Ditch the disposable mindset, look for straws designed to last, and enjoy the perks of sustainable sipping.
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Americans use more than 100 million single-use plastic straws per year, most of which end up in a landfill. Reusable straws are an eco-friendly alternative. Of course, among reusable straws, every material has its strengths and drawbacks. We’re here to help you make sense of the options and determine which are the best reusable straws for your household.
- BEST OVERALL: FORI Reusable Silicone Straws
- RUNNER-UP: Big Bee, Little Bee Reusable Silicone Drinking Straws
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: WISKEMA Stainless Steel Straws
- BEST SILICONE: Flathead Products Reusable Silicone Drinking Straws
- BEST PLASTIC: Fiesta First Long Reusable Plastic Straws
- BEST METAL: Hiware 12-Pack Rose Gold Metal Straws
- BEST BAMBOO: Jungle Culture Reusable Bamboo Straws
- BEST GLASS: Hummingbird Glass Straws
Types of Reusable Straws
Choose materials that are non-toxic, sustainable, and highly durable. Go for products that not only work but are enjoyable to use and look good, too.
If you like the feel of plastic straws but are looking for a healthier alternative, silicone is a great option. Silicone is a rubber-like material that decomposes more easily than plastic and is friendlier to oceans. Silicone straws are soft, flexible, and hold up in both hot and cold temperatures. Silicone straws are also safe to use with kids, older folks, and people who have trouble eating or have tooth sensitivities. Look for options that are food-grade and FDA-approved.
On the downside, silicone can sometimes emit an odor or taste, which can be reduced through dishwashing or soaking in soapy water.
One primary concern about banning plastic straws is its effect on people with disabilities. Many people, including the elderly, make regular use of disposable straws, so finding a safe, easy-to-use alternative can be challenging. Beyond silicone, another option is reusable plastic straws. These straws feature a harder plastic than the bendy straws we’re accustomed to using. Look for straws made of food-grade, BPA-free plastic. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is an industrial chemical.
Metal straws are growing in popularity. They are pretty to look at and often come in a range of colors. Many straws are made of nickel, a commonplace metal (found in smartphones, money, batteries, utensils, and more). Titanium straws are another option. These are non-toxic and allergen-free. However, titanium is expensive. Lastly, there’s stainless steel. Stainless steel is non-toxic, won’t leach chemicals, and is considered food-grade, though it may have a slight metallic taste (which you can avoid by using a silicone straw tip). On the downside, stainless steel requires more labor and greenhouse gas emissions to produce.
Bamboo is a fast-growing plant whose wood serves a range of functions. Because bamboo grows so fast, it is sustainable and poses fewer health and environmental risks than many other straw materials. So if eco-friendliness is your watchword, go with bamboo.
On the downside, bamboo straws can break and splinter more quickly, so be sure not to bite down or expose them to too much pressure. Because of this, bamboo straws may not be suitable for young children. For everyday use, make sure your bamboo straws are cleaned (inside and out) with a straw brush and dried properly to avoid mold and water damage.
Glass is an all-natural, abundant material. It does take quite a bit of energy to make, but it’s 100 percent recyclable. A drawback for glass straws is that they can break. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen often. Glass straws are made of borosilicate, a hardy and temperature-resistant material, usable for both hot and cold beverages. Treat glass straws like any other glass cookware and containers. They are typically dishwasher safe and you can sanitize them easily.
What to Look for When Buying Reusable Straws
After deciding which material is right for you, there are several other factors to weigh. Do you enjoy thick smoothies? Cocktails? Do you travel a lot? Do your kids use straws? Your lifestyle and diet will determine which style is best for you.
Length & Width
It’s possible to find reusable straws in a range of lengths and widths, from five to 12 inches long, and from a quarter-inch to over a half-inch in diameter. A standard drinking straw is eight to 8.5 inches long and 0.24 inches in diameter.
If you enjoy smoothies, select a wider straw, between 0.30 to 0.36 inches in diameter. For oversized travel mugs and tall milkshake glasses, choose an extra-long straws, from eight to 12 inches long. Short straws are mainly used for cocktails, stemless ware, or sippy cups, and come in five and six-inch lengths, with a standard 0.24-inch diameter.
Straight vs. Bend
Fortunately, you often don’t have to choose between straight or bendy reusable straws. Many brands offer variety packs, including several straight and slightly bent options. The choice typically comes down to personal preference, as both types function similarly and are relatively easy to clean. One point to consider is whether you (or a loved one) will be sitting or lying in bed while drinking. For these folks, bendy straws are often more comfortable to use.
Ease of Cleaning
It’s essential to clean all reusable straws thoroughly. Most makers include a brushy straw cleaner, which scours the inner channel. A few brands make silicone straws that snap open, so you can easily clean the inside. Most silicone, metal, and glass straws are also dishwasher friendly. Silicone and bamboo straws can grow mold if not properly cleaned and dried, so make sure you store your straws in a well-ventilated place.
Reusable straws are slender and, with the right carrying case, easy to slip into a purse, backpack, or carry-on. Many companies include a travel or storage case and a cleaning brush, which is also portable. That said, if you are a frequent traveler and straw enthusiast, you may want to invest in a collapsible drinking straw.
Our Top Picks
FORI straws are different—and better. Thanks to their unique “snap-apart” design, each straw splits open (when you snap it), allowing you to rinse the inside thoroughly and efficiently. This gives you a better clean than you would with a brush, ensuring a pleasant drinking experience and a longer lifespan for your straws. These eight straws are made of food-grade silicone, which is non-toxic, BPA-free, and safe for kids and toddlers. Each straw is nine inches long, with a 0.27 inner diameter, suitable for cold and hot drinks. With their pretty pastel colors—and the fact that they come in a plastic-free cardboard box—Fori straws will give you plenty to enjoy.
