Cold comfort

Save a trip to the supermarket with these summer essentials

Zoe Phillimore
Thursday 10 June 2021 15:56
<p>Factors to consider when choosing your lolly moulds include portion size and freezer space</p>

Factors to consider when choosing your lolly moulds include portion size and freezer space

Nothing beats an ice-cold lolly on a boiling hot day. Ice cream, smoothies or just pure juice – they’re all, ahem, Fab-ulous. But the best pre-made lollies always sell out fast at the supermarket during heatwaves. Enter ice lolly moulds to stock your freezer and make sure you never miss out on your favourite flavour again.

From rocket and fruit shapes to traditional curved styles, moulds come in all shapes and sizes. Just fill them with your favourite flavours and bung in the freezer. We tried fruit juices, squash, fruit smoothies, and even adults-only gin and tonic and cocktail flavours during our testing process.

When selecting your ice lolly moulds, obviously the fun factor is paramount, but we’d recommend checking the size of the mould against your freezer. We found some of the moulds we tried were a challenge to get into our decent-sized freezer. If yours is very full, some moulds do allow you to separate out the lollies and lie them down once they’ve frozen.

You might also like to think about portion sizes. We found some of the bigger lollies too much for our littler testers, while some lollies might not sate an adult’s appetite for icy treats.

Look out for BPA-free ice lolly moulds. These are free of nasty chemicals in the plastics, which sometimes leach into food. All the moulds we tested are BPA free.

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We spent three weeks testing ice lolly moulds every day – at one point we considered setting up a free ice lolly stand on our front doorstep. We looked at how fun the moulds were, how well they fitted in our freezer as well as a compact ice box, and how easy the lollies were to extract from the moulds.

We also considered portion sizes, how easy the handles were to hold for children and how messy they were, plus how easy they were to clean. Here are the ones that kept us coolest on those days when the temperatures soared.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

The best ice lolly moulds for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Lékué mini stackable ice lolly moulds: £13.94, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best for babies – Nuby Fruitsicles ice pop tray: £14.22, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best for cute ice lollies – Bonnie the Bunny ice lolly mould: £4.95, Rexlondon.com
  • Best for nostalgia – Funny Feet ice cream mould with two sticks: £5.99, Lakeland.com
  • Best for creativity – Lékué tropical fruit ice lolly moulds, pack of 4: £5.80, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best for older kids – Umbrella ice lolly moulds: £5.99, Lakeland.com
  • Best for simple fun – Tala ice lolly moulds: £5.25, Talacooking.com
  • Best for rocket lollies – Space Age Rocket ice lolly moulds: £5.95, Meliandro.com
  • Best for large lollies – Lakeland lolly maker: £12.99, Lakeland.co.uk
  • Best design – ProCook ice lolly moulds: £5, Procook.co.uk

Lékué mini stackable ice lolly moulds

Best: Overall

Fun and functional, these ice lolly moulds fit in even a tiny ice box easily and bring a pop of fun along the way. The silicone moulds are on the smaller side, so they make a perfect portion size for young children, and the ice lollies popped out of the moulds with zero faff. This is a set of four, but you can just stick one in the freezer without the need for a huge rack taking up space. We also loved that they neatly stack together thanks to the clever lids – which are clear, so you can see which flavour is which. Lastly, inside the box are some recipe cards that had easy but interesting flavour suggestions on it, which took our lollies to the next level.

Nuby fruitsicles ice pop tray

Best: For babies

Designed with weaning babies in mind, these cute little ice pops are easy to grip and provide a smaller portion size, and we can confirm they were popular with older kids, too. The release on these was a bit trickier, but a quick run under warm water got them out. What’s lovely about these for weaning babies, particularly those who are teething, is you can fill them with breast milk for a soothing and nutritious treat they’ll love – or you can just stick to purees and smoothies, of course.

We were pleased to note that these are relatively mess free – the chunky handle catches most drips. For the size of the ice lollies, they do take up quite a lot of real estate in the freezer. Although they fit in an ice box, you might not have much room for anything else.

Bonnie the Bunny ice lolly mould

Best: For cute ice lollies

By far the cutest lolly moulds we tried, this rack of six little bunnies made the most delightful little ice pops. Both younger kids and older kids fell in love with these, and fought over the last one. The handles are easy to hold for little ones, the portion size was perfect for young children and the mess created was tolerable. We found smoothies worked well in these, and they released really easily. The design on these mean you have to stick the whole rack in the freezer even if you only want one or two, but the design is long and thin and not too tall, so they are easy to fit in most spaces with a spot of expert freezer Tetris.

