When preparing ice for your drinks, you might not think about the plastic tray you’re using. However, many ice cube trays contain BPA, a potentially harmful chemical found in plastics.
Since ice is often one of those things we leave in the freezer for months on end (or longer – we’ve all done it), it’s worth considering a fresh approach to ice-making.
BPA is a chemical which is found in many plastic products which can break down over time with exposure to fluids and then released into our foods and drinks.
The effects of BPA on our health have been researched recently, with results showing that it may be better to avoid products which use this substance.
BPA is speculated to affect hormone levels and fertility due to the fact it is shaped very similarly to oestrogen and is even suspected to contribute to an increase in blood pressure and obesity.
Since ice cube trays are in constant contact with the water as it turns into ice and then remains in contact while storing it, the BPA in a tray could end up leaking into the ice cubes.
If you do want to avoid BPA as much as possible, this could be an area to consider going BPA-free in.
Here are some of the best BPA-free ice cube tray options available in the UK at the moment.
Best BPA-Free Ice Cube Trays in the UK
1. Kompanion 40 Piece Ice Cube Tray
For those who like to have ice cubes in all of their cold drinks, this set of two 20-piece trays from Kompanion would be a perfect choice.
Made from premium, food-safe silicone, these trays are a great alternative to plastic. You’ll get to spend less time trying to get the ice out of the tray and spend more time sipping your ice-cold beverage!
The standard 1-inch ice cubes will fit into most drinking receptacles which means you aren’t limited to having to find large cups or glasses for your beverages.
Since you get 2 trays, you could give one away as part of a gift – perhaps a DIY gin customisation kit? If you do keep it, you could have one tray of plain water ice cubes and another tray with juice, coffee or fruity cubes!
- Easy to use
- Easy to remove ice
- Dishwasher safe
- Lifetime warranty
- Relatively expensive
- Packaging is made from plastic
- Ice cubes may take on a mild taste from the silicone over time
2. TopElek Ice Cube Trays
If you’ve got a big family or you’re planning a huge garden party this summer, then this set of four TopElek ice cube trays is sure to float your boat.
Each tray comes with its own lid, which is perfect for a jam-packed freezer, when the ice may come into contact with foods due to lack of space.
These BPA-free plastic trays have soft bottoms, so the ice can be pushed from the tray with ease – no need for bashing it off the kitchen bench!
The seller recommends waiting a little once the ice is removed from the freezer – this makes ice removal much easier.
They make the perfect sized cubes if you like to make your own stock or if you want to add a little extra flavour to drinks with juicy ice cubes.
With four trays in a pack, you could opt to give a couple away as part of a gift drinks set.
- Comes with 4 lids (one for each tray)
- Dishwasher safe
- 45-day money back guarantee (18-month worry-free guarantee)
- Easy to use
- Choice of green, blue or a mix
- Quite expensive (especially if you don’t need 4 trays)
- Lids do not click in place (but the seller is very clear about this)
- Small cube size may not suit all
- Ice may not come out as easily as expected
3. FYLINA Black Silicone Ice Cube Trays
If you’re into your spirits and whiskey is one of your faves, you might like the idea of round ice cubes – ice spheres are great for cooling your drink without watering it down too much because spherical ice actually takes longer to melt!
Serve your friends drinks with one of these and they’ll feel like they’re in a snazzy bar.
This set of two silicone ice trays from FYLINA may be a little on the pricey side, but you get a 6-cube tray as well as the 6-sphere tray.
The ice shapes you make in this tray are nice and big, so they’re perfect for creating a variety of cubes – maybe flavoured or with fruit pieces inside.
Silicone can actually withstand up to 220°C so these trays could be used to bake little snacks, maybe some cake pops!
- Dishwasher safe
- Flexible for ice removal
- Largely sized ice cubes
- Spherical ice making included
- Quite expensive
- Only makes 6 cubes or spheres at a time
- Spheres may be difficult to fill
- Sphere tray may be hard to seal together
4. Ticent & Co Silicone Ice Cube Trays
Very similar to the set above, these trays from Ticent & Co feature a large, 6-cube tray as well as a 6-sphere tray.
