The best coffee travel mugs for keeping your cuppa hot while you’re on the go

Bringing one of the best coffee travel mugs to the coffee shop isn’t just the sensible eco choice – it could save you money, too.

The best coffee travel mugs: Reusable resistant bamboo coffee cup. Plastic free concept. Eco friendly utensils concept
(Image credit: Getty)

Looking for the best coffee travel mugs that will keep your cuppa warm, without any pesky leaks? You're in the right place.

There’s nothing quite like a soothing cup of tea or a hit of caffeine while you’re out and about but there are growing concerns about how eco-friendly takeaway cups are. 

The interior coating of plastic on cardboard cups means they’re not easily recyclable, while many of them are single use paper, meaning hundreds of trees can be felled to create a product that is used for the few minutes it takes the drink the contents. In the UK alone billions of single use takeaway cups go landfill each year.

A recent government report encouraged the use of reusable coffee cups and called on businesses to do more to ensure that the hard-to-recycle cups are phased out to be replaced with ones that are eco-friendly. This in turn has resulted in a growing market for reusable travel mugs, from relatively cheap reusable coffee cups made from eco-friendly bamboo to thermos cups and even ceramic travel mugs. 

Now, the best coffee travel mugs are as essential as the best blenders, or the best food processors in our kitchen. In fact, among the kitchen essentials, we'd argue that they're on par with the KitchenAid Artisan K400 Blender, NutriBullet Blender Combo, and even the coveted Vitamix Ascent A2300i.

Whichever of the eco coffee cup alternative you can choose, it’ll end up paying for itself if you’re a big takeaway fan as many coffee shops and cafes are now rewarding customers who want to take their own travel mug with them with discounted drinks.

How we selected and tested the best coffee travel mugs

We tested a number of reusable cups to find the best coffee travel mugs for your needs. We looked at a variety materials, from glass and ceramic to bamboo and steel, and tested different sizes and weights, plus reviewed how heavy each cup was to fill and carry, whether it was insulating, how pleasant it was to drink from and how easy to clean to ensure we found a cup to suit everyone.

There are several factors and features to consider with the best coffee travel mugs. If you want a large capacity cup head to numbers 2 and 8, both of which are the largest travel mugs to make our edit at 16ozs each. If being lightweight is more important to you then number 10 will be of interest, which at only 143g, feels like a feather in the hand and yet is still a full-size cup. Compact more crucial? Then entry 7 is for you. It made the best travel mug edit because of it's ingenious collapsible design.

The best coffee travel mugs we tested

The best coffee travel mugs: tefal

Tefal Travel Mug

Best stainless steel coffee travel mug

Specifications
Weight: 386g
Capacity: 12oz or 360ml
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Durable design
Reasons to avoid
-More of a flask than a cup

This 360ml – or 120z – travel mug is more of a flask than a cup but is pretty easy and comfortable to sip from nonetheless. It claims to be completely leak-proof and it certainly kept its contents to itself when we took it for a walk stashed carelessly away in a bag. While it was our second heaviest cup, unfilled it was 386g, it holds a lot, meaning you get more coffee bang for your buck. As with other thermos flasks, the keep-warm facility is helped by rinsing it with warm water – or cold if you want to keep your drink cool – before it’s filled. It’ll keep coffee or tea drinkable for at least four hours and will keep water or soft drinks cold for up to eight hours. The top unscrews to reveal a wide mouth that means it’s easy to fill, then simply screw the lid back on and off you go. When you want to drink you just push down the central button. It comes in stylish black or bold red and has a silicone outer that provided a secure grip. It’s also dishwasher safe, which means cleaning is a doddle and there’s a Grande version for those who like to go even larger. 

