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Top 10 tips to help you find your best travel mug.

Top 10 tips to help you find your best travel mug.

Yasmina Guemar Yasmina Guemar
6 minute read


Hey there, travel mug enthusiast! So, you're on the hunt for the perfect travel buddy to keep your beverages happy on the go? Well, hold onto your hats because there's a whole bunch of stuff you gotta think about to make sure you snag the one that's just right for you! Here's the lowdown on what to keep in mind:


1. Insulation:

Think of your thermal mug as a cozy sweater for your drink. Look for ones with double-wall insulation that'll keep your coffee hot or your smoothie cold for ages. How long an insulated mug will keep your drink hot for will vary considerably between brands and their individual products so double check the specs. 2-6h is quite typical and remember that longer isn't always better as you might end up frustrated having to wait hours for your drink to cool!

bru vacuum insulated travel mug

2. Material:

Stainless steel is like the superhero of travel mug materials - durable, light weight, and easy to clean. Stainless steel tumblers are often double walled vacuum insulated to retain heat the best. Some stainless steel cups take things further by incorporating a smooth ceramic-like material coating on the inside to further reduce odours, staining and provide a really premium experience.

Plastic is extremely lightweight and wallet friendly. Scratches may be less visible on these than on colour powder coated stainless steel cups but these typically don't last more than a couple years due to breaking. Plastic smells tainting your drink may be a continuing problem from the beginning and odours and stains are likely to settle permanently over time. Temperature retention time is generally 1-2h.

Ceramic and glass bring some artsy vibes to the party but might need a bit more TLC. The main things to bear in mind is the fact that these will be heavier than the other alternatives and if they fall, that's likely to be their end. Glass reusable cups are also not usually recyclable at end of life.

Nature fibre based cups usually use biodegradable plant materials such as coffee husks, bamboo fibre and corn starch mixed with a composite polymer (like PP) or melamine (also similar to plastic) to make a strong shape. These always look the most environmentally friendly however, due to the plastic-ky binding material many are not actually compostable and the ones that are, can only be composted commercially (eg not in your compost heap!).

Finally, there are foldable, super compact silicone based alternatives which are always ready for adventure. These would benefit those who need a cup that takes up the least possible space. The downsides are that it can be fiddly to hold, cleaning is likely to become an issue with all those folds and there will be the typical silicone smell.


3. Capacity:

Are you a sipper or a gulper? Choose a flask size that matches your drinking style. Whether you're a one-cup wonder or need a big gulp to get going, there's a size for you.

6oz / 170ml: drip coffee, small flat white, cortados, espresso shots

8oz / 230ml: medium flat whites, filter coffee and any in the previous list

12oz / 340ml: cappucinos, lattes, tea

16oz / 455ml: grande drinks, frappes, iced lattes, long journeys

20oz / 570ml: road trips!

24oz / 680ml: journeys over 6 hours, long hikes, camping trips

All the way to 40oz tumblers!

insulated coffee tumblers 8oz and 12oz sizes

4. Lid Design:

Nobody likes a leaky lid - it's like the annoying friend who spills secrets. Look for lids with tight seals or nifty locking mechanisms to keep your beverage safe and sound. Also, double check that the company sells spare lids as it tends to be handy to own two and it's good to know that if you accidentally lose or break the original lid, you can get a replacement.


5. Ease of Cleaning:

Ain't nobody got time for complicated cleaning routines. Go for travel mugs with wide openings or parts that come apart easily for quick and painless cleaning sessions.


6. Portability:

Your thermos should be your trusty sidekick, not a bulky burden. Pick one that's easy to carry and fits snugly in your hand, bag or car cup holder without taking up too much space. 

bru travel mug fits in car cup holder white

7. Durability:

Life happens - your travel mug should be able to roll with the punches (literally). Choose sturdy materials that can handle a few knocks without giving up the ghost. 


8. Compatibility:

If you like your coffee your own way and have specific equipment you like to use, make sure your travel mug gets along with your coffee making goods. Bear in mind that most espresso machines have a hopper height that only allows very small cups underneath but if it doesn't bother you, it's very easy to use a smaller cup in the machine which you them pour into your tumbler. If you like to brew with an Aeropress, take into account the width and stability of the opening of your travel mug so it's not too narrow or too wide. If latte art is your thing, then the internal shape of the cup can make a difference, with smooth rounded shapes being better for arty types.


 9. Additional Features:

Some travel mugs come with extras like grippy textures to keep them from slipping out of your hands, ergonomic designs for comfortable handling, magic coatings that repel fingerprints and built-in handles for easy grabbing.


10. Price:

While splurging on a fancy to-go mug might seem like a stretch, you could think of it as an investment in your daily happiness. A little extra cash upfront could give you something you love and want to use years down the road. On the other hand, pricier doesn't always mean better and ultimately, the best travel mug is simply the one you use (as opposed to the one that gathers dust in the cupboard). 


Remember, finding the perfect travel mug is like finding the perfect travel buddy - it might take some trial and error, but once you find the right one, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it!

While you're here...

You may want to check out our range of ceramic travel mugs which come in 3 sizes and 4 colours.

bru Ceramic Travel Mug

bru Ceramic Travel Mug


Vacuum insulated, stainless steel travel mug with an innovative ceramic lining, made for enjoying drinks on-the-go.  Choose between the compact and portable 8oz ideal for your flat whites, the versatile 12oz, or the generously sized 16oz travel mug. Get ready… read more

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