Why do you use valve-free straws, do they leak? Are the materials safe? How do you clean the spinner?
– Frequently Asked Questions About the Zoomi and Sip & Spin Straw Cups
The Zoomi cup is easy to drink from, simple to clean, and durable. The valve-free straw allows easier sipping and reduces the risk of baby bottle tooth decay.
The Sip & Spin cup has a pinwheel that spins to make it fun to drink water.
Zoomi Cup Assembly
Our cups are most popular with toddlers and preschoolers. 6 months to 4 years is the typical age range for the Zoomi straw cup, and 12 months to 4 years for the Sip & Spin. However, due to their high flow design, the drinking rate is comfortable for older kids and even for adults. They hold a full cup (8.1 oz, 240 ml), so if you’re into it, give it a try.
Yes. We designed the Zoomi and Sip & Spin straws to be valve-free, so they are really easy to drink from. The Zoomi straw may be used with children 6 months and up.
We tested the Sip & Spin Straw on children 12 months and older–They easily drank from it, and were able to turn the disc after just a little practice. For light sippers, you can reconfigure the spinner so that it sits on the bottom of the cup to make it even easier to spin (see assembly graphics above for Sip & Spin Cup Assembly – Best for Ages 1-2).
Cups that are designed primarily to minimize leakage use valves or other flow restrictions, and while they may be a little better for your floors, they may not be the best overall fit for you and your family. Valves and flow restrictions add a risk factor for tooth decay, and make cups more difficult to drink from and clean. Our valve-free straw cups offer an excellent balance between better health, easy drinking, easy cleaning, and less spilling.
Our patent pending straw cups have spill traps in the air vent to reduce spills when knocked over, dropped, turned upside down, warmed up, etc. They’re not magical, but they are pretty awesome:
- Warming up + Upright – No leakage, vent prevents continuous eruptions when warming up
- Warming + Tipped up – Spill trap prevents streaming out the vent when the cup is tipped up like a baby bottle. But when the drink is cold, a few drops can get pushed back out the vent trap as the cup warms up (even after standing back upright). Drinking at a little lower angle (spout not submerged) will keep the vent clear and minimize leaks. See the next FAQ (5b) for more details.
- Turned upside down & shaken – Some spillage from the straw, but the vent spill trap prevents a continuous stream
- Knocked on side – Nothing to a few drops may come out
- Dropped – Some spillage through the straw, but won’t “shotgun” all over the place
- Straw flick – Nothing to a few drops may come out
So our cups are healthier and easier to use, and still pretty nice to your floors. Learn more about healthy hydration.
Many straw sippy cups leak out the straw when used with a cold drink. As the cup warms up, the liquid and air inside expand. If the cup has an air vent, the pressure will be released through the vent. Otherwise, the pressure will build and continuously push a stream of liquid out through the straw until the cup is at room temperature.
Since our straw cups have a vent, they won’t normally leak when standing upright. Our vent is located between the straw and lid spout (it’s very tiny to minimize all other types of spill, so you may not even see it). The vent has a spill trap to reduce all types of spills.
- If the cup is knocked over, or tipped up like a baby bottle when drinking, the spill trap will generally reduce that leak. If this cup has a cold drink, then the few drops that were caught in the vent trap (when tipped) can get pushed back out as the cup warms up. This type of leakage will be limited to just a few drops (not a continuous leak), and then the vent will clear and the leak will stop.
- To minimize leakage when transitioning from a bottle or sippy, first practice with non-refrigerated drinks. Once your child is drinking more upright (bottom of straw submerged, top of straw & spout not submerged), introduce cold drinks.
- To eliminate leak when filling or refilling the cup with a cold beverage, ensure the spout and straw bushing are dry. Taking a sip with the cup held upright will also clear the vent.
Drinking with the spout raised above the cold beverage clears the vent trap and consequently minimizes spills… and is also the best practice for straw cup training
- If the vent gets blocked, then you will get a continuous leak. You may have a small food particle blocking the vent, or a defective straw.
