Jam and jelly. Alligators and crocodiles. Emojis and emoticons. There are a ton of things out there that seem like they’re the same, but are actually very different. Now there’s one more pair to add to that list – travel mugs and tumblers.

You might use this drinkware every day, but how much do you really know about it? Here are a few key facts about travel mugs vs. tumblers!

What is a Travel Mug vs. Tumbler?

First things first, let’s get a good understanding of how you would define a tumbler vs. a travel mug.

What is a Travel Mug?

A travel mug is a piece of drinkware that you take with you on the go. It’s usually made from metal, includes a screw-on lid that slides to open, and may or may not have a handle.

Best with hot drinks



Hot Chocolate

What is a Tumbler?

A tumbler is a piece of drinkware that can work for hot or cold drinks, but typically is filled with cold ones. It’s often made from BPA-free plastic, comes with a lid and straw, and is completely handle-less.

Best with cold drinks




You can technically drink hot or cold drinks from both a travel mug and a tumbler*. However, for the best taste results, you’ll want to use stainless steel or aluminum drinkware for hot drinks and plastic drinkware for cold drinks.

*Disclaimer: The tumbler or travel mug’s product description will usually specify whether the drinkware is designed for hot or cold drinks or both. If you have any questions or are at all unsure, it’s best to check with the manufacturer.

What is the Difference Between a Travel Mug and Tumbler?

Travel mugs and tumblers are pretty similar, but there’s one big difference between the two – the handle! A travel mug may or may not have a handle, while a tumbler never will.

The infographic below shows you everything you need to know about a travel mug compared to a tumbler.

It can sometimes be tricky to tell the difference between a travel mug and tumbler, especially since the manufacturer chooses how to describe their drinkware. As a general rule, though, it’s safe to call a plastic cup with a straw a tumbler and a metal mug with a press-on lid a travel mug.

Most people use these terms interchangeably, so no worries if you mix them up! No one is going to laugh at you.

Starbucks is famous for both their drink tumblers and travel mugs. New designs and styles come out almost every season and for special events like Halloween and Christmas.

What Should You Use a Travel Mug For?

A travel mug is meant to be used on the go. With that in mind, you’ll want to carry one around to:


Is your day full of big meetings and conference calls? A travel mug full of coffee will help you stay nice and productive. No three o’clock slump for you!

Running Errands

Fill up a travel mug, hit the road, and take care of all those errands! You can then sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of your weekend.


You need to stay hydrated (or caffeinated) to get through those tests and essays. Hit the books while sipping from a stylish travel mug!

Winter Sledding

Brrr…it’s cold out there! You’ll be able to stay on the hills for a lot longer with travel mugs full of hot cocoa.


Whether it’s a road trip or a 5 A.M. flight, a travel mug will be a real lifesaver. There’s a reason “travel” is in its name!

You have a variety of travel mugs out there, so choose the one that works best for your needs. Better yet, get a bunch and you’ll be ready for any situation!

What Should You Use a Tumbler For?

A tumbler is great for rest and relaxation. Pour in a cold drink and enjoy using this drinkware for:


A cold drink pairs well with burgers and hot dogs. Skip the red solo cup and serve lemonade and soda in stylish tumblers instead.

Company Picnics

Your employees will love using tumblers during the picnic and then bringing them home at the end as souvenirs. If your logo is on the front, that’s also additional advertising for you!

Beach Bashes

Get the beach party started with colorful tumblers! They’re a lot easier to carry around than coolers full of ice, and they’ll keep your drinks cold for just as long.

Family Reunions

Give out tumblers as prizes to the winners of the three-legged race or volleyball game. Do you not have games planned? Fill up the tumblers with candy and give them out as party favors instead!

Wedding Favors

Look for tumblers that match your colors and print your names and wedding date on the front. Your guests will enjoy these favors long after you say, “I do.”

Tumblers are worth buying because they’re useful and stylish. They are an especially great addition to outdoor events.

Source: @beyondthegreen.ca,

Why You Should Customize Your Drinkware

Drinkware has had a moment lately. People are posting pics everywhere from Snapchat to Instagram to Pinterest with their travel mugs and tumblers in hand. The more stylish and trendier, the better!

That’s exactly why it’s such a good idea to customize your drinkware, whether you need a new way to advertise your company or nice wedding favors for your big day.

Find a cool tumbler or travel mug, add your design on the front, and boom… you’ve got a truly amazing gift!

Custom Tumblers You’ll Love

The tumbler and travel mug are merely the blank canvases. They become truly special when you add your creative touch. Get to customizing!

The Bottom Line

You’re supposed to drink at least 8 cups of water every day, and coffee is said to fight depression and make you happier. A tumbler or travel mug helps you have easy, on-the-go access to these drinks and many more!

About the author

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over four years of experience in the industry. She is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products and has had work published for the Promotional Products Association International and the Advertising Specialty Institute.