Best Coffee Thermoses: Buyer’s Guide 2018

What is a thermos for?

Sure, some of you might consider using it to transport liquid nitrogen… But wait, is that their primary purpose of use?

Definitely not!

Nothing can spoil the moment as perfectly as cold tea or coffee in a thermos on which you counted as your savior.

But how do you prevent yourself from going down in flames while selecting the best thermos for keeping your coffee hot?

The solution is on the surface – look through my meticulously composed ranking of best coffee flask selections to choose your faithful companion for travel.

Best Coffee Thermoses 2018

I spent days searching for the best products among world’s most top-grade thermos producers and came up with the final list of 14 winners!

Here is a short compilation of their key features:

ThermosWeight (ounces)Volume (ounces)DimensionsHeat/cold saving time
Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop816/202.5 x 2.5 x 8 in7h/ 18h
YETI Rambler10.1206 7/8 high; lip diameter of 3 1/2 inNot specified
Zojirushi SM-SA48-BA8162.75 x 8.62 x 8.62 in8h
Thermos 51 Ounce16516.3 x 4.3 x 9.1 in12h / 24h
RTIC 30 oz. Tumbler17.6308.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 in24h
HappyGo Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle13162.56 x 9.17 x 2.56 in12h / 24h
Thermos Vacuum Insulated4253 x 3 x 11.5 in18h / 24h
Thermos Stainless King 16 Ounce Compact Bottle12.6163 x 3 x 9.6 in12h / 24h
Contigo SnapSeal Byron11.2203.25 x 3.25 x 8 in7h / 18h
North2217.632Not specified8h / 24h

Starbucks and Aladdin Out of the List… You Wonder Why?

You might be wondering why I have neglected the Starbucks Stainless Steel Tumbler, a highly popular and stylish thermos model, in this review?

That’s very simple:

  • this one cannot be in any way called a top coffee thermos because it leaks badly;
  • yes, it has a convenient band of rubber around it, but this rubber is very non-durable and spoils too quickly to rate this thermos highly;
  • to get things even worse, I would note that the rubber strap can hardly be restored by cleaning or washing, so if you are planning to use your best thermos for coffee for years, that’s definitely not an option.

Another debatable model is the Aladdin Heritage Plaid Vacuum Bottle.

There has been much fuss about its quality, design, and overall service… However, I cannot share all that thrill, since for me:

  • it looks too retro;
  • it has too few attractive options and add-ons with which numerous thermos models are now abundant for it to be included in the best coffee thermos list;
  • fans of old school, forgive me, but except for the 12-hour capacity of keeping the temperature of liquids, this thermos can hardly boast any engaging extras.
To crown it all, the thermos lacks corrosion resistance and can be easily scratched, which is surely a failing choice for active users needing a thermos for outdoor activities, travel, and sports – a questionable choice under the condition of abundance of much more durable and stylish items in the market.

Now let’s look at the 10 best-rated coffee thermos items to see why they have won the race and what advantages you may derive from buying them.

1. Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug

14 new from $13.98
5 used from $ 11.39
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Meet the winner, it is the Contigo Autoseal West Loop Insulated travel mug made of stainless steel!

I personally use it now and absolutely satisfied with it. Everything is cool about it – a great number of stylish colors, minimalist design of the thermos, and the autoseal function helps you not to leak the liquid between sips.

This pleasant extra makes the thermos highly convenient to use on the go or during driving, which gives it an extra score in my rating. Moreover, I find the double-wall vacuum-insulated stainless steel flask of this thermos safe and secure.

  • Easy cleaning due to opening lid pivots
  • Can be washed in the dishwasher
  • Keeps coffee hot all day long!
  • No sweat, no spill over
  • On the go safety
  • Autoseal protecting from accidental leakage
  • 100% BPA free
  • Without brush aluminum finish
  • If cleaned in a dishwasher often, paint may peel off quickly
  • Hard to fit under a Keurig

All these features together with the lifetime guarantee (though limited) contribute to my sureness in this product’s durability – in other words, this is my choice of the best coffee thermos 2018.

