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Icon Series

Stainless king collection, alta series.

travel mug thermos

16oz ICON™ MUG

16oz ICON™ MUG

When you need your coffee hot, or your water cold, look no further than the 16oz Stainless Steel Mug from the Icon™ Series by Thermos. From the Thermos™ vacuum insulation technology, to the Dura-seal™ drink lid that is leak proof when closed, to the Griptec™ non-slip base and handle, this mug is truly iconic. The Icon™ Series by Thermos is a celebration of what’s made us thrive for over a century: Meticulous design, thoughtful engineering, and a relentless desire to make people’s days easier. Make every sip worth savoring with this 16oz. Stainless Steel Mug. Hot, fresh-tasting coffee at every sip, wherever your day takes you.

Item Number: IS1002SN4

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  • Thermos™ vacuum insulation technology for max temperature retention
  • High quality 18/8 stainless steel
  • Dura-seal™ 360˚ drink lid
  • Leak proof when closed, variable flow when opened
  • Easy to clean insulated stopper disassembles for thorough cleaning and increases thermal retention
  • Equipped with Griptec™ technology for a quiet, soft touch, non-slip base and non-slip, soft touch, molded handle
  • Fits most standard size cup holders
  • Dishwasher safe (top rack dishwasher safe for added convenience)
  • Height: 7.6
  • Weight: 0.8 lb.
  • Capacity: 16oz. (470 ml)
  • Origin: China
  • Item Numbers: Sandstone: IS1002SN4, Sunset Pink: IS1002SP4, Matte Stainless Steel: IS1002MS4, Glacier: IS1002GC4, Granite: IS1002GT4, Saddle: IS1002SD4

VACUUM INSULATED

Stainless Steel Construction

LEAK PROOF WHEN CLOSED

For Peace of Mind

GRIPTEC™ BASE

For added stability

travel mug thermos

STAINLESS STEEL CONSTRUCTION

With sweat-proof exterior

travel mug thermos

EASY TO CLEAN CAP DESIGN

Made with minimal parts that are dishwasher safe

travel mug thermos

LEAK PROOF (WHEN CLOSED)

Due to the Dura-Seal™ 360˚ Drink Lid

travel mug thermos

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The Best Travel Mug

Four different travel mugs next to each other.

By Trey French and Anna Perling

Hot drinks are a daily staple for many, and just as important as the beverage is the travel mug that keeps it warm while you’re on the go.

After a decade of testing travel mugs, we still recommend the Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug for most people. It keeps drinks hot for hours, and its locking lid stays securely closed, even when you toss the mug into a bag. We also have another option, which fits better in most cup holders, for use while you’re driving.

Everything we recommend

travel mug thermos

Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug

The best travel mug.

This mug offers the best heat retention, plus one-handed usability and a locking, leakproof lid, which makes it especially useful if you carry your mug in a bag or backpack.

Buying Options

travel mug thermos

Stanley Classic Trigger-Action Travel Mug (16 ounces)

A wider mug for drivers.

This wider mug fit securely in our testers’ cup holders, and its spill-proof lid design is good for rough roads. It doesn’t retain heat as well as the Zojirushi mug—a fact that some people might actually appreciate.

travel mug thermos

OXO Good Grips Water Bottle Cleaning Set

For cleaning your mug.

This bottle-cleaning set has a skinny straw brush and a looped detail-cleaning brush, which are all you need to keep your travel mug squeaky clean.

The 16-ounce Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug keeps beverages hot for hours, even in cold environments. It has a well-designed exterior, an easy-to-clean nonstick Teflon interior, and a foolproof lid-locking mechanism that you can operate with one hand.

The mug is lightweight and slim, but it may not fit snugly in some cup holders. However, thanks to its locking lid, we were comfortable carrying it around in a bag, without worrying about leaks.

This Zojirushi model is pricey for a travel mug, but this is the mug we trust most not to spill in a bag, and it’s hard to put a price on that. (Actually, that would be about the price of a new bag, laptop, phone, and whatever else happened to be in there at the time.)

It’s also available in a 20-ounce version .

Like other Zojirushi products, it comes with a five-year warranty.

The 16-ounce Stanley Classic Trigger-Action Travel Mug is wider and fits better in most car cup holders than the Zojirushi mug. The lid has an auto-sealing button that prevents spills, and when you drink, it won’t block your view of the road ahead.

Although this Stanley model may not keep drinks as hot as the Zojirushi mug, some people might prefer such results—we’ve heard many complaints over the years of the Zojirushi mug keeping drinks too hot.

Both the mug and the lid are dishwasher safe, but the lid has fewer parts than that of our top pick, so it is easier to disassemble and hand-wash if you prefer to clean it that way.

And let’s not forget that these things need cleaning regularly. That’s why we also have a bottle-brush recommendation for when you need to clean out the gunk .

The research

Why you should trust us, who this is for, how we picked, how we tested, our pick: zojirushi sm-sf stainless steel mug (16 ounces), also great: stanley classic trigger-action travel mug (16 ounces), also great: oxo good grips water bottle cleaning set, other good travel mugs, the competition.

We’ve been testing travel mugs since 2013. Previous versions of this guide were written and researched by Séamus Bellamy and Anna Perling. In 2023, staff writer Trey French wrote the latest update to this guide. He gained an appreciation of high-performing insulated drinkware while spring camping in Colorado when the temperatures dropped below freezing.

In addition to conducting our own tests, we spoke to engineers and industry professionals about mug design, ideal coffee and tea drinking temperatures, and the best way to find out how long coffee will really stay good in a travel mug.

Travel mugs, as their name implies, are for people who want to take beverages on the go. Compared with paper or Styrofoam cups, a good travel mug offers better insulation and safeguards against leaks or spills. In addition, you can save money in the long run and reduce your environmental impact by using a travel mug.

Tumblers, thermoses, and insulated water bottles are all close cousins to the travel mug but have some important differences:

  • Tumblers have sipping ports that don’t seal as tightly or securely as on travel mugs and have wider mouths for you to add ice cubes. Many also have straws for you to sip cold beverages.
  • Thermoses usually lack the slim size and lid-design features that make travel mugs portable and convenient. With a thermos, instead of popping open a lid to take a sip, you need to unscrew the cap and pour liquid into an open cup to drink.
  • Insulated water bottles are geared toward keeping drinks cold and don’t have sipping ports like travel mugs do. Instead, they often have screw-top lids that require two hands to open and close, or they have sport caps, which aren’t great for hot drinks.

To determine which travel mugs to test, we look for mugs that advertise the following qualities:

Vacuum-insulated: All of the mugs we consider are double-walled and vacuum-insulated .

Capable of retaining heat all day: We look for mugs that claim to keep hot beverages drinkably warm for at least eight hours.

Made of stainless steel: Stainless steel is more durable than glass or ceramic and retains heat better than plastic. It’s also the best material for vacuum insulation and therefore heat retention.

Leakproof and spill-proof: A leakproof seal keeps a closed lid from leaking if the mug jostles. A spill-proof seal guards against spills should you drop the mug or knock it over; such seals typically incorporate a push button, like the one found on the Stanley Classic Trigger-Action.

Easy to use: A good mug should be easy to both open and close, as well as to lock and unlock, with one hand. It should also be easy to disassemble for cleaning. We look for mugs that advertise these features or have reviews indicating that they are easy to use.

Between 12 and 20 ounces in capacity: We’ve concluded that 16 ounces is the optimal capacity for a travel mug, as it delays the need for a refill while remaining portable and easy to hold. Some people prefer wider mugs that don’t rattle in cup holders, while others like slimmer mugs that take up less space in backpacks or bags. We test both styles.

After considering the everyday wear and tear that a travel mug might go through in real-world scenarios, we devised tests to mimic those scenarios. During our tests, we use the mugs daily, evaluating them for simple enjoyability.

  • Leak and spill tests: We test mugs for leaky seals by shaking them upside down, dropping them, and carrying them in bags.
  • Drop test: We drop each mug three times from a height of 4 feet onto asphalt.
  • Insulation test: We fill each mug with boiling water and then measure how quickly the water cools over eight hours, checking every hour.
  • Ease of cleaning: We wash each mug, following instructions; we also take apart their lids and wash those. We check for lingering smells and to see if the finish on the mug is harmed.
  • Cup holder compatibility: We test the mugs in cup holders of varying sizes (2.75, 3.5, and 3.75 inches in diameter).

A blue Zojirushi SM-SF Stainless Steel Mug.

The 16-ounce Zojirushi SM-SF Stainless Steel Mug is the best travel mug for keeping drinks hot for long periods of time. This mug also comes in a 20-ounce size. (The SM-SF is the current model; these model designations often change from year to year, but the mugs themselves stay the same.)

It kept our drinks the hottest. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, the best temperature range for coffee is 145 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit. After sitting for eight hours in the Zojirushi mug in a 72-degree room, our water measured 158 degrees—hotter than in any other mug we tested. That translates to hot coffee over a full workday. (If you’re opening the mug more frequently than once an hour, however, it might cool a bit faster.)

It won’t leak. It has sturdy, leakproof seals and a simple locking mechanism. Just close the lid, switch the lock into position, and you’re guaranteed that the top won’t pop open when you don’t want it to—when you’re carrying the mug in a bag, for instance.

An open lid on the Zojirushi mug.

It’s easy enough to keep clean. The nonstick interior helps to prevent odors and stains, though the mug’s instructions do warn against storing milk or fruit juices in the mug. (If you prefer drinking from a vessel that doesn’t have a nonstick coating, you might consider the Zojirushi SM-KHE , which has an electro-polished stainless steel interior.) The narrow girth makes it hard to get a sponge inside, but using a bottle brush circumvents that problem. You can disassemble the plastic lid to clean out any gunk that might be lodged in hard-to-reach places, although the small plastic and silicone parts can be difficult to get on and off the lid.

The Zojirushi mug laying on its side.

It’s durable. Though this mug developed a few scuffs in our drop tests, it acquired no more than the other mugs we tried, some of which fared far worse. Zojirushi backs the vacuum insulation of its stainless steel mugs with a five-year limited warranty, and the company sells individual replacement parts online .

It’s simple. The Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug has an attractive design that’s minimalist yet eye-catching in its simplicity.  The 20-ounce version comes in only one color (navy), but our pick, the 16-ounce version, comes in three (navy, pale pink, mint blue).

How the Zojirushi mug has held up

The Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug might be the single most commonly owned and used product among Wirecutter staffers; it has traveled in many crowded bags, backpacks, and purses without any problems. One staff member did report that after eight years of use, hers finally developed a leak. Another colleague says that their mug has survived drops onto cement (once from a third-floor balcony) without suffering more than a dent.

Zojirushi specifies hand-washing only, but we know of several mugs that have survived accidental trips through the dishwasher without any noticeable decrease in performance, though the external paint has flaked as a result.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

  • The Zojirushi mug is sometimes too good at insulating. We’ve found that if we pour fresh coffee directly into the mug, the liquid can stay scalding hot for hours. To prevent burning your mouth, let your beverage cool a little before closing the lid.
  • It’s not cup holder friendly. This model, which is more narrow than a typical travel mug, did not fit snugly in our testers’ car cup holders. If you prefer a travel mug with a larger circumference, check out our also-great pick.
  • It isn’t spill-proof. Though the SM-SF is leakproof, it isn’t spill-proof like our also-great pick; the design lacks an automatic seal to prevent liquid from spilling if you drop the mug while you’re drinking.

A white Stanley Classic Trigger-Action Travel Mug.

The 16-ounce Stanley Classic Trigger-Action Travel Mug is our recommendation for use in a car, as it’s a great spill-proof mug that keeps drinks hot and fits in a cup holder.

It’s designed for drivers. Wider than the Zojirushi mug, this Stanley model fit more securely in our testers’ car cup holders. The top of the mug is narrower than the base, though, to help reduce heat loss through the lid. (Experts told us that the lid is where a double-walled mug loses the most heat.) And the design has no pop-up lid to bump your nose or block your eyes while you’re drinking.

A close-up of the cap of a white Stanley Classic Trigger-Action Travel Mug.

It’s spill-proof, unlike the Zojirushi mug. You do need to hold down a button to keep the sipping port open to drink from the mug, which may be frustrating to some people. However, this design prevents spills—whether from rough roads, say, or if you accidentally knock the mug over while reaching for it—since the mug closes automatically. Other mugs we tested, such as the Contigo Autoseal Transit and West Loop (both former runners-up), had similar buttons, but the button on the Classic Trigger-Action was easier to press and hold. Unlike the Zojirushi model, this mug has no lock to secure its lid, but it never leaked in our tests.

It keeps drinks hot long enough. The Classic Trigger-Action can’t keep your beverages quite as hot for quite as long as our top pick can, but that might be a plus for those who complain that the Zojirushi mug keeps drinks too hot. When we boiled water and let it sit in this Stanley mug, the water took only three hours to cool to 158 degrees (whereas water in the Zojirushi mug took eight hours to reach that temperature). After eight hours, the water in the Classic Trigger-Action measured 132 degrees—26 degrees cooler than the water in the Zojirushi mug. If you drink your beverages quickly or don’t want to wait for them to cool down before sealing your mug, the Classic Trigger-Action may be a better option for you.

It’s tough. This mug endured our drop tests, sporting only light scuffing on the plastic lid and minor dents at the side of the base of its body. Like Zojirushi’s five-year warranty, Stanley’s lifetime warranty covers only manufacturer defects, not damage to mug components due to accidents or wear. Should you damage the lid or simply lose it, you can buy a replacement lid .

It’s dishwasher safe. Both the mug body and the lid can go in the dishwasher. The lid has some hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, so be sure to disassemble it for the best cleaning results. Stanley’s lid has fewer pieces than Zojirushi’s lid and is easier to take apart.

