The 7 Best Eco-Friendly Reusable Straws of 2020

A planet-friendly way to drink

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Just as an ocean starts with a single drop of water, little steps to protect our planet add up. Take the case of plastic straws: They’re part of the estimated 8 million tons of plastic that ends up in our oceans every year. While plastic straws represent less than 1 percent of that number, experts from the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions say they’re a vital step toward promoting a larger conversation about waste, as well as a way to encourage a cultural shift away from single-use plastics.

For most people, it’s an easy transition to make. Drinking from a straw is a matter of convenience, not a necessity, for many of us. But an issue that’s not often discussed is that banning single-use straws unfairly burdens some individuals. Some people, such as those who are differently abled or have medical conditions such as Parkinson’s or dementia, require straws to drink independently; metal and bamboo options are simply too strong, while paper straws can become a choking hazard when softened. As municipalities across the country ban plastic straws, more sustainable options are becoming available to those of us who want (or need) to use straws.

Metal, silicone, and glass are the most common materials available. They all have pros and cons: Metal is sturdy, but some people don’t like the feel of it with cold beverages. Silicone is flexible but sometimes so bendy that it doesn’t stand up in cups (and generally, we are cautious about silicone use, which we'll discuss). Glass is sturdy but not always easy to transport. Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference. Ahead, our top picks for eco-friendly reusable straws.

Best Overall: FinalStraw

Final FinalStraw

 Courtesy of Final

This 9-inch-long stainless steel straw comes in rainbow or steel colors and is lined with silicone so it’s comfortable for sipping (though we usually stay away from silicone, silicone tips are less concerning than those made entirely of silicone). The straw and the cleaning brush that’s included telescope, neatly fitting into a colorful petite carrying case. The case is made from post-consumer recycled plastic and is about the size of your car’s key fob. It even hooks to your key chain so you won’t have to fumble around in the bottom of your bag to find it.

Use the brush and dish soap to clean it, or boil for five minutes to sanitize; the company website offers extensive cleaning tips. Reviewers love the convenience of having their straws with them all times (you need your keys every time you leave the house, right?). It’s on the pricier side, but, it’s sleek and sexy and probably the final straw (get it?) you’ll ever have to buy. The company aims to eliminate single-use plastics, and since launching in 2018, it has prevented an estimated 300 million from entering the environment.

Tip: It's important to clean reusable straws regularly to make sure they don’t collect germs and odors. Some straws are top-rack dishwasher safe or come with a brush that slides in to clean out any funky residue. A case is handy, too, so it won’t collect fuzz or debris when you toss it in your bag or backpack.

Best Glass: Hummingbird Glass Straws

Hummingbird Glass Straws

 Courtesy of Amazon

Made of shatter-resistant—and certified BPA- and lead-free—borosilicate glass (like those clear baking dishes your grandma had), these sustainable straws can be used with hot or cold drinks. They’re 9 inches long, so they fit in taller cups and glasses, with a slight angle for easier sipping. Clean them in the dishwasher or with a hot water rinse, though they come with a cleaning brush in case you need to scrub away any smoothie residue.

You also can purchase a (washable) hemp carrying case. Even though they’re super-strong, they’re still glass, so they’re probably not the best for small kids. And they will chip or break if dropped on a hard surface. Reviewers say these straws don’t have a weird after-taste like some other materials do. Plus, let’s be honest: They’re beautiful and make every beverage feel more special. They’re made by glass artists at a small company in Colorado.

Best With Carrying Case: OXO Good Grips Reusable Straw Set

OXO Good Grips Reusable Straw Set

 Courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond

The two 10.5-inch bent-neck stainless steel straws in this eco-friendly set have removable silicone tips. Stainless steel prevents an off-taste from transferring to your beverage. You’ll have to hand wash these straws, but the set comes with a cleaning brush and hard plastic carrying case that everything fits into neatly.

Reviewers say the silicone tips make it more comfortable to sip hot or cold drinks because your teeth and lips don’t contact the metal. The company is a 1% for the Planet member and supports sustainable food systems, cleaner air and water, and environmental education through organizations such as Big Green, which provides outdoor learning for kids, and The Trust for Public Land, which creates parks and protects livable communities.

Best Multipack: Klean Kanteen Straw 4-Pack

Klean Kanteen Straw 4-Pack

Courtesy of Amazon 

This budget-friendly set is made of stainless steel with removable silicone tips. The slight bend makes sipping easy, while the 9-inch length fits most travel tumblers well. These reusable straws are dishwasher safe. The company is a member of 1% for the Planet. Its headquarters is 100 percent solar-powered and 100 percent carbon-neutral, as certified by Climate Neutral, a nonprofit organization that evaluates companies on the basis of their output in the manufacture and delivery of products.

Best Bamboo: Jungle Straws Reusable Bamboo Straw Set

Jungle Straws Reusable Bamboo Straw Set

 Courtesy of The Detox Market

This budget-friendly find is made of 100 percent organic, biodegradable bamboo that's grown and handmade in rural Vietnam. For each purchase of this product, The Detox Market will plant a tree through Eden Reforestation Projects, which also provides jobs to people in impoverished countries.

The set of two sustainable straws comes in two diameters, one for regular beverages and one for thicker drinks such as smoothies. It also includes a cleaning brush and travel sleeve, made from hessian. Many reviewers prefer the feel of these straws over other types of materials, although other reviewers say the bamboo transfers a grassy aftertaste.

Best Stainless Steel: Naeco Stainless Steel Straw 2-Pack with Linen Pouch

Naeco Stainless Steel Straw 2-pack with Linen Pouch

 Courtesy of Naeco

This reusable set of two stainless steel straws, which comes in rose gold or steel colors, includes a cleaning brush; everything tucks neatly into the drawstring linen pouch. Founded by an ocean enthusiast, diver, and underwater photographer, the company plants one piece of coral through its partner Coralive for every set sold. Naeco, which is the word "ocean" reversed, was founded in 2018 in New York City and is also a member of 1% for the Planet.

Best Silicone: GoSili Reusable Silicone Straws

GoSili Reusable Silicone Straws

 Courtesy of Amazon

If the goal is to live plastic-free and reduce waste, we are generally cautious about the use of silicone, which according to the experts at Life Without Plastic, is "something of a hybrid between a synthetic rubber and a synthetic plastic polymer." However, for those who prefer the flexibility of silicone, we recommend GoSili. The company, founded in 2007, utilizes minimal packaging and supports organizations such as PLAN, the Post-Landfill Action Network, and Attainable, which helps small businesses reduce plastic use.

Six European-sourced silicone straws of three different lengths come in this multipack, which is convenient for families. Since they are resistant to extreme temperatures, you can use these with hot and cold drinks or in the freezer or microwave. They’re dishwasher safe, but the straws also can be boiled to sanitize them.

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