Best Coffee Thermos

best coffee thermos

Have you ever been so busy that by the time you remember to drink your coffee, it is already cold, so you heat it up in the microwave and then forget it in there until it is cold again? Ugh! I have done this so many times that I decided it was time to find the best coffee thermos for keeping my coffee hot all day long. 

Whether you are looking for a coffee thermos to get you through your commute to work or chasing around your toddler at home, there is a thermos for that. I’ve researched all shapes, sizes, and brands of travel mugs to find the very best for all of your caffeination needs. 

reheating coffee

Best Coffee Thermos

You can call it a coffee thermos, an insulated tumbler, or a travel mug but no matter what, these will keep your coffee hot long enough for you to enjoy it. Here is my list of the best coffee thermoses.

1. Zojirushi SM-SA60-BA

zojirushi coffee thermos

Zojirushi is a trusted name in kitchen appliances but I didn’t realize they also made coffee thermoses so I was super excited to try this one out and I was not disappointed.

This is a great thermos for pretty much everyone because it fits in standard size cup holders, has an easy clean lid, a nonstick interior for easy care and a five year warranty on the heat retention feature.

What makes it really stand out and was the reason for making this my first choice is because the drinking design makes it the closest to drinking out of a real mug.

2. Ember Temperature Control Travel Mug

ember coffee thermos

You might have heard of Ember when it was in raising money through crowd funding or you might have seen it in your local Starbucks. Either way, this one stands on it’s own in this list as the only temperature regulating thermos.

Yes, really, you set your desired temperature and Ember will keep your coffee within a degree or two of that temperature for hours.

Like with any smart product, you only get what you pay for if you know how to use it properly. You can set the temperature right on the thermos or through an app on your phone (you can even get alerts when it is at your desired temp)

What I think is super cool about how this thermos works is that it is a combination of battery and science (excuse my nerd moment).

To get the best results from Ember it is best to brew your coffee directly into the mug or immediately after brewing so it is closer to the brewing temp of 195*. Then the material inside the thermos traps the heat and uses it as part of the battery system to keep your coffee at the right temp for even longer than the battery can alone.


contigo coffee thermos

This Contigo thermos is one of the most talked about thermoses for hot and cold drinks and for good reason. It comes in three sizes (16, 20, 24 oz) and about 20 different colors. It is double wall vacuum insulated like the Zojirushi.

The Contigo is a great option for commuters because it is spill proof and fits in most standard cup holders. Plus, with a special autoseal technology it is easy to open, sip, and close with the touch of a button.

One thing to watch out for is that sometimes the autorelease can cause some coffee to spurt out when opening for a drink but that usually only happens when the mug is really full and hot.

For under $20 (usually) this thermos is one of the most affordable options on this list and a great value.

4. YETI Rambler 14 oz Mug

yeti coffee thermos

Yeti is yet another well known name in the world of insulated beverages so it’s no surprise I have one on this list. While it might not be a spill proof design, this particular Yeti made it on my list because of its traditional coffee mug shape.

It is also the only mug on this list with a handle.

If you are looking for a coffee mug with a lid, this is it. It holds a good size cup of coffee (14oz) and uses the same vacuum insulation technology as most of the other thermoses. Also, because of its squat shape, it fits under most coffee brewing stations, making it easy to brew your coffee straight into the mug.

The downside of this mug is that the lid included has a permanent opening for drinking. That not only causes it to lose more heat than other lids, but also makes it much less spill resistant.

While the short stature of the mug makes it less likely to tip over, it also makes it less likely to fit in a cup holder. So this is not the best choice for commuters but a great option for anyone wanting the feel of a traditional coffee mug. 

5. Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Coffee Mug

hydroflask coffee thermos

Did you know Hydroflask had a thermos specifically designed for coffee? Me either! Like most of the other thermoses on this list, it boasts a double wall vacuum insulation for keeping drinks hot. It also fits in most cup holders and under many coffee brewing stations.

The Hydroflask comes in four sizes (12, 16, 18, 20 oz.) and a wide variety of colors. The biggest difference between this thermos and most of the others is that it has a textured coating making it easier to grip, unlike some of the more slippery finishes on other mugs.

