In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

The First Years Insulated Review

Harder to use insulated cup that isn't as good as similar options
The First Years Insulated
Credit: The First Years
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Price:   $5.00 List
Pros:  Lightweight, easy to hold, insulated
Cons:  Plastic, difficult to use
Manufacturer:   The First Years
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team  ⋅  Mar 4, 2014
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  • Leakage - 35% 8
  • Ease of Use - 25% 4
  • Ease of Cleaning - 20% 9
  • Eco-Health - 20% 4

The Skinny

While this cup offers fun popular characters that kids love, the ease of use in our tests was low enough to give us pause in recommending it. This meant it was significantly less easy to drink from than most of the other cups in our test. The cup was lightweight, and easier to hold than many of the other cups we tested. This cup ranked fairly low in our tests, making The First Years Insulated a cup we could not recommend.

Our Analysis and Test Results

This insulated sippy cup is made with BPA-free plastic, a spill proof, one piece lid. The cup offers a slim body, that fits in most cup holders. The lid is easy to clean, and interchangeable with other lids in The First Years line up. The cup is dishwasher safe, and comes in several popular Disney characters. This cup is widely available in stores, and online.

Performance Comparison

A variety of Toddler Sippy Cups
A variety of Toddler Sippy Cups
Credit: Micah James


We liked the slim design of the cup body, which allowed it to fit in most cup holders and in most little hands. Given that many of the cups we tested were too wide for cup holders, this was a nice feature.

We liked that this cup was insulated, and it earned points in eco-health for being able to keep contents cooler than the non-insulated cups. This meant that juices, and milk type contents, were able to travel better than they would in the other cups.

This cup scored well for ease of cleaning, and we gave it extra points for having only two parts, and no separate valve to clean, or special cleaning tools needed to get the job done.


We didn't like that this cup was hard to drink from, and that was our major complaint for this cup. We really feel like toddlers won't want to use a cup that is difficult to suck on. So whatever simplicity was gained by the one piece design, was lost due to difficulty to drink from. In addition, we felt that the more sucking required in a cup, the less it aligned with the American Dental Association's recommendation that children use valve free cups for better oral hygiene, so it scored poorly for that as well.
The First Years Toddler Insulated Cup
The First Years Toddler Insulated Cup
Credit: Rachel Goodman
We did not like that this cup was made of plastic. In general, we prefer inert materials be used in cups for children. This means glass and stainless steel cups earned higher marks for eco-health. Our concern about plastics is not exclusive to this cup.


Its hard to get too excited about a cup that doesn't seem to be excited about itself. This cup has an uninspired design, duller than average presentation, and it was difficult to use. We wanted to like this cup, and the simplicity it offered, but after testing it it felt like it sacrificed function for boring form. With 13 cups scoring better than this cup, and two of them offering similar design but better function, it just wasn't a cup we could recommend.
Above are photos of the First Years Insulated (left) and the Munchkin Click Lock Insulated (right)

If you are drawn to this cup for the design or insulation factors, the Munchkin Click Lock Insulated scored higher, and managed to crack the top ten out of the 21 cups we tested. It is almost indistinguishable from the First Years cup, so you won't be missing much, but you will be gaining a lot.

Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team

Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.

BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.

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