These days, most of us are looking for ways to be a little kinder to the planet. You might not give much thought to the plastic straws that you use to drink your favorite beverages, but they can actually do a lot of damage to the environment, especially our oceans.
If you prefer drinking through straws but want to do your part to go green, reusable drinking straws are the way to go. Made from durable materials that you can wash after each use, they cut down on plastic waste, while still allowing you to sip your soda or water the way you like. Best of all, they don’t cost much, so you can help the environment and save yourself some money at the same time.
Check out our buying guide to learn all you need to know about choosing the best reusable drinking straws. We’ve included a few of our favorite options, too, such as our top pick from Yihong, which are made from sturdy, food-grade stainless steel and come with brushes to make cleaning the straws as easy as possible.
Considerations when choosing reusable drinking straws
Reusable drinking straws can be made from a few different materials that hold up well to repeated use and cleaning. Following are the most common options:
Stainless steel is highly durable, dishwasher-safe, and rust-resistant. Stainless steel straws aren’t the best option for drinking hot beverages, though, because the metal conducts heat so well.
Silicone is another extremely durable material that can last for years. It’s also dishwasher safe, doesn’t change the taste of beverages, and can be used with both hot and cold beverages.
Plastic is dishwasher-safe and pretty durable, though it can show wear and tear from your teeth over time. It’s important to choose BPA-free reusable plastic straws, but most are. They’re not the best option for hot beverages, though.
Bamboo is a highly durable natural material. Bamboo reusable straws can sometimes give beverages an earthy flavor, though, and they’re not dishwasher-safe. They work well for both hot and cold beverages.
Glass isn’t as durable as other straw materials, because it’s prone to breaking and cracking. Glass reusable straws are dishwasher safe, though, and won’t change the taste of your favorite beverages. Tempered glass straws are a good option for both hot and cold beverages.
As with disposable plastic straws, you can find reusable drinking straws in a few different lengths. Most range from eight to 10.5 inches in length, but you can find straws that are longer for larger cups.
Straws are also available in different diameters, which can be important if you’re drinking thicker beverages, such as smoothies or milkshakes. You can usually find straws that range from 0.24 to 0.30 inches in inner diameter
Plenty of reusable straws feature a straight design that can work well for most beverages. You can also find some reusable drinking straws that are curved to mimic the design of bendable plastic straws. Some people find these curved straws more comfortable to drink from, but if you’re not sure which shape you prefer, opt for a set that includes both straight and curved straws.
Reusable straws are nearly always sold in sets that include more than one straw. You can find small sets that feature as few as three or four, as well as large sets that contain 10 or more. It’s a good idea to have extra straws on hand, in case some require cleaning, and if you have a large family, you’ll definitely prefer a larger set.
Reusable drinking straws that are made from harder materials like stainless steel or glass often feature silicone tips on the end of the straws. The silicone is softer and more comfortable against the lips and can also protect your teeth from accidental damage.
Cleaning reusable drinking straws by hand can be a challenge, which is why many manufacturers include cleaning brushes with their straw sets. These brushes are narrow enough to easily fit inside the straws, so you can be sure to remove any residue inside.
Many restaurants and other outlets that serve beverages still provide disposable plastic drinking straws. If you want to bring your reusable straws to use on the go, choose a set that comes with some type of carrying case. The case may be a slim box or a bag that helps keep your straws clean when they’re in your purse, backpack, or another bag.
You can expect to pay between $5 and $30 for reusable drinking straws. For a pack of high-quality stainless steel, glass, or bamboo straws, you’ll typically spend between $8 and $14.
Q. What type of reusable straws are easiest to clean?
A. If cleanup is a concern, opt for reusable drinking straws that are dishwasher safe. You can throw stainless, glass, silicone, and plastic reusable straws right in the dishwasher with your glasses and plates.
Q. What type of reusable straws are best for drinking coffee or other hot beverages?
A. You should choose reusable drinking straws that are made from a material that doesn’t conduct heat well. Silicone and tempered glass are usually your best options.
Reusable drinking straws we recommend
Best of the best: Yihong’s Stainless Steel Metal Straws
Our take: Long-lasting, sturdy straws that are extremely easy to clean and will make you a reusable straw convert in no time.
What we like: Includes four straight and four curved straws, as well as two brushes to make cleaning a breeze. Dishwasher safe too. Doesn’t have any metallic aftertaste. Fits a 30-ounce tumbler well. Available in a wide range of metallic colors.
What we dislike: Stainless steel retains both cold and heat, so they don’t work well for hot beverages.
Best bang for your buck: Amzsockets’ Reusable Plastic Straws
Our take: A generous set of plastic straws in fun colors that’s extremely affordable.
What we like: Includes 25 straws that fit 20-ounce tumblers well. Bright, colorful design appeals to kids. Doesn’t contain BPA or any other potentially hazardous chemicals. Includes a cleaning brush. Set includes eight different colors, so you can assign specific colors to family members. A truly budget-friendly option.
What we dislike: The rubber stoppers can’t be removed.
Our take: The ideal set for anyone who isn’t sure whether silicone or stainless steel straws are for them.
What we like: Contains eight silicone straws and two stainless steel straws. Includes cleaning brushes and a storage bag. Features several different colors. Straws fit takeout cups well. Silicone options are flexible, making them easy to place in a lunch box.
What we dislike: Straws don’t fit 30-ounce tumblers.
Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.