I Tested 4 Stanley Tumbler Dupes Against the Original and the Winner Is Shockingly Better (and Under $20!)

published Jan 13, 2024
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Collage of different tumblers
Credit: Photos: Stanley, Walmart, Amazon, Target, Five Below; Design: The Kitchn

By this point, it’s practically impossible that you haven’t heard about the Stanley Quencher Tumbler and the gorilla grip it has on the internet. Since the original all-steel vacuum bottle was designed in 1913 by William Stanley Jr., the brand has continued to innovate — and, clearly, stayed relevant, for over a century. After going viral on TikTok, the elusive jumbo strawed water bottle is regularly sold-out, thanks to its sleek design and ability to keep a whopping 40 ounces of water cold or hot for hours. In fact, in 2023 alone, NBC reported that Stanley shot up to $750 million in annual sales, up from $402 million the year before (sales grew year over year since the bottle was first introduced in 2020; 2019 sales clocked in at $73 million).

Dozens of colors and accessories later — as well as a viral story of a tumbler surviving a car explosion with ice still remaining the next day, and the brand buying the owner a new car — the item’s popularity still hasn’t seemed to reach its peak, or even plateau. Shoppers continue to run to stores (and even line up the night before) for limited-edition drops, selling them secondhand for hundreds of dollars online, and up to nearly $1,000 for “super rare” ones. There are even collectors with 50+ of the tumblers sorted by color on giant gallery walls. I cannot make this up!

While I’m not here to try to explain the cultural phenomenon nor the astonishing and fortuitous craze behind the Stanley Quencher H2.0 Flowstate Tumbler, I am here to give the people what they want. Like most internet-obsessed finds, dozens of other brands have jumped into the market with their best take on the ice-retaining tumbler. And thus, we had to test the most popular Stanley tumbler copycats to see which stood up to their claims, which were just as good as the original (but cost less), and which ones you should probably leave on the shelf. If you’re not up for paying $45 for a water bottle, don’t worry — these are the best Stanley Tumbler dupes on the market today. 

Credit: The Kitchn

How We Tested Each Stanley Tumbler Dupe

To find the hottest (err, coldest?), most popular tumblers on the web, we searched none other than TikTok. Nearly every home brand has their own version, but we chose 40-ounce tumblers that had been posted about with high praise on social media that resembled (or were compared to) the Stanley Quencher Tumbler, which were also available at big-box retailers. We landed on tumblers from Five Below, Amazon, Target, and Walmart, all of which cost less than the original $45 Stanley. (And for the record, two editors tried three different times to get Aldi’s version to no avail, as it was sold out everywhere we tried.)

In seeking out the best alternative, I tested for the following: ability to keep cold liquids cold; ability to keep hot liquids hot; product spillage; and other miscellaneous features like colors and straws. 

For the cold test, I filled each tumbler halfway with cold water and three ice cubes; Stanley claims to be able to keep ice intact up to two days (and cold liquids cold up to 11 hours), so I checked each tumbler 11 hours later to see which still had ice and/or cold liquid. For the heat retention test, I filled each tumbler half-way with boiling water and felt to see which changed temperature on the outside after a few minutes, then checked seven hours later to see if the water was still steaming (Stanley claims to keep drinks hot for up to seven hours). For the spillage test, I set each lid to be “closed,” then tipped the full tumbler upside down to see which leaked. (People also note that on some models, the handle breaks off after some time, but in my testing they all seemed sturdy and none broke off during the few months I tested them.)

In terms of features, the original Stanley’s lid has a rotating cover with three positions: a straw opening, a wide mouth for drinking, and a full-cover (closed) top. I compared the tops of the dupes as well as any other features the bottle had (straws, range of colors, etc.)

The Ratings: Each product received a 1 to 5 in each category, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the best. Along with the rating you’ll find notes on how each tumbler stacked up in each category, how the tests went, and my general thoughts on each. 

Credit: Quinn Fish

Five Below’s Stanley Tumbler Alternative: The Hydraquench Tumbler, $5.55

  • Cold retention: 1/5
  • Heat retention: 1/5
  • Spillage: 3/5
  • Other features: 2.5/5
  • Overall: 2.5/5

Although the Five Below tumbler was The Kitchn readers’ most-purchased tumbler of 2023, I hate to say that the product was pretty disappointing in my testing. To be fair, Five Below makes essentially zero claims about their tumbler — not about it being insulated or keeping liquids hot or cold for any period of time. It failed the ice cube and heat retention tests pretty much instantly, but I was surprised at how little spilled and trickled out when I tipped it upside down considering its lid had the least going on (a few pieces of plastic, no silicone). So, with that being said, it delivers if you’re looking for an affordable tumbler with a stainless steel exterior and aren’t super picky about your water or coffee’s temperature. It does, however, come in a whopping nine colors, so there’s that!

