In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Philips AVENT Natural Drinking Cup Review

Unique, innovative design, but didn't function as well compared to others tested
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Price:   $13.00 List
Pros:  Cup-like 360 edge, handles
Cons:  Hard to drink and regulate flow, plastic
Manufacturer:   Philips
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Mar 4, 2014
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35
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Leakage - 35% 5
  • Ease of Use - 25% 3
  • Ease of Cleaning - 20% 2
  • Eco-Health - 20% 3

The Skinny

The Philips AVENT Natural Drinking Cup is very impressive in theory, but did not do well in our tests, indicating that perhaps it was poorly executed in practice. It scored at the bottom of the bin out of the cups we tested earning, only 35 out of 100 points overall. This cup seemed to leak a ridiculous amount, in our opinion, when we tipped it upside down. Plus it was difficult for toddlers to use, unlike the similar cup edge style sippy, the Sassy Grow Up Cup. It also scored low for ease of cleaning, with 5 different parts that were harder to disassemble than the other cups we tested. Overall, there just wasn't much we liked about this cup, which was sort of a shame because the concept of children drinking from cups edge vs. spout cups is one we find very intriguing. However, this cup failed to execute this concept well, and so therefore is not a cup we recommend.


Our Analysis and Test Results

The Philips AVENT Grown Up Cup Natural Drinking Cup claims to be a lip activated, revolutionary sippy cup design. The valve sits under the middle of the lid, and is activated when the child puts their mouth on the cup to drink. The cup like edge mimics ordinary cups, and offers a more grown up like drinking experience. Because the child's lip pushes in the valve, the liquid inside is then free flowing, and does not require sucking to drink from. This allows the cup to more closely mimic ordinary cup drinking, and helps children master flow rate like a regular cup. The cup is made from BPA-free plastic, comes in a variety of colors, and is dishwasher top rack safe. It comes with "trainer" handles to help children hold the cup, and a protective lid to avoid getting the top dirty. This cup is widely available online and in some stores.

Performance Comparison


A variety of Toddler Sippy Cups
A variety of Toddler Sippy Cups

Likes


We really liked the innovative concept of this cup's design, even if it wasn't executed well enough to earn many points in our tests. The concept of a sippy cup with a cup like edge is rare, but a sippy cup with a cup edge, and no need to suck, is even rarer.

The valve/lid combo of this cup is really cool when you think about it, and the closest thing to learning how to drink from an actual cup out of the sippys we tested. The Sassy Grow Up Cup is similar in design in that it offers a cup like edge, but it still requires children to "suck" in order to drink from it, something that isn't necessary when drinking from an ordinary cup. The AVENT on the other hand, almost exactly duplicates the ordinary cup experience by giving us a cup that flows freely when the valve is depressed as the children put the cup to their lips. Pretty swanky actually, its just too bad it doesn't really work that well.

It did earn some favor for being valve free and requiring no suck. This is the preferred style of cup of the American Dental Association, because it is better for oral hygiene, requires no sucking, and potentially causes less injuries with no stiff spout.

Dislikes


Philips AVENT - Leakage Tests
Philips AVENT - Leakage Tests
This cup leaks when tipped upside down. It did fairly well in the sideways testing, but it failed pretty miserably in our upside tests. It earned a 3 of 10 for the upside test, which brought down its overall leak score to a 5, a low score only outdone by the EIO Glass Kid's Cup which wasn't really a sippy cup, and offered no leak-proof valve. It isn't a good thing for a leak-proof sippy to do almost as poorly as a non leak proof ordinary cup lid.

We also weren't fans of the valve activation system, and felt it was harder to drink from this cup than many of the other cups we tested. The upper lip of the child must depress the lid enough to open the valve, so liquid can flow freely. If it fails to do this, which it often did in our tests, then the liquid does not flow, and the user might then try to suck on the cup. However, sucking is not part of the design of this cup and will not aid in drinking from it, so this usually just made the problem worse, and sometimes led to dripping the contents on clothes as the frustration grew. The execution of this cup's design
Unique cup edge instead of spout
Unique cup edge instead of spout
might need a little more work to ensure it works as advertised, because it our tests, it really didn't. Not being able to drink from a sippy is not an asset, having that same sippy be one that leaks, kind of defeats the purpose of the cup in the first place.

This cup also scored poorly for eco-health, and we prefer cups that are not made of plastic. With the exception of the Thinkbaby SPF 50+ cup, which did offer extensive material on what is not used in their plastics, we did not readily find any information on the plastics being used in the other cups we tested beyond the fact that they were all BPA-free. Because of this we prefer inert.

Conclusion


This cup really could have been something special had it done better in our tests. The innovative design should have been enough to earn it a top spot not the bottom rung. However, with the ease of use and cleaning score being so low, and the excessive leaking, coupled with a low eco-health score, it just wasn't a sippy we could recommend.
Unique design includes a 360 degree cup like edge with no spout
Above are photos of the AVENT Natural Drinking Cup (left) and the Sassy Grow Up Cup (right)

While not exactly the same, if you are looking for a leak-proof sippy with a more cup like feel, we liked the Sassy Grow Up Cup. It earned a 5th place out of 21 cups ranking, offered high ease of use, and allowed 360 drinking from any side. While it wasn't an award winner, it was similar enough to the AVENT to consider as a viable alternative and it ranked considerably higher.


Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz