The 5 Best Liquid Measuring Cups of 2023

Cook with precision using these top picks.

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The 5 Best Liquid Measuring Cups of 2022

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Did you know there are different measuring cups for liquid and dry ingredients? If you didn’t, and you’ve also been wondering why some of your recipes, especially baked goods like muffins, aren’t coming out quite right, this might be the culprit. Many recipes require precise measurements and specific ratios to succeed, and measurement errors can really throw that off. The few teaspoons of water you miss from measuring in a dry measuring cup instead of a liquid one can mean the difference between success and failure in a bread recipe

But all liquid measuring cups aren’t created equal. Large capacity cups aren’t well suited for small households or those who don’t tend to make large batches, while sets can be cumbersome to those with limited drawer space. The best liquid measuring cups are accurate and suit your specific needs. There’s a perfect cup for every cook, and we picked our favorites in each category.

Best Overall

Pyrex Measuring 4 Cup

Pyrex Measuring 4 Cup (32 Oz) Glass, Clear, Red

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Pros
  • This measuring cup is endlessly versatile and highly durable.

Cons
  • This cup is difficult to pour out of when full.

Pyrex has been one of the number one names in kitchenwares since before our grandmothers’ time. Now, it's still the top choice for liquid measuring cups because of its durability and versatility. The 4-cup size means you can easily measure liquid ingredients for your favorite recipe or mix up a batch of weekend pancakes. The tempered glass makes it more resistant to cracks and chips and can easily handle high and low temperatures from the microwave to the freezer. The four-cup size is convenient for mixing, but the large size combined with the small spout can make pouring out of this cup when it’s full slightly challenging. 

Price at time of publish: $17

  • Material: Glass
  • Capacity: 32 ounces

Best Plastic

Cambro Camwear 1-Pint Polycarbonate Measuring Cup

Cambro Camwear 1-Pint Polycarbonate Measuring Cup

Amazon

Pros
  • This plastic model is less prone to breaking than glass and affordably priced.

Cons
  • The paint on the marking can rub off, making it hard to read.

If you walk into nearly any commercial restaurant kitchen, this is the cup you’ll find legions of prep cooks measuring and pouring out of. This plastic model is the perfect combination of durable and cheap —  the plastic won’t shatter like glass when stopped, and if it does break, it’s easy to replace. The downside of the plastic is that the paint on the outside denoting the measurements eventually rubs off. The markings are ridged, so it’s not impossible to see, but it does make it difficult to measure accurately after a while. 

Price at time of publish: $11

  • Material: Polycarbonate plastic
  • Capacity: 16 ounces

Best Flexible

OXO Good Grips 3 Piece Squeeze and Pour Measuring Cup Set

 OXO Good Grips 3 Piece Squeeze and Pour

Amazon

Pros
  • This set is both super flexible and heat-resistant.

Cons
  • The lack of rigidity in this set can cause more spills.

We’ve all known the heartbreak of pouring a full cup of liquid into a bowl only to have it run down the side and all over the counter. Those days are over with this flexible measuring cup set. The silicone body makes it easy to grip and squeeze for easy pouring. Silicone also has high heat resistance, so melting notoriously tricky foods like chocolate is a snap. There’s no risk of burning your hands because the exterior doesn’t heat up like other materials. The trade-off of silicone is that, especially with the larger size, when full of liquid, it’s difficult to pick up without squeezing the cup too much and causing a spill. 

Price at time of publish: $23

  • Material: Silicone
  • Capacity: 4 ounces, 8 ounces, and 16 ounces

Best Looking

OXO Good Grips 7-Piece Nesting Measuring Beaker Set

4.5
OXO Good Grips 7 Piece Nesting Beaker Set

Amazon

Pros
  • This set is comprehensive with its range of sizes and colorful design.

Cons
  • The gradation markings have small text that can be difficult to read.

For the cook who loves both form and function, this set is a homerun. We love the range of sizes in this cute set — measure out a teaspoon or cup all in one. Each cup has thorough markings, but the print is tiny and can be challenging to read, especially with darker or opaque liquids. And while this set could easily be stored in the drawer, they don’t look out of place on the counter or in the background of an Instagram story. 

Price at time of publish: $23

  • Material: Plastic
  • Capacity: 8 ounces, 5.3 ounces, 4 ounces, 2 ounces, 1 ounce, 1 tsp, and 1 tbsp

Best Set

Oxo Good Grips 3-Piece Angled Measuring Cup Set

5
OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Angled Measuring Cup Set

Amazon

Pros
  • The internal markings make this comprehensive set easy to use.

Cons
  • These cups aren’t great for hot liquids.

This is the last set of measuring cups you’ll ever need. They can replace all the loose cups floating around your drawer and streamline recipes that require larger measurements. There are three cups in the set ranging from 1- to 4-cup capacity, so this set is up for almost any task. The feature that sets these cups apart from many others is small but significant: the interior markings. When looking directly down at the cup, an angled internal bevel creates a ledge inside the cup, eliminating the need to get at eye level to ensure an accurate measurement. With its angled design and convenient handle, it’s also easy to pour out of these cups. Do note: The plastic is very rigid, so it doesn’t perform well with extremely hot liquids or in the microwave. 

