Travel mug for coffee

Table of Contents

The Mighty Mug

Here it comes to save the day

You’d probably never slap your coffee, but if you tried it with a Mighty Mug, the results might surprise you. Accidents happen, but Mighty Mug can limit the consequences by sticking to any flat smooth surface. Nudge, bump, flick, or jerk it from the side, and it’ll stay perfectly upright. Pick it straight up, and it immediately comes off the table with ease. Meet your new super-powered mug.

Seeing is believing.

Grip you can’t tip

Lots of design and engineering went into every aspect of Mighty Mug, but the crowning achievement has to be its amazing ability to withstand attacks from the side.

This fascinating feat is made possible by the vented rubber gasket on the bottom of the cup. When set down, the mug seals itself to any flat, smooth surface, making it impervious to lateral sneak attacks. But picking it up is just as easy as lifting any other coffee cup. Science!

It’s awesome because it sucks.


Thanks to the Smartgrip bottom, Mighty Mug doesn’t need to be extra wide for stability. The slender cylinder easily fits into standard cup holders for no-spill joe on the go!

Take your anti-accident mug with you in your car.

No spill too big to stop

Mighty Mug is available in both a single-serving 12 oz size and a taller 18 oz size. Both mugs feature the same Smartgrip technology, the same double-wall vacuum insulation (for condensation-free comfort and 14-hour temperature conservation), the same BPA-free plastic lid on a stainless steel outer wall, and both fit in your cupholder!

Feel free to do a double-take.

Mighty Mug: Unboxing

Jon and Joey, members of the Vat19 video team, take a first look at this untippable mug.

Jon and Joey take a first look at the Mighty Mug.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Can I knock it over if I kick it, hit it with a baseball bat, or run over it with a monster truck?

Answer: With enough force, Mighty Mug will tip over. But that requires a surprising amount of effort. Accidental bumps and nudges are extremely unlikely to tip a Mighty Mug.

Question: Does the suction ever weaken?

Answer: With normal use, Mighty Mug should not wear out.

Sippy Cup 101

In a perfect world, babies would transition from a bottle to a cup overnight. In the real world, they don’t have nearly enough coordination to do this.

Also? Spills.

We all hate spills, especially if you have carpeting and upholstery. To all the dentists who suggest we switch to regular cups at the age of 18 months, I invite them to come over to my house to clean up after my kids have spilled milk all. over. the. place.


I just… can’t.


If your infant is ready to start drinking water, breast milk, or formula out of something other than a bottle, trainer cups are the perfect place to start. (Read about transitioning from a bottle to a sippy cup here.)

Some parents skip directly to a “strawed” sippy cup or one of the newer 360 or “rimless” cups. From there, most end up using regular “spouted” sippy cups, which hold more liquid and allow your bigger kid to drink a little faster. These can also be packed into lunch boxes without spilling.

If you can transition to a regular cup sooner rather than later (translation: if you can cope with spillage better than I can), more power to ya. Truth is, most parents use some form of sippy cup through preschool.

The aftermath of our sippy cup testing party

Another tip — please do not expect your baby to pick up a cup and start drinking exclusively from it from Day One — it might take months.

Per Dr. Alan Greene, my go-to feeding guy:

“At mealtime, put some water in the cup and show your baby how to maneuver it to her mouth. A midday meal is usually best. The cup will be little more than a toy for several weeks, but eventually most kids will drink down the water you put in. When they do this, it’s time to put something else in the cup or to begin giving it at other meals. It often takes about 6 months before all drinking is done with a cup – and the bedtime feeding is usually the last to switch. A good goal is that when whole milk is introduced at one year, it is in a cup, not a bottle.
It’s wonderful for babies to have security objects, but if a bottle becomes the security object, it can make weaning tough. Avoid this by not letting babies carry a bottle around with them. Only use them at mealtimes when they are sitting down or being held. If they are thirsty at other times, hand them a cup.”

When evaluating sippy cups, remember that no cup is completely bullet-proof under all conditions, so it’s a really good idea to keep sippy cups out of your laptop bag or purse-with-phone or near other precious electronics. Even the best sippy cup can be mis-threaded when you’re in a hurry, which always ends in leakage. I learned this the hard way after spilling one all over a brand spankin’ new iPad in my diaper bag and totally destroying it (apparently, it doesn’t take much…).

Also note that all the cups mentioned below are BPA-free plastic. We also have at least one stainless or glass cup in each category. See here for a more complete list of eco-food and beverage storage containers.

Best Trainer Cups

“Trainer” sippy cups are perfect for ages 4-9 months. The two handles make it very easy to grip, and the soft valve is reminiscent of a bottle nipple. These cups have to be tipped back, just like a bottle.

1. Nuby – No-Spill Super Spout ~ $7 for 2

Nuby is one of my favorite sippy cup companies. Many of their sippy cup parts are interchangeable — and they are all quite easy to clean.

This cup will hold up after being used as a flying missile, will not spill when dropped or shaken, and is affordable.

2. Philips Avent – My Natural Trainer Cup ~ $14

Another parent favorite, this cup comes with a nipple and a spout, so it’s a great “transformer” cup. It has a hygienic cover, which is great for keeping the spout clean while on-the-go (or at the sandbox!). The only complaint is that there are lots of pieces, which makes it a little harder to clean.

3. Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup ~ $11 for 2 – EDITOR’S CHOICE

The Munchkin 360 spoutless trainer cups are very highly rated, and for good reason. The handles are easy to hold and your little one can drink from anywhere along the rim. Because the cup automatically seals when not in use, it creates a leak-proof seal (however, it will splatter a little water when thrown on the ground).

4. Thermos – Foogo ~ $9+

Many people are leery of plastic. I get it, I do.

In the beginner’s department, check out the Thermos Foogo. Yes, it’s a little heavier (it is stainless steel and all), but otherwise very well-liked.

Bonus: it’s insulated! It will keep milk cold for up to six hours. Perfect for hot summer days or long trips to the park. And travel. Remove the handles on this cup and it can grow with you.

All Foogo cups have interchangeable parts with other FOOGO cups and thermoses. *For 6 months +

*For other eco-friendly options, check out our Glass and Stainless Steel article.

Other stainless or glass cups for this phase include: Kid Basix Safe Sippy, Green Sprouts and Think Baby.

Straw Sippy Cups

Many parents start with strawed cups from the beginning and continue to use them (instead of spouted cups) due to concerns over speech problems and/or dental issues; read more about that here, though I will say that Alice used a strawed cup and still has a lisp, so there’s that 😉

B. Box Strawed Sippy

One of the biggest complaints about straw sippy cups is that they can be hard to take apart and clean — and the straws can be particularly hard to clean.

Another note is that regular sippy cups (and bottles, for that matter) have to be tipped back to work. Strawed cups, on the other hand, are the opposite and require them to be level (not tipped up) in order to work. This can cause a lot of confusion and frustration for little ones who can’t figure out if they should tip or not tip. I suggest you stick to one kind instead of switching back and forth.

Nowadays, you can find cups with a weighted straw that keeps the straw in the liquid — wherever it happens to be (even if inverted, see below). These are the most popular ones — and tend to be a little more expensive (Zoli and B. Box).

Weighted Straw

Best Strawed Cups

1. Nuby Flex Straw ~ $6 for 2

In the economy department, these strawed sippys from Nuby are a great bargain.

The long, flexible straw makes it easy to use. On the downside, liquid flow tends to be a little slower than on other straw cups, but generally speaking these are very well-liked. As with most sippys, this cup doesn’t leak except if thrown.

2. Zoli – BOT ~ $12 – PARENT’S CHOICE

The Zoli Bot is the original “weighted straw” cup. The straw is soft and appealing to babies and toddlers. The sliding cover is great for keeping the straw clean while on-the-go.

I’ve used this cup extensively. Here are the quirks:

This cup—and all strawed sippys—will leak out the top of the spout after temperature change.

Example: fill it with cold milk, which then sits around at room temp for a half hour. As the milk warms, the pressure will cause the milk to flow upward and out of the spout. This happens even with cups that have a pressure-relief valve. Sorry. I don’t know any way of preventing this—it just comes with the territory.

