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The Best Vacuum Insulated Coffee Mugs

Best-Vacuum-Insulated-Coffee-Mug

If you’ve got a busy lifestyle and you always seem to be on the go, that morning coffee is crucial to set you up for the day but you’ll need to keep your drink warm.

While a full-sized thermos might be great when you’re camping, it’s far too bulky when you’re on the morning commute. Luckily, vacuum insulated coffee mugs are ideally designed for single-serve use.

The inbuilt bonus with insulated mugs is that they can perform double duty. Not only can you keep your morning macchiato steaming hot for hours, you can keep cold drinks iced throughout the entire day.

While looking for a travel tumbler might initially seem like the simplest ever buying decision, there are a few pointers you should keep your eyes peeled for.

  • Heat and cold retention: Depending on what type of drinks you prefer, make sure the mug you’re considering will keep your drink hot or cold for long enough.
  • Material: Look for stainless steel mugs if you want maximum durability. Make certain that any plastic components are free of BPA, BPS, and other known contaminants.
  • Type of insulation: If you’re looking for optimum results, shoot for a mug with double-walled vacuum insulation – more on that directly below.
  • Capacity: Most of the mugs we review today come in a selection of sizes. Don’t mess this up and get something too small for purpose.
  • Does it fit in your coffee machine? If you have a single-serve coffee machine, it’s ideal if you can slide your travel mug in to save you decanting it from cup to flask. Check for this before picking up a machine if you feel like you’ll be drinking coffee on the go.

Before we push ahead with our quest for the best vacuum insulated coffee mug, how do these vessels actually work?

I. Our Top 5 Picks for acuum Insulated Coffee Mugs


II. What Is a Vacuum Insulated Mug?

What-Is-a-Vacuum-Insulated-Mug
Source: Amazon.com

The most effective insulation for travel mugs harnesses vacuum insulation and double walls to deliver maximum heat retention with the minimum of fanfare.

The design and concept is straightforward but the results spectacular. Temperature is maintained thanks to the inner and outer wall separated by a vacuum. This means the air between the layers of stainless steel has been removed. Thanks to this insulation, heat is stopped from transferring through the air and your coffee stays warmer for longer. Or cooler if you’re opting for an iced drink!

Zojirushi, a leading kitchenware brand, goes one stage further by building in a layer of aluminum or copper around the inner of the walls. This serves to reflect heat and reduces heat loss still further.

So, the vacuum in place acts as an effective barrier between your drink and the air in the atmosphere.

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When you’re placing hot drinks inside the mug, all the heat stays inside since there’s no air to transfer it. Conversely, if you want to keep your drinks cool, heat transfer is slowed in reverse so your cool beverage won’t be tainted by ambient temperature.

It’s the presence of the vacuum seal that arrests heat transfer between the ambient air and your drink. Some testing has shown that heat retention is increased by one-third if you use a vacuum insulated mug. That’s a whole lot longer that your coffee will stay ready to drink.

Now, the main question on everyone’s mind when looking for this type of container is, “How long will my coffee stay warm?”


III. How Long Do Vacuum Insulated Mugs Keep Coffee Warm?

How-Long-Do-Vacuum-Insulated-Mugs-Keep-Coffee-Warm

There’s no precise answer to this question that applies to all coffee mugs since there are so many variables.

As a rough guideline, you can expect a top-notch insulated mug to keep drinks hot for 4 to 6 hours. Most mugs will keep drinks colder for longer, anywhere from 12 to 24 hours.

We recently stumbled across this detailed experiment on how long insulated mugs keep coffee warm.

The testers used some mugs we review and a couple we don’t. The mugs were tested over a two-day period. On day 1, the mugs were filled with hot water then the temperature was taken throughout the day. Understandably, compromising the vacuum and repeatedly opening the container leads to reduced effect. To mitigate this, on the following day the mugs were topped up then simply left for 6 hours before having the temperature taken.

