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There’s no doubt that one of the quickest ways to cool off in summer is with an ice-cold popsicle, but a love of frozen treats knows no season. And with a quality popsicle mold in your kitchen equipment arsenal, you can skip the trip to the grocery store and whip up custom frozen confections at home, so you’ll have a steady supply on hand whenever cravings strike.
Popsicle molds are typically made of silicone or plastic and come in different shapes and sizes. Some are even designed to make sure getting your popsicle out is a breeze, such as our top pick Zoku Classic Pop Molds. Besides convenience, using popsicle molds to make your own frozen pops means you can experiment with different flavors and ingredients like juice, fruit and vegetable purees, yogurt, plus add-ins like granola or sprinkles. Since you’re in control of what goes into the pops, you can forgo the artificial sweeteners and mystery dyes in favor of wholesome ingredients. "If you want to do no sugar added pops, try using dense fruits like banana or applesauce," says Megan Janes of Seattle Pops. "This will help with consistency when frozen.”
One of our favorite things to do in the summer is to make a double batch of smoothies and pour the leftovers into popsicle molds. Make smoothies with different seasonal fruits from the farmers' market, especially early-summer strawberries and peak-summer peaches. "Use in-season fruits from local farmers' markets," Megan says. "This is the best way to get the best flavors!"
Here are the best popsicle molds for making delicious frozen treats in your home.
Best Overall: Zoku Classic Pop Molds
What We Love: Snap-on lid, sturdy base, comfortable to hold, eye-catching design
What We Don't Love: Hand wash only, opaque holder
This popsicle kit is inexpensive, stress-free to use, looks nice, is easy to hold, is a great size, and cleans easily. The Zoku Classic Pops are made of BPA-free plastic and include six molds and a green carrying base that's comfortable to carry and has a striking appearance. The sturdy sticks are made of two pieces that only need to be put together once and then are locked into place. and are comfortable to hold. The molds can be filled while resting in the holder, or you remove them individually and fill them that way. Once filled, the drip guard snaps securely into place on the mold and can be put on before or after placing the mold into the base.
During testing, our reviewer found it was easy to move the base to the freezer, moving it without fear across the kitchen. The popsicles can be removed one at a time from the base instead of having to remove them all from the freezer, so you can savor each and every one. These popsicles are a rounded shape that's comfortable to eat and yet, are still a satisfying size. When the popsicle mold tests were warmed by hand, they slipped out easily. One downside is this kit is not dishwasher safe but they are easy to wash by hand.
Material: Polypropylene | Popsicle Size: 4 fluid ounces | Dishwasher Safe: No | Dimensions (LxWxH): 8.5 x 4 x 4.75 inches
Best Overall, Runner-Up: Tovolo Groovy Pop Molds
What We Love: Individual molds are stable on a flat surface, deep drip guard, sturdy stick, transparent mold
What We Don't Love: Large and tall
The Tovolo Groovy Pop Molds, which include six BPA-free plastic molds, sticks, and a convenient base to set in, are a stress-free and easy-to-use way to a summertime cooldown. The stick and drip guard are one solid piece and snap onto the mold securely, and each individual mold stays stable on a flat surface, eliminating the need to hold the mold while filling. Our tester also found the sturdy base is easy to safely move to the freezer. After freezing the pops, you can carry all six with the base out of the freezer or take one popsicle at a time. The transparent mold lets the color of the popsicle shine through and removes the guesswork on the flavor of the popsicle you’re about to enjoy. During testing, our reviewer did have to run the molds under warm water for a couple of seconds to release the popsicle.
The large size of these popsicles are great for breakfast popsicles but are difficult to fit in the freezer and may not be desirable for children, or for decadent pops. Wide and tall, these popsicles take effort to eat, unlike shapes that fit more easily inside your mouth.
"I really like the Tovolo Groovy popsicle molds. They make a classic shape and a good capacity, and the popsicles are easy to remove from the molds. The only trick is keeping track of the individual components!" — Emma Christensen, Editor in Chief
Material: Plastic | Popsicle Size: 5 fluid ounces | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Dimensions (LxWxH): 6.75 x 6.25 x 7.75 inches
Best for Toddlers: Baker Boutique Mini Popsicle Mold
What We Love: Compact, easy release, thumb grip
What We Don’t Love: Toy-like appearance
Since little kids might make less mess with a smaller pop, it's good to have a separate set for them. Plus, these will come in handy for the inevitable sore throat!
