The 10 Best Thermoses

Updated December 20, 2017 by Sam Kraft

10 Best Thermoses
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 41 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. It sure would be nice if you could keep your drinks nice and steamy or ice cold for hours, even when you’re at the beach, on the road, or patiently waiting for the fish to bite. With one of these thermoses, you can do just that. They come in a variety of sizes and designs, so you should be able to find one to suit your needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best thermose on Amazon.

10. Corkcicle Canteen

Available in a wide range of colors, the Corkcicle Canteen is a bright and functional travel companion. Three layers of insulation provide reliable heat or cold retention and prevent condensation, and a wide-mouth opening allows for adding ice cubes.
  • keeps liquids hot up to 12 hours
  • available in 4 sizes
  • top heavy and lacks stability
Brand Corkcicle
Model C2060BS
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

9. Coleman Bottle

A heavy-duty model with a hammertone finish, the Coleman Bottle would look right at home nestled into the grip of a rugged outdoorsman in the middle of winter. It’ll keep coffee hot all day long, and the sturdy lid doubles as a cup.
  • weighs less than 2 pounds
  • design is completely bpa-free
  • shoulder strap is not durable
Brand Coleman
Model C01B156
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

8. Thermos Rock

Clean in appearance and practical in design, the Thermos Rock is a utilitarian container that does what it’s built to do: keep liquids hot or cold. As a bonus tip, preheat with hot water before using it for even better heat retention.
  • handle provides reliable grip
  • about 1 foot tall
  • stopper is not the highest quality
Brand Thermos
Model 2510TRI2
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Zojirushi Tuff

The Zojirushi Tuff has a convenient carrying strap, which allows you to hang it from your neck if you don’t feel like holding it. Its extra-wide mouth easily accommodates food items, in case you want to take a hot meal with you on the go.
  • carrying strap is detachable
  • handle is collapsible
  • included cup is too small
Brand Zojirushi
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

6. Thermos King Food

The Thermos King Food is designed with the hungry traveler in mind. Both the body and the mouth are quite wide, and it comes with a telescoping steel spoon for devouring the delicious contents when your hunger becomes overpowering.
  • keeps food warm for several hours
  • large lid becomes a serving bowl
  • exterior scratches easily
Brand Thermos
Model SK3000MBTRI4
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Vremi Mug

Designed with a colorful rubber exterior, the Vremi Mug offers a dependable grip in addition to protecting your hands from heat while you’re holding it. It’s the ideal size for automobile cupholders, so make sure to take it on your next road trip.
  • 4 color options
  • includes a tea infuser
  • lid is airtight and leakproof
Brand Vremi
Model VRM020255N
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Thermos Vacuum 16 ounce

The Thermos Vacuum 16 ounce easily withstands the demands of everyday use. It holds up against hard bumps or drops without denting, resists scratching and corrosion, and features a handy stopper that makes it simple to pour without spilling.
  • remains free of condensation
  • sleek and stylish design
  • comes with a stainless steel cup
Brand Thermos
Model FBB500SS4
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

3. Stansport Shotshell

If you’re in search of a functional gift for the fisherman or hunter in your family, you can’t go wrong with the Stansport Shotshell. It has a generous 25-ounce capacity, its walls are very well-insulated, and it comes with a one-year warranty.
  • made with rustproof steel
  • 4 inches in diameter
  • one-touch stopper for easy pouring
Brand Stansport
Model TB-12G
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Nissan Hydration

A quality value choice with a durable stainless steel interior and exterior, the Nissan Hydration locks the temperature in to preserve flavor and freshness. The lid is easy to flip open, which is ideal for sipping coffee while driving.
  • does not leave rings on tables
  • sized to fit car cupholders
  • lid is button-activated
Brand Nissan
Model 2465TRI6
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Thermos King

As royalty in the liquid container kingdom, the Thermos King utilizes its state-of-the-art vacuum technology to keep its hot or cold contents at the ideal temperature for up to 24 hours. It comes in a matte black, midnight blue, or simple stainless steel finish.
  • holds up to 2 liters of liquid
  • exterior is impact-resistant
  • 5-year warranty
Brand Thermos
Model SK2020MBTRI4
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Keep Your Molecules Shaking

I remember the first time I encountered a thermos. I was in the parking lot of Six Flags Great Adventure in southern New Jersey, on a trip to the park with my best friend's family. We sat on lawn chairs they'd packed into the vehicle, and my buddy's mom brought out this thing that looked like a fat little pitcher, except it had an upside down mug on top of it.

