If you're serious about keeping drinks as hot or cold as possible, the durable Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug (Est. $28 to $35) might be your best bet. The mug is a top performer in expert tests, besting five stainless-steel competitors by keeping coffee piping hot for hours. Reviewers also love the mug's leak-proof design, which features a secondary lock to truly keep liquids in their place. However, if you'll be using your travel mug on the go, experts say there may be better choices: Some find the Zojirushi's spout uncomfortable, while others say its lid can block their view of the road and the slim body can rattle around in cup holders. This cup is available in 12- and 16-ounce sizes.
If on-the-go convenience is your top priority, the Contigo Autoseal West Loop Travel Mug (Est. $21 for a 16-ounce mug, $23 for a 20-ounce mug) is a solid performer at a lower price than the Zojirushi. The mug earns praise for fitting well in cup holders and letting drivers drink comfortably with one hand while on the road. There are few complaints of leaks. Though most owners are pleased with its performance, experts say the Contigo doesn't retain temperatures quite as well as the Zojirushi. Some reviewers also complain the plastic lid breaks easily and makes their drink taste like plastic, too. The Contigo is available in 16- and 20-ounce capacities.
The Thermos Vacuum Insulated Mug (Est. $25) is another worthy stainless-steel option. Unlike the Zojirushi and Contigo, the Thermos is available with a handle -- a nice option for those who like to walk and sip. The 16-ounce mug also has a built-in tea hook and a one-hand, push-button lid. While most owners are happy with its ease of use and temperature retention, the Thermos doesn't fare quite as well as the competition in expert tests. It's also plagued by reports of broken lids, and experts caution that it can be hard to determine whether it's open or closed just by looking.
For ease of use, performance and durability, the Zojirushi is the top choice of our editors.