Sure you could use a travel mug to keep your drinks colder or hotter a bit longer but when you’re sitting in the comfort of your own home or even at a desk at the office sometimes it just feels better to use a regular old coffee cup.
As a middle ground I’ve decided to feature a whole slew of insulated coffee cups for you to look though. I’ve found that even when I’m at home I may not want to use a big travel mug but I still want an insulated cup to retain the heat a bit better in my coffee and keep me from gulping it at the optimal temperature.
The mugs below can be categorized a few different ways for better shopping. I hope you’ll find something that meets your needs on the following pages.
Unique Coffee Mugs – Looking for a fun or interesting coffee mug for your desk or commute? Here is a fun listing of random and unique cups to wow your friends with. These make fun gifts for the right person too. 🙂
Stainless Steel Coffee Mugs – If you’re looking for the stainless steel look in your coffee cup then this is the list for you. These are not stainless travel mugs – they are stainless steel double walled cups meant for your desk or couch. They make for a cool upgrade from your run-of-the-mill coffee cups.
Insulated Coffee Mugs With Lids – Much like the stainless steel coffee cups page this is all about insulated coffee cups that come with lids. These are not typically best for travel but the lids do make light occasional travel possible so long as you’re careful. Usually though, these mugs are again best for a desk or coffee table.
Insulated Espresso Cups & Mugs – Espresso requires far less “room” than a standard cup of coffee. Even still unless you plan on downing it as a shot an insulated cup lets you sip a bit longer before it loses it’s heat. Here are some worthy contenders in the space.
Travel Cups For Smoothies – Good travel mugs are great for hot or cold drinks but not often best for cold smoothies. Usually cold cups with lids and straws are best for the cold smoothie or for the post-workout shake. Here are some great to-go options in this category.
Make sure to take a look at the store for related shopping or see this page for a list of quality travel coffee mugs.
How Much to Pay for an Insulated Coffee Cup
As I said above we’ve got a handful of pages on this site dedicated to lots of different styles of insulated coffee mugs but do you really know why some mugs can run you a few bucks at your local grocery store while others can be $30 or more online?
The fact of the matter is that many places that sell low priced items online (ahem, Amazon) charge sellers fees for every product they list and sell. On the low end for physical goods the fees must be offset by higher prices.
This is why cheap plastic mugs can be purchased for a lot less in your local gas station, dollar store, or grocery outlet than they can on Amazon. Online you pay the convenience markup for low priced items.
Once you get into the metal mugs the price gets high enough that online retailers can usually compete on price relative to physical retailers in your own town.
Aluminum or stainless steel mugs with air or foam insulation simply cost more than those made from plastic and they perform better as a result.
A stainless steel double walled coffee cup can insulate far better than a thick plastic walled mug, even if it’s got double walled construction.
Where online retailing really succeeds is providing the mid-range to high end products in any space for a decent price.
Your local Safeway for instance probably can’t find a lot of customers for a really expensive premium brand insulated tumbler so they don’t stock them very often. If the products don’t move fast enough then they simply won’t order them from their supplier.
I usually recommend to my friends to buy cheap plastic insulated mugs at local stores because pricing is lower and the quality of the mug is always going to be low regardless if you bought it for $20 or $3.
Mid-range insulated mugs like basic Thermos units can usually be found just about anywhere for decent prices but unless you pick up a Stainless King or a Vacuum insulated beverage bottle from Thermos the most expensive options will be easiest to find online.
It’s not uncommon to buy specialty products from Contigo, Zojirushi, or HydroFlask for well more than $20 or even $30. These units though are usually designed to keep drinks hot or cold for the better part of a day – the price you pay is for the high cost of engineering and design coupled with the fact that these companies won’t be selling nearly the volume of cheaper models from the likes of the vast array of bargain brands.
I suggest, if you are looking to buy an insulated coffee cup to either go for a super cheap unit locally or a mid to high end unit online. The premium cups will be better made, insulated longer and stronger, and the mugs themselves will hold up over time better in comparison to their cheap plastic counterparts.
Usually you can tell cheap construction by the lid. Pick the lid up and if it feel beefy and strong then usually the rest of the mug is worth buying.
For years I’ve though the Thermos Stainless King tumbler was the best around – I still do but there are now brands that make products that are even more pricey.
Are they worth it?
In my opinion not really. Second shelf from the top is good enough for me and $20-$25 is about my limit in this space for a product like this.
The only real reason I’d go much higher is if I wanted to get something particularly large like a large vacuum insulated bottle but I personally have no regular need for one of those.