What Are the Different Materials Used in Measuring Cups and Spoons?

There isn’t a baking or kitchen tool set complete without a set of measuring cups and spoons. They’re utilized to establish uniform standards for ingredients, allowing for consistent results and optimal flavor in each dish. These tools aid the cook in determining the appropriate quantities of components. They can even be used to inspire creative liberties when preparing a meal.

A decent set of measuring spoons and cups is crucial if you want a fully stocked kitchen. However, figuring out which set is best for you may be challenging. These products come in various shapes, sizes, colors, and materials, and not all provide the same service quality. Not only can you compare glass tools to metal ones, but you can also do a lot more with that information. Knowing the different materials used in measuring cups and spoons will be handy when buying them.

Plastic Measuring Cups and Spoons


Plastic is typically the most cost-effective option when purchasing a set of measurement tools. You can get plastic sets practically anywhere, and the individual pieces—including the spoon and cup—tend to be a different color. The vivid hues present a striking visual appeal; you may choose this alternative just for this reason.

Children learning to cook and bake might also benefit from using brightly colored measuring cups and spoons. Having a variety of colors to choose from will encourage them to try out the tools.

Plastic cups are not only the most cost-effective option but also the most durable if you get high-quality versions. They are so sturdy that daily usage, including being thrown to the floor and banged on a hard surface, does not cause any noticeable damage.

However, in extreme conditions, they might melt or break. Constant exposure to direct sunshine while drying might also cause discoloration.

Plastic measuring instruments have the primary issue of being easily stained and smelling like whatever they were exposed to. However, this threat is also reduced if you go for the polycarbonate model. Your plastic cups should survive indefinitely if you avoid heating them to more than 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

The last problem is that your plastic measuring cups and spoons’ printed marks may fade with time. You’ll have to use some judgment to figure out the dimensions, though their size can help.

Metal Measuring Cups and Spoons


Standard metal measuring utensils, such as spoons and cups, are often made of stainless steel. Most so-called “copper” measuring cups on the market are stainless steel with a copper coating or finish. A high-end stainless steel set can be costly. However, any serious baker or cook would agree that the benefits of such a set are well worth the investment.

In terms of durability, measuring cups made of metal have a stellar reputation. You may also hang your stainless steel kitchen equipment on the wall to add a decorative touch to your cooking space. If you take care of your metal, it is also less prone to pick up smells or permanent stains.

Metal measuring cups and spoons have marks carved into their handles, which is a huge advantage. This implies that you won’t have to change your measuring tools as often as you would if you had gone with the plastic choice because the marking won’t fade.

However, there are several drawbacks to using metal cups and spoons. To begin with, they could be scratched. These are unappealing to the eye and are potential breeding grounds for bacteria, making them an unhealthy choice. Rust can be encouraged by scratches. Therefore regular cleaning and inspections are vital.

Second, you shouldn’t hit the dishes or silverware on hard surfaces, or they could have dents. This would impact the overall measurement of these tools. But if you invest in a high-quality set, you won’t have to worry about it happening.

Many cooks prefer using metal measuring instruments due to their substantial weight. Because of their heft, you won’t need additional support when you pour components inside. When scooping thick or dense materials like honey and dough, a cup or spoon made from a stiff material will be less likely to bend.

If you use metal for your measuring tools, try to find sets made entirely of one piece. Handles soldered, riveted, or welded contain weak spots that make them more likely to break over time. 

In addition, the microscopic internal crevices in multi-part cups and spoons provide ideal conditions for the growth of germs and mold. Given that they are also more challenging to clean, you may as well opt for the simpler option from the get-go.

Metal Measuring Cups: Stainless Steel

Flat lay of stainless steel measuring cups and spoons

You may select from various stainless steel measuring cup sets depending on your needs and tastes. Stainless steel cups provide greater variety than copper ones, and you can get them more easily in traditional retailers. If you need a new set quickly, this might be a deciding factor in favor of the steel alternatives.

Stainless steel is a highly long-lasting substance with few chemical reactions to most other materials. Due to this, it is a reliable means of gauging all requirements. These are also useful for measuring liquids at high temperatures, for example, freshly melted chocolate, tahini, dissolved coffee, etc.

If you get a high-quality stainless steel set, it will likely be polished and look great. This set, if kept clean, has the potential to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing in your kitchen. No need to hide them in a drawer if you hang them on the wall instead. However, this is only a good idea if you enjoy having a silver accent in your kitchen and keep the cups in good condition. Be sure a calm atmosphere is what you’re going for before decorating with silver.

Whether made of stainless steel or another metal, measuring cups and spoons often have their respective capacities etched into their separate handles. These engravings are permanent and will not disappear via everyday use. Stainless steel measuring cups are superior to plastic ones because of this feature. However, copper measuring cups are generally just as accurate. It’s possible, though, that the copper cups’ coating or polish will wear off quickly, rendering the measures illegible.

Using stainless steel measuring cups in the kitchen does have some drawbacks. For starters, they can be challenging to care for. Maintaining their luster will need regular maintenance and maybe even the odd polish. These cups aren’t dishwasher-safe; therefore, they will require handwashing regularly.

Stainless measuring cups appear to be adaptable in several ways as well. Not only are there types available that can be cleaned in the dishwasher, but there are also options with silicone grips. 

These brighten up our supplies and may inspire young people to try their hand at culinary arts. This could be a good option for purchasing measuring cups and spoons for kids just starting out in the kitchen.