The best coffee travel mugs: thermos

Thermos Stainless King travel mug

Best coffee travel mug with a handle

Specifications
Weight: 531g
Capacity: 16oz or 470ml
Dishwasher safe: No
Reasons to buy
+Secure grip
Reasons to avoid
-Limited to hand-wash cleaning

You’ll never have a problem getting to grips with this 470ml cup as, unlike many we tested, it had a solid handle by which to grasp it. Coming in several colors including on-trend Copper, a bold Red and Midnight Blue, it looks stylish, too. It also promises to keep hot drinks that way for up to eight hours, the longest of all the double-walled insulating mugs we tried. It feels comfortable in the hand and it’s a quick turn to open and pleasant to drink from, particularly on the go. Do be aware, though, that as with other double-walled mugs, once they are closed they keep the drink hot – we mean really, really hot – so be careful not to burn your mouth. It’s leak-proof, too, so the inside of our bag wasn’t troubled by hot coffee spilling out, even when we were forced, rather ungainly, to run for the train. For tea lovers, it also features a clever tea-bag hook in the lid, so you never have to dig it out with your fingers. While it is the heaviest of the mugs we tried, coming in at 531g unfilled, we felt it was worth the extra weight for how long it kept our drink hot.

The best coffee travel mugs: smidge

Smidge Travel Cup

Best leak-proof coffee travel mug

Specifications
Weight: 268g
Capacity: 12oz or 355ml
Dishwasher safe: No
Reasons to buy
+Leakproof and prevents condensation
Reasons to avoid
-Lid could be more durable

This might look like a traditional reusable cup but, unlike other best coffee travel mugs, the makers claim it’s 100% leak-proof. While the mug, which comes in a range of bold shades is, actually fairly light compared to some, it does have a double-wall thermal inner that keeps drinks hot – or cold – for several hours. A nice touch is measurements marked on the inside of the cup to show your barista where to fill for your favourite eight or 12oz brew. Made from 18/10 stainless steel it weighs just 268g unfilled and features a screw-on lid with a silicone seal that, despite us trying quite hard, helped this cup live up to its maker’s boasts of it being totally leak-proof. We rather nervously popped it in our bag in the morning but needn’t have worried as the bag was as dry as a bone when we got home later that day. The contents stayed hot for a long time, too and several hours after we’d filled it, it was still warm enough for it to be pleasant to drink.

 

The best coffee travel mugs: Bodum Travel Press, Stainless Steel Travel Coffee

(Image credit: Amazon)

Bodum Vacuum Travel Press

Best coffee travel mug for fresh coffee lovers

Specifications
Weight: 563g
Capacity: 12oz or 350ml
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Unique design features and spill-proof
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't prevent leaking

While this 12oz insulated travel flask only admits to being spill-proof rather than leak-proof and should be always carried upright, it does have a few other things going for it that we think make it a good investment for a freshly brewed coffee lover. Firstly, it’s not just any old drinks cup among the best coffee travel mugs. Oh no, this one has a filter piston that essentially turns the flask into a cafeterie – or teapot depending on your taste – meaning you don’t even have to buy fresh coffee while you’re out, let alone single-use cups. It also comes with an extra lid, which we found handy once we’d finished our hot drink and wanted to fill the flask with water for the journey home. Both spouts are pleasant to drink from but do be aware if black coffee is your tipple because, as we found out to our cost, it stays searing hot for quite some time and was still hot to drink several hours after we first made it. It’s dishwasher safe on the top rack and there are several colors of top and silicone outer to choose from.

The best coffee travel mugs: KeepCup 12oz Reusable Coffee Cup

(Image credit: Amazon)

KeepCup Reusable 12oz Glass Coffee Cup

Best glass coffee travel mug-cup hybrid

Specifications
Weight: 260g
Capacity: 12oz or 340ml
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Variety of styles and sizes; safe materials
Reasons to avoid
-Could be better at preventing leaks and spills

Available in many colors, sizes and materials, the KeepCup is the world's first barista-standard reusable cup, fitting under coffee machines making it ideal for coffee-lovers on the go. Environmentally friendly, the one we tested is made from durable, toughened soda lime glass and BPA-free and BPS-free plastic. The cup, lid and lid plug are all recyclable at the end of the product's life. We liked the simple look of the black and glass combo and it’s pleasant to drink from both the plastic lid or if you prefer, from the glass itself. All the parts are dishwasher safe if put on the top rack. While it doesn’t claim to be leakproof – and it isn’t – we did tip it over a couple of times and when the flip mechanism plug is closed it seems to make it fairly spill-proof, ensuring you don’t end up with coffee all over your desk if you accidentally knock it over. These features won us over, and we knew this option deserved a spot in our best coffee travel mugs guide.