2. YETI Rambler Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler with Lid

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This thermos may also be regarded as the best small coffee thermos due to its extensive heat- and cold-preserving capacity achieved due to innovative technology of double-wall vacuum insulation.
What I like about it most is the “dry hands” effect preventing sweating no matter whether hot or cold liquids are in the thermos.
Added to its profound puncture and rust resistance, these extras make it a durable, reliable partner on all occasions, whether it is a drive to work or a picnic in the mountains.

  • No sweat with cold and hot drinks
  • Dishwasher-safe lids
  • Extensive shutter resistance
  • Sometimes the tip-over spills occur
  • Does not fit many car cupholders
  • Lids sometimes do not seal completely
  • Expensive

Overall, this thermos will guarantee long hours of keeping your coffee hot, easy to clean and pleasant to use – a good choice to make when selecting the best insulated coffee thermos.

3. Zojirushi SM-SA48-BA Stainless Steel Mug

26 new from $16.99
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Many reviewers rated this thermos as the best thermos for coffee ever, and I agree that this thermos is definitely a great choice to make!

What I like most about this model is a variety of fresh, original colors (you can choose among the Coral Pink, Turquoise Blue, Pearl Pink, and other color options) and an ability to disassemble it for cleaning.

It is also impossible to leave stains on its even surface, while the tiny dimensions allow fitting it into the smallest spaces in your bag, rucksack, or the car’s cupholder.

  • Disassembles for cleaning
  • Possesses a pictograph lock
  • No spill over
  • Non-stick coating
  • Seals worse after some time of use
  • Inconvenient to drink from the broad mouth of thermos
  • Over-engineered (too many gaskets and parts)

Easy to clean, lightweight thermos with no-stain effect – what else can one desire from the best hot coffee thermos?

4. Thermos 51 Ounce Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Carafe

1 new from $58.91
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The most important thing to say about this item is that it’s the best LARGE coffee thermos!

Despite its large size and considerable weight, it also promises to keep your coffee hot for 12 hours, while cold liquids stay cold for over 24 hours, amazing!

Its innovative vacuum insulation technology enable such great capacity, while one-handed use is also quite convenient despite its size. I also find it super-easy to clean, and its rubber seals are very durable – an important plus for the thermos like this.

  • Easy cleaning
  • Long temperature-keeping capacity
  • Large mouth for easy filling
  • Elegant and enduring
  • Inconvenient to get the last few drops
  • High price

This thermos is a perfect selection for a large family, since it has outstanding temperature-keeping capacity and a huge volume to enjoy your drinks all day long.

5. RTIC 30 oz. Tumbler

3 new from $18.99
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What I like most about this thermos is its 24+ hours of temperature retention, which is truly impressive! The majority of thermoses I tested coped with the maximum challenge of preserving heat within 3-4 hours, while this one’s performance is outstanding.

Another benefit for me personally is its perfect fit to a cupholder in the car – too many thermoses were unjustly removed because of my inability to use them when driving.

  • Prolonged temperature retention
  • No sweat on the thermos’s exterior
  • Lower price compared to counterparts with similar features (e.g., Yeti)
  • No dishwasher cleaning, only hand washing
  • No seal, high risk of spills

A reliable and convenient counterpart to some similar but higher-priced thermoses – what can I say? It’s probably the best thermos to keep coffee hot all day long!

6. HappyGo Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle Stainless Steel Travel Mug


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I find everything about this HappyGo thermos perfect – it’s fairly priced, has a sipping cap that also functions as its cap, and has the vertical lock lid for convenient use thereof during travel.

Its 12+ hours of temperature preservation are also quite impressive, though previously reviewed thermoses can definitely boast more hours of keeping your coffee hot or ice-cold.

Thus, I find this thermos to be the best coffee thermos for work – durable enough for you to enjoy your hot morning drink while you’re getting to the workplace.

