It’s a wonderful visual: Drinking your morning coffee or tea on your porch, watching the sunrise. Or, if you prefer, drinking your afternoon tea while watching the snow fall peacefully in the full moon. But that’s not life, always, is it? If you’re very lucky, you get to enjoy those things from time to time, but for most of us, that’s an experience mostly saved for retirement. If you have to get kids to school, and yourself to work, or doctor’s appointments, or any of a dozen other errands, you know the value of getting that teas and coffee TO GO!
We reviewed dozens of travel mugs to identify the best of the best. We looked at the travel mugs that have a handle to simulate your relaxing cup of coffee and the vacuum-sealed tumblers that will keep your hot drinks hot and your cold drinks cold all the way to work. We found travel mugs of all type and size and those that are excellent for drinking on your relaxing mornings, too (and you can enjoy a little spill prevention with the travel features, too.) No matter what you’re looking for, we have the right travel mug for you.
If you’re looking to improve the taste of your coffee, as well, you may want to check out The Best Pour Over Coffee Makers.
The YETI Rambler Tumbler was the obvious choice as the best overall travel mug for so many reasons. Not only does it use the best quality materials, made with the best seals but it also was the travel cup to make double-walled insulation and long-lasting temperature consistency popular.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Travel Mugs
|Best Travel Mug Overall||YETI Rambler 20 oz Tumbler||4.8|
|Best Travel Coffee Mug||Thermos Stainless King 40 Ounce Beverage Bottle||4.6|
|Best Budget Travel Mug||Contigo SNAPSEAL Byron Travel Mug||4.4|
|Best Insulated Travel Mug||Tervis Colorful Insulated Tumbler with Black Lid||4.5|
|Best Ceramic Travel Mug||Spoontiques Positive Affirmations Travel Mug||4.6|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Travel Mug Overall: YETI Rambler Tumbler
The YETI Rambler Tumbler is an 18/8 stainless steel tumbler that is shatter-resistant so you won’t need to worry about dropping it – even if it falls directly on the lid. It will also maintain the temperature with the double wall insulation and is coated with a Dracut covering that won’t chip, fade, or peel, even through extended use.
The BPA and sweat-free design will make sure your hand stays dry and no temperature, hot or cold, to speak of is released. The MagnaSlide lid closes securely with magnets, keeping it locked securely and nearly spill-proof. Add all these features together and you’ll see why it’s the #1 Best Seller – it’s designed to last, and it does.
It’s hard to find a bad review on Amazon for the YETI tumbler. It isn’t cheap, that’s the only complaint you’ll see commonly enough to suspect it’s not a fluke, but when you understand how the world works, you get what you pay for and this travel mug will last you for decades. And with an overall rating of 4.8 and over 20,000 reviews, there’s definitely something to be said for the customer base’s satisfaction.
YETI Rambler Tumbler Key Features:
- 20 oz capacity
- 22 colors available
- Dishwasher safe
Best Travel Coffee Mug: Thermos Stainless King 40 Ounce Beverage Bottle
The brand Thermos has been synonymous with taking coffee to work for generations. In fact, you may very well shorten “travel mug” to “Thermos without even realizing it means the brand, like Band-Aide or Kleenex. That’s why the best travel coffee mug has to be the Thermos Stainless King 40 Ounce Beverage Bottle.
You probably already know this, but the Thermos can be used for basically any cold or hot liquids – foods included. So if you want to take your Thermos full of coffee, then that’s great, but if your preferred use is making sure you have a hearty soup still hot for lunch, then this can handle that, too. While a lot of travel mugs can handle this task, Thermos does it best with the cup lid that allows you to drink your coffee and sip your soups neatly.
It stands to reason that a product as popular as this one has a lot of ratings, so you probably won’t be surprised by the nearly 10,000 customer reviews on Amazon. What may surprise you is that that many reviews have still given it an overall rating of 4.6 stars.
