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Published Sep. 9, 2021

Now that people are heading into offices again and following through with their travel plans, some products we ignored are coming back again. Case in point: the travel mug. Bring your caffeine with you as you rush out the door to catch your plane, train, or bus with mugs that have been designed to keep your liquid hot (or cold!), reduce spillage, and make for a more enjoyable, well-hydrated journey.

Investing in a travel mug you adore will not only save you a 20-minute coffee or tea run in the morning, but it’ll help the environment, too. These reusable beverage holders are an obvious alternative to single-use plastics. Plus, they’ll make your beverages taste better and stay at the right temperature for longer. Check out five of our favorites below.

How We Picked the Best Travel Mugs

Methodology 

We’ve spent lots of time on the road with our favorite beverages in hand. In coming up with our recommendations for the best travel mugs, we looked in our cabinets, researched reviews, and considered the many options available on the market. To narrow it down to the best of the best, we examined the following criteria:

  • Material: You’ll notice that all five recommended travel mugs are made primarily out of stainless steel. This has proved time and again to be one of the safest, most durable materials for mugs and bottles. 
  • Capacity: Since these mugs will be taken on a commute or a trip, we stuck with those that were no larger than 16 ounces, to fit your basic car cup holder. That said, many of the chosen picks do offer multiple sizes, so you can choose whichever best meets your needs. 
  • Brand: The brands you see on this list are top-notch. Over the years they have created unique technology for superior insulation performance, and they consider their customers’ needs with each product. 

The Best Travel Mugs: Review and Recommendations

Best Overall: S’well Stainless Steel Commuter Bottle

Superior Performance

S’well’s Commuter Bottle is sleekly designed to keep drinks at their original temperature for hours on end, while providing all the add-ons necessary for an easy drink-on-the-go experience. S’well

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Why It Made The Cut: This environmentally conscious brand has proved itself time and again to deliver ultra-high-quality products. The Commuter Bottle is no exception, with its Therma-S’well technology, eco-friendly materials, splash-free lid, and ergonomic design.

Specs: 

  • Capacity: 470 ml / 16 oz (also available in 350 ml and 590 ml)
  • Colors Available: Magnetite, Soft Touch Black
  • Material: Stainless Steel
Pros:Cons:
  • Triple-layered, vacuum-sealed insulation keeps drinks hot or cold for longer
  • Not dishwasher safe 
  • Wide mouth opening lets you add ice cubes and stir easily
  • BPA/BPS-free
  • Copper wall layer keeps exterior sweat-free 
  • There wasn’t much of a competition when it came to the best overall travel mug. Thanks to S’well’s reputation as a brand, their Commuter Bottle was already nearing the top. Add in a food-grade stainless steel finish, a triple-layered insulation with a copper wall to prevent any condensation, and an ergonomic grip, and there’s really nothing else you could need in a travel mug. 

    S’well’s Commuter Bottle ensures hot beverages stay hot for up to 12 hours, and cold drinks stay cold for up to 24. Its pop-top will prevent spills, making this an ideal mug to throw into your purse or backpack as you head out the door on any journey that may come your way. 

    Do keep in mind that this bottle is hand-wash only—if you put it in the dishwasher, the materials may not last and the technology may become compromised. It also skews on the pricier side of most travel mugs, but once you buy one you’ll be set for years thanks to its stainless steel design. 

    Best Value: Stanley Classic Trigger Action Travel Mug

    Button-Activated Lid

    The Stanley Classic Trigger Action Travel Mug features a modern lid that can be activated with a push of a button, resulting in the ideal one-handed-sip scenario. Stanley

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    Why It Made The Cut: This classic-looking travel mug is made with the same high-quality materials we expect from a more expensive product, yet has a unique button-activated lid and comes in at a fraction of the cost.

    Specs: 

    • Capacity: 473 ml / 16 oz (also available in 12 oz and 20 oz)
    • Colors Available: Classic Green, Hammertone Green, Nightfall, Matte Black, Polar, Wine
    • Materials: Stainless Steel
    Pros:Cons:
  • Easy-to-clean design and dishwasher safe
  • Keeps liquids hot and cold for less time than major competitors (hot up to 7 hours, cold up to 12)
  • Leak-resistant cap 
  • Reviews show instances of cap breaking, but company does offer a lifetime guarantee
  • BPA-free
  • Fits in a standard car’s cup holder
  • The Stanley Classic Trigger Action Travel Mug is a great option if you’re looking to save some money while still investing in a durable, well-designed product. The mug features double-walled vacuum insulation, which keeps hot drinks hot for up to 7 hours, and cold drinks cold for up to 12. It’s manufactured with stainless steel, known to be one of the best materials for drinking containers, as you won’t experience any bad aftertaste as you might with other materials like plastic. 