This mini set makes seven mini round popsicles via silicone and BPA-free plastic molds. Not only are the popsicles mini, but the mold itself is compact! Our tester was able to hold the whole mold in one hand, which makes transferring to the freezer a breeze. The low profile is convenient for storing where you have a small freezer or it's just chock full of premade meals. The drip guard and stick come in two separate pieces that easily snap together, and since each piece is a different color, the drip guards and sticks can be mixed and matched, if desired. After removing the whole mold from the freezer, our smaller testers released a popsicle by peeling back the silicone and pulling out the popsicle. No water is needed! The stick has a thumb grip that is very comfortable to hold and the drip guard is wide enough to catch drips.
The kit is dishwasher safe and cleans up easily. It’s recommended to boil the mold for a minute before using it for the first time. One note from our tester was that this brightly colored mold has the look of a toy, which may not be desirable for older children or adults, and could be confused by a child for an actual toy.
Material: Silicone | Popsicle Size: 1.5 fluid ounces | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Dimensions (LxWxH): 6.3 x 6.3 x 3.1 inches
Best Silicone: Lékué Stackable Popsicle Molds
What We Love: Easy release, colorful, multiple-use base, large popsicles but compact,
What We Don't Love: Can leak, only 4 molds
The Lekue Stackable Popsicle Molds can come individually or as a set of four molds. The horizontal mold includes a fill line and is easy to fill and add pieces of fruit or swirls. The stick has a line to show how far to push it into the mold that ensures comfortable holding before you snap the transparent plastic lid easily into place.
What's different about these is how you freeze them. The molds stack on top of each other, removing the need for a sturdy base while saving space. To release the popsicle from the mold, remove the lid and peel the base away from the popsicle. The finished popsicle is a nice size for eating and, though the stick doesn’t include a drip guard, the silicone mold can work as a popsicle rest or drip catcher. The molds are brightly colored and the large, sturdy pieces are easy to move in and out of the freezer.
Our testing found that, for these molds to work properly, remember to insert the stick before filling or it will leak. The pieces are lightweight in the dishwasher and may need to be secured to keep from falling through the rack.
Material: Silicone | Popsicle Size: 3 fluid ounces | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Dimensions (LxWxH): 6.5 x 3 x 1 inches
Related: The Best Ice Cream Scoops
Best Stainless Steel: Onyx POP004 Stainless Steel Popsicle Mold
What We Love: Comes with reusable bamboo sticks, extra silicone pieces, removable drip guard and mold
What We Don’t Love: Pricey, narrow popsicle opening
The ONYX Stainless Steel Popsicle mold is made of 18/8 food-grade stainless steel, which according to Megan of Seattle Pops, is what their commercial-grade popsicle molds are made of. This mold makes classically shaped, picture-perfect popsicles.
The six molds rest in the metal holder easily and can be removed one at a time. Thankfully, the drip guard has a silicone piece that surrounds the opening to make the bamboo stick stay in place and not end up crooked in the popsicle. The kit comes with extra silicone pieces, in modern colors, in case some are lost. During our testing, the reusable bamboo sticks didn’t stain even with the use of fruit juice. Plus, the finished popsicles can be stored in the freezer and the mold can be used again to make more! The popsicles released easily from the mold and were comfortable to hold and eat.
The downsides include that the popsicle mold is more narrow than other molds, which made filling them a delicate endeavor. Stainless steel is much colder to the touch and more expensive than silicone or plastic molds. Though not dishwasher safe, the mold was easy to clean.
Material: 18/8 stainless steel | Popsicle Size: 4 fluid ounces | Dishwasher Safe: No | Dimensions (LxWxH): 8 x 4 x 5.5 inches
Related: The Best Ice Makers
Best Collapsible : Manba Silicone Popsicle Mold
What We Love: Easy storage, bold colors, fun shape
What We Don’t Love: Drip guard, short interior stick
Bold and bright Manba Silicone Popsicle Mold comes with two molds of six, for a total of 12 popsicles. The stick is made of two pieces, a round drip guard and a stick that is inserted into the drip guard before using. When fully extended, the popsicles are narrow with a tapered design. When folded, the molds can be used to make ice cubes, but the sticks are too long for making mini popsicles.
Our tester found filling the molds is a breeze and the mold is sturdy whether all the cavities are filled or not. Once frozen, testers removed the popsicles from the mold by pushing them up from the bottom. It releases easily without running them under warm water. The popsicle is a nice size and shape for eating and the stick is comfortable to hold. Though technically dishwasher safe, it is recommended to hand wash the molds.