Credit: Quinn Fish

Target’s Stanley Tumbler Alternative: Simple Modern Trek Tumbler, $29.99

  • Cold retention: 5/5
  • Heat retention: 4.5/5
  • Spillage: 4/5
  • Other features: 3.5/5
  • Overall: 4/5

While Target’s Simple Modern Trek Tumbler doesn’t have the same three-position top as the rest of the products (hence the lower score), it’s very sleek with its single straw hole. Of course, this means that you can’t drink out of it directly with a “wide mouth” setting if that’s what you’re looking for — but I was shocked by how well it kept water from spilling when tipped upside down, thanks to just a few small silicone flaps inside the straw hole. In terms of cold and heat retention, it’s a great choice — it hung in there with the rest of the top-ranking picks (sorry, Five Below!). On the other hand, it’s the most expensive dupe and comes in only four chic colors (sage, mauve, lavender mist, and almond birch) at Target, which is the fewest on our list. (On the Simple Modern website, however, there are dozens of colors, customization options, and a few different sizes.)

Credit: Quinn Fish

Amazon’s Stanley Tumbler Alternative: 40-Ounce Tumbler with Handle, $17.99 

  • Cold retention: 4/5
  • Heat retention: 4/5
  • Spillage: 4.5/5
  • Other features: 3.5/5
  • Overall: 4/5

If you’re looking for a nearly identical (minus the logo, obviously) Stanley tumbler dupe delivered right to your door, Amazon’s 40-ounce tumbler is a great choice. Although it’s only available in four basic neutral-ish colors (and yet the Amazon photo shows six), its thermal insulation was pretty high-quality with just a little bit of ice meltage and a hot plastic top when filled with boiling water (so beware, coffee-drinkers). Additionally, this was the only alternative that had the same silicone thumb grip that the original Stanley quencher has, if that’s a must-have for you. All in all, it gets the job done for less than half the price!

Credit: Quinn Fish

Walmart’s Stanley Tumbler Alternative: Ozark Trail Tumbler, $19.97

  • Cold retention: 5/5
  • Heat retention: 5/5
  • Spillage: 4.5/5
  • Other features: 4.5/5
  • Overall: 4.5/5

To be honest, I’m not totally sure what keeps me coming back to Walmart’s Ozark Trail Tumbler. I think it’s the straw (the top is silicone, while the bottom is hard plastic, so it’s more malleable and perfect for straw-biters like me), but it could also be the soft matte finish that makes it feel higher-end or the exquisite color selection (a whopping eight options, including ombré!). It beat out the competitors during the thermal insulation tests and had minimal spillage when tipped upside down. For me, the only differences between this and the Stanley are the price tag and the logo!

Credit: Quinn Fish
  • Cold retention: 5/5
  • Heat retention: 5/5
  • Spillage: 4.5/5
  • Other features: 5/5
  • Overall: 5/5

Of course, we had to test the famed Stanley Quencher H2.0 Flowstate Tumbler to see how the dupes stacked up. Yes, it lived up to all of its claims (and actually spilled just about the same amount as Amazon’s and Walmart’s), and has a comfy silicone thumb grip that only Amazon’s version replicated. As you may already know, there are tons and tons (and tons) of colors — including matte, limited-edition, and seasonal — and sizes (from 14-ounce to 64-ounce), and it’s also customizable for an extra fee (with text, photos, graphics, monograms, etc.). 

For these reasons, it is the complete package. As much as I do like the tumbler, I’m still not totally sure what all the hubbub is about, and I definitely think it’s overhyped — it’s just a water bottle, after all. But I’m not one to yuck anyone’s yum! It really is an incredible tumbler if you’re looking to treat yourself. (Learn more on how to get one here.)

Final Thoughts on the Winning Tumbler(s)

If you’re going for name-brand and a bit of a splurge to get your hydration in, I have nothing bad to say about the original Stanley Quencher Tumbler. It stands up to all of its claims and clearly has amassed millions of customers for a reason. However …

If you’re going for practicality (on a budget), I couldn’t recommend Walmart’s Ozark Trail Tumbler more highly. It was the only dupe with a silicone straw, and the finish makes it feel more expensive. Plus, it held its own through our rigorous testing! I’ve been using this tumbler every day for months and the handle hasn’t budged a bit, and it’s my newly preferred way to stay hydrated (with lots of ice!). At only $19.97, it’s a no-brainer for me. (Note: While I loved the straw — and am a general fan of silicone — in the reviews on Walmart’s website, not everyone loved the silicone straw, so keep that in mind.)

All five of the tumblers have the same tapered bottom designed to fit into a car’s cup holders, and they’re also all dishwasher-safe (aside from Five Below). Target’s and Amazon’s options were extremely close seconds and thirds to Walmart’s — if you want my honest opinion, you truly can’t go wrong with any option. Happy hydrating!