Best travel coffee mugs to keep your coffee safe on the go (and to help save the planet)

Road trip, camping, and commuter-approved cups ☕

Repeating coffee mugs on pastel background
(Image credit: Future)

We expect a lot from our travel coffee mug. As we go about our day, our favorite coffee (or tea) is right by our side. Starting with our morning commute, following us to our desks, perhaps even to a coffee shop, and on with the day. A good travel mug is also an eco-friendly and practical option that reduces the use of disposable cups when a traditional coffee cup isn't an option to bring along. Say it louder for the people at the back!

So, it's important that your travel coffee mug has to be a lot of things. From leak-proof to shatter-proof, you'll also want it to be comfortable to hold — and it'll win high marks if it can fit in a standard car cupholder. Obviously, we want it to be insulated to keep coffee or tea hot longer, and also something that is relatively simple to clean — bonus points if it's dishwasher safe. 

Whether you've got a small coffee maker or single-serve coffee machine at home, or perhaps you're using it at your fave coffee house? Either way, a travel coffee mug is a purchase you won't regret. Promise.

Quick Menu:
1. The best travel coffee mugs
3. Things to consider
4. FAQs
5. How we test
6. Where to buy

So, we've researched and reviewed the best travel coffee mugs that will make sipping your daily coffee or tea on the go more enjoyable. 

The best travel coffee mugs

What to consider when buying a travel coffee mug

We place big demands on the right travel coffee cup. Because if coffee were to spill, well that would surely ruin our day on the go. 

Material: The most popular travel cups for coffee are made with stainless steel with double-walled insulation to keep drinks hot or cold. However, they require certain care and are not microwave safe. Other alternatives are silicone and glass, which can be placed in the microwave, and are usually dishwasher safe. Glass is also a popular choice as it does not affect the taste of the coffee, but it is the most fragile.  Plastic has grown less popular, as it is known to absorb smells and odors, doesn't keep temperature, and will likely be hot to carry. 

Leakproof/spillproof: Depending on your level of activity, how leakproof a cup is will vary greatly. If you're just going in a car and carrying it in your hand like a normal disposable coffee cup, leakproof might not be your most important factor. However, if you're truly on the go, and want to be able to place your travel mug in a bag, leakproof will be a priority. 

Size: Coffee cups vary greatly in size. The cups in our list ranged from 4 ounces to 34 ounces, but will typically be found in sizes between 12 and 20 ounces.  Consider if you need your cup to fit in a cupholder, under a single-serve coffee machine 

Ease of use and durability: When it comes to travel mugs, their ability to go in the dishwasher varies quite widely, and a lot of them are handwash only. If you're the type who hopes to just toss it in the top rack of your dishwasher, then you're going to want to look out for those specific models. Otherwise, be prepared to handwash your cup.  Additionally, consider weight and comfort when holding your mug. Do you require a handle, or are you OK gripping a tumbler? If you drop it, will it break or spill? 


What is the best travel mug?

We think the best travel mug you can buy is the Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug, as it meets all the things we look for in a travel mug: insulated, leakproof, and convenient size. If we had to choose a runner-up, we like the Hydro Flask Coffee with Flex Lid for its convenient carrying strap, color and size options, and ability to keep beverages hot for up to 12 hours.

What is a good size for a travel coffee mug?

This is dependent on your specific needs. Generally speaking, if you want to replicate your at-home experience on the road, then anything that's around 10 ounces should be OK. However, if you're used to necking coffees back-to-back, you'll want something a li'l larger. Just be conscious of your caffeine consumption — if you were to fill the 40 oz cup with store-bought java, you'd be drinking eight shots of espresso (as most shops serve a double per drink). You've gotta be cautious on the road too, as coffee is a diuretic which means you'll be stopping for more comfort breaks than usual with a larger cup!

In Starbucks' "language":

Demi: 3 oz
Short: 8 oz
Tall: 12 oz
Grande: 16 oz
Venti: 20 oz
Trenta: 30 oz

How we test travel coffee mugs

We've tested Because of this, we sometimes have to rely on an array of online reviews (available on retailer sites) and round-ups from real-life customers who have bought directly from the manufacturer. We generally look for insulated tumblers with a minimum rating of 4 stars (unless we have good reason to mention it otherwise).

As well as looking at the core specifications (like size and heat retention), we'll also assess how well the product does outside its warranty period (if applicable), and less fortunate incidents (ie: issues with staining and odor), so that you know exactly what to expect.

Aesthetically, we'll evaluate whether the colors and finishes really do IRL and if any special finishes scuff (outside of normal expected wear-and-tear).

Meet our travel coffee mug reviewers:

Christina Chrysostomou selfie
Christina Chrysostomou

Christina, our ecommerce editor at Real Homes, uses a travel coffee mug every morning on her commute into the office and needs her beverage to stay warm for at least 40 minutes while she's on the subway. She has the HydroFlask in Fuschia pink.

Christina Chrysostomou
Acting head ecommerce editor

Hi, I'm the acting head ecommerce editor at Real Homes. Prior to working for the Future plc family, I've worked on a number of consumer events including the Ideal Home Show, Grand Designs Live, and Good Homes Magazine. With a first class degree from Keele University, and a plethora of experience in digital marketing, editorial, and social media, I have an eye for what should be in your shopping basket. I'm the in-house appliances expert and have gone through the internal customer advisor accreditation process.

With contributions from