Best Travel Mugs

Finding the best travel mug in the UK could be the difference between a brew that stays hot for several hours or opening the lid to find your coffee is in its own ice age.

So how do you avoid choosing something that has terrible insulation, will leak when you hit a bump in the road and will taint the taste of your coffee with its shoddy material choice?

It’s easy – you let us do the work for you! We’ve put some of the most popular coffee cups to the test to find out once and for all which one is the best travel mug in the UK. And how do we do that I hear you ask? We designed a series of tests including heat retention, drinking experience and durability to help us understand just how good each mug really is.

1. GoBambu (Best Travel Mug Overall)

This visually appealing travel mug (450ml) from GoBambu ticks all the boxes for us and is our vote as the best travel mug in the UK. Not only is it pleasing on the eye, it also does everything you want a travel mug to do in terms of practicality.

Heat Retention

Our tests showed that the GoBambu coffee cup is able to keep coffee hot for around 5 hours when the lid is on and the cap is sealed. This is more than enough time for situations such as driving to work or walking back to the office from a local cafe.

Leak Test

When the cap is sealed, very little liquid is able to escape. You’d be fine with knocking it over for example as it would give you enough time before a real mess is made. Even when the cap is open, the suction lid does a good job at preventing too much liquid escaping.

Drinking Experience

Whilst the GoBambu mug doesn’t really separate itself from its competitors in the two categories above, it certainly does when it comes to the drinking experience. The outer layer of bamboo is smooth to the touch and doesn’t heat up unlike some other travel mugs. The food-grade stainless steel inner layer is also high quality and doesn’t effect the taste of the coffee in the slightest.

Durability

The combination of stainless steel and solid bamboo make this one of the most durable travel mugs in the UK. What many people don’t realise is that bamboo is one of the strongest materials to use for products. It’s got a greater tensile strength than steel and can withstand pressure better than concrete.

Final Verdict

Overall, this mug is a great value for money and gets our vote as the best travel mug in the UK.

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2. Contigo (Best Leak Proof Travel Mug)

The Contigo, available in a variety of colours, is about as dependable as it gets when it comes to travel mugs. The convenient auto-seal button is great for those who want a coffee mug that can lie horizontally in their bags. With a capacity of 470ml it’ll easily fit a large coffee.

Heat Retention

Our tests revealed that Contigo’s claim of 5 hours of heat retention is pretty accurate. It has a double-wall vacuum insulation and this means you can keep cold drinks cold for around 12 hours too.

Leak Test

This is one of the more impressive travel mugs when it comes to being leak-proof. The auto-seal technology ensures that 100% of the liquid remains in the mug at all times with absolutely no leakage. It also has a lid-lock feature which stops you accidentally opening the lid.

Drinking Experience

The Contigo has a plastic lid to drink from but lacks a lip groove which is helpful to stop any drips after you take a sip. The stainless steel design feels nice to hold but of course can get cold during the winter months, especially if you’re drinking on the go.

Durability

The Contigo is made out of high quality stainless steel (double walled) and so is very strong and durable. It’s very difficult to dent so you’re pretty safe when it comes to accidentally dropping it.

Final Verdict

Overall, the Contigo is 100% leakproof and keeps hot drinks hot. It’s worth buying if those are the most important metrics that you consider.

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3. Bodum

The Bodum travel mug does all the basics very well without having a real stand out feature which for us, makes it a good all rounder. Whilst it doesn’t have the capacity of some of the other mugs on this list, it’s still good for a quick coffee break.

Heat Retention

The double walled stainless steel structure makes the Bodum one of the better insulators and as such keeps coffee hot for over 5 hours as per our tests.

Leak Test

Before buying this mug, there was a lot to be said about its weakness in this area. Sure, like most travel mugs, it’s not going to go well if you throw this in your backpack but when kept upright/going over bumpy roads there’s little to no spillage.

Drinking Experience

The Bodum has a number of features which contribute towards a pleasant drinking experience. The curved lip is a nice addition and the rubber grip makes the mug comfortable to hold. The only knock is that it’s a two hand job to get the lid open so isn’t recommended to drink from whilst driving.

Durability

Being dishwasher safe, it’s easy to keep the Bodum in good condition. The materials include stainless steel and high density PP and should comfortably last a few years before showing signs of wear and tear.

Final Verdict

The Bodum, with its 350ml capacity is perfect for those who like a quick coffee.

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4. Zojirushi (Great Insulated Travel Mug)

The Zojirushi is a fantastic insulated travel mug although with great insulation comes great cost. North of £50, it’s probably not for those working on a budget but if you can buy it, it’s great value for money.

Heat Retention

This mug was the best performing when it comes to heat retention. It was able to maintain a very drinkable temperature of 70°C for 6 hours thanks to its vacuum insulation.

Leak Test

Shake this one as much as you want, nothing’s getting out. The Zojirushi travel mug is 100% leakproof so there’s not too much to add here!

Drinking Experience

We really loved the slick, long but thin design. It’s super lightweight and feels like it’s been made from the best materials. Perhaps the only knock on the product is the flow is a little bit slow but not so much that you’d really recognise it.

Durability

The Zojirushi is made out of premium stainless steel and whilst not being appropriate for dishwashers, is pretty easy to keep clean. The paintwork is of a high standard and is difficult to scratch and should look in good condition for a long time.

Final Verdict

With the Zojirushi you essentially get what you pay for. It’s very expensive but it’s an immaculate product that would be our best travel mug but for the price.

