8 Best Travel Mugs For Coffee reviewed.
When you don’t want to be let down by overpriced takeaway coffee, why not just brew coffee at home with a coffee maker and take it with you?
Of course, you can’t simply choose to use water bottles and expect everything to be fine. What you need is a good travel mug for coffee. Here are the top picks for best travel mugs for coffee.
At A Glance: See on Amazon
best coffee Travel Mug: 8 Top Picks
What you need from a travel coffee mug could be very different from what your friend or colleague needs. Below this list, we have some tips on helping you choose the right travel coffee mug for your needs. But for now, here’s an overview of our favourite ones.
|Contigo Autoseal West Loop Mug||
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|Yeti Rambler Lowball||
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|Thermos Stainless King Travel Mug||
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|Stanley Classic One Hand Travel Mug||
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|Neon Kactus Coffee Cup||
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|Ello Campy Mug||
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|Espro Travel Coffee Press||
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The Contigo Autoseal West Loop is a sleek vacuum-insulated tumbler/travel mug that can brighten any morning commute, no matter what your mode of transport may be. The Contigo West Loop stainless steel mug can keep your drink warm for up to 5 hours.
The main attraction of this stainless steel mug, though, is its lid design. You can’t get much better than this: the West Loop has an easy-clean lid that helps prevents spills and leaks. The lid seals automatically once closed, and the mug can easily be kept in your bag, letting it double as a water bottle for trips to the gym. It can be opened completely for cleaning and is for dishwasher-cleaning. It’s designed to fit the average car’s cup holder. Because you only need one hand to open the lid, it’s a good choice for drivers as well.
This travel tumbler is available in 470-ml and 590-ml capacities.
The classic Yeti Rambler is one of the brand’s top sellers, but the smaller Lowball makes for a more portable and convenient travel mug.
Just like its bigger brother, the Yeti Rambler Lowball is constructed of double-walled insulated stainless steel that’s resistant to both punctures and rust. You’ll also be pleased to hear that all parts of the mug are dishwasher-safe. It doesn’t retain heat quite as well as other travel mugs, but 3-4 hours should be more than enough to enjoy your coffee to the last drop.
The mug features Yeti’s Mag Slider, a magnetic slide-to-close lid that can easily be operated with one hand. It’s very convenient but isn’t spill or leakproof, so you won’t be tossing this in your bag while you’re on the road.
Despite the affordable price tag, you can expect the same quality build that Yeti products are known for, which are all backed by a five-year warranty.
Thermos is one of the pioneers when it comes to keeping your drinks warm. The brand might not have invented the technology, but the fact that its name is synonymous with insulated mugs and flasks says a lot about its reputation and longevity.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they offer some of the best heat retention of any mug on our list. The vacuum-insulated stainless steel construction will keep drinks hot for an impressive 7 hours, a godsend if you’re on an all-day hike or road trip. For summer, you can expect your cold brew to stay cool for a whopping 18 hours.
The mug has a hefty insulated screw-on lid to help increase heat retention. There’s a small slide in the top that you rotate to the “open” position for drinking, and when it’s closed it becomes leakproof. You can tip the whole thing upside down without fear of losing your coffee.
The Thermos Stainless King range also includes food jars and drink bottles as large as 2 litres.
The Stanley Classic One Hand Travel Mug is a reliable option for the more outdoorsy type. This stainless steel travel mug has a thermal lid and can keep your tea or coffee warm for hours, making it perfect for long hikes.
This heat-insulating, stainless steel travel mug resembles the full-size Stanley Classic thermoses but is more portable. The largest size is 590 ml, which should just about satisfy even the thirstiest coffee drinkers. The larger the size, the better the heat insulation is as well – the 470-ml mug promises to keep drinks hot for 9 hours, while the smallest (355 ml) retains heat for a relatively modest 4.5 hours.
The Stanley Classic comes with a leak-and-spill-proof lid, which means you can put it in your backpack without worrying about ruining your change of clothes. It’s also good for driving, as it’s easy to drink from it one handed.
You don’t have to be trekking or camping to reap the benefits of a travel mug. Your daily coffee on the way to work is the perfect opportunity, especially if you’re trying to reduce your environmental impact.
It’s no secret that single-use cups are one of the black marks on coffee culture, with Canadians getting through an estimated 1.5 billion of the things each year (1). Your personal consumption might be considerably lower, but getting a reusable coffee cup will help with your share.