Thermos Stainless King 40 Ounce Beverage Bottle Key Features:
- 6 color options
- Durable stainless steel
- Lid doubles as mug
Best Budget Travel Mug: Contigo SNAPSEAL Byron Travel Mug
The Contigo SNAPSEAL Byron Travel Mug will keep your drink hot or cold for up to nine hours, so you can keep this one drink throughout your workday. – Though you’ll probably refill it multiple times by the end, it’s still nice to know it can do that should you ever slow down on your drinks. The SnapSeal lid technology even makes it a leak-proof cup that won’t spill in your car, no matter how intense your driving in rush hour gets.
You’ll love that the lid’s drink slot is opened with the same hand as the one holding the cup, keeping you working or doing whatever you need to be doing with the other hand. Though you should hand wash the stainless steel body of this mug, the lid at least is dishwasher safe, and that’s a convenience you’ll appreciate, as well.
You can pick this travel mug up for around $8, which is an amazing value! Because of this, you may not be surprised that it’s a popular product, and with right around 30,000 customer reviews on Amazon, you can trust the 4.4-star overall rating as reliable.
Contigo SNAPSEAL Byron Travel Mug Key Features:
- 12 colors available
- 3 size options
Best Insulated Travel Mug: Tervis Colorful Insulated Tumbler with Black Lid
The Tervis Colorful Insulated Tumbler with Black Lid may just be the most recognizable when it comes to a travel mug. It may be plastic and therefore hold your beverage’s temperature a little less consistently than stainless steel or even ceramic, but the insulation does an amazing job, nonetheless. And before the double-walled stainless steel insulation technology was available for the public, the Tervis was making their distinctive, BPA-free plastic travel mugs at a reasonable price.
You may be asking yourself if the Tervis cup doesn’t keep your liquid as hot for as long, why would you ever buy one? Because coffee is hot. If you opt for a double-wall insulated stainless steel cup and pour your hot coffee fresh from the pot into your cup, you’ll still burn your tongue on the way to work trying to drink it. Tervis cups release the heat from your coffee faster than the stainless steel but still very slowly. That insulation will make sure your coffee is still hot, but it will allow it to cool to a drinkable temperature. Coffee needs to be hot to make a good brew, but if you can’t drink coffee at that scalding temperature, then you may just need a Tervis mug.
There are well over 3,500 customer reviews on Amazon and they’ve awarded the Tervis an overall rating of 4.5 star – that’s plenty enough to convince us this is a sound purchase.
Tervis Colorful Insulated Tumbler with Black Lid Key Features:
- 15 styles available
- 13 size choices
- Lid or no-lid purchase options
Best Ceramic Travel Mug: Spoontiques Positive Affirmations Travel Mug
The Spoontiques Positive Affirmations Travel Mug is a ceramic mug that will keep your coffee or tea a reasonable warm temperature without maintaining a scalding temperature. You’ll still be able to feel the warmth radiating off the mug and onto your hands when you hold the cup and the handle will keep you from burning yourself if the cup gets too hot. It’s both microwave and dishwasher safe so feel free to make your tea or hot cocoa directly in it as fast as possible and then toss it in the dishwasher right after you finish – it couldn’t be any easier!
Though you may not need the pick-me-up of the affirmations printed on this cup, there are 29 other options, so you’re sure to find something that speaks to you. Feel free to pick something that will have you smiling each morning you pick it up. Though you may stick with the hot beverages, like tea or coffee, this will keep your cold beverages a consistent temperature, as well.
Sitting on Amazon with right around 3,000 customer reviews and an overall rating of 4.6 stars, there’s every reason to take confidence that this purchase, should you choose to make it, is a solid investment.
Spoontiques Positive Affirmations Travel Mug Key Features:
- 14 oz capacity
- Double-walled insulated ceramic
- 30 style options
Who Should Buy a Travel Mug
Do you like your beverages at any temperature beyond room temperature? If you’re looking to keep your hot drinks hot and your cold drinks cold, then you’ll benefit hugely from a travel mug. If you have busy mornings, the travel mug is the best way to ensure you’re still getting your morning coffee fresh from your home coffee pot. After all, coffee at home, even if you buy all the extra fixings, is still cheaper than at a coffee shop. And if you don’t have time to sit and drink your coffee, it’s less likely you’ll have time to stop and stand in line at a coffee shop, either.
