Making coffee at home is a great way to cut down on wasteful disposable cups and save money. However, it can be inconvenient when you have a long commute to work or if you get stuck outside in the cold because your coffee won’t stay hot for very long. Unless, that is, you use a well-insulated travel mug to keep your morning coffee hot and fresh all-day.

Travel mugs are the perfect solution for temperature regulation and keeping your drink from spilling while you travel. Each product has its own unique way of keeping your drink safe like auto-closing covers or locking mechanisms, but they all use some form of insulation to keep heat in (or out). There are so many different cups to choose from with subtle differences, so we’ve compiled a list of the best travel mugs available today. We’ll also give you helpful tips and information about what makes some coffee mugs better than others.

Our Top Picks: Summary

The Best Travel Mugs: Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Contigo Autoseal Transit
Contigo Autoseal Transit

This easy-to-use autoseal travel mug is perfect for keeping your drinks hot or cold.

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Why We Picked It

The Contigo Autoseal Transit has a simple design that packs in some of the best features. The sipping port automatically seals when you’re not holding the button, which is conveniently located where your index finger rests. While you have to hold the button down to sip, the grip is comfortable and can easily be used one-handed. This mug’s double-wall vacuum insulation keeps liquids hot for five hours and cold for 12.

The lid of this cup is flat to keep it from hitting your nose or blocking your sight while you’re drinking from it. The cover also uses fewer pieces than other autoseal cups and can be opened up for cleaning, which makes it easier to maintain. The lid is top-rack dishwasher safe while the body is hand wash only. The Contigo features a non-slip grip and bottom pad. To top it off, this product is also backed by a limited lifetime guarantee.

Keep in Mind

The Contigo Transit is wider and slightly heavier than other travel mugs, which some people may dislike.

In a Nutshell

  • Spill-proof autoseal cover
  • Keeps liquids hot for at least five hours
  • Contigo Limited Lifetime Guarantee
Best Budget: Rubbermaid Flip Lid
Rubbermaid Leak Proof Flip Lid

This simplistic travel mug has great features for a low price.

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Why We Picked It

The Rubbermaid Thermal Bottle comes in both 10-ounce and 16-ounce sizes, with your choice for four different lid colors. Depending on the size, this mug can keep drinks hot for three to five hours and cold for six to ten. The cup uses double-walled vacuum insulation with a stainless steel exterior.

The Rubbermaid travel bottle is the best option for budget shoppers. This travel mug is BPA-free and entirely dishwasher safe. The one-piece flip lid snaps shut for a guaranteed leak-proof finish. It is also easy to snap open to drink and unscrew the top for refilling.

Keep in Mind

Some users have found the lid design to be unusual or slightly uncomfortable to use.

In a Nutshell

  • Low price
  • Leak-proof design
  • Dishwasher safe
Best Ceramic: Ello Ogden Travel Mug
Ello Ogden Ceramic Travel Mug

A unique and functional design makes this an attractive ceramic travel mug.

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Why We Picked It

The body of the Ello travel mug is made entirely out of ceramic, just like the coffee mugs you use at home. It features a splash-resistant lid with a slider that allows you to drink directly from the wall of the cup. Every piece of this travel mug is dishwasher safe, and it comes with a lifetime guarantee.

The ceramic is wrapped in an insulating silicone boot to keep your drinks warmer. The cover comes in seven different colors and features a diamond pattern for a better grip. The base also has a built-in coaster that is slip-proof.

Keep in Mind

The ceramic has less insulation than other cups, so this travel mug doesn’t keep drinks hot for as long.

In a Nutshell

  • Splash-resistant slider li
  • Comfortable grip and built-in coaster
  • Ello’s Lifetime Guarantee
Best Stainless Steel: Zojirushi SM-SC48
Zojirushi Stainless Steel Travel Mug

A stylish stainless steel mug with a wide variety of colors.

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Why We Picked It

The Zojirushi SM-SC mug is great for keeping your drinks fresh; its vacuum insulation can keep a drink hot or cold for at least six hours. The travel mug still manages to stay lightweight, and its minimalist design is available in 16 different colors and three sizes. All three sizes are three inches wide, which is good for grip and fits in standard-sized cup holders.

The Zojirushi lid has two separate pieces that come apart for cleaning. The cover snaps open and closed as well as having a locking feature for a guaranteed seal. Its flip-up cover also helps keep the mouthpiece clean throughout the day. The inside of this stainless steel travel mug has a non-stick coating. This cup is backed by a five-year warranty on heat retention.

Keep in Mind

The Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug is a little more difficult to clean than other options but does come with its own cleaning tool.

In a Nutshell

  • Two-step lid release and lock
  • Stainless steel finish comes in 16 colors
  • Five-year heat retention warranty
Best Insulation: Yeti Rambler
Yeti Rambler

Double insulation and strong lid make the Yeti the best-insulated travel mug.

