Now, you’re on the hunt to find the perfect reusable straw.
Could it be bamboo?
It just may be!
By the end of this review, you will know for sure.
Go on, keep reading. You’re on your way to knowing everything you need to make an informed decision.
- Product Overview
- Ingredients Deep-dive
- Label Claims
- Manufacturer Sustainability Model
- Product Packaging
- Where to Purchase
The bamboo straws I will be reviewing are ALUNME Natural Organic Bamboo Straws.
I ordered these from Amazon, they came in a set of 15 straws.
I put these bamboo straws to the test! I used them to drink coffee (hot), water (cold), and my all-time favorite drink a smoothie (thick)!
I know you are eager for the results, so let’s just get to it.
My liquid of choice was coffee for this test because I love it, and it’s pretty much the only hot liquid that I drink. Keep in mind that it came directly from the coffee maker and I added a splash of milk. So, it wasn’t boiling hot. I did have to drink it, after all, and I prefer to leave my taste buds on my tongue rather than having them scalded off!
- thick straws ensured my lips didn’t burn
- fits well in an average sized mug
- had to suck hard even though it was just coffee
- feels like you’re drinking through a pencil crayon, it’s a little weird
I used water for this test because I am boring and water is essentially the only liquid I drink, besides coffee.
- the bamboo insulates your mouth against the temperature of the water
- nice size for average sized cups and glasses
- had to pull pretty hard even though it was just water
- too small to comfortably drink out of large mason jars or cups
Smoothies are the greatest drink EVER! If you have never tried one, you must. Although I do not work for a smoothie advocate group (but if there was one, I totally would!), I promote them shamelessly.
But alas, this is not a smoothie review post, this is about bamboo straws. Focus.
- lips did not get cold while drinking
- fits small cups and jars well
- really had to pull to get the smoothie up the narrow shaft (oddly sexual, unintentional)
- too short for a large jar or cup
Honestly, I wasn’t a huge fan of these straws. Mostly because I drink out of large mason jars the majority of the time and these are just too short for comfortable use. Since I generally don’t drink my coffee from a straw, these just weren’t appropriate for my needs.
I also do not like having to pull so hard to get a liquid into my mouth, it almost gave me a headache! I can see these straws as more of a novelty at a party than everyday use, at least in my opinion.
Honestly, I found these straws to be a huge pain in the butt to wash.
While they did come with cleaning brushes, the diameter of these straws vary from tiny to really tiny and the cleaning brush gets stuck in pretty much all of them.
Sometimes I have to pull quite hard to get the cleaning brush back out.
That being said, the easiest way to clean them is to rinse them out as soon as you’re finished your drink. I would be hesitant to let them soak in the dishwater for any length of time in case of swelling. That may sound strange since they are straws but I wouldn’t leave them in a drink all day either.
Can bamboo straws go in the dishwasher?
This question is a bit tricky to answer. Some brands claim that their bamboo straws are dishwasher safe (ALUNME, the brand of my straws, did not state whether or not they were). However, I would be very hesitant to clean them in the dishwasher.
I don’t put any of my bamboo utensils in the dishwasher because I think it is too harsh for natural materials, so I wouldn’t put these straws in the dishwasher either.
So what is the best way to clean these straws?
How to care for bamboo straws
- Rinse out immediately after every use
- Air-dry and store in a well-ventilated area
- On a monthly basis, soak straws in boiling water and vinegar for a thorough cleaning (only for a few minutes)
The one and only ingredient is organic bamboo.
While the package or advertising does not specifically state whether or not they are carved from a single bamboo culm or made from bamboo fiber, I would take an educated guess that they were carved from a single culm.
The difference between bamboo fiber and carved from a culm is the use of adhesives. Bamboo fiber needs to be adhered together by chemicals, whereas if it is carved from a single culm, no adhesives are necessary.
I believe these are carved from a single bamboo culm because they are not uniform in their diameter. I would think if bamboo fiber was used, they would all be a uniform thickness.
Of course, this is my own opinion. I could not find any substantive information one way or the other, I can only hypothesize.
This is my favorite part of the review! I like being able to hold a manufacturer accountable to their word. If they are stretching the truth about a claim or flat out lying, I will call them out on it.
Since these straws did not have any label claim, per se, I will be analyzing their Amazon advertising instead.
Let’s dig in!
Made of Natural Bamboo
Unfortunately, the word natural is used willy-nilly in the eco-friendly stratosphere.
There is no regulation, so companies slap this green sounding word on everything.
Always look for a third-party certification to verify this claim.
There was no third-party certification on these ALUNME bamboo straws.
I would disregard this claim as it is unproven.
I know it actually says envirement friendly, but I am going to assume they meant to spell environmentally instead.
These straws do not appear to be certified organic by a third party organization such as the USDA, as there is no indication in the advertisement or on the box.
This claim is unsubstantiated.
Yes, these bamboo straws are reusable.
Assuming these straws are carved from a single bamboo culm, they will break down in a compost heap after disposal.
