Industry Insight

How Do You Choose the Right Travel Mug?

You rely on a good travel mug to get you through a busy day. Whether it’s morning rush hour traffic or that 3 PM slump, you need something durable enough to keep you hydrated, or caffeinated, at all times!

How do you pick the right travel mug? What should you keep in mind? Fill up your cup, and let’s get started!

What Are the Best Travel Mugs?

Are you looking for a new travel mug? The best option will check all the boxes when it comes to:

  • Size
  • Material
  • Lid Type
  • Insulation
  • Look

All of these factors are important to consider when choosing a travel mug. Ultimately, it should fit your lifestyle and what works best for your needs.

How Many Ounces is a Standard Travel Mug?

The average travel mug will fit about 16 ounces. However, you’ll find options that go as high as 64 ounces, as small as 8 ounces, and just about every size in between.

The handy chart below breaks down some of the most popular ounce sizes for travel mugs and compares them to the size of soda containers. This helps you get an idea of how much drink can be stored inside.

How Many Ounces is a Standard Travel Mug?
How Many Ounces is a Standard Travel Mug?

The larger you go, the more you can expect to fit in your mug. For instance, the 12 ouncer would fit one can of soda, while the 64 ounce mug would hold almost all of a 2-liter bottle.

It’s important to know and understand the difference so you don’t go thirsty throughout the day! You should look for a travel mug that’s big enough for you.

Which is the Best Material for a Travel Mug?

Travel mugs are usually made from aluminum, stainless steel, or plastic. Metal is the best insulator, meaning it will keep temperature for both cold and warm drinks.

Still, that isn’t to say plastic is a bad choice when it comes to taking your drinks on-the-go. Take a look at the pros and cons of each material in the chart below.

Plastic
Metal

Plastic

Plastic Mug

Pros:

  • Most affordable option
  • Light and easy to carry
  • Usually dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • May retain odors that could affect taste
  • Risk of leaching, especially with mugs that contain BPA

Metal

Metal Mug

Pros:

  • Offers better insulation than plastic
  • Vacuum-sealed options keep temperatures even longer
  • Less likely to leach chemicals

Cons:

  • More expensive than plastic
  • Feels heavier to carry

If you’re on a budget, plastic may be the way to go. Do you want something well-insulated? Cough up the extra dollars and invest in a stainless steel or aluminum option instead. There’s no wrong choice, it just depends on your needs.

What Are the Different Lid Types for Travel Mugs?

The lid is what makes your travel mug portable. There are different ways that it attaches to your mug, such as screwing on or suctioning to the inside. You’ll also find different styles that change how you access your drink.

How the Lid Attaches to Your Mug

First things first, let’s discuss how the lid actually fits onto the mug. There are a few different styles that include:

Snap-On

Snap-On

  • Spill-resistant
  • Rubber gasket that suctions to the inside of the mug
Screw-On

Screw-On

  • Spill-resistant
  • Slide lock to hold the lid in place
Press-On

Press-On

  • Secures to the top of the mug
  • No rubber gasket underneath
Thermos Cap

Thermos Cap

  • Screws onto the mug
  • No opening to drink from on the top
Bottle Cap

Bottle Cap

  • Screws onto the mug
  • Rubber gasket underneath
  • No opening to drink from on the top
Handled Cap

Handled Cap

  • Screws onto the mug
  • No opening to drink from on the top
  • Handle for carrying
Attached Cap

Attached Cap

  • Screws onto the mug
  • Is not removable
  • No opening to drink from on the top



How You Take a Drink

Now let’s talk about the drink’s opening. You have different ways to take your sip, including:

Thumb Slide

Thumb Slide

  • Use thumb to open and close the hole
Sip-Through

Sip-Through

  • Small opening for you to drink through
Flip Top

Flip Top

  • Top flips up to allow you to drink
Rotate Lock

Rotate Lock

  • Spill-resistant
  • Rotate to open and close the hole
Press Button

Press Button

  • Spill-resistant
  • Push button to open and close the top
Straw

Straw

  • Removable straw that fits into the top
Dual Purpose

Dual Purpose

  • Cap unscrews to become a mug

The lid is just as important as everything else when choosing a travel mug. You want something that’s easy to use and is completely leak-free. Pick a style you don’t mind sipping from all day!

