The Best Coffee Thermos Options for On the Go
It’s never been easier to take your caffeine on the road. These insulated vessels have some cool benefits that will keep your coffee hot.
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- BEST OVERALLStanley Classic Legendary Vacuum Insulated BottleSEE IT
- RUNNER-UPStanley Classic Vacuum BottleSEE IT
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCKJuro Tumbler Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated TumblerSEE IT
There are so many ways to enjoy a good cup of coffee these days. From a simple cup of brew to iced lattes, it’s nice to enjoy your coffee at the desired temperature—no matter how long it takes you to finish.
When it comes to keeping your favorite morning beverage hot and steamy, or cold-brew fresh, there’s no replacement for a high-quality thermos. Coffee thermoses are staples of a good camping trip, a morning commute, or an early morning fishing trip. Wherever your destination, these are the best coffee thermoses for when you’re on the go.
- BEST OVERALL: Stanley Classic Legendary Vacuum Insulated Bottle
- RUNNER-UP: Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Juro Tumbler Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler
- UPGRADE PICK: YETI Rambler 36 oz Bottle
- BEST FOR THE OFFICE: SIMPLE DRINK 14 oz Coffee Mug
- BEST FOR COMMUTING: Contigo Autoseal West Loop Travel Mug
- BEST FOR HIKING: IRON °FLASK Sports Water Bottle
- BEST FOR COLD WEATHER: Thermos Stainless King 24 Ounce Drink Bottle
What to Look for When Buying a Coffee Thermos
Thermoses have come a long way since the plastic jug you took to school as a child. You can find high-quality thermoses that will keep beverages hot or cold for an entire day. Here are some things to consider when you’re checking out the best thermoses.
Insulating capability is an essential feature of a great thermos. Cheap options are usually nothing more than a thick plastic liner inside a metal sleeve. While this method does work for a while, it’s nowhere near as effective as a double-wall vacuum thermos.
Double-wall thermoses insulate beverages by not letting heat or cold escape. As the name suggests, each thermos has an inner and outer wall. Between those two walls is one of the best insulators of all: Nothing. There’s a vacuum between the walls, providing almost no thermal bridge at all. The bottles themselves should be a high-quality metal like stainless steel.
Size & Volume
When it comes to selecting the size of your thermos, it’s crucial to choose one that holds enough volume of liquid. If you’re heading to your favorite fishing spot with a couple of good friends, you may need something that holds enough coffee to last most of the day. But if you just need an afternoon caffeine boost before taking the kids to soccer practice, a travel mug may do the trick. Travel mugs will fit in most cars’ cup holders, and they’re easy to sip from when you only have one free hand, such as when driving or scooting kids out the door.
Leak- and Spill-Proof Measures
While most people love coffee, they don’t like it spilled on their clothes, bags, or car seats. The best thermoses have an easy-to-use spout for drinking or a lid that flips out of the way. These lids screw down tight and create a leak-proof seal, locking in liquid and temperature.
If you’re looking into a vintage thermos for long trips, this becomes even more important. You need a thermos you can throw in your hiking or camping gear that won’t spill all over your clothing. There couldn’t be much worse than getting to your destination only to find your clothes soaked in French vanilla, light and sweet.
Our Top Picks
Since we know our stuff when it comes to choosing the best thermoses to take on the go, we put together the list of our top picks. We considered the most important factors and chose the best thermoses for their respective categories. Here’s our list of the best coffee thermoses for keeping your caffeine pick-me-up at the optimal temperature.
1. BEST OVERALL: Stanley Classic Legendary Vacuum Insulated Bottle
Some things only get better with age, and the Stanley Classic Legendary Vacuum Insulated Bottle is one of them—a bottle thermos that you can hand down for generations. Its double-walled, stainless steel, vacuum-insulated thermos has a screw-down lid that doubles as a coffee cup. The screw-down spout twists to pour a steaming cup of coffee and keeps it hot for up to 40 hours.
Some may claim this isn’t exactly their grandfather’s thermos. And they’re correct. Stanley no longer packs charcoal between the walls of the bottle before vacuum sealing. Nevertheless, you can’t argue with 40 hours of hot beverages.
2. RUNNER-UP: Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle
Like the Stanley Classic Legend, the Classic Vacuum Bottle conjures memories of a generation that knew how to get the job done. This 1.1-quart bottle is perfect for taking to the job site and pouring a hot cup of coffee at lunch. In fact, you can keep it hot for tomorrow’s lunch as well, as this bottle can maintain your coffee’s temperature for up to 32 hours for hot beverages or 24 hours for cold drinks. It’s built from stainless steel and comes in the old-fashioned Stanley thermos hammered finish. It features the same style of screw-down lid/cup combination and spout as the Legendary model.
The only downside to this thermos is that it holds heat for eight hours less than the Legendary thermos. For daily use, it ticks every other box.
