Best insulated travel mug


I’m in the market for a good insulated coffee cup/mug. Three most important qualities needed: (i) retains heat well (I’m sick of having my coffee go cold in an hour - makes me drink it too quickly); (ii) portability/travel; and (iii) size.



From the people behind the site The Wirecutter:


That’s pretty much what I use. I haven’t had it that long though but my drink would still be hot 4-6 hours later. They’re kind of pricey at about $30 but worth it. They have about a dozen different varieties to fit different needs.


Get thee to Costco (or Walmart, but they’re more expensive there) and get a pack of Contigo mugs:

Hands down the best solution on the market; they don’t spill, and they keep your coffee hot for hours.


Loved those, but tossed it after a while because the lid/cap was a whore to keep clean and at one point retained a dish soap taste for a while. I was sad because if it weren’t for that it was practically perfect.


Another one chiming in for Contigo.


I’ve been using a set of these for a year, and the lid’s not been a problem. It’s dishwasher safe, and the dishwasher does a good job on it without leaving a soap taste.

Foam and air insulated mugs don’t insulate worth a damn. I’ve run some tests, and a typical air-insulated double-wall bottle doesn’t perform much better than a straight plastic bottle. Foam’s not much better.

The Contigo mug is moderately insulated, enough to keep coffee warm for ~4 hours, provided you start at about 150, which is the limit of what I find tolerable. Note that pouring coffee into a mug cools it down, so if you’re being fiddly about it (as I am), you want to measure the temperature in the mug, not at the source.

The Contigo is a vacuum bottle, but the walls are awfully thin. A proper Thermos will last all day - in my test, water that started at 155 took 13 hours to drop to 120, which I feel is the bottom limit. However, the Contigo mugs have a big advantage, you can put them in the dishwasher, which you can’t with most vacuum bottles.

The manual warns that the paint will come off the colored bottles if you use the dishwasher. After a year of use, I’ve got a few flakes missing from my red one, no visible damage to my blue one, and of course the unpainted stainless steel version doesn’t care at all. If this is a concern, get the stainless steel version.


My daughter got me a Thermos brand travel mug for Christmas. It will keep my coffee hot from 8am until early afternoon. I think she paid around $30 for it, or maybe for 2 as she bought her mother one as well. It is a great improvement over the travel mug I had before.

It is dishwasher friendly although it may lose some color over time.


Yeah, this is the one I use:

They make it without the handle as well but I really like the handle a lot.

It keeps my coffee hot for hours and warm for several hours after that. I like it so much that it’s ruined all other mugs for me. I use it around the house on weekends and when I recently left it in a friend’s car, I ran out and dropped another $25 for a spare at Target because I couldn’t stand the thought of not having hot coffee for a week.

The video review on Amazon covers the key features very well.


The one without the handle is what I have.


I don’t know how it stacks up against the competition, but the mug I have that lasts the longest is a vacuum mug from REI.

I mainly bought it for the infuser mechanism to brew tea on the go with, but it definitely keeps the heat in. Putting in near boiling water to brew tea, the mug is still undrinkably hot an hour later for me. I’ve learned to let the water coast down a little bit more before adding it to the mug. It does have to be hand washed.


On a somewhat related note, I have an old Thermos Nissan that I haul into work every morning. Over the years it has become crufty with sediment and is starting to turn my coffee bitter after a few hrs. I was going to buy another one, but after reading up a bit on this, I poured a cup of Oxiclean into it with hot water, sealed it and shook it a few times. 2 hours later, I poured it out and the thing is as clean as the day I bought it.
What a useful tip, highly recommended for cleaning anything coffee-related!


Starbucks has decent ones. If you’re like me and tend to accumulate those $5 starbucks gift cards around the holidays its a good way to get rid of them. Much better use than drinking their awful coffee at least.


We have a couple Starbucks mugs. Some are better than others so check them all out before making a purchase.


I love the Nissan thermos mugs. I have bought several.

You twist to unlock and drink. It’s a nice fast curve do you don’t cut your lip on a thin edge. You also twist to lock nicely so your bag won’t leak.

Con’s: big ass handle. Iirc there was a different shaped one I liked but I can’t find it now.

On amazon it’s the one that’s 14 oz first listed. Can’t link since using a phone.