The Neon Kactus travel cup is designed for durability to make your purchase as environmentally friendly as possible. The cup itself is made from borosilicate glass while the insulating sleeve is made from silicone, materials that are BPA-free and fully recyclable.
The company also partners with Offset Earth and One Tree Planted to further reduce its environmental impact.
The Zojirushi SM-KHE vacuum-insulated travel mug is a good all-rounder that will satisfy the most discerning users. It is available in two different sizes and a variety of colours, all of which have the same features. It has a great spill-proof & lockable lid, meaning you can carry it in your bag safely, and it’s usable with one hand.
Heat insulation is good enough for even the lengthiest commutes . Your hot coffee will stay piping hot for a long time.
The 1-inch lid opening is larger than in many other travel mugs, meaning it’s more convenient to pour if you want to drink from your own mug. With a non-stick coating on the inside, the Zojirushi is a breeze to clean. The lid, made from plastic, can be completely disassembled for a deep clean.
While it may be on the expensive side, the five-year warranty speaks to its durability.
Read our full review of the Zojirushi Travel Mug.
The Ello Campy has the nostalgic vibe of old-school speckled camping gear with a cork-lined handle (Some of us never got over the trauma of burning our fingers on a steel mug full of piping hot coffee.) It will keep your hot or cold coffee in your desired temperature — piping hot for up to six hours, and iced coffee cold for hours – even up to 24! It looks more like a large coffee mug, which is cool.
The spill-proof slider lid allows you to carry it in your hand without spilling. But we wouldn’t recommend keeping it in your backpack or briefcase.
At 3” across, the wide-mouthed Campy is easy to get your hand or brush inside for cleaning, but it can be a tight fit in smaller car cup holders. Hand-washing is recommended for the tumbler; the lid is safe to be washed in dishwasher.
If you have fond memories of cooking outside with vintage enamelled pots, pans, and dishes, the Campy will make you smile. Now if it only came with the smell of a campfire…
We confess: the ability to brew a fresh pot of French press and take it with us is something we’ve come to love over the years. The Espro Coffee Travel Press does this, and more. Its insulation ensures the Espro will keep your brewed coffee warm for 4 to 6 hours.
The Espro has double micro-filters in the plunger. Each is 9 to 12 times finer than the average French press, which works better for trapping fine sediment. If that isn’t enough, the Espro’s Paper Filter Press Coffee method gives you the option of brewing a cup with the clean taste of pour over coffee. Slip a paper filter between the double micro-filters before you press, and the oils and sediment will be trapped. This thing essentially works like a cross between a french press and Aeropress.
And finally, the manufacturer has instructions on how to use the Espro to make cold brew. The only thing it can’t do is drink your coffee for you.
Read our full review of the Espro Travel Press.
How To Choose A Good Travel Coffee Mug
A good coffee mug can really brighten up your day. It’s a small luxury to be able to brew coffee just the way you like it and enjoy it on the go. In the long run, it’s also a lot more affordable than regularly getting takeaway, and better for the environment.
Consider a few key factors when choosing between the different types:
It must have excellent heat retention
Good insulation is a key asset in a travel coffee mug. Like a good thermos, the best travel mugs are well-constructed and can keep your drinks hot or cold for hours. Whereas, a flimsy coffee cup will struggle even on shorter commutes. Many good travel coffee mugs utilize the same working principles as full-size thermoses, including vacuum insulation (2, 3) (read more about how that works here).
A thermos has two walls with vacuum between them. Since vacuum does not conduct heat, there is no path for the heat to escape (or cold drinks to warm up).
But not everyone needs extremely high heat retention. If you just want a travel coffee cup for a short commute or a Sunday picnic, there’s no reason to invest in an expensive double-walled thermos.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Consider your personal needs and preferences when making the choice.
It must be 100% leak/spill-proof
Non-negotiable. It needs a flip lid for easy sipping on the go, but it needs to be 100% leak-proof. Some of the cheaper options are not spill/leak-proof, meaning you cannot carry them in your bag.
The anti-leak mugs for travel are often designed like mini-thermos bottles, with a screw top or similar. While you might need both hands to drink, you don’t need to carry them upright at all times. The choice depends on your style of travel.
