That was our top criteria for selecting the best travel mug.
If you want to get traveling with a warm cup on the go, the Hydro Flask is a combination of all these features and was selected the “Best Overall” pick from our editorial team – for all of those features and more.
Travel Mug Buying Guide
Before you start researching and shopping
There are a few things you should ask yourself before you start researching different travel mugs. We’ve outlined these questions below for your convenience.
Will you use your Travel Mug on the Road? – If you’re going to be on the road with your travel mug you want one that will easily fit into the cup holder of your vehicle without tipping over. If your mug has a handle, it will likely not fit into a cup holder unless you have the type that is cut out for handles. The lid should not obstruct your view when you sip while driving and it should be leak proof so you are not spilling hot liquid onto yourself while you are driving. Look for travel mugs that keep the temperature of your drink constant, for hours, so you don’t have to worry about frequent reheating or cooling.
Do you want a Microwave Safe Mug? – Plastic mugs are the way to go if you want one that is microwave and dishwasher safe. The only drawback to plastic is that it will not keep your beverages at a constant temperature and they can develop a lot of condensation. You also need to make sure that the mug you choose is microwave safe as some plastics are not for microwavable. The benefit to using stainless steel travel mugs is that they hold the right temperature for so long that the need to reheat is reduced tremendously.
Does Flavor Matter? – Do you have a preference for stainless steel over plastic? Some say that plastic retains odors and flavors which is not a problem with stainless steel mugs. On the other hand, some people claim that stainless steel gives the beverages a metallic taste. This seems to be an individual choice so your own personal preferences will play a big part in this part of your decision.
There are several things that will make your travel mug really stand out above the rest. If you ensure that you obtain certain features in the style and brand you choose you are guaranteed to enjoy your travel mug a lot and will get loads of good use out of it.
Steeping Tea on the Go – Some people want to make their tea on the go instead of just drinking it. There are models that you can purchase that have infusers so you can put your green tea bags directly into the mug along with the hot water. The vacuum insulation of these mugs will keep the tea hot for hours. This is perfect for green tea lovers since brewing this tea for a long time doesn’t seem to affect its flavor at all. You could even make a mug full of cold-brew iced tea in these mugs.
Opening the Mug to Drink While Driving – If you drink your morning coffee while you’re driving to work, you want a travel mug that you can open and drink with one hand. You don’t want to spill the drink all over yourself or cause an accident because you’re struggling with your travel mug so look for styles that are easy to work one handed. Some have lids that slide and others have a button that you can easily press while drinking. You also want to ensure that the mug is easy to hold with one hand. An oversized mug may be great when you want a lot to drink but when you’re trying to hold a gigantic mug in one hand (and drive!) you won’t be so happy.
How Important is Looks or Colors? – Travel mugs have come a long way in terms of design and they now come in an array of colors and styles and even themes. You won’t have to settle on plain white or gray anymore. You can even choose your favorite sports team for a travel mug. Don’t sacrifice performance for style though. A sports team travel mug may look great, but if it leaks and doesn’t keep the drinks hot or cold it’s not worth it and you’ll end up heading out to buy something else.
Fast and Easy Cleaning – You probably use your travel mug every day so taking the time to clean it properly is important. You don’t want a mug that is complicated to clean. Dishwasher safe is always a good idea but if your mug isn’t able to be washed in the dishwasher, rinsing it out daily won’t take but a few minutes. Stainless steel is very easy to clean. Once clean, put either hot or cold water in it for a few minutes to prep it for your drink – (cold water if you will be adding a cold drink; hot water if you will be adding a hot drink) pour this water out right before filling it with your preferred beverage.
Do you want to Pack Lunches or Breakfasts in your Travel Mug? – Travel mugs are also great for holding soups, chili, stews and other foods. If the travel mug has a large mouth it is even easier to fill and clean. They are great for keeping your lunches or dinners hot or cold as needed.
Do the Children Eat Packed Lunches? – If your children prefer eating home-packed lunches, a travel mug is a perfect addition to the lunch box to keep lunches hot or drinks cold. Since lunches are not able to be refrigerated at school, the travel mug protects the food and keeps harmful bacteria from growing as it keeps the food either hot or cold until lunch time. There are many travel mugs that are designed for keeping perishable foods from spoiling so if you’re looking for something for your kids to use for their lunches, look for this type of travel mug.
What is your Budget? – There are some great travel mugs on the market that won’t break the bank. Stainless steel is an excellent, low-cost material and there are many excellent choices out there that will give you the features you want.
How to Clean?
Keeping your travel mug clean both inside and out will help it to stay new looking and will help it last longer too. Cleaning a travel mug is very easy. If it’s made of stainless steel, using baking soda and vinegar will get it sparkling clean with minimal effort.
Stainless steel – Add the baking soda first and then some vinegar. It will foam when the vinegar hits the baking soda so don’t put the lid on just yet or it could explode. Let it foam for a few seconds. Then, when this has stopped, put the lid on and shake it up a few times to clean the inside thoroughly. Dump out the contents then rinse thoroughly before setting out to completely dry. Now you can put the lid back on and either store or refill.
Plastic – Use baking soda and water to clean your plastic mug OR you can use vinegar with the baking soda. Use the same method as with the stainless steel mug and rinse for several minutes with hot water to get it clean. This should get rid of the odors that plastic likes to absorb.
Travel mugs are very popular items that people use every day thanks to the current trend of on-the-go lifestyles. Many people are now commuters and having that morning cup of coffee is really important to them. A good quality travel mug will allow users to bring their morning beverages with them without fear of spills or leaks.
There are so many styles, colors and designs out there that choosing the perfect one can feel a bit overwhelming. Many users simply guess, but with the information we provided in this buyer’s guide you can find the travel mug that perfectly meets your needs and that you can enjoy using for a long time to come.