Here’s a brief summary of what those testers found:

  • Hydroflask: The least effective of the 5 models tested, temperature dropped to a tepid 122F. For this reason alone, we didn’t review this mug ourselves
  • Contigo West Loop: After a full 6 hours, water in the Contigo was still 127F which is fit for purpose
  • Yeti Rambler: The Yeti Rambler returned the most impressive results of this batch. Water was still measured at 149F after 6 hours so you’d still have drinkable coffee
  • Zojirushi: After 6 hours, water in the highly capable Zojirushi had only dropped from 185F to 165F. When tested hourly, this mug was shown to drop roughly 5F every hour, acceptable temperature loss
  • Thermos: Similar to the Zojirushi, water in the Thermos only fell to 164F at a rate of 3.5F every hour

What’s important here is that you look for a travel mug that will keep drinks hot or cold for the length of time appropriate for you. After all, if you frequently drink your coffee rapidly, you won’t need to place such a premium on finding the longest-lasting model possible. All that counts is getting the right mug for you.


IV. Top 10 Best Vacuum Insulated Coffee Mugs

1. Zojirushi Stainless Steel Insulated Mug

Zojirushi-SM-SE48NZ-Stainless-Steel-Vacuum-Insulated-Mug

Zojirushi are perhaps best known for their exceptional range of rice cookers. The brand has also branched out into vacuum insulated travel mugs and this model is a consistent best-seller.

With a stable of 16 different colorways, there’s truly something for everyone.

The flask also comes in 3 sizes:

  • 12oz
  • 16oz
  • 20oz

Keep your coffee heated to 189F for up to an hour and then warmed at 160F for a further 6 hours. You can also keep drinks cold for up to 6 hours thanks to the highly effective vacuum insulation.

While this isn’t the cheapest option at your disposal, if you act quickly, you’ll capitalize on an aggressive discount.
Things We Like

  • Choose from 3 sizes and a staggering array of color schemes
  • Non-stick interior is a cinch to keep clean
  • Rugged stainless steel build and BPA-free plastic

Things We Dislike

  • Connecting plastic part inside is cheap and flimsy

2. Thermos Travel Mug

Thermos-Stainless-King-16-Ounce-Travel-Mug-with-Handle

In the UK, Thermos is synonymous with flask due to the brand’s impeccable heritage and plethora of winning products in this vertical.

A half-dozen finishes ranging from matte black to electric blue gives you enough choice without overwhelming you.

There’s a single size option of 16oz giving you more than enough room to accommodate a large Starbucks coffee or a substantial mug made from your coffee machine at home.

The Drinklock sealing lid will prevent any accidents in your car or on the subway. With an airless space created between the walls of this travel mug, your drink will stay piping hot or cold as required and regardless of the weather.
Things We Like

  • Rugged and built to withstand some heavy punishment
  • Remains cool to the touch despite its insulating properties
  • A brand you can trust with over a century in the business

Things We Dislike

  • Hand wash only so keep clear of the dishwasher

3. Contigo Stainless Steel Travel Mug

Contigo-2034154-Stainless-Steel-AUTOSEAL-West-Loop-Vaccuum-Insulated-Travel-Mug

Another travel mug available in a dazzling spectrum of colors to suit all tastes, Contigo smash a home run with this stainless flask.

The autoseal comes in extremely handy when you’re on the move and renders this travel mug effectively spill-proof.

As well as the remarkable choice of colors, the mug comes in 3 generous sizes:

  • 16oz
  • 20oz
  • 24oz

The flask is designed to fit just about any regular car cup holder so you’ve got the perfect companion for your morning commute.