- A blocked vent is uncommon, and drinking at a lower angle to clear the vent should be tried first. If that doesn’t work, then clean the outside of the straw (where it mates with the spout) with a soft brush to remove food particles that may be blocking the vent. If cleaning doesn’t work, you may have a defective straw (please contact us).
The Zoomi straw is a single piece of flexible silicone. Since silicone is denser than water, it is naturally weighted (no plastic or metal is added). This straw is designed to work even if the cup is tilted sideways (up to about 80 deg), but will not work if the cup is tilted upside down (above 90 deg).
The flexible silicone Zoomi straw works even if the cup is tilted sideways
The Sip & Spin straw is flexible outside the cup, but rigid inside, so it must be held upright to drink and spin.
We carefully designed each piece to give great access for cleaning, so there are no small crevices or hidden compartments for bacteria or mold to hide in. We use precision manufacturing to make sure it’s easy to assemble (because it should NOT be hard to push a silicone straw through a spout hole!).
Hand Wash: (1) Fully disassemble; (2) wash in warm soapy water; (3) rinse with clean water; (4) shake straws to remove excess water; (5) store disassembled, or dry completely before reassembling.
Dishwasher: (1) Fully disassemble; (2) place all parts in a covered basket on the top rack of the dishwasher; (3) shake straws to remove excess water; (4) store disassembled, or dry completely before reassembling.
For more cleaning tips, see How to Clean and Prevent Mold in Sippy Cups, Straws, and Valves.
Simply follow the Hand Wash or Dishwasher steps shown above (fully disassemble, wash, shake dry, fully dry).
We recommend removing the silicone ring to get a thorough clean. The silicone ring should be removed after every use when used with milk, or in a humid environment.
You can remove the silicone ring with a blunt wooden or plastic toothpick. Or, you can just drag a couple of fingers across the seal and roll it out of the groove. It’s best to quickly try a few different locations around the seal to find the place where you can get a grip and roll it out the easiest. Placing a paper towel between your fingers and the seal helps a lot when it’s wet.
The Sip & Spin and Zoomi cups are ideal for using around the house. They fit in a car or stroller cup holder, and travel pretty well.
Our cups don’t have travel lids, so they’ll leak all over if you fill ’em and and let ’em lose in your bag. So don’t even try it!
Although they have their benefits, we’re not big fans of travel lids in general. Cups with separate lid covers usually aren’t totally leak proof, and they add another part to clean (and lose). Cups with sliding lids are difficult to clean and dry out, and tend to get crusty and gross underneath. So we recommend cups without travel lids for use around the house or light travel.
Consumer safety is our highest priority. We make the straws from FDA grade silicone. They are soft to avoid poking hazard during falls, yet durable to resist chewing. We make the cups from time-proven FDA grade polypropylene, and we use a special manufacturing process to add a polypropylene barrier over the graphics so they can’t be licked, chewed, or scratched. All materials are BPA-free, phthalate-free, nitrosamine-free, and PVC-free. In addition to thorough in-house safety testing, the cups have been safety tested by an independent CPSC accredited laboratory.
For more information about sippy cup materials, see the Best Sippy Cup Selection Guide.
Yes, you can use the Sip & Spin straw or the Zoomi straw with all of our cups and lids.
When fluid is drawn through the Sip & Spin straw, it passes over and around the pinwheel disc. The friction between the fluid and the disc actually causes the disc to spin without any paddles! It’s so simple, but it took us many design iterations to perfect. Have fun with it!
No way – we wouldn’t put batteries or electronics in our child’s cup! It uses drinking suction to spin the pinwheel.
Nope. Our cups can be configured with either the Sip & Spin pinwheel straw or the one-piece Zoomi straw.
Nope. The Sip & Spin straw can be used on its own. It is designed to attach to the rim of practically any open cup!
The Sip & Spin straw can be used with regular cups too