The best coffee travel mugs: best takeaway cups

Libby Ballard Ceramic Hand-thrown Travel Cup

Best coffee travel mug made from ceramics

Specifications
Weight: 340g
Capacity: 14oz or 400ml
Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Reasons to buy
+High-performing silicone lid
Reasons to avoid
-A bit hefty to hold

If you want to replace single-use cups when you’re traveling but prefer something more traditional, then a handmade ceramic cup is a good choice among the best coffee travel mugs. The tightly fitting silicone lid of this hand-crafted tumbler creates a good seal, making sure that, as long as the cup is kept upright, it’s pretty spill-proof. Because it’s handmade, the colors and shapes of this 400ml (about 14oz) cup will vary a touch but we think that simply adds to its beauty. While it’s not the lightest we tested at 340g it’s not the heaviest either and it does look good and is very pleasant to drink from, whether you’re travelling or sitting at your desk. We loved the pretty thick cotton fabric band that sits over a silicone ring to prevent your hand from burning, and each cup comes with a choice of band colors and a grey silicone lid. Being ceramic, it’s completely dishwasher safe, just like any other cup, although remember to take off the material grip first.

The best coffee travel mugs: Travel mug

(Image credit: Travel mug)

Stojo Collapsible Mug

Best collapsible coffee travel mug

Specifications
Weight: 142g
Capacity: 12oz or 355ml
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight, yet durable and portable design
Reasons to avoid
-Some shoppers say it still smells like previous contents after wash

For those that want to grab a coffee and go but worry about having to carry something bulky around in their bag all day, this 12oz collapsible mug is a great buy. The cup itself is made from recyclable food-grade silicone, while the lid collar and heat sleeve are made from BPA-free polypropylene plastic. Available in a wide range of colors (we loved the hot pink) it’s super light but still feels sturdy unlike some other collapsible cups and it’s very pleasant to drink from. The stopper is easy to pop out one-handed, which is great if you’re walking about or on your phone. Once you’ve finished, simply remove the heat sleeve and open the stopper and collapse it up into a 5cm deep ring. The clever design means the heat sleeve simply slots in at the base, creating such a small package that you can simply pop it into your bag or even in a pocket. It’s the lightest we tried, too at just 142g unfilled. Remember though to fit the stopper back in place to prevent any drink residue in the cup dribbling out.

The best coffee travel mugs

(Image credit: Amazon)

Stanley Classic Trigger Action Travel Mug

Best insulated coffee travel mug

Specifications
Weight: 358g
Capacity: 12oz or 350ml / 16oz or 470ml
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Easy to clean, assemble, and disassemble; durable design
Reasons to avoid
-Large for car cup holder

A leader in churning the market's best coffee travel mugs, Stanley has been making vacuum flasks for more than 100 years and has pretty much perfected the art of travel cups with this insulated steel mug, available in two sizes, 350ml and 470ml. The easy-as-you-like, leak-proof press release lid is designed so that you can hold the mug and open it to drink from and then swiftly close it with the same hand, great for multi-taskers or hikers. It also means that if you accidentally let go of it while you’re drinking, not a single drop of your precious brew will be lost. Made from 18/10 stainless steel, the 350ml/12oz model we tried keeps drinks hot, or cold, for up to 5 or 8 hours, plenty long enough for a day out in town or a hike with the dogs. It’s super tough, too, having survived conditions that include -70˚ F wind-chill, speeding bullets, 4,000ft drops and category five hurricanes – not your average jaunt to Waitrose, we’ll admit, but impressive nonetheless. The lid disassembles for cleaning and the whole thing can go in the dishwasher, too.