One drawback of these molds is that the drip guard needs to be pushed onto the stick very tightly to stay in place each time it is used. Also, the interior stick is short, which can come out if pulled when removing the popsicle from the mold.
Material: Silicone and BPA-free plastic | Popsicle Size: 4 fluid ounces | Dishwasher Safe: Yes, but not recommended | Dimensions (LxWxH): 7 x 4.8 x 3.9 inches
Related: The Best Ice Cream Makers
If you looking for a compact and colorful popsicle mold, Zoku Classic Pop Molds will not disappoint. For individual molds in a classic shape, Tovolo Groovy Pop Molds' sturdy plastic and easy-to-use base will help you make sweet treats.
What Are the Other Options?
Helistar Silicone Ice Pop Molds: These colorful and very affordable molds were previously on our list of recommendations for those on a tight budget. But after testing, we believe you're better off buying something that costs a few more dollars. Our tester seemed to only really like the mold's color and that the sticks are one simple piece. The downsides are the material isn't BPA-free, they were the hardest popsicles to release, the set came with zero instructions, and the stick and drip guard were small and ended up crooked. And then, once you're done, it's bulky to store.
How We Tested
Our tester Rachel Knecht looked over our previous recommendations and sifted through dozens of highly-rated popsicle mold options to choose her top picks. We then purchased these products for Rachel so she could put them to the test in her home kitchen. She assessed the design and checked the specifications. To test them, she used each to make both fruit-based and cream-based popsicles. Then, she washed and dried each one to see if all the stickiness came off or if anything warped in the dishwasher.
After testing, Lizzy submitted feedback about what she liked and didn’t like about each product and rated each one on the following features: Design, Ease of Cleaning, and Overall Value. Learn more about how we test products.
What to Look for When Buying Popsicle Molds
The type of material the popsicle mold is made of affects its durability and how easily frozen popsicles release from the mold. Popsicle molds are commonly made of silicone and plastic, but there are also metal molds on the market.
Silicone is flexible which makes releasing frozen pops easier, but you need to handle the molds carefully when filling and transferring the mold to the freezer. You’ll also want to ensure that there’s a dedicated, flat space in the freezer with nothing else around it. If the mold is bumped or jostled, it can cause spillage, which is especially messy when it happens in the freezer.
Plastic tends to be inexpensive, making for a budget-friendly option. But once plastic gets cold, it’s more prone to cracking or breaking if dropped on a hard floor. Unlike silicone molds, most plastic molds are dishwasher safe.
If you’re looking to purchase a metal popsicle mold, opt for stainless steel over aluminum since it's more durable and less prone to rusting. Stainless steel is also an excellent alternative if you find silicone molds challenging. Metal sets usually come with wooden popsicle sticks, which means you’ll need to restock once the starter supply runs out. And metal sets can often be bulky, taking up extra space in the freezer.
Popsicle sizes range from two to four fluid ounces. Though there isn’t a standard size pop, per se, the size you’re used to finding at the grocery store is typically around 3 fluid ounces. Popsicle molds designed for toddlers are smaller, around 1 ounce.
Most popsicle mold kits come with a base and six molds. Most popsicle molds are designed as a single piece (base) with individual cavities and individual sticks or handles. For these, you’ll want to consider the height of the tray since popsicles typically have to be stored upright to freeze. If space is at a premium, look for stackable options or those that can be frozen sideways.
How long do popsicles take to freeze?
Typically, popsicles need at least eight hours (or overnight) to freeze.
Can you put ice cream or kulfi in popsicle molds?
Yes. Many popsicle mold manufacturers state that a variety of ingredients can be used in popsicles, including ice cream. If you’re layering different kinds of ice cream in a popsicle mold, it’s best to soften the ice cream at room temperature. The base for kulfi, a frozen North Indian ice cream-like dessert made from sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream, can be poured into molds and set up in the freezer like other frozen confections. Because of its delicate nature, kulfi is best frozen in silicone molds.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Food writer and avid home cook Layla Khoury-Hanold is the person friends and family turn to for recipe ideas and product recommendations (she once made 16 cheesecakes to find the best springform pan). An intrepid researcher, she mines her own experience along with internet guides and consumer reviews to do the legwork so home cooks can find the product that best suits their needs.
Our tester Rachel Knecht has written and tested recipes for Simply Recipes since 2018.
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