  • Simple cleaning
  • Light weight and portability
  • Wide mouth
  • No-sweat effect during ice storage
  • Disassembles for thorough cleaning
  • No leaks with a sealing lid
  • Shorter temperature retention as compared to Yeti or Thermos brands
  • The cap and plug look simplistic and cheap

Overall, it is a very nice thermos to keep coffee hot, and I can readily call it the best thermos bottle for hot coffee because it does not lick. It fits my cupholder perfectly, and it keeps all its promises – a secure and durable thermos to acquire.

7. Thermos Vacuum Insulated 25 Ounce Compact Bottle Beverage Bottle

20 new from $29.99
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This thermos looks plain at the first sight, and you might wonder why is it the best flask for coffee?

Wait a minute – elegance and minimalism are fashionable nowadays, and having a lightweight, simple, but at the same time perfectly heat- and cold-preserving thermos is great luck!

I like everything in this simple and reliable device – its long hours of temperature retention, the built-in cup allowing me to enjoy a cup of hot coffee anywhere, and obviously, its compact suitability to bags, car cupholders, and even carrying it in a hand.

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Very enduring
  • Long temperature retention
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • No catchy design – only conservative users will find it appealing
  • Hand-washing recommended for prolonged use

Given the benefits discussed above, I find it one of the best coffee thermoses of stainless steel, and I am sure all happy owners of this item will agree with me.

8. Thermos Stainless King 16 Ounce Compact Bottle, Midnight Blue

41 new from $20.95
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Thermos has always been the global leader of thermos production, and I find this model amazing with its stylish appearance and simple elegance, truly the best thermos flask for coffee one may dream of.

Besides highly attractive looks, it also impresses with extraordinary durability: over 24 hours of cold retention! The promised 12 hours of keeping coffee hot are also working time – these characteristics make this thermos an ideal choice for a variety of purposes.

  • Available in different sizes
  • The use of patented vacuum insulation ensures long temperature retention
  • The lid is a cup for convenient drinking
  • Leak-proof design
  • Easy opening with a twist
  • Inconvenient for one-hand use because of the need to unscrew the cup
  • The internal plastic layer of the cap quickly disjoints from the outer metal layer

9. Contigo SnapSeal Byron Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug

27 new from $12.84
6 used from $ 11.94
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I included this thermos into the top 10 rating because of its superb design. It truly differs from all other thermoses I have ever seen, so I rate it as the best thermos for coffee in terms of style and visual appeal.

Designers and promoters of Contigo did their best with this product line, it is enough to take a look at the color options: Stormy Weather, Matte Black, Monaco-Tumbler, Grayed Jade, etc.

I would buy one just for these rich, juicy colors – but luckily, that’s not all Contigo offers in this model. Other pleasant benefits of buying this thermos include considerable volume of liquid (approximately 20 ounces), a leak-proof lid, easy one-hand use, and easy cleaning.

  • Leak-proof lid
  • High volume of liquid
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Beautiful color options
  • Only hand washing
  • Not to be used in microwaves and refrigerators
  • Sometimes a problem may occur with proper screwing of the lid

What else can I say? It’s a beautiful selection for modern, stylish people with a passion to nice-looking accessories.

10. North22 Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Bottle


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The final thermos that got into my top 10 is the thermos bottle from North22. Though it cannot be called a thermos in the full sense of this word and the producer prefers to call it a vacuum insulated bottle, it is indeed a good-working thermos.
I found the wide mouth and two lids the most enjoyable part of it, since this design makes it much easier to drink from this item. This feature makes it universal for the use on the move and in everyday use.

  • No condensation on the surface of thermos
  • Two different kinds of caps for flexible use
  • Long temperature preservation
  • Non-durable and highly vulnerable to dropping
  • Heavier than plastic insulated bottles

My conclusion is: this thermos is highly user-friendly because of its adaptivity. Exchange the usual cap for the cap with a top straw lid and enjoy your drink when driving or walking – with this thermos, flexible use becomes real.