The lid of your travel mug will also go a long way towards preventing spills, even if you don’t actually travel with it. Some lids are more effective than others, but even those without a good airtight seal, the lid still acts as a barrier to slipping. Without actually traveling, you’ll still see huge boosts in the time your drink maintains a consistent temperature, too. So if you’re interested in drinking your beverage with a reduced risk of spilling, and at the right temperature, every time you sip it, a travel mug is an excellent option to solve your problems.
Important Features to Consider
A travel cups should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a mug for travel:
- Vacuum seal, double-wall insulation. When there is a vacuum seal, the conduction of heat is slowed or stopped to prevent heat transfer. There is a lining between each of the two walls of the mug that will prevent the heat received by the interior wall from passing to the exterior wall. That will prevent the heat from escaping and this will, without a doubt, maintain the heat in your beverage the longest. This also means that if you put coffee that’s a painfully hot temperature in there, it will still burn your tongue when you get to work, too.
- Ceramic. A ceramic mug will distribute heat evenly. And while that means your coffee will cool, a travel ceramic mug will often still have the double-walled insulation, keeping it from cooling down as quickly as a coffee cup. And remember that the lid helps maintain some of that heat, as well. If you put scalding hot coffee in your mug, then you can actually benefit from a controlled, slow release of heat that ceramic can provide. If you’re going to drink the coffee right away, you may appreciate that it is a drinkable temperature faster. But bear in mind you’ll want to drink it all soon if you want to drink it hot.
- Airtight lids. If you’re looking to maintain the temperature of your beverage, then an airtight lid will obviously help you best with that. However, the benefits of airtight lids don’t end there. It will also mean it’s more spill-resistant and if you’re taking your travel mug on the road, then that’s a huge perk. No more stressing on stopping too short or sharp turns, when you have a spill-proof lid, your travel cup is all the more convenient.
- Handles. While you can’t always have the slowly-drank cup of coffee each morning, there’s just something to be said for drinking your coffee one specific way. If you want the “coffee-with-a-handle” feel, you can still have that, even with a slightly altered cup. Also, if your cup isn’t insulated, the sides may feel hot-to-the-touch and the handle can keep you from burning your hands. Win, win.
- Tumblers. A tumbler-style travel mug will allow you to easily travel with your hot coffee in the morning and rinse it out for a cool beverage in the afternoon. You can do that with practically any travel mug, true, but there’s something odd about drinking a soda with a coffee mug and if you opt for a tumbler, you’ll easily be able to shake up your protein powder, as well as your smoothie.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a travel mug and how does it work?
Basically, a travel mug is any cup that will prevent a spill. Ideally, it will also keep your beverage warm or cold, depending on what you have. The first and possibly most obvious distinguishing characteristic in a travel mug is a lid. A lid that seals to be air-tight is all the better for both insulation and maintaining temperature and for preventing spills as you “travel” through your day. There are several types (Vacuum-sealed, double-wall, ceramic, stainless steel, insulated are variants), but the more fail-safes they have to keep your drink from spilling and at a consistent temperature, the better.
Are ceramic travel mugs good?
Though it isn’t a concern with high-quality steel, some stainless steel mugs will flavor the drink contained within it. For that reason, if no other, ceramic has had a surge in popularity for travel mug use. The heat will transfer to the exterior, so having a guard, drink cozy, or even just a handle will almost be necessary to prevent you from burning your hand while holding it, but let’s be honest, on a cold winter morning, there’s nothing quite like the feel of a ceramic cup of coffee.
What holds heat better glass or ceramic?
Ceramic maintains heat better, while glass will release it as a more rapid pace. Ceramic is excellent at distributing heat, but it’s a far slower conductor, meaning it will keep your drink hotter for longer. For a nice cup of coffee that you want to drink right now, a glass mug may be your best bet. But you’d better be planning on drinking it quickly. A ceramic mug will keep your coffee longer hotter, but it’s not the be-all, end-all when it comes to keeping your drinks hottest, longest. Which brings us to the next FAQ.
What kind of travel mug keeps coffee hot the longest?
