Hot drinks are a daily staple for many, and just as important as the beverage is the travel mug that keeps it warm while you’re on the go.
After a decade of testing travel mugs, we still recommend the Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug for most people. It keeps drinks hot for hours, and its locking lid stays securely closed, even when you toss the mug into a bag. We also have another option, which fits better in most cup holders, for use while you’re driving.
This mug offers the best heat retention, plus one-handed usability and a locking, leakproof lid, which makes it especially useful if you carry your mug in a bag or backpack.
The 16-ounce Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug keeps beverages hot for hours, even in cold environments. It has a well-designed exterior, an easy-to-clean nonstick Teflon interior, and a foolproof lid-locking mechanism that you can operate with one hand.
The mug is lightweight and slim, but it may not fit snugly in some cup holders. However, thanks to its locking lid, we were comfortable carrying it around in a bag, without worrying about leaks.
This Zojirushi model is pricey for a travel mug, but this is the mug we trust most not to spill in a bag, and it’s hard to put a price on that. (Actually, that would be about the price of a new bag, laptop, phone, and whatever else happened to be in there at the time.)
It’s also available in a 20-ounce version.
Like other Zojirushi products, it comes with a five-year warranty.
This wider mug fit securely in our testers’ cup holders, and its spill-proof lid design is good for rough roads. It doesn’t retain heat as well as the Zojirushi mug—a fact that some people might actually appreciate.
The 16-ounce Stanley Classic Trigger-Action Travel Mug is wider and fits better in most car cup holders than the Zojirushi mug. The lid has an auto-sealing button that prevents spills, and when you drink, it won’t block your view of the road ahead.
Although this Stanley model may not keep drinks as hot as the Zojirushi mug, some people might prefer such results—we’ve heard many complaints over the years of the Zojirushi mug keeping drinks too hot.
Both the mug and the lid are dishwasher safe, but the lid has fewer parts than that of our top pick, so it is easier to disassemble and hand-wash if you prefer to clean it that way.
This bottle-cleaning set has a skinny straw brush and a looped detail-cleaning brush, which are all you need to keep your travel mug squeaky clean.
And let’s not forget that these things need cleaning regularly. That’s why we also have a bottle-brush recommendation for when you need to clean out the gunk.