Tips from The Kitchn

We Tried a Bunch of Travel Mugs and This One Kept Coffee Hot Way Longer than the Others

published Oct 24, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

If you’re like me, you can’t stand cold coffee. (No, I’m not talking about iced coffee — rather, hot coffee that’s gone cold.) There’s just something about it that’s totally unappealing. And so I’m very invested in gadgets and gear that keep my coffee hot for as long as possible. At home, I’m a fan of my Ember. But its battery only lasts for so long and it’s certainly not suitable for on-the-go drinks. For that, I (and you!) need a great travel mug.

To find the best-of-the-best travel mug for keeping coffee and tea hot, I recently put some of the most popular models to the test. I poured freshly brewed coffee into the mugs and took their temperature every hour for four hours. I wanted to see how long the mugs kept coffee above 130ºF (anything below that and coffee starts to become tepid). I also evaluated how easy it was to hold, drink from, and clean the mugs.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

The winner was clear: The Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug swept the competition. After four hours, coffee was still at a piping-hot 139ºF — nearly 30 degrees hotter than the other models. It’s also easy to hold, a cinch to open and close, has a spout that’s comfortable to drink from, and has a lid that locks to prevent accidental spills.

And while it does have a narrower opening that requires something like a bottle brush to effectively clean, its performance is inimitable. Don’t just take my word for it, though. It has a 4.8-star rating on Amazon, with nearly 2,000 reviews. Here’s what other happy customers have to say about it.

“First let me say I work in Antarctica, I am outside a lot and like to take my coffee with me. This mug has far exceeded my expectations. From working outside in -30F weather to sipping while typing on my computer in the office, my coffee stays HOT!”

“Amazing. I got this because I kept spilling coffee with my old [travel mug]. I tested this one by filling it and turning it completely upside down. Not a drop leaked. In terms of how hot it keeps my coffee, I filled it at 8 AM the other day, and what was left of it was still warm when I got home around 7 PM.”

“This is the BEST [travel mug] PERIOD. I now own three of these. The smallest one fits under my Keurig and keeps coffee very warm ALL DAY. I usually have to pop the lid for 20 minutes because the coffee stays so hot. And to keep things cold … I have put ice and water in it in the morning before work, left it in my car all day during a NC summer, and come back to cold water … WITH ICE.”

Do you have a travel mug you love? Tell us about it in the comments!