Essential travel mugs for busy parents

travel mugs

by Lorna White |
Updated on

As a busy mum or dad there's always something going on - a baby crying, a toddler wanting to go play outside, mouths to feed, or laundry to sort.

Moments for a hot cup of coffee are few and far between and tend to result in a couple of sips before you rediscover it on the kitchen table hours later, stone cold.

If this sounds familiar, we have the solution - travel mugs. With a travel mug you can take your hot drink on the go with you, and it will keep your drink hotter for longer so you can actually enjoy your coffee or tea break properly. Travel mugs come in all sorts of cute designs too, to add some joy to your morning.

Best at a glance:

  • Best overall travel mug for parents: Chilly's Original Coffee Cup, buy on Amazon

  • Best travel mug for BPA- free plastic: BODUM Double Walled Travel Mug, buy on Amazon

  • Best travel mug for personalisation: SHO Calix coffee cup, buy on Sho Reusable

Whether you're looking for a travel mug to take out and about with your pushchair in your pram cup holder, a non-spill option that will prevent any accidents, something to reduce your takeaway cup footprint, or a mug that will keep your drink hot so you can enjoy it for longer, here are some of the best travel mugs on the market - a true essential for any parent.

The best travel mugs for parents

Best essential travel mug for easy holding

Travel Coffee mug
Price: £36 (was £45)

corkcicle.com

Keeping your beverage hot for three hours, this triple-insulated mug from Corkcicle has a stay-put silicone bottom along with a sliding, shatter-proof crystal clear lid. We love the handle for easy holding, and to keep it clean just pop it in the dishwasher.

One review said: "My daughter placed one of the Corkcicle coffee mugs in a gift basket for my birthday. Amazing! I never have to reheat my coffee in the microwave several times each morning. I’ve since ordered 3 more. Now, what to do with all my other mugs!"

Pros

  • Keeps your drink hot for more than 3 hours
  • Triple-insulated walls

Cons

  • Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning

Best essential travel mug for travel

You might already own one of the famous Chilly's water bottles - which can be used for hot and cold drinks - and when it comes to travel mugs, it doesn't get much better than Chilly's. We love this coffee cup version, great for on-the-go or when you're busy at home. As with any Chilly's bottle there are loads of designs available, meaning you can match one to your buggy and changing bag. We love this matte blue design for a bit of glitz.

One review said: "I love the colour. Honestly, it keep your drinks hot for hours. I make a cup of tea at 10am and it’s still hot by 2-3pm. Easy to clean. Good quality. Only I would like it a stopper that it dropped/knocked over the liquid couldn’t escape."

Pros

  • Double-walled coffee cup maintains the temperature of your drink 
  • The powder coat exterior finish is clean, smooth and vibrant

Cons

  • Not dishwasher safe

Best essential travel mug for BPA-free plastic

bodum
Price: $36.25

This BODUM travel mug is made of double-walled, BPA-free plastic to keep your drink warm or cool for several hours. It has a closable lid with a stopper for the opening and a slip-proof rubber silicone band with BODUM branding. It is spill-proof but not fully leak-proof, so make sure you keep it upright when in use. For easy cleaning, it's also dishwasher safe.

One review said: "As a product that fulfils its title, it ticks all the boxes (or stars). It’s very well made and, importantly, well designed. It has a look of quality and feel of durability around it. However, in use there are things to watch for that are not necessarily the fault of the product, more of its use and could be applied to other reusable mugs. Firstly, its stainless steel. The rubber grip around it provides a secure way of holding it, even with gloves but if you carry this externally (i.e. in a pouch on the side of the bag) the whole lot eventually reduces down in temperature to meet the ambient. What this means in winter when your barista adds the coffee it can be going into a vessel that's as cold as a cup straight from the fridge, so ask them to give it a hot water rinse before adding the coffee."

Pros

  • Made with double-walled plastic to keep hot drinks hot for hours
  • Rubber grip is easy to hold

Cons

  • Isn't fully leak-proof

Best essential travel mug for durability

Keep Cup
Price: $29.29

The KeepCup is microwave safe, dishwasher safe, and manufactured from recyclable materials. It comes in three different sizes (227ml, 240ml, 454ml).

What makes this travel mug stand out is that some parts are removable - such as the mouth cover - and replaceable if they break, but also interchangeable if you have other products from the range, meaning you can customise them and change the looks easily.

One review said: "I thought this was expensive, but it was totally worth the money. Not only does the coffee stay hot for over an hour, but because of way it made with layers it does not get hot in your hand. The actual cup stays cold. It just keeps the contents hot. Lovely to hold."

Pros

  • Made from recycled material
  • Customisable look thanks to interchangeable parts

Cons

  • Some reviews say it doesn't keep your coffee warm for very long

Best essential travel mug for easy assembly

Leak-proof and easy to clean, this travel cup is a great option for when you have your hands full as it opens and closes with one click. The slim shape looks great and means it will fit snugly into the bottle holder on your pushchair or in your changing bag.

It's different to many travel mugs as you can drink from 360 degrees of the lid - there's not just one mouth opening, unlike most. However, because of this innovative design, you will have to take the lid apart to clean it properly as dirt can build up in the lid.