Still Have Questions? Check These 11 More Coffee Thermos to Make a Final Choice!

Selecting the best thermos for hot coffee is not as easy as it might seem, and even after reading this review, you might remain wondering about additional items to look for when making the final choice.
Consider these 11 not less valuable & worthwhile thermoses to make sure you’re on the right path!

ThermosWeight (ounces)Volume (ounces)Heat/cold saving timeCheck price
Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle50.1 ounces35.2 ounces24h
Thermos Stainless King 16-Ounce Travel Tumbler13.6 ounces16 ounces7h / 18h
URBANE O2 Insulated Water Bottle9.8 ounces17 ouncesNot specified
Isosteel Double Walled Slimline Vacuum Flask18 ounces25 ounces24h / 48h
Best Stainless Steel Thermos Bottle13 ounces17 ounces8h / 24h
Thermos 16 Ounce Stainless Steel Commuter Bottle8 ounces12 ounces8h / 12h
Thermos 16 Ounce Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug14.4 ounces16 ounces5h / 9h
Reusable Coffee To-go Mugs - Set of 2 His & Her 16oz Coffee Cups with Lid & Comfort Grip8 ounces16 ouncesNot specified
Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth Insulated Bottle Bundle with 2 Caps (Stainless Loop Cap and Cafe Cap 2.0) (Brushed Stainless w/ Cafe Cap 2.0, 20-Ounce)13 ounces20 ouncesNot specified
OXO Good Grips LiquiSeal Travel Mug12 ounces14 ounces3h / 8h
Lifefactory Insulated Glass Mug with Cafe Cap15.2 ounces16 ounces1h

FAQs or Did You Know…

Read these FAQs and to understand what you have to keep in mind when considering a certain item.

How to make sure that my thermos is safe?

The quality of content and composition of any thermos matters much during thermos selection, since you pour hot liquid in it. In case the internal cover is made of low-quality, toxic materials, you may be poisoned or seriously intoxicated with hot liquids staying in such a thermos.

Hence, look for thermoses produced in compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act’s (CPSIA) requirements to be fully confident in the quality of your thermos.

Other information you should check is:

  • Whether the thermos contains phthalates
  • Whether it is made without BPA
  • Whether it contains lead.
Is it better to select a stainless steel or plastic thermos?

As you might have seen in this review, all top-rated coffee thermoses discussed here are made of stainless steel, which ensures longer heat- and cold-saving capacity and helps these items keep their promise.

However, their major minus is weight; you can hardly spend the entire day walking with such a thermos in your hands or bag; especially when full, they may be too heavy for walking on foot.
In all other terms, it is entirely up to you to decide depending on your use intentions – there are no feasible differences in quality and length of service.

Is the steel taste of coffee from my thermos normal?

If you are allergic to steel, then you may feel the discomforting taste of steel in your liquids stored in the stainless-steel thermoses. In this case, I would recommend buying a plastic thermos; it has lower heat-storing capacity, but you will not have the discomfort.
If you are not allergic, the problem may be with the integrity of the stainless-steel thermos flask, and you should apply for the exchange of your defected thermos for a new one.

What is the best way to clean thermoses?

It also depends on the producer’s instructions. Some thermoses can endure the dishwashing machine, while others accept only hand-washing.
I strongly recommend hand-washing, since it is not as traumatic as the lengthy dishwasher regime is to your thermos, and will help it serve you longer.

What warranty length is fine for thermoses?

Different producers provide different warranty lengths; the most common is a 5-year warranty for the heat- and cold-saving capacity of the thermos. However, some reliable brands go as far as to provide the lifelong warranty for their products (e.g., Stanley PMI, Contigo, etc.).

One thought

  1. Wow! That’s exactly what I needed! Choosing coffee thermos on my own is quite challenging because to me they are almost all the same.

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