Big Bee, Little Bee Reusable Silicone Drinking Straws cut down on waste. Their special sectional design allows you to create your desired straw height, and the detachable parts—which are easy to clean—are made of 100 percent food-safe silicone (free of BPA, phthalates, and lead). Soft and flexible, this set comes with five full-length, multi-colored straws parts, which can be shortened or lengthened depending on the container you’re drinking from. Store your straws in the handy carrying cases (two are included).
WISKEMA straws are as fun to look at as they are to use. Made of 18/8 food-grade stainless steel, they shouldn’t have an aftertaste, and are colorfast, dishwasher safe, and won’t rust. If you’re worried about biting down on hard metal, WISKEMA has the solution. Every straw in their 16-piece set comes with a silicone tip, making them excellent for people with tooth sensitivities. This collection includes a variety of lengths—eight straight and eight bent straws—tips, a carrying bag, and four cleaning brushes—one for every member of a four-person family.
These 10 straws are affordable, durable, and work like a charm. Made of 100 percent food-grade silicone, these straws from Flathead Products are kid-friendly and environmentally friendly. Each is a standard size and width, with a slight bend for easy sipping. Flathead ensures that its straws are dishwasher-safe and easy to clean with the included brush. The company recommends cleaning before use as silicone can occasionally emit a slight taste and odor. Also note that these straws are on the narrower side, so if you drink thick smoothies, that could be an issue. Otherwise, with rave reviews and a safety standard that’s hard to beat, Flathead straws will easily replace throw-aways in your kitchen. Store your pretty multi-colored straws in the included carrying case.
Fiesta First straws are plastic—but they’re reusable so you’ll still be saving plastic (and pennies) in the long-run. The company has chosen the highest quality food-safe hard plastic for these colorful straws, which are also free of BPA and phthalates. Each set comes with 20 straws, and you can choose from a variety of lengths and widths—short and long, narrow and extra-wide—to slurp up smoothies, drinks, and milkshakes with ease.
The straws are clear and come in five vibrant colors: blue, green, pink, red, and multi. A heavy-duty cleaning brush is included, which is custom-designed to fit this specific width. Be prepared for an occasional rough edge and, possibly, the faint taste or smell of plastic. Fiesta First 20-pack is great if your kids use straws a lot, or you’re planning a big party and don’t want to throw away a bunch of plastic straws.
These straws catch the eye with their sleek design and chic hues. Don’t bother searching for the ideal size, either. This 12-pack comes with every length and width you could need—in both bendy and straight styles. Made of 18/8 food-grade stainless steel, which is naturally BPA- and lead-free, they are colorfast and dishwasher-safe. Two nylon cleaning brushes and a natural cotton bag are included. The Hiware straws are a beautiful addition to any household. We’re partial to the elegant rose gold finish, but you can choose from a variety of colors, including black, rainbow, and silver.
Jungle Culture Reusable Bamboo Straws are manufactured by a socially responsible company and come directly from farmers and artisans in Vietnam. The bamboo is independently lab-tested to ensure it meets food safety standards. This set of 12 contains a variety of widths to suit any liquids—from milkshakes and smoothies to bubble tea, juices, and cocktails.
Taste-free, odor-free, dishwasher-safe, and easy to clean, Jungle Straws come with a cleaning brush, storage bag, and travel pouch. All packaging is also zero waste and recyclable. If you ever need to dispose of these straws, they are 100 percent biodegradable and compostable.
Beautiful and functional, Hummingbird Glass Straws are made in Colorado by a studio of glass artists. The glass is 100 percent non-toxic, certified BPA- and lead-free, and nearly indestructible. These glass straws are easy to clean—simply rinse or scrub with the included brush—and they are dishwasher safe, too. Over their lifespan, each Hummingbird Glass Straw can keep about 38,000 plastic straws from ending up in landfills and water systems.
The Advantages of Owning the Best Reusable Straws
Disposable straws have been the subject of some debate. Some view them as an easy way to help the environment. Others consider them a distraction from the dire issues facing our planet. In testing out reusable straws ourselves, we found that they help us slow down and savor beverages, cutting down on mindless consumption. Reusable straws also reduce solid waste, and being made of non-toxic materials, we think they are better for our bodies in the long run.
- Reusable straws help reduce solid waste.
- Reusable straws enhance enjoyment and cut down on mindless consumption.
- Reusable straws are healthier than plastic.
FAQ About Your New Reusable Straws
If you’re wavering on silicone versus metal or worried about safety concerns, here’s the bottom line: there is no perfect straw solution for everyone, but there is an ideal solution for you and your household.
Q. Are metal or silicone straws better?
It depends. Metal straws are ultra durable and excellent for travel, household use, or commercial settings (like restaurants). Silicone straws are typically safest for people of all ages and abilities. You can also get metal straws with silicone tips, which are great for people with sensitive teeth.
Q. Are stainless steel straws safe?
Yes, on the whole. However, if you have a big family, care for an aging parent, or have lots of pets, you may want to consider silicone straws instead.
Q. What are the safest reusable straws?
In general, silicone straws are safe because they are soft, flexible, and won’t cause injury. Silicone is also more eco-friendly than plastic.
Q. Are plastic straws reusable?
Some plastic straws are reusable. Disposable plastic straws should not be reused, as they cannot be adequately cleaned and sanitized.