Hands-on Gear Review

NUK Learner Cup Review

NUK Learner Cup
Price:   $8.00 List | $7.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Soft silicone spout, easy to use handles, refused to leak
Cons:  Made of plastic, difficult to drink from
Bottom line:  Interesting handle design that was easy to clean but hard to drink from
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer Age Recommendation:  6 months+
Available Capacities (ounces):  5 oz
Empty Weight (ounces):  2.7 oz
Manufacturer:   NUK

The Skinny

The Nuk Lerner Cup has an interesting from the bottom handle design that made the cup feel hard to hold. The drinking spout was difficult to drink from in our tests both by adults and baby in-house users. It earned the lowest score possible in our test for this metric. While it did well in the leakage tests, was fairly easy to clean, and the grips were nice and textured for ease of holding, it was hard to rate this cup very highly when we couldn't drink out of it. Its relatively high marks in cleaning and leaking prevented it from being at the bottom in the cups we tested, but if you can't drink from it then it doesn't really matter how great it is in other areas. This is not a transition sippy we recommend.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Transition Sippy Cup Review


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz

Last Updated:
Tuesday
March 4, 2014

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NUK Learner cup is a transition sippy that has a soft, silicone spill-proof sprout that is gentle on gums. It boasts a unique air vent to help prevent the swallowing of air that might cause indigestion and gas in babies. It is made with BPA-free plastic and is dishwasher safe. The cup is widely available, and comes in various colors and styles including popular trademarked characters like Winnie the Pooh.

Performance Comparison


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.
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.

Likes


This cup did well in our leakage tests. In both the upside down leak and the sideways test, this cup didn't spill a drop; it earned a 10 of 10 for this metric. Given that the primary function of a sippy cup after drinking from it is being leak-proof, this was a big plus for this cup and this metric gave it a significant bump to its overall score.

We also felt pretty good about the size, shape, and nubbly grips this cup sported. While the grips were on upside down, compared to every other cup we tested, they were still easy to grip, double-sided, and textured to help prevent dropping.
The Nuk Learner Cup was easy to clean and assemble
The Nuk Learner Cup was easy to clean and assemble
This cup also did well in the ease of cleaning category. We liked that the cup was easy to take apart and assemble, and it really didn't require any special tools to clean it beyond the standard bottle brush most parents already own. The cup's spout/valve could be cleaned without a special tool or straw brush.

The silicone spout, and its shape were also pretty cool. We liked that it was made of silicone and not plastic, which earned it a higher score than some of its competitors, and we liked the shape which seemed to be a good transition sippy shape, and one that the in-house testers felt comfortable using.
The silicone spout on the NUK Learner Cup is pliable and mouth friendly.
The silicone spout on the NUK Learner Cup is pliable and mouth friendly.

Dislikes


This cup was more difficult to use than just about any other cup we tested. It
This cup came with a detachable lid that helped keep the spout clean  and aided in leak prevention
This cup came with a detachable lid that helped keep the spout clean, and aided in leak prevention
had the lowest score of any sippy in this category; in other words, we could just barely get liquid to come out when we tried to use it. For a transition cup intended for babies, this seemed counter intuitive, if a baby should be able to drink from it, then an adult should at least be able to take a sip. This cup did not rank well in the ease of use category. In addition, the difficulty of the valve to use, meant it was also not close to meeting the American Dental Associations "no valve" preference. Given that the concern over valves is the amount of sucking a child needs to do in order to use them, we felt valves that required excessive sucking were further from the ADA ideal.

This cup lost points in the eco-health metric for using plastic instead of glass or stainless steel. While this cup is listed as BPA-free, it does not specify what kind of plastic is used in the cup, so it is hard for a consumer to make an informed decision about purchasing this cup. Given that some plastics can potentially leach chemicals into the contents they hold, we feel it is important to know what kind of plastic a cup is made out of.

Conclusion


There were lots of things to like about this cup, including the thoughtful handle design, the silicone spout, the lack of leaking, and the ease of cleaning.
Babies seem to like the bumpy grip of the dual handle design
Babies seem to like the bumpy grip of the dual handle design
However, the cup was near impossible to get liquid out of, and it was made of plastic. Two things we aren't jazzed about. Even if being made of plastic doesn't bother you, your baby still might have difficulty drinking from this cup. If your baby can't use the cup easily, they won't use it. It is as simple as that.

If you are interested in a lightweight plastic sippy cup we liked Gerber Graduates Sip n Smile. This was our Best Value award winner in this category of sippys. It offers great ease of cleaning, ease of use, and was very easy to use and suck. As if that isn't enough to sell you on it, it also did great in our leakage tests as well.
Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz

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BabyGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: February 19, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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  • 5
 (2.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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  • 5
 (1.0)

0% of 1 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 50%  (1)
1 star: 50%  (1)
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   Feb 19, 2015 - 12:09pm
Kolls · Philadelphia, PA
The BabyGearLab review of this cup is on target.

My six-month-old became extremely frustrated trying to drink out of this cup and ended up trying to use the flexible spout as a teether (which I wouldn't allow). My attempts to drink from the spout were also unsuccessful. Several Amazon reviews suggested turning the spout inside out to increase the size of the hole. This action helped, but my daughter (at now 10-months-old) is still unable to drink from this poorly-designed spout.

Do not buy this product.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.


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