A simple thermos can make or break your day. If you are the type of person that doesn’t function until you have your coffee first thing in the morning, and you always find yourself in a hurry, a thermos may be your lifeline. If you are an active person, you will need your thermos to keep ice-cold water with you.
No matter what you use your thermos for, it can be one of the most critical parts of your routine. We have reviewed many thermoses and put together a list of our top six choices that may be best for you. Scroll down to find your new favorite coffee thermos — and the answers to all of your burning questions.
A Summary of our Favorites in 2020
|Best Overall||Thermos Stainless King||CHECK PRICE|
|Best Value||Contigo AUTOSEAL||CHECK PRICE|
|Stanley Classic Vacuum||CHECK PRICE|
|Hydro Flask||CHECK PRICE|
The 6 Best Coffee Thermoses
1. Thermos ‘Stainless King’ Coffee Thermos – Best Overall
The Thermos Stainless King 40-Ounce Beverage Bottle is our favorite when it comes to keeping coffee hot or water cold. Its vacuum-insulated design helps to keep the liquid inside at the temperature you want for up to 24 hours. To get your coffee to stay hotter for the longer time frame, fill the thermos with hot water and let it stand for a few minutes to warm up the inside before you pour your hot beverage in.
Another great thing about this thermos is the outside. It remains cool to the touch when filled with hot liquids, and it doesn’t sweat when filled with cold beverages. It also has a handy insulated lid that doubles as a cup.
This thermos will hold 40 ounces of your favorite beverage, enough to last for a whole day. The only real issue we have with this thermos is that the mouth is a little small, making regular square ice cubes from an ice cube tray challenging to get inside.
2. Zojirushi Stainless Steel Thermos
This thermos is our runner-up pick because it has a cool name! All laughing aside, the Zojirushi SM-SA60-BA Stainless Steel thermos is vacuum-insulated to keep your coffee hot or your water cold all day long. It also comes apart for easy cleaning.
This thermos was built with people who have small hands in mind. It’s tall and slender, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing. It fits into the average cup holder, but it isn’t big enough around to have a snug fit. Between being loose in cup holders and its height, this thermos tends to tip over a lot. It would be nicer if it were a little shorter but had a larger diameter, still allowing it to have the same 20-ounce capacity.
Since this thermos is so tall and thin, the mouth is tiny. Pouring your liquid into it without spilling any can be difficult. It is doable; just be extra careful if you are filling it with a hot fluid, like coffee. The lid is also not covered by the warranty.
3. Contigo AUTOSEAL Coffee Thermos – Best Value
The Contigo AUTOSEAL Stainless Steel thermos has a nifty seal that releases with the push of a button when you take a drink. When you are done drinking, simply lift your finger off the button, and the lid will automatically reseal. Since it doesn’t require you to unscrew the cap, it is effortless to get a drink out of this thermos, even if your other hand is full. This thermos also has thermalock vacuum insulation that will keep liquid hot for hours.
One problem with this thermos is that it is recommended that you don’t use milk products in it for sanitation reasons. If you like milk in your coffee, this could be an issue.
This thermos is on the harder side to fill because it has a narrow opening. It is hard to pour fluid into it without spilling, so you will want to be extra careful with hot liquids. The small mouth also makes it difficult to get even average-sized ice cubes inside to keep your cold drinks cold.
You would think that the mouth is narrow because the whole thermos is narrow. That isn’t true in this case. This thermos has too big a diameter to fit into some cup holders.
While it is nice that this thermos is top-rack dishwasher safe, the lid doesn’t come apart to make cleaning it any easier.
4. Stanley Classic Vacuum Thermos-Bottle
The Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle has been around for what seems like forever, and with good reason. It won’t rust, so it lasts a lifetime.
This thermos has vacuum insulation to keep your favorite beverage at your desired temperature. If you are a coffee person, this is the thermos for you. It is large enough to hold an entire pot of coffee. It also has a lid that doubles as a cup for those times when you don’t have a regular coffee cup available.
However, the fold-down handle doesn’t lock in place. This allows the handle to bounce around and bang up against the outside wall, which makes a very irritating sound. It also has a narrow neck, so you do need to use extra precaution when pouring your hot beverages into it.
One of the seals between the plastic lid and the metal thermos is not fully covered by the cap. This ring comes into direct contact with your mouth when you take a drink directly from the thermos. Having the ring exposed isn’t very sanitary.
If you like to keep your purchases looking new as long as possible, take extra caution with this thermos. Though it doesn’t change the taste of your beverage, the outside does dent very easily.
5. Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Coffee-Thermos
The Hydro Flask Double Wall Insulated Stainless Steel thermos is vacuum sealed to keep your drinks hot or cold for longer periods of time. It has a nifty slip-free grip handle that makes it very convenient when you need to carry it with you. This slip-free handle is a necessity because this thermos is easily damaged if dropped. If it lands just right on the bottom side, it can make it so the thermos won’t sit flat any longer.
The mouth of the thermos is large enough to be able to put regular-sized ice cubes into easily, but is too large to take a drink from and walk at the same time. You’ll get your drink, but you’ll also end up with liquid all over your face. You don’t need that hassle.
Another issue is the amount of liquid the container holds. We have found that the Hydro Flask is great for someone who wants to take a drink to everyday activities. It isn’t big enough for the active person who requires more hydration.
6. YAHEY Insulated Tumbler
The YAHEY Insulated Tumbler is a good choice if you have a small budget. It is made of food grade stainless steel and is vacuum-insulated to keep beverages at your preferred temperatures. It will keep your coffee hot, but don’t plan on 24 hours like better quality thermoses.
We have found a few issues with the YAHEY thermos. You would think from the word “tumbler” in its name that it would be relatively small, about the size of a drinking glass. This thermos is actually very wide, making it difficult for people with little hands to hold. The diameter is also too wide to fit into some car cup holders, which can be an issue because it will leak if it tips over.
Another annoyance is that the rim is very thick. With the way the lid fits, it hits your nose when you are drinking. Though neither of these things is a real problem, it makes this tumbler awkward and uncomfortable to drink from.
Purchasing a thermos may sound like a pretty basic thing to do, but there are a few things that you need to consider while you are shopping.
There are three different materials that a thermos can be made from: glass, metal, and plastic. Glass is primarily on the inside of a thermos because it preserves flavors and is easy to clean. Metal, preferably stainless steel, is the material of choice for the outside of your thermos. It is the most durable.
Plastic is not the best option for a thermos since it doesn’t retain temperature very well. It may also break if dropped.
How big a container do you need? If you only need enough for yourself in the morning, a single-serve tumbler may be for you. If you need something to last you the whole day, you’ll want a thermos big enough to hold multiple servings.
You need an insulated cap to maintain the temperature. The best kind of lid for this is a screw cap. Some thermoses have caps that also double as a cup. This is nice to have when you don’t want to carry around another cup.
Related products we’ve reviewed:
Now that we have given you some information on what to look for in a thermos, let’s have a quick review of our favorite thermoses. Our top pick is the Thermos Stainless King 40 Ounce Beverage Bottle, and the runner-up is the Zojirushi SM-SA60-BA Stainless Steel, 20-Ounce. If you’re looking to save money, we recommend the Contigo AUTOSEAL Stainless Steel.
We hope these reviews and this buyer’s guide help you find a great thermos. Enjoy your coffee on the go!
Table of Contents
- A Summary of our Favorites in 2020
- The 6 Best Coffee Thermoses
- Buyer’s Guide