Whether you’re on vacation or commuting daily, a travel mug can help you stay hydrated (or caffeinated) on the go. Studies say that trading in single-use cups for a reusable one can also benefit the environment. Plus, buying the right one could mean the difference between having a hot drink for hours and settling for lukewarm coffee after just 30 minutes.
Selected.Our top picks
How we picked the best travel mugs
To find the best travel mugs, we consulted an expert and prioritized the following criteria based on her advice:
- Style/Lid type: We chose a range of different options, including mugs that are best for tea infusion, cup holders, single-serve coffee machines and more. All of the lids are also either leak- or splash-proof — a must according to Sahara Rose De Vore, founder of The Travel Coach Network. “With traveling, there’s a lot of bumps in the road,” she says. “You want something that, when it tips over, it won’t spill right away.”
- Materials: A travel mug’s material will determine its durability and how easy it is to clean. De Vore prefers stainless steel mugs because they’re sturdy and don’t require rigorous washing.“I usually don’t find a dishwasher while traveling,” she says.
- Temperature Control: The travel mug’s ability to keep drinks hot or cold in transit is one of the most important factors. We chose options that can maintain one temperature for multiple hours, so your drink always tastes fresh.
The best travel mugs to shop in 2023
Never drink a cup of lukewarm anything again — we rounded up the best travel mugs and they include expert-recommended picks, top-rated bestsellers and Select staff favorites.
Best overall: Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug
This bestselling mug is made to keep your beverages hot or cold for hours through a vacuum-insulated design, according to the brand. The air between the layers of stainless steel is removed, which prevents the temperature from transferring and changing, says Zojirushi — the tight-sealing lid also helps to maintain temperature, and has a safety lock to prevent spills during your commute. Along with its stainless steel exterior, the mug is also made of BPA-free plastic, and is corrosion- and stain-resistant. It’s available in eight colors, including Lavender and Emerald, and top-rated, with a 4.7-star average rating from over 23,810 Amazon reviews.
Volume: 12 oz or 16 oz | Lid type: Sip lid
Best for single-serve coffee machines: Klean Kanteen Rise Mug
This mug keeps drinks hot or cold for hours using a Climate Lock vacuum insulation technology, according to the brand. Select associate updates editor Zoe Malin loves that it’s short enough to fit under her single-serve coffee machine, and how it keeps her coffee hot during morning runs —“when I return to it, my coffee is still piping hot,” she says. She also says the flip and sip lid creates a tight seal with no leakage.
Volume: 14 oz | Lid type: Flip and sip
Best mug with a handle: Brumate Era
This dishwasher-safe mug has a comfort grip handle and regulates temperature for hot, cold and carbonated beverages, according to the brand. It also has a removable stainless-steel straw, and can keep ice intact for over 24 hours, according to Brumate. De Vore says this mug is “definitely leak-proof”, and that the slim, cup holder-friendly design fits easily into her backpack pockets. It also comes in 12 vibrant colors, including Dark Aura, Blue Agave and Sage.
Volume: 40 oz | Lid type: Straw lid
Best for cup holders: Yeti Rambler Travel Mug
This vacuum-insulated, dishwasher-safe mug is one of Yeti’s bestsellers, and is great for both cold and hot drinks, according to the brand. Malin is a big fan of Yeti, and owns a number of its products, which she says are “pretty indestructible.” “I especially love the Rambler 20-Ounce Travel Mug because it perfectly fits inside car cup holders, which was essential when I was driving to grad school every day,” she says. She also loves the lid — “the mug comes with a sippy-cup style lid that never leaks, and I bought the straw version of the mug for iced coffee.”
Volume: 20 oz | Lid type: Sip lid
Best for tea infusion: Firebelly Stop-Infusion Travel Mug
This stainless steel travel mug was designed with tea lovers in mind — once you remove the inner tea press, you can add tea leaves, fill the mug with hot water and steep for your desired amount of time before simply pushing down on the tea press to stop the infusion. It’s 100% leak-proof, and has double-wall vacuum insulation to keep tea hot for hours, along with a tapered lip design, so tea flows evenly from any angle, according to Firebelly. Although not dishwasher-safe, the mug can be easily disassembled for hand washing, and is also available in five colors, including Mer, Saumon, Noir and Foret.
