We also took into account how versatile mugs were for preparing beverages and whether they accommodated pour-over drippers, Aeropresses, our favorite tea steeper, or single-cup brewing devices like Keurig machines. Our only major complaint about the Zojirushi SM-SC is that sometimes it’s too good at insulating. Although similar to travel mugs, it offers better heat retention because of its tight fitting lid, and can be stored in a bag or purse without spilling. Zojirushi has discontinued the SM-SA, but the SM-SC and SM-SD are identical versions of the mug, in different colors. But if you won’t be throwing your mug in a messenger bag or slowly sipping your drink all day, we like the Byron as a budget option. Cobalt Blue (-AK), Hibiscus Red (-RK), This mug comes in 12-, 16-, and 20-ounce sizes (the SM-SC36, SM-SC48, and SM-SC60 respectively). The lid shouldn’t completely block your vision while driving, or hit your nose when drinking, and it should be easy to disassemble for cleaning. $8.26. That’s about the same heat retention as the Contigo Transit, our also great pick. We eliminated mugs with poor reviews that complained of leaking, paint chipping, or dents. It’s been praised for still working well after years of use, as well as surviving drops onto cement (once from a third floor balcony) without more than a dent. This makes it more unwieldy to hold, however, and the mug doesn’t have a locking mechanism to prevent leaks like our picks. After more than 30 hours researching dozens of tea steepers, and drinking tea made in 15 infusers, teapots, and travel mugs over the past two years, we found that the Finum Brewing Basket is the best option. This may sound silly, but a few of the mugs we considered are harder to operate than others. The Byron only has one sealing mechanism—a tab that you push to open the sipping port—which is easy to use, but doesn’t lock closed like the lids on our other picks. I wrapped mugs, still full of water and green food dye, in a paper towel and then put them in a plastic bag. At room temperature, the mug performed even better, with water measuring 188°F after 1 hour, and 165°F after 8 hours. After reading Your Best Digs’s review on travel mugs, which names the Camelbak Forge as their winner, we retested this mug. Plus, it uses a clear lid, so you can tell when it is time for a refill. It has also traveled in many crowded bags, backpacks, and purses without any leaks, and survived the occasional fall. Although cleaning in the dishwasher is not advisable, and Zojirushi specifies hand-washing (see the Care and maintenance section below), this mug has survived several accidental trips through the dishwasher without any noticeable decrease in performance. In our latest round of testing, the Zojirushi kept liquids significantly hotter than any other mug we tried, even after 8 hours in the harsh environment of a freezer—and that’s important if you want to enjoy your drink for longer. (Actually, that would be about the price of a new bag, laptop, phone, and whatever else happened to be in there at the time.) Because of this, we gave preference to mugs without wide, open mouth drinking ports. Some other reviewers mention that the lid has hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, but it has fewer pieces than the Zojirushi, and is overall easier to take apart. Zojirushi's Stainless Tumbler will keep your hot beverages hot and your cold beverages refreshingly cold. Contigo’s Thermalock TwistSeal Eclipse Travel Mug uses a twist top to cover the sipping port and prevent leaks. Zojirushi also offers the SM-SA and SM-SD mugs, which are exactly the same as the SM-SC but come in different colors. When you’re hand-washing your mug, most of the time dish soap and water will do the trick. $8.00 +$8.50 shipping ... Best Selling in Zojirushi Drink Containers & Thermoses. Dishwashers can also scratch or wear away a mug’s finish. We’ve found that if we make a fresh pot of coffee and pour it directly into the travel mug, the liquid ends up staying scalding hot for hours, and we’ve heard feedback about this from readers as well. 5 out of 5 stars (19) Total Ratings 19, $22.66 New. The nonstick coating is made from fluoropolymers of the sort used in Teflon—which are not harmful to people, even if ingested.2 If you prefer drinking from a vessel that doesn’t have a nonstick coating, you might prefer the SM-KHE, which has an electro-polished stainless steel interior. PTFE is inert, stable up to 500 °F, and if you ingest any, it will pass through your body intact. Its superior vacuum insulation will keep drinks hot or cold for hours. The Zojirushi SM-SC Stainless Steel Mug is an exceptional vacuum insulated travel mug that keeps beverages hot for hours, even in cold environments. Although we didn’t place much emphasis on keeping cold liquids cold for this guide—check out our water bottle guide for what’s best in that regard—we have historically found that the Zojirushi SM-SC retains cold better than all of the other mugs in our testing lineup. To find the best travel mugs, we tested over 20 options across three price points with an eye on form, function, and general usability. For commercial foodservice, Zojirushi produces the Air Pot brand of coffee dispensers, water boilers, rice cookers, and more. Compared with our pick, the SM-TA has similar temperature retention and the same great locking lid but costs more and has a few different design features, such as a smaller lid with a rounder opening. I spoke to two engineers about mug design, Dr. Hongbin (Bill) Ma, director of the Center of Thermal Management at the University of Missouri and owner of ThermAvant Technologies, and Dr. Michael Dickey, a professor of chemical and environmental engineering at North Carolina State University. Klean Kanteen updated the lid in 2016, but in testing for our