Best piping bags
The expert reviewers at olive put a range of reusable and recyclable piping bags to the test to find the best ones for a range of piping tasks
Piping bags are an essential for any keen baker's kit. They’re the ideal choice for a whole range of recipes, including macarons, eclairs, meringues or filling delicious doughnuts. They’re also the tool of choice when icing cakes or putting the finishing touches on biscuits.
As we all strive to phase out the use of single-use plastic, a reusable piping bag is an excellent choice. We’ve even found some piping bags labelled as disposable can actually be washed and reused easily enough. The reusable piping bags on this list are made from cotton, nylon and silicone, and each of these materials made for a very different piping experience. We looked for sturdy bags that weren’t going to split when piping something firm, bags that were easy to grip and also those that were easy to clean.
Although we looked at the piping bag alone, many of the piping bags on this list came with nozzles as standard.
Piping bags aren’t just reserved for sweet treats, they’re also ideal if you’re looking to elevate a classic pie with an intricate mashed potato pattern, filling savoury gougères or piping tarts.
For more of the best baking equipment, read our best springform cake tins, best loaf tins and best bundt tins reviews. And for perfectly whipped meringue and light and fluffy cakes, the best stand mixer reviews showcase the must-have kit.
Best piping bags at a glance
- Best piping bag for hot and cold ingredients: Lakeland 12" cotton piping bag, £2.99
- Best large piping bag: Mason Cash piping bag, £5.20
- Best piping bag for fine icing: Tala icing bag set, £4.50
- Best professional quality piping bag: Schenider Standard 11", £4.90
- Best piping bag for first-timers: ProCook piping bag with nozzles, £3.50
- Best piping bag for thick icing: Lakeland Professional piping set, £14.99
- Best disposable piping bag: Waitrose Cooks non-slip piping bags, £2.75
- Best silicone piping bag: Lakeland Silicone piping bag, £14.99
Best piping bags to buy 2022
Lakeland 12” cotton piping bag
- Available from Lakeland (£2.99), Amazon (£3.99)
Best piping bag for hot and cold ingredients
Made from reinforced cotton, this 12-inch piping bag is a sturdy, budget-friendly choice. This is a piping bag only – it doesn’t come with any additional accessories – making it an ideal option if you’ve already got a collection of nozzles.
It’s not the largest piping bag we’ve tested, but we rated it for its sturdy construction and the fact that it’s heat resistant up to 70C, making it ideal for giving mashed potato-topped dishes like fish pie, cottage pie and shepherd's pie a professional-looking finish, or even making Duchess potatoes.
It’s easy to clean, but a little slow to dry, so we suggest hanging it somewhere warm using the clever hanging loop. This bag even comes with a three-year warranty, so it really is built to last.
Mason Cash piping bag
- Available from Mason Cash (£5.20), Ocado (£6.50)
Best large piping bag
If you’re looking for a sizeable bag for large quantities, this Mason Cash bag is the only choice. This piping bag is available in two sizes, 35cm and 40cm, and is made from sturdy cotton. Like the Lakeland bag above, this Mason Cash option comes with the bag only, but this bag is compatible with universal nozzles, of which Mason Cash sells a selection.
This piping bag was easy to grip and twist, and we were able to be controlled when putting pressure on the bag. This bag is hand wash only and dried relatively quickly.
Tala icing bag set
- Available from Sainsbury's (£4.50), Ocado (£6.49), Robert Dyas (£6.79), Tala (£10.95)
Best piping bag for fine icing
This small and compact icing bag from Tala comes with eight fine nozzles. For those intricate, finishing touches, this set is a fabulous choice.
The bag is made from coated nylon and is sturdy. A coupler is needed to secure the nozzles in place, but this is easy to assemble and screws into place with ease.
We found this Tala bag easy to grip and even thick royal icings didn’t cause it to split. This bag will need to be hand washed after use.
Schneider Standard 11” piping bag
- Available from Nisbets (£4.90)
Best professional-quality piping bag
This single piping bag from German brand Schneider is large, sturdy and robust. It’s made from cotton with a thin plastic inner coating and features a very strong reinforced tip. This bag also comes in a range of sizes.
The Schneider piping bag is compatible with all universal nozzles, so ideal if you’ve acquired a collection.
