Best Travel Mugs Reviewed & Rated for Quality
There can never be too much coffee, but it’s also important to have it in the right way. People passionate about this hot drink know crucial is to respect its full flavor and make it properly. The same thing applies whether we like tea, smoothies, or any other beverage – we all have our own preferences and habits, and changing them means ruining a perfectly good day. A change can be a good thing in life, but when we already have our favorite drink and a certain routine, we often don’t want to take any chances and we like to make them by ourselves. Hence, how do we keep drinking our homemade beverages when we are far away from home, you may ask? Well, using travel mugs, of course!
- Thermos Stainless King
- Contigo Autoseal
Travel mugs are great little things that keep our drinks and hearths warm. Actually, they use thermal isolation to preserve the temperature of hot and cold beverages. This is one of the best things for traveling and vacations in nature, but it can be used on a daily basis. Whether you want a sip of a drink that only you could make properly, or you just want to have hot coffee or tea at hand’s reach all the time, a travel mug is a must! If you want to try out this little gadget and light up your days, you came to the right place. We know just the perfect travel mugs, and you’re going to love them!
10 Best Travel Mugs
Contigo is made from stainless steel and features thermalock vacuum insulation that preserves the temperature of drinks from 7 to 18 hours. Yes, you heard that correctly! Your coffee will be piping hot even after 6 hours, and lukewarm up to 18 hours. This feature makes Contigo mug an excellent choice for daily usage as well as for long trips and vacations. What makes it even better and what every customer praises is Contigo’s autoseal technology which makes it leak and spill proof. It seems that you can rotate this mug upside-down and it still won’t leak! Just push the autoseal button and you’re ready to go.
This mug is easy to use due to the fact that it features a button for one-handed drinking. The lid opens completely for simple cleanup. There are no various parts that you should take off and clean separately, and you can even put the Contigo’s lid on the top rack of the dishwasher.
Lastly, the mug comes in various colors that make it modern and stylish. However, keep in mind that the silver one doesn’t fade after many washes while you may strip off the color from others if you clean them on the outside.
Cost and Value
Save yourself from long car rides filled with cold and stale coffee with this great travel mug! Contigo features three same models with capacities of 16, 20 and 24 ounces. You get to choose the proper one for yourself, and all that at a competitive price. No wonder this is a sought-after mug!
Keeps the temperature from 7 to 18 hours
Easy to clean
Colors can fade if you wash the outside of the mug
There’s no better mug to keep your drink hot then Zojirushi. It’s almost incredible how long it can keep the high temperature. For example, many customers reported that they still had their drinks hot after 24 hours. Pretty amazing, right? The mug also features a tight-fitting lid that prevents drinks from pouring out all over your bag and clothes. You can store it almost anywhere and in every position yet there won’t be any spills or leaks.
Friendly reminder: Don’t make a mistake and sip right away from the mug when you fill it with hot coffee. Zojirushi keeps it piping hot a very long time, and you can end up with a burned tongue. Our suggestion is to put some ice cubes when you pour the drink into the mug. That way you’ll have a nice warm temperature during the whole day.
The mug has an appealing look and it’s pretty comfortable to carry it around. You’ll just love its minimalistic and slim design. It’s also easy to clean this mug because of the nonstick Teflon interior. The lid locking mechanism also adds to the overall user-friendly experience. Additionally, the plastic Sip Area is BPA-free and well designed so you can drink your beverage at ease.
You could only have one issue with this modern and subtle design: the mug can’t fit in many cup holders.
Cost and Value
Even if we understand that a high-quality mug could cost us some extra cash, we have to say that Zojirushi is pricey. Don’t take this the wrong way, Zojirushi has great features and a long lifespan that definitely make the price worthwhile, but for some people, this is a bit of an overpriced product.