guide to water bottles, we found that the lid occasionally leaks if left overnight and can also limit the flow of your drink. Our only major complaint about the Zojirushi SM-SC is that sometimes it’s too good at insulating. Multiple Wirecutter folks have also reported successfully using the Zojirushi to bring chilled wine or other alcoholic beverages to events in parks and other public places—though we couldn’t possibly condone such behavior. We also looked at reviews from Your Best Digs and Good Housekeeping, and read through hundreds of comments on our existing mug, water bottle, and tumbler reviews. Atlin Tumbler. Zojirushi SM-KHE48BA Stainless Steel Mug. I tried putting a pour-over dripper and an Aeropress on each mug, and measured each opening to see whether our favorite tea steeper would fit. The Transit is a little wider than the SM-SC, good if you want your mug to fit more snugly in a car cup holder or use devices like an Aeropress, pour-over dripper, or tea steeper directly with the mug, but this means it’s heavier and bulkier, too. It’s easy enough to clean the SM-SC using some soap and occasionally a bottle brush when necessary. In the 16-ounce version, the Byron comes in a silver and pink color. Most reported 6-7.5 inches of clearance after removing a bottom platform. Here’s what we recommend for staying warm in a cold office. I filled each of the travel mugs with water and several drops of green food dye, laid them down on a bed of paper towels and tarp on my kitchen floor (sorry, roommate), and left them overnight. Over a period of eight hours in our previous tests, this mug allowed our icy-cold 33 °F water to warm up by only 4 degrees, while the other mugs in our test group allowed the temperature to rise considerably more over that time. Handles add additional heft and weight to a bag or backpack, and may also prevent a mug from fitting into a cup holder. Originally this bottle had a café-style lid that tended to leak, disqualifying it as a travel thermos. Regardless of the mug design, you may need a few sizes of bottle brushes to clean in and around the lid mechanism, the spout, and deep into the vacuum bottle itself. To prevent spills, the Transit has a push-button (the Autoseal) which you have to hold down to drink, plus a cap that rotates to cover the sipping port. The Zojirushi SM-SC (or SM-SD or SM-SA in certain colors) offers amazing heat retention, one-handed usability, and a locking, leakproof lid. Here are some items that tourist destinations often find tossed out by travelers—and some ways that you can avoid adding to all that rubbish on your journey. After 8 hours in the freezer, the water inside the SM-SC was 142°F—a decrease of 58 degrees. The tight fitted flip-open lid with a safety lock makes drinking from the mug easy and prevents beverages from spilling. We liked the look and feel of the Icon, but every time we flipped the lid open to drink from it, a small amount of liquid splashed out of the opening and off the spout’s rubber stopper. But it’s expensive: $40 at the time of writing, with a newer version that costs $280 (wow). The twist and seal, spill-resistant lid has a removable tea leaf strainer for direct brewing and sipping. Rachel also reached out to Michael Wise, the director of coffee at Dapper & Wise and a licensed Q grader (basically, a coffee sommelier) to find out how long coffee will really stay good in a travel mug. To see how versatile mug sizes were, I tried putting the mugs in a bike cup holder and in the cup holders of a 2010 Hyundai Elantra. While we liked the look of it, the heat retention was just so-so and we found the tea hook to be unnecessary. During her time here, she has reported on various topics including sports bras, board games, and light bulbs. To learn about ideal coffee and tea drinking temperatures and how these beverages break down over time, I emailed Rachel Sandstrom Morrison, a digital editor at Fresh Cup magazine. The Contigo Autoseal Transit Mug is a very different mug from the Zojirushi SM-SC, but it offers several features we like. We love the look of the 16-ounce Stanley Classic One-Hand Vacuum Mug, which we tested in 2015. $41.99. Learn more. © 2020 Wirecutter, Inc., A New York Times Company, Tumblers, thermoses, and insulated bottles, director of the Center of Thermal Management at the University of Missouri, professor of chemical and environmental engineering at North Carolina State University, Zojirushi Stainless Mug with Tea Leaf Filter SM-JTE, Contigo’s Thermalock TwistSeal Eclipse Travel Mug, Timolino Icon Vacuum Travel Tumbler (PCT-46KM), birth defects in people who drink contaminated water, Center of Thermal Management at the University of Missouri, professor of chemical engineering at North Carolina State University, The 11 Best Cyber Monday Travel Gear Deals. Nor should its paint or coating wear away after cleaning per the manufacturer’s instructions. A travel mug offers green solutions to both problems. A reusable Tritan straw is included with the tumbler. They work like a regular mug, but will keep your beverages hot or cold for as long as 6 hours. Zojirushi recommends rinsing its mugs immediately after use and hand-washing them. Heat retention: A mug should retain a drink’s hot or cold temperature for as long as its specs advertise, and we looked for mugs with the longest heat and cold retention times. https://www.zojirushi.com/app/category/vacuum-insulated-mugs-bottles That’s 26 degrees lower than the temperature of our main pick. In the freezer tests, however, the Transit cooled faster. When you look at various other guides that have been written on the subject, including an extensive heat-retention test performed by Tested, the mugs that rise to the top are always double-walled, vacuum-insulated, and stainless steel. Just be aware that its narrow opening is