The 10 Best Thermal Carafes

Updated May 19, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

10 Best Thermal Carafes
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Whether one cup of coffee is just never enough for you or you need to serve beverages at the right temperature to a group of people, try one of these thermal vacuum carafes that will keep any liquid hot or cold for hours. We've included smaller models good for one person on the go as well as some with larger capacities for parties or meetings. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best thermal carafe on Amazon.

10. Thermos 32-Ounce Insulated

From the trademarked brand that gave its name to many knock-offs, the Thermos 32-Ounce Insulated is a perfect choice to take with you on the road, as it will fit in the cupholders of some vehicles. It keeps beverages hot for 12 hours or cold for up to 24.
  • lightweight design
  • body stays cool to the touch
  • plastic handle feels a bit cheap
Brand Thermos
Model TGB1000SS4
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Copco Chloe 1 Quart

The Copco Chloe 1 Quart is a low cost and relatively small capacity option, but it's perfect for the single user or for self-service milk and cream at a cafe. It boasts an attractive all-white plastic design with playful curves and a large, comfortable handle.
  • push-button pouring mechanism
  • retains heat for up to 8 hours
  • glass cylinder is prone to cracking
Brand Copco
Model 2510-5815
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Zojirushi Vacuum Insulated AHGB-10SE

The Zojirushi Vacuum Insulated AHGB-10SE doesn't strive to be a stylish or eye-catching item. Instead, it's meant to look unassuming and simply store up to one liter of liquid at the right temperature. It can also accommodate coffee filter cones for direct brewing.
  • sturdy japanese construction
  • easy-to-open twist stopper
  • finish looks cheap up close
Brand Zojirushi
Model AHGB-10SE
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

7. AceChef 45-Ounce

Looking like it came straight out of the 1980s, the AceChef 45-Ounce has a glass lining that ensures your beverages always taste just the way you want them to, never absorbing any flavors or odors that might linger in their storage vessel.
  • playful alternative to starker units
  • smooth drip-free pour
  • shouldn't be cleaned in a dishwasher
Brand AceChef
Model GLTC-1A
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Vremi 51 Oz

Available in a glossy red, blue, or white finish, the Vremi 51 Oz will add an elegant touch to just about any kitchen. Its push-button allows for one-handed pouring, and it promises to maintain hot or cold temperatures for as long as 12 hours.
  • bpa-free plastic lid
  • sturdy stainless steel body
  • spout tends to drip when poured
Brand Vremi
Model pending
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Bellemain Premium

With a molded, angled, and fully-enclosed spout that ensures a smooth and drip-free pour, the Bellemain Premium will make a great addition to any home or office. It holds up to 2 liters of hot or cold liquid, and is backed by an all-inclusive 2-year warranty.
  • safe for use with ice
  • push-button operation
  • not as well insulated as some models
Brand Bellemain
Model pending
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Keurig K2.0

The Keurig K2.0 is a best-seller for one very good reason, which is that it keeps coffee hot. It's intended as a replacement for the non-insulated pitcher that comes with many of the company's popular brewing machines but, of course, it works on its own just as well.
  • convenient brew-through lid
  • holds up to 32 ounces
  • double-walled for good insulation
Brand Keurig
Model 119352
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

3. JPVictoria CC-10320

If you need to keep a lot of liquid hot, then the JPVictoria CC-10320 is a great way to do it. Boasting a 68-ounce capacity, it can help maintain its contents' temperature for up to 12 hours, and has an elegant metallic design that's easy to clean.
  • includes a silicone cleaning brush
  • comes with a matching creamer jug
  • unbreakable stainless steel chamber
Brand JPVictoria
Model CC-10320
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Cresimo Double Walled

The Cresimo Double Walled offers 12 hours of temperature retention for up to 68 ounces of liquid, great for entertaining or hosting a breakfast meeting. Its push-button spout opening mechanism ensures a spill-free experience and allows for one-handed pouring.
  • wide mouthed for easy filling
  • condensation-free with cold liquids
  • oversized handle for comfort
Brand Cresimo
Model pending
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Hiware HTC64

Ultimately, what you want is to keep liquids warm, but you might as well opt for something that looks good while you're at it. The Hiware HTC64 is elegant enough for a white tablecloth environment, and performs its sworn duty quite well.
  • 64-ounce capacity
  • imparts no odors or flavors
  • backed by a 2-year limited warranty
Brand Hiware
Model HTC64
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

How To Choose a Thermal Carafe

While perhaps the selection process for the right thermal carafe is not so complex as choosing the right computer, so impactful as finding the right school, or so costly as buying the perfect house, it is a decision that nonetheless merits a good dose of time and consideration. This is so because most such carafes -- also often known as insulated pitchers -- are durable enough to last for many years; if you're going to buy one, you might as well make sure it's one you'll long appreciate.

