Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Insulated mugs keep drinks hot or cold for a long time, which is especially practical when travelling. Furthermore, insulated cups have a positive effect on the environment, as they are a good alternative to disposable paper cups. There is a wide range of drinking cups in different colours, sizes, materials and insulating properties.

With our big insulated mug test 2022 we want to help you find the best insulated mug for you. We have compared insulated mugs with automatic, large and small openings and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages. This should make your purchase decision as easy as possible.




The most important facts

  • Insulated mugs are perfect for keeping drinks hot or cold for a long time. They are ideal for travelling.
  • The advantage and difference of insulated mugs compared to thermos flasks is the drinking opening of the mug. This makes it easy to drink your beverages without spilling.
  • The most important criteria you should consider when buying an insulated mug are the material and the closure. Among other things, these influence how long your mug can keep drinks hot.

The Best Insulated Mugs: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an insulated mug

Why do you need an insulated mug?

Insulated mugs are special beverage cups that can keep your drinks hot or cold for a long time. Especially if you don’t want to go without your favourite hot drink on the go, an insulated mug is perfect for you.

Insulated mugs are also good for the environment, as it is now possible to have your coffee filled directly into your own insulated mug at almost every bakery or coffee shop. This way, you can save a lot of disposable paper cups and do something good for the environment.

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Insulated cups are a good substitute for disposable paper cups and thus help the environment.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Jasmin Sessler)

How much does an insulated mug cost?

Insulated mugs are available for every budget.

Depending on the size, material and manufacturer, the prices for insulated mugs vary greatly. So there is a suitable mug for every budget. The cheapest models cost less than 10 euros, but brand-name products can cost up to 50 euros.

How long does an insulated mug keep my drinks warm or cool?

The insulating capacity of an insulated mug depends on the material, the size and the closure of the mug. Another factor that determines how long your drinks stay hot or cool is the outside temperature in your environment. For example, your mug may keep your coffee hot for up to 5 hours.

However, if you are in a very cool environment and have a poorly insulated mug, your drink will only stay hot for 1-2 hours. In the following table, we have compiled a rough overview for you to use as a guide.

Properties of the insulated mug how long your drink will stay hot/cool
Stainless steel mug with screw cap approx. 4-8 hours
Stainless steel mug with clip lid approx. 3-6 hours
Stainless steel mug without cap approx. 1-3 hours

What alternatives are there to an insulated mug?

A practical alternative to an insulated mug are thermos jugs and thermos bottles. These use the same technology as insulated mugs, but usually have a larger capacity, which means you can keep more of your favourite drink warm.

If you want a large volume and still want to drink like from a normal cup, then a thermos with integrated drinking cups is just right for you.

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Thermos jugs with integrated drinking cups are a good alternative to insulated cups.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Annie Spratt)

Decision: What types of insulated mugs are there and which one is right for you?

If you want to buy a camping satellite system, there are three types to choose from:

  • Insulated mugs with automatic opening
  • Insulated mugs with a large opening
  • Insulated mugs with a small opening

The three types differ only in the type of opening of the mug. There are insulated mugs with an automatic opening that can be opened and closed at the touch of a finger.

Insulated mugs with large and small openings, on the other hand, do not have an automatic opening and cannot be opened so easily.

What are the characteristics of an insulated mug with automatic opening and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

An insulated mug with automatic opening has the great advantage that it can be opened and closed easily and quickly. This offers enormous advantages in everyday life and especially when travelling. For example, when driving, it is an advantage if your insulated mug is leak-proof and you can still drink from it quickly.

Another advantage is that your drinks are insulated for longer because the cup can always remain closed. Nevertheless, an insulated mug with automatic opening also has disadvantages. Cleaning the closure mechanism is usually more complicated and less accessible.

Advantages
  • Long insulation
  • Prevents spills
  • Spill-proof
Disadvantages
  • Difficult to clean
  • quick, deliberate cooling not possible
  • no large sips possible

Insulated cups with automatic opening also have a disadvantage when refilling new drinks or, for example, milk and sugar.

Since these cups only have a very small opening that is opened by pressing a button, you always have to remove the entire upper part of the cup to refill it. This often results in spills.