    Stanley’s one-handed trigger-action lid means taking a sip is even easier when you’re driving, holding baggage, or rushing to your gate at the airport. The cap is leak-resistant, and reviewers hold true to this notion—many are comfortable throwing the mug in a bag without fear of spillage. 

    Stanley is a trustworthy brand that’s been developing outdoor food and beverage accessories since 1913. While it may not keep your beverages as hot/cold for as long as other mugs do, it’s still a really awesome option, especially at its stellar price point. 

    Best Wine Tumbler: BrüMate Uncork’d XL Insulated Wine Glass Tumbler

    On-the-Go Happy Hour

    BrüMate’s Uncork’d Insulated Wine Glass Tumbler gives you a mess-free and refreshing happy hour, well, everywhere. BrüMate

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    Why It Made The Cut: BrüMate’s BevGuard technology has been designed to keep wine or other beverages at the perfect temperature. Compared to other wine tumblers, we love that this one is durable, is spill-proof and shatter proof, and fits up to half a bottle of wine in style.  

    Specs:

    • Capacity: 14 ounces (That’s half a bottle of wine!)
    • 18 Colors Available, including Aqua, Walnut, Neon Pink, Plum, and Rainbow Titanium
    • Material: Stainless Steel
    Pros:Cons:
  • Comes with a toxin-free clear plastic lid with slide tab
  • Doesn’t have the tightest possible fit in the open and close slot on lid
  • Receives an impressive 4.8 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon
  • Thoughtfully designed and condensation-free
  • If you’ve ever opened a glass bottle of wine only to have to move locations and potentially waste the rest, you’re in luck. BrüMate Uncork’d XL Insulated Wine Glass Tumbler allows you to pour a hefty amount of wine (or another hot or cold beverage of choice) into a stainless steel mug and take it with you on the go. 

    The travel mug has been designed with triple-insulated technology that will keep your drink cold for hours and ensures no metallic aftertaste. It features a no-slip base so you won’t have to worry about knocked-over drinks near the pool or at a picnic. If you prefer to sip on a cocktail, the sliding lid allows you to easily utilize a stirrer or straw. 

    BrüMate has reimagined the happy hour experience, with over a dozen different colors available, so you can match your drink to your location. Plus it comes in at an extremely reasonable price and will last. 

    Best Lid: Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug

    Japanese Design

    The Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug has a tight-fitted, locked lid that keeps beverages hotter or colder than the typical travel mug while ensuring it stays spill-proof. Zojirushi

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    Why It Made The Cut: Zojirushi’s foolproof lid is one of the best we’ve seen. It has been uniquely developed to flip open and features an additional safety lock to prevent it from opening accidentally. 

    Specs: 

    • Capacity: 16 ounces (also available in 12 ounces)
    • Colors Available: Lavender Pink, Black, Champagne Gold, Smoky Blue, Stainless, Cherry, Emerald, and Lavender
    • Materials: Stainless Steel
    Pros:Cons:
  • Keeps drinks hot for 13.5 hours (one of the longest we’ve seen!)
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Easy-to-clean, nonstick interior keeps stains away and prevents corrosion
  • Must disassemble lid for thorough cleaning
  • BPA-free
  • Custom and compact design fits into car cup holders
  • Since 1918, Japan-based Zojirushi has been manufacturing high-end vacuum-insulated products that are sleek, practical, and affordable. The Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug uses food-grade stainless steel with their trademarked SlickSteel, a highly polished finish that is ultra-clean and corrosion-resistant. Plus, its vacuum insulation technology keeps out outdoor temperatures and maintains your beverage as hot or as cold as when you first filled up the mug, for hours on end. 

    The tight-fitted lid means you won’t experience any minor spills, and the lock function ensures it won’t accidentally open, meaning the travel mug is safe to freely toss in a bag. Unscrew the entire lid for a wide-mouth opening perfect for adding ice or stirring, and when you’re ready for a clean, simply pull out the stopper and wash all parts separately. 