Fortunately, the thermal carafe selection process is also quite straightforward and can be handled with a simple methodology. Just weigh a few different factors and then make your decision based on which attributes are the most important to you within each category.

The most basic but ultimately also the most important consideration you must make is about simple liquid containing capacity. If you need a carafe than can keep an entire pot of coffee warm well after it has been brewed, then you will need one with a capacity of at least sixty ounces. (A standardized cup of coffee is measured at 150 milliliters, or 5.7 ounces, while standard full-sized coffeemakers brew twelve cup pots, thus the full pot will contain around 58 ounces.) Many carafes have a two-liter capacity which is more than large enough for big pots of coffee, tea, or other beverages, and also makes them ideal for keeping large servings of juices or soft drinks cool. (Note that a carbonated beverage is not to be placed in a sealed carafe based on the pressure that will build up within and the potential for spills or even for injury if the cap is propelled off the body.)

Next, consider the physical shape and size of the carafe, capacity notwithstanding. Some units are tall and slender and can fit into larger vehicle cupholders, making them ideal travel companions for the commuter or for use during a road trip. Other carafes are wider and more squat and will resist tipping over even if bumped or jostled in high-traffic areas, such as an office's break room or on a picnic table.

We arrive next at the key question of aesthetics; while of course the capacity and design of your carafe is more important that how the unit looks, as a carafe will likely be used during dinner parties, at holiday celebrations, or any other time when large groups are gathered, you don't want to have it clash with or detract from the otherwise elegant and stylish decor you will establish with fine flatware, plates, and associated trimmings.

Finally, note that while many carafes are perfectly safe for dishwasher cleaning, with some hand washing is advised. If this seems like a laborious prospect, then strike the latter from your list; just keep in mind that some hand-wash options are also some of the most handsome carafes.

How Does a Carafe's Insulation Work, Anyway?

Insulation provides no warming or cooling properties, it simply prevents heat gain. In the case of a cold drink kept in a carafe on a hot day, the reduced heat gain relates to the chilled beverage kept apart from external heat. With a hot beverage in the carafe, it is the ambient temperature that is prevented from (modest) heat gain. Keep in mind that, according to the scientific community, there is actually no such thing as "cold," there are only varying degrees of heat, or the lack thereof.

Most thermal carafes keep beverages insulated -- protected against the loss of internal heat or cold, e.g. -- using variations on a similar design. They used a double-walled structure with a gap left between the exterior wall and the interior lining. The space between these walls is often vacuum-sealed, which is to say all of the air within has been mechanically removed before the space was closed off and rendered airtight.

This lack of air leads to a much slower transfer of heat, and this is true in both directions, e.g. from the ambient temperature of the room or the outdoors and from the temperature of the beverage within the carafe. Some carafes also use another insulating material (usually a type of foam) in the space between the walls, thus approximating the design of a cooler intended for use in the warm outdoors.

Hacks for Helping Your Beverage Stay Cold or Hot

The simplest way to help keep the beverages stored in your carafe cooler for longer is to make sure they are as cold as possible when you initially pour them in. This is also true for warmth, of course; the hotter the drink is as it enters the insulated carafe, the longer it will stay warm.

To cool a beverage as much as possible without the risk of freezing it, you can set your fridge to around 34-degrees Fahrenheit, or you can keep the beverage in a thin container (a glass or plastic bottle) in an ice bath for an hour or so before decanting it. The best way to keep drinks extra cold, however, is to make ice cubes out of the beverage and to add these to the carafe. A few large, frozen cubes of orange juice floated in liquid OJ won't impact the taste of the juice but will keep it cool, for example.

When it comes to hot beverages in the carafe, keeping them warm for a long period is a bit more challenging, because you can't readily find a hot object that can be dropped into the liquid to add additional warmth. Instead, you can add some extra insulation and/or warmth to the carafe itself and help it keep its contents warm. Consider storing the carafe in an insulated cooler when it's not actively serving drinks, or even wrapping it in a heated blanket. There are also heated lunch boxes that can accommodate some moderately sized carafes. Finally, if you need to re-heat or maintain the temperature of a beverage as its warmth is lost over the hours, consider using an immersion heater to restore the warmth in a matter of minutes. This will not be a viable option while out at the campsite, but is quick and easy wherever an outlet is handy.

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Last updated on May 19, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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