Also note that the straw is a little harder to clean after being used with milk or juice. My advice is to clean it promptly after use and don’t let it sit around too long. You can also suck some clean water through it (during washing) to completely flush it out (gross, but worthwhile). If you fall in love with the Zoli Bot, I highly recommend getting the bundle that comes with cleaning straws.

You can buy replacement straws, as the straw is usually the first component to fail.

All of that said, I still think it’s a great cup that parents and kids both love.

3. B. Box – Essential Sippy Cup ~ $8

Also in the “beloved weighted-straw” category, the B. Box weighted sippy is a little fatter and more stable. It’s also a very good cup, although I find it a little harder to thread properly (i.e., screw the top on) than the Zoli Bot.

This cup has a larger relief valve, so I like to think it has less of a problem with the aforementioned “up-spurting.”

Spouted Cups

Many older toddlers will then move on to spouted sippy cups.

The cups in this category are more the traditional spouted sippys we’re used to seeing. These can be packed in a lunchbox or backpack, provided they are spill-proof. Many of these have a stopper inside the lid that allows liquid to flow one way.

Again, dentists will tell you that long-term use of sippy cups can affect the growth of your child’s jaw (dentists with no kids, kidding!). In reality, most parents use sippy cups for years; if you have concerns, please talk to your child’s dentist.

Best Spouted Cups

1. The First Years – Take & Toss ~ $2 for 4

Take and Toss cups are great to keep at your house for visitors and for travel. They are cheap and durable enough to use over and over. And if you lose one? No biggie.

*Note: also comes in a strawed version, which is perfect for smoothies, as the straw is a little wider and easier to slurp up thicker liquids.

2. Gerber Graduates – Fun Grips ~ $10 for 2 – EDITOR’S CHOICE

Gerber Graduates is an all-time parent favorite—and mine! These hourglass-shaped cups are easy to hold and stable when set down, making them hard to tip. They are totally spill-proof, thanks to a removable valve (remove and wash well after use).

The only downside is that these sippys are a little too big (wide) for some cup holders (stroller and car seat), but they’re otherwise perfect.

3. Playtex Insulated Spouted Cup ~ varies

If you’re looking for some fun Disney prints (and the like), check out the Playtex Insulator Spouted Cups. Because they are insulated, they’re great for hot summer days or long outings.

Rimless/360 Sippy Cups

For the kid who wants to drink from a “grown up cup,” there’s the 360 cup. Tots can drink from anywhere around the rim, which helps support good dental health. And the best part about 360 cups… no spills because the cup seals as soon as they stop drinking. This style of cup is relatively new, so you may not have seen it if you were shopping for sippy cups a few years ago.

Munchkin – Miracle 360 ~ $11 for 2 – EDITOR’S CHOICE

Munchkin pretty much dominates this category, don’t waste your money with the others. This cup is the easiest and the most highly-rated of the 360s. This is the best choice if you’re going straight from the breast/bottle to a 360 rimmed cup.

A couple of things to watch for: when thrown on the ground, this cup does leak. If your kid is known to chew silicone, you’ll have to toss this cup once the seal has been damaged from chewing.

Trainer Cups for Older Kids

The last stop between 360 cups and drinking from real cups are trainer cups for older kids.

1. Reflo Smart Cup ~ $9

The Reflo Smart Cup allows your child to learn the fundamentals of drinking from an open cup without the big mess. It comes with a cup and an insert, which controls the liquid flow rate. The difference between this type of cup and the 360 is that there’s no sucking involved, making drinking feel more natural.

The only thing to watch for is your kiddo playing with the insert. Mine (Melissa) tries to take it out and put it in “all by myself,” which can cause a little mess if not careful.

*Not spill proof, but it is splash proof!

Thanks for reading and good luck in sippy land!

Drinking Aids

Types of Drinking Aids

There are different types of drinking aids available like cups with handles, cups with lids and spouts, cup holders and straws.

  • Cups with Handles – Cups with handles help people who face difficulty in lifting or stabilizing cups. They provide dual handles for a better grip.
  • Cups with Lids or Spouts – These cups with lids or built-in straws help people with swallowing difficulties in regulating fluid flow.
  • Cup Holders – Cup holders attach to wheelchairs or any smooth and clean surface. They keep the drink stable and do not let it go even if bumped or hit.
  • Straws – Drinking straws help those who have difficulty in using their hands to lift or drink from cups.

What causes difficulty in handling cups?

Following are the reasons which cause difficulties in handling cups and drinking successfully:

  • Reduced grip due to pain, joint deformity or stiffness
  • Inability to control the amount of liquid entering in the mouth
  • Loss of sensation in hands, and as a result of that the user has difficulty feeling the cup he/she is holding
  • Stiffness or pain in arms, neck and shoulders, making it difficult to bring the cup close to mouth
  • Sight loss or impaired vision
  • Lack of muscle control
  • Slow movements

Where To Buy Drinking Aids?

Health Products For You provides drinking utensils from popular manufacturers like Maddak, Freedom Distributors, Medline Industries, North Coast Medical etc. Our wide collection also include Cups with Handles, Cups with Lids or Spouts, Cup Holders and much more. Browse through our wide collection and chose the design that best suits you.
Other useful links

  • Choosing Eating and Drinking Equipment
  • Actions for Healthy Eating

The 11 Best Travel Mugs Money Can Buy

Travel mugs are one of those banal items that, because of sheer frequency of use, necessitate a little more consideration than the common purchase. You might be tempted to grab whatever mug you see on sale without thinking too much about the fact that you’ll be using it all the time. It’s only on repeated use that flaws begin to stick out and you begin to say to yourself, ‘oh, it’s not actually insulated that well’, ‘the cap is leaky’ or simply ‘this looks bad.’

To save you time (and money) in your search for the best travel mugs, we’ve pulled together a list of what we think are the very finest. It almost goes without saying that these all pair well with a brew from one of the world’s 10 best coffee roasters.

1. OtterBox Elevation 14 Mug

Irritated by how quickly our office coffee was cooling in standard mugs, we tried this stainless steel offering form OtterBox and it has rocked our world. Thanks in part to an internal copper lining, the Elevation Mug will keep your coffee hot all day long, and it comes in four other colors if the natural metal look isn’t your jam.

The Best Travel Mugs to Keep Your Coffee Hot

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You’re sitting in traffic on your way to work. It’s a red light, but that’s fine, because you have a travel mug full of coffee in your cup holder. You take a sip and …

… your coffee is already cold.

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Whether you get distracted or your mug just doesn’t retain its heat, it is absolutely disheartening—and, let’s be honest, kind of disgusting—to take a sip of your favorite brew only to find cold coffee. If you’d wanted cold coffee, you would’ve made iced coffee, right? Sounds like it’s time to upgrade your travel mug and stop settling for lukewarm java.

At a Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Travel Mugs

It’s Just a Mug. What’s the Big Deal?

When it comes to the perfect coffee carrying companion, you have to think about more than just the trendy brand or whether the cup has a handle. The primary purpose of taking your coffee with you in a specially designed mug is so that you can finish it before it gets cold, and without having to chug it.

Not only that, but you don’t want to waste your perfectly brewed coffee, do you? The longer it stays hot, the more likely you’ll be able to finish it—not to mention, enjoy it—instead of dumping it down the break room sink when you get to work.

So regardless of the name emblazoned on your it, the pretty colors it comes in, or the fact that it fits perfectly in your car’s cup holder, if your travel mug isn’t keeping your coffee hot for long enough to get you from Point A to Point B, it’s time to toss it and get one that actually works.

The Science of Keeping Your Coffee Hot

To understand the best way to keep your coffee hot, you first have to understand what makes your coffee cold. To do that, you’ll need to think back to high school physics. Hey, you know making coffee is just as much science as it is art.

Conduction is when objects of different temperatures touch, like when the molecules in a hot cup of coffee collide with the molecules of air at room temperature. The faster, hotter molecules transfer their energy to the slower, cooler molecules. That’s why the air just above your coffee feels warmer than the air away from your coffee. Pretty cool, huh? (No pun intended. OK, maybe a little intended.)

When you pour a cup of joe, you expose your hot coffee molecules to the colder air molecules, not to mention the cooler molecules making up whatever vessel you’re pouring it into. The more exposure your coffee has, the more quickly it cools.

