Road trips, commutes, camping, fishing, tailgate parties, backyard barbecues, and staying hydrated are all good reasons for purchasing a tumbler. Each circumstance brings various beverages to mind, from warming coffee and tea to refreshing water, soda, or perfectly chilled beer.
Commutes can get long, camping can get cold, and some beverages are unpleasant to drink at the wrong temperature. The best tumbler is durable, will fit inside a standard cup holder, and keeps your drink hot or cold for as long as possible. Sometimes, they’re fashionable to boot.
Read on to learn about the features and factors to consider as you shop for a tumbler and explore options, in various categories, that are among the best you can buy.
- BEST OVERALL: YETI Rambler 20 oz Tumbler, Stainless Steel
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Simple Modern Classic Insulated Tumbler with Straw
- BEST FOR MULTIPURPOSE: Greens Steel BEAST 20 oz Blossom Tumbler
- BEST FOR BEER: Coleman Brew Insulated Stainless Steel Tumbler
- BEST FOR WINE: YETI Rambler 10 oz Wine Tumbler, Vacuum Insulated
- BEST FOR CAMPING: Ello Campy Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel
- BEST FOR KIDS: THERMOS FUNTAINER 12 Ounce Bottle, Cool Retro
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Tumbler
It’s important to consider a few important factors before selecting the best tumbler for your needs. First, think about the type of beverage for which you’ll use the tumbler, how much beverage you want the vessel to hold, and whether you tend to prefer hot or cold drinks. Other considerations, like how durable it is, how easy it is to clean, and whether it comes in fashionable colors, may also weigh in your decision.
Tumblers’ capacity can range from a petite 10 ounces to a thirst-quenching 40 ounces. The size a shopper prefers generally has a lot to do with what they see as the purpose of the tumbler.
Those making an effort to stay hydrated, who have set water consumption goals, may prefer the largest possible tumbler—a 40-ounce tumbler seems an appropriate fit. Coffee and tea drinkers may also prefer a larger tumbler to keep the beverage of choice warm in the morning.
A standard serving of beer is 12 ounces, so outdoorsy types who are looking for a beer tumbler to bring camping or fishing might opt for a 12-ounce tumbler that accommodates one can or bottle worth of suds. Likewise, a 10-ounce tumbler holds two standard servings of any beverage and may be just the travel cup to keep your rosé cold while poolside.
Shake and smoothie drinkers will probably want the flexibility of a larger go-cup for those days when they need an extra-large protein shake to get through the day. Those who plan to use their tumblers for these beverages should consider a cup that has a wide straw to accommodate thicker drinks, as many tumblers are just equipped with regular-size straws for drinking water or juice. Others come with both wide and regular straws. Note that not all tumblers come with straws, so if having a straw is a priority for you, confirm that the model you’re shopping for comes with one.
The most common materials from which tumblers are constructed include stainless steel, glass, and plastic. Most insulated tumblers have what’s called double-wall construction, which means the temperature outside the cup shouldn’t affect the temperature inside. Double walls also help your beverage stay hotter or colder longer and allow you to carry a cup of steaming hot coffee without burning yourself.
With some tumblers, both the interior and exterior walls are made of stainless steel, while others have an internal glass wall and an outer stainless-steel wall. Glass tumblers with silicone sleeves are also common, as are simpler models that have just one wall made of plastic.
Tumblers with stainless-steel inner and outer walls are the most durable options. Since most people purchase tumblers to be used on the go—for commutes, camping, and road trips, for example—an all-stainless model that can withstand a lot of bumps and falls makes sense. If a tumbler with an inner glass wall falls to the ground, it’s more likely to break.
It’s a good idea to choose a tumbler suited to the beverages you normally drink and how long it takes you to drink them. Stainless steel, vacuum-insulated tumblers keep your drinks at the temperatures you want for the most extended periods, so they’re great for those who drink hot beverages or those who will tote their drink with them throughout the day. Glass tumblers work well for cold beverages. Plastic tumblers are ideal for water at room temperature.
Tumblers generally have two basic types of lids from which to drink: flip-up spouts or slide-over spouts. While many lids are leakproof, others may not stop spills but will help the beverage retain temperature. Shoppers who plan to take their tumblers on outdoor excursions should consider a tumbler with a shatterproof lid. A child’s tumbler might come with a push-button lid and pop-up straw, rather than a flat lid.