The “HydroFlip Lid” makes it easy to open and close but it isn’t a spill proof design. As long as you aren’t throwing it in your bag you should be good to go. 

6. Vanli’s Walnut Wood Travel Tumblers

vanlis travel tumbler

The Vanli’s insulated tumbler is definitely the most stylish mug on the list and would be great option for drinking coffee in your office (or anywhere). It comes in two sizes (20 and 30 oz.) and has a beautiful walnut wood body.

Better yet, it comes in a two pack and makes it a great deal!

Like the Yeti mug, the lid has a permanent opening making it spill resistant but not spill proof. As you know by now, the vacuum insulation is standard for keeping your drink hot but a no go for dishwashers.

The 20 oz. version has a particularly ergonomic shape and size and I really like the way it felt in my hand.

7. KOHIPRESS French Press Travel Mug

kohipress french press travel mug

I have four words for you…French press coffee thermos. Yes, really, the Kohipress is a double duty thermos that will not only keep your coffee hot for hours but will also allow you to brew your coffee on the go. The Kohipress works like most French press coffee makers, simply add coffee grounds, pour hot water, let sit for 3-4 minutes and push down the filter.

The amazing thing about this mug is that while it is combining two different features, you aren’t losing quality on either one. The fine stainless steel mesh filter brews a smooth cup of coffee and the pressure loaded plunger locks to keep the grounds separated from the coffee after brewing.

The Kohipress also uses the same vacuum insulation technology as the other popular coffee mugs meaning that your freshly brewed coffee will stay hot while you sip away.

I love using this mug when I travel (because hotel coffee is generally not high quality). So I can bring my coffee grounds of choice (Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee) and use the in-room tea kettle to heat up the water and brew my coffee. This is also an amazing mug to bring camping for all the same reasons.

Tips for Choosing a Coffee Thermos

I’ve tried to include tumblers of all shapes and sizes but if you still don’t which mug is right for you, use these tips below to help you narrow down your search.

Choosing the Right Size Mug

Make sure you choose a mug that will hold the amount of coffee you typically drink. In my case, that would be the bigger the better.

However, if you usually have a more traditional size cup of coffee and use an oversized mug, your coffee is going to cool down much faster. 

If you are used to ordering a Venti size drink from Starbucks, then you’ll want to look for a coffee thermos that will fit 20-24 oz.

There are some mugs that don’t offer different sizes to choose from but they might still be the right choice if you are looking for a special feature.

coffee thermos size

Spill Proof vs. Spill Resistant

Okay, obviously nobody wants their coffee to spill but in some cases, this is more important than others. If you are looking for a mug that you can fill, close, and throw in your backpack, you need to find a mug, like the Zojirushi or Contigo, that is virtually spill proof. 


If you are looking for a mug that you plan on keeping at your desk or in a more settled environment, than you might care less about the spillability and more about the accessibility that is inhibited by some of the spill proof options. 

Does the Shape Really Matter?

Finding the right shape is also important to your overall enjoyment of a coffee thermos. If you prefer the feel of a real mug that you can cradle in your hands then you’ll want to find a mug like the Yeti tumbler that has the shape and handle similar to a regular mug. 

Another consideration when looking at the shape is if you plan on keeping it with you in the car. Many but not all coffee travel mugs fit in standard size cup holders but you’ll need to check the specs of the thermos and your car’s cup holders before ordering. 

Features to Make or Break a Mug

Nearly all coffee thermoses use the same double walled vacuum insulation technology invented in the early 1900’s so while it sounds flashy, it isn’t really a distinguishing factor. Plus, they all need to be hand washed because the water pressure in the dishwasher can disrupt the vacuum insulation. 

how a coffee thermos works

Image by

However, there are a few mugs, namely the Ember and Kohipress, that offer specialty features that are unmatched by their competitors. If you are a coffee aficionado who likes their coffee to be exactly 134° then you’ll want to look for a smart mug to regulate the temperature to your liking.

If you are looking for a thermos that can also brew the coffee then you should check out the french press travel mugs available. 

Additionally, there are some smaller features, like the push button open and close, or rubber grip exteriors that may sway your decision.  

Best Coffee Thermos – The Verdict