8 Reasons Why Stainless Steel Cups are a Kitchen Must-Have

By Dr. Manasa Mantravadi



Time to Read: 9 min

As a doctor and Indian immigrant who used stainless steel dishes growing up, I was curious as to why medical implants were made from stainless steel. When I set out to design Ahimsa dishes to be a safe and healthy solution to the plastic problem, it became so clear why stainless steel is the material of choice for doctors, and has been for decades. I also thought about my pots and pans, some of which are older than me and have been passed down for generations - stainless steel is reliable and safe! And now, it is beautiful too!

Who knew how much joy rainbow stainless steel cups would bring? They are the perfect choice for any temperature beverage, won’t leach harmful chemicals into your drinks, avoid plastic waste, and last forever. The best part is, they contribute to a healthier and safer kitchen while making it look good! Let’s break these factors down a little bit, and discover how each of these factors may influence your next choice in dishware.

About Ahimsa

Founded by a pediatrician and mom of three

Stainless steel is the only kid-friendly material recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics 

We are guided by a Scientific Advisory Council comprised of environmental and medical experts, guiding us in creating the safest products, following the latest science and promoting policy to protect human health and our planet

Want to know more? Check out our story and our products

Alternative to Plastic Water Bottles

As a mom of 3 kids who have soccer practice, dance, and other extracurricular activities, believe me when I say I get it - disposable plastic water bottles are convenient.

However, the frequent use of disposable plastic water bottles has become a global environmental concern, as they contribute significantly to pollution and plastic waste. Annually, millions of tons of plastic bottles end up in landfills and oceans, taking centuries to decompose and causing irreversible harm to ecosystems.

The production process itself is resource-intensive, with the extraction and refinement of fossil fuels for plastic production contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Not only are stainless steel cups durable and long-lasting, saving you time and money as there is no need for constant replacements, but they also offer a sustainable solution by being fully recyclable.

We’ve talked in some depth about the issues that plastic can create, whether it be through an article about generally living more sustainably, improving health and sanitation in schools by replacing plastic trays with stainless steel trays, and the specific reasons why stainless steel is better for your health than plastic. However, the rapidly growing amount of plastics that people consume each year makes it impossible to belabor the point; we need to replace plastic, and we need to do it fast.

Making the switch to stainless steel cups is not just a lifestyle choice; it's a conscious effort to combat plastic pollution, with every reusable cup representing a small step that makes a big impact toward a more sustainable and eco-friendly future.

A Trusted Material For Decades

Stainless steel is a material that has been known and trusted for years, and is the most common dishware material in many countries. I, along with most Indian families, ate off of stainless steel dishes growing up. Stainless steel is the norm in India, and for good reason! Stainless steel is like the superhero of materials, it is extremely durable - standing strong against rust and corrosion.

However, stainless steel isn't just a kitchen superstar; it's a key material used in construction, healthcare, you name it. It’s the material used in medical implants, which is where I got the inspiration to make Ahimsa stainless steel dishes colorful. It is no wonder why 67,000 doctors recommend using stainless steel dishware when dining - it is reliable and has remained well-trusted for decades!

Durability and Longevity

If something is going to be indwelling in your body to play a role in your health, it better last! If you look around your kitchen, you may note that your steel pots and pans are older than your children - and still in great shape. It can be dropped, exposed to heat and thoroughly disinfected and sterilized safely without breakage, degradation, or corrosion - allowing it to last for years. Because stainless steel is passive (self-healing/renewing) and tenacious (very resistant to scratching/abrasion), it leads to savings on maintenance and a longer service life. Doctors recommend glass or stainless steel cups, tumblers, coffee mugs, etc. to avoid harmful chemicals leaching into your drinks - making stainless steel the only non-breakable material recommended by doctors! While we’d certainly recommend glass over plastic, there’s simply no substitute for stainless steel when it comes down to lifetime value.


Stainless steel's recyclability is a testament to its sustainability and environmental benefits. Unlike many materials that degrade during recycling processes, stainless steel can be recycled endlessly without losing its inherent properties. The recycling of stainless steel involves collecting scrap metal, melting it down, and reforming it into new products. This closed-loop recycling process not only conserves valuable resources but also significantly reduces energy consumption compared to the production of new steel. Recycling stainless steel helps minimize the environmental footprint associated with mining and extracting raw materials, promoting a circular economy and aligning with the global push for more sustainable practices. By choosing stainless steel products, we are actively contributing to reducing waste and conserving resources, making it a responsible and eco-conscious choice for a greener future.

Mealtime Essentials

Temperature Retention

Stainless steel cups are unparalleled when it comes to temperature retention, making stainless steel mugs and stainless steel coffee cups a no-brainer choice. Their unique ability to maintain the desired temperature of beverages, whether piping hot or refreshingly cold, sets them apart. The insulating properties of stainless steel keep hot drinks warm for an extended period.

On the flip side, when it comes to iced beverages, stainless steel cups keep the chill factor intact, preventing your refreshing drinks from losing their cool too quickly. During the summer I love using stainless steel cups around the pool, knowing they will keep the drinks cool but also not having to worry about them breaking around the pool area!

During the winter, my little ones love using them for hot chocolate as it keeps it warm while they are drinking. Remember, if it is too hot to hold your drink in a stainless steel cup - it is too hot to serve it to your little one.

