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Which sugar dispensers are best?

If you like to add a little sweetener to your morning coffee or tea, a sugar dispenser is a great kitchen tchotchke to have. While a bowl of sugar on the counter can attract ants and become clumped with moisture, a sugar dispenser is an enclosed jar that keeps crawling insects out and preserves freshness. The best dispenser not only works well, but it matches your kitchen style and brings flair to sharing morning coffee or afternoon tea with friends and family.

The Goodcook Glass Sugar Dispenser offers a slight twist on a classic design. It feels great in the hand and holds the perfect amount of sugar.

What to know before you buy a sugar dispenser

A sugar dispenser is one of those kitchen tools that it’s easy to take for granted, but the best sugar dispenser is the one that fits your specific needs. 

Pouring feature

Sugar dispensers can have a variety of pouring features. Some of the simplest dispensers use a metal flap on a hinge on the top of the sugar dispenser. When you tip the dispenser over, the sugar presses against the flap and releases through a hole in the top. 

Other types of pouring features include:

  •  A slot
  •  A spout
  •  Holes in a lid

Each of these dispenses sugar in varying amounts. Some of the pouring spouts are also located on the side of the lid instead of on top. This helps you better regulate the amount of sugar dispensed and eliminates the possibility of the lid coming off as you pour.

Dispenser capacity

If you prefer not to refill your dispenser frequently, look for one with a capacity of 12 ounces or more. This makes the dispenser slightly larger, but ensures you have sugar when you need it. 

Style of dispenser 

Is your style more retro diner or utilitarian modern? The dispenser you choose can either stand out or blend in with the rest of your kitchen style. The cleaner the lines, the more modern your dispenser will appear. Stainless steel accents also lend a modern touch but at the same time can be classic, depending on the dispenser’s body. 

What to look for in a quality sugar dispenser

Food-grade materials

The body of the dispenser is usually either glass or plastic that’s clear or opaque. Metal is an option but not as common). If you opt for plastic, make sure that it is labeled BPA-free and food-grade, which will keep you away from the potentially harmful chemical bisphenol A. 

Lid security

Nothing will ruin a good cup of coffee like the lid popping off your sugar dispenser and pouring its contents into your cup. Look for a dispenser with a lid that snaps or screws on securely. 

Adjustable, measured dispensing

For people concerned with portion control or reducing their sugar intake, an adjustable dispenser that offers measured dispensing can help. Set the pouring feature to a specific quantity so you don’t worry about pouring too much sugar at once. 

How much you can expect to spend on a sugar dispenser

Well-made, durable dispensers cost between $10 and $15.

Sugar dispenser FAQ

Can you use a sugar dispenser for other things?

A. Yes. They can be used for dispensing other types of dry goods including:

  • Powdered creamer 
  • Salt
  • Fiber powder
  • Sugar substitutes like stevia
  • Decorative sugar, such as powdered sugar or sanding sugar 
  • Cinnamon sugar
  • Any powdered spice 

Some people also use a sugar dispenser with holes in the lid as a glitter shaker.

How do you care for a sugar dispenser?

A. Most are dishwasher safe, but you may want to hand-wash them in order to prolong their life. Use hot, soapy water and a sponge to remove all crusty sugar from inside the dispenser’s body.

Sometimes holding a dispenser over a steaming hot beverage can cause condensation to form around the pouring spout. If you find that the pouring spout or holes are clogged, you may need to soak the lid with the dispenser in hot water to remove the sugar. Rinse and dry both the dispenser’s lid and body completely before refilling with sugar. 

What are the best sugar dispensers to buy?

Top sugar dispenser

Goodcook Glass Sugar Dispenser

Goodcook Glass Sugar Dispenser

What you need to know: This simple, functional dispenser works with any kitchen style.

What you’ll love: It fits easily in the hand and holds 1½ cups of sugar. The wide base tapers slightly to the snap-on cap. The body of the dispenser is glass, and the cap is BPA-free plastic.

What you should consider: It’s best for fine sugar.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top sugar dispenser for the money

UniversoBasics Glass Sugar Shaker

UniversoBasics Glass Sugar Shaker

What you need to know: This diner-style dispenser adds a retro touch to your coffee and tea service.

What you’ll love: The body is glass, and the dispensing top is stainless steel. It has clean lines and a simple pouring flap on the top of the dispenser. The lid is secure, and all parts are dishwasher safe.

What you should consider: Steam can condense on the pouring flap and 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: This dispenser has clean, classic lines and performs its job well.

What you’ll love: The plastic body is smooth and seamless, leading to a cap with stainless steel accents. This dispenser has an adjustable pouring spout on the side of the cap for easy portion control.

What you should consider: The plastic body is a little lighter and less substantial than other dispensers. Some users preferred glass. It is also smaller than the others on this list.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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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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