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5. Thermos

Thermos are a trusted brand when it comes to flasks but how does that translate to their coffee tumbler?

Heat Retention

It’s hardly surprising that Thermos’ heat retention is one of the best on the market. They’ve long been reputable when it comes to flasks and outdoor living so when it took 5 hours for the temperature of our coffee to drop below 70°C it was expected. Not too much else to say here but it’s very good.

Leak Test

Like most travel mugs, if you kick this over, it’s going to leak. The effectiveness of the Thermos is really all down to your reactions. If you quickly pick it up, you can actually expect no leakage.

Drinking Experience

The shape of the travel mug makes it very easy to drink from. The grooves in the body of the mug makes gripping it easy which is especially important as the outer layer is made from stainless steel. The only downside for me was the actual hole to drink from is just a little bit too wide. At 470ml the capacity can hold a large coffee.

Durability

The stainless steel used is high quality and won’t break any time soon so expect this to last a good few years. Whilst the paintwork looks to be a good standard, there have been some complaints that it tends to peel off when used in a dishwasher often.

Final Verdict

Thermos are a reputable brand in this space so it’s not surprising that this mug follows suit. It’s a good quality travel mug with a generous price tag.

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6. 720°DGREE

The 450ml capacity 720°DGREE Travel Mug is lightweight, keeps coffee hot for a suitable duration and comes in a variety of different colours. But where does it stack up when it comes to the best travel mugs? Let’s dig a bit deeper…

Heat Retention

The 720°DGREE travel mug keeps coffee above 70°C for just over 4 hours. This makes it ideal for work commutes and a mid-trek coffee. It doesn’t quite match some of its competitors but 4 hours is still a lengthy period and should suit most people.

Leak Test

This travel mug is absolutely leak proof…if you screw the lid back on properly.

Drinking Experience

Drinking on the go is a bit tough with this one and I’ll tell you why. The lid is quite fiddly so unscrewing it and putting it back on multiple times is just a bit too time consuming for it to be worth it. I also wasn’t keen on drinking straight from the cup. The stainless steel lip can get very hot and really just confirms this is more of a coffee carrier to your final destination than anything else.

Durability

The materials used for this include stainless steel and tough plastic and so should keep the travel mug protected for awhile. Like Thermos, there have been issues with paint peeling away but that’s purely a cosmetic thing. Another thing to note is that due to the fiddly nature of the lid, the plastic has been known to wear down. This can significantly reduce the lifespan of the travel mug.

Final Verdict

The 720°DGREE is more suited to camping and hiking so if you’re buying for that, this might be for you.

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7. ecoBrew

Moving away from stainless steel travel mugs we have the ecoBrew which is made from a durable borosilicate glass. These glass style reusable coffee cups have become more and more popular but is it more down to the look than the practicalities? Let’s see how it faired during our testing…

Heat Retention

Glass isn’t as good a conductor of heat as stainless steel but the ecoBrew still does a pretty good job when it comes to heat retention due to the fact that it’s double-walled. It’s not going to keep your coffee hot for hours but that’s not really the intention of this travel mug. It’s seen more as a replacement for single use coffee cups.

Leak Test

Whilst the shape of the glass mimics that of single-use disposable cups, the ecoBrew has a handy stopper to stop splashes when you’re not drinking from it. We still wouldn’t recommend shaking it too much though!

Drinking Experience

The glass looks stylish and the silicone grip is comfortable so gets points for that. Drinking from a silicone lid does feel a bit strange though, even if it doesn’t effect the taste of the coffee too much. I’m not a fan of the texture but that’s not to say you’ll dislike it too, it’s more a personal preference. The only other issue I have with it is it’s 350ml capacity as it’s only really suitable for small and medium (at a push) drinks.

Durability

The mug is designed to be reused over and over again and replace single use cups (hence the name). It has a silicone base which is unique when it comes to glass travel mugs and gives it a degree of protection. The glass should survive a drop on a flat surface but will probably shatter if dropped on an uneven one.

Final Verdict

This eco-friendly coffee cup is a great alternative to single-use coffee cups but will need to be looked after to ensure it doesn’t break.

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Travel Mug Buying Guide

When buying a travel mug, there are certain things you should look out for. Prioritising features such as heat retention, leak/splash proof capabilities and durability are of the utmost importance so allow us to break them down in a bit more detail.

Heat Retention

A lot of companies make claims about how long their mugs keep coffee ‘hot’ for. But what does ‘hot’ even mean? The temperature the coffee was when you poured it? Our tests were based on keeping the coffee above 70 degrees celcius.

This for us is the point at which the coffee starts to become too cold to be enjoyed properly. It’s likely that companies are not using this as a benchmark as our tests have shown. Always take this information with a pinch of salt and have realistic expectations.

Leak/Splash Proof

This isn’t necessarily a huge factor when deciding what the best travel mug is. The aim of the travel mug is to have something convenient to drink from when you’re on the go. If you want something that is truly leak proof, go for a flask.

Durability

No one wants a travel mug that’s simply going to break after a few uses. When it comes to durability, looking at the materials the travel mug is manufactured from is a good indicator. Stainless steel is something that is sturdy and doesn’t scratch easily. Glass always has the potential to break. Bamboo is a super strong material too.

If you enjoyed reading this and have learnt something new, feel free to check out our recent ‘best Nespresso compatible capsules‘ article!