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Silicone straws versus metal straws, which option is best for the chronically ill?
In early 2019 a war was declared on disposable plastic straws. As someone who struggles with chronic pain and other physical limitations from my chronic illnesses, I was not happy with some of my favorite places suddenly deciding to discontinue offering straws to patrons. So unhappy that I wrote about it.
To be clear, I am not anti-earth and think we should all do what we can to help the environment. However, I also believe that the abilities and disabilities of the chronically ill and handicapped. With that said, this past summer I decided to put reusable straws to the test.
While I am not 100% sold on using reusable while away from home, I do favor one type of straw over the other. Find out which is safer to use, easier to clean, and best fits your needs.
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied with caffeine. It’s a win for everyone. I am not a medical professional and nothing stated in this article is to be mistaken for medical advice.
Metal Straws for the Chronically Ill
Being that I am allergic to metal, my husband tested out the metal straws. With my allergy, I am unable to use metal straws or drink beverages from a metal cup or thermos. Drinking out of metal or having metal touching my beverage results in swelling, itching, and burning of my gums, tongue, and throat. It also distorts the taste, leaving everything tasting like metal.
As with everything, there are pros and cons. Besides my allergy, there are other reasons why I wouldn’t choose metal straws. With that said, what doesn’t work for me may be just right for you. Here are the pros and cons of using metal straws with a chronic illness.
Pros of Metal Straws
- Stay cold in iced beverages
- They are eco friendly
- Easy to clean immediately after use while at home
Cons of Metal Straws
- The ones we purchased were too big to fit through the “sippy” cup lid on Starbuck’s iced coffees.
- Gets hot in hot beverages. While most people do not use straws for hot beverages, I do when experiencing muscle spasms throughout my arms and hands.
- The danger of scraping gums, chipping teeth, and impaling mouth.
- Not easy to clean when away from home and require the use of a cleaning tool.
- Difficult to clean if not able to immediately after use.
Silicone Straws for the Chronically Ill
I am going to start off by admitting that I am team silicone straws! But that doesn’t mean they are for you. Each person has their own needs and preferences. And as I shared above, having a metal allergy made choosing between the two a no-brainer.
Pros of Silicone Straws
- Fits in lids that other straws can’t
- Is not affected by the temperature of the beverage
- No danger of impaling or injuring self
- Easier to clean at home and on the go as I am able to rub the inside walls from the outside with my fingers.
- Bend to fit in any case to fit in your purse, bag, or wallet.
Cons of Silicone Straws
- Difficult to clean if not able to immediately after use.
- Does not fit easily through an average crisscross straw opening on plastic lids for takeout beverages. The opening needs to be stretched with your fingers.
- Not easy to clean on the go after drinking thick beverages.
- Wobbly if not in a tall cup.
It is my opinion that silicone straws are the best option for anyone who suffers from muscle spasms, hand tremors, or has balance issues.
While I have come a fan of silicone straws, I am still not 100% sold on using them outside my home.
They are perfect for water, tea, and black coffee, but any beverage with milk or other ingredients that could create a film inside the reusable straw creates more work for the person who has already used a great deal of their energy in just leaving the house. I still feel they are not suitable for full-time use and that is why I still carry a case of disposable plastic straws in my purse.
Have you fully discontinued use of disposable straws?
What are your thoughts on silicone straws versus metal straws?
7 thoughts on “Silicone Straws Versus Metal Straws – Which Is Better For The Chronically Ill?”
I really can’t stand the feel of metal on my teeth, urghhh, not really keen on silicone either they seem to big, I use paper more than any other, I know they go soggy but I find they fit in everything, obviously I can’t use them with hot though, very insightful as ever though, lovely lady x
Finding the right straw is so difficult. Thanks Rachael!
A really interesting one to cover, Cynthia. I started a post on this ages ago but never got around to finishing it. Oops! I’ll admit… I bought a bunch more single-use plastic straws from China at the point of them being banned in the UK. I use them mostly for Pepsi Max (a guilty pleasure because of the connective tissue disease making me so damn thirsty, doc said I needed something other than gulping gallons of water each day). I have sensitive teeth and drinking without a straw is a no-no. Metal would concern me because of my teeth chipping, if that happens any more I won’t have any bloody teeth left.
I’ve tried paper straws which I’ve found to be rubbish and I’ve tried silicone only to find they’re too wobbly as Gemma says, so useless if you’re too poorly to get up.
I do think it would be helpful to have had straw recycling rather than banning them. If you use a bin I don’t see how/why they’d end up in the ocean, so I think the issue is with those littering & the lack of recycling.xx
I feel the same about straw recycling ♻️. Popping one onto a separate bin would be so much easier than trying to wash reusable. Going to add the wobbly issue to the silicone cons later. Off to take my new power chair out for its maiden voyage.
Have a smooth ride! x
I still find plastic ones just right, although I’ve been using metal ones with silicone tips. I have to have the vent metal ones rather than straight. And need the silicone end to bite on when sucking. But the full on silicone ones are too wobbly for me.
Glad you mentioned them being wobbly. I’ve only used them in tall cups and it hasn’t been an issue, but I can see how it would in a smaller size.