Due to the design of the spherical ice tray, you could pop in some wooden sticks and make your own ice lollies with any fruity flavours you wish!
The food-grade silicone will mean that you can enjoy your icy treats without worrying about any harsh chemicals.
As we mentioned above, there is a benefit to ice spheres – they take longer to melt in your drink, which makes them perfect for those drinks “on the rocks” which you don’t want watered down too much.
In fact, the large 2-inch cubes are perfect for whiskey and other spirits too.
- Easy to use cube tray
- Easy to remove ice
- Generously sized ice cubes and spheres
- Dishwasher safe
- Pretty expensive
- Spheres may not be easy to get perfect
- Seal on sphere tray lid may be temperamental
- May need cleaning with hot water initially to remove any flavour taint
5. iGadgitz Home Silicone Ice Cube Trays
Here is another option for those who like ice in every cold drink, as you get two 15-cube trays made from food safe, non-stick silicone.
When you make your ice cubes in these trays, you will get a slightly chamfered edge around one end of the cube – adding a little bit of interest to an otherwise simple looking ice cube shape!
The blue-teal colour of the tray is fun and is perfect if you like all of your kitchenware to be colourful! A super choice for families, as there’s plenty of cubes for everyone’s drinks.
The cubes are the perfect size for any cup – little or large. If you don’t need two trays, there is the option to just buy one.
- Easy to clean
- Very easy to remove ice
- Relatively generously sized cubes
- Decently priced
- Silicone smell/taste may taint ice cubes
- Small cube size might not suit everyone
- Packaging isn’t recyclable
- Silicone may be too ‘floppy’ for some
Is Silicone Safe?
Most of the BPA-products reviewed here are made from silicone instead of plastic, so you’re probably wondering, is silicone safe?
While more research into the effects of silicone on health is needed, silicone is generally regarded as safer for the health and better for the environment than plastic.
Here are some of the advantages silicone has over plastic:
- BPA and phthalate free
- Doesn’t crack or stiffen with age
- Doesn’t break down into tiny particles that can be ingested by marine life, unlike plastics which break down into microplastics.
When choosing a silicone ice cube tray, look for one made from food-grade silicone. “Food grade” means the silicone used is pure, non-corrosive and inert, and doesn’t have toxic chemical fillers.
Silicone is used because it has similar properties to plastic—it can be easily formed into the shape of an ice cube tray and is flexible so you can pop ice cubes out without breaking the tray.
Silicone can leach chemicals, but this is more of an issue when baking with silicone products rather than using them in the freezer.
Stuart Yaniger, one of the authors of this 2011 study into plastic leaching, commented here that “although silicones can be formulated to be free of leachable endocrine disruptors, most aren’t, including most medical grades”.
However, this was in the context of cooking with silicone products, not using silicone ice cube trays.
Most of the ice cube trays reviewed here are quite similar, but if we had to pick just one to recommend it would be the Kompanion 40 Piece Ice Cube Tray as it’s very practical, easy to use and is also one of the most popular BPA-free ice cube trays on the market at the moment.
Food safe silicone ice moulds seem to be the most popular way to keep your drinks cool while avoiding BPA, the choice is down to you as to what number, size and even shape of ice mould suits you best.
When trying to choose the right tray for you, consider the size of the tray(s) as well as the cube size, as you want to actually be able to fit it into your freezer.
But, as we found out, larger cubes can mean your drinks stay colder for longer without being watered down too heavily… the choice is yours!
If you don’t like ‘boring’ things, novelty ice cubes are a fun way to add interest to cocktails and other beverages, not to mention they make a nice talking point at the beginning of a dinner party.
There are lots of BPA-free options for fun shaped moulds, so if cubes and spheres just don’t cut the mustard, you’re sure to find something that does.
Naturaler is a UK website full of tips and recommendations for living a more eco-friendly, chemical-free and natural lifestyle.