Sip & Smile Cup vs. Fun Grips Cup
We have found the Fun Grips Soft Spout Trainer to be even more functional as well as readily available and economical than the Sip & Smile. This plastic cup is still made up of 3 pieces with built-in, non-removable handles, and a removable valve. The spout on the Fun Grips has a hard inner piece lined with a softer material unlike the Sip & Smile spout which was soft all the way through. We recommend this cup in place of the Sip & Smile as a best value.
This photo shows a variety of transition sippy cups; note that Pura Kiki (pink sippy on right) is pictured here with silicone nipple. For transitioning, either a softer Pura Original Spout or firmer blue XL Sipper Spout can is substituted.
Gerber Sip & Smile transition cup is a BPA-free plastic cup made by Gerber. It offers dual handles that for easy holding. It sports a soft, angled spout for easier drinking. The valve has a lock feature to ensure that once it is in that it doesn't fall out. The cup boasts "child activated" liquid flow for a spill-proof design. The cup comes in various colors and patterns and has a relatively low price tag compared to most of the other transition sippys we tested.
This cup scored well for ease of use. It is lightweight with nice handles, and the spout is very easy to drink from, especially when compared to many of the other cups we tested. The handles had soft little bumps on them that made them comfortable to grip and easy to hold for longer periods of time, though the newer version has grippy handles as well without the bumps. The spout is soft, and slightly angled, to make drinking more comfortable. The cup's flow rate was easily regulated by the user, and the valve resisted leaking. This also meant it earned a few points for being more like a no leak valve since it required less sucking than the other cups we rated. We felt this meant it aligned closer to the ADA no valve desire.
The combined ease of use tests earned this cup a high 8 of 10 for this metric. Only one other cup scored better in this category, the Tommee Tippee First Sips scored a 9 of 10, with a slightly better score for ease of sucking.
In terms of leakage, it scored 10 of 10. Turn it upside down when full and give it a good shake and we could not get a drop to come out of the Fun Grips version, this cup proved it had the muscle to perform as a sippy cup should while still retaining a relatively low price.
The white plastic valve of the Gerber Sip and Smile can be seen here
Ease of cleaning scored a 8 of 10 for the Fun Grips. Easy to assemble and take apart, the parts themselves are easy to clean with no special tools needed beyond a basic bottle brush. Though the Fun Grips is described by Gerber as top-rack dishwasher safe, we recommend hand washing all plastic cups in warm soapy water to avoid possible heat induced degradation to the plastic, and possible leaching that might occur from repeated exposure.
We aren't fans of plastic in general for drinking and eating vessels, and this cup is no exception. In Eco-Health, it earned a 4 of 10. It also is not insulated, and while many of the cups we tested weren't, it continued to hurt its overall score by failing to add points.
The Sip and Smile has a stiffer hard spout with what looks to be a soft silicone lining for baby's gums.
Plastics in general give us pause due to the potential that plastics have of leaching chemicals into their contents, a possibility that increases if exposed to heat like a hot car or microwave, or dishwasher type conditions, the last which also exposes products to agitation. While we cannot remark on the specific chemical components of the plastics used in this specific cup, we still like to err on the side of caution and for that reason we prefer glass and stainless steel over any plastic cup. However, the only thing we did not like about this cup was the plastic, which is saying a lot for the cup in general.
The Fun Grips is simple, functional cup with a great price tag and therefore, is the winner of our Best Value award. While the design is fairly basic and uninspired, it does exactly what a transition sippy cup should do, help an infant learn to hold a cup and drink from it; and that is a thing of beauty. This cup offers a well-regulated, easy to drink from spout-valve combo that
Babies found the Sip and Smile easy to use
makes users happy. The lightweight body, and easy to grip handles meant little ones could manipulate the cup easily and without assistance fairly quickly as they moved from bottle to cup, a highly desirable quality in a sippy cup. The fact that it is resistant to leaking means parents are happy as well. Despite its low score in eco-health due to its plastic nature, this is definitely a cup we would recommend for those on a budget or looking for a nice lightweight cup that is easy for baby to use.