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Why We Picked It

The Yeti Rambler is a heavy-duty travel mug made to insulate your drink all day. The cup features double-wall insulation and 18/8 stainless steel body, which is covered in Yeti’s special DuraCoat. This distinctive powder coating is resistant to fading, peeling, and crack and comes in your choice of 18 different colors.

The shatter-resistant cover is made with a MagSlider lid. Powerful magnets hold the slider in place for spill-proofing and added insulation. The Yeti Rambler is a 20-ounce travel mug that still fits inside any standard sized cup holder. All of the pieces for this cup are also dishwasher safe.

Keep in Mind

The Yeti Rambler is the most expensive option on our list and isn’t ideal for shoppers on a budget.

In a Nutshell

  • Double wall insulation
  • Stainless steel and DuraCoat exterior
  • Spill-proof MagSlider cover

How We Chose the Best Travel Mugs

In order to suggest the best products for you, we pay close attention to a handful of characteristics and details. To give you some more information about how we choose the best travel mugs, some of the most important points are defined below.

Materials

Vacuum-insulated mugs perform the best because the design interrupts heat transfer, thus slowing down the loss of heat in your drink. The cover design was also crucial for our decisions because travel mugs need to help prevent any accidental spills. We found that auto-sealing lids did the best at minimizing the chance to spill your drink, while other leakproof designs are still great for travel after they are sealed.

Ease of Use

Knowing that you’ll most likely be using your product in the car or on the go, we made sure each travel mug is easy to use. More complicated locking mechanisms could take your attention away from the road and become a hazard. We made sure any locking mechanisms could be operated one-handed. We also wanted to make sure the cup is comfortable to hold and can easily fit in a cup holder without toppling over. The width of the container (and some unique cover designs) can also get in the way of your line of vision while drinking from them. We avoided any overly bulky products that would make using them difficult while paying attention to the road.

Durability

Taking a cup on the go means it needs to be able to handle bumpy roads and occasional drops. We looked for durable travel mug construction that can handle everyday wear and tear. We found that cups made from stainless steel were great for durability because they are shatter-proof and puncture-resistant. Materials like ceramic and glass can break easily in the event of an accident, and probably won’t last as long. We also made sure that the covers were capable of being dropped without having any leaking issues afterward.

Price

Typically, the cost of a travel mug is directly related to its durability and features. We wanted to make sure that the price you’re paying is worth it for the quality of each product. Some of the lower-priced travel mugs lack features like auto-locks or built-in coasters, however, many of them still do a fantastic job of keeping your drink insulated throughout the day. For the more expensive items, we made sure that the overall specs and characteristics warranted a higher price.

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are a great asset to us because people provide helpful information about every aspect of a product. We paid close attention to user experiences with how well a product met their expectations and if there were any unexpected defects. In the case of a defective product, it’s also important that the manufacturer reached out in a timely manner and worked to resolve the issue.

What to Consider When Choosing a Travel Mug

While some characteristics are universal, other qualities can affect whether or not a travel mug is right for you. Keep the considerations below in mind while you’re trying to find your perfect product.

Intended Use

Consider what you plan on using your travel mug for. Morning coffee drinkers might want more insulation to keep their drink hot for longer, or maybe even want a microwave-safe cup for reheating. If you’re going to use your mug with an iced drink, you need to make sure the opening is big enough to fit ice cubes. A travel mug with a built-in coaster might be the best option if you plan on using your cup mostly around the house or in the office.

Capacity

The amount you plan on drinking is important to consider because travel mugs come in a variety of sizes. If you’re the type of person who needs as much coffee as possible in the morning, then larger cups might be a good investment. If you don’t plan on drinking as much out of your mug, smaller sizes can be less expensive and sometimes have thicker insulation.

Shape

One of the best features of a travel mug is being able to take it with you anywhere. Unfortunately, that can become a problem if the shape of your cup doesn’t fit with your car’s cup holders. Finding a cup that can fit in places you’ll keep it the most is crucial. Also, if you plan on putting your mug in a bag or purse, skinnier bottles and airtight seals are key features.

Type of Seal

Depending on your travel needs, you should consider what type of seal you need. Some travel mugs are completely leakproof, which is perfect for someone who wants to avoid spills, keep their cup in a bag, or even shake up a drink throughout the day. Splash resistant covers are good for car rides while otherwise being kept in a fairly stable environment. If you’re not worried about spills, buying a cup with less splash protection might also include an easier lid design or lower price.

How to Care for Your Travel Mug

It’s important to regularly clean your travel mug for many reasons. A well-maintained mug will give you the best tasting drinks, and materials like silicone will last longer if kept clean. Mugs with special locking mechanisms need the most attention since liquid can get trapped in the crevasses. The tips below are important for keeping your travel mug clean and working properly.

  • Use soap and water to clean after every use.
  • Disassemble any lids with multiple parts.
  • Thoroughly clean with a sponge or bottle brush.
  • Use a small brush to get into all the corners, especially in the lid.
  • Only use a dishwasher for pieces that are dishwasher safe.

Related Resources

For more reviews on coffee products and accessories, check out the links below.

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Bryan Long