Are you constantly in search of a travel mug or tumbler that actually keeps your coffee hot? In the following article, I have narrowed down a list of the best travel mug brands.
Travel mugs, tumblers, and thermoses are a dime a dozen. Finding quality is made so difficult by the vast number of options you have.
And since coffee taste changes as it cools, keeping your coffee mug as as hot as possible is key to enjoying your favorite brew for longer.
This selection focuses on those travel mugs and tumblers that are stainless steel, leak-proof, dishwasher safe, equipped with a great auto seal, and that of course, keep your hot coffee hot!
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Otterbox Thermal Travel Mugs
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Zojirushi Travel Coffee Mugs
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Contigo Autoseal West Loop Mugs
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Ello Campy Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Mugs
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I love a hot cup of coffee, and I hate (I know hate is a strong word) more than anything when I'm on the go and my coffee gets cold within an hour. Bleh.
These are the best travel mugs to keep your coffee hot:
- Zojirushi Travel Coffee Mugs
- Otterbox Thermal Travel Mugs
- Yeti Ramblers
- Contigo Autoseal West Loop Mugs
- Ello Campy Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Mugs
Types of Travel Mugs
"The best" in any given group of things is often a matter of opinion. What type of travel mugs do you like? Are you interested in a heavy plastic insulated mug or go you prefer a stainless steel tumbler? Do you have a particular preference for the old Stanley classic thermos? Give yourself permission to have a marked preference.
This will make selecting what to buy based on my list a much easier choice.
But for travel coffee mugs that keep coffee hot the best, it comes down to certain criteria and preference.
Let's start with the types of travel mugs you can find out there...
Thermos Travel Mugs
Thermos mugs are a bit more expensive than bottles or tumblers. Yet, they are worth every penny. An insulated travel mug is first guaranteed to keep your beverage hot. Next, they are also harder to break than a regular coffee mug.
Many baristas and general coffee lovers like to get creative with their travel tumblers. They're heavily designed, often plastic and mass produced. Picking the best one is harder than you'd think. You need one that is the most leak-proof and heat resistant. Yet, you also want one that reflects your personality to the full. You're going to want to look for a brand that offers you a lot of color options.
It's also worth noting that craftsmanship material quality is vital. So many knockoffs and counterfeits of travel tumblers exist that are cheaply made.
The best way to avoid this is to check to make sure the travel mugs are selling from their official source on Amazon.
Double Wall Travel Mugs
The double-wall travel mugs, if purchased right, will provide twice the insulation. The keyword is purchased right, though. Every coffee lover knows the irritation of water in the inside of a double-walled mug leaking out mid-sip and making a mess. The idea is to purchase a double-wall mug that is crack and slip-resistant.
Stainless Steel Travel Mugs
The stainless steel travel mug is well-loved by all generations for its durability. Finding one that comes in a size and shape that makes sense for all cupholders is essential to getting the most out of this classic container. Stainless steel, when kitchen grade, is resistant to germs and bacteria that can build up in travel mugs.
They tend to also keep coffee hot for longer, which is why most of my favorite travel mugs that keep coffee hottest have a stainless steel component.
The hydro flask is wonderful for insulating hot coffee, but they have so many other values. Hydro flasks are a multipurpose beverage must-have. The thing about hydroflasks is that they tend to hand screw on tops, which isn't handy for coffee drinkers on the go.
But hydroflasks that are made for both hot and cold beverages can be great for coffee drinkers who like their coffee iced sometimes and hot others.
Ceramic Travel Mugs
Some people get sentimental about their at-home coffee cups. A ceramic mug is the only thing that feels right to them. If that's you, then you'll need to find the graduated version of your kitchen coffee cup to take with you on the go.
Since ceramic is great at retaining heat, your coffee won't change taste as it cools.
That's where ceramic travel mugs come in. These are insulated spill-proof wear travel mugs that retain the same feel as the novelty mugs but have the reinforcing innovation to keep that beverage hot.
Wide-rimmed ceramic mugs are great for latte art too!
What To Look For in A Travel Mug For Hot Coffee
Most travel mug and tumbler consumers complain of dribble from their cup, leaks, and cracks in the vessel's body. You want to look for material that consistently delivers the opposite of these things.
More recently, travel mugs that claim to keep coffee hot include a hot plate or are electrically heated to keep the temperature of your coffee for longer. Ember travel mugs are just one kind, and while I personally don't prefer them as the technology is still being developed, heated coffee mugs are great for office settings specifically.
If you're interested in learning more about whether pricier mugs like Ember are worth it, check out my detailed review by clicking here.
In every variety of hot travel mugs, here's what else you should consider:
The leak-proof closure is the deal-breaking feature for a good travel mug. No matter how great the insulation or how beautiful the craftsmanship of the vessel, a leaky lid means the coffee gets cold. You have a long commute ahead of you every day. So, leaks and spills are not something you have time to stop and clean up. If you wanted to deal with that, you'd have brought along your kitchen coffee cup.
Fits in Cup Holders
If you're like me, you have a hard time finding a travel mug that also fits into any cup holder. Mugs that fit a general auto maker's cup holder sizing are a deal-breaker. There's really no point to a travel mug, is there, if you can't port it with you easily.
