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When the mercury strikes, there’s no better way to cool off than with an ice-cold popsicle. And if you have a popsicle mold at your disposal, you don’t have to make a trip to the store or wait for the ice cream man to drive down your street. Popsicle molds, which are typically silicone or plastic sleeves in various shapes and sizes, make it easy to whip up a batch of homemade treats from whatever you have in your refrigerator. Think: fruit, honey, yogurt, and even ingredients like granola. As an added bonus, making popsicles is a fun activity for the kids, plus a great way to teach them all about nutrition and making their favorite snacks just a little more healthful.
Here, the best options—based on online reviews and bestseller lists—for your next cooking foray.
Best Overall: Zoku Classic Pop Molds
BPA- and phthalate-free
Sticks have drip guards
Comes with protective sleeves
Shape doesn’t fit comfortably in all freezers
This popsicle mold earns top honors because it’s all-around functional and convenient. With six slots, you’ll be able to make enough ice pops for the average family, but you won’t wind up with a ton of excess or a mold that’s too bulky to fit in your freezer.
We also love that the popsicle molds are made of silicone rather than plastic. The BPA- and phthalate-free mold ensures no harmful chemicals leach into your homemade popsicles, keeping you and your family safe and healthy. Silicone has another big bonus, too: Rather than submerge the mold in hot water, you can simply peel back the silicone to release your frozen treats. There’s no mess and no fuss involved, making it the perfect accessory for a fun family baking activity. Each of the six classically shaped molds holds 3 fluid ounces, making each treat comparable to what you’d find in the grocery store. Each stick has drip guards, too—another family-friendly bonus.
Best Budget: Ikea CHOSIGT Ice pop maker
Too bulky for some freezers
When it comes to budget home accessories, what doesn’t IKEA have? Like most everything else the Swedish company makes, its ice pop maker works great and comes at a price that can’t be beaten. Is the mold rather basic? Yes—but it functions just as well as pricier options and comes in fun, vibrant colors.
Six classically shaped popsicle molds sit upright in a stand for easy filling and freezing. Simply pour in your liquid—whether it's a unique ice cream creation or your leftover smoothie—place the sticks inside, then let them freeze. Because the stand has four sturdy feet, it sits comfortably in most freezers and won’t tip over during the freezing process.
Despite the rock-bottom price, there’s no need to worry about chemicals—the set is entirely BPA-free.
Best for Toddlers: Nuby Garden Fresh Fruitsicle Tray
Easy for kids to handle
Only makes four popsicles
Healthy fruit popsicles are undoubtedly one of the best snacks for babies and toddlers, but the classic variety can be top-heavy, making them difficult for little hands to hold onto. That’s where this clever mold comes in. It's short and squat and creates four mini popsicles (each one holds just 1 ounce of liquid!) that are perfectly shaped for the tiniest set. What’s more, a looped handle makes the snack easier to grip, so babies as young as 6 months can enjoy a frozen treat (great for soothing the sore gums of teethers!).
Besides the impressive functionality, parents will also love the fact that each stick also has a wide popsicle-holder base that catches drips as the popsicle melts for a mess-free experience. Though plastic, the mold is entirely BPA-free.
Fastest: Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker
Works very fast
Works without electricity
Safe nonstick cast-aluminum interior
Only makes two at a time
If there’s one thing every parent knows, it’s that sometimes kids aren’t the most patient of the bunch. With this popsicle mold, you’re less likely to have kids pestering you about when the frozen treats will be ready—it makes two 2-ounce ice pops in just seven minutes.
It’s a great popsicle mold for anyone with limited freezer space, too, as the machine does all the freezing right on your countertop—no electricity required. Simply pre-chill the base, fill it when you’re ready, and pop your treat out of the nonstick cast-aluminum mold.
If there’s any downside, it’s that you can only make two pops at a time, but the kit comes with an extra set of sticks and drips guards, so you can still make four treats in less than 15 minutes.