Eddingtons funny feet ice cream mould with two sticks

Best: For nostalgia

Our older kids loved the gross-out factor of licking icy feet, and we loved the Eighties nostalgia hit. The mould itself is compact, so doesn’t take up much space in the freezer, and it only makes two ice lollies, which is often preferable to than making six and having to store them in the freezer for weeks on end. Gloriously, this mould is dishwasher safe, which makes the clean-up easy. Releasing the ice lollies is a delicate process, and more than once our feet had a few toes amputated in the process. We can’t claim that this makes mess-free ice lollies, but it sure is fun.

Lékué tropical fruit ice lolly moulds, pack of 4

Best: For creativity

We absolutely loved these fun fruity pops, and we found they encouraged us to be more creative in our ice lolly adventures. The recipes included all sounded delicious, and we can attest that the watermelon ice lolly with basil for the rind is spot on. The lollies lie flat in the freezer, and stack – out of the bigger ice lollies we tested, these were the easiest to fit in our freezer.

The silicone moulds are really flexible and this made them a breeze to pop out the lollies. We were impressed with the level of detail it left on our ice lollies – pips and textures aplenty. These are on the larger size in volume, so better for older kids and adults. You get two pineapple and two watermelon shapes in this set, and you can freeze them individually.

Lakeland umbrella ice lolly moulds

Best: For older kids

What says “British summer time” more than an umbrella? These six colourful pops make the perfect-size ice lolly for kids, who apparently loved the idea of eating an umbrella. The handles are small, so better for more dexterous, slightly older kids. Being a cone-shaped ice lolly, drips were expected, but actually weren’t too bad. And if they look fiddly to wash up, worry not – they’re dishwasher safe. While the ice lollies in the tray takes up quite a bit of space in the freezer – and they are tall too – once frozen you can pop out each ice lolly individually from the tray, and this means you can jam them in much smaller spaces in your freezer.

Tala ice lolly moulds

Best: For simple fun

This set of four ice lolly moulds produces your traditional curved ice lolly. The colourful handles add a bit of extra joy too, and are really cleverly designed. The juice-catcher handle includes a spout that allows you to slurp up the drips, meaning nothing is wasted and there’s minimal mess. Plus they’re dishwasher safe. We liked the extra width on the handle of these lollies – it made gripping them easier for little hands. We found the portion size is about right for a snack treat. As this is a set of four, they take up less room in the freezer than others we tested – but they are probably slightly too large for an ice box.

Meliandro space age rocket ice lolly moulds

Best: For rocket lollies

Who can resist the lure of a rocket lolly? Not us! These ticked all the boxes for our little taste testers: space-themed, colourful, and with room to stick some fresh fruit inside. These moulds are big, though – they were a challenge to fit into our sizable test freezer, and the lollies themselves were big, too, once removed from the moulds. This meant it took our kids quite a while to eat them, which increased drippage. However, if you’re looking for a decent-sized, fun lolly mould then this is a great choice. Once frozen you can remove the moulds from the stand and then put them anywhere you like in your freezer, which makes accommodating them a bit easier.

Lakeland lolly maker

Best: For large lollies

By far the biggest ice lolly mould kit we tried, this produces crowd-pleasing lollies. The tiered design adds interest, and the volume – 75ml – is decent. Plus you get eight lollies from this mould, which is more than any other kit we tried. However, this means they are very difficult to fit in a small freezer, and you can’t split them up once they’re frozen, either. Once in, though, they are sturdy and don’t jiggle about and spill like others we tried.

We really liked that the sticks on these are old-school wooden ones – great if you’re prone to losing the replaceable sticks in kitchen cupboards, but it might not be for everyone as you’ll have to buy more (it comes with 16 included). The release on these lollies was trickier, but with some coaxing and a run under the hot water tap they popped out nicely. The packaging offers up loads of exciting flavour ideas, including chocolate-dipped lollies – a revelation!

ProCook ice lolly moulds

Best: Design

We hold our hands up and admit we were a bit unexcited about this set when it arrived. Compared with the other brightly coloured kits we tried, this set seemed a bit drab. But as ever, we shouldn’t have judged an ice lolly mould by its colourway. What it lacks in primary colours it makes up for in simple, smart design. The set is a medium size, so easy to fit into a freezer drawer, and produces four curved ice lollies of a good size. The handle is great – it has a spout to suck up any drips (so ticks our mess-free box) and the grip is ribbed and coated in a grippy plastic, so it won’t slip through your fingers. And it’s also dishwasher safe, making clean up basically a non-event. We were really impressed with this kit, and it’s really reasonably priced too.

The verdict: Ice lolly moulds

Although Lékué’s mini stackable moulds are more expensive than others, we were so impressed by all aspects of them: they were a clear winner. If you want something more budget-friendly, the ProCook mould was brilliant in its simplicity.

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