The best coffee travel mugs: DrinkPod

(Image credit: Amazon)

DrinkPod Reusable Coffee Cup

Best plastic-made coffee travel mug

Specifications
Weight: 143g
Capacity: 12oz or 340ml
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Ergonomic design and silicone sleeve; eco-friendly
Reasons to avoid
-Cheap feel

Buying a plastic reusable cup might feel a bit counterproductive but even if you use it for one coffee a day for a year, then it could save more than 360 cups ending up in landfill. Of course, if you’re going to use something over and over again it has to be sturdy and good-looking enough for you to be happy to carry around. The organic curved shape of the DrinkPod appealed to us, as did the variety of colorways it comes in. We opted for Autumn, a pleasing blend of oranges and greens but there are seven other themes to try including icy Winter, cool blue Ocean and moody Storm. It holds up to 12oz, perfect for a big brew and is surprisingly light, coming in at just 143g, the lightest full size up we tried. Made from BPA free plastic – research has shown that bisphenol A (BPA) can seep into beverages from containers, causing some worries about the possible health issues – with a silicone grip and rotating rubber spout, it’s dishwasher safe on the top shelf, too. For these reasons, it belongs on our best coffee travel mugs curation, today and always.

 

Things to consider before choosing the best coffee travel mug for you

Which types of coffee travel mugs suit your needs?

The best coffee travel mugs and coffee cups come in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials; and yes you guessed it, they're reusable.

The most common are steel thermos-style, bamboo, plastic with glass and ceramic also available. The one you pick will clearly depend on your needs and will differ depending on where and when you’re likely to use it.

Those needing a hit of caffeine to take them through the morning school run will not just need something that’s large enough to accommodate a 12oz skinny latte, they’ll also want to be able to fit the cup into the holder in their car and keep the drink warm enough for the duration of the trip.

If all you want is a cup to replace your normal disposable one when you visit your high-street coffee shop then a simple bamboo or plastic cup that’s similar in shape and size will probably do.

Standard coffee shop measurements are 8, 10 or 12oz so pick a cup that’s best for your preferred size. Buying a bigger one with measurements shown on the inside of the cup will help your barista serve you the right amount of coffee too without having to make it in a single-use cup first – something that pretty much defeats the point of taking your own.

What’s the difference between a travel mug and a reusable coffee cup?

The best coffee travel mugs have a leak- or spill-proof seals to ensure no liquid escapes while traveling. A reusable coffee cup will look and feel similar to a cardboard one from a coffee shop but will usually be made from recycled plastic or bamboo with a silicone lid. Some will also have a closeable drinking spout but are unlikely to be entirely leak-proof. Travel mugs are also designed to keep your drink hot – or cold – using double insulate linings, while reusable cups will keep drinks a little warmer for longer if you keep the lid on, much like a disposable cup will.

Which brands offer the best coffee travel mugs?

If you’re looking for an insulated travel cup then opt for models from brands such as Thermos, Bodum or Stanley as they’re all experts in the field. For a simple reusable cup, there many brands producing stylish and also eco products that will help you reduce your carbon footprint. However, if you want to go the extra mile and choose a cup that isn’t also made with plastic, we’re fans of new brand Smidge, with their biodegradable travel cups, which will break down in a landfill in just two years. Cups made from bamboo are also a good choice as it’s a fast-growing sustainable plant and although the bamboo fibres are held together with resin, this is also biodegradable.

Are coffee travel mugs dishwasher safe?

The best coffee travel mugs and reusable coffee cups are dishwasher friendly on the top shelf, including ones made from bamboo, plastic and glass. However, ones that feature thermos linings and decorative exteriors are not recommended for use in a dishwasher as the finish will eventually come off.

Are travel mugs good for the environment?

It’s estimated that we throw away 2.5 billion coffee cups each year in the UK alone. That’s enough, according to a 2017 Government audit, to stretch around the planet five and a half times. While those cups are technically recyclable, it’s hard to separate the waterproofing plastic polyethene from the cardboard outer, and the contaminating liquid they contain. Currently, there are only three plants in the country that can recycle this kind of waste, which means a staggering 99% of those 2.5 billion don’t actually end up being recycled at all. That’s all before you even consider that many of these cups aren’t even made from recycled cardboard, to begin with, which results in huge amounts of deforestation every day to satisfy our growing need for coffee on the go. So, of course, buying a reusing a cup is beneficial to the environment. If you use it instead of a single-use cup just once a day, that could save more than 350 cups a year, per person. That’s not just the materials to make it but also the energy it takes to recycle or put into landfill, where plastic takeaway cups can last more than 100 years.