Travel mugs, also known as reusable coffee cups, have become increasingly popular recently, as we become more aware of the effects single-use options have on the environment. Some coffee shops even offer a discount on their drinks if you present your own cup, instead of taking one of theirs.
So while a travel mug might cost the equivalent of a week’s worth of morning commute coffees, you’ll start to earn your money back over time - while also knowing you’re doing your bit to help reduce unnecessary waste.
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But which one should you go for, and what features - and designs - and worth looking out for?
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How to buy the best travel coffee mug for you
Toughness and a locking lid are key here, unless you want to find mysterious puddles of coffee in the bottom of your bag or worse, seeping through the keyboard of your laptop. While we can forgive a throwaway paper cup from disintegrating, a travel coffee mug should be solidly built and with a secure locking mechanism.
Stainless steel is a popular option for travel coffee mug, as it will shrug off much of what your daily commute has to throw at it.
Next up is the mug’s thermal qualities. A cheaper option designed to keep your morning coffee hot for an hour of so will be perfect for the commute, as you can easily grab a refill when you get to the office. But if you plan on taking a hot beverage further afield, you should consider a thermos option, as these claim to keep their contents hot - or cold, if that’s what you’re after - for hours on end. Handy if you find yourself stuck up a mountain on a weekend hike gone awry.
Then you’ll want to consider the design and size of your travel coffee mug. Yes, aesthetics shouldn’t really matter, but when you’re using something every day you will probably want it to look nice - as well as being easy to hold and store in your bag.
Many come in a range of colours too, helping you stand out from the crowd, or fit right in with the masses, whichever you prefer.
Our pick of the best travel coffee mugs to buy today
The S’well travel mug is available in a wide range of sizes, colours and finishes. But for this article we’ve opted for the smaller 340ml model, in a blue/grey colour called Night Sky.
This mug offers a travel-friendly size with an ergonomic design and a wide mouth making it easy to insert ice to cool or fruit to infuse with. There’s no official word on how long this mug keeps your drinks hot or cold, but owners report they get in the region of four to five hours of heat, and 24 hours of cold. The former isn’t a huge amount, but given it carries a smaller amount we can’t see this being a complete deal-breaker.
The travel flask is triple-walled for a condensation-free exterior, so your hands (and the contents of your bag) stay nice and dry.
We love the sleek shape and shiny finish of this travel coffee mug, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about the performance – and the performance is very good indeed.
Its autoseal technology locks firmly when not in use with the slide of a button, and when “on”, you push the button to drink, ensuring your brew will never go anywhere unless you absolutely want it to. The big selling point is its insulation: it keeps hot drinks hot for 4 hours, and cold drinks cold for a whopping 12. A great all-rounder that’ll last forever and looks pretty good too.
From iconic brand Thermos, this stainless steel travel coffee mug is the last word in knock-proof, shock-proof, incredibly stable drink transportation. As well as being durable enough to get knocked around in a pack, not one leak or dribble gets past its sealing lid, even when turned upside down, and it keeps contents hot for hours on end – for those reasons, we think it’s the best travel mug for walking and hiking.
If you're more of a tea drinker, you'll be pleased to hear it also comes with a tea hook for holding bags and loose-leaf infusers, so char lovers needn’t feel left out.
Touted as the world’s first unspillable travel coffee mug, we’re almost disappointed that the Mighty Mug Go makes good on its promise – many have tried, King Arthur-like, to be the ones to knock it over, but none have succeeded.
As such, it’s amazingly good for bumpy car rides or for use in the vicinity of excitable children. It won’t keep your tea or coffee as hot as other mugs will, but for a caffeine injection on short trips, that you won’t accidentally elbow over while rifling through your bag, it’s a winner.
For when only a half-litre of coffee will do, we present this 500ml insulated vacuum flask from Double Y. That’s just shy of a whole pint, which should keep you going all day - and it’ll stay hot (or cold, if that’s what you’re aiming for) for eight whole hours.
The flask is made from stainless steel and is available in four different colours; red, black, champagne gold, and blue. The mug’s screw lid mechanism is claimed to be unique, and guarantees a completely leak-free design. It is also designed to be spill-proof and usable with one hand.
If you're looking for a compact travel mug, this 355ml tumbler from Corkcicle is the one for you. It's perfect for enjoying your morning coffee, and includes a clear, sliding spill-resistant lid so you can take it on the go, wherever you go. It's ideal for lattes, hot tea, milk, mixed drinks and more. It features triple insulated stainless steel, which can keep your drinks cold for nine hours or hot for three hours.
Measuring in at almost 600ml, this stainless steel travel coffee mug by Contigo is huge, and represents great value for money. Not only does it have a larger capacity than most, but it also claims to keep hot drinks hot for seven hours, and cold drinks cold for 20 hours.
A unique leak-proof lid presents any scolding spillages, and a reservoir spout is claimed to offer more flow control while pouring, and releases more of the drink’s aroma. The lid pivots back for easy cleaning, and is dishwasher-safe.
The two colour option son offer are ‘Vivacious’ - a red/pink metallic - and ‘Monaco’, which we’re going to call blue.
This large 480ml insulated travel coffee mug is claimed to keep your hot drinks hot - or cold drinks cold - for up to size hours, thanks to its double-waller, vacuum-sealed construction. The mug is also claimed to be truly leak-proof, and has a BPA-free lid and food-grade steel construction, so there’s no chance of chemicals working their way into your drink.
Although boasting a large capacity, this mug is tall and thin, so should fit in most car cup holders - as well as the drinks pouches of backpacks - without a problem.
A touch stainless steel body means it should hold up well no matter where you take it.
Their marketing materials might be incredibly over-the-top (you’re probably not going to get radiation sickness from a ceramic mug), but The Rice Way have a right to be smug.
This eco-friendly reusable coffee cup doesn’t just keep your coffee hot without burning your hands, it’s also fully biodegradable and made from renewable rice husk, a by-product of processing rice. If you like to do your bit for the environment or would rather avoid BPA-containing plastics, give this a go.
With its sleek design and range of unexpected colours – there’s no silver in sight, and we’re especially taken with the jet black option. This is a travel coffee mug that both looks the part and does the job.
The flip-up one-handed opening is helpful for on the go, and the safety locking mechanism guarantees it leak-proof, even when chucked in a bag. If you are looking for a travel mug to use in the car whilst driving, this is the one.
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