Keeping the temperature for a long time
Features a tight-fitting lid
No spills and leaks
Easy to clean
Nicely designed sip area
Can’t fit in many cup holders
Thermos Stainless King
This mug provides space for two coffee cups, so you don’t have to refill it often which is quite useful during long rides when you don’t have the ability to boil water. Of course, this wouldn’t be impressive at all if Thermos Stainless Kind wasn’t able to preserve drink’s temperature for up to 8 hours. This means that your drink will still be burning hot and it will slowly cool afterward e.g. you’ll have your drink lukewarm even after 10-15 hours.
The mug has stainless steel on both sides as well as a drink lock sealing lid that prevents spills and leaks. Just make sure to assemble it properly. The stainless steel is a great material for mugs, especially because it doesn’t leave any funny aftertaste, it’s easy to clean and it has a smooth appearance. We just can’t overlook the subtle and icy-cold design of this mug. It comes in various colors and they all look stylish! Additionally, the mug can fit in most cup holders which makes it perfect for travel.
The only drawback is the position of the handle. If you tighten the lid to the maximum, the sipping area doesn’t line parallel to your mouth, so it gets a bit awkward to hold the mug at the handle and drink at the same time. While many people hope that Thermos will resolve this issue, some of them find a way to position the opening area in the right place by loosening the lid. It seems that the mug doesn’t leak in this position.
Cost and Value
If you want a durable mug that will keep your hot drinks hot and cold ones cold, Thermos Stainless King is an excellent choice. Additionally, this product is reasonably priced so you’ll be overall satisfied with the purchase.
The capacity of 16 ounces
Keeps the temperature at maximum up to 8 hours
Stainless steel on both sides
Easy to clean
The handle and the opening aren’t leveled
As we have already mentioned, Contigo features a snap-seal mechanism that provides easier access to the sipping area. The one-parted lid also allows an easier cleanup. Just make sure that you close it properly and there won’t be any leaks. This kind of design collects many customers’ compliments, but there are some difficulties during the one-handed opening and closing of the lid. We can say that this is the result of high-protection features, but many people still find it annoying.
When it comes to the overall quality of Contigo’s SnapSeal Mug we can’t say that there’s any drawback at all. It doesn’t leak anywhere and it can keep your drink hot or cold for up to 10 hours. A double-wall and vacuum insulated stainless steel make this mug safe for use, durable, and easy to clean. Therefore, Contigo is an excellent option for travel especially when we consider its metallic and rubberized exterior design that will get all the compliments.
Cost and Value
You’ll be delighted to hear that this great product is also inexpensive. A travel mug that has all the necessary features and a long lifespan is a rare find, so if you’re a fan of the snap-seal design don’t waste any more time and hurry to make Contigo’s mug a part of your traveling equipment.
No spills and leaks
A double-wall and vacuum insulated stainless steel
Up to 10 hours of maximum temperature
Some issues with opening and closing the lid
What makes this product stand out from other travel mugs is the ability to maintain hot and cold beverages at maximum temperature for up to 15 hours, and the ice cold ones even for 60 hours! This is quite incredible and the most useful mug’s feature for every traveler. Additionally, the insulated lid works as a cup which is great for sharing a drink with friends.
The mug is made from stainless steel and the plastic parts are BPA-free. The materials also ensure protection from leaks and spills. You can store it in your backpack without any worries and bring it wherever the road may take you. However, Stanley Classic is a bit heavier and bulkier than the standard travel mugs. While this can be an issue for some users, everybody complains about all the hassle with cleaning. The mouth of the thermos is too narrow for a hand to slip through, and fingers can’t reach the bottom. You’ll need a bottle brush to clean it every time which is quite annoying.
Cost and Value
If you need a thermos for your outdoor adventures there is no better option than Stanley Classic. Not only that you’ll have your drinks hot (or cold) all the time but you can also purchase a bigger Stanley’s thermos if you want to bring enough for your buddies to drink too ( 5 sizes from 1.1 qt to 2 qt). They all come at reasonable prices, so you might end up with more than just one Stanley Classic Thermos.
