Choose the best travel mug to ensure you always get your perfect drink at the perfect temperature wherever you are
Double or even triple wall vacuum technology keeps your drinks hot (or cold) for hours, and the outside of the travel mug stays condensation free meaning a better grip and more comfortable drinking experience. So while the price of cheaper alternatives might be appealing, the performance of vacuum insulated stainless steel is well worth the initial outlay.
An insulated travel mug or reusable coffee cup makes the perfect gift for anyone that likes to drink coffee on the go or simply struggles to drink their tea while it’s hot. Travel mugs are also great for keeping coffee hot or ice cold on your desk for hours and are perfect for those of us with busy lives that make a cup of tea only to discover it again hours later stone cold on the side.
The great range of designs and colours are perfect for adding a bit of joy to your day. And some of these thermal travel mugs and bottles will even allow you to wake up next to a hot cup of tea you made the night before.
Choosing the best travel mug
There are plenty of things to think about when choosing the perfect reusable travel mug. Are you simply looking for something to take with you when you buy a coffee eliminating the need for a single use paper cup with a plastic lid? Or do you want a cup you can fill at home, chuck in your bag and have a piping hot beverage when you get to where you are going?
Travel Mug Heat Retention
Gone are the days where a thermos flask was the only option for a hot cup of coffee or tea at a picnic or on a long walk, although there’s definitely still a place for a flask when you want to take a hot drink for more than one person. There are now loads of great thermal options to keep your drinks hot and cold while you’re on the move, or just give you a bit of extra time to drink your favourite beverage at home or at your desk.
If you are looking for a reusable travel mug to stop you using single-use disposable coffee cups then heat retention might not be top of your list of requirements. After all, a disposable cup isn’t insulated, and most of the time if you’re buying a coffee out and about you want to drink it then and there.
However, any of the insulated travel mugs we’ve chosen are perfect for taking to a coffee shop and most chains will even give you a discount when you bring your own coffee cup meaning you can save back the money you spend over time as well as saving the planet from unnecessary single-use plastic.
Plus the fact they are insulated means you don’t have to worry about burning your hands if you like your drink super hot.
If you are looking for a travel mug that will keep your drink hot for the entirety of your daily commute, or a cup to have on your desk that will allow you to have your drink at a leisurely pace while you work, then the vacuum insulated tumblers and cups will keep drinks for anywhere between 4 and 8 hours. Meaning you’ll have plenty of time to finish your coffee. And the insulated water bottles keep drinks hot for up to 12 hours and cold for 24 so you can make yourself a hot or cold drink in the morning and enjoy it at any point throughout the day.
Tips for keeping your drinks hot (or cold) for as long as possible in a travel mug
Obviously, there are a number of factors that will determine how long your drink stays hot. The Vacuum technology means there’s no air between the layers of stainless steel which massively slows down heat transfer.
If you want to keep your coffee hot for as long as possible it’s recommended to heat your travel mug or bottle first by pouring in boiling water and leaving for a few seconds to allow the layer that comes into contact with your drink to warm up.
Then fill your travel cup right to the top as this stops heat transfer to the air. With this in mind, it’s worth thinking about what you’ll be using your travel mug for. If you like a flat white you’ll want to choose a smaller cup that if you like a pint of tea to start the day.
The fully sealed versions are better at heat retention than the more takeaway style cups and beakers as they don’t let any air in. But they don’t give you the same instant access and the styles that need to be completely open to drink from might not be ideal if you like to drink on the move either walking or in the car.
How you plan to use your travel mug
Before you buy, think about how you would ideally like to be able to use your travel mug.
If you are looking for a disposable coffee cup style travel mug then the FOSH social beaker, Chilly’s coffee cup, U Konserve Tumbler and Klean Kanteen tumblers are all great options. Some styles have a big enough opening to use with a reusable straw which is great if you like cold drinks as well as hot, they’ll keep a gin and tonic or glass of wine ice cold for hours even on a hot Summer’s day.
The U Konserve insulated tumblers have a lovely thin rim when you remove the lid which makes for a great drinking experience, but the tulip shape means they won’t fit in most cup holders. Whereas the FOSH, Klean Kanteen and Chilly’s have a narrower base, great for cup holders but a thicker rim.
The coffee cup style tumblers aren’t leakproof meaning they’re great for reducing the likelihood of spills but aren’t suitable for throwing in your bag. If you need a cup that’s leak proof we recommend either the Klean Kanteen Cafe Cap, the amazing rCUP®, or one of the insulated bottles.
And if you like loose leaf tea or to infuse your drinks with fruit or fresh herbs then the Qwetch infuse flask might just be the one. These gorgeous stainless steel flasks come with two different filters for different types of infusion. You can use it without the filters for coffee days and they even do a double walled glass version if you like to be able to see what you’re drinking.
A travel mug that is easy to clean
Ease of cleaning has to be a factor when buying something you’re going to use every day and stainless steel is perfect as it’s easy to clean and doesn’t retain or impart any flavour to your drink. So no funny tasting tea and great if you want to also use your cup for cold drinks or soup etc.
Washing regularly with hot soapy water should be enough to keep your drinks tasting fresh and you can add a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda for an occasional deep clean. It’s not recommended for the insulated bottles and tumblers to go in the dishwasher as this can compromise the vacuum and stop them from working as they should.
However, if you do need a cup you can chuck in the dishwasher then the U Konserve is dishwasher safe although hand washing is still recommended for longer life. Or opt for the rCUP®, made from recycled coffee cups this travel mug is leakproof, easy to operate one-handed and dishwasher safe.
Size of the travel mug
Bigger isn’t always better if you like a short drink so think about the size of drink you’re likely to want in your cup. Obviously, a larger travel mug can still accommodate a shorter drink but having it half full will mean it doesn’t stay hot as long.
Our range of travel mugs and reusable coffee cups varies from 230ml (a little under 8oz) to a whopping 592ml (which is 20oz or well over a pint) meaning whatever your needs there’s a travel cup the perfect size for you. And yes it is perfectly acceptable to have different cups for different occasions.
Klean Kanteen, rCUP®, U Konserve and Chilly’s all offer small travel mugs that are great for shorter coffees. There are lots of great options for a standard 12oz coffee, and FOSH, Chilly’s, and Klean Kanteen cater for those of us who need a large tea of coffee to get us through the morning.
Travel mug design
And finally why not make your choice based on style as well as functionality. We have only chosen to stock water bottles, travel mugs and food containers from ethical suppliers and quality is top of our list of requirements.
Style, however, is subjective and choosing a personalised travel mug that will make you smile every time you look at it is an added bonus and a great incentive to take it with you every time you leave the house.
You can choose a sleek and simple brushed stainless steel, a great range of colours or some really funky designs featuring everything from flamingoes and tigers to tropical flowers, graffiti and marble.