You have more color choices. If you care about colors, the Classic Trigger-Action comes in many—about a dozen at last count. This mug also comes in a 20-ounce size .

The OXO Good Grips Water Bottle Cleaning Set is the best bottle-cleaning set. It comes with a large bottle brush, a skinny straw brush, and a looped detail-cleaning brush, all kept together on a handy ring so you won’t lose any of the parts. The set is dishwasher safe, and we found that it works well for anyone looking to remove gunk from travel mugs and other hard-to-clean items.

A GSI MicroLite 500 Flip travel mug.

If you want a mug with a locking lid for about half the price of our top pick: Consider the GSI Microlite 500 Flip , which keeps liquids almost as hot as the Zojirushi mug and has a similar one-handed flip top with a lock.

However, when we dropped this GSI mug to the ground when the lid was unlocked, the lid popped open and spilled coffee everywhere—and the exact same thing happened when we dropped it a second time. Eventually, we dropped the mug enough, accidentally, to break the lid; GSI does sell replacement lids.

This mug, which has a large sipping port, also has a higher flow rate than our picks, and may require more careful sipping when the beverage is really hot.

An MiiR 360 Traveler.

If the Zojirushi mug is out of stock: You might look into the MiiR 360 Traveler , which in our tests kept drinks almost as hot and resisted denting just as well as our top pick. When it’s unlocked, its sipping port allows you to drink from anywhere on the lid’s circumference. We decided not to make it a pick because we struggled to decipher whether the sipping port was open or closed—which in turn led to spills. Unlike some twist-to-open 360-degree ports, the MiiR 360 Traveler’s lid has a push button for operation that forms the center of the lid, and at a glance, it looks nearly the same whether closed or open.

The mug is also available in a flip-top version called the Flip Traveler , but we’ve found flip-top lids prone to breaking during our drop tests. The mug bodies for the 360 Traveler and the Flip Traveler are the same, and the lids are interchangeable, in case you buy one and then decide that you’d like to try the other.

We’ve considered and evaluated several other Zojirushi travel mugs throughout our testing. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Zojirushi SM-WR : Almost identical to the SM-SF series, this version has an integrated gasket, which reduces the total pieces to clean. We like it almost as much as our top pick. However, it dispenses a little faster than the SM-SF, which is good for cold drinks but can be too much for really hot drinks.
  • Zojirushi SM-YAE : This 16-ounce mug costs a little more than our main pick. It comes with an electro-polished interior, like the Zojirushi SM-KHE, but has a shape that’s stouter than other Zojirushi mugs and short enough to fit under the spout of a single-cup brewing machine. In our tests, however, it fell short of our picks in insulating performance: After eight hours, the water temperature had dropped to 100 degrees, 58 degrees cooler than the water in our top pick.
  • Zojirushi SM-SHE : We were reluctant to test this mug due to persistent stock issues. Zojirushi sent us one to try out anyway, but it broke during our drop test.
  • Zojirushi SM-JHE : We opted not to test this mug because it has a wide-mouth, screw-off lid.
  • Zojirushi SM-JTE : We also elected not to test this model, which has a tea-leaf filter, due to its screw-off lid.

The JoeVeo Temperfect Javabliss 16 Travel Mug brings a scalding drink down to a drinkable temperature and holds it there by using a third layer in its wall to capture excess heat and then release it over time. It isn’t leakproof or spill-proof, though.

The 17-ounce Kinto Travel Tumbler insulates well—so well that it was the third-best contender at insulating in our tests behind the Zojirushi SM-SF and GSI Microlite 500 Flip. Drinking from it requires fully removing the lid, though, as well as finding a place to put the lid.

After dismissing previous iterations of the Hydro Flask travel mug, we tested the 20-ounce Hydro Flask Coffee Cup with Flex Sip Lid , and it was a clear improvement over older models. It kept drinks hot for about a half day, and it resisted denting better than about half of the other tested mugs. The lid requires two hands to open and close, however, so it can be tough to open while you’re distracted, and it has a tendency to “burp” a small amount of liquid when you rotate the lid from closed to open.

The 16-ounce OXO Good Grips Thermal Mug with SimplyClean Lid resembles—and insulates about as well as—the Hydro Flask mug we tested, keeping drinks hot for a half day. It also shares that model’s flaws, requiring two hands to open and close, and burping some liquid.

The Klean Kanteen Insulated Wide Mouth Water Bottle was a previous runner-up in this guide, as well as a former insulated water bottle pick, but we found that the lid occasionally leaked when we left the bottle on its side overnight.

The 18-ounce Purist Mover with Scope Lid insulates nearly as well as our picks and has a 360-degree sip lid, which lets you drink from any side of the mug. It requires two hands to open and close, though.

We broke the flip-top lid of the 20-ounce Welly Traveler , as well as the glued-on product-label plate on the bottom of the mug, the first time we dropped it.

The 12-ounce Ketiee Travel Mug is cheaper than most mugs we looked at, and we wondered what we’d get for the price. It kept drinks hot for about two hours during our tests, scoring near the bottom. Our main complaint is that the molding process left a pointy knob on our test unit, right above the drinking port, that pressed into our testers’ noses. Also, the product page states that it’s spill-proof—and we found that it wasn’t, whether the flip-top lid was open or closed.

The promise of the battery-powered Ember Travel Mug 2 is that it allows you to keep your beverage at a specific temperature (up to 145 degrees) for three hours—if you remember to charge it. Without the battery, it scored at the bottom on our insulation test; we also managed to break its inner seal during our drop test. Although we like the standard Ember Mug 2 (read more in our mug warmers guide ), we can’t recommend this even more expensive sibling.

The Contigo Autoseal West Loop Travel Mug was one of our previous runners-up, and like the Stanley Classic Trigger-Action , it has a button that you need to push before you can drink. The West Loop didn’t hold up as well in our drop tests as the Stanley model did, and we found its vertical push button harder to use than the one on our current also-great pick.

This article was edited by Ria Misra and Christine Ryan.

Hongbin Bill Ma, director, Center of Thermal Management at the University of Missouri , phone interview , September 22, 2017

Michael Dickey, professor of chemical engineering at North Carolina State University , phone interview , September 26, 2017

Meet your guides

travel mug thermos

Trey French

Trey French is a staff writer at Wirecutter covering outdoors gear. A trail runner, backcountry skier, and long-distance backpacker, he has reviewed gear for Treeline Review and advised wilderness travelers on lightweight backcountry equipment at Katabatic Gear. He resides in California’s Eastern Sierra, where scenic desktop backgrounds are born.

travel mug thermos

Anna Perling

Anna Perling is a former staff writer covering kitchen gear at Wirecutter. During her time at Wirecutter, she reported on various topics including sports bras, board games, and light bulbs. Previously she wrote food and lifestyle pieces for Saveur and Kinfolk magazines. Anna is a mentor at Girls Write Now and a member of the Online News Association.

Further reading

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This Inexpensive Water Bottle Is Meant for Cyclists, But It’s Great for Travelers, Too

by Christine Ryan

The Camelbak Podium is affordable, lightweight, and perfect for packing.

Six of our favorite mugs shown side by side.

Our Favorite Mugs

by Jackie Reeve

Our Wirecutter home team is passionate about the vessels they drink them out of. Here are the mugs we can’t get enough of.

A collection of different types of water bottles laid flat on a surface.

How to Clean a Travel Mug or Water Bottle

Don’t want your coffee to taste like yesterday’s brew? Give your travel mug a good deep clean—and do the same for your insulated water bottle, too!

Two photos of the Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug in illustrated polaroids.

We’ve Recommended This Travel Mug for a Decade. It’s Still Going Strong.

by James Austin

Our longtime favorite travel mug keeps drinks piping hot, and the nifty locking lid makes it virtually spill-proof.

17 Best Travel Coffee Mugs for Hot and Cold Drinks

Commute with your coffee under control.

best travel mugs

We've been independently researching and testing products for over 120 years. If you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more about our review process.

For many of us, coffee is a constant companion — and that means you'll want a trusty travel mug as you head out the door. Whether you prefer a piping hot cup from your drip coffee maker or single-serve coffeemaker , a refill at Starbucks or a dose of joe from your cold brew coffee maker , your travel coffee mug should handle it all without leaking. Fortunately, there's tons of options out there, including stainless steel coffee thermoses to keep your beverages cool and ones with straws for easy sipping.

Over the years, the pros in the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab have tested 45 different travel mugs for hot and cold temperature retention, durability, resistance to leakage, ease of use and more. In our most recent tests, we called in samples of the latest travel mugs and used them both in the office and on our commutes to see how well they held up. We noted how they felt, how they traveled and, unavoidably, how they held up when dropped. Ahead, we rounded up the best travel coffee mugs based on picks that performed well during testing or come from brands that we trust.

Our top picks:

16-Ounce Stainless Steel Mug

Best Overall Travel Coffee Mug

Zojirushi 16-ounce stainless steel mug.

Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler

Best Value Travel Coffee Mug

Juro stainless steel vacuum insulated tumbler.

Classic Trigger Action Travel Mug

Best No-Spill Travel Coffee Mug

Stanley classic trigger action travel mug.

Sedona Stainless Steel Thermal Tumbler

Best Travel Coffee Mug for Espresso Drinks

Avana sedona stainless steel thermal tumbler.

Good Grips 16-oz Travel Coffee Mug with Leakproof SimplyClean Lid

Easiest to Clean Leak-Resistant Travel Coffee Mug

Oxo good grips 16-oz travel coffee mug with leakproof simplyclean lid.

Flex Sip Lid Coffee Flask

Best Travel Coffee Mug with Carrying Strap

Hydro flask flex sip lid coffee flask.

Heated Coffee Mug

Best Self-Heating Travel Coffee Mug

Smrtmugg heated coffee mug.

Stainless Steel Traveler

Best Wide-Mouthed Travel Coffee Mug

S'well stainless steel traveler.

Luxe Autoseal Vacuum-Insulated Mug

Best Locking-Lid Travel Coffee Mug

Contigo luxe autoseal vacuum-insulated mug.

Rambler Mug with Lid

Best Travel Coffee Mug with Handle

Yeti rambler mug with lid.

Read on for more information on our testing process as well as for tips on what to look for when shopping for a travel coffee mug. For more ideas on what to fill your cup with, check out these coffee recipes to make at home .

Zojirushi's travel mug with a locking lid opens with the push of a button but won't leak or spill (even in a backpack). It will keep hot coffee hot — in fact, the brand is so confident that it offers a five-year warranty on heat retention. Iced coffee fans will appreciate that the mouth is large enough to handle big ice cubes for that extra chill.

Our tester noted that the vacuum-sealed lid keeps water cold all day: "I always grab it from my backpack and think, 'There's no way this could still possibly be cool anymore,' and I'm always pleasantly surprised." We also like the slim design, which is easy to grip and fits nicely into backpacks or totes. It comes in several colors and a 12-ounce version.

This stainless steel mug is a great affordable option, especially considering its large 20-ounce size. What's more, it claims to retain the temperature of your coffee for up to six hours. Online reviewers like that it fits easily into car holders and won't sweat when filled with ice. The tumbler includes two lids: The featured slider lid as well as a flip-style lid , so you can choose which you prefer for the beverage you're drinking. It also comes with a reusable straw and a straw cleaner, though we found the straw was short and inconvenient to use.

Stanley has been in the thermal carafe game since 1913. This travel coffee mug delivers the company's insulated design and also includes a push-button "trigger action" lid that keeps the mug sealed unless pushed. We liked that it means the spout stays closed when you're not hands-on . Our pros did note that it requires some level of strength and dexterity to hold the button while sipping. This mug is available in several colors (even camo!) and in a 20-ounce size.

This 10-ounce travel mug from Avana is perfectly sized for espresso-based drinks, but it's also available in 20-ounce and 30-ounce versions. Kitchen Appliances & Innovation Lab Director Nicole Papantoniou likes that the simple two-piece design is easy to clean because the lid is just one solid piece, unlike many other lids. This is particularly helpful if you like coffee drinks with foam, like latte beverages , that can gunk up lids over time. The contoured mouthpiece makes sipping easy, but it doesn't seal closed, so watch out for leaks. The double-walled insulated construction keeps drinks hot or cold and helps prevent condensation from collecting on the outside.

We love when kitchen gear comes apart for a thorough cleaning, but would rather skip the guesswork that can follow when it's time to reassemble. The OXO travel coffee mug with SimplyClean lid solves this pain point: The four-piece lid is color-coded, numbered and etched with assembly instructions . It's easy to take apart and clean by hand (or in the dishwasher), and simple to put back together for your next cup. Never mind, it's also comfortable to hold. The mug comes in four other colors as well as a 20-ounce size.

Hydro Flask has a huge following when it comes to water bottles — in fact, we named the brand our best stainless steel water bottle — and we're fans of its coffee mugs (called coffee flasks), too . GH Lab tests found that its stainless steel, vacuum-insulated body kept drinks hot and cold for hours, and it was quite leakproof. Hydro Flask also offers a separate wide-mouth lid , which can be handy for cold beverages. (The included lid twists to open and close.) But, be careful drinking hot beverages with a wide mouth as it can spill easily. It's available in a range of colors as well as 16- and 20-ounce sizes , and the little handle helps make it easier to transport.

This SmrtMugg travel mug — rated our best self-heating travel mug — has built-in heat technology to keep coffee hot. Its large battery on the bottom — the manufacturer claims a 10-hour battery life — kept coffee hot (above the target temp of 135˚F) for the full four hours of our Lab tests . Once you get the hang of the controls at the bottom of the mug, the clear digital readout is helpful in setting the temperature and turning off the mug. This travel mug also aced our leak tests. Our tester noted that while the push-button lid is easy to use, the edge of the button can bump your lip while drinking.

