Your Days of Lukewarm Drinks Are Over

Do you need a piping hot Americano to endure your commute? Would you like your water to remain icy during your whole workout? These travel mugs are the best way to reach both goals!

Three women drinking coffee in a car (credit: Gustavo Fring)

I live in Brazil, a country known for high temperatures. Over the past year or two, Stanley tumblers quickly came into fashion here. People would use them especially at night, to keep cocktails cold while enjoying a get-together with friends. I used to think it was just the expensive fad of the moment until a trip to the beach, when a friend let me borrow her tumbler for the day. That was surely a delicious gin tonic.

Whether you intend to use them for cold or hot drinks, travel mugs can be very useful. No one is going to sip one drink over hours, of course. The trick is that they allow us to enjoy that drink at our pace. Drinking becomes even more pleasurable because we can pair it to something else we are doing. In this article, we are going to show you the best travel mugs we have found, as well as three other interesting options.

Best for coffee

Comfortable grip and great design for latte art. Just perfect for quick coffee drinkers.

Best overall

So well done that it’s actually boring to write about it. But it’s definitely wonderful to use.

Best for specific uses

That unassuming design hides a travel mug that handles all types of drinks quite well.

Woman with a coffee cup in a car (credit: Gustavo Fring)
Credit: Gustavo Fring

Why are travel mugs useful?

As Wired , “there isn’t much that’s best drunk at room temperature.” Sadly, enjoying any drink is a lost battle against that. Drinking hot beverages fast is a sure way to burn our tongue. Adding ice to a cocktail harms its taste. And taking too long to drink either one manages to drain the pleasure of the whole action. That is a problem because, if you come to think, we have a strong tendency to drink slowly.

I believe that the main argument in favor of travel mugs is that they allow us to drink at our pace. When it comes to cars, we can enjoy cappuccino through our whole commute, for example. The children can slurp those giant Cokes (and stay silent) until you arrive home. There are many possibilities. Besides, it has been said that the materials of those travel mugs make your beverage than a plastic or paper cup.

Man drinking coffee from a travel mug while sitting at a tent on the roof of a car (credit: Uriel Mont)
Credit: Uriel Mont

What makes a good mug?

First of all, it must be easy to use. Some travel mugs have bigger openings than others. And you will need to snap or twist their lid to close. In the end, that is a matter of your preferences. Some people prefer big openings to take big gulps, while others prefer a slimmer opening to enjoy their drink sip by sip. When it comes to the lid, it is a matter of what is easier for you or what design looks the best in your opinion.

Volume is also important. The smallest travel mugs hold 8 or 12 oz; they are appropriate for mild drinkers and in cases where you have limited space to store them. 16 oz is the average size for this product. 20 oz are the largest ones, useful for people who will spend the whole day on the go without a chance to refill. Last, but not least, some models are safe for dishwasher use and others are not. Again, this is your call.

Man holding a travel mug (credit: Klaus Nielsen)
Credit: Klaus Nielsen

What is the best travel mug?

Besides those variables, there is also each travel mug’s design. However, that item is a matter of your own preference. When it comes to our selection, we have considered mostly rational factors, as you are going to see below. We do show our opinions regarding design, but with secondary importance. You are going to see an overview table first, then the individual travel mug reviews, then our conclusions about them.

Travel MugsCupholderDishwasherLid TypeVolumeCheck price
NoYes*Slide18 oz
NoNoTwist12, 16 oz
YesNoFlip12, 16 oz
YesN/ATwist12.8 oz
YesYesFlip12, 16, 20 oz
NoYesSlide10, 14 oz
*Ello allows you to use the dishwasher’s top rack but recommends hand washing

Best for coffee: KeepCup Reusable

The fact that it was designed by formed baristas says a lot. The smaller size is easy to fit into an espresso machine while the inner slope helps make latte art when pouring. You can drink through a small opening or remove the whole lid to get a similar feeling of a regular mug. Another interesting fact is that KeepCup includes a cork ring for you to grip and offers the plastic lid in several colors. The body is made of glass.

The fact that this travel mug is so focused on coffee means it is not the best for cold drinks. However, we can also mention that there is no handle. You will have to hold it with a maximum of three fingers on that cork ring. Besides, using a glass body means heat retention is not the best. Then again, some people say that is actually something good, because it allows their coffee to reach an adequate temperature faster.


