The Best Insulated Coffee Mugs (Review & Buying Guide) 2021
Consider these insulated coffee mugs to keep your coffee warm while traveling
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BY Zach Faulds / LAST UPDATED ON February 19, 2021
If you’re like us, the day simply can’t start without a nice cup of coffee. If you’re also like us, that means your coffee is usually traveling with you. That’s why we decided to look at some of the best insulated coffee mugs available. We know what you want too: a stylish, spill-proof design. And you want one that keeps your coffee warm. On those warmer days, you might even want that same coffee mug to keep cold drinks nice and chilled.
In searching for the best mugs out there, we found a huge variety. We found everything from smaller stylish mugs to camping mugs and enormous mugs that’ll satisfy even the biggest thirst. There are even mugs with straws. Vacuum-sealed stainless steel was a popular feature, but foam insulation does great double-duty for the big sippers. There is something for everyone, whether it’s for you or a gift for a friend or family member. Let’s check out these insulated coffee mugs and see which one is best.
This vacuum-insulated travel mug is available in three different sizes and 20 different colors. One-hand operation allows the user to drink from this mug with the push of a button.
- Leak and spill-proof design
- Keeps beverages hot for up to five hours
- Inexpensive and dishwasher safe
- Extremely difficult to clean, particularly under the lid
- Disassemble every part and thoroughly clean by hand once in a while
This 34-ounce mug has a tapered base to fit most automotive cup holders. Hot beverages up to 200 degrees can work in this foam-insulated mug.
- Handle and flip-top lid makes sipping easy
- One of the more affordable mugs features a bottle opener built right in
- Not entirely leak-proof, meaning beverages will likely cool in a matter of an hour or two
This mug is meant to deal with tough conditions, with a handle that is big enough to fit your hand, even if wearing a glove.
- 18/8 stainless steel won’t puncture, and it’ll never rust
- Coffee stays hot for hours with double-wall insulation
- Will not keep your beverages hot for as long as advertised
- Trustworthy company, but this specific mug doesn't have the highest quality insulation
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Insulated Coffee Mugs
- Heat retention: Maybe the most obvious benefit, insulated coffee mugs can keep your beverages hot for up to several hours at a time.
- Convenient: Not only do insulated coffee mugs keep your beverages hot, but they are also completely spill-proof, leak-proof, excellent travel options, feature grip handles, and fit into most vehicle cup holders.
- Environmentally friendly: Using an insulated coffee mug that can be reused repeatedly will prevent any plastic or paper cups from being recycled, and even better, they will not end up in a landfill.
Types of Insulated Coffee Mugs
Even though stainless steel mugs can be quite expensive than comparable options, they are usually extremely durable and well insulated. Standard stainless steel-insulated coffee mugs can keep your beverages hot for an hour or two at a time. Mugs with double-walled stainless steel insulation can keep your drinks hot even longer, often for up to several hours at a time.
Plastic coffee mugs are the least expensive type of mug. These insulated coffee mugs do not keep your beverages hot for nearly as long as stainless steel coffee mugs. They are also not as durable and can break if dropped from a great height. If you prefer a plastic coffee mug, look for one with a stainless steel liner to keep your beverages hot for more extended periods.
Although not as common as the other types of coffee mugs, glass coffee mugs are another option. These types of coffee mugs can keep your hot beverages warm and usually feature a leak-proof lid and thermal sleeve so that you do not burn your hands. Glass coffee mugs are by far the most fragile of the types of coffee mugs and should be handled with care.
Headquartered in High Point, North Carolina, Contigo has become an extremely reputable company with additional warehouses in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Israel, and Latin America. Its beverage containers all come with a lifetime guarantee. In addition to coffee mugs, Contigo produces fitness bottles, water bottles, shaker bottles, and more.
Founded in 1997 and based in Chicago, Bubba produces trustworthy and fashionable drinkware that people have grown to love. It has grown into a company with products shipped all over the world. In addition to coffee mugs, Bubba products include water bottles, kids bottles, tumblers, and more.