One review said: "I have had this travel mug for a couple of weeks now and absolutely love it. I would say it is quite easy to tell when the lid is pushed in the open position and you need quite a bit of force to push it in, also, the lid is designed to be lightly sunk in, so it doesn’t stick out. It is very easy and comfortable to drink from, though I would really urge anyone using it to try their drink from a fully open position first to make sure it is at the right temperature. The beauty of this product is that it really keeps your drink at the temperature it had when you closed the lid."

Pros

  • 360 degree drinking opening
  • Leak proof

Cons

  • Lid needs taking apart to clean properly

Best essential travel mug for sweat-proof design

Contigo Pinnacle Autoseal Travel Mug
Price: $70.00

If you're a bit accident prone (and let's face it, plenty of spills happen when babies and toddlers are involved) then this is a great travel mug. Auto-seal technology automatically seals the lid between sips to prevent leaks and spills; there's also a lid lock mechanism that prevents the auto-seal button from accidently being pushed while on-the-go.

Some reviewers said this mug didn't keep drink hot for as long as they'd have liked, however; one review said: "I liked the look of this travel mug and working in a school, I really loved the lock feature. However, compared to previous Contigo travel mugs I have purchased, I found it didn’t keep my drink as hot for as long. Within 3 hours it had started to lose temperature."

Pros

  • Autoseal technology automatically seals between sips to prevent leaks and spills
  • Made from BPA-free plastic

Cons

  • Some reviewers said drinks cooled too quickly

Best essential travel mug for simple twist

cup
Price: £27.99

Another fab idea for hot drinks around kids, this Topl cup is completely spill-proof. Simply tighten the lid, then loosen it a bit, then press down the middle section, and off you go. You can drink from any angle - think of it as an adult 360 degree sippy cup. There are lots of different colours available; we love the coral.

One review said: "This cup is insanely smart, fashionable and feels incredibly well-made! It’s super simple to use and has saved me from a few spills when I’ve forgotten to close the lid and have accidentally knocked it over! The coral is such a perfect colour, and the chrome detailing and black lid adds a touch of class to it. It was a lovely surprise to find a carry-bag made from recycled ocean plastic in the box! Perfect for when I want to chuck the cup into my bag and know there’s extra security! This cup goes above and beyond expectations!! Highly recommend."

Pros

  • Moulded lip for the most natural drinking experience
  • Silicone base pad for grip on slippery surfaces

Cons

  • One review said the lid may be a little fiddly

Best essential travel mug for 360-degree drinking

rCup reusable travel cup
Price: $46.23

This is the world's first reusable travel cup made from recycled single-use cups, so you're doing the environment a favour when you buy this. It has an innovative design allowing 360-degree drinking, just like the Topl and the 720°DGREE. It's BPA free and designed to last at least 10 years. Comes in three stylish colours.

One review said: "My hubby threw his beloved coffee cup down the drive. Bought originally from the lobster hatchery In Cornwall I sourced the exact same one. It was about 6 years ago it was bought and used pretty much daily. Keeps drinks hot and feels nice in the hand. It’s not the cheapest but he loves it."

Pros

  • Made with recycled paper single-use cups
  • Dishwasher safe and lasts up to 10 years

Cons

  • Not many colours to choose from

Best essential travel mug for ergonomic design

Another brilliant eco-friendly travel cup, made from rice husks. This clever cup is good for hot drinks as well as cold. It's ergonomically designed to make drinking fuss-free and easy, and is dishwasher safe. It's designed with what's called a 'nose dome' meaning your nose won't bang on the lid.

One review said: "I have had rice husk cups before but wanted something with a bit of insulation. Along came the bioGo eco cup, which is perfect. Keeps drinks hot for an hour and you can preheat the cup too. Attractive, dishwasher safe and a good size. Note, it is too tall to fit in my microwave. BioGo provided me with amazing custom service when I had a problem with the non-slip disc coming off. They replaced my cup without any quibbles and were friendly and efficient. Would highly recommend." Some reviewers have noted that drinks don't stay hot for long, however.

Pros

  • Designed to stop your nose banging on the lid
  • Eco-friendly and made from rice husks

Cons

  • One review said drinks tend to go cool after 15/20 mins

Best essential travel mug for personalisation

The Calix is SHO's reusable coffee cup. It keeps drinks cool for 12 hours or hot for six hours. You can fit the cup with a straw lid (sold separately) to transform it into the perfect iced-coffee sipper. You can also personalise your coffee cup with a name or message, something most other travel mugs don't offer.

One review said: "I use this all the time, even in the summer to keep water cool when I'm at home. I always forget about my coffee and often have to heat it up in the microwave, so this has been ideal. It's great for heading out on chilly walks too, doubling up as a hand warmer! I love the range of colours available and the lid fits snugly so no spills!"

Pros

  • Designed to keep drinks cool for 12 hours or hot for six hours
  • A straw lid is available separately for iced coffee

Cons

  • One review said hot drinks only only stay hot for about 3 hours

Lorna White is the Senior Digital Writer for Mother&Baby. After running the Yours magazine website, specialising in content about caring for kids and grandchildren, Lorna brought her expertise to Mother&Baby in 2020. She has a keen interest in a range of topics from potty training and nutrition to baby names and early development and has a wide range of experienced medical experts and professionals at her fingertips. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her two young sisters, dog walking and enjoying the outdoors with her family.

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