Travel mugs are cost-cutting, environmentally-friendly, they can carry any of our favorite beverage, they are practical and most importantly, they keep us warm, cool and hydrated – even in the most remote places. Subsequently, they boost and add that air of maturity, style and consciousness – don’t tell me that’s not what you think when you see a person rocking one.
The best travel mugs are normally versatile – they keep beverages hot or cold (basically, your drink’s temperature as you filled it in), they are leak proof and should not weigh you down. Honestly, I would rather dig deep into my pockets to invest on a good reusable travel mug than spend on a carry out cup of coffee or smoothie every morning.
I’ve listed down for you the 10 best travel mugs in 2019, so you can also join the cool movement, I guarantee you will find one that wins you heart on be on your way towards a progressive daily routine.
How To Choose A Travel Mug – Buying Guide
The best travel mugs come with excellent heat retention abilities. The more insulated the mug, the more het it can retain. Just like the best thermos mugs which store hot contents for a prolonged period of time, the best travel mugs are constructed will double-wall vacuum insulation.
The double wall vacuum insulation is a silver reflecting coating in the interior of the travel mug which prevents heat transfer by radiation whilst the vacuum that is between the double walls prevents heat from moving by convention. This prevention of heat movement is achieved because a vacuum environment simply cannot serve as a vessel to facilitate particle movement.
So basically the heat produced from the liquids is trapped and cannot escape, leaving the liquid consistently hot. This heat retention technology keeps heat inside thus, allowing you to carry and hold your mug with very hot contents for a long time without getting your hands burnt. A good double wall vacuum insulated coffee mug will keep your beverage hot for up to 6 – 8 hours and cold for up to 12 hours.
Additionally, manufacturers also incorporate ingenious systems that help supplement the insulation system. Technologies such as sealed lid closure systems and snap/auto-seal or flap lids help to stop large amounts of hot air or cold air from escaping the mug in a short period of time.
So the next time you are looking for a travel mug with maximum heat retention abilities, it is better to opt for a double wall vacuum insulated mug that comes with an effective sealed lid technology than one that doesn’t.
A good travel mug should be fully leak-proof and this feature is not worth compromising on. You don’t want scalding hot coffee spilling on your laps or small specs of latte dripping on your work journal on blue Monday morning. Now this is a feature that I am willing to pay an extra buck for to ensure it fully and efficiently functions.
How does one identify a 100% leak-proof travel mug? Look for travel mugs designed to be as practical as possible with lockable lids. Try to also think rationally and connect dots – if a travel mug can only maintain the temperature of your beverage for less than 6 hours, then it is not built to be effective. Visual inspection and sampling also goes a long way.
Additionally, if you are looking for ease of use, this may not work to your favor. The easier it gets to use a thermos travel mug on the go, the more likely it is to not be 100% leak proof. This is because the lid will be designed to be easily opened or flapped to allow one to drink as they walk; this means that if you are moving with the mug in your bag, if it accidently topples or if not place 100% upright, it can easily leak its contents.
This is a feature that can be closely related to the leak-proof feature. Same attention should be paid on the lid to make sure it is 100% spill proof. Now this is worse than leaks, because a spill means more volume of liquid.
Cheaper travel mugs tend to have lids that don’t secure hold the mug, so this is another visual inspection worthy feature to focus on. Material used and design of construction also matters, if you go for cheap and light materials, a small bang on the wall or impact when you accidently toss your mug at the bottom of your back pack can easily graze the mug thus, cause a leak which can develop into a spill if it completely breaks the material.
The best thermos mugs with 100% spill free risk are normally constructed with strong, impenetratable material such as stainless steel (even what’s considered the worst will dent upon impact) and incorporate thick double wall insulation.
The size and volume capacity entirely depends on your needs. Are you an “I can’t survive without coffee for the whole day” or an “I need one cup of coffee a day” kind of person? All these questions will determine whether you need a 20 ounce travel mug or a simple 12 0z travel mug.
If you plan on using your travel mug beyond the daily hustle and bustle of work and school, if you want to use your cup say when going out camping, trekking or fishing, the dynamics change. I you are going for a short 30-minute walk at the park a smaller sized travel mug will do. However, if you are out in the cold remote camping site, you probably want a larger sized travel mug to save your resources. There are also outdoor enthusiast that have multi-purpose intentions for their travel mugs, thus, it’s all about weighing in how and where you will use your travel mug.
Some manufactures also use the size element in terms of the height or weight of the mug to enhance its functionality. Manufactures such as Atlin have constructed the Atlin Tumbler travel mug to tall and hollow to boost the mug’s ability and effectiveness at trapping hot air or cold air and at the same time, to enable ease grip and carrying of the travel mug.
