The Best Travel Mugs to Keep Drinks Hot or Cold

One way to quickly ruin a morning is to take a sip from your mug expecting hot coffee or tea only to be met with freezing-cold liquid. Or, on the flip side, desperately wanting ice cold water only to find it warm. For those moments, you need an insulated travel mug. There are tons of stainless steel mugs, bottles, and tumblers on the market. These are our favorites.

We tested each bottle with both cold water and hot coffee, sitting outside in indirect sunlight and inside in the AC. During testing, none of the bottles has failed to roughly match up to their claims of how long they’d keep cold liquids cold and hot liquids hot. It’s rare to run across an insulated bottle that’s a total failure at doing that these days, but it’s also rare to find one that truly stands out. Rather, I’ve noticed the features that tend to make or break a bottle are leak-proofing, exterior coating, and the cap. While all these bottles can keep cold drinks at temperature, you may prefer getting a dedicated insulated water bottle if that’s all you need.

Be sure to check out our guides to the Best Coffee Subscriptions, Best Coffee Grinders, Best Espresso Machines, Best Portable Coffee Makers, Best AeroPress Coffee Makers, and How to Make Better Coffee at Home.

Updated June 2024: We made the Hydro Flask mug a top pick and added Owala’s SmoothSip and W&P’s Porter to the honorable mentions. We’ve also moved all bottles that use lead soldering to the avoid section and updated prices and links throughout.

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A Note on Lead Soldering

Since we first started testing water bottles and coffee tumblers, it’s come to light that some brands use lead soldering to seal their insulated bottles. The lead is on the bottom of the bottles encased in stainless steel. While it’s unlikely it would become exposed, we think it’s an unnecessary risk given that enough of our favorite brands use other methods to seal their bottles. We’ve noted which brands have confirmed they use lead in our “avoid” section below and will keep this guide updated as we hear from the others.

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