Bonus Heating Tip

You can fight conduction by heating the vessel you’re pouring your coffee into. Simply give your travel mug or coffee cup a quick hot water rinse. This warms the sides of your mug and reduces the amount of heat lost to conduction.

Just Stick it in a Vacuum

Designing heat-retaining coffee cups—especially travel mugs—is a compelling problem. Unless you’ve got a real hankering for iced coffee, you want your favorite caffeinated beverage to be hot no matter when you take a sip.

It might sound like fluff, but the vacuum insulation found in many travel mugs is the result of some really neat science. Instead of relying on the conductivity of the mug’s material to retain heat, vacuum insulation removes a large element of heat transfer by taking out the air between its metal layers.

It’s basically a layer of molecule-less space between your coffee and the colder air around it. Of course, your typical vacuum-insulated travel mug will not have a vacuum-sealed lid—it would be much harder to get to your coffee if that were the case—but it still slows down the cooling process.

That’s why vacuum-insulated mugs are your best bet for keeping your coffee hot.

The Best Travel Mugs

We’re all in favor of a mug that can keep your coffee hot for as long as possible. But if it’s not your style or in your budget, you can always check out travel containers that match your coffee-drinking speed. If you gulp more than you sip (we don’t judge), a less expensive insulated mug might be a better option for you.

But if you’re the kind of person who gets so wrapped up in something, you forget your coffee is there, or you have a long commute in the morning, you definitely need a next-level travel mug.

Quick Summary

LEXO Temperature Mug with Luxury Slide Seal Lid
  • Cools your coffee to the optimal drinking temperature in just two minutes
  • Can both store and release large amounts of energy
  • Maintains the perfect temperature for up to eight hours
Check on Amazon →
TOMIC Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug
  • Keeps your coffee above 120°F (48°C) for up to 12 hours
  • Lid flips open for easy access
  • Resists rust, mold, and punctures
Check on Amazon →
Zojirushi Stainless Steel Travel Mug
  • Keeps your coffee hot for up to six hours
  • Locking lid prevents wasteful coffee spills
  • Two-step release process so you don’t get splashed with condensation
Check on Amazon →
Contigo Autoseal West Loop Travel Mug
  • Keeps your coffee hot for up to five hours
  • Leak and spill proof lid
  • Dishwasher safe
Check on Amazon →
Bubba Hero HT Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug
  • Keeps your coffee warm for up to six hours
  • Silicone base to keep your tumbler from sliding
  • Low maintenance
Check on Amazon →
Ello Cole Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug
  • Keeps your coffee warm for up to five hours
  • Easy, leak-free drinking
  • Top-rack dishwasher safe
Check on Amazon →
Contigo SnapSeal Byron Travel Mug
  • Keeps your coffee warm for up to six hours
  • Pop the top to drink and snap it shut when you’re done
  • Easy to manage the stainless steel mug with just one hand
Check on Amazon →
NiftyCORE Bamboo Leak-Proof Travel Mug
  • Keeps your coffee warm for hours without disrupting your style
  • Protects your hands from heat and cold
  • Strainer is made from bamboo
Check on Amazon →
Bubba HERO Elite Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug
  • Keeps your coffee warm for up to six hours with no condensation
  • Silicone textured grip and skid proof base
  • Ceramic inside coating
Check on Amazon →
Stanley Adventure Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug
  • Keeps your coffee hot for up to three hours
  • Will not rust
Check on Amazon →
Ello Campy Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug
  • Keeps your coffee hot for up to five hours
  • Soft grip on the handle
  • Top-rack dishwasher safe
Check on Amazon →

LEXO Temperature Mug with Luxury Slide Seal Lid

ThermAvant Technologies has no chill when it comes to keeping your coffee hot. Their LEXO Temperature travel mug is made with material developed by Hongbin Ma, a University of Missouri professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. The material cools your coffee to 140°F (60°C)—the optimal drinking temperature—in just two minutes.

No, it’s not an electric mug. It uses phase-change material—which means it can both store and release large amounts of energy—and advanced heat transfer to maintain that perfect temperature for up to eight hours.

The mug is made with triple-walled stainless steel and insulates both hot and cold beverages. It’s also dishwasher safe. It’s definitely a more expensive mug, but the technology and the promise of hot coffee is well worth the price.

TOMIC Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug

This UK-based company prides itself on craftsmanship, which is probably why this vacuum-insulated travel mug has eight layers. The outer stainless steel layer is covered by rubber electrolytic grinding and a paint coating on one side of the insulation. On the inside, you’ll find microwave copper plating, more stainless steel, and another electrolytic grinding layer for extra heat-trapping power.

All told, the TOMIC can keep your coffee above 120°F (48°C) for up to 12 hours. The lid flips open for easy access and comes apart for even easier cleaning. The mug itself is made to resist rust, mold, and punctures so it can serve you piping hot coffee longer. It’s available in four solid colors, and four seasonal prints.

Zojirushi Stainless Steel Travel Mug

In addition to its stainless steel vacuum insulation, the Zojirushi’s locking lid prevents wasteful coffee spills. The lid also has a two-step release process so you don’t get surprise—and hot—condensation splashed in your face when you open your mug for a drink.

You can easily take the stopper apart for more thorough cleaning, plus the interior is coated with nonstick material. It can keep your coffee hot for up to six hours, so not as crazy-long as the LEXO, but still a pretty good stretch. Choose one of seven beautiful colors.

Contigo Autoseal West Loop Travel Mug

It might look like a regular travel mug, but the Contigo Autoseal West Loop is designed for the klutz in all of us. The lid is leak and spill proof. You just have to push a button to drink (easily done with one hand) and it have an extra lid lock for good measure.

The lid is dishwasher safe (top rack only), but if you get one of the 15 colors available, you’ll have to wash the insulated mug by hand or the paint will peel. The plain stainless steel version is completely dishwasher safe, though. No matter the color, it’ll keep your coffee hot for up to five hours, and absolutely will not spill or leak. Go ahead. Toss it in your purse and head out the door.

Bubba Hero HT Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug

Dishwasher safe and vacuum insulated? Yup. If you’re looking for low-maintenance and hot coffee, you’ve found your solution. The Bubba HT can keep your coffee warm for up to six hours, plus it has a silicone base to keep your tumbler from sliding around in the car, or anywhere else.

The lid isn’t too fancy, but it gets the job done. It clicks shut to prevent leaks and flips open easily, and the mug is available in two colors. The slender design also means this stainless steel travel mug can fit most cup holders.

Ello Cole Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug

Stylish, vacuum insulated, and completely top-rack dishwasher safe. There’s a lot to love in Ello’s Cole Mug. It has a built-in cork composite coaster base for a rustic look with a practical application—protecting surfaces and keeping your mug from sliding.

The Cole comes in four color combos, fits most cup holders, and has a patented slider lid for easy, leak-free drinking. Best of all, your coffee can stay warm for up to five hours.

Contigo SnapSeal Byron Travel Mug

If a self-closing lid isn’t your style, Contigo’s SnapSeal Byron travel mug is another option. But as long as the lid is closed, you don’t have to worry about leaks. You just pop the top to drink and snap it shut when you’re done.

Like the West Loop, the Byron can keep your coffee hot almost all day—up to six hours. It has a nice grip around its circumference, making it easy to manage the stainless steel mug with just one hand. It comes in two colors, and plain stainless steel.

NiftyCORE Bamboo Leak-Proof Travel Mug

Between a double-wall vacuum insulation and a zen bamboo shell, the NiftyCORE Bamboo thermos can keep your coffee warm for hours without disrupting your style. The exterior surface is designed to protect your hands from heat and cold, so you’ll never get an accidental burn from a too-hot mug.

It comes with a strainer too, if you take a break for a cup of tea. (Not that we think it’s likely, but the option is there. We guess.) And if you’re concerned about the environment, bamboo is an eco-friendly, sustainable material.

Bubba HERO Elite Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug

Stainless steel can be good at trapping heat … and the stale taste of your last cup of coffee if you don’t clean it thoroughly. The Bubba Hero Elite has a ceramic coating on the inside of the insulated mug so you don’t have to worry about any lingering ghosts of coffees past.

It has a silicone textured grip for a firm handhold on your mug, plus the same skid-proof base as the Hero HT. The insulation helps keep your coffee warm for up to six hours with no condensation, perfect if you’re looking to avoid any extra mess. Choose either stainless steel with black accents, or the all-black model.

Stanley Adventure Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug

So it’s not really a coffee mug unless it has a handle, huh? No problem. The Stanley Adventure travel mug has you covered. It even has a D-ring to clip to your bag, or your belt loop if you’re feeling brave and you decide to take it with you on a hike.

The stainless steel, vacuum-insulated travel mug won’t rust, and it can keep your coffee hot for up to three hours. And in case you’re wondering, yes, this is the same Stanley brand that’s been around since 1913, and is known for its sturdy tools.

Ello Campy Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug

Like the Ello Cole, the Campy blends style and science. This vacuum-insulated, stainless steel travel mug is reminiscent of a classic speckled campfire mug, except with more room for coffee and a soft grip on the handle provided by cork lining.

The leak-proof slider lid is top-rack dishwasher safe, but they recommend you stick with hand washing on the tumbler. It’s a little extra work, but worth it for the vintage style that keeps your coffee hot for up to five hours.

Keep Your Coffee Hotter Longer

Remember: the key to keeping your coffee hot while traveling is limiting exposure to cooler air. Invest in a vacuum-insulated mug, and keep the lid shut when you’re not sipping.

If your coffee is too hot, taking the lid off for a minute or three will do the trick (unless you’re looking at the LEXO, since it cools your coffee for you). Just don’t forget to close it back up once you’ve hit your prime drinking temperature.

Add any of these mugs to your coffee travel kit, and never suffer through another road trip with lukewarm coffee.

Happy Caffeinating!

Recommended Reading

Dutch Coffee: A Cold Brew Mystery with History

Maybe you have seen the term Dutch Coffee linked to odd contraptions at your local coffee shop. Or perhaps you’ve seen them mentioned when we talk about how coffee arrived in other regions. Read on to discover the Netherland’s influence on global coffee culture and the answer to what exactly is “Dutch Coffee.”

Ethiopian Coffee: Birthplace of the Beans

Let’s take a trip to the birthplace of our favorite drink! This guide will cover Ethiopian Coffee and give you everything from brand recommendations to some history on the beans grown there.

How to Make Coffee While Camping

Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you have to completely rough it and go without your daily caffeine. Water, heat, coffee, and a few easy methods, and you’re all set.

Cuban Coffee: A Rich Coffee with a Richer History

Want something that has the delightful bitterness of a rich espresso with just a hint of sweetness? Or maybe you just want something with a story behind it. Believe it or not, you can have it all. It’s called Cuban Coffee, and it might just be the drink you’re looking for.

The Ultimate Guide to Guatemalan Coffee

One of the most influential coffee growers and exporters in the world, Guatemala is a gold-mine for coffee farmers. It’s warm, wet, high elevation climate is ideal for creating some of the most delicious coffee beans on the market today.

Dominican Republic Coffee

Interested in doing some research on where some of your delicious coffee beans come from? They’re probably from the Dominican Republic. We’ve got all the information you need on coffee from this unique country, right here.

Learn to Make Barista-Level Coffee From The Comfort of Your Home

The Home Barista Coffee Course 14-lesson video course about brewing consistently amazing coffee at home. Stream or download the entire course to learn how to make coffee as good as your local barista for a fraction of the cost.

Travel mugs, also known as reusable coffee cups, have become increasingly popular recently, as we become more aware of the effects single-use options have on the environment. Some coffee shops even offer a discount on their drinks if you present your own cup, instead of taking one of theirs.

So while a travel mug might cost the equivalent of a week’s worth of morning commute coffees, you’ll start to earn your money back over time – while also knowing you’re doing your bit to help reduce unnecessary waste.

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But which one should you go for, and what features – and designs – and worth looking out for?

How to buy the best travel coffee mug for you

Toughness and a locking lid are key here, unless you want to find mysterious puddles of coffee in the bottom of your bag or worse, seeping through the keyboard of your laptop. While we can forgive a throwaway paper cup from disintegrating, a travel coffee mug should be solidly built and with a secure locking mechanism.

Stainless steel is a popular option for travel coffee mug, as it will shrug off much of what your daily commute has to throw at it.

Next up is the mug’s thermal qualities. A cheaper option designed to keep your morning coffee hot for an hour of so will be perfect for the commute, as you can easily grab a refill when you get to the office. But if you plan on taking a hot beverage further afield, you should consider a thermos option, as these claim to keep their contents hot – or cold, if that’s what you’re after – for hours on end. Handy if you find yourself stuck up a mountain on a weekend hike gone awry.

Then you’ll want to consider the design and size of your travel coffee mug. Yes, aesthetics shouldn’t really matter, but when you’re using something every day you will probably want it to look nice – as well as being easy to hold and store in your bag.

Many come in a range of colours too, helping you stand out from the crowd, or fit right in with the masses, whichever you prefer.

Our pick of the best travel coffee mugs to buy today

1. S’well Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug 340ml

This one is S’well good (sorry)


Best for: Traveling light Capacity: 340ml / 11.5oz Material: Stainless steel Dishwasher safe: No

Reasons to buy

+Compact size+Wide range of colours and finishes+Ergonomic shape

Reasons to avoid

-More expensive than others

The S’well travel mug is available in a wide range of sizes, colours and finishes. But for this article we’ve opted for the smaller 340ml model, in a blue/grey colour called Night Sky.

This mug offers a travel-friendly size with an ergonomic design and a wide mouth making it easy to insert ice to cool or fruit to infuse with. There’s no official word on how long this mug keeps your drinks hot or cold, but owners report they get in the region of four to five hours of heat, and 24 hours of cold. The former isn’t a huge amount, but given it carries a smaller amount we can’t see this being a complete deal-breaker.

The travel flask is triple-walled for a condensation-free exterior, so your hands (and the contents of your bag) stay nice and dry.

2. Contigo Autoseal West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug

Stays sealed shut and keeps your drink piping hot until you need it

Best for: Keeping drinks hot Capacity: 470ml / 16.5oz Material: Stainless steel Dishwasher safe: Lid, yes +Vacuum insulation for super-hot drinks+Leak-proof and spill-proof -Quite pricey

We love the sleek shape and shiny finish of this travel coffee mug, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about the performance – and the performance is very good indeed.

Its autoseal technology locks firmly when not in use with the slide of a button, and when “on”, you push the button to drink, ensuring your brew will never go anywhere unless you absolutely want it to. The big selling point is its insulation: it keeps hot drinks hot for 4 hours, and cold drinks cold for a whopping 12. A great all-rounder that’ll last forever and looks pretty good too.

3. Thermos Stainless King Travel Tumbler, Midnight Blue, 470 ml

We’ve heard the phrase “strong and stable” a lot recently, but this time it’s for real

Best for: Strength Capacity: 470ml / 16.5oz Material: Stainless steel Dishwasher safe: No +Keeps hot drinks hot for hours+Strong and stable -Tricky to use while driving

From iconic brand Thermos, this stainless steel travel coffee mug is the last word in knock-proof, shock-proof, incredibly stable drink transportation. As well as being durable enough to get knocked around in a pack, not one leak or dribble gets past its sealing lid, even when turned upside down, and it keeps contents hot for hours on end – for those reasons, we think it’s the best travel mug for walking and hiking.

If you’re more of a tea drinker, you’ll be pleased to hear it also comes with a tea hook for holding bags and loose-leaf infusers, so char lovers needn’t feel left out.

4. Mighty Mug Go – The Travel Mug That Won’t Fall Over (0.47 Litre), Red

With unparalleled stability and a considerable capacity, this is truly a mighty mug

Best for: Stability Capacity: 470ml / 16.5oz Material: Plastic Dishwasher safe: Yes +Completely un-knock-over-able+Large capacity -Doesn’t stay hot for long

Touted as the world’s first unspillable travel coffee mug, we’re almost disappointed that the Mighty Mug Go makes good on its promise – many have tried, King Arthur-like, to be the ones to knock it over, but none have succeeded.

As such, it’s amazingly good for bumpy car rides or for use in the vicinity of excitable children. It won’t keep your tea or coffee as hot as other mugs will, but for a caffeine injection on short trips, that you won’t accidentally elbow over while rifling through your bag, it’s a winner.

5. Double Y 500ml Insulated Vacuum Flask

For those who drink coffee by the pint

Best for: Large capacity Capacity: 500ml / 17.5oz Material: Stainless steel Dishwasher safe: No +Huge capacity+Striking design in various colours+Keeps drinks hot/cold for eight hours -Too big for some

For when only a half-litre of coffee will do, we present this 500ml insulated vacuum flask from Double Y. That’s just shy of a whole pint, which should keep you going all day – and it’ll stay hot (or cold, if that’s what you’re aiming for) for eight whole hours.

The flask is made from stainless steel and is available in four different colours; red, black, champagne gold, and blue. The mug’s screw lid mechanism is claimed to be unique, and guarantees a completely leak-free design. It is also designed to be spill-proof and usable with one hand.

6. Corkcicle Tumbler 355ml

A brilliant compact travel coffee mug with triple-layer insulation

Best for: Compact insulation Capacity: 355ml / 12.5oz Material: Stainless steel Dishwasher safe: No +Triple insulation+Compact design+Sip lid -Not ideal for large volumes

If you’re looking for a compact travel mug, this 355ml tumbler from Corkcicle is the one for you. It’s perfect for enjoying your morning coffee, and includes a clear, sliding spill-resistant lid so you can take it on the go, wherever you go. It’s ideal for lattes, hot tea, milk, mixed drinks and more. It features triple insulated stainless steel, which can keep your drinks cold for nine hours or hot for three hours.

7. Contigo Byron Travel Mug

Huge capacity, and good value to boot

Best for: Value for money Capacity: 590ml / 20.7oz Material: Stainless steel Dishwasher safe: Yes +Huge+Good value for money+Unique reservoir spout releases more aroma -Could well be too big for many

Measuring in at almost 600ml, this stainless steel travel coffee mug by Contigo is huge, and represents great value for money. Not only does it have a larger capacity than most, but it also claims to keep hot drinks hot for seven hours, and cold drinks cold for 20 hours.

A unique leak-proof lid presents any scolding spillages, and a reservoir spout is claimed to offer more flow control while pouring, and releases more of the drink’s aroma. The lid pivots back for easy cleaning, and is dishwasher-safe.

The two colour option son offer are ‘Vivacious’ – a red/pink metallic – and ‘Monaco’, which we’re going to call blue.

8. Luckyberg Insulated Vacuum Travel Mug

Vacuum-seal technology keeps drinks hot for six hours

Best for: Heat retention Capacity: 480 ml / 16.9oz Material: Stainless steel Dishwasher safe: No +Keeps drinks hot for six hours+Claimed to be truly leak-proof+Fit in most car cup holders -Could be too large for some

This large 480ml insulated travel coffee mug is claimed to keep your hot drinks hot – or cold drinks cold – for up to size hours, thanks to its double-waller, vacuum-sealed construction. The mug is also claimed to be truly leak-proof, and has a BPA-free lid and food-grade steel construction, so there’s no chance of chemicals working their way into your drink.

Although boasting a large capacity, this mug is tall and thin, so should fit in most car cup holders – as well as the drinks pouches of backpacks – without a problem.

A touch stainless steel body means it should hold up well no matter where you take it.

9. The Rice Way Travel Mug

Transport your coffee the right way the help of these eco-friendly biodegradable cups

Best for: Eco-friendly Capacity: 400ml / 14oz Material: Rice husk Dishwasher safe: Yes +Biodegradable +Eco-friendly – Doesn’t look great

Their marketing materials might be incredibly over-the-top (you’re probably not going to get radiation sickness from a ceramic mug), but The Rice Way have a right to be smug.

This eco-friendly reusable coffee cup doesn’t just keep your coffee hot without burning your hands, it’s also fully biodegradable and made from renewable rice husk, a by-product of processing rice. If you like to do your bit for the environment or would rather avoid BPA-containing plastics, give this a go.

10. Kooyi Vacuum Insulated Travel Coffee Mug

If you only have one hand free, make this bottle your go-to

Best for: Best-looking Capacity: 460ml / 16oz Material: Stainless steel Dishwasher safe: No +Looks great+One-hand opening -Lid gets in the way

With its sleek design and range of unexpected colours – there’s no silver in sight, and we’re especially taken with the jet black option. This is a travel coffee mug that both looks the part and does the job.

The flip-up one-handed opening is helpful for on the go, and the safety locking mechanism guarantees it leak-proof, even when chucked in a bag. If you are looking for a travel mug to use in the car whilst driving, this is the one.

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Best travel mugs: Our pick of the toughest, spill-free, insulated travel mugs from £10

Whatever your planned travels, an insulated travel mug makes for a wise investment. Maybe you’re trekking through a jungle and want some ice-cold water. Or maybe you’re walking in the Himalayas and want to warm up with some piping hot coffee. Or maybe you’re on a country walk and simply fancy a cup of tea with your picnic. But it’s important that you invest in a good one, that is. You don’t want one that leaves your hot beverage lukewarm at best.

Insulated mugs can seem expensive in comparison to standard travel mugs. If you’re thinking about using one on your daily commute, you might find it hard to justify spending what might be ten times as much as an Americano from your local coffee shop. But do a bit more thinking, and you’ll see how walking out of your door already holding a coffee will save you many more pounds in the long run. Plus, you’ll avoid those annoying queues.

Read our guide to buying the perfect travel mug below and then scroll down for our pick of the best options.

How to buy the best travel mug for you

How much do I need to spend?

Travel mugs vary in price from a couple of quid up to over £30 and, generally speaking, you get what you pay for. If you only need a travel mug for occasional use, you can make do with a standard option for less than a tenner, but if you want to use it every day for outdoor activities or on your commute, you’ll want something that promises to perform in terms of heat retention, spill protection and robustness.

What features should I look out for?

Look out for features such as autoseal, lockable lids and easy-to-clean materials, as these are what set the best travel mugs apart from the cheaper options. If you need a mug that keeps drinks hot (or cold) for longer, you’ll need a double-wall, vacuum-insulated option, preferably constructed in stainless steel.

Again, you will always pay more for stainless steel, but it’s worth it if heat retention is a priority. If you have a tendency to drop things, it’s also wise to choose a mug that’s easy to grip. If you can’t quite allow yourself to part with over £20 for what’s essentially a coffee cup, opt for the next best composition, but ensure that the mug is double-walled.

Does it matter which size of mug I buy?

If you’ll be travelling by car with your mug, ensure you find a travel mug that fits a regular drinks holder and can be picked up with one hand. Travel mugs generally come in two sizes: around 360ml and around 470ml. The large options are perfect for carrying water or soup, but if it’s only ever going to be tea or coffee, you may want to get a smaller size, which fits better in your hand and under single-serve coffee machines.

The best travel mugs to buy

1. Camelbak Forge Vacuum Travel Mug 473ml: Best for features

Price: £22 | Buy now from Amazon

This travel mug may have a high price tag but it’s worth every penny. It keeps drinks hot for up to six hours, thanks to a double vacuum-insulated stainless steel wall, and the one-handed, intuitive self-sealing cap makes it easy to drink on the go.

It’s also proved impressively watertight. Slightly frilly features include the strangely dubbed “aroma bowl”, which, according to the manufacturer, allows for a “superior drink interface”. This basically means you can test your drink’s temperature by allowing a small amount to be released.

The easy-clean cap puts function back to the fore, however, as it simply pulls out to be rinsed under the tap. This makes it perfect for non-fussy users happy with a quick rinse. It also features a plastic cap underneath to minimise the ill effects of a breakage to the main body of the mug. The finger loop is surprisingly handy too for when your hands are full.

2. Thermos Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Double Wall 470ml: Best for hot drinks

Price: £17 | Buy now from Amazon

If you need to keep a drink hot for up to eight hours, look no further. Of all the mugs here, the Thermos retains its optimum temperature for the longest.

This is thanks to its vacuum-insulated, stainless steel wall that stays cool to the touch even after boiling water is poured into it. According to the manufacturer, drinks will stay hot for five hours and cool for nine, but consumer reviews on Amazon claim drinks stay hot for far longer – even eight hours or more. It also features a slow flow option, which proves pretty handy when your coffee is still steaming hot after a few hours. The lockable seal makes it ideal for long train journeys without any worries about spillages; a nice additional touch is the teabag holder.

The only real drawback is that it doesn’t fit into all standard car drinks holders – a considerable compromise given the price.

3. Contigo Autoseal West Loop Stainless Travel Mug 470ml: Best for long commutes

Price: £28 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re looking for a travel mug that has some frills but promises no spills, then this clever travel mug may be your new best friend. In their locked positions, none of the mugs on this list will leak, but this one has the added advantage of having the best autoseal. Liquid is only released when your finger presses the button, so if you drop it mid-sip, it would seal up, without you losing a drop of precious early-morning coffee.

Its easy-to-clean lid doesn’t have any loose parts and it can keep drinks cool for an impressive 12 hours. It’s also one of the best-looking mugs out there.

This is a great choice for those with a bumpy journey to work… or butterfingers.

4. Stanley Classic One Hand Vacuum Mug 473ml: Best for multitaskers

Price: £22 | Buy now from Amazon

This classic, retro-inspired offering from Stanley – which has been making vacuum flasks since 1913 – is about as rugged as you can get. Available in a hammertone green and navy, the rust-proof stainless-steel finish looks the part if you like a bit of industrial chic.

The most outstanding feature on this mug is its one-handed function in the form of a push-button lid, which allows users to drink while using their other hand, whether it’s browsing on your phone or operating a pickaxe. The Stanley Classic One Hand is the best choice for multitaskers.

5. Zojirushi SM-SA 360ml Travel Mug: Best all-rounder

Price: £35 | Buy now from Amazon

The Zojirushi SM-SA hits nearly every mark and is a great all-rounder. Its stainless steel vacuum-insulated walls keep drinks hot for more than six hours, and its tough design is virtually unbreakable yet still light to carry. The mug also features a unique SlickSteel corrosion-resistant interior, a wide opening for filling and a slim design for fitting into all drinks holders. It’s also available in a choice of colours including “cinnamon gold” and “pearl pink”, and there’s a larger 480ml option. The only flaw of this otherwise-perfect travel mug is the fiddly lid system.

The mug is only leak-free when closed, and due to the difficulty of opening it, many users are likely to keep it open, thus increasing the likelihood of a spill. But once you’ve conquered the lid, this travel mug couldn’t be better for robustness, temperature retention and style. A great choice for those who like a bit of colour.

6. Oxo Good Grips Leakproof Single Serve Travel Mug 295ml: Best budget travel mug

Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

It might be smaller than your average mug but this leakproof vessel from Oxo is super-sturdy and can be opened and closed with one hand, making it a great choice for carrying coffee from A to B. Its double-wall insulation keeps drinks hot for up to five hours and three silicone seals ensure it stays completely leakproof, even if your flat white is sloshing around inside it at the bottom of your bag.

There’s a handy non-slip band around the rim, which you can detach in order to chuck all the other parts in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. A

7. S’well Stainless Steel Vacuum Bottle 500ml: Best for hot and cool beverages

Price: £24 | Buy now from Amazon

Available in a range of eye-catching designs, this sturdy and stylish bottle from S’well keeps water cool for up to 24 hours and keeps liquids hot for up to 12, thanks to its clever vacuum design and triple-walled technology. Made from BPA-free stainless steel, it serves as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic bottles but it also performs well as a travel mug to transport your hot drinks around town. It’s far from cheap but it’s well worth the money if you’re looking for a versatile drinking vessel.

8. Le Creuset Stainless Steel Travel Cup 350ml: Most stylish travel mug

Price: £25 | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

This stylish stainless steel travel mug from Le Creuset ticks all the right boxes; it’s double insulated to keep your choice of beverage piping hot, it’s vacuum-sealed to prevent unwanted spillages and has a handy silicone ring at the base to keep it stable. We’re fans of the travel mug’s nod to classic Le Creuset style with its heat-resistant Cerise, Volcanic or Marseille Blue lid and enjoy its three-stripe design which helps you to keep a firm grip on your travels. Plus, with a nifty thread line, it’s easy to see how much the mug can safely carry.

Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

The cap is smartly constructed: The handle on the top can be removed, revealing a thin circular opening that ensures controlled sipping. Nothing pours out at an extreme rate (no scalded tongue or ice cubes in the face). You can also remove the entire top of the mug, which makes it easy to pour from, and makes the travel mug easy to clean. The Polypropylene-coated stainless steel vessels come in a variety of interesting hues, so carrying your coffee around is stylish in a sustainability-focused 2019 way in the same the way that Mary Kate and Ashley with a Starbucks cup was chic in 2005. The Kinto mug is the priciest of the bunch, but worth it if you want to splurge.

BUY IT: Kinto Day Off Tumbler, $38 from Need Supply Co.

Honorable Mentions: MiiR and Stojo

The MiiR Travel Tumbler got a lot of oohs and aahs during the unboxing phase of our test. It’s sleek, bright, and incredibly comfortable to hold. What the brand calls “Thermo 3D Double Wall Vacuum Insulation Technology” essentially means that coffee stays very hot. The lid is secure. It’s almost too secure to open with ease. Still, we had no leaks and could confidently throw the travel tumbler into our bags. Another bonus with MiiR: when you buy a mug, the brand gifts a portion of revenue to a charity project that’s trackable via a code on the bottom of the mug.

BUY IT: MiiR Travel Tumbler with Flip Lid, $25 on Amazon

The Stojo mug is collapsible, which comes in handy when you’ve finished your coffee and are tired of lugging around the mug (and also don’t have a massive amount of bag space). The materials this mug is made with are less luxe and stylish. And it’s hard to say how long the silicone will hold up to years of use compared to a solid, stainless steel option. But, this mug really is really great if you want to take up as little space pre-and post-coffee as possible. Simply push down the cup and it becomes the size of a lid. Bonus: it’s also super easy to clean.

BUY IT: Stojo Collapsible Travel Mug, $15 on Amazon

How We Tested

We filled all of the mugs with piping hot water and let them sit on our desks for five hours. We then sipped from each to determine if they had retained heat. Next, we put the containers through a stress test, shaking them and tipping them up and down to see if anything leaked. Finally, we took some brisk walks to mimic the frantic conditions of a morning commute, coffee mug in hand. We did not preheat the mugs by filling them with hot water first—we figured the typical user would not do this and we wanted to see how well each mug retained heat without this step.

Factors We Evaluated

1. Does it retain heat?

We were looking for a mug that kept coffee hot—even after sitting in the mug for five hours. We didn’t measure the water temperature with a thermometer—we just sipped from the mug to determine if the coffee was still a suitable drinking temperature. We compared the various levels of heat by sipping from the mugs alongside one another.

2. Does it leak?

We wanted a coffee mug that was leak-free, even when it was jostled around, tipped upside down, and shaken around.

3. Is it easy to hold and drink from?

We didn’t want a mug that was too heavy or too big, as this would make it more difficult to carry around in transit. We considered how much you had to maneuver your mouth while drinking—we took points away from mugs that felt awkward when sipping.

4. Is it easy to clean?

Does it go in the dishwasher? Is it easy to scrub manually, including the nooks and crannies of the lid?

Other Mugs We Tested

After reading various roundups and articles online, we settled on 22 travel mugs to test for our 2019 update. We took the winning mugs from last year’s review and compared them to new mugs, mugs with updated designs, and styles we had previously overlooked. We considered mugs in various shapes and sizes that were under $50 and claimed to retain heat and prevent leaks. We wanted a stylish mug, too. Travel coffee mugs are an accessory as much as a tool.

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.

  • Bringing a reusable travel mug to the coffee shop isn’t just the sensible eco choice – it could save you money, too.

    There’s nothing quite like a soothing cup of tea or a hit of caffeine while you’re out and about but there are growing concerns about how eco-friendly takeaway cups are. The interior coating of plastic on cardboard cups means they’re not easily recyclable, while many of them are single use paper, meaning hundreds of trees can be felled to create a product that is used for the few minutes it takes the drink the contents. In the UK alone billions of single use takeaway cups go landfill each year.

    A recent government report encouraged the use of reusable coffee cups and called on businesses to do more to ensure that the hard-to-recycle cups are phased out to be replaced with ones that are eco-friendly. This in turn has resulted in a growing market for reusable travel mugs, from relatively cheap reusable coffee cups made from eco-friendly bamboo to thermos cups and even ceramic travel mugs.

