The best travel mugs

  • All of the travel mugs we recommend should keep your coffee hot during and after the morning rush.
  • The Contigo Autoseal West Loop is the most versatile, easy-to-use choice for commuters.

A travel mug seems like it should be an easy purchase, but hold off on buying the first one to catch your eye in a big-box store. Any decent travel mug will keep your drink hot or cold for a few hours without leaking, but consider your habits before buying. Are you a car commuter who needs something that can fit securely in a cup holder? Do you want a mug that can be used one-handed while you scroll through Twitter on your phone? Will you be tossing the mug in your bag so you can savor it later at the office?

We combed through expert tests and roundups of travel mugs and read hundreds of owners' reviews to find five of the best options in this crowded category. Our picks include a great all-around option for commuters, a mug that can keep your coffee hot enough to drink for an entire day, and a more rugged option for weekend play. We also include travel mugs with more appeal for design lovers and tea drinkers.Advertisement

Here are the best travel mugs you can buy:

Updated on 10/22/2019 by Remi Rosmarin: Updated prices, links, and formatting.

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The best travel mug overall

The best travel mug overall
The Contigo Autoseal West Loop fits in your cup holders without rattling, its push-button spout won't leak all over your clothes, and you can nab one for cheap.

Most people have a short list of must-haves when it comes to a travel mug: It has to keep a drink hot or cold for at least a few hours. It has to be comfortable to drink from. It can't leak. And it has to be easy to grip or stow in a cup holder. The 20-ounce Contigo Autoseal West Loop ticks all those boxes for a very fair price — less than $15 in some cases.

The Autoseal's name hints at the mug's best feature. Press a button to take a sip, then let go when you're done. The lid reseals automatically, keeping dribbles off that fresh-from-the-cleaners shirt. According to Bloomberg, this clever system makes the Autoseal "best for klutzes," because it locks liquid away even if the mug takes a tumble.

One-hand operation means your other hand stays free, whether you need to text, hang onto a steering wheel or brace yourself in a crowded subway car. Amazon reviewers say the lid lock is reliable, so if you want to toss the mug in a bag and enjoy your drink later in the day, you can do it without obsessively checking for spills.

The Autoseal's double-walled stainless-steel body fits securely in most cup holders, and the lid is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. Contigo recommends hand-washing the body of the mug. The lid is all one piece, so there are no small parts to lose in a crowded drawer or dish drainer. You can also get the Autoseal in at least a dozen colors and three sizes. As Lifehacker points out, tea drinkers can add a compatible infuser for steeping on the go.

Is the Autoseal perfect? Not quite. The Wirecutter says it's a great budget choice, but Zojirushi's travel mugs are best when it comes to heat retention. Testers there also warn that plastic in the lid may wear down after a year or two of frequent use. Good Housekeeping likes the Autoseal, but says it can dent if you drop it.

Contigo's West Loop Travel Mug is a great option all on its own, but the addition of a special tea infusing basket to its classic design makes it even better for tea drinkers. The infuser is made out of stainless steel with etched holes for steeping, and it measures 4.4 high and 2.3 inches wide, which is pretty decent for a travel mug infuser.

Bottom line: For the average commuter, the Autoseal should more than suffice. It will keep your coffee drinkable all morning, and if it does eventually wear out, replacing it won't break the bank.

Pros: Inexpensive, large capacity, one-hand design, resists leaks and spills, fits in cup holders, available in a range of colors and sizes

Cons: Won't keep drinks as hot as some other mugs, plastic lid may wear out, prone to dents

The best travel mug for temperature fanatics

The best travel mug for temperature fanatics
The Zojirushi SM-SA48 Stainless Steel Mug is hard to beat for keeping coffee, tea, or other beverages hot or cold for hours, and it has a durable design that can withstand daily use.

When it comes down to it, one of the most important functions of a travel mug is keeping your drink at a consistent temperature. Whether you're a stickler for a piping hot cup of joe or an ice-cold drink of water, this 16-ounce Zojirushi travel mug has your back.

The Zojirushi nails temperature tests by The Wirecutter. Fresh-brewed coffee is still a very drinkable 151 degrees after eight hours in this mug, the testers found. In fact, the mug does such a good job keeping heat in that testers recommend letting a hot drink cool down for a bit before sealing the mug — unless, of course, a burnt tongue is on your morning agenda. The mug also aced cold-drink tests, allowing ice water to warm a measly 4 degrees in eight hours.

Fortunately, thousands of Amazon reviewers say the Zojirushi is more than a one-trick pony. Many report that its stainless-steel body is surprisingly resistant to dents and dings, even when it's dropped on concrete, and they say the lid lock is reliable enough for this mug to roll around in a bag without spilling. The spout is also designed to regulate the amount of liquid as you drink, and reviewers like that they don't have to worry about excess liquid dribbling onto their clothes. It's also available in three sizes and enough colors to satisfy most buyers.