Bamboo is a sustainable resource as it grows very fast and is rapidly renewable. This claim is true.
As there are no plastics used in the making of bamboo straws, this claim is true.
Assuming these straws are not tested on animals and are made from 100% bamboo, this claim is true.
Having used these straws for a little while now, I can attest that they are of high quality. Bamboo is inherently very strong. I don’t feel like I could snap them in half like a pencil or anything.
The description states that each straw has its own characteristics which are also true as the diameters differ slightly from straw to straw.
The Perfect Fit
The width of these straws would probably fit into any straw hole because they are about the same width as a conventional straw.
I don’t, however, believe the length of these straws would fit a 30oz tumbler comfortably. They are not very long and do not fit a large glass as well as a longer straw would. They would probably be fine for a 20oz tumbler though.
This claim is stretching the truth a little bit, in my opinion.
Honestly, I did not contact ALUMNE for a refund, so I cannot say if this claim is true or not.
I measured these independently and compared them to what is advertised on Amazon. Here are the results.
Length: 19.5 cm or 7 3/4 inches
Outer Diameter: 0.8cm or 1/4 inch
Inner Diameter: ranges from 0.3-0.4cm or about 1/8 inch
Length: 9 inches
Outer Diameter: 1/4 inch
I measured more than one straw, so I am confident that my measurements are true.
Beware, they are at least one inch shorter than advertised.
Also, the inner diameter was not mentioned in the advertisement, probably because they are inconsistent between straws. When the diameter is that small, a fraction of an inch makes a big difference in functionality.
Bottom line is these straws are not exactly as advertised when it comes to size.
manufacturer sustainability model
Ok, I have to come clean here.
I honestly have no idea what the manufacturer sustainability model is for ALUNME bamboo straws.
I could not find any information about ALUNME on the internet.
The fact that they don’t have a company website or even a facebook page leads me to believe that they don’t have an actual sustainability model for their manufacturing of bamboo straws.
I made a mistake and didn’t take the time to quickly google this company before I ordered the straws to see if they are an environmentally sound company.
They very well could be, but I would feel more comfortable knowing for sure and not having to guess.
Learn from my mistake! Take a second and google a company before you order from them to ensure they care about the environment as much as you do.
These bamboo straws come in a nice grey velvet bag, making it very easy to put a couple of straws in and stick it in your purse or bag before going out.
As with any reusable straw, if you’re drinking a smoothie or any other thick drink, it would be beneficial to rinse out the straw immediately after use. This is particularly true for bamboo straws as soaking them in dishwater for an extended period of time to get the gunk out may not be ideal.
Also, another potential hitch is that these straws may not be long enough for large bottles or large fountain drinks, so you may have to adjust the size of your drink to a medium or small when using these straws on the go.
where to purchase
Bamboo straws are easily purchased on Amazon, no surprises there! If you like what you have read so far, and want to give these straws a try, here are a couple of links to get you started.
For My American Friends
For My Canadian Friends
These straws appear to be reasonably priced.
At the time of this article, a pack of 15 straws is just $13.76 for my American friends.
Breaking that down further, each straw is a mere $0.92. That’s not bad, in my opinion.
As for my Canadian friends, as usual, the price is a little steeper at $15.99 for a set of 15 straws.
That works out to be about $1.07 per straw. Still a pretty decent price, in my opinion.
Keep in mind that these are reusable straws, so they will most likely last a pretty long time, especially since they come in a set of fifteen.
How do you dispose of your old bamboo straws?
The way I see it, you have a few options to dispose of your spent bamboo straws.
- Reuse them: You can give these straws a second life by using them as plant markers in the garden before their final resting place in the compost heap.
- Compost heap: These straws are biodegradable so you can simply add them to your compost pile at home, or a commercial pile in your community.
- Pass them on: If you have tried these straws and you don’t care for them or there are simply too many in a package for you to use, gift them to someone who might enjoy them.
Bamboo straws are not the only reusable option. There are many alternatives to disposable plastic straws.
Here are a few you might want to try.
- Silicone: a good option for kids as they are flexible
- Glass: a great option for smoothies as they have a wide diameter
- Stainless Steel: perfect for on-the-go, a great replacement for single-use plastic straws
Like the idea of bamboo straws, but want more options? I got you covered.
FOr my Canadian Friends
For My American Friends
There are a couple reasons why I did not particularly like these straws.
- They are thin and unenjoyable to drink from, in my opinion.
- They are a pain in the butt to clean.
I think these straws would make a great novelty item, such as at a luau themed party, but not a great option for everyday use.
I do love how they are biodegradable, but that one fact alone is not going to sway me to switch to exclusively bamboo straws.
So what am I going to do with my 15 bamboo straws? Well, I will probably keep a couple just because, and the rest I will be regifting to family members and my kid’s teachers.
I would still encourage you to give bamboo straws a try if they appeal to you. They are just not the right choice for me.
Let me know what you think of bamboo straws. What is your reusable straw of choice? I love to hear from you!