We kept being asked to review the Hydro Flask, but it didn’t make the cut. Sure, the Hydro Flask is a vacuum-insulated travel mug but it has below average insulation (less than 4 hours) and the lid will not lock, meaning you may spill hot or cold coffee everywhere (even pointed out in the Hydro Flask website). Not a good travel coffee mug then, is it?
KEY TAKEAWAY: Weigh the convenience of drinking on-the-go against the need for spill and leak prevention.
What size is right for you?
How much coffee do you need to get you going in the morning? If you’re the type to brew a whole pot of coffee and guzzle it down before noon, you’re probably going to be frustrated with a tiny travel cup. The Yeti Rambler, for example, is a huge mug, but not suited for travel (so you will see it in our coffee mugs article, not this one).
On the other hand, if you like sipping more modest amounts of coffee, a large thermos will be inconvenient to carry.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Look for the “sweet spot” in size and volume.
How easy is it to clean?
It’s often difficult to get travel coffee mugs completely clean, but you don’t want to just throw it away because of old coffee stains or smells. If you use your travel coffee mug regularly, it might be a good idea to get a mug made from material that doesn’t stain easily. Machine-washability can also be a plus.
A high-quality stainless steel travel mug should have a highly polished surface that can be easily cleaned to prevent permanent staining.
You can check to see that the stainless steel used is at least a 304 grade (18% chromium and 8% nickel). Beyond the chemical composition, the degree of polish (or a lining) will determine how stain-resistant it will be and how easy it will be to clean.
KEY TAKEAWAY: If you plan to use it daily, get one that is easy to clean.
Will it last the distance?
If you’re the outdoorsy type, you’ll want a travel mug that’s able to take a few bumps. Materials like plastic might lose their ability to retain heat if their surface gets scratched or wears out.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Buy something suited for the stresses of your travel or commute.
How does it affect the taste of your coffee?
Lastly, don’t ignore taste. Yes, the material of your mug CAN affect the perceived taste of your brew. The colour of your mug can influence the way your coffee tastes. But it’s all about perception. A study by Van Doorn, et al. (BioMed Central 2014) supports the view that the colour of the mug can influence the consumer’s multisensory coffee drinking experience (4). The research team wanted to find out whether the coffee drinkers’ perception would be influenced by the colour of the mug (transparent, white, or blue) from which it was served.
THE VERDICT: What’s The Best Travel Mug?
All of the travel mugs included on this list are solid options. The final choice depends on your personal preferences. However, considering both features and affordability, the Contigo Autoseal West Loop is the best portable coffee mug for most users.
For those looking for the most affordable option, the Yeti Rambler Lowball is also a great option, but keep in mind that the heat retention is not as good as the West Loop’s.
The best coffee mug to keep hot is a coffee thermos. These are made from stainless steel double vacuum insulation, and hence will keep your coffee hot for quite a while.
The best material for your coffee mug depends on your preferences. Each material has pros and cons that you should consider. While ceramic or glass are ideal for home use; steel or plastic for travellers. Hard plastics are often used to make recyclable coffee cups for their superb heat retention and durability, but the material might give your coffee an unpleasant smell or aftertaste. Steel is mostly used in travel coffee mugs and thermos. It holds heat extremely well and relatively unbreakable. Plus, both materials work well with the best mug warmers.
A good travel coffee mug has good insulation, durable, easy to clean, and helps prevent spills and leaks. It should also be made from materials that can easily be handled and not cause burns.
Yes, Ceramic travel mugs keep your coffee warm. Ceramic mugs will retain heat and can be pre-warmed, creating a stable temperature. If you are a stainless steel-averse commuter, a ceramic travel mug is your best bet.
- Quebec’s Green Party proposes deposit system for reusable “to-go” coffee cups. (2018, August 7). Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/reusable-coffee-cups-green-party-1.4776056
- Andal, J. (2019, January 09). How a Thermos Works – Physics of Heat Transfer. Retrieved June 9, 2019, from https://futurism.com/physics-thermos-heat-transfer
- Does a double walled glass mug really keep the liquid warm? (2012, October 17). Retrieved June 9, 2019, from https://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/27868/does-a-double-walled-glass-mug-really-keep-the-liquid-warm
- Doorn, G., Dianne Wuillemin, & Charles Spence. (2014, November 25). Does the colour of the mug influence the taste of the coffee? Retrieved June 15, 2019, from https://flavourjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2044-7248-3-10