What are the characteristics of an insulated mug with a large opening and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Insulated mugs with a large opening have a decisive advantage: cleaning the mug is extremely easy and practical. Furthermore, with an insulated mug with a large opening, you can drink normally as if you were drinking from a cup.

A disadvantage, however, is that your drinks cool down or heat up more quickly, as the liquid adapts to the ambient temperature more quickly with a large opening.

Advantages
  • Very easy to clean
  • Quick and familiar drinking possible
  • Stirring possible
  • Easy refilling possible
Disadvantages
  • Not leak-proof
  • Drinks cool down faster
  • Drinks warm up faster

These cups also have no protection against accidental knocking over. If you accidentally knock over the insulated mug, it is guaranteed to be a big mess.

What are the characteristics of an insulated mug with a small opening and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

An insulated mug with a small opening is usually a compromise between the two types of insulated mugs mentioned above. With a small opening, your drink won’t spill over as easily.

With a small opening, you can also easily drink from the insulated mug while walking or driving, for example. Nevertheless, an insulated mug with a small opening is not completely leak-proof. The time your drink stays warm or cold is also shorter than with other insulated mugs.

Advantages
  • Easy to clean
  • prevents spilling
Disadvantages
  • Not leak-proof
  • Stirring not possible
  • Poorer insulation

Furthermore, as with insulated cups with automatic opening, it is very difficult to refill the cup with new liquids or additives.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate insulated mugs

Volume

Insulated mugs come in many different sizes. The smallest have a volume of about 200 ml, while the largest have a capacity of up to 800 ml.

Insulation

Insulation is one of the most important criteria for buying insulated mugs. The best insulated mugs keep drinks hot or cold for up to 8 hours. Poorly insulated beverage cups, on the other hand, only last a few hours (max. 3 hours)

Material

Insulated mugs are made of different materials: metal, glass, plastic and bamboo. The individual materials have different properties, which are explained in the following table.

Plastic insulated cups are particularly suitable for children, as they can survive several falls.

Material Advantages Disadvantages
Metal Very stable Scratch-prone
Glass Tasteless Easily breakable
Plastic Very stable and light Poor insulation
Bamboo Natural and light Binders used

Dishwasher safe

Not all insulated mugs are dishwasher safe. Dishwasher-safe mugs are of course particularly quick and easy to clean.

If quick and uncomplicated cleaning is important to you, you should pay attention to the dishwasher resistance of your insulated mug.

One-handed operability

One-handed operability is especially important in situations such as driving. While most insulated mugs are one-handed, there are still mugs that are not. Some have a closure that can only be opened by unscrewing it, and these mugs are usually disadvantageous.

Facts worth knowing about the topic of insulated mugs

Are there insulated mugs with a special straw or can I just drink with a normal straw?

Yes, there are also insulated mugs with an integrated straw, which are usually made of stainless steel. But of course you can also simply drink from your insulated mug with a normal straw.

However, make sure that very hot drinks appear even hotter when drinking through a straw and can lead to burns!

How do I remove stubborn dirt from my vacuum mug?

If your insulated mug is so stubbornly dirty that cleaning it by hand is no longer enough, there is a tip that can help you. First try to clean your insulated mug in the dishwasher, but make sure that it is also dishwasher-safe! If that is not enough, try cleaning with baking soda:

  1. Put a bag of baking soda in the vacuum mug.
  2. Fill the mug with boiling water.
  3. Leave the baking soda and water mixture to soak for several hours.
  4. Rinse the vacuum jug with clean water

What is the difference between thermal and insulated mugs?

There is no difference, a thermo mug and insulated mug are the same thing. The term thermal mug is merely a synonym for insulated mug. In the same way, thermos flasks and bottles use the same technology as insulated mugs to keep liquids warm.

Can I also keep food warm in an insulated mug?

Of course, soups or stews in particular can be transported and kept warm very well in an insulated mug. However, due to the usually small volume of the insulated mugs, you can only transport a very small amount of food.

A better solution for food, on the other hand, are specially insulated lunch boxes and thermal containers. These are larger and easier to clean due to their shape.

Image source: Kuznetsov/ 123rf.com

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