The 10 Best Travel Mugs

Updated April 18, 2018 by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

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We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If you’re going to make it to your desk without spilling a drop of your precious morning coffee, then you'll need a decent travel mug — especially if you expect to do so without said beverage becoming cold and unappealing. Any of our selections should take care of you nicely, and most work well for everything from beer to butter tea, whether you’re commuting or camping. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best travel mug on Amazon.

10. Ello Campy

If you dig the retro vibe, then you'll adore the old-school aesthetic of the spackled Ello Campy, a vacuum-insulated and impressively leakproof option that features a soft-touch, cork-accented handle and simple slider lid, not to mention it's dishwasher safe and BPA-free.
  • available in a handful of colors
  • boasts a straightforward design
  • finish chips away over time
Brand Ello
Model 429-0293-212
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Princeton Wares Portland

If you’d prefer not to drink from metal or plastic, then the Princeton Wares Portland could be just right. It’s got a double-walled, all-glass body that’s lead-free. It’s not only elegant to behold but also highly functional, since it insulates both hot and cold libations.
  • comes with silicone lid
  • doesn't require sleeve
  • might break with rough stirring
Brand Princeton Wares
Model Portland
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Stanley Classic

With three retro colors to choose from, the Stanley Classic is made of durable 18/8 stainless steel that won't rust and can take a beating on your daily commute. Best of all, though, it’s operable with only one hand — just pop the push-button lid and sip.
  • bike cage friendly
  • disassembles for deep cleaning
  • lid could be sturdier
Brand Stanley
Model 10-01394-007
Weight 14.7 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Simple Modern Cruiser

Available in bright, eye-catching colors, such as Royal Raspberry and Sunshine Yellow, the Simple Modern Cruiser is a powder-coated stainless steel model with a BPA-free top. It doesn’t sweat, so you won't have to worry about it slipping out of your grip.
  • affordably priced
  • comes in several sizes
  • vulnerable to spilling
Brand Simple Modern
Model pending
Weight 10.6 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Espro Coffee Travel Press

If you’re more fair-trade French roast and less Folgers, then you might need the Espro Coffee Travel Press. Its patented system filters twice without leaving grit, while the vacuum-insulated container keeps your java warm for up to six hours.
  • extremely easy to drink from
  • multiple hues available
  • exterior scratches easily
Brand Espro
Model 5012C-15BK
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Contigo Transit

The Contigo Transit is ideal for busy parents, teachers, and commuters thanks to a patented one-touch auto-seal lid that closes securely between sips. Also, because of its double-walled construction, it keeps its contents hot for up to 7 hours or cool for up to 12.
  • popular name in beverage holders
  • backed by a lifetime guarantee
  • body must be hand washed
Brand Contigo
Model 74171
Weight 12.6 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Thermos King

The Thermos King is equipped with a hardwearing stainless steel interior and exterior. Tea lovers will appreciate its helpful built-in hook that holds either an infuser or a bag, while any fan of cold drinks will like the fact that it doesn’t produce condensation.
  • contoured for a comfortable grip
  • pre-chill for best cold results
  • small liquid capacity
Brand Thermos
Model SK1005BKTRI4
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Atlin Tumbler

The Atlin Tumbler can keep refreshments chilly for up to 24 hours but will maintain warm temperatures as well. It comes with a handy cleaning brush and a narrow base that should fit into a range of cupholders. The lid doesn’t close, but it is straw-friendly.
  • less expensive than comparable items
  • weatherproof clear top
  • completely dishwasher safe
Brand Atlin Sports
Model pending
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Tea Forte Kati

Whether you’re into chai, green, or oolong, the Tea Forte Kati lets you brew your chosen loose-leaf blend with both simplicity and portability. The integrated infuser basket sits inside the cup; just add 12 ounces of water and the top, and you’re ready to go.
  • delicate floral pattern
  • stays cool to the touch
  • can be conveniently microwaved
Brand Tea Forte
Model 3910255
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Zojirushi Stainless Mug

Quit accidentally spilling your cup o’ joe with the Zojirushi Stainless Mug, which features a safety lock that ensures the top doesn’t open up on its own. Along with great functionality, this model offers sleek, minimalistic styling that's not at all bulky.
  • nonstick interior coating
  • stands up to daily use well
  • fits in nearly any cupholder
Brand Zojirushi
Model SM-SA48BA
Weight 10.2 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Traveling With Beverages

The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry, said by Brooks, from the famous story of the Shawshank Redemption. Brooks absolutely had the hurry part right. As society evolves over time to automate tasks and make getting from one point to another less of a hassle, so does technology and convenience along with it.

