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Travel mugs can be filled with a variety of hot or cold beverages and come in a variety of styles, materials, and sizes. However, with all of the different kinds of glassware and beverage cups available on the market today, it can often be hard to keep up with what makes each type of cup different and unique. For example, what is a travel mug and are travel mugs different from tumblers or traditional coffee mugs? And if so, how? This article will help answer these questions and more to help you understand what travel mugs are and how they can best be used in a variety of everyday activities.

Travel Mugs Explained

A travel mug is often referred to as a travel coffee mug, but, truth be told, it can be used for a lot more than just coffee. Actually, you can put all kinds of beverages in a travel mug, including hot chocolate, tea, and even cold drinks with ice.

Travel mugs are reusable mugs that can be used with hot or cold beverages, but most often, they are used for hot drinks. Many travel mugs are insulated with double-walled stainless steel to keep your drinks cold or hot for several hours. Some travel mugs boast of being able to keep your drinks hot for up to 12 hours and cold for up to 24 hours, similar to Thermos.

A white thermos cup

Travel mugs are designed for use on the go, so you can easily take your drink with you from one location to the next as seamlessly as possible. With this in mind, many travel mugs have fully sealed leak-proof lids so you can avoid spills and even carry them inside a bag. Screw on lids that slide to open is common for easy access to your drink without having to take the lid entirely off each time you want a drink. Push on lids with an opening for sipping are also common, although they are not typically spill proof.

A travel mug could also have a handle, but it isn’t a design necessity. Additionally, travel mugs usually fit easily into standard sized cup holders in your car, making them not only stylish but highly functional as well.

What is a Travel Mug Made of?

A travel mug can be made from several different materials. The most common material is stainless steel, but glass, ceramic, aluminium, and durable BPA free plastic are also common.

If you are trying to decide which material travel mug is best for you, there are a few things to take into consideration.

Many people think hot drinks taste best in stainless steel or ceramic mugs as they do not alter the flavour of your drink. A stainless steel travel mug is also easy to clean and offers the best insulation for your beverage.

Some people claim they can taste the metal and prefer a ceramic travel mug when it comes to flavour. However, ceramic is more fragile, heavier, and often comes with a press-on lid made from silicone, which occasionally gives your drink a slight flavour and has an odour.

Glass mugs do not insulate as well as other travel mugs and they are also highly likely to break if you accidentally drop them. For this reason, many glass travel mugs come with plastic or silicone sleeves and bases for added durability and the ability to hold the cup when hot drinks are inside.

A plastic travel mug is the lightest travel mug option, and they are also quite durable. Some plastic travel cups have double walls for added insulation, but they do not retain heat and cold for nearly as long as stainless steel or metal.

Travel Tumbler vs Travel Mug: What’s the Difference?

Travel mugs and travel tumblers are both reusable cups used for drinking hot or cold drinks on the go, but how are they different?

  • Travel mugs may or may not feature a handle, but a tumbler will not have a handle.
  • Tumblers are typically used for cold beverages, and travel mugs are typically used for hot beverages.
  • Tumblers are often made from durable BPA free plastic, metal or glass.
  • A tumbler will often feature a screw or snap-on lid with an opening for a straw.
  • A tumbler will often be narrower at the bottom of the cup for an easier grip and have a wide mouth opening so you can freely add ice to a cold drink.
  • Travel mugs are not always dishwasher safe, but tumblers almost always are.
  • A travel mug will often provide you with better insulation, especially if made with insulated stainless steel that retains heat and cold for longer.

How Do You Use a Travel Mug?

Now that we know what makes a tumbler different from a travel mug, how do you use a travel mug to get the most out of these stylish to-go cups?

A man holding a stainless steel coffee cup

As the name suggests, travel mugs are great for use any time you are travelling. They can be used while camping, hiking, in the car, commuting on the bus or train, at your desk at work, running errands, outdoor events, at the beach, school, picnics, or just about anywhere you can think of.

Travel mugs and tumbler cups also help you reduce waste from water bottles and disposable paper cups.

The Best Travel Mugs for You

Considering all their versatile uses, most people will find a travel mug totally worth buying. Compared to a traditional coffee mug, they are significantly more functional and do not require you to finish your drink before moving to a different location. Travel mugs come in a variety of materials as well to make cleaning and insulation more effective. Do you think a plastic, glass, ceramic, or metal mug is best for your anticipated needs? If you want to keep drinks hot or cold for as long as possible, we recommend a double-walled stainless steel travel mug, but the choice is yours.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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