Best Coffee Thermoses In 2020

Updated 07 February 2020

Investing in solid coffee thermoses is a step towards making your mornings easier, especially if you’re craving your favorite caffeine fix while on the go. It can be difficult to find the right one, though, much the same way as picking the just-right water bottle.

We’ve all rued the day we went with the prettier version vs the utilitarian model, but, today? Today we won’t make the mistakes of our past! Let’s check the reviews and think about what we intend to do with our coffee thermoses because we’re savvy buyers!

What to look for in a thermos

It is important to buy a thermos that matches your coffee drinking habits. Here are some questions that you can ask yourself while perusing through the selection of thermoses available.

  • How much coffee do you really drink? If you need no less than one pot minimum to keep your eyes open during that morning meeting, opt for one of the larger options. If you’re only bringing along one or so cups, there are plenty of small models that could carry your coffee without a fuss.
  • How will I be transporting my thermos? Will your thermos be sitting nicely in the console of your car or will it be bouncing around your bag while you’re standing on the train? If your thermos is going to have a commute of its own in the morning, you may want to opt for one with a well-reviewed lid to ensure that the coffee makes it to your mouth, and not just all over the expensive electronics in your bag.
  • How long am I expecting my coffee to stay warm for? Higher-end coffee thermoses tend to have better insulation than cheaper ones, so if you want your coffee to stay warm through the workday, it may be worth it to invest in a high-quality one. If you drink your coffee within two hours, then you probably don’t need to pay for one with the best insulation.
  • How long do you want your thermos to last? Like any purchase, you get what you pay for. A high-quality, more expensive thermos may have a glass or stainless steel interior. While thermoses with plastic or tin inserts may be cheaper, they are ill-equipped for keeping beverages warm and degrade faster than glass or steel ones.

While the aforementioned utility features like size and insulation are the most important in terms of the quality of your thermos, chances are you’ll be carrying around your thermos every day, so you would want it to be fashionable! Here are some things to consider when choosing how you want your thermos to look.

  • Ease with which the lid opens/closes.
  • Color/design
  • Dishwasher-safe or hand wash only
  • Strap/handle
  • Brand

Now let’s take a look at some of our top picks for the best coffee thermoses so you can begin comparing and shopping!

Best Thermoses for Coffee in 2020 - Reviewed

Zojirushi SM-SD48XA Steel Mug

Zojirushi specializes in making contemporary, beautiful and useful products. They have more than 100 years of experience under their belt. They started off with hand-blown vacuum bottles so it’s totally on-brand for them to come back and make some seriously sweet steel mugs.

This particular Zojirushi Steel Mug pays special attention to temperature. Able to keep your coffee at 189 degrees for 1 hour and 160 degrees for 6 hours. When it comes to keeping things chilly, it can hold cold temps as low as 46 degrees. 

How does the Zojirushi manage this? 

Using vacuum insulation, of course. In between the inside and outside layers, there’s a layer of aluminum and copper tightly wrapped around the outside of the inside layer. The aluminum or copper reflects heat (or cold) back in, minimizing how much the temperature can change.

This mug is sleek and comes in a variety of beautiful colors, so it fits with any aesthetic. With its lightweight design and pictograph lock, it’s easy to open when it’s in your hand, but If you’re throwing it in your bag, it has a lock feature to keep it from getting knocked open. All this means that the Zojirushi Steel Mug can easily be the newest accessory to any daily commute. 

PROS

  • The flip-and-open lid prevents leaks and splashes.
  • Lip of the mug is covered under a lid.
  • Safety lock prevents accidents.
  • Lid completely disassembles for easy cleaning.
  • Heat retention is 189°F at 1 hour and 160°F at 6 hours.
  • Fits easily in one hand or a car cup-holder.
  • The mug comes in 12 colors and three sizes: 12, 16, and 20-ounce.

CONS

  • Mug may be too tall to put under the spout of a Keurig.
  • Not dishwasher-safe.
Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug

The Contigo West Loop is a staple for commuters—and it’s no mystery why. Contigo has made quite a name for themselves in the on-the-go lifestyle industry, they operate entirely around conquering everyday problems — like coffee spills.

Contigo’s unique AUTOSEAL technology makes the West Loop travel mug leak and spill-proof, and helps keep your hot coffee hot for up to 5 hours and your cold coffee cold for as long as 12 hours. There’s also a lock feature to eliminate even the possibility of pressing the button inside your bag and releasing any of the heat—or god-forbid, the coffee itself.

Top it all off with the fact that it’s dishwasher safe, sleek, and comes in a variety of designs, colors, and sizes, and, well, it’s clear there’s a Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop for everyone. It’s even been named the official reusable water bottle of Coachella 2020.