Your ideal container is a roughly 16-ounce travel mug. You will want to measure the base of a 16-oz bottle and compare that to the diameter of your car's cup holder. Labeling companies typically put the base diameter of this size bottle at 2-inches. A bottle label maker brand from Amazon has that number rounded up to 3.5 inches for their label size. So, you need a cup holder that is a minimum of 3.5-inches in diameter to hold the larger-bodied 16-oz containers.
Microwave safe travel mugs are typically not an option. But Dishwasher safe ones are easier to find and make travel mugs even more convenient. Be aware that some can only be dish-washed on the top rack, especially lids. You don't want to spill your cup of coffee everywhere when you're driving because of a faulty lid!
The best travel mug is also going to be the most environmentally-friendly travel mug readily available. Look for those which are BPA free to recommit your dedication to sustainability.
A brief recap of BPA is available via the Mayo Clinic.
So, you can see where the environmental concerns come from. No one wants cheap plastics breaking off into the planet on their watch. That said, BPA can also potentially break down from cup coating resins. It can then get into the food or beverage you're eating or drinking. Bad for the environment is bad enough. Yet, bad for your body is non-negotiable.
Double-wall vacuum insulated
Double-Wall vacuum insulation is sure to guarantee the heat consistency of your travel coffee mug. The same technology applies to water bottles, hydro flasks, and other tumblers. The vacuum insulation gives the added protection to outside air that the mug needs to stay the same temperature within for several hours.
Popular Travel Mugs To Keep Coffee Hot Compared
Now that you know what to look for in your travel mug for hot beverages, you should make a comparison between the voted best brands. You're doing this for two reasons. One, because you need to narrow the list down as close as possible to make your purchase process easy. Two, because you need to know which travel mugs work best for you as a barista.
some newer travel coffee mugs can do thinks like be a coffee maker, include five-year warranties, and include an infuser. I reviewed the travel mugs I think really keep hot beverages hot almost all day.
The Zojirushi travel mug is one of the most loved brands. Zojirushi is a cookware company that makes kitchen appliances like rice cookers in addition to their coffee mugs. Their travel mugs sell for under $30.
Zojirushi travel mugs come in black, champagne gold, lavender-pink, smoky blue, stainless steel, cherry, emerald, and lavender. They have a truly beautiful, narrow-body craftsmanship and the pearlized colors give them vibrancy.
The heat retention of the Zojirushi is awesome. The Zojirushi cup can be left for 24 hours and the beverage inside maintains 89 degrees Fahrenheit.
That means that the heat retention inside a Zojirushi keeps it next-to microwave temperature an entire day afterward. Compared with Contigo, which only gives roughly 5 hours of heat retention.
Literally the holy grail of coffee mugs to keep coffee hot!
Many trusted gear makers have their own rendition of the thermos travel mug. Otterbox, famous for making the cellphone case of the same name, has its own thermos mug. If you have a strenuous winter sports schedule, these are the stainless steel thermos travel mugs for you.
They are hardy. Nigh indestructible.
They come in colors called big teal, silver panther black, baked mud, stainless steel, and frappe and fit in most cup holders. Selling for under 30 dollars, they have high copper interiors and keep coffee hot for hours. The limited lifetime warranty that OtterBox backs has its upside. You can trade in your mug if it breaks in most cases.
Yeti Ramblers are made from reinforced stainless steel and are double insulated. These ramblers are my absolute favorite and I own several in different sizes.
They are double-wall vacuum seal enforced. This protects both hot and cold beverages as Yeti puts it, "at all costs". They come in brick red, peak purple, river green, charcoal, clay, sand, stainless steel, navy, white, seafoam, and black Dura Coat colors. They also have a trademark magnetic slider lid for extra reinforcement.
The 20 oz. Yeti Ramblers have a 2 and 3/4's inch base diameter. This makes them just under the typical size to fit most cupholders. The middle base is deep at 6 and 7/8 inches. This is where the cup can store more liquid and still be the standard travel mug base size.
Nothing keeps coffee or any other hot beverage hot like a Yeti in my opinion. They also last forever.
The trademark Autoseal West Loop mug by Contigo sells under $20, and for a stainless steel mug that will keep coffee hot for about 7 hours, that's a good deal. They come in black, radiant orchid, and stainless steel. One of the key takeaways from this travel mug is its easy-clean lid.
It's been called "beautifully crafted" by customers. Customers on the Contigo site state that the cup "does not leak ever".
A nice feature is the autolock for one handed-drinking (just push the button with your thumb to open). Great for on the go multitasking. And the lid opens completely for easy cleaning.
The Ello Campy vacuum-insulated mug is top-of-the-line and gets the highest praise on Amazon.
It sells right under $15.00, a great price point for this style of a travel mug. The Ello Campy mug feels like a real mug, which is more comfortable for most. With a ceramic exterior and stainless steel interior, drinks stay cold for 10 hours and hot for 5. I also really love the cork inlay in the handle. So comfortable! Campy comes in a variety of fun colors: Avalon Sea, Navy, Georgia Peach, Sunbleached Turquoise, Grey, Matte Black, and Xavier Navy colors.
Easy-cleaning and guaranteed BPA-free, the lid is also dishwasher safe.
Some users call it a "thermos converted into a handle mug".