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Which sugar shaker is best?

When just a spoonful of sugar is needed to help the medicine go down or to sweeten a hot drink, a sugar shaker is a great way to dispense it. The best sugar shaker smoothly dispenses sugar and requires little care beyond the occasional wash.

The Goodcook Glass Sugar Dispenser has classic lines and an old-fashioned style that works in even the most modern kitchens.

What to know before you buy a sugar shaker


A sugar shaker isn’t much use if it runs out frequently. The best sugar shakers hold at least 9 ounces but many people prefer larger sizes. If that sounds like you, or if you use your sugar shaker for baking, too, look for a capacity of 12 ounces or more.

Type of spout

Traditional diner-style sugar shakers feature a metal flap that opens when you press behind it. Other types of spout include a flip-open rigid spout, a slit or holes (like a shaker). If you are nervous about upending your sugar shaker, look for one with a side spout. This allows for more gradual dispensing.


The classic diner style features a grooved glass column and a stainless-steel screw-on cap, but others might want sleeker designs. Materials influence the style, too. Retro sugar shakers might lean heavily on plastic, while more modern sugar shakers use metal and glass.

What to look for in a quality sugar shaker

Secure lid

The best sugar shaker has a lid that won’t budge no matter how suddenly you pour or how much sugar presses on it. The lid should screw on tightly or snap securely.

Adjustable dispenser

Some sugar shakers feature a dispenser that is adjustable. You can change the width of the opening; this means you can use your sugar shaker for larger sugars such as demerara sugar or even powdered creamer.

Dishwasher safe

Most sugar shakers are dishwasher safe. If you notice water spots on the glass or the lid, follow up each wash with a quick polish. You can always hand-wash to prolong the life of your sugar shaker.

BPA-free plastic

If you choose a sugar shaker that uses any plastic components, make sure it is clearly labeled BPA-free. This ensures the plastic is safe and food grade.

How much you can expect to spend on a sugar shaker

Expect to spend $10-$15. 

Sugar shaker FAQ

How do you know how much sugar is dispensed?

A. If you are trying to limit or reduce your sugar intake, dispense sugar into a teaspoon instead of directly into your beverage. You can also look for sugar shakers that have a pre-measured amount of sugar dispensed in each pour.

What else can you use a sugar shaker for? 

A. Sugar shakers are built to dispense their namesake, but you can fill them with any type of powdered substance, such as fiber powder, sugar substitutes, salt or spices for dusting.

Some bakers use sugar shakers when they need a single teaspoon of finishing sugar. This is easier and more convenient than hauling out a large bag of sugar, especially when you only need a small amount.

How do you clean the spout if it clogs?

A. Some people notice that the sugar clogs right around the spout or pouring area. This occurs when you hold the sugar shaker over a hot beverage. The steam from the beverage condenses on the spout and catches this sugar. Over time, a small crust can form. 

If your sugar shaker is dishwasher safe, simply run the lid and the spout through the dishwasher. If you prefer, rinse the lid in hot water and allow it to dry completely before reassembling your shaker.

What’s the best sugar shaker to buy?

Top sugar shaker

Goodcook Glass Sugar Dispenser

Goodcook Glass Sugar Dispenser

What you need to know: This is a very basic shaker with a design that goes with pretty much any decor.

What you’ll love: This holds 12 ounces of sugar and features a snap cap for an easy, secure closure. The plastic top is made from BPA-free plastic.

What you should consider: Some users didn’t like the wide base and narrowing top. Fine sugar and sugar substitutes dispense more easily.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top sugar shaker for the money

UniversoBasics Glass Sugar Shaker

UniversoBasics Glass Sugar Shaker

What you need to know: This design mimics the classic design of diner sugar shakers.

What you’ll love: The body is glass and the top is stainless with a flap that opens to dispense sugar. It’s dishwasher safe and can be used one-handed.

What you should consider: If steam rises from your coffee or tea as you pour, condensation near the flap can cause sugar to clump.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

OXO Good Grips Sugar Dispenser

OXO Good Grips Sugar Dispenser

What you need to know: OXO is a trusted maker of kitchen utensils and this sugar shaker is a high-quality example of that.

What you’ll love: The spout is on the side, which allows for better control as you pour. You can adjust the spout to be wider or more narrow. The lid has sleek stainless steel accents.

What you should consider: It only holds 9 ounces of sugar (just over a cup), so you’ll need to refill it more often. The body is plastic.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Bed, Bath & Beyond


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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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