The fabric on the outside of the bag makes it easy to grip and it is robust enough to ensure it doesn’t split when piping stiff or firm ingredients.
ProCook piping bag with nozzles
- Available from ProCook (£3.50)
Best piping bag for first timers
If you’ve never piped before or are looking for an all in one kit for the basics, this set from ProCook includes everything you need to get started.
The bag is cotton-coated silicone and eight different nozzles are included too. A coupler is also included to secure the nozzles in place. Despite its relatively low price point, the bag itself is sturdy and easy to twist and control. We did feel the nozzles felt a little flimsy however.
This bag comes with a one-year warranty and is hand wash only. It dried quickly, too.
Lakeland Professional piping set
- Available from Lakeland (£14.99), Amazon (£14.99)
Best piping bag for thick icing
This Lakeland piping set comes with seven nozzles, including a variety better suited to thicker piping tasks. There are a good range of star, shell and round nozzles to play with. No coupler is required for this piping bag, simply slip the nozzle inside and start piping.
The bag is made from nylon and we found it less sturdy than the cotton bags we tested. When twisting and squeezing the bag, we didn’t feel as though we had total control over the pressure.
This set comes with an impressive three-year warranty. For ease of cleaning this bag is dishwasher safe, but we found the seams had dyed the same colour as our royal icing after washing.
Waitrose Cooks non-slip piping bags
- Available from Waitrose (£2.75)
Best disposable piping bag
Although we’d generally advise steering clear of single-use piping bags, we found that these bags from Waitrose could be easily cleaned out and reused a handful of times. An added plus: the bags are made from PET plastic, which is recyclable.
They’re not big, so better suited to small piping tasks, but work well with universal nozzles and have a textured coating on the outside of the bag that stops them from slipping, even with wet hands.
These bags are robust and durable, and come with ten in a pack.
Lakeland silicone piping bag
Best silicone piping bag
This generously sized piping bag includes eight nozzles that produce a range of different patterns. The bag is made from BPA, PTFE and PFOA-free silicone. The bag is soft and flexible and whilst we like it for its large capacity and the fact it's dishwasher safe, we did come across a few issues when testing it.
To ensure smooth and even results when piping, you’ll want to twist the bag tight. Unfortunately, with this silicone bag we weren’t able to twist it tight as the silicone kept stretching. The bag has a simple twist and lock nozzle system which we liked, but it does mean that you can only use the nozzles supplied and therefore this bag isn’t compatible with universal nozzles.
What to look out for when choosing a piping bag
Material: we tested piping bags made from cotton, nylon, PET plastic and silicone. Cotton and plastic are both robust, whereas nylon and silicone offer more flex.
Nozzles included: if you’ve never piped before, a bag that comes with some nozzles is recommended to get you started easily. For those who already own a selection of nozzles, a standalone bag will suffice.
Ease of cleaning: the piping bags on this list will need to be cleaned after use. Some are suitable for the dishwasher, though we’d generally advise against this as the harsher chemicals in dishwasher detergent will degrade the protective coating faster than hand washing.
Size: for small piping tasks like fine lining or writing, a smaller bag is all you need. But for bigger piping tasks, like icing a whole layer cake, piping decorations or finishing off pies, a larger capacity bag will mean you have to refill it less.
How we tested piping bags
To put these piping bags to the test, we made a thick and firm pink royal icing. Using the nozzles provided, or a universal nozzle for those bags that came without, we piped a variety of shapes and lines to see how the bag performed.
All the piping bags were tested against a standardised criteria under controlled conditions in the olive test kitchen. Each piping bag was scored against the following criteria:
- Quality of design and features: we looked for sturdy piping bags that were easy to hold, twist and control. Additional features like reinforced tips and hanging loops were scored favourably
- Versatility: piping bags that can easily go in the fridge, freezer or even the microwave were a plus. Those designed to work with hot and cold ingredients were praised for their added versatility
- Value for money: we weighed up whether the price of the piping bag was reflective of the performance
- Sustainability: all the piping bags on this list are reusable to varying degrees. We looked at the warranty offered – if any – and took our initial findings about the durability of the bag into consideration. We also looked at the packaging
- Results: when piping a variety of shapes and designs, we wanted to see steady and controlled results from a sturdy and robust piping bag
To find out more about how testing appliances and tools is done at olive, head over to our how we test page.
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