5 Best Reusable Straws & When Plastic Is Okay (2019)

reusable straws

Recently, I’ve seen some of the most impassioned arguments on social media over reusable straws. No matter where you land on plastic straw bans, I think we can all agree that something has to change.

Take the number 500 million. That’s a huge number. In the United States, we use (and throw away) 500 million plastic straws every single day. And if banning plastic straws across the board seems like a simple, harmless way to reduce ocean pollution, then you, along with myself, have been blessed with health.

I am physically disabled and my condition doesn’t currently mean that I rely on plastic straws to drink, but there are many disabled folks who do and these bans put an extra strain on people who are already marginalized and, often, financially strained.

There isn’t a safe, realistic alternative to plastic straws for everyone because either they are a physical danger (think stainless steel straws and a seizure), folks simply do not have the physical capacity to clean a reusable straw, or they don’t have the financial wiggle room to buy straws to carry with them.

It comes down to this, straw bans are problematic if they do not make allowance for disabled folks, especially when we aren’t also rushing to ban our plastic lids, utensils, and stirrers from the same station we’d get our straws.

If you have the ability to starting using reusable straws, we need to do it. The environment, the ocean, and that sea turtle will thank you as we chip away at that huge number together. At the same time, please don’t shame anyone using or requesting a plastic straw even if they look “healthy.” You have no idea what their medical situation is.

For those of us able to, let’s look at what our best options are to do our part in reducing plastic waste.

What Are the Best Reusable Straws?

SIlicone and metal straws Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Mix of steel and silicone
  • Available in straight and bent
  • Available in smoothie sizes
Price: $9.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Folding silicone straws Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Easy to travel with
  • Comfortable silicone
  • Comes with case
Price: $7.68 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Metal and duochrome straws Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Eco-friendly stainless steel
  • Four shapes and sizes
  • Fun duo-chrome finish
Price: $7.68 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Plastic straws Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Non-toxic plastic
  • Affordable
  • Fits Yeti and Ozark tumbers
Price: $6.98 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Bamboo straws Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Natural and sustainable
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Affordable
Price: $13.89 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Kitchen Up Silicone & Stainless Steel 8 Pack

    Pros:
    • Get to try both silicone and stainless steel
    • Dishwasher safe and comes with cleaning brushes
    • Different sizes available
    • Fun colors
    • Tall enough for Yeti and Ozark tumblers
    Cons:
    • Metal is conductive so not best for hot beverages
    • Not everyone loves the bend
    • Steel not best for kids

    Perfect for starting out in the reusable straw world, this set comes with both silicone and stainless steel straws so you can get a sense which you and your family prefers.

    Silicone straws are soft and flexible. You can bend and twist them all around. This makes them more comfortable for some and safer for little ones who tend to bite down on straws.

    In this pack you get six brightly colored silicone straws. If you don’t like the bend, they also come in straight.

    Stainless steel straws are extremely eco-friendly and can last you forever. Plus it’s cute that these have the little ribs you’d see on disposable plastic straws. Some people are more sensitive to the feeling of metal in their mouth than others so this set is a good way to try out steel but have silicone back ups.

    Stainless steel isn’t best for small children because of the possibility they could bite down too hard or bump their teeth.

    Both materials can be run through the dishwasher but to be certain they’re clean you’ll want to use the included brushes to give the inside of the tube a scrub.

    This set comes with the sort of slim straws you’re used to in plastic. If you mostly use straws for thick smoothies or bubble tea, Kitchen Up has this same set with thicker straws that make drinking easier.

  2. 2. Rucacia Folding Silicone Drinking Straw

    Pros:
    • Collapsable and easy to travel with
    • Comfortable silicone
    • Comes with carrying case and brush
    • Fits most Yeti and Ozark tumblers
    • Dishwasher safe
    Cons:
    • Color is random
    • Trickier to clean
    • Thin sections make it more prone to tearing if handled roughly

    I’d be remiss I didn’t include a collapsible style straw which has gotten a lot of media attention. It’s unique, gadget-y, fun to show off, and easier to carry than a full straw.

