Reusable straws have been a staple in my kitchen for several years. In fact, I have a variety of reusable straws neatly organized in my utensil drawer at all times. Before I switched, I used one or two plastic straws per day — one in my morning cup of coffee and the other for my smoothie. I’ve always been in the habit of drinking from straws, but I didn’t realize just how much this habit affected the environment when those straws were disposable.
Once I learned about single-use plastic pollution, I bought my first set of reusable straws. With so many brands and lengths to choose from and a variety of materials to consider — glass, silicone, metal, and even plastic — the sea of options was overwhelming for such a simple purchase. Still, I put a lot of thought into making the decision since it would be something I would use at least twice per day.
Since there are different properties of the various types of reusable straws, I recommend having a variety to choose from depending on the drink. For hot beverages like coffee, I prefer silicone straws since they don’t conduct heat. Silicone straws are also great for children since they can’t break or hurt their mouths. For cold drinks like smoothies, I go for the long metal or glass straws since those are easier to clean.
Over time, this investment will reduce your ecological footprint and save you money since reusable straws can last for several years. Whatever your drink of choice, here are the best reusable straws to have in your kitchen.
OXO Good Grips 4-Piece Reusable Straw and Brush Set with Case
What We Love: Compact carrying case, adjustable silicone tips for comfort, extra-long cleaning brush
What We Don't Love: Only includes two straws, pricey
Stainless steel straws are arguably the most durable. If you gravitate towards stainless steel appliances and gadgets, these reusable straws by OXO will fit right in with your kitchen. This 4-piece set includes everything you need to ditch plastic straws once and for all: two 10.5-inch stainless-steel straws, two adjustable silicone tips, a cleaning brush, and a carrying case for when you're on the go.
Since the carrying case is compact, it’s the perfect size to toss in your bag for that afternoon coffee shop iced chai or slip into your carry-on when traveling. The adjustable silicone tips add a nice touch since metal straws can become very hot or cold depending on the temperature of your drink. These also make the straws very comfortable for those with sensitivity issues.
Though they are dishwasher-safe, hand washing is recommended. The extra-long cleaning brush comes with a handle to make washing in the sink so much easier.
Price at time of publish: $14
Material: Stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | What’s Included: Two straws, silicone tips, cleaning brush, carrying case
VEHHE Metal Straws
What We Love: Includes straight and bent straws, safe design, fun rainbow print
What We Don't Love: Cleaning brush is shorter than the straws
Stephanie Marie Seferian, host of The Sustainable Minimalists podcast and author of “Sustainable Minimalism,” recommends VEHHE metal straws and uses them daily in her own home.
As a sustainability author and expert, Seferian is passionate about reducing plastic waste in all its forms as a means of preserving the planet for future generations. "My children like the neat colors," she says. "I appreciate that these straws are of high quality and come with a cleaning brush. They've lasted for four years and counting, so I'm a very happy customer!"
These food-grade straws are a great starter option for anyone new to sustainability. Each set comes with two straight straws that are 10.5 inches long and two bent straws just over 10 inches in length. The edges on all of them are slightly concave, so you won't hurt your teeth. When not in use, these easily store away in the included washable cotton-and-linen bag. While the set does come with the cleaning brush, it is slightly shorter than the straws, so they might need to take a few extra seconds of cleaning.
Price at time of publish: $7
Material: Stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | What’s Included: Four straws, cleaning brush, portable bag
Softy Straws Silicone Straws
What We Love: Wide diameter suitable for thick drinks, flexible, safe for kids and toddlers
What We Don't Love: No carrying case included
Silicone straws aren’t as popular as metal straws since some believe they're difficult when it comes to drinking thick beverages. The ones by Softy Straws are made with a thicker and more rigid silicone than other options, so they’re suitable for milkshakes and smoothies.
These silicone straws are 9 inches in length, safe in the dishwasher, and safe for kids and toddlers. The set though doesn’t include a carrying case and comes with a squeegee in lieu of a cleaning brush. However, the squeegee might be even more effective at cleaning than a cleaning brush since it scrapes all residue from the inside walls of the straws.
Price at time of publish: $15
Material: Silicone | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | What’s Included: Four straws, squeegee
Hummingbird Classic Clear Bent Glass Straws, 4 Pack
What We Love: Handmade, extra durable, heat resistant
What We Don't Love: No carrying case included, pricey
Of the various types of materials used to make reusable straws, I am most drawn to glass. They combine the safety of silicone with the durability of metal without the drawbacks. However, there is an obvious con: glass is prone to breaking. Fortunately, these ones by Hummingbird Glass Straws are made with extra durable glass that is resistant to heat and breaking.