Other manufacturers such as Zojirushi incorporate a compact and extremely light-weight build on their travel mgs so that they are practical for use when hiking or when partaking energy-draining activities. The compact design also allows for easy storage and packing for travelers or campers.
The whole point of investing on a travel mug is to have it for longer – to save costs, protect the environment and a myriad other life easing reasons, thus, durability of the mug should be a priority when choosing the right kind.
The best way to assess durability of your travel mug is by looking at specs and features. The material used and construction is a good way to determine the durability of your mug. Most top rated thermos mugs are constructed from stainless steel.
The material is not only strong but the high-quality stainless steel is impact and abrasion free (so even if you toss it won’t break) as well as weather proof. Plus, stainless steel is known to be anti-bacterial and highly-hygienic, thus, if cleaned well you can use it for longer without risk of corrosion or infections.
Technology such as double wall insulation will also prolong the working ability of your travel mug. All and all, the more effective your travel mug is the more durable it tends to be. Furthermore, you usage etiquette affects durability.
To ensure your mug lasts longer avoid constant dropping of your mug, always empty and clean your mug at the end of each use. If you are not using your mug, leave it clean and empty in storage. For stainless steel travel mugs, make it a point to scrub and thoroughly clean (disassemble lids for those that require) with hacks such as baking soda and vinegar at least twice a month.
I can’t stress more than I’ve stressed above that material of a travel mug really matters when determining if it’s good or not. A good travel mug is made with stainless steel material. We are not on a continuous positive frenzy about stainless steel for no good reason – this material comes with good qualities.
Stainless steel is known to be non-toxic; it does not contain BPA, zinc, lead or any other toxic material that may be risky to human health. Furthermore, stainless steel is an anti-corrosive alloy and is highly anti- bacterial – so again, no-toxic material risk!
Stainless steel is also unreactive thus; it will never react with your beverage, even acetic acid from lime water to bring about that bitter taste or unpleasant chemical smell that other metals tend to bring. Plus, when compared to other material such as glass or plastic, stainless steel tends to be more durable and costly (worth it though!).
In case you are wondering, stainless steel is an alloy made from chromium and sometimes other metals such as nickel, and is known to be highly corrosion-resistant (an important fact for items which their use is highly associated with water and air).
Quality of the best thermos mug is determined by its ability to effectively function for a long period of time. Features mentioned above such as material, durability, and heat retention all determine quality of your mug. You want the best material, longer lasting mug and a mug that can maintain the same temperature of your beverage for at least 6 – 8 hours and more.
Most high-quality travel mugs are constructed with 100% kitchen grade stainless steel and finished with a double wall vacuum insulation technology. To further enhance their insulating abilities, their lids are designed to have a constantly sealed closure with smooth sip and shut systems. For comfortability, the exterior is normally so insulated that the walls don’t sweat and your hand can directly carry the mug for hours without being burnt by hot temperatures or irritated by the cold.
On a more enlightening tone, don’t expect a high quality travel mug to be cheap. However, an investment on the best quality travel mug can last you years depending on your use and its care. High-quality mugs, if made form stainless steel, tend to have a clean polished surface that shouldn’t be easy to clean, I mean, who doesn’t want that?!
Ease Of Cleaning
Most travel mugs are machine washable, making it easy to clean and maintain them. If not, you can simply clean your mug by lightly scrubbing with dish washing detergent, rinse with lukewarm water and let drain or a rack or wipe with a clean dry cotton cloth.
Some travel mugs may come with labels that say dish washer safe but in reality, it’s only the lid that is dish washer safe whilst the rest of the boy should be hand washed, drained of all liquids on a rack and wiped clean. Thus, pay attention to these small details!
On those days when you feel like thoroughly cleaning and home polishing your stainless steel travel mug, drop 2 table spoons of baking soda into your travel mug. Then, pour a quarter cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar into the baking soda. Securely close the lid of your travel mug, trapping the now reacting baking soda and vinegar contents, and vigorously shake your mug for five seconds.
Pour out the contents of the travel mug and rinse your travel mug with hot water. Repeat the rinsing process at least once or twice then let drain on a rack or wipe dry with a clean dry cotton cloth – you should have a clean and polished interior of your mug.
Travel mugs can be used in a range of situations, however, you want – I mean you can be doing household chores and still drink your tea from a tea travel mug. Basically, we use travel mugs to carry our beverages with us anywhere, they keep our beverages hot or cold for long periods of time, they cut costs (they are reusable and you can make your own beverage), environmentally friendly, you get to decide your filling and an array of other healthy advantages.