Metal Measuring Cups: Copper

Copper Measuring Cups on a White Background

Copper measuring cups are essential for individuals who value rust- and corrosion-free cookware. Copper measuring cups are perfect if you want to add rustic charm to your home kitchen. Besides serving practical use in the kitchen, they also look nice on the shelf, so you get two services out of one purchase.

Copper and copper plating both reduce ingredient reactions. This is crucial, as we may occasionally need to employ reactive compounds like vinegar or baking soda. Having a set of non-reactive copper measuring cups on hand makes gauging various substances simple and safe.

Copper is also a highly fashionable material for use in making cookware. Copper measuring cups are a great way to round off the aesthetic of a kitchen that already features copper cookware.

Current copper choices may seem costly at first glance. Since copper is so long-lasting, this might not be terrible. Those cups are a good investment that might pay for themselves in a few years. The attractiveness of the cups may even inspire you to begin cooking or baking.

However, while shopping for copper measuring cups, it’s essential to look for characteristics like insulated handles, compact design, and simple storage. Comfortable as they may seem, the silicone grips on a set of copper measuring cups won’t last as long as the cups themselves. These factors should be taken into account before settling on a copper alternative. Even while a high-quality copper set would be ideal, it may be too expensive for certain people.

However, there is a potential downside to purchasing copper measuring cups that should be considered. Extra caution should be exercised if the copper is only a finish or plating since this will result in faster wear and tear. 

Most of these cups should only be washed by hand since even one accidental cycle in the dishwasher might ruin the shine and leave the cups looking old and worn. Furthermore, you must use soft, nonabrasive sponges and detergents while washing these cups. 

A baker or chef with a lot of spare time might love the responsibility of caring for these items. Still, someone who finds themselves under constant pressure in the kitchen should probably steer clear from buying one.

Glass Measuring Cups

Empty measuring cup isolated on white background with clipping path.

The use of glass measuring cups is recommended when dealing with high temperatures. Not only are they more uncomplicated to clean than plastic, but they also don’t fog up or pick up scents. Some people may also prefer using glass rather than plastic or silicone while preparing or serving meals.

Glass measuring cups often have markings that are simple to read right from the off and won’t fade away quickly. All things considered, if you can guarantee safe handling, tools made from glass may be the best option.

This material is not only simple to clean but also durable against scratches and corrosion. Most glass cups may be put in the dishwasher without special care, saving you the time and effort of washing them by hand.

The main drawback is, of course, that glass equipment necessitates extreme caution while being used. Dropping glass or subjecting it to sudden temperature fluctuations will result in instantaneous shattered pieces. This is why you should probably avoid using glass when measuring anything scorching.

Silicone Measuring Cups

Set of measuring cups or measuring spoons use in cooking in top view

Silicone is a heat-resistant substance that won’t melt as plastic would. It won’t corrode or become scratched, and it can even come in various colors for use with measurement tools. With its many benefits and lack of danger, this material might be a favorite among chefs and bakers as long as it is certified safe for food handling.

Collapsible versions of silicone measuring cups are also commercially available. With this option, you may save valuable counter space in a tiny kitchen or on the road. Conversely, there have been several reports of problems using silicone measuring cups. The substance is pliable and might cause difficulties if you try to scoop out any component.

Collapsible Silicone Measuring Cups

Measuring Cups

As their name suggests, collapsible measuring cups may collapse into a flat shape when not used. It’s a great way to keep your measuring cups neat and tidy without taking up much room in your cupboards. Numerous home cooks and bakers today like collapsible measuring glasses.

These measuring cups may be collapsed to fit into small spaces, such as those found in slim drawers, bags, and other compact storage areas. Collapsible measuring cups are ideal if you prefer to keep them close at hand by hanging them on the wall, as they do not protrude from the wall but rather rest flat against it. Collapsible measuring cups help reduce the clutter and stress associated with storing and finding your measurement equipment in the kitchen.

Cleaning collapsible measuring cups is a breeze. Since they’re bendable, you may twist them into the deep end and simply rinse any residue causing sticking. For example, it would be difficult to use a sponge to clean the interior of a standard 1/4 cup. Folding cups, however, eliminate the need to stretch.

You may save a lot of room by stacking collapsible measuring cups. They’re ideal for college dorms and studio flats due to their compact design. They’re also fantastic for getting around town and even setting up camp. They pack down tight and are a convenient addition to any camping gear.

Most collapsible cups are crafted from plastic and silicone rubber. The cups’ handles are composed of plastic, whereas the silicone body of the cup itself. Silicone bakeware and cookware are durable, nonstick, and dishwasher-safe. Because it is nonstick, it is simple to clean and won’t impart any unwanted flavors or aromas to the food you prepare.

The plastic on the handles of silicone cups might melt if heated in the microwave. It is also vital to stay away from abrasives. You may use the dishwasher or a sponge to clean your silicone collapsible measuring cups. However, a scrubbing sponge should be avoided since it might scrape off the silicone.


The final consideration when selecting a material for your measurement equipment is its intended use. Your own taste, the design of your kitchen, and available storage space are other important factors.

A high-end stainless-steel set is the overall best option if you care about looks, want something that will last, and have enough money to spend. Another option that can make your watch stand out is to have it copper plated. Plastic, on the other hand, will offer a visually appealing and vibrant alternative that won’t present the denting risk, which is sure to inspire even the youngest of bakers. If you want your glass measuring cups to endure a long time, you should treat them carefully and store them in a dry, cool place. If you’re short on room in the kitchen or on the road, investing in a set of collapsible measuring cups is a smart idea.

Make sure you carefully weigh each option’s benefits and drawbacks before settling on a material for these utensils. Whether making sauces or tasty baking treats, suitable measuring instruments are essential.