What kind of cup do you put a smoothie in?

Quick Answers

There are a few common types of cups that are good options for serving smoothies:

  • Plastic cups – Affordable and disposable. Easy to use for both homemade smoothies and smoothies from restaurants/cafes.
  • Mason jars – Reusable and durable. Popular for homemade smoothies. Allows you to see the smoothie layers.
  • Tumblers – Insulated cups that keep smoothies cold. Great for on-the-go. Often have lids and straws.
  • Glasses – Simple and versatile for enjoying smoothies at home. Easy to clean and reusable.

The ideal smoothie cup depends on your priorities – like portability, reuseability, insulation, ease of drinking, and presentation. But generally plastic cups, mason jars, tumblers, or glasses are good go-to choices.

Smoothies have become an increasingly popular and healthy breakfast, snack, or light meal option. They provide a tasty way to pack in servings of fruits, vegetables, protein, fiber and other nutrients into a portable, drinkable form. But before whipping up your next smoothie creation, an important question to consider is – what type of cup or container do you put it in?

The vessel you choose to serve your smoothie in can impact factors like insulation, ease of portability and drinking, ability to feature smoothie layers, and overall presentation. There are a variety of smoothie cup options to suit different use cases, settings and personal preferences.

When deciding what kind of cup to use for your next smoothie, here are some of the most popular options along with the advantages and considerations for each:

Plastic Cups

Plastic cups are one of the most common and affordable cup choices for serving smoothies. Here are some of the key benefits and drawbacks of using plastic cups:


  • Cheap and disposable – you don’t have to worry about retrieving or cleaning the cup after use.
  • Lightweight and portable for on-the-go smoothies.
  • Stackable for easy storage and serving smoothies at events or gatherings.
  • Clear plastic allows you to see the smoothie color and texture.
  • Many size options – well suited for smoothie sizes from 8 oz up to 40 oz.
  • Most smoothie shops and cafes use plastic cups for in-store drinks.


  • Not great insulation – can allow smoothies to get warm in hot environments.
  • Disposable rather than reusable – not as eco-friendly.
  • Can crack or break if dropped while full.
  • Doesn’t allow for enjoying smoothie separation or layers.
  • Some plastic can absorb smells and stains over time with repeated use.

Overall, plastic cups are an affordable and portable option well-suited for grab-and-go smoothie sipping. Just be wary of potential spills given the lighter plastic material. For enjoying smoothies in-house at a cafe, plastic is convenient for serving and disposal.

Mason Jars

Mason jars have surged in popularity as smoothie cups in recent years. Here are some key perks and downsides to using mason jars:


  • Reusable – environmentally friendly and cost effective over time.
  • Durable glass material won’t absorb stains or smells.
  • Allows you to view and appreciate smoothie separation and layers.
  • Versatile for blending, storing, transporting, and drinking smoothies.
  • Airtight lids keep smoothies fresher longer.
  • Measuring marks on the jar simplify smoothie recipes.
  • Cute presentation enhances the smoothie making experience.


  • Heavier than plastic – more difficult for transport and drinking on-the-go.
  • No insulation – won’t keep cold like an insulated tumbler.
  • Can break if dropped.
  • Smaller opening than plastic cups makes smoothies harder to drink quickly.
  • Hand washing required since most mason jars are not dishwasher safe.

For homemade smoothies, mason jars are a fun presentation option and make the process feel more gourmet. But the lack of portability and insulation make them less than ideal for take-out smoothie purposes.


Insulated tumblers have exploded in popularity as a portable and reusable cup option for cold drinks like smoothies. Here are some upsides and downsides of tumblers:


  • Insulation keeps smoothies colder longer – great for on-the-go.
  • Durable, reusable, environmentally friendly.
  • Non-toxic materials won’t stain or absorb smells.
  • Fun colors and stylish designs.
  • Travel lids provide spill resistance.
  • Straw tops make sipping smooth easy.
  • Range of sizes from 12oz personal blenders up to 64oz mega smoothies.


  • More expensive than disposable plastic cups.
  • Not ideal for appreciating smoothie separation given smaller opening.
  • Hand washing required for most tumblers.
  • Not as disposable/stackable as plastic cups for high volume use.
  • Can sweat condensation if filled with cold contents.

For portable smoothie drinking, tumblers are a convenient choice to prevent melting and keep smoothies chilled. The lid and straw aspects make them ideal for minimal spilling on-the-go.


