Wood vs. Plastic Coffee Stirrers

Choosing Between Wood vs. Plastic Coffee Stirrers

No matter if you’re finishing off a delicious meal with dessert and a cup of coffee or taking a break during your workday, you’ll want to have a stir stick that helps mix all of your additions into your coffee before you enjoy it.

Generally speaking, you get the choice of a plastic or wooden stir stick, and both allow you to stir and enjoy your drink anytime during the day or night.

Wood vs. Plastic Coffee Stirrers

You can toss out your wood stir sticks when you finish with them as they are bio-degradable and won’t pollute the environment. Plastic stir sticks have several toxic elements in their makeup that can pollute the environment if you toss them out, and they don’t break down well on their own. So, which one is the best one to choose to stir your daily coffee or two?

If you plan on hosting an event, having friends over, or entertaining in general, having coffee on for your company is a must. Stirring your ingredients can give you the perfect cup of coffee to sip as you sit and chat, so you have to decide if you want wooden or plastic ones.

We’ll break down both options for you below, and you can decide which ones work best for your needs.

What You Call Coffee Stirrers

At the core, a coffee stirrer is a small plastic or wooden stick that you use to stir hot drinks before you enjoy them, including coffee, tea, or cappuccino.

If you get larger plastic or wooden sticks on the other end of the spectrum, you use them to stir drinks or cocktails. The large sticks are called swizzle sticks, and the smaller options are called stirring sticks.

Comparing Wooden and Plastic Stir Sticks

There are seven big differences between the plastic or wooden stir sticks that you can buy. Knowing what the differences are can help you make an informed decision when you start shopping.

Leaching Agents

  • Wooden Stirrers – Wooden stirrers can tolerate hot drink temperatures without transferring the taste of the wooden stir stick into your coffee.
  • Plastic Stirrers – When you have hotter beverages, the plastic stirrers can release toxic elements and harmful bonds into your coffee. They can impart Benzene, Melamine, Styrene, and other elements into your drink.


  • Wooden Stirrers – These stirrers are biodegradable. You can toss them out with your food waste into the environment without posing any pollution risks to the area.
  • Plastic Stirrers – There are several toxic elements in these stirrers to pollute the environment, and they won’t break down easily once you toss them out.

Taste Alteration

  • Wooden Stirrers – This is a very economical choice that won’t cause the taste of your coffee to change when you use them.
  • Plastic Stirrers – Plastic stirrers can change the taste profile of your beverage, especially if your coffee is extremely hot when you use them.


  • Wooden Stirrers – Aesthetically speaking, wooden stirrers are more visually pleasing to look at. In turn, they go with more decor styles.
  • Plastic Stirrers – These stirrers are typically not as visually or aesthetically pleasing to look at as they look cheap by design.


  • Wooden Stirrers – Almost all wooden stirrers feature biodegradable and eco-friendly bamboo and birch wood.
  • Plastic Stirrers – Almost any plastic coffee stirrer has a very toxic material called polystyrene plastic. You can’t burn it out in the open, and it’s hard to recycle.


  • Wooden Stirrers – The surface of these stirrers are usually very smooth. They don’t break or bend easily with different temperatures, and this makes them comfortable to use.
  • Plastic Stirrers – You can bend most plastic stirrers very easily, and the surface can have pointed, uneven parts to it. This can make them less comfortable to use.

Easy to Snap

  • Wooden Stirrers – Can’t easily be snapped as they’re very durable.
  • Plastic Stirrers – Easy to snap when you put them in hotter beverages.

The Three Main Types of Coffee Stirrers

Generally speaking, there are three main types of coffee stirrers you can buy, including wood, plastic, or metal.

Out of the three choices, plastic is the most harmful to the environment in general, and wooden coffee stirrers are generally considered to be the second-best choice. They’re biodegradable and eco-friendly by their design.

However, the metal coffee stirrer is generally thought to be the best pick out of all three materials because they’re reusable, highly durable, eco-friendly, and very easy to clean between uses.

They also won’t alter or impact the general taste of whatever beverage you stir with them, either.

They resist corrosion, are safe in the dishwasher, but they are a little more expensive than plastic or wooden options.

What Non-Toxic Coffee Stirrers are Available?

If you’re searching for non-toxic plastic coffee stirrers that are of higher quality, you can try the Comfy Package Store on Amazon as they offer non-toxic, BPA-free, and food-safe plastic coffee stirrers.

They are good for stirring and drinking your chosen coffee beverage without worrying about altering the taste much.

Are Wood Coffee Stirrers Eco-Friendly?

By nature, wooden coffee stirrers are eco-friendly because they typically use either bamboo or birch in their makeup.

Birch and bamboo are both very biodegradable materials that don’t have any chemicals in the makeup, unlike your plastic coffee stirrers.

Wooden coffee stirrers are versatile, robust, and aesthetically pleasing to look at. Once you use these stirrers in your coffee, you can toss them into the garbage can when you finish without any guilt. They’ll break down over time without any additional help from you.

The Best Wooden Coffee Stirrers

If you want to find durable, high-quality, and stylish wooden stir sticks for your coffee, we recommend the three brands below. They each offer nice options for you to add to your coffee collection.

1. Royal Wooden Coffee Stirrers

These are some of the top-rated options available on Amazon, and they feature a premium birch as the main material.

It comes with no splinters while being very durable, and you won’t see a single splinter floating in your coffee when you use it.

This product is environmentally friendly and biodegradable, and they’re very affordable when you compare them to other bamboo options.

Also, you can save a decent amount of water with these stir sticks because you don’t have to wash them when you finish using them. Instead, you can just toss them into the garbage.

2. Culinware Birch Wood Coffee Stirrers

This is another good option from Amazon, and it works perfectly for stirring sugar, milk, or coffee creamer into your favorite cup of tea, latte, hot chocolate, or coffee.

They can easily go into very hot beverages without a problem, and they won’t alter the taste of your drink.

They’re also biodegradable and eco-friendly to use, and they won’t leave any wood pieces or splinters into your beverage after you use them.

3. Kivwi Natural Birch Coffee Stirrers

This product is made from BPA-free and biodegradable birch wood. The wood that the company uses to make these stir sticks is very natural and high-quality.

They’re also 30% thicker than traditional wood stir sticks, and the stir sticks are best suited for use in restaurants, outdoors, at home, or in coffee shops.

Should You Choose Plastic or Wood Stirrers?

Based on what you know now, you should choose to use wooden stir sticks over plastic ones because of all of the reasons we outlined above.

If you want to spend a little more, you can invest in a metal coffee stirrer or two, but this can get very expensive very quickly.

You also have to have several on hand for when you have friends or family over, and you’re all trying to enjoy a hot beverage.

Bottom Line

Generally speaking, wooden coffee stirrers are better than plastic ones when it comes to your health and the environment at large.

Wooden stirrers will break down and not impart any taste into your coffee, while plastic will, and you don’t have to worry about polluting the environment. Go out, buy a pack or two, and enjoy your coffee just as you like it.

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