SAN ANTONIO – Even if your morning commute is now just a walk from the bedroom to your home office, a hot cup of coffee can make it a little easier.
And keeping the coffee hot is key, which is where a good insulated mug comes in handy. Before you buy another that may end up in the cupboard of rejects, Consumer Reports tests may help.
Consumer Reports checked out insulated travel mugs from some name brands including Yeti, Contigo, Thermos and Starbucks. Which ones will keep your coffee hot and your iced beverages cold?
Consumer Reports checked temperature retention by filling each mug with boiling water, immediately replacing the lid and then opening each mug at set intervals to take the temperature of the water until it reached 140 degrees Fahrenheit. That temperature is on the cool side for many coffee and tea drinkers. Testers did the same for cold liquids, too. It turns out a good mug can keep liquids hot or cold.
Testers also looked at how easy each mug is to clean, whether it fits into a variety of cup holders, and whether the lid can be opened with one hand, which is helpful when you’re taking a sip of coffee while you’re doing something else.
For keeping drinks hot or cold, the best of the test was the 16-ounce Zojirushi for $28, which kept liquids hot for 13 1/2 hours. Testers found it’s easy to open, leakproof, fits into most cup holders, and has a lid that comes apart, which makes it easier to clean than similarly designed mugs.
For a little less money, the 16-ounce Thermos Stainless King for $20 can keep your coffee hot for about seven hours. It also has a handy tea hook so you can suspend a tea bag in water.
If easy cleanup is key, the 16-ounce Ello Campy for $18 is your best bet. It earned top grades for cleaning, plus it’s leakproof. The Ello Campy might be too wide for some cup holders, though. It’s always a good idea to check that no matter which mug you choose.
Another feature to check is whether your mug is dishwasher-safe or hand-washable only.