Simple glasses can also be great smoothie vessels, especially for enjoying at home. Benefits and considerations of glasses include:


  • Allow you to fully see and appreciate smoothie texture, color and layers.
  • Versatile – can be used for water, juice, milk, cocktails and more when not using for smoothies.
  • Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
  • Durable glass material.
  • Range of shapes and sizes – stemmed glasses, pint glasses, juice glasses all work.
  • Affordable and reusable.


  • No insulation to keep cold – meant for immediate consumption.
  • Risk of breaking or chipping if dropped.
  • Not portable or spill-proof for on-the-go use.
  • May require hand washing for etched, colored or fragile glass types.

Simple drinking glasses are versatile for smoothie enjoyment at home or at a cafe for dine-in. For travel tumblers or jars are better bets, but for home use glass offers an unfussy reusable option.

Key Considerations for Choosing a Smoothie Cup

When selecting a cup for your smoothie, consider the following factors:

  • Portability – Will you be drinking this smoothie at home or on the go? Portable vessels like tumblers and plastic cups are ideal for travel.
  • Insulation – Do you need to keep your smoothie cold for an extended time? Insulated tumblers maintain temperature best.
  • Presentation – Are you looking to showcase layered smoothie separation? Clear vessels like mason jars and glasses show this off.
  • Convenience – For quick, disposable use at a cafe, plastic cups or compostable cups may be most convenient.
  • Eco-Friendliness – Reusable cups like mason jars, tumblers and glasses have less environmental impact.
  • Setting – Where will you primarily be drinking your smoothie? Reusable vessels work well for home use. Disposable cups are great for “on the go” portability.
  • Volume – What smoothie serving size do you plan to make? Match your vessel size to the typical quantity you’ll blend up or purchase.

Taking these factors into account can help guide you to selecting the optimal smoothie cup for your personal preferences and use case.

Popular Smoothie Cup Options

Now that we’ve covered some of the key smoothie vessel types along with their advantages, disadvantages and best use cases, let’s review some of the most popular smoothie cup options on the market today:

Cup Type Popular Options
Plastic Cups Solo 16oz plastic cups, Clear plastic party cups, OXO 20oz smoothie cups
Mason Jars Ball mason jars, Kerr mason jars, Le Parfait mason jars
Tumblers Yeti Rambler, RTIC tumbler, Hydro Flask, Simple Modern tumbler
Glasses Libbey clear glass cups, Duralex Picardie tumblers, Anchor Hocking lowball glasses

These tend to be some of the more reputable and quality options available for each smoothie cup category.

DIY Smoothie Cup Ideas

In addition to the many cup options available for purchase, you can also reuse household items to create DIY smoothie vessels on a budget:

  • Recycle a cleaned out pasta sauce jar or other glass food jar.
  • Use an empty jam or nut butter jar – bonus that measurements are marked.
  • Repurpose any wide-mouth glass or plastic bottle, cutting off the bottom third.
  • Use leftover disposable plastic party cups.
  • Wash and reuse single-serve yogurt cups.
  • Recycle curios, vases or unique glassware items as long as they are food safe.

Get creative rummaging through your recycle bins and kitchen cabinets for items to give new life to as smoothie cup candidates. Just be sure anything you reuse is thoroughly cleaned and food safe.

Factors for Choosing a Commercial Smoothie Cup

For smoothie shops, cafes, juice bars and other food service businesses, choosing smoothie cup offerings requires some additional considerations:

  • What volumes (oz sizes) match your menu smoothie servings?
  • How much insulation and cold retention is needed if customers are taking smoothies to go?
  • Do you need lids, dome lids, or straw options for any cups?
  • What cup materials provide the right balance of cost, durability, and ease of use?
  • Will plastic, compostable paper, or reusable options best suit your business’ eco-friendly initiatives?
  • What size batches will you need to stock up on for item inventory management?
  • Is there an opportunity for branded cups to tie-in with marketing campaigns?

Commercial smoothie businesses need to evaluate the customer smoothie drinking experience, operating costs, environmental impacts, inventory planning, and branding potential when selecting their to-go and in-house smoothie cup options.


When deciding what vessel to use for your next smoothie, you have options ranging from plastic cups to mason jars to tumblers. The drinkware choice ultimately comes down to personal preferences, setting, priorities around elements like portability and insulation, and smoothie consumption volume. While reusable options like glasses, mason jars and tumblers have sustainability benefits, for food service operations or other high-volume settings, disposable plastic cups are still the most affordable and convenient. At the end of the day, your smoothie will taste delicious regardless of cup choice – so opt for the vessel that best suits your lifestyle needs and smoothie habits. Cheers!

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