This sleek 16-ounce bottle has been redesigned to fit more comfortably in your hand. Though we have not tested this model in the Lab, our pros appreciate that i ts large size and wide mouth can easily fit ice cubes , which makes it a great choice for frequent iced coffee drinkers. We have also found other S'well products to be good at maintaining temperatures. It seals shut and is leakproof; plus, it will keep your drinks cold (or hot!) all day. The S'well comes in a ton of color options as well as 12-ounce and 20-ounce sizes.

This coffee mug from Contigo is super comfortable in your hands, and it has a unique locking feature that makes it leak- and spill-proof. When you want to sip (or chug) your coffee, just press the button to release the seal. During your commute, you can lock the button so you don't accidentally press it while on the go . It's also completely dishwasher-safe, even the lid. One tester did note that with hot beverages, the lid can feel too hot to handle.

This popular Yeti mug looks just like a traditional coffee mug, but it's designed to keep your drinks hot or cold and comes with a lid to prevent unnecessary spills. The sturdy and comfortable handle is large enough for even wide hands. It's available in a dozen different colors as well as sizes from 10- to 30 ounces. Another bonus is that when you buy from the Yeti site, you can customize your product with a short text, a monogram or a logo. Our tester found that the lid slides open easily but noted that it's not leakproof. The brand has also introduced the Rambler Stronghold lid , which screws on (rather than presses in), which we're actively testing in the Lab.

Fellow Carter Everywhere Travel Mug

Carter Everywhere Travel Mug

This little cylinder makes a statement, with testers loving how compact it was. The sleek stainless steel shell contains a ceramic liner intended to keep your coffee free of metallic flavors. The screw top reveals a wide mouth that you can sip from any angle and is large enough for adding ice . It comes in seven additional colors as well as a smaller, 12-ounce size.

W&P Porter Ceramic Mug with Protective Silicone Sleeve

Ceramic Mug with Protective Silicone Sleeve

Papantoniou likes that the inside of this travel mug is easy-to-clean porcelain, which generally helps to prevent buildup over time that can negatively impart flavors . She also noted that it keeps coffee "nice and hot right off the bat." It includes a simple shape and a silicone sleeve for a comfortable non-slip grip. It comes in several colors and a couple of terrazzo prints . It's also available in a 16-ounce size.

Starbucks Classic Green & White Traveler Tumbler Coffee Mug

Classic Green & White Traveler Tumbler Coffee Mug

Starbucks fans will appreciate that they can purchase this mug online rather than solely in the stores. The ceramic mug is easy to use — the lid just pops into place and is surrounded by a rubber seal to help keep it (and the coffee) in place — and easy to clean . "It keeps coffee warm like a standard ceramic mug would, and the lid helps to keep things a little warmer for longer," our tester says. "I like that it's not scalding hot like in a metal mug, so I can enjoy my coffee without burning my mouth." The 12-oz size is perfect for refills of Starbucks tall drinks.

STOJO Collapsible Travel Cup with Straw

Collapsible Travel Cup with Straw

Stojo's collapsible coffee cup makes it possible to travel light while avoiding single-use plastics. The brand impressed our pros with its other collapsible offerings — the Collapsible Bowl won a 2021 Kitchen Gear Award . Similarly, this travel cup is well designed: The cup includes a heat sleeve that provides a structured grip for the squishy silicone cup, and the 16-ounce size includes a straw (which is great for iced coffee or if you prefer to bring your own cup to fountain machines). The collapsed cup is just two inches in size. It's both microwave and dishwasher safe, with 8-ounce , 12-ounce and 24-ounce sizes.

MiiR Flip Traveler

Flip Traveler

With a 4.8-rating on Amazon, this stainless steel thermos comes in a slim design and an easy-to-open lid. Though we have not tested this pick in the Lab, we like its focus on giving back: T he bottom of each travel mug is printed with a "Give Code" that you can enter at Mirr's website for details on the brand's corporate giving , which is funded through every purchase. The Flip Traveler is available in several colors and 12-ounce and 16-ounce sizes .

JOCO Glass Reusable Coffee Cup

Glass Reusable Coffee Cup

This glass bodied Joco mug has a colorful silicone lid and a matching thermal sleeve. It's microwave (and dishwasher!) safe, which makes it a great option if you like to reheat your coffee throughout the day. Since the glass is clear, it's easy to see how much coffee you have left — and hit your preferred shade when you add your creamer. Take note that the lid does not seal shut, so while it might be handy for car commuting, this isn't one that's great for tossing in your bag.

Zoku Instant Iced Coffee Maker

Instant Iced Coffee Maker

For iced coffee fiends, this mug is for you. Get your cuppa in flash: Simply store the inner core of the mug in the freezer, then slip the frozen cup into the protective plastic sleeve and pour in hot coffee. Our tester found that the travel mug will chill your coffee rapidly without watering it down with ice cubes. (The brand actually uses the same concept for its ice cream maker .) Slide in the lid with the provided straw, and you're ready for undiluted iced coffee — though you can add ice if you prefer. One caveat is that the freezable core holds only 11 ounces, which some might find too small.

How we test travel coffee mugs

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When the experts in the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab test travel coffee mugs, they use thermocouples to track the temperature of the liquid inside the mug over time. Many of the mugs on this list were tested at home over months (even over commutes) to assess their durability, ease of use and temperature retention.

Our pros also evaluate the mugs for stability, cleanability and comfort of both holding and drinking. They test whether the mug is easy to open and close, and they drop each mug to assess its durability. To test for leaking, our pros roll the mug around on its side as well as turn it upside down and shake it vigorously.

How to find the best travel coffee mug for you

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✔️ Material : Many travel coffee mugs are stainless steel, though our list also includes porcelain, glass and silicone options. Double-walled construction is common with stainless steel mugs, and that can help keep your beverage hot or cold longer. Other materials may not be insulated. If you opt for a glass mug, consider borosilicate glass, which is tempered to prevent shattering with hot liquids and can be more durable if dropped. Porcelain mugs are generally easy to clean, and because the material is nonporous, the mug is unlikely to develop odd flavors. Silicone is a great lightweight option, but it can get warm if it does not have a heat sleeve.

✔️ Lid : Some lids are more spill-proof than others. Our Lab experts particularly love the locking feature on the Contigo Luxe Autoseal Vacuum-Insulated Travel Coffee Mug , which adds a level of safety if you plan to toss your mug in your bag. Lids that screw on are also often leak-resistant. Those who prefer a more traditional-style mug with a handle may find that slider lids are common; evaluate those for leaking, as some are prone to dribbles (or worse). Note that spill-proof lids often require more care to clean.

✔️ Washability : Check to see if the mug is dishwasher-safe. If it needs to be washed by hand, make sure you can thoroughly clean it with a sponge or bottle brush .

Why trust Good Housekeeping?

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Sarah Wharton is the Senior Editor and Analyst for the Good Housekeeping Institute. She tested several of the newest additions to this list as well as led the recent test of heated mugs. She's written about all kinds of kitchen gear as well as coffee advice like how to make a cappuccino and how to make an iced latte .

Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab Director Nicole Papantoniou oversees all testing of kitchen gear, including products like coffee grinders , coffee makers , espresso machines and Nespresso machines . She has tested almost all of these travel mugs and is constantly rotating through an assortment in her daily travel mug use. She is also the lead judge in the Good Housekeeping Institute's forthcoming Coffee Awards .

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Sarah (she/her) is a deputy editor in the Good Housekeeping Institute , where she tests products and covers the best picks across kitchen, tech, health and food. She has been cooking professionally since 2017 and has tested kitchen appliances and gear for Family Circle as well as developed recipes and food content for Simply Recipes, Martha Stewart Omnimedia, Oxo and Food52. She holds a certificate in professional culinary arts from the International Culinary Center (now the Institute of Culinary Education).

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The Best Travel Mugs to Keep Drinks Hot or Cold

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Hydro Flask Coffee Mug with Flex Sip Lid

Best Overall Hydro Flask Coffee Mug With Flex Sip Lid (16 Ounce) Read more

Klean Kanteen TKWide Insulated Mug

A Good Wide-Mouth Bottle Klean Kanteen TKWide Insulated Mug (16 Ounce) Read more

a long play coffee mug

A Classy Paper Cup Replacement KeepCup Brew Cork (12 Ounce) Read more

Miir Climate Plus travel mug

An Eco-Friendly Option Miir Climate+ Read more

Staying hydrated can be a battle, especially if you're toting around a bottle of lukewarm water, coffee, or tea. Whether you drink cold drinks or hot ones, a vacuum-insulated beverage holder can keep it at your preferred temperature so that every sip is a joy. There are tons of vacuum-insulated bottles, mugs, and tumblers on the market these days. Most of them are perfectly capable at keeping beverages colder or warmer than room temperature for much longer than a non-insulated bottle, too.

I tested each bottle with both ice water and cold water, sat outside on a patio in indirect sunlight, and then with hot coffee left indoors, where the ambient temperature was 70 degrees. During testing so far, none of the bottles failed to roughly match up to their claims of how long they'd keep cold liquids cold and hot liquids hot. It's rare to run across an insulated bottle that's a total failure at doing that these days, but it's also rare to find one that truly stands out. Rather, I've noticed the features that tend to make or break a bottle are their leak-proofing, exterior coating, and cap. Here are the best travel mugs that impressed us, and some of the rest.

Note that my colleague, Medea Giordano, wrote a piece about the use of lead soldering in the construction of some reusable bottles. Be sure to check out our guides to the Best Reusable Water Bottles , Best Coffee Subscriptions , Best Coffee Grinders , Best Espresso Machines , Best Portable Coffee Makers , Best AeroPress Coffee Makers , and How to Make Better Coffee at Home and Joe Ray's rave on how he learned to love pour-over coffee .

Updated March 2024: We've added the Yeti Rambler Vacuum Bottle With Chug Cap, Stanley IceFlow Straw Tumbler, REI Co-op Camp Mug, and GSI Outdoors MicroLite 500 Flip. We've also added information about the use of lead in some bottles' manufacturing, as well as updated pricing and availability throughout.

Special offer for Gear readers: Get WIRED for just $5 ($25 off) . This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com , full Gear coverage, and subscriber-only newsletters. Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

Best Overall

Hydro Flask’s powder coating is one of the toughest I have come across on a beverage container. Whenever I can foresee some serious abuse happening to a coffee mug on a trip, I take a Hydro Flask. I’ve yet to dent or scratch one through routine carelessness over the past four years. Without a cupholder in my car, my Hydro Flask lived on the floorboards, rolling and crashing around with every maneuver, and it still held up. The pebbled texture is grippy, so you're less likely to fumble it if your hands get wet or greasy.

A Good Wide-Mouth Bottle

Narrow openings are fine for water, in my opinion, but for hot beverages, I like having a wider gap so I can take a big gulp. I'm less likely to burn my mouth on hot drinks when I can let them cool off through a bigger opening, too. The TKWide’s Cafe Cap is more like drinking from a regular to-go coffee cup, rather than a water bottle.

All the colors have matte powder-coated finishes, which are more scratch-resistant than the brand’s smooth powder-coated finishes. That said, I haven’t found them to be as tough as Hydro Flask’s powder coating, and the uncoated stainless-steel ring on the bottom of the mug is pretty easy to scuff up.

A Classy Paper Cup Replacement

The Brew Cork is greater than the sum of its parts. This double-walled, insulated mug is meant to replicate and replace paper coffee shop cups. It’s fun to drink out of. Many other tumblers’ lid openings are blocky or mash your nose, but the KeepCup is ergonomically on point. It’s not the best for road trips, nor the best for keeping a ton of coffee hot for hours, but I highly recommend the LongPlay if all you want is a reusable cup to cut down on single-use waste and keep your drink warm long enough for you to actually drink it. That said, the lid is a bit dribbly. While the interior and lip are glass—no metallic off-tastes here—the exterior shell below the rubber grip is plastic.

An Eco-Friendly Option

It doesn't fit a typical car’s cup holder, but if you like an insulated mug that resembles a cup more than a bottle or beer glass, the Climate+ is for you. It has the solid build quality and tough powder-coated finish we’ve come to expect from Miir, in a package that has less of an impact on the environment. Miir says that the Climate+ uses no new plastic (the lid is 100 percent recycled and recyclable), and its insulation uses 25 percent less stainless steel than traditional insulated mugs. It’s also completely BPA-free.

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Camp Classic

This camp cup is awfully charming, harkening back to the classic blue, enameled camp cups that ooze 20th-century Americana. Like all the tumblers on this list, it’s vacuum-insulated to keep hot drinks hot and cold ones cold. Its screw-on plastic lid, with a sliding lever for sipping, is leak-proof enough. If you leave it upside down for more than a few seconds or shake it, it’ll drip, but I couldn’t get it to leak by knocking it onto its side. The handle is plastic to avoid conducting heat from hot contents, and the inner part of the handle is lined in cork. The Campy isn’t enameled—it’s just painted to look like it—but it pulls off the effect well.

Fellow coffee mug

For Coffee Purists

Instead of a tiny sippy hole, the Carter’s screw-on cap reveals a wide tumbler that lets you breathe in your coffee’s aromas as you drink. The opening is 69 millimeters wide, so you can use most manual coffee brewers, such as an AeroPress or Hario pour-over, directly on it. That’s too wide for many cars’ cup holders, but it’s plenty stable, and you won’t have to worry about tipping it over on a desk. My average-size hands had no issues, but some buyers with smaller hands might find it difficult or uncomfortable to hold.