3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Juro Tumbler 20 oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler
If you’re looking for a cheaper way to get hot or iced coffee from A to B, Juro’s Insulated Tumbler is the thermos for you. This double-walled, stainless steel cup can keep 20 ounces of coffee hot and fresh for up to six hours. Cooler drinks can stay chilled for up to 24 hours. The vacuum-insulated double-wall construction does a great job of minimizing heat loss. The Juro also has a dual-function lid that either slides away for drinking or flips up and out of the way.
While the top does offer some flexibility as far as the spout goes, the lid itself doesn’t screw down. It presses into the cup, which means it’s likely that it will leak over time.
4. UPGRADE PICK: YETI Rambler 36 oz Bottle
Yeti’s become a household name for coolers and travel mugs, and the Rambler Bottle thermos shows why. This high-end thermos is a vacuum-insulated, double-walled stainless steel bottle. Yeti claims these bottles are over-engineered and that your beverages will stay hot or cold until the last drop. The screw-down lid has a sturdy loop on top so you can clip it to a backpack on long hikes.
The only downside to the Yeti Rambler is that you need to remove the lid to drink from it. There’s no spout to pour from or cup to use. It’s best suited for hiking and adventure purposes, where its ruggedness will shine.
5. BEST FOR THE OFFICE: SIMPLE DRINK 14 oz Coffee Mug
When it comes to your office desk, you want a thermos that’s sturdy and hard to knock over, but that doesn’t look like a child’s sippy cup. Simple Drink’s 14 oz Coffee Mug is ideal for the office. This stout mug has a broad base and a low profile, minimizing the chances that you’ll knock it over (the IT guy will appreciate it). It also has an understated styling that won’t distract you or your office visitors with flashy designs. The cup features a vacuum-insulated, double-wall stainless steel design while the lid is clear plastic.
The one issue with the Simple Drink Coffee Mug is the press-in lid’s silicone seal. It’s not as tight as it could be, which makes positioning the spout easy but might also lead to a leak down the road.
6. BEST FOR COMMUTING: Contigo Autoseal West Loop Travel Mug
The two most important things about a good travel mug are one-handed use and that it fits in a car’s cup holder. The West Loop by Contigo does both. This stainless steel, vacuum-insulated, double-walled thermos works for extreme commutes and keeps 24 ounces of coffee hot for up to seven hours or cold for up to 20 hours. The patented Autoseal lid has a button that opens the spout while you sip and automatically closes when you release it, creating an actual leak-and-spill-proof travel mug.
The challenge to the Contigo West Loop is cleaning the lid. Getting into the spout to prevent mold and build-up can be a difficult task. A lengthy clean-up might not be something you want to deal with after a long commute home.
7. BEST FOR HIKING: IRON °FLASK Sports Water Bottle
If you like being the first boots on the trail, you’ll often find yourself waking up early and setting out in colder temperatures. The Sports Water Bottle from Iron Flask is the perfect caffeine-carrying sidekick for those chilly mornings. This vacuum-insulated, double-walled, stainless steel bottle keeps beverages hot for up to 12 hours so that you can enjoy a hot cup of coffee in the parking lot or at the summit. It comes with three lids, two of which have loops perfect for clipping to a carabiner. The outside of the bottle has a durable powder-coat finish, so it will stay good-looking no matter how rough the hike. This bottle comes in different sizes, but the 18-ounce model seems ideal for hiking.
The only thing that would make this bottle better for hiking would be a loop built into the bottle instead of the lids. As is, one of the lids is useless for hiking as it has no loop for attaching to a pack.
8. BEST FOR COLD WEATHER: Thermos Stainless King 24-Ounce Drink Bottle
There’s no need to fumble around with the Thermos Stainless King with gloved hands to pour out a hot cup of coffee on a cold day. This 24-ounce, stainless steel thermos makes it easy with its push-button, flip-open lid. The button is so large that a gloved thumb could easily release the cap—ideal when you wouldn’t dare expose your hands to harsh conditions. Closing it is just as easy, as it snaps back into place without small buttons or fiddly clips. You’ll also enjoy a hot drink for up to 12 hours, or a cold drink for up to 24 hours, with the Thermos Stainless King.
Thermos Stainless King is pretty clear about not washing this bottle with chlorine or bleach products. Doing so will destroy the leak-proof seal in the lid.
FAQs About Your New Coffee Thermos
We’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions regarding coffee thermoses. While they’re certainly not a new invention, users may still have queries about cleaning and using a coffee thermos.
Q. How long does a thermos keep coffee hot?
Modern thermoses use vacuum insulation to keep beverages hot or cold. Vacuum bottles are empty between their double walls to prevent heat from escaping through thermal bridges to the container’s exterior.
Q. How do you clean a coffee thermos?
The best way to clean a coffee thermos is with hot water and mild soap. When you get your thermos, read the user manual carefully. Certain bottles might not do well in a dishwasher or with a particular household cleaner.
Q. How do you get the coffee smell out of a thermos?
An effective remedy for removing smells from a thermos is simply baking soda and water. Just add a spoonful of baking soda to a thermos full of water and let it do its job.