To ice the cake, the Contigo comes in at a very keen price so what’s not to love?
Things We Like

  • Choose from every color of the rainbow to match your mug to your outfit
  • Thermalock vacuum insulation keeps drinks hot for 5 hours and cold for up to 12 hours
  • Push-button operation to make your day easier even if you’ve got your hands full

Things We Dislike

  • Lining inside is prone to coming away

4. Tiger Insulated Steel Travel Mug

Tiger-MMJ-A048-PA-Vacuum-Insulated-Stainless-Steel-Travel-Mug-with-Flip-Open-Lid

This 16oz travel mug is reasonably priced considering the design and build quality but how does it fare when it comes to keeping your drinks at the required temperature?

Vacuum insulation technology keeps your morning joe hot for a solid 6 hours. This is more than enough for just about any purposes and means you’ll never need to make a trip without your coffee fix close at hand. You can keep cold drinks iced throughout the whole day, too.

You’ll fit a large coffee inside but the mug is both compact and lightweight so ideal for your travels.

If you want a cost-effective and incredibly efficient travel mug from a brand you can trust, roll with Tiger.
Things We Like

  • Simple push-lid with lock so your drink always safely inside even if you’re on the go
  • Slick interior keeps maintenance to an absolute minimum
  • Superlight despite generous capacity

Things We Dislike

  • Limited selection of colors

5. Yeti Rambler Stainless Steel Insulated Mug

YETI-Rambler-30-oz-Stainless-Steel-Vacuum-Insulated-Tumbler-w/MagSlider-Lid

Yeti has a hard-won reputation for producing first class travel mugs at prices that won’t cripple you. What makes this 30oz beast so good, though?

The innovative magnetic lid keeps all the contents safely inside.

The stainless steel body of this tumbler is complemented by BPA-free plastic. This means you can drink your coffee in confidence knowing you won’t be exposed to any contaminants.

With 19 colorways up for grabs, you’ve got no excuse not to find something to your liking.

Unlike some cheaper travel vessels, the Duracoat applied to the interior means you’ll get no flaking or degrading.

If you’re looking for an unbeatable way to keep your coffee hotter for longer, hunt out the Yeti!
Things We Like

  • Magnetized lid to ensure you won’t suffer any spillages
  • Double-walled insulation and 18/8 stainless steel to keep your drink hotter for longer
  • Huge 30oz capacity yet still fits in most regular car cup holders

Things We Dislike

  • A bit bulky for some

6. RTIC Double-Walled Insulated Tumbler

RTIC-Double-Wall-Vacuum-Insulated-Tumbler

Next up is a pocket-friendly travel mug capable of giving you hot coffee for hours on end. If you choose to chill your drinks, they’ll stay iced throughout the day.

RTIC has a well-earned reputation for producing great travel mugs at affordable prices and it’s amazing that you get such quality at this price-point.

You have a choice of 4 sizes with this mug:

  • 12oz
  • 20oz
  • 30oz
  • 40oz

Once you’ve plumped for the size that best suits, you’ve got 18 colors at your disposal.

While you’ll be able to keep your coffee hot for several hours, this flask really comes to the fore for cooling drinks. Pop your Frappuccino inside and it will remain iced all day long. What more can you ask for on a hot summer’s morning?
Things We Like

  • Works well for both hot and cold drinks
  • Straw-friendly flip-top lid is neatly engineered
  • Couldn’t be easier to clean

Things We Dislike

  • Lid can flick down and hit your nose

7. Contigo Stainless Steel Travel Mug

Contigo-AUTOSEAL-Transit-Stainless-Steel-Travel-Mug

We’ve got another Contigo up next with the Transit model finished with a rubberized sleeve.

We’ll state off the bat that this model is especially tough to clean, particularly under the lid. If you’re looking for a maintenance-free mug, this is not for you.

The spout cover lock means you won’t run the risk of spilled coffee when you’re sipping it on the way to work. A non-slip sleeve around the flask is another valuable and ergonomics safety touch.

5 colors give you enough choice without confusing you.