Keeps drinks at maximum temperature up to 15/60 hours
Insulated lid works as a cup
Can endure a lot without spills and leaks
Stainless steel and plastic BPA-free
5 different sizes
A bit heavy and bulky
Hard to clean
The mug is made from 100% stainless steel, it’s BPA free and you can safely put it in the dishwasher. Yes, this is new and rare because most travel mugs can’t survive this. However, if you want to wash it manually you can use a little brush that comes with the mug. It’s very useful and it makes cleaning simpler. Lastly, we shouldn’t forget to mention that the mug has 2 layers of insulation that keep the temperature at its maximum for a long time.
Atlin Tumbler is big, really big! It has a capacity of 30 oz and it’s still compact and comfortable to carry around. It features a transparent lid that’s very modern but it also allows a peek at the remaining drink. This way you can calculate when you’ll need a refill, and always have your drink at your hands reach. However, some customers noticed that the lid sometimes doesn’t fit perfectly and some leaks are possible. This occurs mainly because of the small free space that’s opened for the straw (yes, you also get a cute and useful straw). Except for this little issue, Atlin Tumler is well designed and it can even fit in standard size cup holders which is especially handy for people who take long car trips.
Cost and Value
Atlin Tumbler is a real steal! It has all high-quality features yet is more affordable than many other travel mugs. Not to mention that it has more capacity than standard mugs, so it’s a great option for travel and people who don’t want to bother with constant refills.
Keeping drinks’ temperatures for a long time
Sleek and minimalistic design
The capacity of 30 oz
Comes with a little cleaning brush and a straw
Sometimes the lid doesn’t fit perfectly
There can be some leaks were the straw goes
Copco Acadia is made from durable plastic and it has double-wall insulation that keeps all drinks hot or cold for quite some time. It has the capacity of 16 ounces which is pretty good for a plastic travel mug. It’s also microwave and dishwasher safe – a huge advantage comparing to the previously reviewed steel mugs.
The lid has a sealing mechanism to prevent spills and leaks but keep in mind that this is not even close to the locking mechanisms of high-quality steel mugs. This mug will actually leak if you turn it over or drop it on the ground. Also, some customers noted that the mug has a plastic aftertaste if it’s not properly cleaned. Make sure to clean it right after the use, and you won’t have any issues with it.
The best thing about this mug is its compact design that makes it great for traveling. It can fit in almost any cup holder, which is not possible with bulky, steel-made travel mugs. Also, it has a non-slip sleeve that allows you to hold it without burning your fingers but it’s also adding some vivid color to it.
Cost and Value
One thing is definitely true – Copco travel mug is among the cheapest options on the market. You probably won’t find another mug with so many excellent features that has the same low price.
Made from durable plastic
The capacity of 16 ounces
Microwave and dishwasher safe
Leaks are possible when you fumble with the mug
Has a plastic after taste if it’s not properly cleaned
Hydro Flask is made from non-toxic BPA free plastic and stainless steel that make it completely safe yet durable. It’s a double-walled, vacuum insulated mug, and has something that Hydro Flask calls TempShield Insulation. It’s a high level of wall protection that should keep your drinks hot for 6 hours and cold for 24 hours. Therefore, people use it mostly to store water or smoothies. The ones that want a coffee travel mug are unsatisfied with its performance with hot drinks.
When it comes to the design of Hydro Flask, we were amazed by its simplicity. It has only two parts which make cleaning much easier and provide comfortable handling. For example, the outside has a powder coat to provide a solid grip, and rounded rim for more comfortable lip position during the sip. Drinking is even easier with a cap that connects to the mug by a retaining strap, so you can easily open and close it without any leaks. Overall, holding Hydro Flask feels natural and easy, but if you want to keep it in cup holders e.g. while driving you can relax knowing that it can fit in most cup holders.
Cost and Value
All Hydro Flask mugs (and there are many of them on the market) are known to be overpriced. We can’t say that they don’t bring good value, but that varies according to one’s need. For example, if you like hiking or any other physical activity, you’ll love this mug because it will do a great job of keeping your drinks cold. However, if you’re passionate about coffee, you may want to look for another option that keeps the temperature hot for a longer time and is less expensive.
