What every best Travel Mugs has:
- Excellent heat retention.
- Leak-proof seals.
- One-hand usability.
This site is dedicated to reviewing home products of all kinds. Its editors tested 13 stainless-steel travel mugs over a period of several weeks, putting each one through multiple tests for leaks, spills, heat retention, ease of cleaning, and durability. Mugs were knocked over, dropped from a height, tumbled in a dryer, and checked for temperature every 15 minutes over a 2.75-hour period. The article names the 13 top choices and compares their performance.
Testers at TheSweethome.com put in nearly 50 hours of research, checking the specs of more than 60 different travel mugs and testing 9 of them. They check for leaks by filing the mugs with blue liquid and laying them overnight on their sides and upside down, test heat retention by filling the mugs with 202°F liquid and checking their temperature over an 8-hour period, and evaluated durability by dropping all the mugs repeatedly.
Editors at Bloomberg.com subject four stainless-steel travel mugs to a battery of tests. First, they measure how much heat each mug loses after 1 hour and after 12 hours. Then they drop them, half-filled, from ever-increasing heights to test durability. Finally, they hold mugs upside down to test spillage and evaluate the ease of opening and closing. The article names the best and worst performers in each test.
Editors rate seven double-wall stainless-steel travel mugs -- the type considered best at retaining heat. They use a thermometer probe to test heat retention over a 4-hour period, then check for leaks by shaking the mugs upside down. Finally, they literally test drive the mugs, taking them on the road to rate their ease of "sipping and handling." Each mug gets rated on a 3-star scale for each test. Two of the mugs are discontinued.
Editors test four double-insulated mugs with built-in tea brewing baskets, including three made from glass and one of stainless steel. After brewing tea in them, sipping it during a car ride, and dropping the mugs to test durability, they rate each one on a 3-star scale for each of the three tests. Unfortunately, they conclude that none of the four is worth recommending.
Amazon.com is one of the best resources for real-world reviews of travel mugs. Many reviews are quite detailed and evenhanded. However, prospective buyers should read carefully, since reviewers sometimes rate products poorly because of bad experiences with a seller or shipping. Readers should also beware of older reviews, which might discuss an older version of a product with flaws that have been fixed.
Bed Bath & Beyond doesn't carry nearly as large a selection of travel mugs as Amazon.com, and the ones they have don't get nearly as much feedback from users. Still, we were able to find a few with high overall ratings -- at least 4.5 stars -- from 20 users or more.
Editors at Good Housekeeping test 28 travel mugs to see how well they hold their temperature, resist leaks and spills, and stay upright. They also rate them on comfort, ease of cleaning, one-handed use, and durability. This article briefly sums up each mug's pros and cons, but it doesn't compare the mugs directly or offer recommendations, nor are there details about testing methods. Finally, this is an older article and several of the travel mugs are no longer available.