    Best Family Set: Kereda Stainless Steel Cups With Silicone Lids, Straws & Sleeves

    Lightweight and Stackable

    Kereda’s Stainless Steel Cups come with five uniquely colored silicone sleeves and lids, making it a great choice for keeping the family hydrated on your next outing. KEREDA

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    Why It Made The Cut: We love how these lightweight and safe cups are stackable and color coordinated, so when the family is at home or on a hike, you immediately know which cup is yours. 

    Specs: 

    • Capacity: 8 ounces (also available in 12 ounces and 16 ounces)
    • Colors: Silver base with matching Salmon, Teal, Yellow, Purple, and Orange lids, straw tips, and sleeves
    • Material: Stainless Steel, Silicone
    Pros:Cons:
  • Each cup weighs only 0.2 pounds 
  • Silicone sleeves must be removed for thorough washing
  • BPA-free
  • If you need more than 5, you’ll have to get another pack 
  • Silicone sleeves protect hands from any hot or cold shocks
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Kereda’s Stainless Steel Cups with Silicone Lids, Straws & Sleeves is a no-frills yet high-quality travel mug choice for a family or group. Designed for small hands yet sophisticated enough for those of any age, the cups are made with food-grade stainless steel and silicone and are free of lead and other toxins. They are durable and won’t rust after use, and can be tossed into the dishwasher for a super-easy clean. 

    The set comes with five 12-ounce cups, 5 straws, 5 straw tips, and one straw brush perfect for cleaning those hard-to-reach areas. The silicone pieces are not only comfortable but are made to protect hands from experiencing any potential pain from the hot or cold temperatures of the liquid inside. The silicone lids have been tried and tested to prevent leaks. 

    All this said, there are many different pieces involved in this travel mug set, so you’ll have to stay organized to not lose any bits and pieces. Plus, if you’re a group or family of more than 5, you may have to buy another set. 

    Things to Consider Before Buying a Travel Mug

    Insulation 

    Insulation will be the key factor in deciding if your hot or cold drink actually stays hot or cold over time. Look for travel mugs that are double- or triple-insulated and vacuum sealed, meaning your liquids are safely tucked away from the outside temperature, and the mug itself won’t get overheated. 

    Size

    Size is important, particularly if you’re traveling in a car. Keep an eye out for travel mugs that fit comfortably in most car holders. If you’re buying a travel mug for a child, look into sizes that are designed to fit younger hands (like Kereda’s Stainless Steel Cups).

    Lid

    The type of lid can be a make-or-break decision when choosing your new travel mug. If you want to be able to sip one-handed, consider a push button. If you’re hoping to toss your mug into a backpack without worrying about spills, you may want to ensure your lid has a lock. Either which way, think about the mouth size and if you’ll be able to stir your beverage or add ice when you please.

    Ease of Maintenance

    Finally, think about the ease of maintenance. If you are a dishwasher fiend, make sure you find a mug that is dishwasher safe so you avoid faded or ripped-off paint and corrosion of materials. Some bottles come with a brush straw to get into those hard-to-reach places. 

    FAQs

    Q: What is the best material for a travel mug?

    Travel mugs are typically made from aluminum, stainless steel, plastic, glass, or ceramic. If you want a travel mug that is durable, safe, and well-insulated, stainless steel is your best option.

    Q: Does a stainless steel cup change the taste of coffee?

    While stainless steel does not absorb the taste of coffee (or any other beverage inside the cup), it has been known to pass on some taste into the beverage. That said, as long as you stick with a product that uses food-grade stainless steel and has been designed with a sturdy construction, you should avoid any aftertaste. 

    Q: Does coffee stain stainless steel?

    It is possible that coffee, tea, or another harsh beverage can stain stainless steel. Follow your travel mug’s instructions on how to wash it, and if you still see stains, simply use some baking soda and vinegar for a deep clean that’ll freshen it up in no time.

    Final Thoughts

    When getting back to traveling for work or play, we recommend investing in a new travel mug. Our favorite overall is the S’well Stainless Steel Commuter Bottle, which offers superior performance in material, durability, and design. If you’re looking for something a tad more “happy” (as in happy hour), try out the BrüMate Uncork’d XL Insulated Wine Glass Tumbler

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