Volume: 16 oz | Lid type: Sip lid
Best for cold beverages: Camelbak Horizon 20-Ounce Straw Tumbler
For those who prefer to sip from a straw, this tumbler has a non-slip base and is vacuum insulated to keep drinks cold for up to 14 hours, according to Camelbak. This is Malin’s favorite mug for cold beverages like iced coffee and smoothies. She’s especially fond of the straw lid —“there’s a little silicone seal around the straw that holds it in place and makes sure liquid does not spill or splash out of it,” she says. She also likes that the mug’s design isn’t bulky, and easy to wrap her hand around.
Volume: 20 oz | Lid type: Straw lid
Best splurge: Ember Travel Mug 2
If you're picky about the temperature of your drinks, it may be worth investing in the Ember Travel Mug 2. Though it’s pricier than the other options on this list, it’s the only one that allows you to control and adjust the heat of your beverage with a built-in touch display and a mobile app. According to the brand, the smart mug can maintain the specific temperature of your drink for up to three hours (it works all day if you keep it on the charger coaster). The Ember Travel Mug is also available with or without Apple’s “Find My” feature, and has a 4.1-star average rating from over 1,790 Amazon shoppers.
Volume: 12 oz | Lid type: Sip lid
Other top-rated travel mugs
This highly-rated stainless steel travel cup has double-wall vacuum insulation to prevent condensation and keep the outside of the mug from overheating. The press fit lid is dishwasher-safe and splash-proof, and can also be switched out for other compatible Miir lids, according to the brand. It’s available in eight different hues, including Spark, Cascara and Thousand Hills, and has a 4.6-star average rating from more than 670 Amazon shoppers.
Volume: 8 oz, 12 oz, 16 oz, or 20 oz | Lid type: Slider lid
With a cork-lined handle and sealing slider lid, the Ello Travel Mug more closely resembles a traditional mug. This stainless steel mug is vacuum-sealed to keep beverages hot for up to five hours, and cold for up to 20 hours with ice, according to the brand. All parts of the mug are also BPA-free, and while the mug should be hand washed, the lid is dishwasher-safe. It’s also available in seven glossy colors, like Georgia Peach and Frost.
Volume: 18 oz | Lid type: Slider lid
This stainless steel mug features Hydro Flask’s signature TempShield insulation, designed to keep beverages hot for up to six hours and cold for up to 24 hours, according to the brand. It's insulated for optimal temperature control and comes with a splash-resistant press-in lid. The mug also has a 4.4-star average rating on Hydro Flask, and must be hand-washed with warm water.
Volume: 12 oz | Lid type: Slider lid
How to shop for a travel mug
When shopping for a travel mug, there are a few important questions to consider:
- Is the mug insulated? Insulated travel mugs can keep your drinks hot or cold for much longer periods of time. Most of the top-rated options on the market have stainless steel or glass interiors. Some options are also double-walled (or double-insulated), meaning there is an air pocket between the two layers of insulation to keep liquids hot and prevent the cup from overheating.
- Does the mug have a spill-proof lid? Arguably one of the most important features of a travel mug is a leak-proof lid. When you buy a reusable cup, look out for ones with vacuum-sealed lids and screw-on caps.
- How big is the mug? When shopping for a travel mug, it’s important to consider how much liquid the mug can hold. If you intend to use your mug in the car, you should also consider the shape and size, and whether it will be able to fit inside a cup holder.
- Is the mug dishwasher-safe? Some travel mugs are made with many small, intricate parts that can be difficult to clean around. If you don't want to hand-wash your cup, make sure the one you're buying is dishwasher-safe. Please note that some insulated travel mugs are made with several silicone gaskets, which can be difficult to clean — especially if they aren’t removable.
Meet our expert
At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Sahara Rose De Vore is the Founder and CEO of The Travel Coach Network, where travel coaches can get certified through their ICF-accredited program. Sahara has traveled to 84 countries, is a published author and TEDx speaker, and was named one of 2023’s Most Influential Women in Travel by TravelPulse.
Why trust Select?
Ashley Morris is an associate SEO reporter at NBC Select and a journalist who regularly covers beauty, home and lifestyle. For this story, she interviewed a travel expert for guidance on what to look for when shopping for travel mugs and cups. She also consulted Select staffers for shopping recommendations.