Founded in 2006 as a company for outdoor coolers and travel equipment, YETI has grown into one of the most reputable drinkware and cooler manufacturers in the country. The company produces some of the best insulated gear targeting outdoor enthusiasts. Besides coffee mugs, YET manufactures hard coolers, tumblers, jugs, backpacks, and more.
Insulated Coffee Mug Pricing
- Under $15: Insulated coffee mugs in this price range provide excellent value. These mugs are high quality, but if you are looking to keep your beverages warm for several hours, you may want to consider a higher price point.
- $15-$25: This is the most common price range for insulated coffee mugs. Most of these mugs are made from durable stainless steel and will keep your drinks hot for multiple hours at a time.
- Over $25: Insulated coffee mugs in this price range may be priced at a premium, but they are typically the highest quality. These mugs contain double walls of insulation and leak-proof designs.
No matter what price point you purchase your coffee mug, or what material your product is made from, insulation is essential. You want your hot beverages to stay warm for several hours and cold drinks to remain ice cold for multiple hours at a time. The best insulated coffee mugs will maintain a consistent temperature for hours at a time.
Purchasing a coffee mug with a high-quality lid is extremely important. The best lids are 100 percent leak-proof and will prevent any spills while drinking or traveling. As long as your lid can vacuum seal your beverage inside, you won't have to worry about traveling with your coffee mug in your vehicle or tossing it in your backpack for long camping, hiking, biking, fishing trips, and more.
Purchasing a completely dishwasher-safe coffee mug can be a game-changer. Always check with the manufacturer or instruction manual before cleaning your mug in the dishwasher. Some mugs are only top-rack dishwasher safe, while other products are hand wash only. You may also want to consider a bottle brush to clean your insulated coffee mug thoroughly.
- Budget-friendly: Compared to other types of water bottles, jugs, and reusable dishware, insulated coffee mugs are a budget-friendly product. As a bonus, this product is exceptionally environmentally friendly. Many coffee shops across the country will offer a discount on beverages if you bring your mug in instead of using one of their to-go cups.
- Travel: Insulated coffee mugs provide excellent travel companions. Not only do most models fit inside your vehicle cup holder, but they are also typically 100 percent leak-proof and can easily fit inside your tent, backpack, or bag while traveling or on long hiking, fishing, backpacking, climbing, trekking, or camping trips.
- Warranty: Most reputable companies will offer some warranty with the purchase of insulated travel mugs. Some companies are known for their insulated bottles and have built a reputation for their products. Sometimes lifetime warranties are even included with your purchase, which covers any mug that starts leaking or no longer retains heat for a long period.
Best Insulated Coffee Mug Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Before using your insulated coffee mug, make sure to wash it thoroughly. If using detergent, make sure the detergent is adequately rinsed out before first use.
- Make sure not to overfill your coffee mug before securing the lid. Tightening the lid on a full mug could result in an overflow or even burns.
- If you use your insulated coffee mug for hot beverages, always be careful when drinking not to burn your mouth since models can keep your beverage extremely hot for hours at a time.
- Make sure to fully secure and tighten your lid before placing it in your luggage or backpack. If using your mug for the first time, it may be a good idea to test the mug first to ensure it is completely leak-proof.
- Read all directions from the manufacturer or your instruction manual before placing your mug in the dishwasher. Some models are dishwasher safe, while others are top-rack or hand-wash only.
What is the best insulated coffee mug?
A: Our best overall insulated coffee mug is the Contigo Autoseal West Loop Vacuum-Insulated Travel Mug, but there are several other great options available. Make sure to read our reviews to determine if another option is the best fit for your needs.
Are stainless steel mugs good for coffee?
A: Yes, stainless steel mugs are fine to use with coffee. They are extremely durable, well-insulated, and BPA free. Double-walled stainless steel mugs can keep your coffee hot for several hours at a time.
How does an insulated coffee mug work?
A: Most insulated coffee mugs feature an exterior bottle with a double-walled container inside of it. The air between the two walls is removed and forms a vacuum, which keeps hot beverages warm for extended periods.
For a high-quality insulated coffee mug, consider the Contigo Autoseal West Loop Vacuum-Insulated Travel Mug, featuring a one-hand operation, or the Bubba Classic Insulated Travel Mug 34 oz, for beverages up to 200 degrees.