Insulated cups, as the name suggests, are insulated. No matter whether you are travelling or prefer to have hot/cold beverages at the right temperature, having an insulated cup is a must. Insulated products come in all sorts of shapes – mugs, sippers, flasks, and cups to name a few. Of course, the purpose remains the same – to keep the beverage cold or hot. Insulated cups and mugs are really handy for regular use, both at work and home, and if you are looking for the best insulated cup, we have a guide that will help you in making the right choice.
If you check the market, you will find a bunch of choices, and the names can be really confusing. Below is a quick overview of three most popular options, so that you can understand the differences.
- Insulation cups. These are also known as double wall cups, because these have an inner wall and an outer wall, which together help in retaining and maintaining the temperature of your ice tea or hot coffee. Typically, the inner portion is made of stainless steel, but you will find products that also come with ceramic, plastic or glass interiors. The latter options are preferred by coffee lovers, simply because the metal taste doesn’t really work with strong coffee.
- Vacuum cups. This is not same as insulation cups, but can be considered a type, mainly because the purpose is the same. Vacuum cups have a space between the inner and outer walls that doesn’t have any air. As such, there are no/few molecules that can transfer heat, and thereby, the temperature is retained for a longer period. Some products may have reflective materials, as well, which further prevents heat loss caused by radiation.
- Thermal cups. Well, thermal cups can use any form of thermal insulation or related technology to keep the beverages warm or cold.
Factors that matter
The number of insulated cups available in the market is overwhelming at best, which is why it is more than important to consider the right features discussed below.
- Cups are usually small in size, while tumblers can be huge. If you love a big dose of coffee, look for something that can contain at least 300 ml of beverage. Keep in mind that the capacity is a matter of personal choice. For those who like to travel with their insulated cup everywhere, including the office, it’s best to go for something that’s compact and easy to carry around.
- The best insulated cup is designed for functionality. As such, you should be able to place the cup in the cup holder of your car, or any holder for that matter. Yes, fancy designs are available these days, but these are not always as handy as you would expect them to be. Buy something that’s cylindrical and can fit into the right holes.
- Some insulated cups can come with a lid, while others don’t have one. If you are opting for the former, make sure that the product is easy to open and isn’t prone to spilling. Secondly, check if the product is meant for heavy duty use – something that you can use for years without losing out on the temperature-retaining capacity.
- Insulated cups and tumblers can have multiple parts for easy cleaning, but the idea is to find a product that’s not hard in terms of maintenance. If the product can be cleaned in a dishwasher, it’s certainly an added advantage for those in a rush.
- As with any product, the price is one of the many things to consider while buying an insulated cup. Consider what you are willing to pay, but keep in mind that even the best insulated cup must be replaced after a point. If you can get a good product from a known brand with extended warranty, the extra price is justified.
- Temperature retaining capacity. Finally, let’s talk of the temperature-retaining capacity of insulated cups. You would be surprised to find products that promise to keep beverages hot/cold for up to 12 years, but let’s get a bit realistic here – Most of us don’t need that kind of heat/cold retention capacity. Ideally, you should be good with any product that can keep the temperature steady or at least basic for like two to three hours.
We haven’t talked about color, design or shape in the list above, simply because it’s a matter of personal choice.
Top three products
- Atlin Tumbler/ Travel Mug
Priced at little over $15, this is one of the most reviewed and sold products online. This product comes in a stainless steel color and is made of 100% stainless steel. This is BPA Free and safe for cleaning in dishwasher. It can contain 30oz of liquid and has two layers of insulation with a transparent lid.
- Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug
If you are looking for a product that’s specifically designed for traveling, this travel mug from Contigo is a great choice. It comes with AUTOSEAL technology, which makes this one both leak and spill proof. Drinks can stay warm for as long as 5 years, while cold beverages remain cold for about 12 hours. This one, being designed for travellers, can contain 16 oz of liquid.
- BEAST Stainless Steel Tumbler by Greens Steel
Priced over $20, this is more like an investment. This is a vacuum insulated tumbler that comes with two steel straws, a cleaning brush, and a nice box. It can retain 30oz of liquid and comes with lifetime warranty.
Insulated cups are must-haves by all means, and you should consider getting one for your personal use at work and home. Just make sure that you pick the right size, design and capacity that may work for both short and long-term use. Also, the brand, warranty and reviews on the product can be important points to consider. Check online right away and find the best insulated cup for your needs.