Best for Groups: Zipzicle Ice Pop Pouches
Makes 36 popsicles
No bulky mold to store
Difficult to clean
When you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or planning a birthday party, an ice pop mold that only makes a few treats simply won’t do. Increase your efficiency by using sleeve molds instead. This set of 36 makes it a cinch to make enough for a crowd in just about the same amount of time as other conventional popsicle molds. They’re just as easy to use, too—simply fill, zip closed, and freeze.
Though the three-ounce sleeves can be reused, cleaning can be a bit cumbersome—it’s difficult to really get inside to scrub and they don’t dry easily. At the price point, disposing of each popsicle sleeve after use is still more cost-effective than buying a ton of store-bought pops.
Best Space-Saving: Ouddy Silicone Popsicle Molds
Would eventually need to buy more sticks
Not all freezers can easily accommodate popsicle molds—even small ones that make just two or four treats—because they tend to be a bit bulky. If you have a drawer freezer, try this flat mold instead. It saves tons of vertical space, but still makes eight popsicles per batch.
Though you’ll need your own sticks, the kit comes with everything you need to get started on your first couple dozen popsicles. There’s no need to labor over cleaning, either—you can simply stick the mold in the dishwasher when you’re done.
Best Metal: Onyx POP004 Stainless Steel Popsicle Mold
Safe and durable material
Removal can be more difficult
If you’re hesitant to use plastic or silicone (even if it is made of BPA-free material), a metal popsicle mold is a great option. This six-cavity option is worthy of the task. It’s crafted from 18/8 stainless steel—a material that’s not only food-safe but also extremely durable and long-lasting. It also comes with a stand for storage, lids for each pop, 12 removable silicone rings to prevent spills, and a set of reusable bamboo sticks.
If there’s any downside to using a metal mold like this one, it’s that removal can be a little more difficult. It’s an easy fix, though—simply run the mold under warm water until things loosen up.
The best overall popsicle mold is the Zoku Classic Pop Mold (view at Amazon), which is a classically shaped ice pop maker that allows you to whip up six three-ounce treats at a time. The mold comes with everything you need, including sticks with drip guards and storage sleeves. Making ice pops for your entire family? Try the Zipzicle Ice Pop Pouches (view at Amazon).
What to Look for When Buying a Popsicle Mold
Popsicle molds, like ice trays, come in a myriad of styles, shapes, and materials, although they're typically made of rigid plastic or silicone. While plastic molds have been around for a long time, it’s easy to see why silicone has become so popular. Unlike the former, which often requires some wiggling or hot water to free the popsicle from the mold, flexible silicone can be pushed or peeled away. Metal popsicle molds can also be purchased, but they tend to be more expensive and bulky.
In addition to actual molds, you can also buy silicone and soft plastic tubes that, once filled and frozen, can be pushed or squeezed out. These are sometimes single-use in the case of the plastic molds (like single-use food storage bags) and don’t require sticks.
Most popsicle molds will hold between 2 to 4 ounces of liquid, though there isn’t necessarily a standard size. Popsicle molds designed for toddlers can be even smaller—around 1 ounce. This can be tricky if you’re using a recipe to whip up popsicles, but the excess can be stored in a fridge if your yield doesn’t line up to the number and size of your molds.
Most popsicle molds, no matter the material, consist of a single piece and individual sticks or handles. Since it has to be stored upright, the height of the tray might be a consideration for smaller fridges. For more flexibility, some plastic molds mimic this shape, but with removable molds for each popsicle. Individual push pop-style molds, while they don’t come with a tray, often need to be frozen standing up in a freezer-safe cup or mold to prevent drips. If space is a concern, you can also find trays that allow the popsicle to sit on its side as it freezes.
Many popsicle molds resemble the shape of a popsicle you’d get from an ice cream truck: a tall, slightly curved rectangle. But these days, the only limit is your imagination. Molds can be shorter and squatter (great for small freezers), mini for toddlers, and even shaped like monsters, fish, and more.
