Best Travel Coffee Mugs


Like much of the population I need my morning coffee fix in order to feel alert and ready to take on the new day. Whether you are on vacation or more typically dashing out the door on your way to work, travel coffee mugs are a life saver.

There are good reasons to have your own coffee travel mug:

– you save money by making your own coffee rather than at a cafe.
– with practice you can make your coffee exactly how you like it.
– you are helping to protect the environment by having a reusable container.
– if you wish you can have some fun by owning your very own personalized travel mug.
– most cars have convenient cup holders to place receptacles.

In this post we are going to look at the pros and cons of the best travel mugs available.

Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug with Easy-Clean Lid, 16oz, Black

Extremely popular, this mug has some amazing design features. The stainless steel inner is vacuum sealed to keep your beverage hot for many hours. Well insulated, it can be held comfortably in one hand and the container auto seals between sips, making it spill proof. You must press a button with your holding thumb to release the liquid each time you want to take a drink, which some people find irritating. There is a lid-lock on it so you can carry it in your purse or bag without it leaking. The patented lid is dishwasher safe but the body needs to be hand washed. Some customers report finding it difficult when they want to thoroughly clean the complex lid mechanism. It comes in a variety of colors though some people have complained about the colored surface scratching easily and so recommend sticking with the stainless steel option. It also comes in a 20 oz size which is 9″ tall with the lid and 8″ without. The 16 oz mug is 8″ tall with the lid on. If you are a tea drinker there is a tea effuser sold separately that fits within the container.

Contigo SnapSeal Byron Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug, 20oz

Another stainless steel travel mug, this one has a leak-proof snap seal lid. The snap seal lid is different from the auto-seal lid in the Contigo above in that it form a seal if you snap it shut. If you accidentally leave it open, it can spill. The Byron has the same vacuum insulated design of the West Loop and therefore it will not ‘sweat’ when filled with cold liquid, nor feel hot when it contains very hot liquid. It has a non slip grip for easing drinking with one hand. It has a few different color options c.f the West Loop mug. Some people have had problems with the lid not screwing on easily. It is 8 ” with the lid on, and about 7″ without.

Contigo SnapSeal Superior Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug, 20oz

Ditto insulation and snap lock features of the Byron mug above, except if you prefer a mug with a handle this one has you covered. Because the lid threads both ways it can be easily used by a left or right handed person. This mug is aldo lighter at 9.6 oz and is only 7.5 ” tall with lid. Some people have complained that the drinking hole is too small, only allowing one to take small sips.

Zojirushi SM-KHE48BA Stainless Steel Mug

This 16 oz flip top stainless steel mug had a wide opening to drink from and it is easy to fill when the lid is taken off. Liquids are insulated and stay hot/cold for long periods. It has a sleek design and is easily held in one Customers report that the different color options don’t scratch easily. It’s seal can be locked for leak-proof carriage and the lid is easy to clean. the plastic sipping component is BPA free. There is a rubber component on the inside of the lid that can retain coffee smell. It is 9.1″ tall with lid on. Zojirushi also makes a 20 oz mug which is 9.9″ tall with lid and it’s interior has a non-stick coating. Some people don’t like the idea of that, preferring the stainless steel interior of the 16 oz mug.

Thermos Stainless King 16-Ounce Travel Tumbler

This insulated mug with both a stainless steel interior and exterior keeps hot liquids hot and cold liquids cold for hours. There is no heat transfer when holding this thermos and no sweating with cold liquids. The lid and body are both dishwasher safe which is a real advantage. Customers have been impressed by how leak proof it’s twist and pour stopper is.
If you prefer tea the mug has a hook to attach stringed teabags and most tea effusers.

Stanley Classic One Hand Vacuum Mug 16oz

These travel coffee mugs have a touch construction and come in 12, 16 and 20oz sizes. At 10″ tall (with lid) the 16 oz is taller than the mugs mentioned above. Again it is fully insulated ( stainless steel inside and out) so your beverages will stay hot and cold for hours. It is fully leak proof. You have to push a button with your thumb to release the fluids. Most customers love this but some complain that the button is too stiff and difficult to push each time you want a sip. The lid assembly is simpler than some of the mugs above, the plastics components are BPA free, and the lid is dishwasher safe.

Copco 16-Ounce Capacity Acadia Reusable To Go Mug, Blue

A cheaper but good value for money option is this 16 oz reusable mug made from BPA free plastic with a silicone non slip sleeve (in multiple colors).
The beauty of this option is that it’s dishwasher and microwave safe, with the outside remaining cool when it contains hot fluid. The lid forms a good seal and has a permanently open slit for drinking from. Therefore it is spill resistant when placed in a cup holder while driving but you can’t chuck it in your bag. Also it will not keep beverages piping hot or icy cold for long periods. Many people buy multiple of these cups because they like them so much and they are inexpensive to replace if a lid goes missing. An issue with plastic material is that it tends to retain coffee smells so I would recommend keeping one specifically aside for your your coffee.

RTIC 20 Oz Stainless Steel Tumbler

This is a good well priced option made of double walled, insulated stainless steel. It has a clear BPA free plastic spill resistant lid so you can see how much drink you have left. I think this is a useful feature which the others above don’t have. The lid screws on to form a good seal and is one piece with a permanently open slit for drinking and a straw. The tumbler doesn’t sweat with cold liquids. The insulated design keeps hot liquids hot and cold liquids cold for a generous amount of time, but not as much as the vacuum sealed options above. Having said that I prefer it’s simple one piece lid to the more complicated mechanisms of the first 4 mugs reviewed.
It also come in a 30 oz version if you like over sized drinks, a 10oz option, and they also make a 12 oz can cooler to keep your beer or sofa cold when you’re on the run. The 20 oz option is 6.7 ” tall and has a narrower base that is 2.5 ” so to fit in cup holders.

Ello Ogden BPA-Free Ceramic Travel Mug with Lid, 16 oz

This is one of the relatively few ceramic travel mugs around. It has a BPA free slider lid which makes it easy to drink from and spill resistant. It has a silicone sleeve which helps to mitigate the heat which is conducted from the interior. The sleeves and lids come in a range of attractive colours.
The pros of this mug are: tea and coffee taste better from ceramic than plastic or stainless steel; ceramic doesn’t retain smells; is dishwasher safe and very easy to clean; it is microwave safe; it is spill resistant; with the slider lid you don’t need push a button to unseal the container every time you want to take a sip; the slider lid hole is big enough for a straw.
Pros of this mug are: it will break if you drop it; doesn’t retain heat or cold for very long because it doesn’t have a sealed lid; some people complain that it is too hot to handle if they put scolding hot liquid in it.

I hope you have found this review helpful in choosing the best leak proof or spill resistant travel mug for you.


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