Travel mugs need to be comfortable to hold, cool to the touch, and they should be insulated, at least to some extent, to ensure that your drink retains its heat or stays cold. Not only are they beneficial for making drinks at home for the commute to work, but they are a more environmentally-friendly alternative to using disposable cups from coffee shops and takeaways.
Below are 10 reviews of the best travel mugs in the UK, including a range of sizes and other features, so that you can find the best mug to hold your favourite drink and keep it fresh.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favourites (Updated in 2022)
The 10 Best Travel Mugs in the UK:
1. Thermos Stainless Steel King Travel Mug – Best Overall
Thermos has a long history of manufacturing insulated flasks that are useful for travelling, hiking, camping, and other occasions when you need to keep a drink at its desired temperature, so it’s not surprising to find that they also make a range of similarly insulated travel mugs. The Thermos Stainless Steel King Travel Mug has a stainless-steel interior and exterior and Thermos claims that it will keep drinks hot for up to 9 hours. It is compatible with single serve drinks machines and has a tea hook that will hold tea bags and most loose-leaf tea infusers.
It’s around the average price, comes in a variety of colours, and has a handle for easier holding. It is quite heavy, although this is to be expected from a stainless-steel construction, and the lid is designed in such a way that it is difficult to clean properly. However, it is leak-proof and does an excellent job of keeping drinks hot, so it is our choice as the best available travel mug in the UK.
2. Luckyberg Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug – Best Value
|Material:||Polypropylene Plastic, Stainless Steel|
The Luckyberg Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug is an inexpensive travel mug that is made using a combination of stainless steel and polypropylene plastic. It has a double-wall, stainless-steel design that will keep drinks hot for up to 6 hours. The double-walled design means that there is a small gap between the interior and exterior layers, reducing the heat that transfers to the exterior of the mug. While your drink might be boiling hot, the outside should stay cool and safe to touch.
The mug doesn’t have a handle but should fit in standard cup holders and has a leakproof design. It’s also one of the cheapest mugs on the list, which when combined with the double-walled design and ability to keep drinks warm for 6 hours, makes it our choice as the best travel mug in the UK for the money.
3. S’Well Stainless Steel Traveller – Premium Choice
The S’Well Stainless Steel Traveller is a 470 millilitres travel mug or flask. It has a wide mouth design, which means that it is not only suitable for cold and hot drinks, but it is easy to fit ice in the neck. It is made from stainless steel and has a triple-walled design. This helps maintain the temperature within the flask while preventing heat transfer to the exterior.
It doesn’t have a handle included, although one can be bought separately, the cup is expensive, but it promises to keep drinks hot for up to 12 hours and cold for up to 24 hours. It is leak proof but as well as being expensive, the mug has a rubber lid seal and this can transfer to the liquid inside, especially if you’re carrying a hot coffee or tea for several hours.
4. Stanley Classic Trigger Action Travel Mug
The Stanley Classic Trigger Action Travel Mug is a modestly priced travel mug with a 470-millilitre capacity made from durable and insulating stainless steel. It has a double wall design so stays cool to the touch while keeping drinks hot for up to 7 hours. The lid has a trigger action for opening and drinking, which means that it can be used with one hand, and its tall design means that it will fit in most cup holders. It is spill proof, and, unlike a lot of designs, where the lid has to be hand washed, Stanley says that the Classic Trigger Action Travel Mug’s parts are all dishwasher safe and can be placed in the top rack for convenient cleaning.
There is no handle, presumably because that would prevent its use in cup holders, and it does leak from the trigger button if you try to pour from the mug into another receptacle.
5. Zojirushi Stainless Steel Non Stick Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug
The Zojirushi Stainless-Steel Non-Stick Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug is a large stainless mug with a 600-millilitre capacity, which should have enough capacity to sate the desire of even the heartiest coffee drinker during their morning commute. Despite its size, which also makes it more expensive than most other mugs available, it is conveniently shaped so it will fit in bags and rucksacks.
It has a leakproof design, but it may prove too bulky for those looking for a mug-sized travel mug, and its size means that it does cost more than most. The flask can keep drinks hot for up to 12 hours, although this does depend on the amount inside the mug. The more hot liquid that is in it, the longer it will stay hot.