While store-bought popsicles come with disposable sticks, you have some flexibility when it comes to popsicle molds. Most come with plastic reusable handles that slot into the mold. This has two benefits: You’ll never have to worry about having popsicle sticks on hand and you won’t have to use any single-use products. Some come with drip guards to help keep hands clean. Others may even be ergonomically designed for a comfortable grip. They won't have a long, narrow end that could poke the back of a toddler’s throat, either.
Single-use popsicle sticks, however, have certain advantages, too. Namely, you don’t have to worry about collecting plastic handles or keeping a set together. Plus, they have a nostalgic appeal.
While popsicles are the definition of simple summer fun, there are a few safety concerns that require some thought. First, if the mold is plastic, you may want to check to see if it’s BPA-free. While “BPA-free” seems ubiquitous these days, BPA itself is not banned and is still used in food packaging. You’ll also want to make sure you can keep the popsicle mold and sticks clean between uses to prevent bacteria or mold from growing. See if some or all of the mold is dishwasher safe or if it will require small bottle brushes for cleaning by hand.
You can expect to pay between $10 and $20 for a popsicle mold, making it a purchase that won’t require constant use for justification.
Types of Popsicle Molds
Plastic molds tend to be a classic popsicle shape and typically come with reusable plastic handles. Lightweight and usually easy to clean in the dishwasher, the main disadvantage of plastic molds is that they often have to be run under water to loosen the popsicles.
The biggest advantage silicone offers is the ability to quickly and easily remove a popsicle from the mold. Because the mold itself is flexible, silicone popsicles also come in an array of shapes and sizes.
Fla-Vor-Ice, Otter Pops, push pops—whatever you called them, they offered a delicious, mess-free break in the summer. Now, you can make them at home, choosing your own ingredients and flavors. These molds tend to either be single-use plastic, resembling a very narrow food storage bag, or reusable silicone.
Kitchen brand Zoku’s motto is “live creatively.” Its range of products includes food containers, drinkware, and quite a few fun items in the "frozen treat" category. The line of popsicle molds includes cheerful characters and critters, all thanks to soft silicone.
Popsicles don’t necessarily spring to mind when it comes to healthy eating, but Nuby makes a good case for it. Its "garden fresh" line is for parents who want to make baby food at home and includes both freezer trays and storage containers. Even if you’re not whipping up mashed peas and carrots, the frozen pop tray is great for healthy fruit blends and juices for teething babies.
Zipzicle was started by a family who wanted an all-natural alternative to commercial ice pops. Its sturdy pouches, made from FDA-approved food-safe material, is designed to make mess-free popsicles on the go—sans sticks.
French kitchenware brand Lekue specializes in silicone products. It brings an innovative approach to popsicle molds, which are designed to be stackable for easier storage.
Best known for its large-format ice cube molds, it’s no surprise Tovolo excels at using similar technology for fun, whimsical popsicles. In addition to classic molds, it has friendly monster and dino pops, and even a tiki pop mold—great for boozy adult popsicles.
How do you get a popsicle out of a mold?
It’s surprisingly easy to get a popsicle out of a mold, especially if you’re using a food-safe silicone mold. These molds simply peel back slightly, allowing you to easily wiggle the frozen treat free. For plastic or metal molds (or any silicone options giving you trouble), run the mold under warm—not hot—water until the ice pop begins to loosen. Pull gently to release.
What can you put in a popsicle mold?
When making homemade ice pops, the sky’s the limit. You can use fruit juice, vegetable juice, yogurt, milk, leftover smoothie, or even wine as your base. Options for add-ons are just as vast. Think chocolate shavings, granola, chunks of fruit, sprinkles, and more.
Are silicone popsicle molds safe?
Silicone is regarded as safer than plastic but is not quite as safe as a metal like stainless steel. Still, the general consensus is that food-grade BPA-free silicone is perfectly suitable for use as food packaging, as the FDA classifies the material as “generally regarded as safe,” or (GRAS).
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
This article was written by Brigitt Earley, a freelance writer who has spent the last 10-plus years researching the best kitchen accessories for various digital publications, including The Spruce and Good Housekeeping. From popsicle molds to blenders, she’s covered it all. Brigitt also has a culinary degree from The French Culinary Institute.