The best travel mug 2017: handy cups for drinking on the go

Sick of vending machine coffee at Starbucks prices? Take your favourite blend on the road in a handy travel coffee cup, from stainless steel flasks to cutesy cup designs

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Long-distance commuters and frequent travellers will know the tale of trying to find a decent cup of coffee on the go all too well. Too often are we forced to pay inflated service station prices for our high-street coffee shop favourites, shell out a ridiculous amount for a sub-par brew from the snack trolley, or — perish the thought — go without. Well no more, we say. 

Enter: the travel coffee mug. Whether you’re trying to save a bit (or a lot) of dosh on overpriced takeaway coffees, or you just don’t trust anyone else to make you a decent cup is by the by. If you love your joe and you’re always on the move, a travel mug is the natural choice. But which one?

How to buy the best travel mug for you

If you can see yourself freeing up a hand to pull out your Oyster card by quickly chucking your cup into a bag, look for locking lids that will never accidentally leak — music to our ears after years of mysteriously dribbling takeaway coffee cups — and sturdy constructions that won’t dent or scratch. 

Stainless steel is especially good for the latter, and a popular choice when it comes to travel mugs. Have a think about how long you need your coffee to stay warm for; if you are looking for a travel mug for your commute and it's not a long journey, you might not mind that your drink isn't piping hot by the time you get to the office because you can always get a fresh one pretty quickly, so a travel mug of any material will do and you can focus more on the design. However, if you need your tea or coffee to stay warmer for longer keep an eye out for thermos style travel mugs that promise 24hours of piping hot drinks.

Then it's a choice of style and size. Most travel mugs will come in a range of colours, so you can go as bold or a subtle as you like. Be careful with capacity though; if you are the type of person that takes your hot drinks by the bucket load, 470ml is pretty much the largest you can go for a travel mug.

Our pick of the best travel mugs to buy today

1. Contigo Autoseal West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug

Stays sealed shut and keeps your drink piping hot until you need it

Specifications
Best for: Keeping drinks hot
Capacity: 470ml
Material: Stainless steel
Dishwasher safe: Lid, yes
Reasons to buy
+Vacuum insulation for super-hot drinks+Leak-proof and spill-proof
Reasons to avoid
-Quite pricey 

We love the sleek shape and shiny finish of this travel 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.

2. Thermos Stainless King Travel Tumbler, Midnight Blue, 470 ml

We’ve heard the phrase “strong and stable” a lot recently, but this time it’s for real

Specifications
Best for: Strength
Capacity: 470ml
Material: Stainless steel
Dishwasher safe: No
Reasons to buy
+Keeps hot drinks hot for hours+Strong and stable
Reasons to avoid
-Tricky to use while driving 

From iconic brand Thermos, this stainless steel travel 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. 

3. Mighty Mug Go - The Travel Mug That Won't Fall Over (0.47 Litre), Red

With unparalleled stability and a considerable capacity, this is truly a mighty mug

Specifications
Best for: Stability
Capacity: 470ml
Material: Plastic
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Completely un-knock-over-able+Large capacity
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn’t stay hot for long 

Touted as the world’s first unspillable 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. 

4. The Rice Way Travel Mug

Transport your coffee the right way the help of these eco-friendly biodegradable cups

Specifications
Best for: Eco-friendly
Capacity: 400ml
Material: Rice husk
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Biodegradable +Eco-friendly
Reasons to avoid
- Doesn't look great

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. Their eco-friendly reusable 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. 

5. Kooyi Vacuum Insulated Travel Coffee Mug

If you only have one hand free, make this bottle your go-to

Specifications
Best for: Best-looking
Capacity: 460ml
Material: Stainless steel
Dishwasher safe: No
Reasons to buy
+Looks great+One-hand opening
Reasons to avoid
-Lid gets in the way

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 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.

If hot drinks aren't your thing and it's a handy travel water bottle you're after check out our guide to the best travel water bottles 2017