less than ideal when you’re trying to quench your thirst after cresting a tall hill. I tested mugs for leaks, dropped them, measured how long they could keep drinks warm in a cold environment. The Zojirushi travel mug might be the single product that the most Wirecutter staffers own and use on a daily basis—it’s been a pick through many iterations of this guide, and has proved itself repeatedly. If you’re going to be using your mug while driving or biking (not that we recommend doing so), you’ll definitely need at least one hand free, and probably both eyes. Choose Parts Town for genuine OEM Zojirushi replacement parts. In reality, though, the process is not much different from brewing the coffee first and pouring it into the mug—in fact, it might be worse, because the Bodum will keep your coffee grounds in contact with the hot water for much longer, making the drink more bitter and acidic. *At the time of publishing, the price was $20. But I reached out to both companies and learned that this is because liquids can expand in the freezer and cause the mug to explode; freezing won’t affect insulation. The Flip-and-Go handle is designed for a comfortable hold, and stores neatly flat when not in use. At room temperature, water in the Byron was 172 °F after 1 hour and 115 °F after 8. However, it weighs a little more than our main pick, has a bulkier lid that’s not as pleasant to drink from, and comes only in a 12- or 16-ounce size, whereas the SM-SC also comes in a 20-ounce size. Find low everyday prices and buy online for delivery or in-store pick-up. The West Loop didn’t hold up as well in our drop tests as the Transit, and we found its vertical push-button harder to use than the one on the Transit. Like the Contigo Transit, it also has a button you need to push before drinking. For this update, I (Anna Perling) spent 10 hours researching and comparing mugs from 12 different brands and four major retailers, and 18 hours testing 13 finalists against our top picks. The twist and seal, spill-resistant lid has a removable tea leaf strainer for direct brewing and sipping. In the freezer, 200-degree water cooled to 153 °F after 1 hour, and 78 °F after 8. Zojirushi’s vacuum-sealed thermos can keep any drink hot or cold for six hours straight. Plus, it failed to keep beverages as hot as any of our picks in previous tests. If you care about colors, the Transit comes in a few fun combinations: white with either mint green or periwinkle accents, matte black, or a brushed stainless steel. Please contact Zojirushi America Customer Service at 1-800-733-6270 for further assistance or email support@zojirushi.com This stainless steel tumbler is vacuum-insulated to keep your drink hot or cold, while keeping the exterior from getting hot and minimizing condensation. The push-button interface is slightly harder to operate than just flicking the switch on the Zojirushi, and may be frustrating to some who don’t want to have to push before taking every sip. Keeps drinks hot for 1 hour Without a Lid. Like the cup, the lid is weatherproof, so your drinks will stay hotter or colder longer. Here’s a breakdown: The Tiger MMJ-A048 mug looks and feels similar to the Zojirushi mugs, and we wanted to see how they compared in our tests. When designing tests for this update, I considered the everyday wear and tear that a travel mug might go through in a variety of real-world scenarios: on bike commutes, cars, trains, fishing boats, and beyond. The Byron is compatible with pour-over drippers, the medium size of our tea steeper pick, and Aeropresses. Shake, rattle, roll this thing—it's not going to let any hot drinks spill. Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing. Previously she wrote food and lifestyle pieces for Saveur and Kinfolk magazines. Trending at $8.39. We’ll consider the SM-TA for a future update, but it seems to differ from the SM-SC only in exterior design. So if you’re looking for a dual-use container that can preserve both hot and cold well, the SM-SC can hold its own—especially since it’s available in a larger, 20-ounce capacity. Using those temperatures as a benchmark, I put each mug’s insulation to test in a cold, harsh environment: my freezer.1 I filled each mug with water at 200 ºF, put them in the freezer, and checked the temperature of the water every hour for eight hours. *At the time of publishing, the price was $27. Both engineers we spoke to noted that the majority of heat loss occurs through the lid, and that mugs with wider lids are likelier to lose heat faster. We also reached out to some coffee experts to learn whether it’s a good idea to actually keep coffee in a mug for 8 hours. With some mugs, you have to hold down a button to open the sipping port for drinking, so it seals automatically when you let go. Choose from contactless Same Day Delivery, Drive Up and more. Go to previous slide - Best Selling in Zojirushi Drink Containers & Thermoses. The Transit’s twist top is a little more difficult to open one-handed but protects the sipping port from gunk or germs and also offers a first line of defense against any leaks. If your mug comes with silicone seals, like the ones on our Zojirushi pick, you’ll likely notice that over time they’ll take on the smells of what you drink from your mug. Then I filled all mugs to capacity with water, went to my apartment’s parking lot, and dropped each mug three times from a height of 4 feet. The Byron did dent more than the Transit in our drop tests, but again, the asphalt dented or scuffed all of the mugs. But while 115 °F isn’t piping hot, it’s still drinkable. Teflon, aka PTFE, aka polytetrafluoroethylene, is what makes some cups and pans nonstick. If you commute, work or travel outside, or simply want to savor drinks for longer, a travel mug is for you. 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