Most tumblers on the market will fit in cars’ standard-size cup holders, though it’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer’s product specifications to determine whether the tumbler you’re considering fits into your car’s cup holder. This is especially true if you’re on the hunt for an extra-large tumbler for your morning commute or for taking along on road trips.
A tumbler’s product information should provide its base diameter. The diameter of a standard cup holder is 2.75 to 3.15 inches, so it’s a good idea to look for a cup where the base does not exceed this range.
The most important aspect of a tumbler’s design is its insulation, which is sandwiched between the cup’s inner and outer walls and helps maintain the beverage’s temperature. The most common types of insulation are air, vacuum, and copper insulation. Vacuum insulation is a popular and affordable type. Copper insulation is vacuum insulation plus a copper lining between the inner and outer walls. The addition of copper aids in heat distribution and helps keep your drink at the optimum temperature for an extended period of time.
Those who purchase a vacuum-insulated tumbler should note that they require careful cleaning. Tumbler manufacturers have only recently categorized vacuum-insulated tumblers as dishwasher-safe, and when they are marked “dishwasher-safe” it’s usually only for top-rack cleaning. Though some brands say dishwasher cleaning is OK, but keep in mind that multiple trips through the dishwasher may compromise the airtightness of the seal.
Color and style are other considerations to think through before purchasing a tumbler. For some people, plain stainless does the trick, but others might prefer a cup in a bright, chic color that matches their personality or décor. If you’re looking for a colorful, stainless-steel tumbler, consider one that has a powder coating, as this coating protects the color from fading and cracking.
One final design element to think about is the mode of getting the drink out of the cup and into one’s mouth. Some tumblers have built-in straws, and others come with the option of drinking through the spout or straw. And then there’s the straw width to consider: Some straws are wide enough to accommodate thick drinks like smoothies and shakes, and others are good for clear liquids.
Our Top Picks
Our top picks prioritize factors such as insulation quality, type of lid or spout, how long the tumbler will maintain a beverage’s temperature, and overall construction. They include products in various categories, so whether shoppers want to keep a big coffee hot all day or a little wine chilled during a campout, there’s most likely to be a tumbler here for everyone.
There’s a lot to like about Yeti’s 20-ounce Rambler, which is an ideal sidekick for long car trips and outdoor jaunts. Its MagSlider lid locks heat or cold inside. The cup fits standard-size cup holders, making it ideal for commutes and road trips. Constructed of kitchen-grade 18/8 stainless steel with a double-wall vacuum interior, this tumbler will maintain a beverage’s temperature for hours and won’t puncture or rust.
Rambler’s shatter-resistant lid will hold up to just about any abuse. Though the magnetic top is easy to open and close, so you don’t have to fumble with it while driving, it is not altogether leakproof. This BPA-free tumbler comes in 25 colors and can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Colored tumblers have a DuraCoat finish that prevents peeling, cracking, or fading through extended use. The DuraCoat coating also provides extra grip, and the cup’s no-sweat design protects hands from getting sweaty.
Simple Modern’s affordable 12-ounce classic tumbler has a transparent flip-top lid with a punch-in folding snap that seals the cup’s opening and prevents leaks. Its double-walled, vacuum-insulated design keeps hot and cold drinks at their optimal temperatures for hours and keeps condensation from forming on the cup’s exterior. The tumbler fits inside most regular cup holders.
This rust-resistant 18/8 stainless-steel tumbler should be washed by hand, but the lid can be washed safely in the top rack of the dishwasher. This chic tumbler comes in a variety of different colors and sizes. The cup comes with two straws; both the tumbler and straws are BPA-free.
Greens Steel’s BEAST tumbler is ideal for those who drink coffee in the morning and a fruit smoothie at lunchtime, since this cup can handle any hot or cool beverage that’s poured in it. A powder-coated exterior keeps this tumbler’s paint looking new and your hands sweat-free. BEAST’s double-wall vacuum insulation with copper lining will help maintain a drink’s temperature, and its 18/8 food-grade stainless-steel construction resists rust and scratches. The tumbler features an electro-polished interior, which keeps the inside looking brand new and won’t leach unwanted flavors into your drinks.