These straws measure 9 inches in length and 9.5 millimeters in width. They’re also handmade in the U.S. Another perk of glass straws is they’re transparent, so you can make sure the included cleaning brush gets everything. If you want to sanitize them, they are also safe in the dishwasher.
Price at time of publish: $20
Material: Glass | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | What’s Included: Four straws, cleaning brush
Related: The Best Reusable Grocery Bags
Best with Case
FinalStraw Collapsible Reusable Metal Straw
What We Love: Collapses into carrying case for portability, silicone tips, keychain attachment
What We Don't Love: Pricey, only includes one straw
Reusable straws aren’t just for the home. While I wasn’t initially comfortable with the idea of bringing a reusable straw with me to restaurants, it is the more eco-friendly option for soda pop and cocktails.
The FinalStraw is collapsible for maximum portability. When extended, the straw measures 23 centimeters. When collapsed, it’s only 7 centimeters. Its included case has a keychain attachment making this incredibly hard to forget. There's also a telescoping cleaning brush for washing on the go.
While some metal straws have sharp edges at the opening, this one has silicone tips at both ends for comfort and safety. All materials are food-grade, resistant to rust, and can handle temperatures up to 250 degrees. As the name suggests, FinalStraw is designed to last a lifetime.
Price at time of publish: $20
Material: Stainless steel with silicone tips | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | What’s Included: Straw, cleaning brush, carrying case
Related: The Best Travel Coffee Mugs
With two durable metal straws, adjustable silicone tips, a cleaning brush, and compact travel case, the OXO Good Grips 4-Piece Stainless Steel Reusable Straw Set (view at Amazon) checks all the boxes. The VEHHE (view at Amazon) offers great value and you can buy enough for the family without breaking the bank.
What to Look for When Buying Reusable Straws
Reusable straws can be made from a variety of materials, including stainless steel, glass, silicone, plastic, and more. Each has its pros and cons. Fortunately, all are affordable, durable, and more sustainable options than disposable straws.
Metal straws made from stainless steel are the most durable. They’re also very affordable and come in a variety of lengths and colors. However, stainless steel straws can pose an injury to the drinker due to their sharp edges. They can also become very hot or cold depending on the temperature of the drink.
Glass straws are very durable and come in a variety of widths, making them a popular choice for those looking for wide straws for boba and smoothies. Since they’re clear, they’re the easiest to clean and ensure no residue is left behind. They’re also dishwasher-safe. However, they can break under certain conditions. Biting a glass straw may also harm your teeth.
Silicone reusable straws are the safest choice for children since they don’t have any sharp edges and they can’t break. However, they’re the least durable and may need to be replaced more often. The taste, color, and smell of beverages may transfer to the silicone materials over time. Bamboo is a biodegradable option for reusable straws, but some user reviews report that they break down too quickly. Bamboo straws can darken, split, grow mold, and impart a flavor to your drink.
Some reusable straws are made from thick plastic. If you’re trying to stay away from plastic for environmental reasons, these may not be an option for you. However, these are popular for tumblers since they tend to be longer in length, affordable, and safe for kids.
Drinking from a reusable straw requires an extra step. Instead of tossing a single-use plastic straw into the trash, you must clean and/or sanitize your reusable straw for the next use. When looking for the best reusable straw, consider one that includes a cleaning brush or squeegee to easily wipe away residue between uses. Many are also dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.
Are reusable straws better for the environment?
Reusable straws are environmentally friendly because they have a long life, unlike disposable plastic straws that are discarded after a single use. Those that are made from recyclable materials are especially better for the environment.
“Reusable straws reduce unnecessary single-use plastic waste, which is important because plastic pollutes the planet. Its production also contributes to global warming because plastic is derived from fossil fuels,” explains Seferian. “Anyone who drinks regularly from a straw should consider purchasing them as a means of reducing the amount of plastic waste thrown away.”
When should you replace a reusable straw?
Reusable straws can last for over a year. With proper care, they can last for several years. Cleaning your reusable straw thoroughly will extend its lifespan. When your reusable straw develops an odor, color change, or strange taste, it may be time for a replacement.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Lacey Muinos is a food and product writer for Simply Recipes. She covers health and wellness topics with a specialty in food. As a self-proclaimed foodie, she has an impressive collection of kitchen tools which includes her reusable straws.
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Schnurr REJ, Alboiu V, Chaudhary M, et al. Reducing marine pollution from single-use plastics (Sups): A review. Mar Pollut Bull. 2018;137:157-171.