Price at time of publish: $24

  • Material: Plastic
  • Capacity: 8 ounces, 16 ounces, and 32 ounces

Our Favorite

A jack of all trades, the Pyrex Measuring 4-Cup is our favorite liquid measuring cup because it’s incredibly versatile and can easily fit into any home cook’s arsenal. The OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Angled Measuring Cup Set is perfect for the cook looking to cover all their bases with a set; this one can even handle small liquid measurements. 

Factors to Consider

Material

Most liquid measuring cups are made of glass or plastic, so it’s easy to see what’s inside. Each material has pros and cons, so which is a higher priority depending on your needs. Glass has the potential to shatter when dropped. Still, it usually has a higher heat capacity and can handle more dings without chipping. Plastic can withstand a tumble from the counter but can chip easily or have handles break off. They are also not usually as well equipped to handle higher temperatures, like those in the microwave. 

Size

What measuring cup size you need depends on your usual cooking style. Smaller cups with smaller measurements are best for bakers who tend to measure teaspoons or tablespoons. If you’re often doubling recipes or cooking for a big family, larger-sized cups are better, especially considering their versatility. 

Measurement Labeling

Liquid measuring cups are usually labeled in cups, ounces, milliliters, or some combination. Many recipes call for cups when measuring liquid, but smaller volumes or more precise amounts are often listed in ounces or milliliters. Depending on what types of recipes you cook, larger or smaller measurements are more useful. 

Durability

When shopping for liquid measuring cups, you want to find the best quality material to ensure longevity. No one wants to buy equipment that will break after a few uses. Alayna Sowder, head baker and owner of The Goodie Box in Yakima, Washington, loves her OXO cups, saying, “In my experience, it’s worth the extra few bucks to buy the Oxo brand since it will hold up over time.”  

Plastic and glass are the most common, and both are durable but have inherent drawbacks. Both can break, crack, and chip over time, so look for borosilicate or tempered glass, and when shopping for plastic, material that feels thin and flimsy usually doesn’t last as long. 

Stackability

If you're short on drawer or counter space, consider a nesting set or a large cup that can be used to store other items. Stackable sets are more compact and more accessible to keep together. Though, if you know you’ll use one size way more often than the others, it might be more annoying to unstack the set each time if the others aren’t as useful to you.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Are liquid and dry measuring cups the same?

    Though they may seem interchangeable, dry and liquid measuring cups are different. Dry measuring cups are the individual sets you’ve likely used to scoop flour or measure sugar. The snag with measuring liquid in these has to do with science. 

    When liquid is in a container, the surface tension causes the edges of the liquid to climb up the sides of the container. When viewed at eye level, this makes a slightly convex shape called a meniscus. The bottom of the meniscus, where the line is closest to the bottom of the container, is the actual, accurate measurement. In dry measuring cups, it’s generally impossible to get an exact measurement because there’s no way for the top of the meniscus to be at the very top of the cup, causing incomplete measurements. Liquid measuring cups don’t need to be filled completely, and there’s space on the cup's walls for the meniscus's edges to climb while allowing the bottom of the meniscus to be at the accurate measurement marking. While this may seem negligible, in a recipe that calls for 8 cups of milk, if measured in a dry measuring cup, you could end up being off by a significant amount.

    Dry ingredients also behave differently than wet ingredients in the cup itself. Sowder cites this as a difference in volume, saying, “Dry ingredients have little pockets of air, so there is less of an ingredient in the cup. While liquids don’t have air pockets, the cup has more of the ingredient than a dry cup.”

  • What are the three sizes of liquid measuring cups?

    Liquid measuring cups come in lots of sizes, but generally, you’ll find them in 1-cup (8 ounces), 2-cup (16 ounces), and 4-cup (32 ounces) sizes. Some sets of cups have smaller gradations, like half a cup or even just a tablespoon, but most often, you’ll find them in cup increments.

  • How do you measure liquid without a liquid measuring cup?

    As mentioned above, dry measuring cups aren’t ideal for measuring liquids, but in a pinch, you may not have much choice. This might not be the best way if you know the recipe requires super-precise measurements or ratios to be successful. If you have any containers that you know the volume of, like a mason jar or those pint or quart take-out containers, they can come in handy for some relatively accurate measurements.

    If you have a kitchen scale, you could always go by weight, but that will likely require a bit of math and some internet searching for the weight of whatever volume you’re aiming for. An important note about scales: Fluid ounces and weighted ounces are not the same. The 8 ounces in a cup are not the same measurement as the 8 ounces that make up half a pound. Make sure to properly find the conversion to avoid disastrous results.

Our Expertise


Nick DeSimone wrote and compiled this list. They have been a professional cook for nearly a decade, so they’ve spent hours of their life using measuring cups. Nick has used many different types and brands of measuring cups in home and professional settings, so they know what works for every task and which can stand the test of time. Nick also spoke to baker Alayna Sowder. Chef Sowder runs The Goodie Box in Yakima, Washington, and uses liquid measuring cups daily on a commercial scale to whip up their delicious treats. Running a bakery is hard work, so Sowder doesn’t have time for inferior tools; they know what works and sticks with it.

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