The interior is ceramic-coated, so you don’t get any metallic flavors, and the thin metal lip is curved like a cabernet glass. Its textured matte exterior coating is tough and held up as well as the mighty Hydro Flask’s coating. It's been completely leak-proof too. You should have no concerns throwing it into your laptop bag completely full.

a stainless steel snowpeak mug

For Camping

When traveling, I want to pack light. Snow Peak’s gorgeous insulated titanium camp mug is less than 4 inches tall, weighs only 4.2 ounces, and has foldaway handles to make it even smaller. Its 450-ml capacity equates to slightly more than 15 fluid ounces. As someone who finds washing mugs to be an interminable hassle, this is the easiest one to travel with—just refill, rinse, and carabiner it to the outside of your bag. I've carried mine up glaciated mountains and down desert trails for six years now, and although the lettering has worn away, the mug itself works as well as it did when new. You can also buy a Snow Peak lid for $14 separately, which is splash-proof and kept my coffee warmer for longer.

HydroFlask Cooler Cup

Tumblers and travel mugs are generally designed for you to pour your chosen beverage into, but what if you just want to put a can in there? These kinds of insulated drink holders are particularly useful when I'm out and about, drinking a canned soda or beer, and want it to stay cool in the summer heat.

Not only can you put the can directly into the drink holder, but you can also pour it into the Hydro Flask and drink directly out of it, if you wish. Just remove the collar, and now you've got a handsome, stainless steel rim to sip from. The collar fits over the bottom of the can to stabilize it too, so you won't lose it. This is the 12-fluid-ounce version that fits a standard beer, soda, juice, or wine can. There's also a 16-fluid-ounce Tallboy Cooler Cup for $28 if you're feeling particularly thirsty.

a red contigo portable coffee cannister

Honorable Mentions

We've run through many travel mugs, and not all of them are winners. These are a few we like, just not as much as the ones above.

Miir Flip Traveler for $28 : The Miir has a tough powder coating with a flip-top lid that is absolutely leak-proof. I couldn’t get one drop of liquid to escape, no matter what I did to this tumbler. It’s narrow enough to fit any cup holder or backpack bottle holder, and it feels tough enough to survive years of abuse. Personally, I also find it quite aesthetically attractive, with its sharp lines and angular cap, compared to its competition. Miir has stated that some of its bottles use lead, and its website states : “MiiR drinkware is frequently tested at a 3rd party accredited lab by COE Resolution CM/RES(2013)9. When MiiR drinkware is tested, lead is not detected. The limit of detection is < 0.002 mg/kg (ppm).” Representatives at Miir declined to clarify if the Flip Traveler is one of its bottles that use lead.

Yeti Rambler Bottle With Chug Cap for $50 : The star of this bottle is what Yeti calls the chug cap, a threaded spout that's between a wide-mouth opening and a more typical sipping hole in size. I enjoyed it quite a lot. When gulping water, it flowed more smoothly and quickly than a sipping hole, but it didn't spill over my face, as a wide-mouth opening can sometimes do when in a hurry. A cap with a plastic handle screws on over it to close up the bottle. The handle is wide and robust. I'd use a carabiner to clip it to a backpack often and never worried about it breaking (36 fluid ounces of water is heavy). If you're a frequent sipper like me, you'll appreciate that it only takes a half turn of the cap to expose the chug cap. Yeti cautions that the chug cap (which can be unscrewed and removed) is unsuitable for hot beverages. Just to make sure I didn't burn my mouth on that initial, exploratory sip of hot coffee, I'd take it off when drinking something hot, which negated some of the bottle's convenience. Like most Yeti bottles, the exterior coating was durable and didn't scratch or dent during testing—we've often got a code to customize it for free on the WIRED coupons site. Yeti uses lead in its manufacturing .

Stanley IceFlow Tumbler for $30 : Rather than a long straw, the IceFlow has a stubby, flip-open straw about an inch long that's built into the cap. It was easy to manipulate with my thumb to flip it out, which I appreciated when I was hot and sweaty after a workout and didn't want to fumble with a hard-to-use cap. Its small diameter meant that I couldn't gulp water, though, only sip a steady trickle. The carry handle was big enough to use while wearing puffy gloves this past winter, and it flips down and out of the way when you don't need it. Both are a very nice touch that outshine most other bottles' handles. Like Stanley's other bottles, its exterior coating is tough enough that I noticed no scratches or wear. Stanley uses lead in its manufacturing process .

Contigo Luxe Autoseal for $36 : What makes the Contigo “automatic” is a button on the side of the lid that opens the sipping hole. There’s a lock to prevent the button from opening the hole, too. With or without the lock activated, the Contigo never leaked a single drop. Some buyers have complained that the metal lid gets too hot, but I filled up the Luxe Autoseal with scorching, molten coffee, and the lid barely even got lukewarm. Contigo is also among the manufacturers that uses a lead solder bead in its construction. When reached for comment, a company representative said, “The bead is covered and insulated by multiple layers—it never comes in contact with users or liquids in the bottle—and cannot be accessed unless the bottle is fully deconstructed. No traces of lead are found on or in the bottle that would be exposed to the consumer or the beverages in the bottle.”

KeepCup Thermal for $26 : This is the answer to those who like the KeepCup LongPlay's ergonomic shape and paper-cup-imitating feel but long for a cup that can keep their coffee warmer for longer. The Thermal is, like most of the vessels in this guide, vacuum-insulated stainless steel that insulates against heat loss or, in the case of cold beverages, heat gain. It shares the Brew Cork's slightly dribbly lid, although it loses some of the novelty of the Brew Cork's glass.

REI Co-op Camp Mug for $23 : There are getting to be an awful lot of insulated camp mugs in this basic style on the market, and REI's own is a perfectly fine option that doesn't particularly stand out. REI didn't attempt any gimmicks with its lid, which is a durable piece of thick plastic with an open hole for sipping and a smaller hole for airflow (so that sipping is smooth). You can't just toss it in a backpack or on the floor of your car without it leaking, but for a camp mug, that's fine. They're better suited for use in camp, a motorhome, or on a desk anyway, in my opinion. The exterior coating was tough enough to show no scratches, even after knocking it over a few times outside, and the REI graphics were tasteful and attractive, in my opinion.

Miir Camp Cup for $28: Miir's insulated coffee mug doesn't leak, it insulates hot and cold drinks just fine, and the coating is as tough as any Miir. But it's up against tough competition, and for the same money the Hydro Flask Mug is a bit nicer. The Miir lacks the Hydro Flask's stainless steel rim, and the transparent plastic lid feels a little cheap. The sliding opening on the lid felt like just an extra step to operate each time I wanted a sip.

Hydro Flask All Around Travel Tumbler for $35 : The rounded handle is comfortable to hold, which is important in an 18.4-ounce mug loaded with up to 32 fluid ounces of drink. Like most Hydro Flask products, it comes with the same bomb-proof powder coating (in optional soft, pastel colors) that resists scratches and chips very well, plus the addition of a straw poking through its lid. There's also a 40-fluid-ounce version for $40 .

GSI Outdoors Glacier 15-Fluid-Ounce Camp Cup for $20 : It's not too easy to find at retailers, and when you do, they tend to be available in just a few colors and go in and out of stock. This cup is awfully simple, particularly the incredibly basic lid, but it's more than a little endearing. There's a brushed stainless steel version and, my favorite, a "blue speckle" that imitates the classic enameled blue camp cups of past generations, although both of these colors are plain steel. Other colors come in a more durable-seeming pebbled coating.

Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug for $29 : The stainless-steel interior is BPA-free and has a wide-mouth opening. The lid locks to avoid accidental spillage, and I once accidentally left hot tea in it for 18 hours and found it still hot when I opened it again. It’s also small enough to fit in my jacket pocket on chilly morning walks. It’s not my preferred mug for daily use, simply because the lid has three separate parts—a mouthpiece, a gasket, and a lid—that are deeply ridged and hard to clean.

Rambler Stackable Cup for $30 : This insulated cup holds 16 fluid ounces, which is the capacity of a typical tall drinking glass. The best aspect of this is that you can stack several of them, so you can keep a bunch in your pantry without taking up much room. It comes with Yeti's durable powder coating, too, making them among the toughest options out there.

Hydro Flask Mug for $28: The Hydro Flask Mug merges a durable powder-coated, vacuum-insulated construction with the traditional, handle-sporting shape of a diner or camp mug. Hydro Flask does it better than most. The stainless steel rim makes it nicer to sip from than competitors' mugs, and it comes with Hydro Flask's usual drip-proof lid and bomber-tough powder coating that is nearly impossible to scratch. But it is more at home on a desk than at a campsite or in a car's cup holder, which it can't fit into.

GSI Outdoors MicroLite 500 Flip for $30 : Under the button-activated, flip-up lid there's a contoured bowl that you drink from, as if somebody cut the top half off a plastic cup. It felt gimmicky and unnecessary. It didn't do anything that just drinking from an open bottle couldn't do, and it tended to collect stray water droplets after I was done drinking. The overly complex cap was harder to hand wash than most caps, although the dishwasher could clean the cap without issue. What saves the MicroLite 500 is the stainless steel rim, which felt nice to drink from when the cap was removed, plus the array of available colors in durable, non-scratch coatings. Minus the cap, the bottle was fairly nice, if not particularly a standout among the competition. There's a MicroLite 500 With Twist Lid for $30 that does away with the gimmicky cap and has a simpler lid, although the carry strap is narrow and not as robust as I'd have liked.

Owala FreeSip for $28 : Product reviewer Medea Giordano loved the FreeSip ( 9/10, WIRED Recommends ) for its dual drink spouts: one open hole, plus a built-in straw. If you've got mobility or pain issues that make tilting your head a hassle, this mug is a solid performer. It's easy to grip too, with its flattened sides, which can come in handy for those with reduced hand dexterity.

OtterBox Elevation for $30 : At 8.5 inches tall, the Elevation 20 looks a lot bigger than it is. It has a copper lining that the company says helps better maintain your beverage’s perfect temperature, although I saw no noticeable difference in the Elevation's temperature-holding abilities. The clear press-on lid has a locking mechanism that you can switch it out for a straw lid or a French press lid if you’re in a hurry. It comes in a variety of stunning hues. OfferBox uses lead in its construction. When reached for comment, a company representative said, “ The seal is not open or accessible to the end user, and at no time, under intended use, could it come into contact with the end user. The OtterBox Elevation tumbler meets all applicable US regulatory requirements.”

Purist Mover for $48 : Ever empty a stainless-steel bottle of one beverage and fill it up with a different one, only to notice that the taste of the first drink lingers? The Purist has applied a thin layer of glass over the interior of the Mover, which keeps this taste transfer from happening. You can down a mug full of coffee and then fill it with herbal tea without risking a coffee aftertaste. I didn’t experience leaks from the Element top, but a high number of customers have reported their Purist lids leaking over time. I’ll keep using the Purist and update this page with information on how it performs.

S'well Traveler Tumbler for $30 : S’well boasts that its tumblers are triple-walled, but I'm not convinced that has much real-world benefit over a normal double-walled tumbler. It didn't keep beverages remarkably colder or hotter than its competitors, for example. What really sets the S’well apart are its designs. There are 12 finishes, from plain colors and bare stainless steel to elaborate patterns, such as blue marble and faux wood, and a slide-open lid so you don’t have to pop it off every time you want a swig of coffee.

Stanley Classic Vacuum Pint for $26 : Stanley’s vacuum pint includes a press-on lid with a deeply pebbled exterior that’s reminiscent of classic flasks. Although it’s billed as a 16-ounce pint, Stanley has added a few extra ounces to accommodate foam (or splashing hot coffee), and the lid comes with a slide-in metal bottle opener if you like to go immediately from work to happy hour. Stanley uses lead in its manufacturing process .

a Beast stainless steel travel mug next to it's packaging

Avoid These Travel Mugs

We’ve tested a great many tumblers, and not all are winners. These aren't anywhere near as good as our picks above.

Greens Steel Beast 20-Ounce Insulated Tumbler for $18 : Greens Steel’s Beast tumbler has more than 67,000 positive reviews on Amazon and is, at least for me, one of the top hits when I search Amazon for an insulated tumbler. But the rubber seal around the lid is thin and easily comes out of place. I was ready to write the Beast off when it was leaking like a sieve, but after I adjusted the seal, it was reasonably leak-proof. Sometimes it dribbles, sometimes it doesn’t, depending on whether the seal stays put when you’re attaching the lid. The exterior color coating is not as durable as the Klean, Hydro Flask, Yeti, or Fellow. It did come with a regular metal straw, a thick metal milkshake straw, and a cleaner brush.

Snow Peak Kanpai 500-ml Bottle for $98 : Unlike most of Snow Peak’s line of camping and backpacking gear, the Kanpai is stainless steel, not titanium, and it’s not made in Japan. It’s a double-walled, insulated stainless-steel tumbler with a glossy finish, and it comes with three lids, for some unnecessary reason. There’s a white screw-on lid that needs to be removed every time you want a drink, and a black version of the same lid. The third lid—one with a sipping hole that can be closed with a sliding latch—leaks if the Kanpai tips over. It took damage in a mere 3-foot drop when it was empty, landing on its rim, which flattened. A steel bottle, especially one with no liquid in it, should be able to survive that without battle scars.

Toaks Titanium Double Wall 450ML Cup for $40: More often than not, I champion Toaks gear as an affordable source of titanium camp cookware compared to Snow Peak and Evernew and MSR, which tend to be more expensive. But this mug is only $10 less than the Snow Peak mug we recommend above, and its finishing is rougher.

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The Best Travel Coffee Mugs, Whether You Walk, Ride, or Drive

By Wilder Davies and Emily Farris

Best Travel Coffee Mugs

All products are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.

We take our recommendation for the best travel coffee mugs very seriously. The working world (ours anyway) runs on caffeine, and for many coffee drinkers, that need has to be satisfied on the go. So a good travel coffee mug—one that’s easy to hold, doesn't leak, and keeps hot coffee hot and iced coffee cold—is a must.

travel mug thermos

Zojirushi Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Mug

Image may contain: Steel, Bottle, and Shaker

Brumate Nav

travel mug thermos

Yeti Rambler 10-Ounce Tumbler with Magslide Lid

To find the best travel mugs available right now, we tested more than 20 popular and top-rated options in a variety of shapes and sizes. Below, you’ll find our top picks for commuters of all kinds, followed by the details of how we tested and what we looked for. To learn the pros and cons of all the other mugs we tested, keep reading.

