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The Zojirushi Stainless Steel Coffee and Travel Mug Review

Being able to enjoy piping hot coffee during your commute or in the middle of a hike is priceless. Unless you end up spilling it in your bag, or worse, on yourself.

That’s a likely scenario with most travel mugs as they don’t retain heat well and have flimsy lids.

The Zojirushi Travel Mug promises to take care of all those problems. Find out how well it performs in keeping your hot drinks hot and preventing accidental spillages in our review below.

Summary: The Zojirushi Travel Mug

  • Keeps coffee hot for well over 6 hours
  • Flip-open lid can be used with one hand
  • Safety lock on the lid prevents spillage

Zojirushi’s mug keeps your beverage steaming for an astonishingly long time—long enough to survive terrible commutes and early-morning meetings.

– Esquire

The Zojirushi Mug Review

Zojirushi started out in 1918 as a manufacturer of glass-lined vacuum bottles. Since then, they have expanded their portfolio to all kinds of kitchen equipment. But they continue making vacuum insulated mugs, and excellent ones at that. Let’s see how the Zojirushi travel mug performs.

Design – 4.5/5

The Zojirushi Travel mug has a stainless steel body and a handy flip-open lid made of BPA-free plastic.

The mug’s inner surface has a non-stick coating, which ensures that it’ll stay odorless and stain-free even if you’re drinking milk-based coffee.

This lightweight travel mug features a sleek, compact design that fits comfortably in your hand or your car’s cup holder. It is currently available in a variety of colors and 3 different sizes (12, 16, and 20-ounces).

Performance – 5/5

Although keeping hot drinks hot (or cold drinks cold) is the main purpose of travel mugs, you’d be surprised at how many brands get this wrong! The heat retention guaranteed by Zojirushi’s patented vacuum insulation technology (1), however, is unparalleled.

The Zojirushi travel mug will keep your coffee hot (or your chilled drinks ice-cold) for well over 6 hours!

One user compared the Zojirushi mug against its competitors and proved that Zojirushi has the best heat retention. (2) Some users reported that the mug keeps their coffee so hot that they have to leave the lid open for a few minutes to get their beverage down to drinkable temperature.

Zojirushi SM-SA60-BA Stainless Steel Mug
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This mug’s flip-open lid also has a couple of tricks up its sleeve. The lid opens by pressing the button on the front, and its 2-step release prevents messy splashes. The air vent on the mouthpiece ensures a smooth flow, so hot coffee doesn’t gush out and burn your mouth. But slide the top lever to lock position, and you can throw the mug in your bag without worrying about any leaks.

Like the Hydro Flask, this travel mug not dishwasher safe, the non-stick coating on the inside makes for easy cleaning. You can even disassemble the lid after a few uses for a deep clean.

Value For Money – 4/5

While it’s more expensive than some of our other favorite travel mugs, the Zojirushi is a meticulously-crafted product that is the result of a century of expertise in the field. (3)

Zojirushi was established in 1918, with the launch of its first glass-lined vacuum bottle, and has been setting an industry standard for new vacuum insulation technology ever since.

Given its spectacular heat-retention capability, you can have piping hot (or ice-cold) drinks long after you thought it was possible. It can even be used for carrying boiling hot water if you plan to brew fresh coffee with a portable coffee maker. It also comes with a 5-year warranty on the vacuum-insulated body. (4) We feel that all these factors make the Zojirushi travel mug great value for money.

Do Not Buy The Zojirushi Mug If…

pouring coffee from a thermos and into its cap
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You want a more durable option – If you are looking for features like one-handed operation and a leak-proof lid in a more durable body, check out the Stanley Classic One Hand Vacuum Mug or the Stanley Classic Thermos. The Vacuum Bottle version is like a tank, and with the convenience of one-hand operation, it’s probably the last travel mug you’ll ever need. The thermos, on the other hand, is a truly legendary classic.

You want a mug that doubles as a French Press – So you love French Press coffee and you want a portable mug that can actually make coffee. We recommend the Espro Travel Press. Its double-wall vacuum insulated body can keep your coffee hot for hours, plus it has dual filters, which means there’ll be no grounds in your brew.

You want a travel mug that matches your outdoorsy lifestyle – If you find yourself frequently on a trail or a biking trip, you might want a travel coffee mug you can take along with you. We recommend the CamelBak Forge. Its lid can be operated with one hand, and it has an impact cap on the bottom to prevent damage from accidental drops. It also comes with a finger-carry loop, so you can attach it to your gear. If you’re interested, you can read about it right here.

You want an eco-friendly travel mug – Some mugs, like the KeepCup Brew Glass and the Eco Vessel Perk, are designed to reduce environmental impact. The makers of these mugs promote reduce and reuse, and has made their travel mugs 100% recyclable. While the KeepCup might not be able to keep your coffee hot for very long, but it’s a far better choice than those disposable cups. How do these products serve their purpose? Read our KeepCup review right here and our EcoVessel Perk review here.

The Verdict On The Zojirushi Travel Mug – 4.5/5

The Zojirushi Travel Mug is a high-quality stainless steel product with a sleek and practical design. Its ability to keep your coffee hot for 6-plus hours and the flip-open lid with a safety lock makes it ideal for commuters as well as frequent travelers.

a coffee mug on white background
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We acknowledge that it’s on the expensive side, but if you want the best insulated travel mug, you can’t go wrong with the Zojirushi. No more shall you be plagued by the curse of lukewarm coffee!

  1. (n.d.). (2019, April 8). Design Explained – Our Superior Vacuum Insulation. Retrieved from https://www.zojirushi.com/blog/?p=3993
  2. Michael B. (2014, October 09). Coffee Travel Mug Heat Insulation Test Retrieved from https://youtu.be/W3-NVZB2kHM
  3. (n.d.). Zojirushi America Corporation. Retrieved from https://www.freshcup.com/business-directory/9130/zojirushi/
  4. (n.d.). Stainless Mug SM-SE36/48/60. Retrieved from https://www.zojirushi.com/app/product/smse
    I can sum up myself in a few words: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu aficionado, food lover, historian, traveler, and coffee drinker. Unless I’m doing multi-day backpacking hikes, I always travel with a portable espresso maker…and there have been a few multi-day hikes where I’ve snuck it into my pack anyway. Starting my day with an espresso or three after sleeping on the ground is the best way to feel human again.

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