On a lazy Saturday morning, the iconic family looks forward to enjoying a quiet meal at the breakfast table. Parents will usually be sitting down with a nice hot mug of coffee or tea. While there's a lesson to be learned from using a house mug to relax, that same couple needs the convenience of taking those beverages with them on the go during a busy week, particularly if they'll be driving or commuting to work by train.

For that reason, the travel mug becomes a necessity for many. As much as a person might wish to take their favorite large ceramic mug with them in the car, it wouldn't be very practical or beneficial to a car's upholstery. The travel mug is also easier to hold and often fits into a car's built-in cup holders.

The majority of travel mugs are small to medium in size and usually feature some type of thermal insulation designed to keep your beverages hot (or cold) and completely enclosed for an extended period of time, while also preventing burns and spills as you travel. This is true as long as a mug's lid has been properly secured.

Such mugs also have an opening on their tops from which the beverage may be sipped in a controlled manner. Travel mugs also provide double-walled construction with stainless steel being used for the inner wall, and a combination of steel, plastic, or even rubber for the outer wall.

Fill lines are a welcome addition to travel mugs, as they prevent overfilling and potential spillage. Finally, most travel mugs are designed without handles. Contrary to what you may believe, the lack of a handle actually makes grabbing the mug easier on the go, since there's less of a distraction that might otherwise force you to take your eyes off the road when driving.

Travel mugs are reusable and environmentally-friendly. Many of them can store up to three or four servings of your favorite beverage and will easily clean in the dishwasher. To take this a step further, a variety of coffee shops also encourage commuters to bring their travel mugs with them when purchasing a cup of coffee, or tea.

The baristas working in these shops are more than happy to prepare beverages using your own mug and will often provide a discount for doing so. This certainly saves on the use of plastic and paper cups, which would otherwise need to be thrown out.

Contrary to popular belief, many cups given to consumers in coffee shops cannot be recycled because they're lined with plastic and some amount of wax material that prevents the cup from dissolving due to the heat of a beverage. For that reason, paper cups of this style must still be thrown out, putting your travel mug in a more eco-friendly light.

A Brief History Of Travel Mugs

Some of the earliest mugs from the Neolithic Stone Age were made from carved wood, bone, and clay. These mugs date as far back as 10,000 BCE.

With the evolution of metalworking, mugs were eventually made using bronze, silver, gold, and lead. However, the problem with metal mugs was that they weren't practical for hot beverages unless you fancy burning your hand carrying the thing.

By the year 600 CE, the invention of Chinese porcelain allowed for mugs to be constructed with thinner walls, while also being able to accommodate both hot and cold beverages without burning the skin. Porcelain mugs are still quite common today, though not so much in the travel capacity.

Thermally-insulated travel mugs were first introduced in the 1980s and are still as popular as ever with today's get-up-and-go mentality of enthusiasm that drives many of us to drink coffee in the car or on the bus.

How To Find The Best Travel Mug

Regardless of the way people prefer to travel, one must be certain the mug they choose can keep a beverage either hot or cold for an extended period of time. That is, after all, one of the main purposes for owning such a mug. It wouldn't make a lot of sense to invest in a travel mug that spills easily, does not fit into a car's cup holders, or that wouldn't maintain the temperature of your beverage long enough to enjoy it.

To make sure a travel mug can be used as intended, search for one that is durable, made from stainless steel with relatively thin walls, and has a slender design that makes it easy to store in the car.

A mug with a wide mouth is also recommended, as it makes both pouring and drinking simple. The lid should also be easy to secure, yet sturdy enough to protect one's self from spills and messes. Plastic lids are helpful for this reason.

Some travel mugs also feature a nonstick internal coating, which makes cleaning a breeze. If you plan to use your mug every day, finding one that's dishwasher safe is also beneficial.

Since comfort matters, travel mugs with silicone grips make holding them easier, so you don't have to fuss with grabbing them when you're stuck in traffic or when you can't take your eyes off the road.

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Last updated on April 18, 2018 by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer who fled the dry heat of the desert for Southern California, where she continues to enjoy drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of everyday life and channeling Rick Steves.

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