6. Corkcicle Travel Mug
The Corkcicle Travel Mug is a 475-millilitre travel mug with a triple-walled stainless-steel body that keeps drinks hot for 3 hours and cold for 9 hours. The lid is spill proof and shatterproof and has a sliding mouthpiece that is easy to operate. The lid is dishwasher safe, and the silicone base ensures that the cup won’t slip even when you’re driving or on the move, but the silicone base does mean that the cup itself shouldn’t be placed in the dishwasher.
It is on the upper end of the price range for a travel mug and although a 3-hour limit for keeping drinks hot will be enough for most morning commutes, it is much lower than the times promised by manufacturers of competing travel mugs.
7. Contigo Byron Thermal Mug
The Contigo Byron Thermal Mug is a 470-millilitre capacity travel mug that uses a double-wall design, so drinks stay hot but the outside stays cool. Contigo claims that the mug will keep hot drinks hot for up to 6 hours, which is about average and certainly better than some.
It will also work to keep cold drinks cold, maintaining cold temperatures for up to 12 hours. The lid is dishwasher safe although the mug body should be hand washed, and the easy-open lid and convenient size of the mug means that it is suitable for one-handed use and for both left-handed and right-handed users. It is also reasonably priced and doesn’t leak liquid.
The drinking hole is quite small, which means that it can be difficult to get a decent mouthful of your drink and it is too wide to fit in most cup holders.
8. Contigo West Loop Autoseal Thermal Mug
The Contigo West Loop Autoseal Thermal Mug is a stainless-steel mug with double-wall vacuum insulation. The mug stays cool while keeping your drink hot for up to 5 hours or cold for up to 12 hours. The lid hinges completely open and can be removed. It is dishwasher safe, although the body does need to be hand washed. The cup is designed to be comfortable to hold and difficult to drop, and its dimensions mean that it will fit easily in most cup holders.
It is on the expensive side and the 5-hour maximum insulation is less than most but being able to put the lid in the dishwasher is convenient, and the push button opening mouthpiece means that the mug can be used one-handed. However, you do need to take care when removing the lid for washing because the spring mechanism can fall out and is difficult to replace properly.
9. Contigo Luxe Autoseal Travel Mug
The Contigo Luxe Autoseal Travel Mug is another travel mug from Contigo. This one is smaller than the West Loop above, having a 360-millilitre capacity, but that also means that it is more compact and easier to carry around. It is also small enough to fit in cup holders and other holders. The lid hinges open and can be removed and safely put in the dishwasher, although the rest of the mug needs to be hand washed to prevent the coating coming off the outside.
The Contigo claims to keep hot drinks hot for 5 hours and cold drinks cold for 12 hours, which is less than a lot of companies but seems a realistic time. It also has a one-touch mouthpiece so can be used one-handed by left- or right-handed drinkers. Considering its smaller size, the Contigo Luxe Autoseal Travel Mug is pricier than most and the button does cause a few drops of your hot beverage to spill out when pressed.
10. Mighty Mug Go
The Mighty Mug Go is a modestly priced travel mug with a standard, 470-millilitre capacity. Rather than being made from stainless steel, it is constructed from BPA-free plastic. It has a double-walled construction which does prevent the outside from getting too hot to hold but you can still feel the warmth through the cup.
The Mighty Mug Go’s main feature is that it has a suction cup on the bottom of the base, which means that it cannot be knocked over. It isn’t leak proof, however, and the suction cup prevents it from being used in a cup holder or other holder. It also struggles to keep drinks hot for longer than an hour or so. Although that may be enough for your daily commute, it is still a lot shorter than other mugs.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Travel Mug in the UK
Travel mugs are ideal for your morning commute, when on any long drive, or for out walking. They also make a great replacement for disposable cups from coffee shops and cafes. They are more expensive than standard mugs, but good ones can also keep drinks hot or cold for several hours and usually come with a leakproof design that means you won’t spill your drink.
Design features to consider include the material the mug is made from, the thickness and number of insulating layers, and the type of mouthpiece or lid it has. Below are some of the most commonly seen features.