    The straw is made up of a food-grade silicone straw with four stainless steel tubes surrounding it. The steel gives the straw its structure so it can stand up in your drink and fold up in a more organized way.

    So while it looks like a stainless steel straw, you’re actually using a silicone straw with a steel exoskeleton. Both ends of the straw are capped in silicone for comfort on your mouth.

    It folds up and fits into its own special case that it comes with which is easy to put on your keychain or throw in your bag. You also get a cleaning brush but this straw is dishwasher safe which is good because not only do you have the straw portion, but you have the added section between the straw and the metal to keep clean.

    The Rucacia Straw has five different color carrying cases to choose from: green, black, grey, blue, and pink.

  3. 3. KissWill Stainless Steel Straws

    Pros:
    • Eco-friendly stainless steel
    • Four different sizes and shapes
    • Plain steel look or fun multi-chrome finish
    • Dishwasher safe and comes with brushes
    • Fits Yeti and Ozark type tumblers
    Cons:
    • Steel isn’t the best choice for children
    • Some won’t like metal feel
    • Not best for hot beverages

    Environmentally friendly, durable, and easy to sterilize, stainless steel was one of the first reusable alternatives to plastic straws. Hikers and campers have been using them for years because they won’t break and being smooth and hard they’re easy to clean.

    This set comes with eight straws: two tall and straight, two tall and bent, two short and straight, and two short and bent. In each pair you have one plain stainless steel straw and one with a multi-chrome finish that will shift colors in the light. The different colors can also help you remember which cup is yours.

    I love that you have so many size and style options here. You have straws tall enough for your tumblers but also shorter ones for small drinks.

    Being metal, they have to be used with more care. They aren’t the safest for children or people who have uncontrolled movements or seizures as they could easily bump their face or teeth into the metal which no one wants.

    If the metal feeling or taste is a deal-breaker for you, they make food-grade silicone straw tips that cover the drinking end of your straw to make them more comfortable.

    These come with included carrying case and two cleaning brushes.

  4. 4. Amzsocket BPA-Free Drinking Straws

    Pros:
    • Made of non-toxic, durable plastic
    • Cute colors
    • Transparent makes them easier to clean
    • Fits Yeti and Ozark type tumblers
    • Comes with cleaning brush
    • More affordable
    Cons:
    • They’re still plastic
    • Not bendy
    • Breakable if you really try
    • Not as long lasting

    Okay, they’re plastic which is what we’re trying to get away from, but these straws are reusable and cheap which makes them more accessible than some other materials.

    In this set you get 25 straws in eight different colors. The plastic is food-grade and free of BPA, BPS, PVC, and phthalates.

    The cool swirls are part of the plastic themselves so they won’t chip or flake off over time. The half-clear design also allows you to see the inside of the straw to make sure it’s clean.

    Each straw also has a small rubber stopper that can keep your straw from coming out of your drink. It comes with an included cleaning brush but they can go through the dishwasher without any issues.

    They don’t bend like silicone and aren’t as durable as steel so if your kids like to chew on straws, these could get a little warped with use.

  5. 5. Hestya 20-Piece Bamboo Straw Set

    Pros:
    • Natural and sustainable
    • Dishwasher safe and comes with brushes
    • Good number for your money
    • Shorter than others on the list
    Cons:
    • Not as long lasting as steel
    • May stain with pigmented liquids
    • Not chew-proof

    This is one of those,”What can’t bamboo do?” moments. These straws are organically grown bamboo shoots harvested when small and cut into the length of straws.

    Being bamboo they are surprisingly sturdy and surprisingly not as porous as you’d expect a wood to be. These can be used over and over when they are properly cleaned which is pretty easy because they are dishwasher safe.

    They may stain in certain drinks, like if you left a straw sitting in your red wine sangria (which I now want), it may come out a little pink. But for the price and how sustainable these are, I think it’s totally worth it.

See Also:

9 Best Gluten Free Shampoo Brands Your Easy Buying Guide (2019)
9 Best Henna Hair Dye Kits: Which Is Right for You? (2019)

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