Regular (left) and Wide (right) Cuppows.
Price: $7.99, plus shipping
Overall Impression: The Cuppow can be used with any standard canning jar to create a good-looking, sturdy and affordable travel mug.
The first time I saw the Cuppow, I thought it was one of the smartest ideas I'd seen in awhile. Canning jars make good everyday glasses, but they aren't the best for on-the-go drinking, especially with hot drinks. Enter the Cuppow, a BPA-free lid that works with the standard canning ring to transform any wide mouth or regular mouth jar into a commuter mug. With all my anticipation, I was afraid it wouldn't live up to the hype, but I was pleased to find that there is even more to like about this lid than I originally thought.
Characteristics and Specs: The Cuppow comes in two sizes: Wide and Regular, to accommodate the two standard canning jar mouth sizes. Both sizes are dishwasher-safe and molded from phthalate- and BPA-free plastic. They feel sturdy and have been through my dishwasher many times without any warping or other wear.
Screwed onto the jar with the canning ring, the lids are secure and do not leak. I prefer the shape of the Regular size, which juts out at a steeper angle and feels easier to drink from than the gentler curve of the Wide size.
Favorite details: Regular size comes with "Straw-tek," a wider hole that fits plastic straws for sipping cold drinks on the go. (Comments on Cuppow's Facebook page note that Straw-tek does not fit glass straws.)
Potential problems: If you plan on using the Cuppow for hot drinks, you definitely need a cozy of some kind, as the glass gets too hot to hold comfortably. There are plenty of inexpensive options on websites like Etsy, or you can use a thick wool sock or even a beer koozie. (The Cuppow blog rounded up some recommendations here.) I outfitted mine with a Field Jacket from Grayslater, a durable, good-looking waxed cotton sleeve that makes the hot jar easy to hold. At $12, it isn't the cheapest option, but as it is made in the U.S. of 100% U.S.-sourced materials, the higher price is understandable and worth it for me.
Splurge-worthy? Yes, especially for those looking to move away from cheaply-made products manufactured overseas. When I first posted about the Cuppow, some commenters bemoaned the price, saying that for the price of one, they could buy thousands of disposable coffee cup lids. This is probably true. But what if this relatively small amount of money could be spent on a product that will last not a day but years, and could go toward a company whose supply chain is dedicated to supporting small, local businesses in its corner of the U.S.? We all make choices in where we put our money and for me, this choice is a no-brainer.
Good for small kitchens? Yes, especially if you already keep a stock of canning jars and rings on hand. The lid itself takes up very little space.
There are several benefits to using a Cuppow beyond the inherent awesomeness of drinking from a commuter mug that is actually a canning jar. For one thing, being able to swap the lid onto any canning jar means that if it's early in the morning and I realize I forgot to wash my jar the night before, I can just quickly rinse the Cuppow, pop it onto another clean jar and go. It also means that you can use the lid on any vintage canning jar with the appropriately-sized mouth — how cool would it be to turn one of your grandmother's antique canning jars into a mug you use every day?
Carrying along a standard canning jar lid also turns this into a leakproof cup once you're done drinking: just swap out the Cuppow for the normal jar lid and you can safely carry the jar in your bag without any leftover liquid leaking out.
If you're interested and trying to decide between the Regular and Wide size, I'd recommend the Regular, as it has the flexibility to accommodate straws for cold drinks and has a profile that I find easier to drink from. If you are put off by the cost of shipping, you might want to check with the company to find out if Cuppows are for sale anywhere near you; they are available at select retailers around the country.
Find It! Cuppow, $7.99 at the Cuppow website
Related: Product Review: Nobel Glass Travel Thermos
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Anjali Prasertong)