The spout is also designed to regulate the amount of liquid as you drink, and reviewers like that they don't have to worry about excess liquid dribbling onto their clothes. It's available in three sizes and enough colors to satisfy most buyers, too.

Where does the Zojirushi falter? Owners have only minor quibbles: It's narrow, so it may rattle around in cup holders, and some say the flip-top lid feels like it's in the way when they're drinking. You'll also have to close the lid manually after you drink, which means it's not really a mug you can always use with one hand. And none of it is dishwasher-safe, though Wirecutter testers say it's easy enough to clean with a bottle brush.

Pros: Unbeatable at keeping hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold, durable, leak-proof, available in a range of colors and sizes

Cons: Pricier for a travel mug, too narrow for some cup holders, flip-top lid bugs some while drinking, not dishwasher-safe


The best travel mug for adventures

The best travel mug for adventures
The Camelbak Forge will do just fine on a morning commute, but it's even more at home when you're off the beaten path.

Sometimes you just need to get away, and the 16-ounce Camelbak Forge wants to be the mug you grab for your next adventure.

One of its most unique features is a built-in finger-carry loop that means you can still keep two hands free and the loop can also be hooked to a carabiner and attached to a backpack. It's also made of impact-resistant stainless steel that reviewers say can resist a tumble or two. Testers at Your Best Digs say it even survived a 10-foot drop onto concrete without spilling.

Despite its ruggedness, the Forge still shines when it comes to ease of use. Men's Journal loves being able to lock open the spout for those times when you don't want to be jamming a button all the time just to take a drink. Testers there also claim it's simple to clean for a travel mug, with a design that doesn't require users to jam tiny brushes into nooks and crannies to ward off gunk and grime.

It's also available in a smaller 12-ounce size and a good range of colors. Camelbak says the cap is dishwasher-safe, but not the body of the mug.

For all its convenience, the Forge doesn't retain heat quite as well as some competing mugs. Your Best Digs says it can still keep your coffee hot for a couple of hours, but it's not the best pick for buyers who want a hot drink after an entire day. Some Amazon reviewers say the plastic lid isn't as sturdy as the body, and a few complain that the spout won't let them take more than a sip at a time.

Pros: Convenient carry loop, resists cracks even from big drops, spout can be locked open for more convenient drinking, easy to clean

Cons: Plastic lid isn't as durable as the rest of the mug, doesn't keep heat in as well as some competitors, flow too regulated for some

The best travel mug for design freaks

The best travel mug for design freaks
The Ello Cole combines form, function, and value, making it a great choice for buyers who want a travel mug that can keep a lid on leaks and look good doing it.

A relative newcomer to the travel mug scene, the 16-ounce Ello Cole is turning heads in a category that usually prioritizes function over form. The colorful lid and cork base pop against an understated white body, and most Amazon reviewers cite design as a reason for their purchase.

All of Ello's water bottles and travel mugs are lookers, so check out their other options if the Cole isn't your thing.

Fortunately, owners say the Cole is more than a pretty face. Unlike other many design-forward travel mugs, it's made of vacuum-insulated stainless steel and manages to keep coffee and tea hot for hours. The cork bottom is cute, but it also keeps the mug from slipping and sliding around on your desk. The slider lid keeps leaks to a minimum, reviewers say, and the whole mug is dishwasher-safe on the top rack.

Of course, the Cole isn't perfect — though the lid is billed as leak-proof, the lack of a secondary lid lock means you probably won't want to trust this one rolling around in a bag with your iPad. A few users also complain that the white paint scratched or peeled over time, and a few say the lid is tough to clean thoroughly. There's also only one size, and just a few colors.

Pros: Sleek design, inexpensive, nonskid bottom, easy-to-use slider lid, good heat retention, fits in cup holders, dishwasher-safe

Cons: White finish isn't durable, no secondary lid lock, hard-to-clean lid


The best travel mug that's easy to use

The best travel mug that's easy to use
The OXO Good Grips Double Wall Travel Mug keeps drinks piping hot, doesn't spill, and is easy to use.

OXO is known for its simple, effective, and affordable products and the Good Grips Double Wall Travel Mug ticks all three boxes. Its double-walled stainless steel body keeps drinks hot for hours on end, while three silicone seals ensure that it never leaks no matter how much it gets tossed around in your bag.

I've used this particular travel mug on many trips, hikes, and jaunts around cities for years now and it's still going strong. The design is incredibly simple, but very effective. A simple button on top seals and unseals the drinking hole so the mug doesn't leak. It's easy to drink from without spilling.