Cork protects hands from heat and looks good
Great size to fit into most espresso machines
Internal design is appropriate to make latte art


Glass body preserves heat for a short period
Cork ring with no handle are risky with hot liquid
You can only wash this travel mug by hand

Best overall: MiiR Flip Traveler

That sleek design is comfortable to hold with one hand. Its double walls make sure you will not feel much of the internal temperature on your hand. The lid screws tight in place so as not to leak. You can flip up a smaller lid to access the opening, which is just the right size. And the use of stainless steel makes it easy to wash (even in dishwashers) while it never retains any flavors. That is a travel mug done right, for sure.

If you are looking for downsides, we can find some. It does not have a handle, which limits the options for carrying it. And the minimalist style might be too bland for some preferences. Then again, the fact that we struggled to find those cons helps explain why this is an absolutely great recommendation in terms of a travel mug. You can have the MiiR mug in white or black, and with the sizes of 12 oz, 16 oz, and 20 oz.


Double wall protects your hand from hot liquid
One of the few travel mugs with three sizes
You can remove the lid or drink from the opening


No handle limits your options to carry it

Best for specific uses: Fellow Carter

This travel mug is awesome for people who truly enjoy coffee: the wide opening allows you to breathe its aroma while you drink. Besides, that size enables you to pour right from the machine you use. You will get a ceramic-coated interior, so there will be no metallic residual flavor. The metal lip is slightly curved to be more pleasant to use. And there is a guard insert to prevent ice cubes or tea leaves to fall towards you.

Although its base is stable, the wide body might be uncomfortable for smaller hands especially without a handle. It is also too wide to fit into most car cupholders. And you cannot use a dishwasher with this one. All things considered, this is an interesting travel mug for people who prioritize a minimalist style and the possibility to easily smell their beverage. It comes in six options of matte colors and with 12 oz or 16 oz.


Guard insert prevent ice cubes from falling back
Strong positive feedback about being leak-free
Wide opening makes it easy to smell the drink


Too wide especially for people with small hands
Too wide to fit into most cupholders of cars
You can only wash this travel mug by hand

Ello Campy Travel Mug

This one is designed to resemble typical North American enameled steel cups. While it is not exactly one of those, it is actually better. The handle is made of plastic and comes with cork on the inner side to bring your fingers little to no heat. It is vacuum-insulated, so there is good temperature preservation. And there is enough sealing to prevent accidental leaking. Another strong suit is that it costs half the average price.

Kinto Travel Tumbler

Compared to the others, this travel mug is quite average at a first glance. Good temperature preservation, easy to fit into espresso machines or your backpack, and minimalist design. Now, what makes it stand out is a double lid. The bottom one has holes for sipping and the top one grants extra protection. This layout makes the Kinto one of the most resistant ones against leaks, even if the travel mug stands upside down.

Yeti Rambler Travel Mug

As you can see, this is one of the closest options to a regular mug. And yet, it brings all the amenities you would expect from a travel mug. Double walls, magnet-based sliding lid, BPA-free materials, dishwasher-ready, you name it. The main flaw is that it is not leak-proof. However, it is comfortable to hold, especially because it will not sweat outside. The handle is quite helpful when you drink while doing something else.

What are our top picks?

From a rational point of view, the is the best choice. As we wrote above, it has virtually no flaws: you will get everything you except from a travel mug. Sure, it could have a handle and multiple color options. However, those issues become minimal when you consider that it is competent at its main function and resists daily use and machine washing while costing the same as most direct competitors.

From an emotional point of view, I definitely pick the . If you need a travel mug for hot beverages you will drink in a short(ish) time, look no further. It is convenient when pouring the drink, and beautiful when you effectively consume it. If you fall into its target audience, there will be no other option for you to consider. But it is a wonderful travel mug even if you are going to make a different use of it.

Author Profile

Danillo Almeida has explored his passion for cars in two distinct ways. The first one is his graduation course in Mechanical Engineering, which will hopefully lead to a job position in the field. The other one is expressing his knowledge and opinions on the matter through writing. Almeida has already contributed to blogs, stores, and websites in general writing automotive content in many formats.