The best travel coffee mug to toss in your bag: Zojirushi

Of all the travel mugs we tested, there are only a few we’d feel comfortable tossing into a bag with our laptop or favorite book, and of them all, this one was the absolute best at keeping our coffee hot. After five hours the hot coffee we poured in was almost too hot to drink.

That excellent heat retention is due to the Zojirushi’s vacuum-insulated, double-walled stainless steel. Though it sounds like a beast, this travel mug is actually relatively lightweight and has a super-slim design that fits perfectly in your hand or bag. It also looks really nice, which is a definite plus for a mug you'll be carting around everywhere.

And you never have to worry about coffee spilling inside your bag or briefcase because the spout cap has a pretty serious sliding lock on the top that, when engaged, makes it impossible to open or spill. Shake, rattle, roll this thing—it's not going to leak any hot drinks on you or whatever else you’re carrying. The lid also comes apart for easy hand washing.

The Zojirushi travel tumbler isn’t dishwasher-safe, which is true of many vacuum-insulated vessels. This was the slimmest travel mug we tested (the opening of all three sizes is just 1⅝ inch) so if you want to clean it with friction, you’ll need a soft bottle bottle brush . That kind of cleaning shouldn’t be necessary often since the inside has a non-stick coating. We weren’t able to find any kind of documentation on what that coating actually is but it probably is nothing to worry about as the issues with nonstick cookware are around exposing it to direct, high heat or scratching it with metal utensils, neither of which are likely in a coffee cup. The super-slim design also means this mug may rattle around in a car cup holder, and the 20-ounce size is too tall to fit under our Nespresso VertuoPlus spout (you’d likely run into the same issue with other single-serve coffee makers ). Finally, sipping from the Zojirushi is slightly more awkward to drink from than many of the other mugs we tried, but it’s a small price to pay for such incredible heat retention and the peace of mind that comes with having a truly leak-free travel mug to use for hot drinks on the go.

Dishwasher safe: No Fits in car cup holder: Yes Leakproof: Yes, very Sizes available: 12 ounces , 16 ounces , 20 ounces Warranty: 5 years

This price represents the 12-ounce size. Click through for more options.

The best dishwasher safe travel coffee mug to toss in your bag: Brumate

If you want a spill-proof, leak-proof travel mug that you can also stick in the dishwasher at the end of the day, we recommend the Brumate Nav. This tapered, tumbler-style mug is just as secure as the Zojirushi, though the “BevLock” lid uses a slider to lock a flip-top spout cover into place. And even when it’s not locked, this mug won’t leak; the lock just provides an extra layer of security in case the flip-top were to catch on something strong.

We accidentally turned our testing up to eleven one morning when we dropped this mug—full of piping hot coffee—while trying to shuffle small kids out the door. The lid was closed, but not locked, and we didn’t lose a single drop or burn any toddlers.

The insulated stainless steel body retains heat well (though not as well as the Zojirushi) and we appreciate that the BPA-free clear plastic lid allows us to look inside the cup.

The Brumate doesn’t retain heat nearly as well as the Zojirushi, but if you consume your coffee within an hour or two, it’s more than sufficient. The product description says it will keep hot drinks hot for three hours, but we only experience that kind of heat retention if the mug is full, and stays that way, for the entire three hours. We’d also love to see this mug in a 16-ounce size.

Dishwasher safe: Yes Fits in car cup holder: Yes Leakproof: Yes Sizes available: 12 ounces , 22 ounces , and 32 ounces   Warranty: Limited lifetime

This price represents the 22-ounce size. Click through for more options.

The best travel coffee mug for the car: Yeti Rambler with Magslide Lid

If you like to take your coffee in the car, you might not need a truly leak-proof mug. But you still need something to prevent sloshing and splashing when you inevitably encounter a pothole or other rough road. And, of course, a travel mug for the car must be able to keep your coffee hot even on brutally-cold mornings.

Yeti’s tumbler-style Rambler mug meets all of our requirements for a car-friendly coffee mug, and then some. The double-wall vacuum insulation keeps your drink hot for hours, the slim base fits comfortably in a car cup holder, and the Magslide spout cover is really easy to open with one hand while driving (it’s easiest if you slide it open while it’s still in the cup holder).

This mug is also incredibly easy to clean as all three parts are dishwasher safe. The little magnetic slider stays securely put until you pop it off from the underside of the lid.

Aside from the fact that it’s not leak-proof, there’s not much we don’t love about this mug. But some coffee drinkers may find the size options limiting. The 10-ounce is perfect for an 8-ounce pour-over, a small latte, or a couple shots of espresso, but the next size up is 20-ounces and that may feel too big if you just want to commute with a cup of coffee. We’d love to see this mug offered in a 14-ounce or 16-ounce size, too.

Dishwasher safe: Yes Fits in car cup holder: Yes Leakproof: No Sizes available: 10 ounces , 20 ounces , 30 ounces Warranty: 5 years

This price represents the 10-ounce size. Click through for more options.

How we tested travel coffee mugs

For weeks we conducted unofficial testing, adding these mugs to our regular coffee-vessel rotation. When it came time for the official testing, we filled all of the mugs with piping hot water and let them sit on our desks for five hours. We then sipped from each to determine if they had retained heat. Next, we put the containers through a stress test, shaking them and tipping them up and down to see if anything leaked. Finally, we took some brisk walks to mimic the frantic conditions of a morning commute, coffee mug in hand. We did not preheat the mugs by filling them with hot water first—we figured the typical user would not do this and we wanted to see how well each mug retained heat without this step.

What we looked for

Obviously, a travel mug needs to be spill-proof, but mugs that will travel in a bag also need to be completely leak proof. To test the seal on each mug, we filled them with hot coffee, closed the lids according to the manufacturer’s directions, and shook them vigorously while turned upside down.

One of the most important considerations was temperature retention, so we looked at how well the mug kept coffee hot over the course of a few hours. We lined up the mugs and tasted them side by side after five hours to see which one was the hottest.

If a mug was marketed as leak-proof, we looked at how hard or easy it was to engage its leak-free function. Mugs that are too hard to seal are more likely to malfunction when you’re running out the door in a hurry.

We didn't want a travel coffee mug that was too heavy or unwieldy, as this would make it more difficult to carry around while commuting. We also considered how much you had to maneuver your mouth while drinking.

If a mug wasn’t listed as dishwasher safe, we looked at how easy it was to get all parts—including the nooks and crannies of the lid—thoroughly clean with hand washing .

Yes, these mugs are utilitarian vessels meant for keeping hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold, but let’s not pretend looks don’t matter. These are accessories as much as they are tools.

Personal preference dictates what size coffee cup you’ll need, and if you make yourself an 8-ounce latte every morning, a 20-ounce travel mug is going to be too big. So we looked for mugs that offered a range of sizes—including mugs big enough for those who do like to chug 24 ounces of coffee on the way to work.

For car commuters, a base that’s too wide is a deal breaker. So we looked at whether or not these mugs were slim enough to fit into standard car cup holders.

Other travel coffee mugs we tested

We love this bigger Yeti Rambler mug for most of the reasons we loved our top pick for the car, and it even has a handle and a more leak-resistant (though not leak-proof) lid. But the smallest size is 20-ounces and it’s just big enough that it’s not guaranteed to fit in every car cup holder. Plus, unless you’re planning to hit the road with an entire French press-worth of coffee, a 20- or 30-ounce capacity is overkill for your morning commute.

Dishwasher safe: Yes Fits in car cup holder: Some Leakproof: No Sizes available: 20 ounces , 30 ounces

travel mug thermos

Yeti Rambler Travel Mug with Stronghold Lid

Yeti's most mug-shaped Rambler mug has the best size selection of all of the Rambler mugs and the two smaller sizes (10 ounces and 14 ounces) are stackable. But because it's mug-shaped, it won't fit in a car cup holder. And because it has the Magslider lid, it's not leak proof, either. While this one is generally good for camping, the handle is pretty basic and not very comfortable to hold—especially if the 24-ounce size is full of hot coffee.

Dishwasher safe: Yes Fits in car cup holder: No Leakproof: No Sizes available: 10 ounces, 14 ounces, 24 ounces

travel mug thermos

Yeti Rambler 24-Ounce Mug

With the addition of the Hotshot lid, Yeti’s versatile, durable insulated Rambler water bottle becomes a (mostly) leak-proof travel mug for coffee, tea, and other hot or cold drinks. The Hotshot lid, when twisted to the open position, allows you to drink from any spot along the rim. We say it’s “mostly” leak-proof though, because if it’s not closed tightly enough, it is possible to shake some drops out of this mug when turned upside down—and we don’t love that it allows for that kind of user error. You can also buy the Hotshot cap separately , which is a great way to get even more out of a Yeti Rambler bottle you already own. Well, as long as you make sure to close it really well.

Dishwasher safe: Yes Fits in car cup holder: Most Leakproof: Mostly Sizes available: 12 ounces , 18 ounces

travel mug thermos

Yeti Rambler with Hotshot Cap

Brumate haș a series of leak-proof coffee mugs with handles called Toddy and these mugs have nearly all the same features we love about the Nav. But the reasonably-sized option ( 16 ounces ) is too wide to fit into any cupholder. The two larger sizes ( 22 ounces and 32 ounces ) have tapered bottoms and actually do fit into many cup holders, but most coffee drinkers will find they're otherwise just too big, in general.

Dishwasher safe: Yes Fits in car cup holder: Some sizes Leakproof: Yes Sizes available: 6 ounces , 22 ounces , 32 ounces

travel mug thermos

Brumate Toddy

Klean Kanteen is best known for its lightweight stainless steel reusable water bottles (and for tripping up our spell check every damn time) but the brand also makes a very nice double-wall, vacuum-insulated stainless steel travel tumbler. In fact, it’s so nice it’s almost perfect. This mug has excellent heat retention, and the powder-coated body is durable, dishwasher safe, and covered by Klean Kanteen’s lifetime warranty. The tumbler’s wide mouth (wide for Klean Kanteen, anyway) is big enough to fit most ice cubes, and the bottle itself is slender enough to fit most cup holders. Unfortunately, you need to use two hands to open the leak-proof lid, which isn’t always conducive to drinking hot coffee while on the go.

Dishwasher safe: Yes Fits in car cup holder: Yes Leakproof: Yes Sizes available: 12 ounces , 16 ounces , 20 ounces

travel mug thermos

Klean Kanteen Wide Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle

Klean Kanteen

We’re generally big fans of Oxo gear but the Oxo Good Grips travel mug we previously tested always leaked a little when tipped upside down. In 2023, we tested a newer model, which has what the brand calls a leak-proof “SimplyClean” lid. The mug comes in an array of pretty colors, all of the parts are dishwasher safe, and we found the lid to be truly leak free when properly assembled. However, the engineering required to get such a good seal is… a lot. Disassembling the lid for cleaning and reassembling it are each three-step processes—and the steps are so unintuitive that instructions, arrows, and numbers are actually embossed in various spots all over the three separate lid components (four if you count the removable gasket). After a few tries, it’s pretty easy to get used to how it all goes together, but coming from a brand that makes such user-friendly products, this leak-proof lid is more complicated than it needs to be. It’s also a little too easy to accidentally remove the entire lid when trying to open the spout.

Dishwasher safe: Yes Fits in car cup holder: Yes Leakproof: Yes Sizes available: 16 ounces , 20 ounces

travel mug thermos

OXO Good Grips Travel Coffee Mug With Leakproof SimplyClean Lid

We like that the short Hydro Flask coffee mug feels like a traditional mug, and this is the only “travel” mug we tested that comes in a 6-ounce size. Like all of Hydro Flask’s insulated products, this mug has great temperature retention and it’s also very durable thanks to solid construction. But because it doesn’t have a leak-proof lid or fit into a car cup holder, it’s definitely more of a “coffee on the front porch” mug or “hot toddy around the campfire” mug than an actual commuting mug. Another drawback? Unlike the brand’s powder-coated water bottles, Hydro Flask mugs are not powder-coated and therefore are not dishwasher safe .

Dishwasher safe: No Fits in car cup holder : No  Leakproof: No Sizes available: 6 ounces , 12 ounces , 24 ounces

travel mug thermos

Hydro Flask Mug

This 16-ounce stainless steel vacuum-insulated travel mug from Thermos is good, and most people would probably be content using it, but there's also nothing remarkable about it. It didn't keep our coffee hot nearly as long as the Zojirushi and though it has a leak-proof lid, it doesn't lock like the Brumate does. It’s also only available in one size (16 ounces). That said, the underside of the lid does have a built-in hook for tea bags and loose-leaf tea infusers, so if you're a tea drinker who likes to take your hot tea on the go, you’ll like that feature.

Dishwasher safe: Yes Fits in car cup holder : Yes Leakproof: Yes Sizes available: 16 ounces

travel mug thermos

Thermos Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Tumbler

When we first tested the Fellow Carter mug, we tried the Move model —a gorgeous ceramic-lined thermal mug that does a great job of keeping hot drinks hot. Unfortunately, the twist-off lid required the use of both hands, which kept the Fellow Carter from taking a top spot. When we retested travel mugs in 2023, we were thrilled to find that Fellow had recently released a new model of the Carter mug with a slide-lock lid (the lid can also be purchased separately if you already own a Carter mug). The smooth sliding mechanism makes it easy to open and close the angled lid with one hand, and though it doesn’t actually lock like the Zojirushi does, it is leak-proof when closed. But the angle of the new lid means our testers’ noses got smashed up against it every time we took a drink, and because of a lip around the inside of the body, it’s hard to get every last drop of coffee out of this mug. Additionally, the ceramic-coated stainless steel interior is supposed to keep this mug from holding onto smells, but we found that after just one use, it was nearly impossible to get the coffee smell out the lid —so this isn’t a tumbler we’d want to use interchangeably as a coffee cup and a water cup.