The BEAST’s unbreakable Tritan plastic lid prevents leaks and spills and accommodates each of the two “unbreakable” straws that come with the tumbler. Use the straight, wide straw for smoothies or shakes and the curvy straw for water and other clear liquids. Available in 17 colors and three sizes, the dishwasher-safe, BPA-free BEAST fits most cup holders and comes with a free straw-cleaning brush and gift box.
Go camping, fishing, or to a tailgate party and bring along this insulated brew tumbler from Coleman. The vacuum-insulated tumbler will keep beverages cold for up to 15 hours, and there’s a handy bottle opener on the bottom of the cup. The built-in bottle opener isn’t Coleman Brew’s only clever design feature. The bottom of the cup has a pad that prevents it from clinking or slipping, and the cups stack nicely for easy storage in a camper or backpack. A transparent lid with a sliding spout will help campers keep track of who has the IPA and who has the rosé.
The Coleman Brew must be washed by hand, and cannot be used in the microwave or freezer. The tumbler comes in black, heritage green, heritage red, slate, stainless steel, and violet. And, of course, it can be used for hot drinks too.
Finally, a wine glass that is tough enough for the outdoors. YETI’s 10-ounce Rambler, an insulated tumbler shaped like a typical wine glass, allows users to enjoy a glass of wine around the fire pit, on a camping trip, or on a pool deck without worrying about dropping the glass and breaking it. What’s more, its 18/8 stainless steel construction won’t puncture or rust, and the DuraCoat finish on the colored tumblers protects it from fading, peeling, and cracking.
Whether you’re enjoying a cool Chardonnay or a room-temperature Cabernet, the cup’s double-wall vacuum design maintains the wine’s optimal temperature. The tumbler also keeps drinks hot for that much-needed morning cup of coffee or tea. The only downside of this YETI tumbler is that it doesn’t come with a lid; the lid must be purchased separately, so factor in the extra expense. This Yeti comes in 12 colors, so there should be one that suits your style.
Bring a vintage camping vibe along for the ride with the stainless-steel Campy tumbler from Ello, which looks like an enamel camp cup on the outside but is actually made of stainless steel. Its vacuum-insulated interior keeps hot drinks hot for up to 6 hours and iced cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours. Make that cup of coffee last on the fishing boat, or stay hydrated all day long.
The Campy’s handle has a cork lining for a soft-touch design, and the sliding lid won’t leak. The cover also features an easy slider that can be opened and closed with one hand. The BPA-free tumbler must be hand-washed, but go ahead and throw the lid in the dishwasher. The cup can fit in most cup holders but is not recommended for use with carbonated drinks. The Campy tumbler comes in five colors.
Thermos’ vacuum-insulated Funtainer can keep drinks cold for up to 12 hours, but should not be used for hot beverages. Made with kids in mind, its double-wall, 18/8 stainless-steel construction can endure drops, dings, and horseplay. It has an integrated handle, for easy carrying, and a push-button lid with pop-up silicone straw. Funtainer won’t make little hands clammy, since the tumbler is sweatproof.
Thermos’ Funtainer comes in a variety of designs and colors to suit most kids, including Star Wars, Frozen, and Avenger fanatics. The manufacturer lists the BPA-free tumbler as top-rack dishwasher-safe but recommends washing it by hand.
FAQs About Your New Tumbler
For more information about the best insulated tumblers, read on for answers to some of these most frequently asked questions. If additional concerns arise, contact the manufacturer.
Q. What is the difference between a tumbler and a thermos?
A tumbler allows you to sip a drink throughout the day, keeping your beverage hot or cold for as long you need, and has a lid with a spout for drinking. A thermos has a wide opening, enabling users to either drink directly or pour the drink into the thermos’ screw-on lid.
Q. What is a tumbler used for?
For drinking on-the-go, use a tumbler to bring your favorite drink with you wherever you travel, including in your car, at the office, or outdoors.
Q. How do I clean my tumbler?
Some tumblers can be cleaned on the top rack of the dishwasher, and others must be hand-washed. Even if the tumbler is hand-wash only, the lid and straw are often dishwasher-safe. When in doubt, wash an insulated tumbler by hand.
Q. How often do I need to replace my tumbler?
This depends both on the materials and the care you give it. Stainless steel tumblers will last longer than glass or plastic tumblers. Some stainless steel tumblers even come with a lifetime guarantee. For glass tumblers, if one is dropped, there is a higher chance it will break.