PROS

  • Leak and spill-proof.
  • Drinks stay hot for 5 hours and cool for 12 hours.
  • The mug comes in a variety of colors and three sizes: 16, 20, and 24-ounce.
  • Low price for quality, stainless steel mug.
  • Designed to fit in one hand and fits in most car cup holders.
  • Top rack dishwasher safe.
  • Lifetime warranty.

CONS

  • The mug does not keep the coffee hot for as long as some comparable models.
  • Lip of the coffee mug is exposed.
  • The lid can be hard to clean.
Thermos Stainless King 16 Ounce Travel Mug

The Thermos brand has become synonymous with insulated travel products, and there’s quite a substantial reason for that. Sir James Dewar invented the vacuum flask, a significant breakthrough in scientific instruments. In 1898, Dewar hired a professional glassblower, Reinhold Burger, to make his vision commercially available.

Reinhold Burger and his business partner, Albert Aschenbrenner, came up with the idea to encase the vacuum flask inside a metal casing, after which a local resident topped off this invention with the name we all know today: Thermos. In Greek, THÉRMĒ means heat, making it absolutely perfect as the moniker for this vacuum bottle.

An American businessman caught wind, and the rest is history. 

Today, Thermos is still using the same vacuum sealed technology as more than 100 years ago, but with some modern advancements, like the stainless steel interior and exterior. Cool to the touch with a sweat-proof lid, it also fits most car cup holders (a must-have).

Ideal for the office and on-the-go, the Thermos Stainless King is top-rack dishwasher safe and comes in a variety of colors for every preference. It’s even great for tea drinkers thanks to the integrated tea bag hook! 

PROS

  • Built-in tea hook makes it ideal for tea bags.
  • Low price for stainless steel.
  • Double steel wall keeps liquids hot for 5 hours and cold for 9 hours.
  • Top-rack dishwasher-safe (although hand washing is recommended).
  • Contoured body shape fits most car cup-holders.

CONS

  • Handle breaks easily.
  • Only comes in the one 16-ounce size.
Hydro Flask Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Coffee Mug

Hydro Flask is a newer player in the insulated travel mug industry, but it’s made waves since its founding in 2009. Their goal is to make an active, joyful life on-the-go easy with everything they produce. On top of that, their charity, Parks for All, supports the development, maintenance, and accessibility of public green spaces to encourage healthier, happier lifestyles everywhere.

From the office to the gym to the campsite, the versatile design of the Hydro Flask really does work. Available in a variety of eye-catching colors, there’s a Hydro Flask aesthetic to match everyone’s individual flairs.

Six Whole Hours

Whether you drink your coffee hot or cold, the Hydro Flask can help keep your coffee at the right temperature for hours — seriously, the Hydro Flask can keep your cold brew cold for up to 24 hours. When it comes to keeping your joe hot, the Hydro Flask can keep your coffee hotter for longer than any other mug on this list — six whole hours!

It’s all thanks to the innovative TempShield™ insulation. Top it all off with the fact that this beaut can fit under most coffee brewing system spouts, can fit any of three types of lids, and boasts a lifetime warranty. #sold

PROS

  • TempShield insulation keeps beverages cold up to 24 hours and hot up to 6 hours.
  • Available in a variety of colors and 12, 16, 18 and 20-ounce designs.
  • Pro-grade stainless steel does not retain old smells or flavors.
  • Short enough to fit under most single-serving coffee machines.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Fits standard car cup-holders.

CONS

  • Hydro Flip lid is not leakproof.
Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle

Stanley, much like Thermos, is another long-time player in the vacuum bottle game. Where Thermos offers a camper vibe, the Stanley company is closely associated with the rough and rugged worker life.

Founded in 1913, William Stanley Jr. was the first to fuse vacuum insulation with the all-steel body that we know and love today. The Stanley Classic pays homage to the original look and feel of Stanley Vacuum Bottles—the larger body and the cup-functioning lid topped off with the old-school lunchbox-style handle are truly classic.

Available in three sizes (1.1qt, 1.4 qt, and 2 qt) the Stanley Classic is a favorite among coffee connoisseurs and adventurers. The largest size is able to keep your coffee for 32 hours. Did you read that? Thirty-two full hours. Don’t even get me started on cold. It can keep your cold brew chilled for 160 hours. One hundred and sixty hours.

That’s more than six and a half days

Even the 1.1 quart boasts some impressive numbers, able to keep your caffeinated joe heated for 15 full hours, cold for 60. It’s not even the least bit surprising why this old school number is a fave. If you’re looking for performance that can’t be outdone by anyone else, it’s the Stanley Classic. 

PROS

  • Keeps your coffee hot for 32 hours and iced for 120 hours.
  • An insulated lid that doubles as an 8-ounce cup.
  • Dishwasher-safe.
  • Comes in a variety of sizes from 16-ounces to 2 quarts.
  • Stainless steel design that won’t rust.
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty
  • Completely leakproof.