Non-toxic BPA free plastic and stainless steel
Keeps temperature up from 6 to 24 hours
Simple and pliable design
Easy to clean and handle
Fits in most cup holders
Not so good with hot drinks
One of the best things about Bubba is that it can endure a lot! It’s a bit bulky but that’s because of the durable design. You can drop it, turn it upside-down and it won’t leak! Even better, the bulky design didn’t come at the expense of a comfortable feeling, and Bubba still features an ergonomic handle with a soft touch grip. You can store 52 oz in it and still carry it around with ease!
Keep it Cold
Double-wall polyurethane insulation makes this mug a great thermos, and BPA-free materials make it safe and durable. Bubba keeps drinks hot for 3 hours, which is a really short time but it can keep them cold for 12 hours. That’s why people mostly use it for cold beverages, especially because of its size – coffee lovers prefer smaller mugs. Additionally, this mug doesn’t leave any wet residues even if the ice in it melts after time.
Cost and Value
Bubba is one of the cheapest insulated mugs on the market, so people use it on a daily basis as well as for travels and other activities. If you decide to purchase this travel mug you also get a lifetime warranty for any issues you can encounter while using it.
The capacity of 52 oz
Great for cold drinks
Doesn’t leave wet residues
Not so good for hot drinks
Some people don’t like its bulky design
Almost every user praises the design of this Ello Mug, but even more importantly – it doesn’t leak. On first glance, this mug seems stylish but maybe not so durable which is another example of how a first impression can go wrong. Ello mug is made from a vacuum insulated stainless steel that keeps drinks hot for 5 hours and cold for 10 hours. Keep in mind that this isn’t a high-end travel mug and if you want something that can keep your drinks’ temperature the whole day, you may want to search for another option.
Ello mug has the capacity of 18 ounces and features BPA/BPS-free plastic materials along with stainless steel. You’ll get a large capacity mug that’s safe and easy to use. It has a lid that’s simple to put on and take off which makes proper cleaning much easier. Additionally, the mug has an ergonomic handle for more comfortable use. The main drawback is the lid that is very difficult to completely disassemble and clean properly.
Cost and Value
Don’t wait any longer to have this stylish mug, because you’ll get it at a bargain! Ello Mug has a great price for all the value it provides, so you’ll definitely come out satisfied with the purchase.
The capacity of 18 ounces
Good value for money
Only decent in keeping the maximum drinks’ temperature
The lid is difficult to clean
Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Travel Mugs
We have chosen the 10 best travel mugs on the market, but we still had to rank them from best to worst by their overall quality features. Our sharp eye didn’t miss any feature that could influence the quality of the travel mugs, and here is the criteria we used in evaluation:
First thing’s first – we want our drinks hot or cold, and that’s why we started searching for the best travel mug. The most important thing is to know that a travel mug will do its job and keep the drinks at the right temperature for long traveling hours, or for any daily use. The first few products on our list are the best at keeping beverages both hot and cold. Others are subpar comparatively, but they still have some amazing abilities, like keeping drinks ice cold for more than 24 hours! After all, people use travel mugs differently and some of them will find that these mugs are better for them than the high-end mugs from the top of our list.
The second most important thing is to have a leak-proof mug. People search for travel mugs mainly because they’re supposed to keep your clothes and other stuff protected from spills and stains. Ordinary mugs can’t provide that kind of protection, especially not the ability to be carried around in a bag, car or any other place in any position. The most secure travel mugs are on the top of our list, and the ones that might leak even a bit are ranked lower.
Another important thing is to have a comfortable feeling while you’re carrying your travel mug. A mug’s body design is especially important because the slim and sleek mugs are easier to grip. Also, a simple and easy cleanup is crucial! When we don’t wash our travel mug properly a colony of mold can attack it and then it has a plastic or a metallic taste that even the hard chemicals can’t wash away. Additionally, some points were assigned for mugs that can fit in most cup holders because that is a rare case and yet very useful for traveling.