When she opened it, steam poured out along with the vexing aroma of cooked hot dogs. This was the fatter type of thermos that's ideal for transporting food, and it contained a dozen dogs she's cooked just that morning.

It would be another 20 years before I discovered the principals and technology that allowed those dogs to stay so hot all morning. For the longest time I figured it had something to do with the seal at the top of the container, that it somehow kept the heat in all by itself. Little did I know that there was a miracle of science happening in the chubby little food bottle.

Let's start at the beginning, though. How did the hot dogs get hot in the first place? Well, when an energy transfer causes the molecules in a given substance to become excited, they move at an accelerated pace, heating them up. Both the dogs and the water in which they were boiled took the energy transferred into them from the flame on the stove and their molecules went bonkers.

Then, my buddy's mom put them inside the thermos, which works on a very simple rule of thermodynamics: a vacuum is the best insulator. That's because heat energy can't transverse a vacuum since there are no molecules therein for the energy to excite. Infrared radiation can make the jump across a vacuum, however, which is why your thermos still feels a little warm to the touch, and is one of two reasons why your thermos eventually loses heat.

It is true that a few years ago, a handful of scientists designed a thermos with a vacuum that included a lining of very finely tuned photonic crystals, and that that prototype also blocked the infrared radiation from escaping, essentially doubling the prototype's insulating power. The only problem there is that each thermos made with photonic crystals would be prohibitively expensive.

An Honest Evaluation

There are a lot of industries out there that seem to thrive on inflating the statistics and capabilities of their products. Thermoses, somehow, have avoided this pitfall of cut-throat capitalism. Every thermos I've ever owned has kept its contents hot or cold for as long as–and often longer than–the company claimed it would.

What that means for you is that you have three simple variables to consider when moving along our list. First among them is that preservation time. You'll notice that its easier for a thermos to keep a substance cold for longer periods of time than it can keep them hot, and that's pretty normal. Whatever the claims, you ought to be able to take them at face value, so reach for something that can keep your food or drinks where you want them for as long as you might need.

Secondly, you want to consider capacity. There's not much reason to keep only a morning's worth of coffee hot if you're going to need energy all day. I lived out of the biggest thermos on this list at a job up in Alaska for a whole summer, filling it up with black gold each morning and drinking it down, hot and delicious, throughout the day.

Finally, there's style to consider. If you're getting a thermos as a gift for the gruff construction worker in the family, the Hello Kitty themed container might not be his first choice. It would suit your young niece a lot better than the industrial Stanley models, though.

One last note: be careful with your thermos. The majority of thermal vacuums rely on glass or ceramics for their walls, and a tough drop can crack the material, causing a steep decrease in preservation times.

How Do You Dewar?

In the late 1800s, a Scottish scientists named James Dewar created a partial vacuum between two brass chambers to insulate palladium in an attempt to determine the element's natural heat. In doing so, he invented the first vacuum flask, which gained tremendous popularity in the scientific community.

By 1904, a pair of German glass blowers took Dewar's idea, which he never bothered to patent, and commercialized its design, creating a consumer-friendly product that anyone could use to keep food and drinks hot or cold. They were the first purveyors of the vacuum flask to use the term Thermos in regarding and marketing the item.

For a time, the thermos was an integral part of the American child's lunchbox, sharing a themed design with the one printed on the outside of the box. They became important parts of synergistic marketing methods employed by the entertainment industry in the 1980s and 1990s. There was a brief dip in interest in the thermos, but as the generation of children who grew up with the devices in their daily lunch kits has kids of its own, use of the thermos is back on the rise.

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Last updated on December 20, 2017 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.

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