Dishwasher safe: No Fits in car cup holder: Yes Leakproof: Yes Sizes available: 12 ounces, 16 ounces

travel mug thermos

Fellow Carter Slide Travel Coffee Mug

We wanted to love this beautiful powder-coated stainless steel tumbler from Kinto, a Japanese housewares brand. And for the most part, we did. The carry handle on the smartly-constructed top can be removed, revealing a thin circular opening that ensures controlled sipping. Liquid doesn’t pour out too quickly (no scalded tongue or ice cubes in the face) and when tightly sealed, it doesn’t leak. You can also remove the entire top of the mug, which makes pouring easy and makes the travel mug easy to clean. However, it’s impossible to open this mug one-handed. That, combined with its high price tag, kept it out of our top picks.

Dishwasher safe: No Fits in car cup holder: Yes Leakproof: Yes Sizes available: 17 ounces

travel mug thermos

Kinto Day Off Stainless Steel Tumbler

The MiiR Insulated Travel Tumbler got a lot of oohs and aahs during the unboxing phase of our test. It's sleek, bright, and incredibly comfortable to hold. And when you buy a mug, the brand gifts a portion of revenue to a charity project that's trackable via a code on the bottom of the mug. Hot drinks stay piping hot in this mug, thanks to what the brand calls “Thermo 3D Double Wall Vacuum Insulation Technology.” The locking flip lid is super-secure, too. Unfortunately, the way it’s designed makes it impossible to get the lid completely out of the way when drinking, which resulted in little spots of coffee on our testers’ noses with every single sip.

Dishwasher safe: No Fits in car cup holder: Yes Leakproof: Yes Sizes available: 12 ounces

travel mug thermos

MiiR Insulated Travel Tumbler

S’well’s water bottles have a cult-like following so we were excited to try the brand’s sleek and simple vacuum-insulated travel tumbler. ​​It did a good job keeping our coffee warm for a couple hours, but it wasn’t noticeably better than most of the other mugs we tried. The stainless-steel and BPA-free plastic lid is actually leak-proof thanks to an airtight flip-top spout cover. However, it flips easily enough we’d be worried about it catching on something in a bag and opening up by accident. Also, as with the Miir above, our testers’ noses got pressed into the piece that flips back while drinking—especially as we got toward the bottom of our hot and cold drinks. This design flaw is less annoying on this mug than it is on the Miir, but it’s annoying nonetheless.

Dishwasher safe: No Fits in car cup holder: Yes Leakproof: Yes Sizes available: 16 oz

travel mug thermos

Sip by Swell Stainless Steel Travel Mug

We can't help but love this vintage-inspired Stanley travel tumbler—but definitely not for coffee. It does a good job of keeping hot drinks hot, but after weeks of testing, we will only ever use it for ice water because following every single sip, a significant amount of whatever liquid is inside accumulates on the top of the supposedly leak-proof trigger-activated spout cover. When that liquid is coffee, you risk leaving little coffee stains everywhere you go. The slim design is really nice to hold and this tumbler fits in every cup holder we tried, but it’s kind of annoying to have to hold down the trigger the entire time you’re drinking.

Dishwasher safe: Yes Fits in car cup holder: Yes Leakproof: No Sizes available: 16 ounces , 20 ounces

travel mug thermos

Stanley Classic One Hand Vacuum Mug

Ace Hardware

This vacuum-insulated stainless steel travel mug from Ello looks like the kind of old-school speckled enamelware you'd find in your grandparents' house (that’s a good thing). More importantly, it holds heat well and doesn’t leak, though we wouldn’t want to toss it into a bag with any electronics or white clothes. It’s slender enough to fit in some (but not all) car cup holders—and unlike most of the insulated travel tumblers we tested, it has a handle. Technically, this mug is dishwasher safe, but the brand recommends hand-washing, and we’d want to do that anyway since the inside of the handle is lined with cork. There’s also no way to clean with friction under the sliding spout cover. Still, for less than $20, this mug is a good budget pick, especially if you want a cute, leak-proof insulated mug with a handle. But price is often indicative of quality, and while we have yet to encounter any problems, customer reviews indicate issues with long-term durability, and upon closer inspection, we realized we could probably snap off the handle with very little effort. (Intentional damage would not be covered by Ello’s limited lifetime warranty , but accidental breakage might be.) If you want something that will hold up to everyday use, consider investing in something that’s more solidly constructed.

Dishwasher safe: Yes (top rack only, hand wash recommended) Fits in car cup holder: Maybe Leakproof: Yes Sizes available: 18 ounces

travel mug thermos

Ello Campy Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug

Like the Ello Campy (above), the Ello Cole is a budget-friendly, vacuum-insulated, stainless steel tumbler with a leak-proof sliding spout cover. It holds heat well and all of the parts are top-rack dishwasher safe, though hand-washing the body is recommended. The Cole also has a cork accent, though on this mug, it’s a “built-in coaster,” which seems rather pointless since a well-insulated mug shouldn’t sweat. While we enjoyed testing this mug, we also worry about long-term durability after reading customer reviews—and the fact that there’s no way to deep clean under the slider lid is concerning, too.

Dishwasher safe: Yes Fits in car cup holder: Yes Leakproof: Yes Sizes available: 16 ounces

travel mug thermos

Ello Cole Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

The West Loop mug with Contigo’s leak-proof Autoseal lid is very leak-proof, thanks to a lock switch on the top. But even after unlocking the sip lid, you still have to push pretty hard on the autoseal button on the side of the lid to open it enough to get a good swig. In theory, it’s a good system, but when you just want to take a drink of coffee, it’s pretty annoying, especially because the button isn’t very responsive; it often feels like you’re not pushing it hard enough. We also had a really hard time getting the coffee smell out of the lid, even after just one use.

Dishwasher safe: Lid only, top rack Fits in car cup holder: Most Leakproof: Yes Sizes available: 16 ounces , 20 ounces , 24 ounces

travel mug thermos

Contigo Stainless Steel Vacuum-Insulated Travel Mug

The Contigo Autoseal Transit Mug has some nice features that set it apart from the West Loop. There’s a permanently-affixed non-slip silicone textured sleeve and a silicone pad on the bottom, too. But it has Contigo’s Autoseal lid, and though the Transit mug’s push-button mechanism is slightly different from the lid on West Loop (and locks and unlocks by twisting the lid), it’s equally annoying to have to hold down a button as you drink.

Dishwasher safe: Lid only, top rack Fits in car cup holder: Most Leakproof: Yes Sizes available: 16 ounces

travel mug thermos

Contigo Autoseal Transit Stainless Steel Travel Mug

Our testers were divided on this collapsible silicone travel “mug.” It’s really more of a coffee cup to travel with than an actual travel mug, as it’s not insulated and the flip-top lid is more leak-resistant than leak-proof. But if you want something that takes up very little space when not in use, this is a decent option. Simply push down the cup from the top and it becomes about the size of a can of tuna. It also comes in lots of pretty colors and all of the parts are super easy to clean in the dishwasher. On the other hand, keeping track of all those parts (especially the support ring) can be kind of annoying.

Dishwasher safe: Yes Fits in car cup holder: Yes Leakproof: No Sizes available: 12 ounces , 16 ounces , 24 ounces

travel mug thermos

Stojo Collapsible Travel Cup With Straw

The takeaway

If you want a travel mug that will keep your coffee piping hot (or your cold brew cold) for hours, the Zojirushi stainless steel mug has the best heat retention capabilities of any mug we tested. It’s also completely leak-proof so you can toss it in your bag without worry. The Brumate Nav , while not as great at retaining heat as the Zojirushi, has an equally-secure lid and the added benefit of being dishwasher-safe. For car commuters, we recommend the tumbler-style Yeti Rambler with the Magslide lid . Though not leak-proof, this dishwasher-safe, vacuum-insulated mug is pretty great at preventing spills while also keeping your morning coffee easily accessible—even while you keep your eyes on the road.

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The Best Travel Mugs to Put at the Top of Your Packing List

travel mug thermos

By Tyler Chin

Image may contain Bottle Cup Jar and Shaker

All products are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.

As we become more conscious of our impact on the environment, many of us are quickly looking for ways to lessen our carbon footprint. One easy way is to ditch the disposable coffee cups at your favorite cafe (or even better) supply your own coffee, and bring it on the go. Because we know nobody likes a lukewarm brew (iced or hot—there is no in-between), we wanted to ensure that you’re only sipping out of one of the best travel mugs around.

The Best Travel Mugs, According to GQ

  • The Best Travel Mug, Overall : Fellow Carter Slide Mug , $30
  • The Best-Designed Travel Mug : Miir 360 Traveler , $28
  • The Best Travel Mug with a Handle : Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Reusable Mug , $33
  • The Best Jumbo-Sized Travel Mug : Brumate Toddy XL Mug , $40
  • The Best Wide-Mouth Travel Mug : Kinto Travel Tumbler , $29
  • The Best Barista-Approved Travel Mug : KeepCup , $30

Because, if you’re anything like us, you may wish you could have a 24/7 caffeine IV. Sadly, that’s not a thing, but the best travel mugs make it so that you never have to be without the cup of Joe. To find the options worthy of your bean juice, we tested and reviewed a handful of models to ensure that your sweet caffeination would be good from the first sip to the last—no matter how long it takes you to finish your bevy. Here’s what the competition boiled down to and which travel mugs are best suited for which kind of person.

The Best Travel Mug, Overall: Fellow Carter Slide Mug

Image may contain: Cylinder, Tin, Can, Trash Can, Bottle, and Shaker

Carter Slide Mug

From its cult-favorite electric kettle to the newly released drip coffee maker of our dreams, Fellow’s been big on coffee gear since the brand first stepped on the scene in 2013. One of its best products is its Carter mug, which won a Specialty Coffee Association award in 2021 for best coffee design. The double-wall vacuumed mug keeps everything nice and warm inside for 12 hours, while the ceramic lining ensures no metal flavors leech into your drink (subsequently, it keeps drinks cold for a full day if that’s more your jam). The matte exterior—which comes in a wide selection of colors—has a grippy texture that’s a pleasure to hold.

The original Carter mug had a regular screw-top lid, which housed a splash guard, preventing any liquid from ending up on your face if you were trying to take a sip and suddenly got jolted. We’re much bigger fans of the slide lid, which slips open with a quick and easy motion of the thumb, though it is a tad annoying having to disassemble it to clean it properly. It’s also completely spill-proof, which we’ve tested through the many times we’ve tossed a full cup of coffee into our bags and ended up with a dry laptop.

The Best-Designed Travel Mug: Miir 360 Traveler

Image may contain: Bottle, Tape, Water Bottle, and Shaker

360 Traveler

Here’s a huge first-world problem: having to rotate your cup seemingly forever to find the opening to grab a sip. Miir’s 360 Traveler combats this by turning the entire circumference of the lid into an opening for sipping. All you have to do is depress the center button and freely sip from wherever you damn well please. Ingenious—we know. Its slim build lets it sit comfortably in most, if not all, car cupholders, and it’ll keep your drink at your desired temperature without having to worry about outside factors—like if you left your hot coffee in an ice-cold car for a couple of hours or vice versa. And if this lid doesn’t suit your fancy, the body is compatible with a number of other Miir toppers, like a regular twist-off or a straw option.

The Best Travel Mug with a Handle: Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Reusable Mug

Image may contain: Cup, Beverage, Coffee, and Coffee Cup

Hydro Flask

Stainless Steel Reusable Mug

Imagine your regular at-home mug, but primed and prepped to take a beating. Hydro Flask’s insulated mug is great for daily sipping, keeping your drinks hot, and being easy to clean. It’s one of the most durable travel mugs we’ve tried, something that the brand has carried across all of its drinkware options. The no-slip exterior is a nice touch, though we’re sure you’ll mostly be holding it from the handle. We also like how smoothly liquids flow through the lid so that you can chug that 8 a.m. coffee long before you’ve made it to the office.

The Best Jumbo-Sized Travel Mug: Brumate Toddy XL Mug

Image may contain: Steel, Bottle, and Shaker

This isn’t just another big dumb cup . Brumate’s Toddy XL has been perfected to help you always keep your big gulps of cold or hot beverages with you. The extra-long handle is a pleasure to hold and makes it easy to hold such a large-format container. If you were to drop this, you could rest easy knowing that none of your contents would spill onto the floor.

The Best Wide-Mouth Travel Mug: Kinto Travel Tumbler

Image may contain: Jar, Pottery, Urn, Bottle, Shaker, Hockey, Ice Hockey, Ice Hockey Puck, Rink, Skating, and Sport

Travel Tumbler

Kinto’s array of minimalist tableware and lifestyle gear makes it a winner in the looks department. But functionally? Yeah, we’re big fans of the brand for that, too—especially with this low-key travel tumbler. The sleek container features a tapered lid that makes it easy to grasp, while the thin lip is just a pleasure to drink from, allowing drinks to waterfall seamlessly into your mouth. The wide mouth of the tumbler makes this great for use as an iced coffee mug because you’re more easily able to add ice, but no matter what temperature your drink is, it’ll stay that way for hours and hours.

The Best Barista-Approved Travel Mug: KeepCup

Image may contain: Jar, Pottery, and Cup

Brew Cork Reusable Coffee Cup

Imagine your regular disposable coffee cup, but fashion it out of glass and a reusable lid, and you’ll have KeepCup. The brand was founded by Australian cafe owners as a way to combat overflowing landfills teeming with single-use cups. KeepCup was designed with baristas in mind so that they could use these containers in lieu of disposable options—it sits perfectly under an espresso machine’s group head (where the espresso comes out from) and is sized to replicate industry-standard cup sizes. The lid is splash-proof, not spill-proof, and comes with a cork band that’ll make sure you don’t burn your hands on your hot cuppa.

