexpensive
Cons Made of plastic, difficult to drink fromPlastic, smallerPlastic, the valve needs special cleaning, hard spoutPlastic, harder to clean, expensivePlastic body, no insulation
Bottom Line Interesting handle design that is easy to clean but hard to drink fromNot a bad choice if your little one is transitioning from a bottle to a cup as the size and shape is similarA budget-friendly, lightweight, and insulated plastic sippy cup with a hard spoutA cute straw sippy with an incorporated lid to keep it clean when toddling aboutA plastic sippy cup at an attractive price with a soft silicone straw and spill-resistant lid that is easy to drink, clean, and assemble
Rating Categories NUK Learner MAM Starter Cup Tommee Tippee Insul... OXO Transitions Straw NuSpin Kids Zoomi S...
Leakage (35%)
10.0
9.0
10.0
6.0
6.0
Ease Of Use (25%)
4.0
5.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Ease Of Cleaning (20%)
7.0
6.0
1.0
5.0
7.0
Eco Health (20%)
3.0
3.0
1.0
5.0
3.0
Specs NUK Learner MAM Starter Cup Tommee Tippee Insul... OXO Transitions Straw NuSpin Kids Zoomi S...
Manufacturer Age Recommendation 6 months+ 4 months+ 12 months+ Not specified 12 months+
Available Capacities (ounces) 5 and 10 oz 5 oz 12 oz 6 oz 8 oz
Empty Weight (ounces) 3.52 oz 3.2 oz 2.5 oz 3.98 oz 3 oz
Number of Parts 4 5 4 5 3
Average Seconds 9 13 10 10 8
Take Apart (Seconds) 8 12 4 7 8
Put Together (Seconds) 10 14 15 12 8
Volume Markings No No No Yes No
Widest Diameter from Mid-Body to Base (In Inches) 4.75 3 2.7 3.5 3.1
Ergonomic Grip Yes, bumpy non-slip grip Yes
Soft, non-slip grip
Yes Yes
Soft, non-slip grip
No
Handles Yes Yes No Yes No
Drinking Mechanism Soft Spout Soft Spout Soft Dura Spout Soft Straw Soft Silicone Straw
Insulated? Manufacturer Specification No No No No No
Top-Rack Dishwasher Safe No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Body Materials Plastic Plastic Polypropylene Plastic Polypropylene
Valve/Straw/Spout Materials NUK Spout: Silicone
Cap: Plastic
Spout: Silicone
Lid: Plastic
Spout, Lid: Not Available Inner Straw: Plastic
Outer Straw: Silicone
Lid: Plastic
Outer Straw: Silicone
Miscellaneous Details As of February 2016, there are reports of mold growth within the Sporty Bottle's one-piece white plastic valve. Please see review for information on the steps Tommee Tippee is taking to address this.
Origin of Manufacture USA & Germany China China China China
Warranty

Our Analysis and Test Results

The NUK family includes the Gerber brand as well. Nuk has been in business for over 50 years creating innovative products for healthy and safe development. NUK makes every effort to meet and exceed safety standards and the standards of real-world moms.

The NUK has a soft spout, easy to grip handles and a design little...
The NUK has a soft spout, easy to grip handles and a design little ones are drawn to.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Performance Comparison


This straightforward sippy is a good transition cup that little testers seem to like.

We like the cool bumpy handles on the NUK and little ones found them...
We like the cool bumpy handles on the NUK and little ones found them easy to hold.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Likes


This cup is leak-proof in both the upside down and sideways leak tests making it a good option for on-the-go adventures. Being leak-proof is a primary concern for this type of cup, so this is a big plus. We like the smaller size, shape, and nubbly grips the Nuk sports that make it easy for even the youngest sippers to hold and use.

The Nuk Learner Cup is easy to clean and assemble and can be used...
The Nuk Learner Cup is easy to clean and assemble and can be used without the handles if you need to fit it in a cup holder.
Credit: Micah James

This cup is also easy to clean, take apart, and assemble and it doesn't require special tools to clean beyond the standard bottle brush. The NUK's spout/valve could be cleaned with a straw brush but it isn't 100% necessary. The silicone spout is soft and nicely shaped. We like that it is silicone, not plastic and that the shape is nicer for transitioning.

The valve on the NUK prevents leaks but it is so powerful it can...
The valve on the NUK prevents leaks but it is so powerful it can also be difficult to get liquid out of when drinking.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Dislikes


The NUK's spout/valve is harder to use than most of the competition. Even adults could barely get the liquid to come out. For a transition cup intended for babies, this seems counter-intuitive, but for breastfed babies who regularly use more sucking action than bottle-fed babies, it could be no big deal. However, the valve difficulty means it does not meet the American Dental Associations "no valve" preference. Given that the main concern about valves is the amount of sucking a child needs to do, we feel that the excessive sucking required for this sippy is further from the ADA ideal than we would like.

The NUK is plastic which is not our favorite choice for babies or...
The NUK is plastic which is not our favorite choice for babies or the environment.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

This cup is BPA-free plastic which is not an inert material like stainless steel. NUK does not specify what kind of plastic it is, so it is hard for parents to make an informed decision or determine if the plastic leaches chemicals into the contents. Unfortunately, being BPA-free does not necessarily translate to being 100% safe.

The NUK could be a good transition cup for breastfed babies with...
The NUK could be a good transition cup for breastfed babies with strong sucking abilities.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Conclusion


There are lots of things to like about this cup, including the thoughtful handle design, silicone spout, leak-proof valve, and easy cleaning. On the flip side the cup is difficult to drink from and it is plastic. However, if the plastic doesn't worry you and you avoid letting any liquid sit in the cup for long periods, you may find the lower price and tough valve operation meet your on-the-go needs with style.

Worried about this valve?
Purchasing this cup through a retailer like Amazon means you can test it for yourself and return it if it is too hard to drink from. Save the packaging and test your cup right away to avoid return hassles.

Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz