A lot of people have go-to to-go cups: a water bottle to stay hydrated and a travel mug to stay caffeinated. Like water bottles, travel mugs are not a one size fits all solution — even if they ideally do need to fit in a standard cup holder. But there’s a lot of sizes and colors and features that set the best travel mugs apart from the rest. We turned to expert reviews to find the consensus best travel mugs most frequently recommended by testers and reviewers.
Coffee drinkers, rejoice! Not only can you now easily find one of the best travel mugs on the market below, but there’s good news about what you put inside it. Researchers found that coffee, the world’s most popular beverage, lowers the risk of heart disease and dangerous heart rhythms. The study tracked more than 400,000 people from the United Kingdom for at least a decade and revealed this benefit applies to both healthy individuals and those with cardiovascular disease.
Another healthy beverage option is tea. So much so that tea has been an integral part of traditional medicine for thousands of years and is revered as a cure-all in many Asian countries. One study showed it may be the secret ingredient for keeping your blood pressure in check. And drinking tea can also help protect brain health, improve heart health and may even prevent certain types of cancer and help you lose weight!
No matter what you put inside your cup, the five best travel mugs below aim to keep it warm — or cold — for hours on end. Whether you want a mug for commuting, camping or walking the dog, these are the five most frequent recommendations for any occasion. They’re ranked as top of the line for insulation, leak-proof capability and ease of use, among other features.
The List: Best Travel Mugs Recommended By Experts
1. Zojirushi Stainless Mug
The New York Times says this is an exceptional choice: “The Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug is an exceptional vacuum insulated travel mug that keeps beverages hot for hours, even in cold environments. It has a well-designed exterior, an easy-to-clean nonstick Teflon interior, and a foolproof lid locking mechanism. The mug is lightweight and slim. The Zojirushi is also on the pricey end, but after long-term testing, this is the mug we trust most not to spill in a bag.”
“Admittedly, sometimes choosing the ‘best’ model of a given product is a matter of extreme nuance, but in this case, it wasn’t even close. Zojirushi’s sleek travel mug was the top performer along every possible metric. After 5 hours, the liquid was still piping hot. The screw-on lid was infallible and yet easy to drink from, with a spring-loaded button that opens the lid, and a lock feature to prevent it from being jostled open when in the closed position,” CNET claims.
Good Housekeeping recommends it because it won’t leak: “Zojirushi’s travel mug with a locking lid opens with the push of a button but won’t leak or spill (even in a backpack). It will keep hot coffee hot — in fact, the brand is so confident that it offers a five-year warranty on heat retention. Iced coffee fans will appreciate that the mouth is large enough to handle big ice cubes for that extra chill. We also like the slim design, which is easy to grip and fits nicely into backpacks or totes.”
2. MiiR Flip Traveler
Wired goes with this tough choice: “The MiiR has a tough powder coating with a flip-top lid that is absolutely leak-proof. I couldn’t get one drop of liquid to escape, no matter what I did to this tumbler. It’s narrow enough to fit any cup holder, and it feels tough enough to survive years of abuse.”
CNET ranks it second and writes, “After 5 hours, it only had lost 10 degrees beyond what the Zojirushi had maintained, but this was a solid 10 degrees hotter than almost any other model on this list.”
“The MiiR Flip Travel tumbler is super-sleek, retains heat and cold really well, and never leaks. The lid screws on tight with a small piece that flips up when you take a sip then locks back in when you’re done. The temperature retention is thanks to the double-walled interior, which also means it’s never too hot or too cold to the touch. It’s stainless steel, so it washes really easily and doesn’t hold on to any flavors. You can even just throw it in the dishwasher,” according to The Strategist.
3. Contigo West Loop Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug
The Spruce Eats raves about this “hot” find of a mug: “If you’re looking for a solid, leak-proof travel mug that will keep your coffee hot for up to seven hours, look no further. Unlike other travel mugs that have a sliding lid, which is prone to leaks, the Contigo lid has a push button that opens the vacuum seal when you’re ready to drink and closes again when you release the button. In addition to hot drinks like coffee or tea, this vacuum-insulated stainless steel mug will keep drinks cold for up to 18 hours.”
Condé Nast Traveler says it’s a top-seller for a reason: “It’s got vacuum insulation to keep hot drinks hot up to five hours and cold drinks cold for up to 12 hours. The auto-seal button lock ensures the drink won’t spill or leak on bumpy car rides. It’s also a bargain at $16, and comes in an array of colors.”
The New York Times notes that this brand has you covered: “Contigo does offer a limited lifetime warranty, and sells replacement lids, should something happen to your mug.”
4. Yeti Rambler Travel Mug
CNN describes this mug as incredible: “Yeti’s Rambler Travel Mug holds 30 ounces and comes in 12 different colors. This mug stands out for many reasons, including its leak-proof lid that uses dual-slider magnet technology to stay in place. The lid also rotates with ease, making this mug perfect for right-handed or left-handed drivers. Plus, like all other Yeti products, this travel mug prioritizes heat retention (and cold), thanks to its incredible insulation.”
And Food Network wouldn’t hesitate to use it: “The YETI Rambler won top marks for its durable stainless-steel body construction, 6-hour heat retention and ease of cleaning. The manufacturer boasts its shatter-resistant construction and double-wall vacuum insulation and backs it all up with a five-year warranty. Both the lid and the body are dishwasher safe.”
For a comparison to the first three, CNET writes, “While not as hot as the above models, the liquid in the Yeti was decidedly still quite warm after 5 hours. Overall, screw-on lids tended to be more leakproof in this lineup, so Yeti’s lid wasn’t perfectly so, though little more than a dribble escaped. (But I wouldn’t be packing it among my clothing, just in case.)”
5. Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Coffee Travel Mug
Better Homes & Gardens thinks this brand will make your home better: “No leaks, great insulation, easy to hold, and easy to drink from. The Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Coffee Travel Mug excelled in all of these categories and more. While this mug is a bit larger than some we tested, holding 20 ounces of liquid, it’s easy and comfortable to hold. It has a handle as well as a slight texture for additional grip. The insulation on this mug is shockingly good … maintaining hot temps for 12 hours and staying cold for 24 hours.”
“Yes, Hydro Flask makes coffee mugs! The popular water bottle brand’s travel mug features a large opening for extra-large sips and a stainless steel interior that’ll keep your drinks hot (or cold) for hours,” The Pioneer Woman writes.
“It comes in a variety of colors, backed by the manufacturer’s color-last coating; you can also customize the design by choosing the color for the cap, strap and bottle,” says Food Network. “Overall, this mug was one of the most expensive models we tested, but its performance matches the price tag and buyers can rest easy knowing it comes with a limited lifetime warranty.”
Let us know if you’re already using one of these top-rated travel mugs in the comments! We can’t wait to hear what you think.
- The New York Times
- Good Housekeeping
- The Strategist
- The Spruce Eats
- Condé Nast Traveler
- Food Network
- Better Homes & Gardens
- The Pioneer Woman
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.
Do insulated travel mugs keep the outside cool to handle ie no heat transfer from inside? Sorry for the ignorance