The Best Paper Straws for an Eco-Friendly Alternative

Avoid adding to the plastic litter cluttering the oceans—and even have a bit of fun—with these biodegradable paper straws.

By Rebecca Wolken | Updated Mar 31, 2021 11:15 AM

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The Best Paper Straws Options


Plastic straws are everywhere. Americans use 500 million plastic straws every day, and too many of them end up in our planet’s oceans. In fact, plastic straws are the 11th-most-common trash item found in the ocean. This problem could be reduced by replacing plastic straws with biodegradable paper straws.

When shopping for a pack of paper straws, the following features are worth considering. First, what’s the intended use of the straw? If you will be using it to sip thin beverages like water, soda, juice, or tea, a narrow-diameter straw will work fine. Thicker beverages like smoothies, slushies, and bubble tea require wider straws. Generally, standard straws are 0.2 inches wide, smoothie straws are 0.25 inches wide, and bubble tea or milkshake straws (also called colossal straws) are 0.4 inches wide.

The second feature to consider is the number of straws you need. Paper straws come in packs ranging from 25 to 200. To keep straws on hand for sipping the occasional glass of soda, a small pack will do. If a party or holiday is coming up where guests will be sipping, buy a box with enough straws to go around.

Last, look for straws in colors or patterns you like, or that fit the theme of the event where they’re being used. The best paper straws come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and even themes.

Our Top Picks

With the above considerations in mind, here’s a list of some of the best paper straws in a range of categories.

Best Overall

The Best Paper Straws Option: ALINK Biodegradable Paper Straws

This pack of 100 biodegradable paper straws by ALINK is a good option for birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, or just for everyday use. The straws are made of paper, so they’re biodegradable, BPA-free, and printed with food-safe ink. They’re thick and durable, and they won’t fall apart in hot or cold drinks. They even hold up well for extended periods of time. Not only can they be used for drinks, but they can also be used as sticks for baked treats like cake pops.

The straws come in four patterns: pink wave, gold wave, pink stripe, and gold stripe. The straws are 7.75 inches long and 0.25 inches wide, so they’re big enough to handle thicker beverages. There are 25 straws in each pattern.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Paper Straws Option: Naturalik Biodegradable Paper Straws

For those in need of functional straws, not fancy ones, these plain brown paper straws by Naturalik may be the right choice. They are made with paper that’s chlorine-free, dye-free, and sourced from forests grown and harvested ethically. They are a safe and healthy way to enjoy beverages. The straws are biodegradable and can be composted in a backyard pile or a municipal site.

The straws are 7.7 inches long and 0.25 inches wide, so they can handle thicker beverages. They’re made with 33 percent more paper than many other paper straws, so they last longer than thinner straws. There are 300 straws in a pack, enough for a party or a prepper. If plain brown isn’t the right look, Naturalik also offers these straws in gold, black, multicolor, or a pink-stripe pattern at the same price as the brown ones.

Best for Smoothies

The Best Paper Straws Option: HIWARE Extra Wide Paper Smoothie & Boba Straws

Smoothies and boba tea tend to be thicker than other drinks, and they can be hard to sip through a thinner straw. These paper straws by Hiware solve that problem. At 0.4 inches, they are not only wider than standard straws, but they are also longer—8.5 inches—so they reach deeper into a beverage.

HIWARE’s big straws are also good for milkshakes and slushies. They’re constructed of durable paper that won’t fall apart in hot or cold liquid, even for slow sippers. There are five colors in the pack of 100, including red, blue, green, yellow, and purple. They have a striped design that’s fun for a party.

Best Rainbow Pack

The Best Paper Straws Option: Comfy Package Paper Drinking Straws

To get festive with sipping, check out Comfy Package’s 200-pack of paper straws in eight striped colors. These straws are printed with bleed-free, food-safe ink and are multilayered, so they won’t get soggy or fall apart while in drinks. They’re constructed of BPA-free paper and are 100 percent biodegradable.

These Comfy Package straws measure 7.75 inches long and 0.25 inches wide, so they can handle some thicker beverages. They look like a party, striped in hues of purple, blue, red, light green, green, yellow, pink, and light blue. Keep these on the counter at the office or at home, and feel good about reducing plastic waste while still enjoying favorite drinks with a straw.

Best Minimal Design

The Best Paper Straws Option: Comfy Package Kraft Paper Drinking Straws

Comfy Package’s biodegradable paper straws keep the aesthetic simple with their undyed kraft paper construction. The straws in this 200-pack are ink-free, so they are food safe. They’re made of three layers of thick paper to ensure the straws don’t fall apart or become soggy when left in drinks for extended periods.

The straws measure 7.7 inches long and 0.24 inches in diameter, making them a good size for a range of beverages. Use these for the home, office, parties, and events, or keep them in a purse to use instead of plastic straws when at cafes or restaurants.

Best for Holidays

The Best Paper Straws Option: Cooraby Easter Colors Paper Straws

Whether used for tea, soda, or alcoholic drinks, colorful straws are a great way to add fun to beverages. These festive straws by Cooraby come in six patterns aimed for the holidays: pastel-striped straws for Easter, orange and black stripes with geometric patterns for Halloween, red and white stripes and hearts for Valentine’s Day, and red and green patterns for Christmas. Each pack of 200 includes eight designs with 25 straws in each print.

The straws are 7.8 inches long length and 0.2 inches wide, making them suitable for thin beverages such as water, tea, cocktails, or juice. The straws are made of approved paper and food-grade ink.

Best Pattern Options

The Best Paper Straws Option: EASY ROAD Biodegradable Paper Straws

Sometimes there doesn’t need to be a reason to use a fun paper straw, and with these patterned paper straws, even an average cup of water can feel fun. With nine options to choose from, almost everyone is sure to find the design that suits their style and personality. The options are watermelon print, silver stripes, rose gold stripes, gold stripes, pineapple print, Halloween print, leaf print, bamboo print, and Christmas pattern.

Each purchase comes with 100 durable paper straws that are 7.8 inches long and 0.24 inches wide. They are made with BPA-free paper and have three durable material layers to reduce the risk of getting soggy or falling apart. It’s even safe to use them in hot or cold drinks.