    Whichever of the eco coffee cup alternative you can choose, it’ll end up paying for itself if you’re a big takeaway fan as many coffee shops and cafes are now rewarding customers who want to take their own travel mug with them with discounted drinks.

    How we selected and tested the best travel mugs

    We tested a number of reusable cups to find the best travel mugs for your needs. We looked at a variety materials, from glass and ceramic to bamboo and steel, and tested different sizes and weights, plus reviewed how heavy each cup was to fill and carry, whether it was insulating, how pleasant it was to drink from and how easy to clean to ensure we found a cup to suit everyone.

    Overall best travel mug 2019: w&h’s verdict

    W&H’s best buy: Stanley Classic Trigger Action Travel Mug Mug, £32.99

    For sheer durability, our best travel mug was the vacuum mug by Stanley, as even when dropped, it will instantly close to keep drink from spilling. It’s at the pricey end of the scale, but will last you years, possibly decades if well looked after.

    SHOP NOW: Stanley Classic Trigger Action Travel Mug, £32.99, Amazon

    W&H’s star buy: Smidge travel cup, £13.99

    Our favourite coffee cup-style reusable cup was the Smidge as it had the look of a traditional cup with all the leak-proof, keep-warm benefits of a vacuum flask. At less than £15 it’s brilliant value too, hence it being our star buy in our best travel mug edit.

    SHOP NOW: Smidge Travel Cup, £13.99, from Amazon

    The best travel mugs you can buy

    Here are the ten best travel mugs you can buy, including full detailed reviews of each.

    If you want a large capacity cup head to numbers 2 and 9, both of which are the largest travel mugs to make our edit at 16ozs each. If being lightweight is more important to you then number 10 will be of interest, which at only 143g, feels like a feather in the hand and yet is still a full size cup. Compact more crucial? Then entry 8 is for you. It made the best travel mug edit because of it’s ingenious collapsible design.

    1. Travel Mug, Tefal, £20, Best stainless steel travel mug

    This 360ml – or 120z – travel mug is more of a flask than a cup but is pretty easy and comfortable to sip from nonetheless. It claims to be completely leak-proof and it certainly kept its contents to itself when we took it for a walk stashed carelessly away in a bag. While it was our second heaviest cup, unfilled it was 386g, it holds a lot, meaning you get more coffee bang for your buck. As with other thermos flasks, the keep-warm facility is helped by rinsing it with warm water – or cold if you want to keep your drink cool – before it’s filled. It’ll keep coffee or tea drinkable for at least four hours and will keep water or soft drinks cold for up to eight hours. The top unscrews to reveal a wide mouth that means it’s easy to fill, then simply screw the lid back on and off you go. When you want to drink you just push down the central button. It comes in stylish black or bold red and has a silicone outer that provided a secure grip. It’s also dishwasher safe, which means cleaning is a doddle and there’s a Grande version for those who like to go even larger.

    Weight: 386g

    Capacity: 12oz or 360ml

    Dishwasher safe: yes

    Rating: 4 out of 5

    SHOP NOW: Tefal Travel Mug, £20, from John Lewis.

    2. Stainless King travel mug, Thermos, £23.27, Best travel mug with a handle

    You’ll never have a problem getting to grips with this 470ml cup as, unlike many we tested, it had a solid handle by which to grasp it. Coming in several colours including on-trend Copper, a bold Red and Midnight Blue, it looks stylish, too. It also promises to keep hot drinks that way for up to eight hours, the longest of all the double-walled insulating mugs we tried. It feels comfortable in the hand and it’s a quick turn to open and pleasant to drink from, particularly on the go. Do be aware, though, that as with other double-walled mugs, once they are closed they keep the drink hot – we mean really, really hot – so be careful not to burn your mouth. It’s leak-proof, too, so the inside of our bag wasn’t troubled by hot coffee spilling out, even when we were forced, rather ungainly, to run for the train. For tea lovers, it also features a clever tea-bag hook in the lid, so you never have to dig it out with your fingers. While it is the heaviest of the mugs we tried, coming in at 531g unfilled, we felt it was worth the extra weight for how long it kept our drink hot.

    Weight: 531g

    Capacity: 16oz or 470ml

    Dishwasher safe: no

    Rating: 4.5 out of 5

    SHOP NOW: Thermos Stainless King travel mug, £23.27, from Amazon

    3. Travel Cup, Smidge, £13.99, Best leak proof travel mug

    This might look like a traditional reusable cup but, unlike most others, the makers claim it’s 100% leak-proof. While the mug, which comes in a range of bold shades is, actually fairly light compared to some, it does have a double wall thermal inner that keeps drinks hot – or cold – for several hours. A nice touch is measurements marked on the inside of the cup to show your barista where to fill for your favourite eight or 12oz brew. Made from 18/10 stainless steel it weighs just 268g unfilled and features a screw-on lid with a silicone seal that, despite us trying quite hard, helped this cup live up to its maker’s boasts of it being totally leak-proof. We rather nervously popped it in our bag in the morning but needn’t have worried as the bag was as dry as a bone when we got home later that day. The contents stayed hot for a long time, too and several hours after we’d filled it, it was still warm enough for it to be pleasant to drink.

    Weight: 268g

    Capacity: 12oz or 355ml

    Dishwasher safe: no

    Rating: 4.5 out of 5

    SHOP NOW: Smidge Travel Cup, £13.99, from Amazon

    4. Vacuum Travel Press, Bodum, £23.99, Best travel mug for fresh coffee lovers

    While this 12oz insulated travel flask only admits to being spill-proof rather than leak-proof, and should be always carried upright, it does have a few other things going for it that we think make it a good investment for a freshly brewed coffee lover. Firstly, it’s not just any old drinks cup. Oh no, this one has a filter piston that essentially turns the flask into a cafetiere – or teapot depending on your taste – meaning you don’t even have to buy fresh coffee while you’re out, let alone single-use cups. It also comes with an extra lid, which we found handy once we’d finished our hot drink and wanted to fill the flask with water for the journey home. Both spouts are pleasant to drink from but do be aware if black coffee is your tipple because, as we found out to our cost, it stays searing hot for quite some time and was still hot to drink several hours after we first made it. It’s dishwasher safe on the top rack and there are several colours of top and silicone outer to choose from.

    Weight: 563g

    Capacity: 12oz or 350ml

    Dishwasher safe: yes

    Rating: 4 out of 5

    SHOP NOW: Bodum Vacuum Travel Press, £23.99, from John Lewis

    5. Reusable 12oz Glass Coffee Cup, KeepCup, £15, Best glass coffee cup

    Available in many colours, sizes and materials, the KeepCup is the world’s first barista-standard reusable cup, fitting under coffee machines making it ideal for coffee-lovers on the go. Environmentally friendly, the one we tested is made from durable, toughened soda lime glass and BPA-free and BPS-free plastic. The cup, lid and lid plug are all recyclable at the end of the product’s life. We liked the simple look of the black and glass combo and it’s pleasant to drink from both the plastic lid, or if you prefer, from the glass itself. All the parts are dishwasher safe if put on the top rack. While it doesn’t claim to be leak proof – and it isn’t – we did tip it over a couple of times and when the flip mechanism plug is closed it seems to make it fairly spill-proof, ensuring you don’t end up with coffee all over your desk if you accidentally knock it over.

    Weight: 260g

    Capacity: 12oz or 340ml

    Dishwasher safe: yes

    Rating: 4 out of 5

    SHOP NOW: KeepCup Reusable 12oz Glass Coffee Cup, £15, from John Lewis

    6. Kenzai Cup, Yum Asia, £9.90, Best travel mug made from bamboo

    It might not be the best looking of the reusable cups we tried but this light – 220g unfilled – 100% organic, 14oz reusable mug is made from one of the world’s most sustainable resources – natural bamboo fibre. While there are quite a few bamboo mugs available, we particularly liked this one’s bamboo screw, rather than push-on silicone, lid. This meant there were fewer spills and makes almost the whole thing, apart from the silicone sleeve and stopper, biodegradable. So, after a few years you can just add it to your compost heap! It did drip a very small amount from the spout seal after giving it a vigourous shake, so we probably wouldn’t trust it in our bag, but in testing we found it was much less leaky than some others.