The majority of travel mugs are made from stainless steel. Stainless steel is safe, does not impart any flavour or aroma in the drink, and it does a good enough job of insulating drinks. It is also durable and relatively lightweight. Some mugs may use plastic because it is cheaper and has some insulating properties, but if this is the case, you need to ensure that it is BPA-free plastic.
It is also worth considering that while the cup itself is likely made from stainless steel, other materials will be used in the construction of the lid and the seals. Rubber lids may impart a flavour, especially on hot drinks that are close to the rubber itself, so watch out for this.
Stainless steel transfers heat, which means that a hot liquid touching a single piece of stainless steel causes the metal to get really hot. For this reason, and for extra insulation, most travel mugs use a double-walled design. In this design, there are two layers of stainless steel with a small gap between them. This prevents the exterior layer from getting hot so you can still hold the mug even when it is filled with piping hot coffee. A limited number of travel mugs offer triple-walled insulation, although this is unnecessary in most cases.
The capacity of the travel mug you want will depend on how much you typically drink. As a guide, standard or medium takeaway coffees are usually 340 millilitres, while large are 454 millilitres. Because of these sizes. Most mugs will either hold 360 millilitres or 470 millilitres, allowing enough room for the drink with a little bit spare. There are some giant drinks mugs that hold as much as 600 millilitres, although these are more like flasks with a drinking spout or mouthpiece to drink directly from. The capacity not only affects the volume of liquid that the mug will hold, but how well it retains heat and the chances of it fitting in a cup holder or other holder.
Size and Shape
The size and shape of a mug are determined by its capacity, first and foremost, but the shape and whether it will fit in a cup holder depends on the cup’s dimensions. Most small travel mugs, with a 360-millilitre capacity, should fit in a cup holder. Those that hold 600 millilitres are unlikely to fit and may get in the way of driving even if they will fit in the holder. Some medium-sized mugs with a 470-millilitre capacity will fit, while others will not. If you are buying a travel mug for your morning commute, try to ensure that the mug you choose will fit in the holder.
Handle or No Handle
As well as the dimensions of the mug, the inclusion of a handle will also determine whether a mug fits in the cup holder of your car. A handle will usually prevent a cup from sliding into the holder. If you’re looking for a cup that you can take to work or on a walk or use while camping or having a picnic, a handle might be convenient. If you’re using the cup while driving, a handle is unlikely to be a good choice, ignoring the fact that a mug without a handle isn’t really a mug.
Another feature that is essential to a container being called a mug is that it must be possible to drink directly from it in contrast to a flask which is more often used to hold a drink but to be poured into another container. The mouthpiece of a travel mug is important. It should be sealed when not in use, preventing spills, but it should be easy enough to open and convenient to drink out of. Some are designed to be opened and closed with your thumb, which means that they offer one-handed use. Others are more complicated and might require the use of two hands to open the mouthpiece.
Effective Insulation Period
The quality of the stainless steel, how many walls the mug has, and the dimensions of the cup determine how effective it is at insulating the liquid inside. Some mugs claim to keep hot drinks hot for up to 6 hours, with a select few offering 12 hours of heat. Because it is easier to keep cold liquid cold, mugs will usually claim twice this period for keeping cold beverages at a reasonable temperature. Most people use travel mugs for driving to work, and while it is tempting to opt for the mug with the highest time, it may not be necessary in most instances.
Travel mugs are a great way to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold, especially useful during the commute to work, while outdoors, or when working and you can’t get to a kettle or drinks dispenser. They also make a good, reusable, and environmentally friendly alternative to the disposable cups that you get from coffee shops, cafes, and takeaways.
While compiling the reviews above we found the Thermos Stainless Steel King Travel Mug to be the best available travel mug in the UK. As well as being the only one that has a handle as standard, it is leakproof and keeps drinks hot for up to 9 hours, although the handle does mean it is unlikely to fit in most cup holders. The Luckyberg Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug is not only cheaper than the Thermos and other travel mugs on our list, but it does fit in cup holders and still keeps drinks hot for up to 6 hours.
Featured Image Credit: Nataliia Martseniuk, Shutterstock