We constantly reach for 1-cup, 2-cup and 4-cup liquid measuring cups. We recommend having an assortment handy because you will use them for water, juices, liquid sweeteners, measuring reduced mixtures right off the stove and in many other ways. This last use is also why we like a heatproof cup. Our test kitchen uses both Pyrexand Anchor Hockingbrands. They are made from heatproof glass, are practically shatterproof and have easy-to-read and accurate measurement markings. If you need ½ cup of liquid, don’t try to measure it in a 4-cup size (it might not even have the markings). Use a cup size similar to the amount of liquid called for.
We are not partial to the newfangled designs with markings that allow you to look down into the cup to read the levels. The good folks over at Cook’s Illustrated put several brands and designs through accuracy tests and this design did not fare well. We stick with the tried-and-true classic design with the measurements that are meant to be read from the outside. We also love the tiny shot-glass measuring cups that are available now and use them when a recipe calls for anything from 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons of liquid.