The slim stainless steel body is durable, plus, it keeps your drinks hot or cold for hours. It is a larger mug, so it may be difficult for people with smaller hands to hold.

The lid is easy to clean because there aren't too many pieces or small nooks and crannies. Although there are some buyer complaints of the lid cracking, I've never had that problem.

OXO also has excellent customer service, so if you do have problems with your mug, contact the company directly for a replacement via email at or by calling 800-545-4411. — Malarie Gokey

Pros: Double walled, well insulated, no drips, one-button operation, easy to clean

Cons: Some reports of lids cracking

The best rugged travel mug

The best rugged travel mug
With double-wall vacuum insulation that keeps drinks hot and the durability to withstand tough treatment, the YETI 20-ounce tumbler with the lid is a great rugged travel mug.

Having a travel mug that keeps your beverages at their intended temperature is pretty much par for the course these days. If you're really looking for a mug that can differentiate itself, you want a tumbler that is capable of not only going in the car on your morning commute but in your backpack when you're hiking up a mountain. Luckily, the Yeti 20-ounce tumbler with the lid is capable of doing both.

The Yeti Tumbler comes from a large family of outdoorsy products that are clearly meant for folks who spend at least as much time outside as they do inside. As such, Yet's gear isn't delicate or meant to be treated with great care. Rather, this is one travel mug that is tough enough to take a hit.

The Yeti Tumbler is as straightforward as it is effective. It boasts a clear, dishwasher-safe lid that lets you quickly see how much drink you've left, and that lid is also dishwasher safe so you're always keeping things sanitary. If you're planning on taking this mug camping, you won't have to fiddle with it in order to get your morning coffee.

At its core, it's an easy to use travel mug that boasts double-wall vacuum insulation, which means that your beverage will be kept piping hot for hours on end. Even so, thanks to the company's proprietary No Sweat technology, no condensation will be transferred to your hands.

If you drop the Yeti, don't worry — You'd be hard-pressed to put even a single dent in this travel mug. It's built like a tank, keeping both its contents and its exterior safe from external forces. And that makes it a travel mug worth traveling with. — Lulu Chang

Pros: Sturdy, great insulation, available in several colors, competitively priced

Cons: Because you must remove the lid in order to drink, you may experience some spillage


The best travel mug that looks like a normal coffee cup

The best travel mug that looks like a normal coffee cup
The Copco Acadia Travel Mug may look like your standard to-go coffee cup, but it's capable of a whole lot more than your run of the mill one-time use containers.

When they say appearances can be deceiving, they have travel mugs like the Copco Acadia Travel Mug in mind. This 16-ounce travel mug looks innocuous enough, borrowing its design from those ubiquitous paper cups with disposable sleeves that you see permanently attached to the hands of the over-worked and under-caffeinated. But don't worry — You're not paying the extra bucks for a fancy paper cup. Instead, you're getting a BPA-free plastic travel mug.

The sleeve of this cup isn't meant to keep your hands protected from piping hot beverages — it's a soft-grip band that helps you keep your mug where it belongs: in the palm of your hand.

The double-wall construction will not only safeguard you from the temperature of your beverage but will also keep said beverage at its optimal temperature. Your coffee will stay hot, and your ice tea will stay icy, even as you brave the trials and tribulations of a long day. That said, it's not meant for all-day insulation, so don't think that you can leave your drink sitting on your desk from 8 am to 8 pm. At some point, its contents will reach room temperature.

However, if you do find that your hot beverage has lost its edge, don't worry. You can easily stick it in the microwave, travel mug and all, for reheating purposes. Unlike many other travel mugs, the Copco Acadia can stand a spin in the microwave, so where it falls short in insulation, it makes up for it in its capacity to withstand some nuking.

Moreover, this travel mug is also dishwasher safe, so you won't have to spend too much time scrubbing out coffee and/or tea stains by hand.

To ensure that your beverage doesn't spill, this mug's lid seals quickly with a quarter turn and will prevent against leakage. That said, you'll likely need to keep this mug upright, and won't want to stow it in a purse or a bag. Like a standard disposable coffee cup, this mug comes with a small hole on its lid for you to drink from, and alas, there's no cover for it. While this hole is certainly small enough to prevent liquid from splashing out willy-nilly, it's not going to withstand the upside down test.

As far as aesthetics are concerned, this travel mug maintains a classic look, with a white body and your choice in color as far as the protective sleeve is concerned. — Lulu Chang

Pros: Handles both hot and cold beverages, microwave-safe, dishwasher safe, sleek aesthetic

Cons: Doesn't maintain temperatures for as long, no cover for the sip hole