How Long Do Travel Mugs Keep Drinks Insulated?

Your travel mug can keep your drink hot for an average of about 4 hours. Cold drinks will stay cold for an average of 13 hours. The exact length of time for each mug, though, depends on how it’s built.

Below you’ll see a breakdown of five different travel mugs and how well they keep temperature throughout the day.

How Long Do Travel Mugs Keep Drinks Insulated?
Mug #1
Mug #2
Mug #3
Mug #4
Mug #5
 
Mug #1

Stainless steel with screw-on lid

Mug #1

Plastic with press-on lid

Mug #1

Aluminum with copper vacuum insulation

Mug #1

Stainless steel with vacuum insulation

Mug #1

Aluminum with snap-on lid

How long do cold drinks stay cold?

How long do cold drinks stay cold?
15 Hours
10 Hours
14 Hours
15 Hours
12 Hours

How long do warm drinks stay warm?

How long do warm drinks stay warm?
5 Hours
3.5 Hours
4.5 Hours
4.5 Hours
4 Hours

*DISCLAIMER: Timeframes could vary based on the product, type of drink inside, and climate. The chart depicts an average in room temperature using cold or hot water.

You don’t want to take frequent trips to the microwave or freezer. The best travel mugs are the ones that hold temperature for as long as possible. This is especially true if you have a long day ahead.

What Are the Most Stylish Travel Mugs?

Most people carry around a simple silver travel mug with a fitted lid. If you want to stand out, try going for a trendier look. Here are some stylish options:

Iridescent

Iridescent

The iridescent trend took off like the speed of light. The vibrant purples and blues were inspired by mystical unicorns, adding a magical touch to your travel mug.

Neon

Neon

Turn heads with a cool neon travel mug. It’s sure to add a bright spot to your morning, especially if you’re feeling extra groggy.

Marble

Marble

Perhaps no look is trendier than clean white marble. This look is all the rage for home décor, but is especially sophisticated on a good travel mug.

Copper

Copper

Many travel mugs have a metallic touch, but copper is a more unexpected look. It won’t cost you too many pennies to try this style!

Speckled

Speckled

Are you not quite ready for polka dots? Give the speckled drinkware craze a try. It adds a bit of personality to your typical travel mug.

Bling

Bling

A sparkly lid turns a boring travel mug into one with a bit more pizazz. You’ll shine bright like a diamond!

Woodgrain

Woodgrain

If you want to go for a polished look, try a woodgrain travel mug. Just don’t let it collect dust in your kitchen cabinet!

Gradient

Gradient

It can be hard to decide on just one color. A gradient travel mug fades from light to dark tones for a super trendy look.

You want to find a travel mug that’s big, keeps temperature, and has a good lid. Stylish looks are just icing on the cake!

Which Travel Mug is Right for You?

The travel mug you choose is a matter of preference, but it doesn’t hurt to have some handy advice. Here are the main takeaways of what you should look for when shopping:

Large Size

Large Size

You want your travel mug to be big enough to hold your beverage, whether it’s piping hot coffee or ice cold water.

Metal Insulation

Metal Insulation

A travel mug made from aluminum or stainless steel will hold temperature the best. Bonus points if you find something that’s vacuum-sealed!

Spill-Resistant Lid

Spill-Resistant Lid

Turn your travel mug upside-down to check for any leaks. You want to be able to seal it tight and close the hole you sip from.

Stylish Look

Stylish Look

Your travel mug reflects your personality. Find something that has a cool color or nifty design on the front.

You want your travel mug to be reliable and last for years. After all, you’re probably going to carry it around every single day. Take some time to pick the right one for you!

Try a Custom Travel Mug

Travel mugs make awesome gifts, especially if they are customized with a unique logo or message. Are you a business owner looking for more brand recognition? Maybe you’re getting married and need wedding favors. Either way, custom travel mugs are the perfect choice! All it takes is a really cool design to make an impact.

The Bottom Line

You can’t leave the house without a good travel mug at your side. The good news is you can never have too many! Bring a large, durable one to work and go with something stylish for the weekends. The sky’s the limit!

References

Advertising Specialty Institute. (2019). Global Ad Impressions Study. Retrieved from, https://media.asicentral.com/resources/Global-Ad-Impressions-Study.pdf