Whether you're commuting or camping, these travel mugs will keep your coffee the perfect temp.
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A selection of 4 travel coffee mugs on a designed background
Credit: Amazon

What makes a great travel mug? The easy answer is the ability to keep your coffee or tea hot or iced drinks cold until you're done drinking them. But beyond that simple criterion, things get a little more complicated.

Determining the "best" means first figuring out what you need your mug to do: Do you need to keep liquid hot or cold for as long as possible? Drink your coffee safely while driving? Throw your tea into a bag without worrying about leaks and spills? Just keep your coffee hot while you sit at your desk, so you don't have to constantly head to the microwave between Zoom meetings? We've taken all of these scenarios into account and compiled a list of the best options for all of your travel mug needs. Bonus: You can find all of these picks on Amazon for under $50.

Best Travel Coffee Mugs on Amazon Under $50

Best Overall Travel Mug: Zojirushi Stainless-Steel Mug

No matter what you're looking for in a travel mug—good insulation, ease of use, or the ability to throw it into a bag without worrying about leaks—you'll find it in a Zojirushi. These mugs consistently keep drinks hotter than competitors; with their best models, scalding water will still be enjoyably hot a full 24 hours after you pour it. They're also the easiest to use, with simple flip-up lids that lock in place with the slide of a finger (and stay completely shut, without dripping, even if they bounce around in a tote or backpack).

The standard 16-ounce stainless mug, which is small and sleek enough to tuck into a purse, comes in a wide variety of colors and designs. If you're looking for something a little more rugged, try the flip-and-go model, which also has a fold-up handle that can be attached to a carabiner (and, in some tests, kept liquids even hotter than the other models).

Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug, 16oz
($29.99 save 13%)
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Zojirushi SM-QHE60GK, Flip-and-Go Stainless Mug, 20-Ounce
($39.99 save 30%)
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Best Travel Coffee Mug on Amazon under $20: Ello Stainless-Steel Travel Mug

This sleek mug is not just a steal at $14.99, it also outperforms some mugs that sell for twice the price. The vacuum-insulated stainless-steel construction does an excellent job keeping coffee and tea hot. Moreover, its leakproof lid with a slider on top is extremely easy to operate with one hand, but the cup won't spill if you knock it over. (We wouldn't, however, throw it in our bag—without a locking mechanism, the slider could potentially come open if it rubbed up against a wallet or the corner of a sunglasses case.)

Ello Arabica Stainless Steel Powder Coat Coffee Tumbler with Sliding Leak Proof Lid, 14 oz.
($15.99 save 22%)
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Best Stainless-Steel Travel Mug: Stanley QuadVac NeverLeak Mug

If you're looking for a sturdy mug that you can throw around without worrying about leaks or dents, Stanley is your best bet. The construction is so durable that the company offers a lifetime guarantee, and the NeverLeak lid doesn't just cover the small opening you sip from; when you twist the lid closed, it actually lifts up a gasket to close off the entire top of the mug. (The lid also offers three different positions—closed, open and partially open.) Each bottle comes with removable "easy grip" fabric wrap, held together with very study snaps, that has a thick finger loop to make the mug easier to carry.

Stanley The Quadvac NeverLeak Mug
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Best Insulated Travel Mug: CamelBak MultiBev Water Bottle and Travel Cup

If your goal is to keep a lot of liquid hot for an extended period of time (a cross-Pacific flight, for instance, or an afternoon of cross-country skiing), this large, sturdy thermos with packable lid is a good bet. The 17-ounce bottle, like many travel mugs, has a double wall and is vacuum insulated, but the body is then further insulated by a 12-ounce cup that screws onto the lower half of the bottle.

The result: the bottle keeps liquids 10 to 20 degrees hotter than many other travel mugs over a 10-hour period, even in cold temperatures. When you're ready to enjoy your coffee or tea, you can pour it into the attached cup (which makes sharing easy) or use the foldable lid that fits over the mouth of the bottle itself after you remove the leakproof cap.

CamelBak MultiBev Water Bottle & Travel Cup – Insulated Stainless Steel
($47.00 save 13%)
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Best Travel Coffee Mug: Yeti Rambler with Hot Shot Cap

While most travel mugs can carry any liquid you like (hot coffee or tea or something iced) most are meant for a very large amount of liquid, usually around 14 to 16 ounces. This is much more liquid than you would get if you ordered a standard pour-over coffee or latte. So if you're looking for a cup to take to keep your brew hot after you leave your favorite coffee shop (or just keep your coffee hot all morning at your desk), you'll need something smaller, designed to hold between 8 ounces (roughly the size of a small cappuccino) and 12 ounces (a Starbucks "tall").

Yeti makes a 12-ounce mug that fits this size range. It has a screw-on, no-leak lid that lets you drink from any side of the cup and it's perfect for commuting since it fits into your car's cup holder.

YETI Rambler 12 oz Bottle, Stainless Steel, Vacuum Insulated, with Hot Shot Cap
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Best Travel Mug with Handle: Ello Campy Vacuum Insulated Stainless-Steel Water Bottle with Slider Lid

This pretty, speckled mug looks and feels like a vintage coffee cup; it's relatively light and the handle is lined with soft cork. On the 16-ounce version of the cup, the handle sits high enough that you can pop the mug into a car cup holder. Unlike most travel mugs with handles (which often have press-on lids or just an open hole for sipping), the Ello has a lid that screws in and an easy-to-operate slider you can open with just one hand. (The threads for the screw-on lid are designed so that you can position the opening for right- or left-handed drinking, though getting the position right might take a couple tries.)

Ello Campy Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Slider Lid, 16 Ounce
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Runner-Up: Hydro Flask 12-Ounce Coffee Mug

This hefty mug doesn't close completely—there is an open hole in one side of the lid to sip from—but it somehow manages to keep liquid quite hot anyway. When we tested it, a cup of very hot tea, left untouched, was still warm a full five hours later. The wide-bottomed cup also has rounded edges on the bottom and a "soft touch" finish with a slightly rubberized texture, making it particularly comfortable to cradle in two hands on chilly mornings.

Hydro Flask 12 oz Travel Coffee Mug - Stainless Steel & Vacuum Insulated
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