Running late with no time to grab your morning coffee? It's a conundrum many of us can relate to, but there's nothing worse than needing your cup of Joe on-the-go with no proper mug. With so many options on the market, purchasing can feel overwhelming. Worse — what if the travel mug you buy doesn't live up to the marketing hype?
In a travel coffee mug, size, durability, heat retention, and a leakproof seal are important qualifiers. Our editorial team combed thousands of reviews, considered personal experiences, and even conducted a few test runs to find the 10 best travel coffee mugs that money can buy in 2020. Here's what we found:
We've highlighted the key differences between some of the most popular travel mugs so you can decide which one is a fit for you. The right mug for your needs may not be the most expensive, so consider some of these tips to make sure you're not shelling out more than necessary.
Most insulated coffee mugs come in sizes between 12 and 24 ounces, with the median size being 20 ounces. That may be entirely too large for your typical java consumption, so consider downsizing your travel mug for what best suits your drinking habits.
Stainless steel is a popular material for travel mugs because it is so durable in the face of drops and falls. But if aren't one for toting a travel coffee cup with you, you might fare better with a glass or ceramic option. They're not as durable, but they have some other positive aspects.
Another thing to consider is cleaning. Most vacuum-insulated tumblers cannot be washed in dishwashers; it will break the seal and ruin the insulation. So if you can't fathom hand washing your tumbler every day, consider looking for one that's dishwasher safe for all parts.
The old adage "you get what you pay for" is never far from mind. But with portable coffee mugs, you really don't have to spend a fortune to get one that's outstanding. For what it's worth, none of the travel mugs on our list costs more than $40.
Do you drink your coffee within minutes of pouring it? Or do you like to let your coffee linger with you for a few hours? Consider your sipping habits when picking a coffee tumbler. Many are insulated to keep hot things warm for hours, but if you know you need four or more hours of hot coffee from the same cup, you're going to need one that's highly rated for its insulation capabilities.
How the mug closes might be the most important aspect if you're a consumer who is worried about leaky messes, drips, or drops while you're hustling to meetings. Many of these travel mug options have unique leak-proof lids that come highly rated by users. Others feature caps that are admired for keeping all liquids inside despite being jostled in bags.
Zojirushi brand mugs are consistently rated as top-of-the-line travel coffee mugs — and we see why. Made of stainless steel and BPA-free plastic, it's built to last with easy-to-remove parts, as well as a non-stick interior, make cleaning a breeze.
While most travel lids just pop off for cleaning, this model's top completely disassembles for a thorough scrubbing, and a safety lock on the lid helps to ensure fewer mishaps from accidental openings. Vacuum insulation that keeps beverages hot or cold for hours on end and a five-year warranty seals the deal on this top-line pick.
Buy it: Zojirushi Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Mug, $30; Amazon
For less than $10, this 16-ounce mug is the best deal on our list, and 43,000 consumer reviews agree. Contigo's patented Autoseal technology ensures all their mugs are both leak and spill proof with a pop-and-lock style.
Designed for one-handed drinking, the press of a button releases the liquid through an opening that seals between sips, and Thermalock vacuum insulation locks in temperature for up to five hours for hot drinks and 12 hours for cold drinks.
Buy it: Contigo Stainless Steel Autoseal West Loop Vacuum-Insulated Travel Mug, $10; Amazon
This sleek tumbler, available in three colors, was made with minimalists in mind. A twist-off lid and stainless steel body keeps things simple on the exterior, but a "True Taste" ceramic-coated interior ensures whatever you're drinking stays true-to-form without any metallic aftertastes. Available in both 12 ounce and 16 ounce, all sizes feature an open mouth, which makes brewing directly into the tumbler a breeze.
Buy it: Fellow Carter Everywhere Thermal Mug, $30; Nordstrom
Related: How Much Coffee Is Too Much?
For the fashionista coffee sipper wanting to upgrade their mornings, S'well's raw stone-inspired 20-ounce bottle is the answer. A triple-walled stainless steel body, complete with a copper wall layer for heat retention, and "Therma-S'well" technology, keeps drinks cold for 26 hours or hot for up to 11 hours without exterior condensation. A wide-mouth opening makes sipping or adding cubes for iced coffee easy.
With a $40 price tag, this is the most expensive travel mug on our list, but a portion of proceeds from each bottle benefits UNICEF and helps to provide clean water to children in need around the world.
Buy it: S'well Traveler Calcutta Gold 20-Ounce Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, $40; Nordstrom
Sometimes you just want your joe-on-the-go to feel like an at-home cuppa. We get it. Yeti's wide-grip 14-ounce Rambler Mug is the answer. Rust-resistant, kitchen-grade stainless steel, and DuraCoat Color Technology ensure no chipping, fading, or punctures to the design, and a double-wall seal keeps drinks hot longer. The best part? Both mug and lid are dishwasher safe.
Buy it: Yeti Rambler Mug, $25; Amazon
Designed to eliminate single-use cups over the course of a purchaser's lifetime, JOCO's mugs are made to last. Because of their mantra, it's not surprising their designs are 100 percent plastic free, instead made with shock-resistant glass and silicone.
Stain and odor resistant, all JOCO travel mugs — available in 4-, 6-, 8-, 12- and 16-ounce sizes — are microwave safe (ideal for a quick reheat before heading out) and feature an anti-splash lid.
Buy it: JOCO 12oz Glass Reusable Coffee Cup, $22; Amazon
The Otterbox name is synonymous with indestructible phone cases, and the made-for-rugged reputation now extends to travel mugs. Though available in sizes up to 64 ounce, our editorial team suggests the 20-ounce tumbler, which fits snugly in a cup holder for commuters, campers, and anyone in between. Made from 100 percent stainless steel featuring an internal copper lining, beverage temperature is maintained and a press-in lid with a pop-up opening makes sipping a cinch.
Buy it: Otterbox Elevation Tumbler, $30; Amazon
Hydro Flask's Flex Sip lid is what sets this tumbler above the rest. A leak-proof design that twists to unlock the smooth flow opening allows worry-free sipping on the go. Quick to clean, the strap also makes this bottle easy to carry, and the insulated lid works in tandem with TempShield double-wall vacuum insulation and stainless steel construction to keep hot liquids hot for 12 hours, or cold for up to 24.
Buy it: Hydro Flask 20-Ounce Coffee Flask, $35; Nordstrom
More than 2,500 five-star reviews can't be wrong, can they? Made with insulated stainless steel and a removable BPA-free lid, this tumbler fits most cup holders and maintains cool temperatures for up to 12 hours without sweating, which practically begs for an iced coffee to go. A plastic straw (included) makes sipping all 24 ounces while driving an easy task, and a silicone base, which helps prevent sliding, and a lifetime guarantee, make this affordable tumbler a no-brainer.
Buy it: Bubba Stainless Steel Insulated Tumbler, $10; Amazon
Like our budget mug pick, also made by Contigo, the Snapseal Byron Mug is made with Thermalock insulation, guaranteeing hot beverages stay hot for up to five hours after pouring. Featuring a pop-open lock, this mug simply snaps closed and offers leak-proof protection, though we don't recommend throwing it in your bag or briefcase, just in case. The selling point for our team is the easy grip top, which ensures no accidental drops.
Buy it: Contigo Snapseal Byron Travel Mug, $14; Amazon