People sipping out of their travel mugs is a ubiquitous sight in every morning commute. It’s how many people get their first dose of coffee for the day, after all. And it’s no surprise, since modern travel mugs just make enjoying any beverage an easier affair.
Whether you’re drinking hot coffee, chilled juice, or an ice-cold energy drink, putting it in these reusable cups means your beverage will maintain its temperature for far longer. There’s no condensation, either, even with iciest drinks, so you won’t end up with uncomfortably clammy hands, all while keeping those same hands duly protected from drinks with flaming temperatures. There’s no mess, since modern travel mugs come with leak-proof parts that keep all the liquids inside, even while the mug moves around while you drive. Plus, they’re very portable, with designs that can fit snugly in your grip, stash neatly in a backpack side pouch, or even clip on a belt loop if you don’t mind something dangling by your pants.
For many people, switching to travel mugs is part of a more sustainable lifestyle, since they allow you to do without disposable cups. Sure, you’ll need to clean it, especially when you’re using the same mug for different drinks, but their wide mouth openings and stainless steel interiors make them incredibly easy to clean with just a scrub and some dish soap.
Nowadays, there’s a decent selection of travel mugs available. There are smaller ones for those who want to travel light, bigger ones for folks who like a generous supply of beverage on hand, simpler ones with straightforward designs, and fancier ones with a bunch of niceties onboard. Whichever one you choose will depend on your particular preferences, but they all do the same thing: they make sipping your favorite beverages on the go a more pleasant experience.
These are the best travel mugs for daily use.
Stojo Collapsible Travel Cup
Starting off with something different, this travel mug doesn’t have the same vacuum-insulated stainless steel construction as other options in the list. That’s because it’s cut entirely in silicone, complete with an integrated silicone sleeve so you can grip your hot drink safely. Instead, you’ll have to rely on the lid to lock in the temperature for as long as possible. What prompted us to include it in the list, though, is its collapsible design, which allows it to flatten into a disc that measures just two inches thick, allowing you to slide it in a pouch or a jacket pocket once you’re done. While it doesn’t have insulation, it does have a leak-proof seal and even comes with a reusable straw if you want to sip a cold drink instead.
Most stainless steel travel mugs are durable enough to let you feel safe even when you drop them. However, drop them enough times and you’re bound to find nicks and scratches along the body. At least, that’s our experience with many travel bottles, except Hydro Flask’s, whose powder coating seems to hold up best to the routine abuse of daily use. Because of this, it’s actually dishwasher-safe, so you can simply throw it in with the rest of the dishes for cleaning. On top of that, it gets serious insulation that can maintain the temperature on hot drinks for up to 12 hours and cold drinks up to an entire day, along with a leakproof lid that lets you sip safely even when on the move. It comes in 12 oz, 16 oz, and 20 oz sizes.
There’s a reason why some people call any vacuum-insulated drinking container a Thermos – they pioneered the category at the start of the 20th century. As such, we can’t ignore them for our roundup of the best travel mugs and their Stainless King Tumbler definitely deserves a place in the list. It’s made from stainless steel inside and out, so it’s hardwearing outside and easy to clean inside, with a vacuum insulation that can keep drinks hot for seven hours and keep them cold for 18 hours. We like the small touches, such as the built-in tea hook on the lid that can hold a tea bag in place and the all-around groove on the body that makes it easier to grip. It’s dishwasher-safe, too, so it’s plenty easy to clean.
We prefer mugs without handles, as they make it easier to slip into bags and pockets. If you feel differently and prefer sipping from a mug with a handle, RTIC has a nice one on offer, which pairs the convenient handle with double wall insulation, an airtight seal, and a cupholder-friendly design (they put the handle higher up on the body). There’s no listed rating for how long it can keep coffee hot, but you should be able to nurse a cup of coffee for a few hours before it gets lukewarm, while the outfit claims the ability to keep drinks cold for 24 hours. It’s available in 16 oz and 20 oz sizes.
The curvy shape of this travel mug gives it a more modern look that sets it apart from the crowd, all while having a narrower section that enables a solid grip. However, what really makes it stand out is the “Autoseal” feature that puts a large button on the side for opening the sip hole, sparing you from having to fumble flipping up or sliding off a latch opening like other travel mugs. Plus, you can grip it and press the button with the same hand, allowing you to use it fully single-handed. There’s also a lock on the lid that prevents the button from opening the hole, so there won’t be any accidental presses while it sits in the cupholder during your drive, while the vacuum insulation can keep drinks hot for up to five hours and cold for up to 12. We want to give props to the one-piece lid, by the way, which makes cleaning a lot easier compared to other travel mugs. It’s available in 16 oz, 20 oz, and 24 oz sizes.
If you want your travel mug with some vintage aesthetics, Stanley gets it right with this model, which looks like a smaller version of the outfit’s long-running vacuum bottles that have been around for over a century. And it’s built like them, of course, with double-wall stainless steel construction that can keep drinks hot for up to seven hours and iced up to 30 hours, all while shrugging off all the bumps and drops it will inevitably experience. Similar to the Contigo, it has a button that opens the sip hole, making it easy to pick up and use with just one hand, although you have to be a little careful when sipping as small amounts of liquids can actually collect at the top of the spout if you’re taking a drink while you’re on the move, which can create a small mess.
We love the slanted shape of this travel mug’s lid, which is lower on the rear, such that the lid won’t be blocking your sightline every time you take a sip. It’s a nice design touch. The flip-up spout cover is a little stiff, so you’ll likely have to use a second hand to open it, although we have a feeling that’s intentional to prevent accidental openings (plus, it prevents any leaking even when you throw the bottle around). It has very strong insulation, so you can nurse a piping hot cup of coffee for literal hours (we tried after four hours and it was still quite hot), while the powder coating feels solid enough to hold up for a long time. It’s available in 12 oz, 16 oz, and 20 oz sizes.
While Zojirushi lists a humble six hours of temperature retention for both hot and cold drinks, it actually feels a lot more potent in practice. At least, the coffee we put inside was just hotter after four hours compared to other travel mugs. There’s a safety lock on the lid that you need to disengage before flipping up the sip hole cover, eliminating any accidental openings, while a secure seal ensures no leaks, no matter how you position the bottle. Its interior, by the way, has a special finish that’s designed to repel stains, making it incredibly easy to clean when you need to use the bottle for a different drink. You can get it in 12 oz and 16 oz sizes.
If you want a Stanley bottle without the vintage styling, then you’ll want to check out their Aerolight Transit travel mug, which pairs the same proven insulation and leak-proof seal with a slimmer lightweight build. How light? Well, it’s about two-thirds the weight of the outfit’s standard stainless steel bottles, while the slimmer build allowed it to fit every cupholder we tried. It lists the same insulation rating as the outfit’s other travel mugs, so you get four hours for hot drinks, eight hours for cold, and up to 30 hours if you add ice to whatever’s inside. With the new lightweight material, this probably won’t be as suited for roughing it up like regular Stanley bottles, although it should hold up to the grind of the daily commute just fine.
We love this travel mug for its stackable design that allows you to nest multiple mugs to save space in storage. However, it’s also plenty capable for your daily sipping needs, with stainless steel construction, double wall insulation, and a grip-friendly shape that keeps it secured in hand. We also like the magnetic spout cover, which makes opening and closing just a little easier. On the downside, the lid is not leakproof, so you’ll need to pick up the outfit’s Hotshot lid separately if you want a fully leakproof setup.