3 Best Liquid Measuring Cups, Tested by Food Network Kitchen

Get the most accurate results with ease thanks to these kitchen staples.

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January 18, 2023

Related To:

Our Top Liquid Measuring Cup Picks

Tested by Beth Lipton for Food Network Kitchen

There are two kinds of cooks: ones who have had the same liquid measuring cup since they got their first apartment, and the ones who are still using their dry measuring cups for liquid. (By the way, don’t do that.) Whichever team you’re on, it’s time to consider an update.

Liquid measuring cups come in a surprising array of types: different sizes, different materials, different designs. Though the variety means you can find exactly what suits your taste, cooking style and budget, it also can make shopping a hassle. We cut through the clutter, measuring and pouring our way through several popular cups to find the best liquid measuring cups.

Why You Need a Liquid Measuring Cup

If you’ve been measuring liquid in your dry measuring cups, no judgment but it’s definitely worth the small investment in a liquid cup (or cups). It’s easier to measure and pour liquids accurately in a liquid measure; if you’re trying to measure a cup and then pour it into a bowl, and you fill a dry measure to the top with liquid, some will spill out before it gets to the bowl. We find it useful to have a 1-cup liquid measure, and then a larger 4-cup measure. The smaller one is great for smaller amounts of liquid like 1/4- or 1/2-cup, as you would need for measuring oil for cake batter, for example. A larger measure comes in handy when you need 3 or 4 cups of broth for soup, or juice for a punch.

Bonus: If you have a larger liquid measuring cup — 3 or 4 cups, or larger — it can double as a mixing bowl. Measure the buttermilk for pancakes, for example, then whisk in the egg and butter, then add your dry ingredients and blend right in the large measuring cup. You can pour the batter onto the griddle using the spout.

What Makes the Best Liquid Measuring Cups

A good measuring cup makes kitchen tasks so much easier. A few things to look for when evaluating:

  • Accuracy: Precision is important in cooking, so getting a liquid measure that’s accurate is key. A cup of water weighs 8 ounces (and measures 8 fluid ounces in volume, though that isn’t true of all liquids), so if you want to check the accuracy of your liquid measure, you can zero out your kitchen scale with the measuring cup on it, fill with 1 cup of water and check the weight. If you’re shopping for a liquid measure, check reviews to see if the cup is accurate. (All of our picks are tested for accuracy.)
  • Design: This is highly personal. Do you prefer a classic design with a handle and solid spout, or do the more newfangled beaker designs appeal to you? Is space limited, so a taller model without a handle would fit better in your cabinets? Is there a special feature that you like, such as a pinchable spout or unusual volume markings? Consider all of these when buying a measuring cup.
  • Material: This is also a personal choice. You might want a solid glass measuring cup like your mom had, or the flexibility of silicone could suit you better. Perhaps the lighter weight and durability of plastic is what you need. If you plan to measure hot liquids with the cup, make sure to choose a glass or silicone model designed to handle heat.
  • Price: In general, a liquid measuring cup isn’t a big investment, but there are some that are pricier than others. If budget is a factor, add that to your list of criteria. Be sure to factor in longevity; you might pay less now for a certain model, but if it warps in the dishwasher or the markings rub off easily, you’ll have to buy another, nulling the initial savings.

How We Tested

We purchased nine popular, well-reviewed measuring cups (and sets). We weighed them and took their size and shape into account, relative to volume, to consider each one’s footprint. We noted what materials each one was made of. Then we poured in 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and 1 cup of water, weighing each one to test for accuracy. For measures larger than 1 cup, we also poured and weighed in 1-cup increments. As we poured the water out, we tested light and heavier streams to see how cleanly each cup poured and whether there was any dribble. For the measures with handles, we noted how comfortable the grip was. Then we poured 1 cup of vegetable oil into each and poured it out, observing how cleanly each cup poured and how much oil was left over. Finally, we washed each cup, using the dishwasher whenever possible and also washing by hand, to see how easy each one was to clean. We also considered any special features, such as flexibility and types of measurements.


This is the most thoughtfully-designed of all the cups we tried. Of the features these cups boast, the smartest is the angled surface inside the cups that allows you to see the measurement from above; no more stooping over to see the level from the side. It’s a true face-palm innovation why don’t all cups work this way? No-slip grips on the handles, efficient spouts that don’t dribble, and three cups with 1 cup, 2 cups and 4 cups (with markings in ounces, cups and milliliters) makes this set ultra convenient and easy to use. The BPA-free plastic cups are simple to hand-wash, or you can toss them into the dishwasher.

Buy It

If you prefer a classic glass measuring cup over any of the more newfangled materials, this is your jam. Made of sturdy tempered glass in a classic not-too-tall-but-not-too-squat design, this no-nonsense cup has a comfortable, easy-to-grip handle, markings in ounces, quarts, milliliters and cups, and it’s safe for use in the microwave, oven and freezer. A couple of small quibbles: Measurements start at 1/2 cup, so you would need another, smaller cup or to break out a tablespoon measure for 1/4 cup measuring, which isn’t the most convenient. And though the spout works well when pouring, it dribbles a touch if you try to pour too thin a stream or if you don’t retract the cup quickly enough. Nitpicks aside, this is a solid glass measure that you can use with confidence and then toss in the dishwasher to clean.

Buy It

These flexible silicone beakers are definitely not your grandma’s measuring cups. The mad-scientist-lab design looks cool, and also saves space in storage (the three cups 1/2 cup, 1 cup and 2 cups don’t have handles and they nest to minimize their footprint). You can pinch the top together to create a narrower or wider spout, depending on what you’re pouring, which is handy. Plus, they pour very cleanly; retract the cup and there isn’t a dribble in sight. (One quibble: The stream did wobble a bit when we narrowed it a lot.) The honeycomb pattern on the outside protects hands from warmer liquids but the pattern is left off the area where the markings are, so you can read it easily. (Incidentally, the markings are in cups, ounces and milliliters.) Plus, you can feel free to use this durable set in the microwave, then toss it in the dishwasher when you’re done.

Buy It

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