What Materials Are Best for Measuring Cups and Spoons?

Having a nice set of measuring spoons and cups is essential if you want a properly stocked kitchen. Having said that, it might be challenging to determine which type of set will suit you the most. There are several designs and materials available for these items, and not all of them give you the same experience. You can check the main difference between glass and metal tools, but that’s just the beginning.

If you’re looking to get your fist measuring set, replace your old one, or buy an additional one for more convenience, here are some of the material to consider:

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Prepworks by Progressive Ultimate 19-Piece Measuring Cups & Spoon Set
Simply Gourmet Measuring Cups and Measuring Spoons Set. Includes 12 Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons. Liquid Measuring Cup or Dry Measuring Cup Set. Stainless Measuring Cups, Nesting Cups
Anchor Hocking 77940COM Anchor 77940 3-Piece Measuring Cup Set, Set of 3, Clear
Stackable Measuring Cups - Jade Glass w/Chickens Leghorn Roosters
Measuring Cups and Spoons set, Collapsible Measuring Cups, 8 piece Measuring Tool Engraved Metric/US Markings for Liquid & Dry Measuring, Space Saving, BPA Free Silicone, Colorful

 

Plastic

If you’re looking for a measuring tool set with a great price, a plastic material is usually the best way to go. There are plastic sets available almost everywhere, with each cup and spoon usually being a different color. The bright colors make for an eye-catching, appealing aesthetic, so you may also choose this option just for those brilliant hues.

Colorful measuring cups and spoons are also an excellent option for children who are just learning to cook and bake. The various colors will motivate the kids to use the tools in the first place. Plus, a young chef will probably find it easier to follow your instructions; it’s easier to follow when you say ‘use the yellow cup’ instead of ‘use the half-cup measure’.

Along with being an economical choice, plastic cups are also quite sturdy if you get them in decent quality. You can drop them on a hard floor, bang them on the counter, and use them every single day without seeing a single bend or dent.

However, they might melt or crack when put under a lot of stress. You may also see some discoloration if they’re left to dry in strong sunlight on a regular basis.

One major drawback when using plastic measuring tools is that they’re prone to staining and absorbing odors. If you go for the polycarbonate version, however, this risk is also minimized. Just make sure not to expose your plastic cups to temperatures above 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and you’d be good for the long term.

Finally, the printed markings on your plastic measuring cups or spoons will fade over time. This will leave you guessing at the measures, though their size will also act as a guide.

Metal A set of stainless steel measuring cups and spoons

When we talk about metal measuring cups and spoons, stainless steel is the usual option on hand. Even the ‘copper’ measuring tools you see out there are usually made of stainless steel with a copper plating or finish. If you opt for a quality stainless steel set, it can set you back quite a few bucks. However, the advantages of such a set make it all worth it for a passionate baker or cook.

Metal measuring tools are known for their high durability. Stainless steel will provide an especially shiny appearance, so you can even display those tools on your kitchen walls to enhance the decor. A metal material is also less likely to absorb odors or get permanent stains as long as you take good care of it.

One major upside of using metal measuring cups and spoons is that they would usually have markings etched into their handles. This means that the marking won’t fade, so you won’t have to replace your set as quickly as with the plastic option.

There are downsides to metal measuring tools, though. First of all, they’re liable to get scratches. These look unsightly and can also harbor bacteria, which is hardly a healthy option. Scratches will also increase the chances of rust, so it’s doubly essential to have routine checks for proper cleaning and maintenance.

Secondly, the cups or spoons could dent if you knock them against a hard surface. If this happens, the volumes of these tools will be compromised. However, this is unlikely to happen if you get a high-end set.

Metal measuring tools have a hefty weight to them, which is something that most bakers actually like. This weight also allows them to sit on the counter without any extra support while you pour ingredients inside. A rigid material will also resist bending if you have to use a cup of spoon for scooping thick or dense ingredients like dough, honey, packed brown sugar, etc.

If you do go for the metal option for your measuring cups and spoons, look around for those that are molded from just one piece. Soldered, riveted, and welded handles have points of weakness that can cause them to snap with time and use. Plus, cups and spoons that are made from several pieces have tiny spaces inside for the growth of bacteria and mold. They’re also more difficult to keep clean, so you might as well opt for the easier version from the beginning.

Glass Glass

Glass measuring cups are the perfect choice for measuring hot ingredients. They’re also much easier to keep clean, as they don’t get cloudy or absorb odors like plastic does. Many people may also simply prefer to use Glass instead of plastic or silicone while handling any type of food.

The markings on glass measuring cups are usually bold, slow to fade, and easy to read from the get go. All these advantages might make Glass the first choice if you can ensure safe handling.

This material is also resistant to scratches, won’t rust, and is fairly easy to wash as well. Most of the glass cups available are dishwasher-friendly, so you simply have to pop them in with the other dishes instead of going through the hassle of washing by hand.

Of course, the major downside here is that glass tools require a lot of care when handling. Glass will shatter easily when dropped or subjected to thermal shock from temperature changes. This is why it might not be a good idea to go for Glass when you’re measuring hot items.

Jadeite GlassJadeite Glass

When we talk about glass measuring cups, we usually mean the kind meant for measuring liquids. However, it might be possible to find dry measuring cups and even spoons in a glass material. This will be more like a Jadeite glass though, not the regular kind.

Jadeite glass has a unique appearance and will look beautiful in any kitchen. Some people might even opt to use them for decorative instead of practical use. If you do decide to utilize them in the kitchen, extra care is needed if you don’t want them breaking or cracking.

The same goes for ceramic measuring cups; they look beautiful but aren’t very practical in the long run.

SiliconeSilicone

Silicone is a material that can easily resist heat and won’t melt as easily as plastic does. It’s also scratch-free, rust-free, and might come in several different colors for measuring cups and spoons. Many cooks and bakers could go for this material due to its versatility and safety (as long as the material is certified safe for food handling).

Silicone measuring cups also come in collapsible versions. This makes for a space-saving option that’s great for small kitchens or travelling.

On the other hand, there have been many complaints about silicone measuring tools. The material is quite bendy and flexible, so it could present issues when you’re scooping out any ingredient.  

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the kind of material you choose for your measuring tools will depend on the usage you have in mind. The theme of your kitchen, your own preference, and storage space will also play major roles in your decision.

If you’re looking for a stylish appearance, durability, and have a generous budget, a high-end stainless steel set is usually the best option. You can also opt for one that’s plated with copper for a more unique and eye-catching look. On the other hand, plastic will present an attractive, colorful option to motivate very young bakers and don’t present the denting risk. Glass and ceramic, of course, need proper care and storage if you want them to last.

Every material for these cups and spoons will have its pros and cons, so don’t rush into this decision too soon. Whether you’re whipping up sauces or baking delicious creations, your measuring tools have to be selected according to your requirements.