Different types of travel mugs have different features, so we had to keep in mind all of them to determine the overall quality of every product, and only then evaluate them from 1 to 10. When we say overall quality we mean the balance of many different features that provide great value. For example, some travel mugs can keep the maximum temperature of beverages for a very long time, but they’re bulky and hard to handle so people are not fully satisfied with them. The same thing applies when it’s the other way around, and with other good features and flaws. We had to think about all aspects of every product and how they work to keep customers satisfied.
Cost and Value
Lastly, it was important to know that customers will get good value for their money. Some travel mugs are ridiculously expensive and others cost almost next to nothing, but all of that matters only if you get a valuable product. It’s not a real bargain when you purchase a cheap mug that doesn’t perform well, or you spend a fortune for your new shiny cup that still leaks. That’s why cost and value were important factors in our evaluation, and you should be able to follow our instructions and choose just the right and well-priced product for you.
Other Factors to Consider
We should remind you that even if you find a travel mug that has all high-end features, you should consider some other factors that can determine whether that particular mug is the perfect choice for you first. It may turn out that the product that works great for other people is not suitable for your personal requirements. Here are some factors that you should consider before you make a final decision:
Where would I use a travel mug?
People purchase travel mugs for various purposes. They like to take it to university, to drink coffee from them at work, to use them for travel and many other places and activities. If you determine the usual purpose where you would personally use your travel mug, you can search more accurately for the proper type. For example, some travel mugs are specially designed for hot and some for cold drinks. If you want to drink coffee from your travel mug on daily basis, the wise choice would be a compact mug that is best with maintaining the temperature of hot drinks. Therefore, it’s important to know at least where you’re frequently planning to use a travel mug.
What do I really need?
Do you really need a high-end travel mug that can hold a maximum beverages’ temperature for longer than 24 hours? If this is the case, you should aim for top-notch travel mugs, but if it’s not don’t waste your money on big mugs that you’re not going to use. Depending on how long the drink stays hot or cold you can find a compact or a big travel mug. Think wisely!
Now you should think about all previously asked questions and decide on the best travel mug for your personal needs. Oh, yes, the budget! Well, truth to be told, there are many high-quality travel mugs that have a decent price as well as many cheap products that provide great value even if it doesn’t seem so on the first glance. There’s no real need to spend a fortune on a travel mug if you’re not a high-demanding athlete or passionate and adventurous traveler.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the differences between insulated, vacuum and thermal cups?
A: Insulation cups, also known as double-wall cups simply have an inner and outer wall made from stainless steel that maintains the temperature of beverages. While stainless steel is mostly used for the inner part of insulated cups, the outer wall can also be made from plastic, ceramic or glass. Vacuum cups or thermoses are different from insulation cups only because the use of space completely rid of air which maintains the highest level of temperature. They don’t only rely on walls as insulation cups do. Lastly, thermal cups are all cups that are keeping your drink hot or cold for a long time. The name is used generally for thermal and insulation cups, and not for any other type.
Q: How to clean a travel mug?
A: You should read the instructions that came with a travel mug first. Some of them are dishwasher safe, and if this is the case you should take advantage of it because it will clean the mug perfectly. Most of the travel mugs have to be hand washed though. Manufacturers usually advise using mild soap and water, but you can also use the mixture of baking soda and vinegar for ones made from stainless steel. Whatever option you choose, make sure to clean the mug well after every use, especially the lid. If you don’t clean it well enough then, you may not be able to do it properly afterward, and some stains and funny smells can remain.
Q: What to do if your drink inside the travel mug is still piping hot after many hours?
A: We know that it’s great to have such a high-quality travel mug that can keep drinks hot for a long time, but then the downside is you have to wait for hours just to take one sip! However, there are some things you can do to cool your drink a bit and still have it be hot enough all day. For example, you can put some ice cubes or cold water in your coffee when you pour it in your travel mug. That way you can avoid burning your tongue, while still enjoying a nice warm beverage throughout the day.
- Contigo | Travel Mugs, Webpage, Mar 01, 2019 ,
- Finally, the Ultimate Travel Guide for Coffee Lovers, Article, Dec 09, 2014 ,
- 9 Rules for How to Make a Perfect Cup of Coffee, Article, Sep 21, 2018 ,