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Best of the Best: Insulated Travel Mugs

Feb 2, 2022 6:26:43 PM

An insulated travel mug lets you take your favorite drink, hot or cold, anywhere you go. And a good one feels like it was designed with your routine, and even you, in mind. It slips effortlessly into a cup holder and opens easily so that you can sip safely while keeping your eyes on the road. You arrive with a drink that’s still hot and appealing.

Consumers have spoken and the results are in. Below are our most highly recommended insulated travel mugs.

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#1 Thermos Stainless King, 16 ounces

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Starting at $40.48

Keeps drinks hot for an impressive 7½ hours. It also has an easy-to-clean lid, which earned a Consumer Reports rating of Very Good. Note: one of the three lid gaskets cannot be removed or replaced, so when it goes, so goes your mug. The tapered design means the mug will fit in the cup holder of most cars. Bonus: It has a handy tea hook on the underside of the lid, so you can suspend a tea bag in water without losing it inside.

Specs: 16-ounce capacity, leakproof, cup holder-friendly, stainless steel interior, replaceable lid and gaskets, one-handed opening.

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#2 Takeya Traveler, 17 ounces

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Starting at $39.26

This handsome mug offers style and convenience. Press a single button to pop the top and drink from this mug. It also excels at keeping drinks hot—for 6½ hours in a Consumer Reports test—which helped it earn a rating of Excellent for temperature retention. The lid is easy to remove and clean, and there’s a silicone pad on the bottom of the mug, which protects your desk and keeps the mug from sliding.

Specs: 17-ounce capacity, leakproof, cup holder-friendly, stainless steel interior, smooth lip on cup, replaceable lid and gaskets, one-handed opening.

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#3 Contigo Byron, 20 ounces

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Starting at $25.20

The Contigo Byron mug is a strong performer wrapped with silicone across the middle, which makes it both easy and satisfying to grip. It kept water hot for 5½ hours in our test, helping it earn a Consumer Reports rating of Very Good for temperature retention. However, it does require both hands to pop open the sipping mechanism. The top is tough to clean, too, because it has a lot of crevices - a word of caution: don't leave this mug in the cup holder of your car over the weekend before cleaning it out!

Specs: 20-ounce capacity, leakproof, cup holder-friendly, stainless steel interior.

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#4 YETI Rambler, 20 ounces

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Starting at $25.20

The Yeti Rambler may be the cool kid in the mug aisle, but it’s not so super at its main job—keeping drinks hot. It lasted “just” 4½ hours in a Consumer Reports test—long enough to earn a rating of Very Good but a far cry from the best. The simple plastic lid certainly doesn’t improve the thermal seal. On the flip side, the magnetic slider is a cool mechanism (great for fidgeters!). And both lid and mug are a cinch to clean—no bottle brush required. You might not care, though, because it’s also dishwasher-safe. The one lid gasket is easy to remove and replace, but it won’t keep the cup from leaking. Call it splashproof. The silhouette is wider at the top and tapers toward the base allowing it to fit in most cars' cupholders. The powder-coated finish provides a bit of grip.

Specs: 20-ounce capacity, cup holder-friendly, stainless steel interior, smooth lip on cup, replaceable lid and gaskets, one-handed opening.

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Credits to Consumer Reports

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