If you’re looking for a versatile travel mug ideal for both hot and cold drinks, this Contigo is well worth popping on your shortlist.
Things We Like

  • No-slip rubber sleeve for your peace of mind
  • Keeps drink hot for 5 hours or iced for a full 12 hours
  • Your drink won’t leak or spill even if you’re moving around quickly

Things We Dislike

  • Really quite awkward to clean

8. Ello Cole Stainless Steel Insulated Bottle

Ello-Cole-Vacuum-Insulated-Stainless-Steel-Water-Bottle-with-Slider-Lid

This stainless steel travel mug comes guaranteed to have no BPA and no BPS on any plastic components. The only problem is the interior which can start flaking away over time. All we can say is that it pays to keep your expectations reasonable at this price-point.

The sliding lid is a cinch to use and makes sure your coffee stays where it belongs not cascading down your lap.

Cleaning is slightly tasky so we’d recommend you pop this tumbler in the dishwasher and keep on top of upkeep regularly.

For a mug that represents great value even if it doesn’t have the longest lifespan, the Ello Cole is a worthwhile option.
Things We Like

  • Proprietary sliding lid impeccably designed
  • No BPA or BPS in any plastic parts for your peace of mind
  • Pop all parts in the top rack of your dishwasher without any snags

Things We Dislike

  • Coating can start peeling off over time which is a disappointment

9. Bubba Insulated Stainless Steel Tumbler

bubba-Insulated-Stainless-Steel-Tumbler-with-TasteGuard

Bubba serves up a precision-engineered gem in the form of this stainless steel travel tumbler but what makes it stand out from the pack?

While you’ll be limited to a choice of just 2 sizes and 3 color schemes, you’ll get a dependable flask that will keep your coffee drinkable for 6 hours or a cold drink iced for fully 24 hours.

Kitted out with regulation dual-walled insulation, you’ll get solid build quality at a rock-bottom price.

All parts of this tumbler slip easily into the dishwasher and you’ll benefit from an unbeatable lifetime guarantee.

Treat someone to one of these mugs for Christmas and make their commute more pleasurable next year.
Things We Like

  • Inside coated with ceramic to bring out the best in your coffee
  • Dishwasher-friendly to keep clean-up to a minimum
  • Lifetime guarantee removes any trepidation from purchase

Things We Dislike

  • Reasonably costly

10. Ello Campy Stainless Steel Insulated Bottle

Ello-Campy-Vacuum-Insulated-Stainless-Steel-Water-Bottle-with-Slider-Lid

Last but certainly not least, the Ello Campy insulated thermos is a retro camping-style mug given the added benefit of vacuum insulation.

This mug only comes in a 16oz size which can keep iced drinks cold for 10 hours or coffee scorching hot for up to 5 hours.

Slotting neatly into any car cup holder, you’ll be safeguarded against leaks and spills thanks to the innovative and airtight slider.

All plastic parts are guaranteed BPA-free and you’ll be covered by a lifetime warranty so what are you waiting for?
Things We Like

  • Eye-catching design in a range of pastel colors
  • Ergonomic handle so mug fits snugly
  • Leak-proof slider for ease of access and security

Things We Dislike

  • A few reported issues with the handle breaking unexpectedly so buyer, beware

Conclusion

Well, by now you should know all you need to choose the best vacuum insulated coffee mug the easy way.

Although picking up one of these travel mugs is relatively painless, you should nevertheless pay attention to the tips above when you’re on the buying trail. With insulating properties, all you need to make sure is that the mug you’re considering will keep your drink hot or cold for as long as you require. Beyond that, focus on materials and capacity above all else.

Stick with any of the mugs we review above and you’ll be in safe hands!

Bookmark The PrinceLA for all your home and garden needs and come back regularly. We constantly update our content and we’ve got plenty lined up for you over the coming holiday season.

So, now the turkey has all gone and Christmas is still a few weeks away, make sure you pop back next week for more inspiration for gifts as well as more products for your own home. See you soon!

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