If you’re looking for the golden standard for best heat maintenance, you want a double-walled, vacuum-sealed stainless steel travel much with an airtight lid. Depending on how airtight and how well it’s sealed, you may be able to drink your beverage literally 12 hours later and still burn your tongue. Keep that in mind when you’re planning with this cup. If you want your coffee within the next couple of hours, don’t make it scalding hot. (Pro Tip: If you don’t mind your coffee diluted just the tiniest bit and want to drink that scalding hot coffee on the way to work, then slip in an ice cube to avoid the burning your tongue pitfall of a high-quality travel mug.)
Other Travel Mugs We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other travel mugs. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best travel mugs list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for you. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Ceramic Travel Mugs
This ceramic mug has a handle that will let you drink your coffee or tea on-the-go with the same feel as at home.
- Packages with coordinating gift box
- 12 style options
- 17 oz capacity
The lid of this coffee mug is the only thing that will separate it from your usual mug, but that lid really does its job of maintaining temperature and preventing spills!
- Splash-proof lid
- 15 oz capacity
- Insulated cork bottom
While the outside of the ceramic mug may get a bit warm, the ribbed design will keep it from becoming as slippery as the smooth ceramic mugs.
- 18 oz capacity
- 4 colors available
Handled Travel Mugs
This mug has a convenient handle and comes with stainless steel straws and a way to clean them, too!
- 2 sizes available
- 2 packaging options
- 21 color choices
This mug is insulated to prevent the temperature from escaping, but should the mug’s temperature rise, the handle keeps your hand from getting burnt or overheated.
- 11 colors available
- 12 oz capacity
- 100% customer satisfaction
With a vacuum seal, this mug will maintain a steady and consistent temperature for longer.
- 2 colors available
- 18 oz capacity
- Silicone, non-slip base
This travel mug gives you the same feel of a standard coffee mug and makes it perfect for taking your coffee to-go and still enjoying it just the same.
- 2 size options
- 18 colors available
- 18/8 stainless steel
The lid of this stainless steel travel mug will prevent heat from escaping and prevent spills all at the same time.
- 38 colors available
- 18 oz capacity
- Non-slip silicone base
Expecting great things from Thermos isn’t a bad idea, and this travel mug only reinforces the quality provided by the brand.
- 16 oz capacity
- Tea hook built-in
- Hand wash recommended
Getting two in one pack will allow you the back-up mug or another for your partner, either way, you can never have too much of a good thing.
- BPA and toxin-free
- 13.5 oz capacity each
- Double-wall insulation
With a sliding lid, you’ll be able to open for a drink with your thumb while the rest of your hand rests within the handle for a perfect one-handed drink.
- Insulated stainless steel
- 10 colors available
If you like your hot coffee to stay hot, even after your long drive into the office, this is the kind of travel mug will make sure you have it.
- 14 oz capacity
- 15 color options
- 5″ handle size
Tumbler Travel Mugs
This travel mug has a lid that allows you to drink from the included straw or from the opening given when you flip it open.
- 4 sizes available
- 16 color and style options
- 18/8 stainless steel construction
Your travel mug will easily fit into your vehicle’s cup holder and the flat side makes both carrying and grasping securely all the easier, preventing drops.
- 38 color and style options
- Triple insulated
- Stainless steel
You can enjoy your hot or cold beverage in this travel mug with either a straw or through the sip opening.
- 100% stainless steel
- 20 oz capacity
- Hot beverages stay hot for 6 hours, cold drinks stay cold for up to 24 hours
Though you may love the smaller portion, too, this is an ideal size for a kid’s travel cup.
- 12 oz capacity
- 38 style and color options
- Vacuum sealed
Using this travel mug will ensure you’re drinking your beverage in style and may just go that extra distance towards making your morning a bit brighter.
- 20 colors available
- 20 oz capacity
- 1 lid, 2 straws included
With secure insulation, this travel mug will make sure your hot liquids stay hot and your cold drinks stay cold all through your trip.
- 26 color and style options
- Includes airtight lid
- Hand wash only
Though the indention is more about the brand label, you’ll very likely find that it makes this Thermos tumbler easier to hold and to carry.
- 16 oz capacity
- 10 color options
- Built-in tea hook
This tumbler comes standard with a sliding lid to make opening and closing a one-handed task.
- Buy more and save; 1, 4, or 8 packages available
- 9 colors available
- 20 oz capacity