Free From Harmful Chemicals

Let’s get more into why stainless steel is the safest dishware material! Stainless steel is chemically inert, it doesn’t interact with its surroundings, meaning it won’t leech its elements into your body or into your food. Stainless steel cups won’t hold on to the flavors or smell of past beverages or soaps after cleaning.

To meet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements for food-contact safety, a stainless steel product must have a minimum chromium content of 16%. Ahimsa products are made of high-quality food-grade stainless steel with a composition of 18% chromium and 8% nickel. Our colorful products are coated with titanium in a process called Physical Vapor Deposition. Titanium also meets the recommendation for food-safe materials because, like stainless steel, it is inert - it won't leach into your food. Our products are tested in a US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)-certified lab.

Hygienic and Easy to Clean

Stainless steel cups not only look sleek, but also boast hygienic properties. The non-porous surface of stainless steel resists the harboring of bacteria and odors, ensuring that your cups remain clean and safe for use. Cleaning stainless steel cups is a breeze as well; these cups are dishwasher-safe and can be easily wiped clean due to their smooth surface. Unlike silicone, bamboo, and other alternative materials, stainless steel is a non-porous material and is much easier to clean off any soap/chemicals used in the cleaning process. This is the same reason why stainless steel is less likely to carry odor with long-term use. If you’ve ever had to use plastic dishware for a long period, you know about the grease they inevitably keep hold of, and stainless steel lets you be rid of that dreaded grease forever.

Intentionally Designed

Ahimsa’s Conscious Cups are the perfect size for small hands. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that sippy cups should not be used for extended periods of time due to tooth decay. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association discourages sippy cups because they can interfere with a child’s ability to develop a mature swallowing pattern. This is why we don’t recommend or manufacture stainless steel sippy cups. With that being said, we are so happy to offer cups that promote health not only due to their makeup, size, and structure – but also to encourage healthy teeth, eating, and speech development.

So it’s no mystery why stainless steel cups are the new must-haves in every kitchen. Combining durability, eco-friendliness, versatility, temperature retention, hygienic properties, aesthetic appeal, and safety. As we strive to take small steps in our own homes to prioritize sustainability and high-quality, long-lasting stainless steel kitchenware, stainless steel cups are here and will stand the test of time.

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi is a board-certified pediatrician whose dedication to children’s health drove her to launch Ahimsa, the world's first colorful stainless steel dishes for kids. She was motivated by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ findings on harmful chemicals in plastic affecting children's well-being. Ahimsa has gained widespread recognition and been featured in media outlets such as Parents Magazine, the Today Show, The Oprah Magazine, and more.

Dr. Mantravadi received the esteemed “Physician Mentor of the Year” award at Indiana University School of Medicine in 2019. She was also named a Forbes Next 1000 Entrepreneur in 2021, with her inspiring story showcased on Good Morning America. She serves on the Council for Environmental Health and Climate Change and the Council for School Health at The American Academy of Pediatrics. She represents Ahimsa as a U.S. industry stakeholder on the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for the Global Plastics Treaty, led by the United Nations Environment Program. Dr. Mantravadi leads Ahimsa's social impact program, The Conscious Cafeteria Project, to reduce carbon emissions and safeguard student health as part of a national pilot of the Clinton Global Initiative.

She is dedicated to educating and empowering people to make healthier, more environmentally friendly choices at mealtime. Her mission remains to advocate for the health of all children and the one planet we will leave behind for them through real policy change within our food system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use stainless steel instead of plastic? Is stainless steel better for health?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a report in July 2018 suggesting ways that families can limit exposure to certain chemicals at mealtime, including “the use of alternatives to plastic, such as glass or stainless steel, when possible.” The report explained that “…some additives are put directly in foods, while “indirect” additives may include chemicals from plastic, glues, dyes, paper, cardboard”. Further, “Children are more sensitive to chemical exposures because they eat and drink more, relative to body weight, than adults do, and are still growing and developing.” While stainless steel items meet the recommendation to avoid plastic products in children, Ahimsa® products have the obvious advantage of not breaking like glass.

Is stainless steel better for the environment than plastic?

According to the Steel Recycling Institute, steel can be recycled over and over and over again without losing its integrity and requires less energy to recycle than to make anew. Most plastic unfortunately ends up in landfills and it is estimated to take 700 years to decompose. Our special coloring process that allows Ahimsa® products to be fully metal is environmentally friendly, so it does not produce toxic run-off into the ecosystem.

Will Ahimsa products break or peel?

No. Our steel is durable, so it won’t break or shatter with everyday use, like glass. And it won’t peel, like other colored stainless steel products you’ve seen. We use a special process that allows the colors to naturally occur in the metal.

Which Ahimsa products are best for my little one(s)?

Our products are meant to last, you can use Ahimsa at ages 1, 8 and 18! We thoughtfully design our products to be safe for little ones and our planet while reducing consumption. Once your child outgrows the Starting Solids Set  and can use regular cups and utensils, the training cup is the perfect size rinse cup in the bathroom, the infant spoon doubles as a tea stirrer and the bowl is great for snacks or as an additional compartment to our modular divided plate. Our plates are great for any age as they encourage choosing a variety of healthy foods at each meal and help visualize portion sizes easily. It’s the lasting beauty of stainless steel - grows with your child and reduces waste.

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