Are Liquid and Dry Measuring Cups the Same?

24 May 2022
Dry Measuring Jug

Liquid and dry measuring cups both usually use the same unit of measurement to determine the volume of ingredients. This leads plenty of people to think they are the same thing, but that’s not always the case.

Here’s what you need to be aware of with dry and liquid measuring cups:


Measuring Liquids vs Measuring Dry Ingredients

Most measuring jugs use millilitres and cups to determine the volume of ingredients, so it’s natural to assume that they can be used interchangeably. However, there is a significant difference between grams and fluid millilitres.

When a liquid cup claims that 1 cup is equal to 235 millilitres, they are really referring to fluid millilitres. When it comes to dry measurements, this unit no longer applies.

Dry ingredients can vary greatly in weight compared to liquids, meaning they require a different type of conversion. For instance, a cup of chocolate can weigh up to 180 grams, whereas a cup of flour can weigh 130 grams.


Dry Measuring Cups vs Liquid Measuring Cups

Irrespective of the Ingredients you’re using, dry measuring cups are used to measure dry ingredients, whereas the use of liquid measuring cups is to measure liquids. So no, they are not the same thing!

As well as requiring different forms of measurements, dry measuring cups and liquid measuring cups also have different designs.

Dry measuring cups are designed to hold the exact cup amount of an ingredient. This means they are generally smaller than liquid measuring cups, as they are made to have a cup’s worth of dry ingredients. In addition, dry measuring cups are designed to level off your ingredients quickly with a flat edge to assure you have the correct measurement.

On the other hand, liquid measuring cups usually have a handle that allows for ease of pouring. In addition, they are typically wide enough so that you can pour a liquid in to be measured without it spilling.

If you tried to fill a dry measuring jug with liquid, you could easily find yourself spilling the contents since you are required to fill a dry measuring cup to its total capacity for the correct measurement.

While liquid measuring cups are well suited for their purpose, it is impossible to level off dry ingredients in them, meaning you can never be sure if you are using the correct measurements if you use the wrong cup.


Pro-Measures Measuring Cups

Whilst most liquid and dry measuring cups only measure their respective ingredients. Here at Pro-Measures we calibrate, mark and cater for both dry and liquid measures with the one measuring cup. This involves taking the bulk density of the dry product and converting it to milliliters. We can then determine whereabouts on the jug to have the increments for both applications.

Dry Ingredients Calculation:
Density = Mass ÷ Volume.
Then Weight (grams) ÷ Bulk Density = equivalent milliliters.

Dry product weighs 200 grams.
Bulk density of the dry product is .45
200 g divided by .45 = 444ml

So a 1 litre jug will hold approximately 450 grams of dry product.



Dry and liquid measuring cups are designed specifically for their intended use. It is not good to try measuring dry ingredients in a liquid measuring cup (or vice versa!). This could lead to spillages and incorrect measurements.

If you’re on the lookout for a measuring cup, consider your needs. For example, do you only ever need to measure out liquids over dry food? In that case, you may only require a liquid measuring cup. However, if you regularly need to measure both dry and liquid ingredients, it is good to buy both liquid and dry measuring cups to account for your needs!