    Weight: 220g

    Capacity: 14oz or 400ml

    Dishwasher safe: yes

    Rating: 3.5 out of 5

    SHOP NOW: Yum Asia Kenzai Cup, £9.90 at Amazon

    7. Hand-thrown travel cup, Libby Ballard Ceramics, £28, Best travel mug made from ceramics

    If you want to replace single-use cups when you’re travelling but prefer something more traditional, then a handmade ceramic cup is a good choice. The tightly fitting silicone lid of this hand-crafted tumbler creates a good seal, making sure that, as long as the cup is kept upright, it’s pretty spill proof. Because it’s handmade, the colours and shapes of this 400ml (about 14oz) cup will vary a touch but we think that simply adds to its beauty. While it’s not the lightest we tested at 340g it’s not the heaviest either and it does look good and is very pleasant to drink from, whether you’re travelling or sitting at your desk. We loved the pretty thick cotton fabric band that sits over a silicone ring to prevent your hand from burning, and each cup comes with a choice of band colours and a grey silicone lid. Being ceramic, it’s completely dishwasher safe, just like any other cup, although remember to take of the material grip first.

    Weight: 340g

    Capacity: 14oz or 400ml

    Dishwasher safe: yes

    Rating: 3.5 out of 5

    SHOP NOW: Libby Ballard Ceramics Hand-thrown travel cup, £28,

    8. Collapsible mug, £9.99, Stojo, Best travel mug that is collapsible

    For those that want to grab a coffee and go but worry about having to carry something bulky around in their bag all day, this 12oz collapsible mug is a great buy. The cup itself is made from recyclable food grade silicone, while the lid collar and heat sleeve are made from BPA-free polypropylene plastic. Available in a wide range of colours (we loved the hot pink) it’s super light but still feels sturdy unlike some other collapsible cups and it’s very pleasant to drink from. The stopper is easy to pop out one-handed, which is great if you’re walking about or on your phone. Once you’ve finished, simply remove the heat sleeve and open the stopper and collapse it up into a 5cm deep ring. The clever design means the heat sleeve simply slots in at the base, creating such a small package that you can simply pop it into your bag or even in a pocket. It’s the lightest we tried, too at just 142g unfilled. Remember though to fit the stopper back in place to prevent any drink residue in the cup dribbling out.

    Weight: 142g

    Capacity: 12oz or 355ml

    Dishwasher safe: yes

    Rating: 4 out of 5

    SHOP NOW: Stojo Collapsible Mug, £9.99, at Amazon

    9. Classic Trigger Action Travel Mug Mug, Stanley, £32.99 Best insulated travel mug

    Stanley has been making vacuum flasks for more than 100 years and has pretty much perfected the art of travel cups with this insulated steel mug, available in two sizes, 350ml and 470ml. The easy-as-you-like, leak-proof press release lid is designed so that you can hold the mug and open it to drink from and then swiftly close it with the same hand, great for multi-taskers or hikers. It also means that if you accidentally let go of it while you’re drinking, not a single drop of your precious brew will be lost. Made from 18/10 stainless steel, the 350ml/12oz model we tried keeps drinks hot, or cold, for up to 5 or 8 hours, plenty long enough for a day out in town or a hike with the dogs. It’s super tough, too, having survived conditions that include -70˚ F wind-chill, speeding bullets, 4,000ft drops and category five hurricanes – not your average jaunt to Waitrose, we’ll admit, but impressive nonetheless. The lid disassembles for cleaning and the whole thing can go in the dishwasher, too.

    Weight: 358g

    Capacity: 12oz or 350ml or 16oz or 470ml

    Dishwasher safe: yes

    Rating: 4.5 out of 5

    SHOP NOW: Stanley Classic Trigger Action Travel Mug, £32.99, Amazon

    10. Reusable Coffee Cup, DrinkPod, £11.49, Best travel mug made from plastic

    Buying a plastic reusable cup might feel a bit counter productive but even if you use it for one coffee a day for a year, then it could save more than 360 cups ending up in landfill. Of course, if you’re going to use something over and over again it has to be sturdy and good-looking enough for you to be happy to carry around. The organic curved shape of the DrinkPod appealed to us, as did the variety of colourways it comes in. We opted for Autumn, a pleasing blend of oranges and greens but there are seven other themes to try including icy Winter, cool blue Ocean and moody Storm. It holds up to 12oz, perfect for a big brew and is surprisingly light, coming in at just 143g, the lightest full size up we tried. Made from BPA free plastic – research has show that bisphenol A (BPA) can seep into beverages from containers, causing some worries about the possible health issues – with a silicone grip and rotating rubber spout, it’s dishwasher safe on the top shelf, too.

    Weight: 143g

    Capacity: 12oz or 340ml

    Dishwasher safe: yes

    Rating: 3.5 out of 5

    SHOP NOW: DrinkPod Reusable Coffee Cup, £11.49, from Amazon

    Things to consider before choosing the best travel mug for you

    Which types of travel mugs suit your needs?

    Reusable travel mugs and coffee cups come in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials.

    The most common are steel thermos-style, bamboo, plastic with glass and ceramic also available. The one you pick will clearly depend on your needs and will differ depending on where and when you’re likely to use it.

    Those needing a hit of caffeine to take them through the morning school run will not just need something that’s large enough to accommodate a 12oz skinny latte, they’ll also want to be able to fit the cup into the holder in their car and keep the drink warm enough for the duration of the trip.

    If all you want is a cup to replace your normal disposable one when you visit your high-street coffee shop then a simple bamboo or plastic cup that’s similar in shape and size will probably do.

    Standard coffee shop measurements are 8, 10 or 12oz so pick a cup that’s best for your preferred size. Buying a bigger one with measurements shown on the inside of the cup will help your barista serve you the right amount of coffee too without having to make it in a single-use cup first – something that pretty much defeats the point of taking your own.

    What’s the difference between a travel mug and a reusable coffee cup?

    A travel mug will have a leak- or spill-proof seal to ensure no liquid escapes while travelling. A reusable coffee cup will look and feel similar to a cardboard one from a coffee shop but will usually be made from recycled plastic or bamboo with a silicone lid. Some will also have a closeable drinking spout but are unlikely to be entirely leak-proof. Travel mugs are also designed to keep your drink hot – or cold – using double insulate linings, while reusable cups will keep drinks a little warmer for longer if you keep the lid on, much like a disposable cup will.

    What are the best travel mug brands?

    If you’re looking for an insulate travel cup then opt for models from brands such as Thermos, Bodum or Stanley as they’re all experts in the field. For a simple reusable cup, there many brands producing stylish and also eco products that will help you reduce your carbon footprint. However, if you want to go the extra mile and choose a cup that isn’t also made with plastic, we’re fans of new brand Smidge, with their biodegradable travel cups, which will break down in landfill in just two years. Cups made from bamboo are also a good choice as it’s a fast-growing sustainable plant and although the bamboo fibres are held together with resin, this is also biodegradable.

    Are travel mugs dishwasher safe?

    Most travel mugs and reusable coffee cups are dishwasher friendly on the top shelf, including ones made from bamboo, plastic and glass. However, ones that feature thermos linings and decorative exteriors are not recommended for use in a dishwasher as the finish will eventually come off.

    Are travel mugs good for the environment?

    It’s estimated that we throw away 2.5 billion coffee cups each year in the UK alone. That’s enough, according to a 2017 Government audit, to stretch around the planet five and a half times. While those cups are technically recyclable, it’s hard to separate the waterproofing plastic polyethylene from the cardboard outer, and the contaminating liquid they contain. Currently, there are only three plants in the country that can recycle this kind of waste, which means a staggering 99% of those 2.5 billion don’t actually end up being recycled at all. That’s all before you even consider that many of these cups aren’t even made from recycled cardboard to begin with, which results in huge amounts of deforestation every day to satisfy our growing need for coffee on the go. So, of course buying a reusing a cup is beneficial to the environment. If you use it instead of a single use cup just once a day, that could save more than 350 cups a year, per person. That’s not just the materials to make it but also the energy it takes to recycle or put into landfill, where plastic takeaway cups can last more than a 100 years.