Some of the few situations where are travel mug is handy are below;
- Commuting to work/ at work (or school)
- Travelling (especial on a bus)
- At a sports event
- In hygienically unsafe locations (where you can’t purchase anything edible due to hygienic concerns)
- Can be used to store hot foods such as porridges or soup due to their heat retention qualities
Insulation is a very important feature for travel mugs – as mentioned above, insulation pretty much affects heat retention (what travel mugs are meant to do). The better the insulation, the more heat or cold your travel mug can retain.
Top rated thermos mugs are constructed with double wall vacuum insulation. Take for example double walled stainless steel coffee mug – there is basically and outer wall and an inner wall which are separated by space in the middle which is vacuum.
The inner wall which is normally coated prevents heat transfer by radiation whilst the vacuum between the walls prevents heat movement by convection. Furthermore, the outer wall stops heat from entering or leaving the travel mug by conduction.
And for travel mugs with outer casings on their travel mugs have an added advantage because this feature provides additional insulation – so you can comfortably hold your mug without its contents losing their temperature or you burning your hands.
It goes without saying that high quality and durable travel mugs will definitely cost more – I mean you may pay more for a 12oz stainless steel travel mug than a 20oz plastic travel mug. Manufacturers will consider a lot of factors to decide pricing. For example, a stainless steel travel mug may cost more simply because stainless steel as material is more expensive than plastic.
I guess, to an extent, value also depends on what you are looking for. A good practice is to have a checklist of important features that you are looking for and compare it with the value. There are also very good travel mug reviews online that will offer a deeper comparison chart between cost and features to better help understand it. Typically, a good durable travel mug will cost from a minimum of US$20 and above.
Q: Are Travel Mugs 100% Spill Proof?
Although not all travel mugs are 100% spill proof, one can still get 100% spill proof travel mugs on the market. Such travel mugs are normally high-quality and constructed to be very durable thus, on the cost side they tend to be a little higher.
Such mugs are constructed with features paid more attention to avoid leaks or proofs. Typically, the construction features strong and fully closed material such as stainless steel which is further complemented by a double or triple wall vacuum insulation. The construction is also strengthened with a tightly secured lid – so whether you accidently drop your travel mug on a concrete floor or it accidently topples whilst inside your bag, the contents will not spill or leak.
Keep in mind however, most travel mugs designed to offer such full protection will not be designed for easy use. So if you want a travel mug with a lid you can easily flip to drink-on-the –go, you might have to compromise on the 100% spill/leak proof feature.
Q: Are Travel Mugs Dishwasher Safe?
Most travel mugs are dish washer safe. You can check this by consulting the travel mug’s features which always have this information. Keep in mind however, that some travel mugs may be labeled as dish washer safe but this notion may not be as clear.
There are many stainless steel mugs that come with plastic lids thus; the plastic lids are top-rack dish washer safe whilst the body/ actual mug are not. So you may buy a mug that says dish washer safe, but in reality, only the lid is dish washer safe.
Hand wash travel mugs on the other hand are also easy to care for. Simply scrub the mug when done using with dishwashing detergent, rinse with lukewarm water and drain on rack. When ready to use or store in the cabinet, wipe with a dry cotton cloth and you are all set.
To make sure your travel mug is always sparkling clean and looking new, follow the hack I shared on the “Ease of Cleaning” section of the buying guide at least once or twice a month.
Q: Will The Capacity To Keep The Drink Hot/Cold Wear With Time?
Even the best thermos mugs will not keep your beverage hot or cold forever. Top rated thermos mugs with the best insulation will last at least 6 – 12 hours for hot beverages and up to 24 hours for cold beverages.
However, as time goes after these functional hours, the temperature will slowly begin to wear off thus, losing either the cold or hot temperature of your beverage. The best way to gauge the warming or cooling capacity of your travel mug is to find out how long you travel mug can cool or warm its contents for and pretty much follow that guide.
Another important thing to put in mind is to remember to always empty the contents of your mug at the end of the day and clean your mug. This practice helps to preserve the durability and the efficiency of your mug over time. If you constantly leave your mug filled with beverages for more than a day over a prolonged period of time, eventually the effectiveness of maintain temperature that your mug used to have will gradually decline.
Globo Surf Overview
The travel mug reviews above offer an insight that’s worth equipping yourself with. We all want to own that badass travel mug and a sleek fancy design won’t hurt either. Empowering yourself with key knowledge on what to look for in a travel mug goes all the way. What I can say for sure though is, even with this knowledge, you don’t need to look any further to get that killer travel mug you want so much – the list of 10 best travel mugs in 2019 above is all yo need to find your match!