3 More Travel Mugs We Love

Yeti knows how to keep things cold (just check out its coolers ), and it’s also great at keeping things hot. Why would anyone want a stupidly cute cup that’s this small? Maybe someone likes to use a moka pot on their travels, or they managed to haul their whole espresso setup onto the backroads. We don’t care why someone would want to use this, only that we absolutely love how dainty this thing is and what a pleasure it makes drinking espresso out of. Also, we found that it’s compatible with Yeti’s 10-ounce tumbler lids just to keep the mosquitoes away from your joe.

Image may contain: Bottle, Shaker, Electronics, and Steel

Temperature Control Travel Mug

Ember’s temperature-controlled mugs are a godsend for folks who take forever to finish their coffee. The same science is applied to its travel mug, which keeps your drink at the exact temperature you set—between 120 and 145 degrees Fahrenheit—for up to two hours. Its leak-proof lid prevents any unwanted accidents, and it’s fully submersible in water up to one meter in case it accidentally takes a plunge in some liquid.

Image may contain: Cup, Bottle, and Shaker

For a cheap travel mug that doesn’t suck, RTIC’s is able to keep your bevvies warm and securely inside the container. They’re fully dishwasher safe, which is a plus, and they come in over a dozen colors to match your vibe.

What to Look for in a Travel Mug

Size : Tall? Grande? Venti?! We’re ditching the Starbucks lingo to bring you a variety of travel mug sizes to accommodate however much coffee (or tea or whatever) you tend to drink on the regular. If you’re chugging joe like it’s a Big Gulp, go big with something like the Brumate Toddy XL to make fewer trips to the coffee pot. But if all you need is a quick shot (of espresso) or a moderately sized latte, then maybe something smaller like a KeepCup or dainty Yeti will get you where you need to go. Also note that if you’re pouring a small beverage, like a cortado, into a much larger container, that beverage will cool down faster because of all the empty space, regardless of the vacuum insulation.

Leakproof : We know there are a lot of klutzes around us, so we want to make sure your beverage stays exactly where it should be: in your mouth or your mug. A good travel mug should be leak- and spill-proof, but we made exceptions for the KeepCup, which we think is a great way to opt out of using disposable cups at cafes without disrupting a barista’s routine for making drinks.

Easy to Clean : Not all travel mugs need to be dishwasher safe, but in the hopes that you’re regularly cleaning your container, we made sure to find easy travel mugs to give a thorough cleaning. The last thing you need is built-up gunk in your travel mug to harbor bacteria, leading to sickness or just an overall nasty drinking experience.

How We Tested

We found a variety of travel mugs that were popular with reviewers and tested them to see how they performed with daily use over a prolonged period. We evaluated travel mugs based on their durability, ability to keep beverages hot, and overall aesthetic to determine which options were best for various people. Finally, we assessed how easily these travel mugs came apart to give a thorough cleaning and how long-term use impacted their performance.

The best travel mugs for taking hot and cold drinks on the go

Travel in style with your beverage of choice.

Shop the best travel mugs for your lifestyle

Travel mugs are the unsung heroes of the daily grind. They keep your morning coffee or tea hot on your commute and your iced beverages chilled during sweltering summer trips.

With countless options on the market, including popular picks like Stanley and Yeti, it's important to consider the best travel mug for your needs before you make a purchase.

The perfect mug depends on your lifestyle, but key features like temperature retention, spill resistance, and size are universally important.

Shop the best travel mugs for your lifestyle

What to look for in a travel mug

  • Temperature Retention: This is the primary function of a travel mug. Look for double-walled, vacuum-sealed designs that can maintain temperature for hours, whether it’s hot or cold.
  • Spill Resistance : Whether you’re in the car or on foot, you want a travel mug that won’t leak. Look for a secure lid that can withstand a few bumps.
  • Material: Stainless steel is the gold standard for durability and insulation, but some prefer lightweight plastic or glass. Choose based on your usage and cleaning preferences.
  • Size: A mug that’s too big might not fit in your cupholder or be portable enough. Consider your daily travel needs and select a mug that balances capacity with portability.
  • Ease of Cleaning: Some travel mugs are dishwasher-safe while others require hand washing. Opt for a mug that matches your cleaning habits.

Each of the travel mugs below offers unique advantages based on different needs and lifestyles. Whether you’re looking for ultimate ruggedness, tech-enabled temperature control, or minimalist efficiency, one of these mugs will be the ideal companion for your daily travels.

By clicking on these shopping links, visitors will leave ABCNews.com . These e-commerce sites are operated under different terms and privacy policies than ABCNews.com . ABC will receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Prices may change from the date of publication. SOME PRICES ARE DYNAMIC AND MAY CHANGE FROM THE DATE OF PUBLICATION. Have questions about ordering or a purchase? Click here.

travel mug thermos

YETI Rambler 20 oz Tumbler*

The YETI Rambler features double-wall vacuum insulation to keep drinks at the perfect temperature for hours. The durable stainless steel body and a shatter-resistant lid make it ideal for rugged outdoor activities.

Best for: Adventurers and those seeking rugged, reliable travel gear.

travel mug thermos

Contigo Autoseal West Loop

This mug’s Autoseal technology ensures it's leak- and spill-proof, automatically sealing between sips. It maintains hot drinks for up to 7 hours and cold drinks for up to 18 hours.

Best for: Commuters who need a travel mug they can confidently toss in their bag.

travel mug thermos

AeroLight Transit Bottle

This classic mug is known for its lightweight and lifetime guarantee. Its one-handed operation trigger-action lid makes drinking easy while driving.

Best for: Drivers who need a one-handed operation mug with maximum durability.

travel mug thermos

BrüMate Toddy

This chic travel mug is fully leakproof so it will withstand any commute. The non-slip base ensures it stays put on surfaces and it comes in several fun prints and patterns. 

Best for: Commuters who love a little flair to their travel mugs, and busy parents who don't want to worry about spilled drinks.

travel mug thermos

Zojirushi Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Mug

Zojirushi’s vacuum insulation technology keeps drinks hot or cold for hours. Its compact design and slick interior make it easy to clean, and the tight-fitting flip-top lid ensures no spills.

Best for: Minimalists seeking a sleek, efficient, and compact travel companion.

travel mug thermos

Thermos Stainless King Travel Mug

With a spill-resistant lid and built-in tea hook, the Stainless King is both versatile and highly effective, keeping drinks hot for up to 7 hours and cold for up to 18.

Best for: Tea enthusiasts and people who value versatility.

travel mug thermos

Hydro Flask Travel Coffee Mug

This mug’s TempShield insulation keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours. The powder-coated finish provides a secure grip and durable exterior.

Best for: Stylish urbanites seeking both high performance and aesthetics.

  • Hydro Flask

travel mug thermos

CamelBak Forge Flow 16 oz Coffee & Travel Mug

Featuring a self-sealing cap and vacuum insulation, the Forge Flow is perfect for keeping beverages hot for up to 6 hours. It’s rugged and has a convenient button-operated lid for easy access.

Best for: Outdoor enthusiasts who appreciate robust design and smart functionality.

travel mug thermos

Klean Kanteen Tkwide Bottle with Twist Cap

The TKWide keeps drinks hot for up to 11 hours and cold for up to 38 hours thanks to its TK Closure internal thread design. Its wide mouth is perfect for sipping smoothies or adding ice cubes.

Best for: Fitness buffs and those who appreciate versatility in drink options.

travel mug thermos

Ember Travel Mug 2

With smart temperature control technology, the Ember Travel Mug 2 allows you to set your perfect drink temperature via an app. The sleek design is modern, and its insulation keeps drinks hot for hours.

Best for: Tech-savvy travelers who value precision and control over their beverage temperature.

travel mug thermos

Bodum Travel Press

Coffee lovers can brew their French press directly in this travel mug. It’s perfect for those who value freshly brewed coffee on the go, with a double-wall, vacuum-sealed design for temperature retention.

Best for: Coffee aficionados who enjoy brewing their morning cup fresh wherever they go.

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Libbey Kona Glass Coffee Mugs, 16-ounce, Set of 6

Libbey Kona Glass Coffee Mugs, 16-ounce, Set of 6

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American Atelier Stackable Stoneware 16 oz. Coffee Mugs, Set of 4

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JoyJolt Diner Glass Coffee Mug with Handle - 16 oz

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Haven Home Cellar Mug, Set Of 2-Cream Matte Ceramic

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Homvare Coffee Mug, Tea Cup for Office and Home Suitable for Both Hot and Cold Beverage

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Resona Moss Green 4 Pcs Mug

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Certified International Matrix Gold Plated Mugs, Set of 6

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Everyday White® Coupe 16OZ Mug, Set of 4

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Portmeirion Botanic Garden Birds Coffee Mug Set of 6

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Portmeirion Botanic Garden Tankard Coffee Mugs Set of 6

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Palais Glassware Cafe Espresso Double walled Mugs - Set of 2

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Fluted Savor Double Wall Espresso Glasses 5.4oz - Set of 2

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Portmeirion Sophie Conran 12 Oz Tall Mug Set of 4

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4 Piece Coffee Mug Set - Color

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ZWILLING Sorrento Plus 2-pc Double-Wall Glass Coffee Mug Set, Clear

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Japanese-style Tall 18-ounce Assorted Coffee Mugs (Set of 4)

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Shop LC Blue Dots Ceramic Mug Gifts

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Euro Ceramica Ahoy Nautical Stoneware Assorted Mugs (Set of 4)

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Nachtmann Noblesse Hot Beverage Mug Set

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American Atelier 14 oz Large Handle Coffee Mug Set of 4

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Noritake Colorwave Set Of 4 XL Large Mugs, 18 Oz.

Our Table Simple White 6 Piece Fine Ceramic 16.65oz Mug Set in White

Our Table Simple White 6 Piece Fine Ceramic 16.65oz Mug Set in White

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Canvass Blue Mugs Set/4

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Sango Siterra Artist's Blend Set Of 4 Mugs

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Noelle Grey Ceramic Electric Tea Kettle by Pinky Up

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Portmeirion Botanic Garden Birds 10 Ounce Coffee Mug

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Summer Sun Mug 12oz (Set of 6)

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Claire Everyday Classic Porcelain Coffee Mug (Set of 4)

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Elama Riley 12 Piece 12 Ounce Porcelain Mug Set in White

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Bormioli Rocco Glass Coffee Mug Set of 6

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Tuscon 26-ounce Assorted Color Glaze Stoneware Mugs (Set of 4)

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Blue Rose Polish Pottery 118 Millena Bubble Mug

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Waechtersbach 'Accents' Floral Impressions Mugs (Set of 4)

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Red Vanilla Pinpoint White Mug 14oz Set/4

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JoyJolt Stoiva Stackable Double Wall Insulated Coffee Mugs, 11.5 oz Teacup Set of 4

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Certified International Mosaic Gold Plated Mugs, Set of 6

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Meritage Jasper 6 Piece 22 Ounce Stoneware Tall Latte Cup in Blue

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Curata Children of The Light Sisters Sentiment 16 Oz. Stoneware Hug Mug

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Insulated Double Wall Mug Cup Glass-Set of 4 Mugs/Cups Thermal,435ml

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Mason Craft & More Festival Ombre 4PC Mug Set - Service for 4

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vancasso Albero 6-piece 12 Oz. Stoneware Coffee Mug

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JoyJolt Cadus Double Wall Insulated Mugs, 16 OZ Set Of Two Latte Glasses

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MALACASA Cafe Ivory White Porcelain Coffee Mug 11Oz (Service for 6)

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Gibson Elite Dumont 4 Piece 17 Ounce Terracotta Mug Set in Light Blue

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Karma Boho Mugs

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4 Piece 15 Ounce Round Stoneware Mug Set in Truffle

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Noritake Colorscapes Swirl Set Of 4 Mugs, 12 Oz.

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Signature Housewares Pad Print Design PP13 Four Assorted 14-Ounce Footed Mugs

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Speckled Stoneware Mug

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Nambe POP Colours Mugs Set of 4 Colors

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Certified International Bee Sweet 32 oz. 3D Beehive Teapot

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American Atelier Ceramic Glazed Jumbo Coffee Mugs Set of 2

Spode Creatures of Curiosity Mug

Spode Creatures of Curiosity Mug

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ZWILLING Sorrento Plus 2-pc Double-Wall Glass Latte Mug Set

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Konitz Waechtersbach 'On Color' White Porcelain Snuggle Mugs (Pack of 4)

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Certified International Veranda 14 oz. Mugs, Set of 4

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Cafe Amaretto 7 Piece 15 Ounce Mug Set With Wire Rack

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STP Goods Vintage Blue Coffee Tea Bone China Mugs Set of 4

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Noritake Hammock Set Of 4 Assorted Mugs, 15 Oz.

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Certified International Tapestry Set of 6 Mugs 6 asst

Quencher H2.0 FlowState Stanleys 40oz Travel Mug Stainless Steel Tumbler

Quencher H2.0 FlowState Stanleys 40oz Travel Mug Stainless Steel Tumbler

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Noritake Colorwave Set Of 4 Mugs, 12 Oz.

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Porcelain Tea Sets British Royal Series, 8 OZ Cups and Saucer Service for 6

Certified International Matrix Silver Plated Tapered 16 oz. Mugs, Set of 6 Assorted Designs

Certified International Matrix Silver Plated Tapered 16 oz. Mugs, Set of 6 Assorted Designs

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Candace Rose Gold Glass Teapot & Infuser by Pinky Up

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ZWILLING Sorrento Plus 8-pc Double-Wall Glass Coffee Mug Set

travel mug thermos

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Best Types of Coffee Mugs for Keeping a Brew Warm

Plus, how a smaller serving can make all the difference

When you shop through retailer links on our site, we may earn affiliate commissions. 100% of the fees we collect are used to support our nonprofit mission. Learn more .