CONS

  • Its bulky design and heavy weight make it more suitable for camping than commuting.
ENLOY 61Oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Thermos

If you’re looking for a coffee thermos that can handle coffee on the go for everyone, this ENLOY 61 oz. stainless steel option is exactly the vacuum thermos to handle it. Heavy duty and boasting two cups for the lid, the ENLOY is as easy to pour as it is to carry thanks to the included strap.

The patented vent system and splash-proof spout make sharing a breeze, and there’s even a bottom compartment good for storing sugar, tea bags, and more. To keep contents warm, there’s a triple-sealed lid and a double-liner vacuum.

ENLOY may be a relatively unknown name compared to options like Thermos and Stanley, but this large, rugged steel vacuum thermos should definitely be a contender for campers, picnickers, and anyone up to actually share their coffee. 

YETI Rambler Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler with Magslider Lid

YETI may feel like another long-time player in the vacuum insulated bottle game, but Roy and Ryan Seiders didn’t found YETI until 2006. Despite that, this outdoorsy brand has become well known for its coolers, gear, and, of course, drinkware.

The YETI Rambler is 100% spill-proof, features a no-sweat design, and allows for flexible usage thanks to its unique lid. Give the top a half twist until it clicks and sip from anywhere to gain access to your delicious joe. It’ll stay warmer for longer, too, thanks to the double-walled vacuum insulation!

Pick your favorite color from their wide variety and don’t worry about any extra work because you’ve bought a fancy bottle—the Rambler is dishwasher safe! 

PROS

  • The lid is easy to clean.
  • Dishwasher safe.
  • Magnetic lid and double steel insulation keep your beverage hot or cold for hours.
  • Durable, stainless steel design that is rust and puncture-proof.

CONS

  • Not leak or spill-proof.
Iron Flask Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Mug

If you’re the type that loves a good dramatic flair to everything you own, the Iron Flask Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Mug will definitely catch your eye. The powder coat exterior design comes in everything from classic black to neon green, from ombre white to black to a tequila sunrise.

The newest to the game having been founded in 2016, Iron Flask is still in its early years, but they’ve already served 100,000+ customers and have some weighty goals of being a household name for being reliable and affordable. I think we can all appreciate that!

In an effort to curry favor in the market, the Iron Flask comes with three lid types so you can pick your favorite. Whether it’s time for caffeine or time to hydrate with some H20, there’s a lid best suited for the function. Not to mention that this bottle can keep hot things hot for 12 hours and cold things cold for a full 24—those are some impressive numbers from this fledgling company.

Plus, there’s a 100% money-back guarantee, so, no harm in giving this up-and-comer a shot. 

Why should You get a Coffee thermos?

If you need a little more convincing about the usefulness of owning the perfect coffee thermos, it goes beyond portability. A quality thermos can be worthwhile for anyone who is looking to cut down on coffee costs. Bringing your own coffee to work from home can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year, and give you that same caffeine boost to get through your day.

Thermoses can also help lower your food waste. The coffee you don’t finish while getting ready can be easily transferred to a thermos so you can continue to sip it on your commute—instead of having to throw hot coffee down the sink, you can now enjoy it.

Bringing a reusable thermos to work can also be environmentally friendly if you’re opting to cut out your daily visit to the local coffee shop. Not only does a thermos keep your coffee warmer or cooler than a single-use paper or plastic cup, reducing paper and plastic waste is an important step in lowering our carbon footprints.

Thermos tips!

Here are some tips that will keep your coffee warm and your mornings running smoothly.

  • Prime your mug by pouring boiling water in your mug 5-15 minutes before putting your coffee in to keep your coffee hotter for longer. Here is a video explaining how and why you should prime a thermos.
  • Even if a travel mug claims to be dishwasher safe, washing it by hand with a bottle brush can help lengthen its life by protecting it from harsh dishwasher detergents. Daily use can make your tumbler susceptible to coffee stains. Here is a helpful video that shows how to remove lingering smells from steel thermoses.

Hopefully, answering those questions has narrowed down what type of coffee thermos you want. Here are some of our favorites so you can begin comparing and shopping!

In Conclusion

The best coffee thermos for each person will vary based on individual priorities. I’d take the ENLOY on a picnic in a heartbeat thanks to its massive size, but the Zojirushi SM-SD48XA Steel Mug is a great option for the average commuter because of its sleek design and ability to keep drinks warm for hours.

On the other hand, if your coffee-warming needs are more suited for long treks outside, the Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle would be a better fit thanks to its ultra-impressive numbers.

If aesthetics are important, the Iron Flask colors are dazzling.

Whichever coffee thermos you choose, just make sure it’s one you can envision yourself enjoying every day. Happy caffeinating on-the-go! 


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