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Baby Spoons

Published March 2021

How we tested

Once you start feeding solids to your kiddo, at around 4 months, a baby spoon sized for smaller mouths is useful. To find the best spoon for adults to use for feeding babies (versus ones the kids hold themselves), we tested 10 spoons, made from silicone, plastic, bamboo, and metal, using them to feed seven little testers, ages 4 months to 2 years, for a month. We considered how comfortable they were to hold, how well they scooped and served, and how easy they were to clean. 

Handle Comfort Was Key but Elusive 

We found that fatter, rounded, longer handles were the most comfortable for adults to hold. Five minutes of holding one spoon with a short, narrow, sharp metal handle had us wanting to chuck it across the room. Feeding a wiggling, uncooperative child is chaotic, so a grippy handle was key, too. Silicone was optimal here. 

Some of the spoons were overdesigned, with dramatically curved handles or angled bowls. Simpler was better. Spoons that were relatively straight from bowl to handle were more comfortable to hold and angle into the babies’ mouths. The amount of flex was important, too. The handle of one spoon was so bendy that using it was like trying to scoop and serve with a Twizzler. Spoons with relatively stiff handles were easier to direct. 

Soft-Edged Bowls Were Best

Bowls with soft edges were better at corralling lingering bits of food (from faces, bowls, plates, etc.) because they gently molded to surfaces and faces, scraping more cleanly. 

Bowl size played into our rankings as well. Some bowls were too broad, too narrow, too deep, or too flat. The best bowls were right in the middle, big enough to serve a good-size scoop and hold runnier foods but small enough to fit into little mouths.

Extra Features: Heat Sensors and Spoon Rests

Several of the spoons featured bowls that turned white when the food was too hot to serve. Some of us found this handy.

Several spoons had bumps on the bottoms of their handles that are designed to raise the bowls up off of counters and avoid contamination. We were mostly ambivalent about this feature. There really shouldn’t be anything that dangerous on the counter, for safety reasons. Perhaps if you were camping or feeding your baby on the go, these built-in spoon rests might come in handy. 

Cleaning the Baby Spoons

Foods such as carrots and turmeric can discolor plastic and silicone. We saw a problem with only one particular silicone spoon; the rest were fine. Another, the only spoon that was not dishwasher-safe, had a silicone head and a bamboo handle that came apart for cleaning. We worried about the inside of this spoon’s silicone head getting moldy after washing because it was impossible for us to tell if it was dry inside. The best spoons washed completely clean, feed after feed, and were composed of a single piece with no places where moisture could get trapped. 

The Best Baby Spoon: PandaEar Baby Silicone Soft Spoon

In the end, we preferred one spoon to the rest. The PandaEar Baby Silicone Soft Spoon was comfortable and easy to use, no matter what we were serving. Winner, winner, it’s the best spoon for dinner.

Methodology

  • Evaluate 10 spoons, made from silicone, bamboo, plastic, and metal, priced from about $0.40 to about $6.50 per spoon
  • Use the spoons for a month with foods of all different textures and at a range of serving temperatures
  • Have testers try the spoons at home for a month (with seven children, ranging in age from 4 months to 2 years)

Rating Criteria

Performance: We rated the spoons on how well they maneuvered food into babies’ mouths. 

Comfort: We rated the spoons on how comfortable they were for an adult to hold during feeding. 

Cleanup: We rated the spoons on how easy they were to clean. 

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The Results

Winner
Recommended

Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block

Admittedly expensive, this handsome block certainly seemed to live up to its billing as “the last knife block you ever have to buy.” The heaviest model in our testing, this block was ultrastable, and its durable bamboo exterior was a breeze to clean. Well-placed medium-strength magnets made it easy to attach all our knives, and a rotating base gave us quick access to them. One tiny quibble: The blade of our 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a little.

$248.64*
Recommended

Schmidt Brothers Downtown Block

This roomy block completely sheathed our entire winning knife set using just one of its two sides—and quite securely, thanks to long, medium-strength magnet bars. Heavy, with a grippy base, this block was very stable. An acrylic guard made this model extra-safe but also made it a little trickier to insert knives and to clean; the wood block itself showed some minor cosmetic scratching during use.

$141.90*

Schmidt Brothers Midtown Block

This smaller version of the Downtown Block secured all our knives nicely, though the blade of the slicing knife stuck out a bit. With a base lined with grippy material, this block was very stable. An acrylic guard afforded extra protection against contact with blades but made it a little harder to insert knives and to clean; the wood itself got a little scratched during use.

$67.99*
Recommended with Reservations

Swissmar Bamboo Magnetic Knife Block

This small, scratch-resistant model had a stable, rubber-lined base and could hold all our knives, though the blade of the 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a bit. But inch-long gaps between its small magnets made coverage uneven and forced us to find the magnetic hot spots in order to secure the knives. Its acrylic guard made it safer to use but harder to insert knives and to clean.

$49.93*
Not Recommended

Messermeister Walnut Magnet Block

This handsome block was done in by its shape—a tippy, top-heavy quarter-circle that wasn’t tall or broad enough to keep the blades of three knives from poking out. It lacked a nonslip base, and its extra-strong magnets made it unnerving to attach or remove our heavy cleaver. Finally, it got a bit scratched after extensive use.

$129.95*

Epicurean Standing Knife Rack 12"

This magnetic block sheathed all our knives completely, though with a bit of crowding. But it was hard to insert each knife without hitting the block’s decorative slats on way down, and because the block was light and narrow, it wobbled when bumped. Worse, we couldn’t take it apart, so splatters that hit the interior were there to stay. Additionally, the outside stained easily, and when we wiped it down, the unit smelled like wet dog.

$99.95*

Kapoosh Rondelle Knife Block

This model stabilized knives with a mass of stiff, spaghetti-like bristles that shed and nicked easily after extensive use, covering our knives with plastic debris. While all our knives fit securely, several of the blades stuck out, making this unit feel less safe overall. Finally, though the bristles could be removed and cleaned in the dishwasher, their nooks and crannies made this block hard to wash by hand.

$24.99*

Kuhn Rikon Vision Knife Block, Clear

This plastic block required us to aim each knife into the folds of an accordion-pleated insert that was removable for easy cleaning but got nicked easily with repeated use. Because we could only insert the knives vertically, longer knife blades stuck out; a cleaver was too wide to fit. The lightest model in our lineup, this block was dangerously top-heavy when loaded with knives.

$35.88*