Two hands clinking coffee cups

The perfect cup of coffee may begin with fresh beans and a high-quality coffee maker , but the vessel from which it’s consumed can make the difference between a hot, aromatic brew and a lukewarm letdown.

If you’re a regular coffee drinker, chances are you already have a go-to. Maybe it’s a novelty diner mug you’ve had since college or one that’s basically a cereal bowl with a handle. Either way, you may have put more thought into the brew than the object it’s in. Let’s flip the script for a moment. 

  • Ceramic vs. Glass
  • The Ideal Shape
  • Best Coffee Mugs and Cups
  • The Right Way to Drink Coffee

An electric or insulated mug can keep a brew warm for upward of 12 hours, but sometimes taking a less utilitarian approach can have benefits, too. An important part of our taste experience is our culture and our force of habit, says David Latourell, coffee consultant and sales manager at the Specialty Coffee Association.

“Some of us drink our coffee on the way to work in the car. Some of us drink our coffee at the local diner. Some of us get our coffee from fancy coffee shops,” he says. “What we’re used to goes a long way in defining what we find pleasurable to drink from.” 

Coffee cups come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from short and shallow ceramics to tall and double-walled glass mugs. But what’s the right choice when it comes to preserving the temperature and flavor of a brew? We turned to the experts to learn more.

The Perception of Taste 

Our senses play an important role in how we appreciate a cup of coffee . Everything from the aromas delivered to our olfactory system to the temperature of the liquid and how it transfers from the vessel into the mouth—think the tilt of the head as the coffee enters—are all impacted by the shape, size, and material of the cup you’re drinking from, explains Latourell.

Photo: Getty Images Photo: Getty Images

Yeekai Lim, founder of Cognoscenti Coffee Roasters , a Los Angeles–based coffee shop, says ceramic cups can provide the weight that some look for or desire while drinking coffee. This, in turn, can bring a reassuring level of comfort and, therefore, higher perceived quality. 

But the material can also affect the temperature of a brew. The more mass it has the more heat it will absorb, eventually reaching a point of equilibrium where it’s able to retain enough heat to keep the coffee warmer for a longer period, says Lim—in which case, a thicker ceramic cup would fare better.

In a similar vein, Bean & Bean Coffee Roasters founder Jiyoon Han recommends mugs from the brand Acme for serving cappuccinos and lattes. Crafted from durable ceramic, these cups feature a wide mouth for optimal aroma appreciation and thick walls that retain heat, ensuring the ideal temperature, says Han.

Kaleena Teoh, co-founder of Coffee Project NY , prefers ceramic mugs for their texture and the ideal warmth that comes with holding a hot cup of coffee. When you compare glass, ceramic, and metal, chances are that ceramic options are better at heat retention, says Teoh. “Given the thickness of mugs made using those three materials, ceramic would probably be more comfortable to hold as well given that the material doesn’t heat up as much as metal or glass when you pour hot liquid into the cup.”

Porcelain, a type of ceramic that is more dense and less porous, is another great option to consider. Han recommends the Lino coffee mug from NotNeutral . "Made from high-quality porcelain, it has a wide mouth to enhance aroma, a comfortable handle for a secure grip, and a modern design," says Han. 

Shop ceramic mugs: Amazon , Wayfair

Glass mugs may be popular for aesthetic purposes. They’re usually a little more delicate and great for when you want to showcase the drink’s color and intensity, says Teoh. Their ability to retain heat is another plus, more specifically with the double-walled kind, where the space between the two layers of glass acts as an insulator. But while they may give off a refined look and feel, the material can also alter the perception of the coffee served.

Coffee brewed using thick paper filters by way of a Chemex will look quite lovely in a glass cup, says Latourell, while the same coffee brewed in a French press will appear slightly dirtier in the very same glass. Tasted blind, the coffees will differ in flavor because of their brew methods. “Yet, many people will be turned off by the murky French press coffee if they get a chance to see it clearly in the glass,” says Latourell, adding that they will most likely prefer it in a mug.

Interestingly enough, Lim has found that more expensive pour-over brews tend to be served in a glass carafe with a smaller glass cup, which can help dissipate the heat and reach optimal flavors more quickly.

Shop double-wall glass mugs: Amazon , Target , Walmart

The vast majority of our taste experience is smell, says Latourell, so, similar to wineglasses, the shape of a coffee cup or mug can either help or hinder the concentration of aromas and how they’re delivered to our senses. He points to Figgjo , a Norwegian company that produces cups tailored for brews with specific acidity levels and intensity of certain flavor notes. 

The shape of the vessel will also impact the temperature of the brew and how quickly it cools down. Those with a smaller surface area will reduce evaporative cooling, says CR’s senior test program leader Bernie Deitrick. Meaning that the more narrow the mug is, the longer the coffee will stay warm. When comparing vessels that are equal in size, weight, and shape, glass and ceramic should perform similarly, says the testing expert. The reason is that they have similar thermal properties. 

With noninsulated mugs, the best combination for keeping coffee warm is either going for a preheated heavy one or something with a cover. “If the mug is not preheated, then the lighter it is, the better, because the mug itself is heated up by the coffee, which cools the coffee down,” Deitrick says. 

Expert-Recommended Mugs and Cups

Want to sip like the pros? We asked them what they use at home.

  • Acme Espresso Cappuccino Cups , set of 6, from $58 at Acme , Amazon , Walmart
  • NotNeutral Lino 10 oz. Mug , from $18 at Amazon , NotNeutral , Walmart
  • Fellow Joey Double Wall Ceramic Mugs , $25 at Amazon , Fellow
  • Huskee 6 oz. cup , set of 4, from $36 at Amazon , Huskee , Walmart
  • Chemex Double Walled Mug , from $23 at Amazon , Target
  • Kruve EQ Glasses, set of 2, $50 at Amazon , Kruve
  • Miir 12 oz. Camp Cup , from $15 at Miir , Amazon

Tips for a Better Coffee-Drinking Experience

Watch what you pour. The amount of coffee poured into a vessel can make a difference in how it tastes. If you leave room above the brew, that would allow some of the aroma to be captured while you’re drinking it, explains Lim. 

Think small. According to Deitrick, smaller mugs, with multiple small servings (rather than one big pour) can optimize the flavor and retain the heat of a brew.

Keep it clean. Material can affect the way coffee tastes if it is in any way contaminated with elements like soap residue, says Deitrick. Be sure to properly rinse out your mugs before using them.

Look for quality. When buying ceramics, Lim recommends avoiding cups that are porous—often a result of improperly fired ceramics—which could retain some byproduct or residual traces of old coffee or even soap. 

Anna Kocharian

Anna Kocharian is a shopping editor at Consumer Reports who focuses on home, organization, and the consumer marketplace. She previously covered interior design, product reviews, and market trends as the digital editor of Domino. Anna has over a decade of experience in lifestyle journalism and has written extensively on the subject matter for publications including Apartment Therapy, Food52, and more. She currently resides in New York City.

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travel mug thermos

Best Types of Coffee Mugs for Keeping a Brew Warm

Plus, how a smaller serving can make all the difference

By Anna Kocharian

The perfect cup of coffee may begin with fresh beans and a high-quality coffee maker , but the vessel from which it’s consumed can make the difference between a hot, aromatic brew and a lukewarm letdown.

If you’re a regular coffee drinker, chances are you already have a go-to. Maybe it’s a novelty diner mug you’ve had since college or one that’s basically a cereal bowl with a handle. Either way, you may have put more thought into the brew than the object it’s in. Let’s flip the script for a moment. 

An electric or insulated mug can keep a brew warm for upward of 12 hours, but sometimes taking a less utilitarian approach can have benefits, too. An important part of our taste experience is our culture and our force of habit, says David Latourell, coffee consultant and sales manager at the Specialty Coffee Association.

“Some of us drink our coffee on the way to work in the car. Some of us drink our coffee at the local diner. Some of us get our coffee from fancy coffee shops,” he says. “What we’re used to goes a long way in defining what we find pleasurable to drink from.” 

Coffee cups come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from short and shallow ceramics to tall and double-walled glass mugs. But what’s the right choice when it comes to preserving the temperature and flavor of a brew? We turned to the experts to learn more.

The Perception of Taste 

Our senses play an important role in how we appreciate a cup of coffee . Everything from the aromas delivered to our olfactory system to the temperature of the liquid and how it transfers from the vessel into the mouth—think the tilt of the head as the coffee enters—are all impacted by the shape, size, and material of the cup you’re drinking from, explains Latourell.

Photo: Getty Images

Material 

Yeekai Lim, founder of Cognoscenti Coffee Roasters , a Los Angeles–based coffee shop, says ceramic cups can provide the weight that some look for or desire while drinking coffee. This, in turn, can bring a reassuring level of comfort and, therefore, higher perceived quality. 

But the material can also affect the temperature of a brew. The more mass it has the more heat it will absorb, eventually reaching a point of equilibrium where it’s able to retain enough heat to keep the coffee warmer for a longer period, says Lim—in which case, a thicker ceramic cup would fare better.

In a similar vein, Bean & Bean Coffee Roasters founder Jiyoon Han recommends mugs from the brand Acme for serving cappuccinos and lattes. Crafted from durable ceramic, these cups feature a wide mouth for optimal aroma appreciation and thick walls that retain heat, ensuring the ideal temperature, says Han.

Kaleena Teoh, co-founder of Coffee Project NY , prefers ceramic mugs for their texture and the ideal warmth that comes with holding a hot cup of coffee. When you compare glass, ceramic, and metal, chances are that ceramic options are better at heat retention, says Teoh. “Given the thickness of mugs made using those three materials, ceramic would probably be more comfortable to hold as well given that the material doesn’t heat up as much as metal or glass when you pour hot liquid into the cup.”

Porcelain, a type of ceramic that is more dense and less porous, is another great option to consider. Han recommends the Lino coffee mug from NotNeutral . "Made from high-quality porcelain, it has a wide mouth to enhance aroma, a comfortable handle for a secure grip, and a modern design," says Han. 

Shop ceramic mugs: Amazon , Wayfair

Glass mugs may be popular for aesthetic purposes. They’re usually a little more delicate and great for when you want to showcase the drink’s color and intensity, says Teoh. Their ability to retain heat is another plus, more specifically with the double-walled kind, where the space between the two layers of glass acts as an insulator. But while they may give off a refined look and feel, the material can also alter the perception of the coffee served.

Coffee brewed using thick paper filters by way of a Chemex will look quite lovely in a glass cup, says Latourell, while the same coffee brewed in a French press will appear slightly dirtier in the very same glass. Tasted blind, the coffees will differ in flavor because of their brew methods. “Yet, many people will be turned off by the murky French press coffee if they get a chance to see it clearly in the glass,” says Latourell, adding that they will most likely prefer it in a mug.

Interestingly enough, Lim has found that more expensive pour-over brews tend to be served in a glass carafe with a smaller glass cup, which can help dissipate the heat and reach optimal flavors more quickly.

Shop double-wall glass mugs: Amazon , Target , Walmart

The vast majority of our taste experience is smell, says Latourell, so, similar to wineglasses, the shape of a coffee cup or mug can either help or hinder the concentration of aromas and how they’re delivered to our senses. He points to Figgjo , a Norwegian company that produces cups tailored for brews with specific acidity levels and intensity of certain flavor notes. 

The shape of the vessel will also impact the temperature of the brew and how quickly it cools down. Those with a smaller surface area will reduce evaporative cooling, says CR’s senior test program leader Bernie Deitrick. Meaning that the more narrow the mug is, the longer the coffee will stay warm. When comparing vessels that are equal in size, weight, and shape, glass and ceramic should perform similarly, says the testing expert. The reason is that they have similar thermal properties. 

With noninsulated mugs, the best combination for keeping coffee warm is either going for a preheated heavy one or something with a cover. “If the mug is not preheated, then the lighter it is, the better, because the mug itself is heated up by the coffee, which cools the coffee down,” Deitrick says. 

Expert-Recommended Mugs and Cups

Want to sip like the pros? We asked them what they use at home.

  • Acme Espresso Cappuccino Cups , set of 6, from $58 at Acme , Amazon , Walmart
  • NotNeutral Lino 10 oz. Mug , from $18 at Amazon , NotNeutral , Walmart
  • Fellow Joey Double Wall Ceramic Mugs , $25 at Amazon , Fellow
  • Huskee 6 oz. cup , set of 4, from $36 at Amazon , Huskee , Walmart
  • Chemex Double Walled Mug , from $23 at Amazon , Target
  • Kruve EQ Glasses, set of 2, $50 at Amazon , Kruve
  • Miir 12 oz. Camp Cup , from $15 at Miir , Amazon

Tips for a Better Coffee-Drinking Experience

Watch what you pour. The amount of coffee poured into a vessel can make a difference in how it tastes. If you leave room above the brew, that would allow some of the aroma to be captured while you’re drinking it, explains Lim. 

Think small. According to Deitrick, smaller mugs, with multiple small servings (rather than one big pour) can optimize the flavor and retain the heat of a brew.

Keep it clean. Material can affect the way coffee tastes if it is in any way contaminated with elements like soap residue, says Deitrick. Be sure to properly rinse out your mugs before using them.

Look for quality. When buying ceramics, Lim recommends avoiding cups that are porous—often a result of improperly fired ceramics—which could retain some byproduct or residual traces of old coffee or even soap. 

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. CR does not endorse products or services, and does not accept advertising. Copyright © 2024, Consumer Reports, Inc.

This article may contain affiliate links that Microsoft and/or the publisher may receive a commission from if you buy a product or service through those links.

Best Types of Coffee Mugs for Keeping a Brew Warm

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