It's 2020, and you need a travel mug. That's because the world is turning its back on unsustainable single-use cups. Grabbing one of the best reusable coffee cups will help you cut back on what you send to landfill. Plus, you can choose something that suits your preferences for size and how it feels to drink from, and some are even made from recycled materials.
Lots of our best travel mugs picks are also properly insulated, so they'll keep coffee and tea warm for longer. If you tend to wolf your drinks down right away and just need something to hold them in, you might not be bothered about this – but if you want something to help you get through a longer commute or last for an afternoon-long meeting, it's a big bonus. (Also check out our best Hydro Flask deals for some more bargain travel mugs.)
We've even got a smart mug, with a heating element and battery, which will keep your drink at the exact temperature you prefer, so you get the maximum taste from it – perfect for the coffee connoisseur. (For more smart solutions, see our best smart home devices, or our smart keyboards for iPad.)
We've focused on the lids and leak-proofing parts of lots of these cups, because a big part of how satisfied you are will come down to how much of a hassle a mug is to drink out of… and you'll definitely be unhappy if it leaks in your bag.
Our reusable coffee cup picks range from the hyper-secure to the casual, across a range of prices. Some have clever engineering, some have beautiful aesthetics, some are made from ingenious sustainable materials, but all are great ways to get your coffee fix. Read on for our top picks.
The Tefal Travel Mug doesn’t have the sharpest looks (though there’s little wrong with it) or some of the lofty engineering claims of some of the mugs here, but it’s the best travel mug because it’s an unbeatable balance of temperature-holding, size, price and leakproofness (which is definitely a real term you’ve heard before). The black rubbery middle band has a slightly cringey typographical design on it, but it adds texture for gripping, so we can live with it. To drink, you press a button in the centre of the lid, which pops up to open a gap, and you can then drink from any side without sloshing. Press it again to seal it from leaking. It’s dishwasher-safe too. If you want something no-nonsense and large, this is it.
We’ve chosen the bigger version of this Contigo West Loop mug, because we know that sometimes starting the day requires a lot of help, but you can get a smaller version of Contigo’s Autoseal mugs if you don’t think half a litre of coffee is strictly necessary. The real trick here is the big Autoseal button – press it when you’re drinking and it opens a valve, so you can pour happily. Don’t press, and nothing comes out. The single-press-and-release system is a small thing, but those who drink on the go will struggle to switch back to anything with a more fiddly method of securing the cup once you’ve tried it. Even better: we like the simple curves and metal of its stainless steel build, and it comes in a really great range of matt and metallic finishes. We’re especially partial to ‘gunmetal’ and ‘latte’, pictured above.
For those who refuse to be without their favourite loose-leaf blend, T2 has you covered. Lacking insulation, this T2 Explorer mug isn’t designed to keep things warm for hours (T2 does make proper vacuum flasks, if that’s what you want), but is made from durable Tritan tempered glass. You can obviously fill yourself a big hot drink with your favourite tea in the stainless steel infuser, but the large size means you could drop in ice cubes and brew an iced tea of your choice, equally. A flip-open lever stopper keeps things from spilling, but we like how easy it is to just pop your thumb under and ping it open.
This bioGo Travel Mug isn’t so much intended for keeping your coffee warm over long periods, but if you just want something for drinking on your commute, its double-wall insulation will be enough. But that’s not really why you go for it anyway: being made from rice husks, its green credentials are second to none, and this also makes it incredibly light – just 180g for this 450ml version (a smaller 350ml is also available). It’s textured for a secure grip, and a simple flip-open half-ring on the lid stops spills. We like the flecked design in fetching pastel tones (plus a more vibrant yellow option).
This Ember Temperature Control Travel Mug is the most expensive mug on our list by a long way, but that’s because it’s the only one that has an actual heating element, rather than just relying on physics. You can use a dial on the bottom of the mug to choose a temperature between 48.9°C and 62.8°C, and the mug will keep your drink at that exact temperature until the battery runs out – perfect if you’re a real connoisseur who’s a stickler for that kind of detail. And if you place it on its charging coaster, the battery will never run out, so you could disappear to an all-day meeting and come back to a drink that’s still at the perfect temperature. The design is plain (but good), and and it’s pretty heavy, but it’s impossible to overstate how magic it feels to drink coffee that’s always at exactly the right temperature – it will even cool freshly made coffee more quickly down to that temperature before keeping it there. Genius.
KeepCup’s claim to coffee fame is that its reusable glass cups are “barista-standard”, made of a tempered Tritan glass that calls to mind your favourite coffee shop that won all those awards. The cork ring of the KeepCup Cork Brew keeps your hands from burning, and is made from a sustainable material – and there’s definitely an appealing truth-to-materials aesthetic of the cork and glass together. It comes in a shorter 227ml size too, or a larger 455ml option, but this middle-ground is just right for most.
No design-conscious kitchenware list is complete without an entry from Alessi. The simple, gleaming stainless steel of the Alessi Caffa Travel Mug looks fab, and there are a few different colours of top – we especially like the lightness of the white and metal combo, but the red and brown both use stronger hues to great effect. There's a big cover to the lid you need to flip open to drink – good for leakproofing, but maybe a tad more effort than some others here. It was designed by Giulio Iachetti, who’s done beautiful work for the likes of Moleskine and Lavazza, among others.
If you want to keep it super-simple, cheap and largely environmentally sound, grab this cup from a brand that admittedly means a lot more to London commuters than it does the rest of the country. This LEON Bamboo Fibre Travel Mug is made from bamboo fibre, as you might have surmised, and has a protective ring to keep your hand from overheating, because there’s no insulation here. Similarly the top doesn’t seal totally closed at all – there’s a permanent hole. It’s basically a reusable alternative to a disposable cup, and for this cheap price, that’s fine with us.
Stojo’s simple travel mug telescopes down into a smaller puck shape for stashing in a bag when it’s empty, and then you pop it up when needed. It’s a smart design, and while it means there’s no insulation for long-term heating, it does have a fully leak-proof sliding lid design, and a heat sleeve that collapses right with it. We love the pale colours it comes in – very Smeg – as well as the bolder variants.